This week’s Gary’s Parries topics are:
1. $30 PhotoShop Equivalent
2. Carry That Weight
Introducing this week’s Gary’s Parries column. Everything you always wanted to know about digital cameras, but were afraid to ask. No question too difficult, or too easy. As a Senior Principal Software Engineer, and a former Assistant Professor of Computer Information Systems, as well as a recording studio owner/operator, inventor, and now, a digital camera enthusiast, GARY has more digital camera knowledge in his entire brain than most people have in their little finger. In the unlikely event that GARY would not know the answer to your question, he will answer it anyway, true to the spirit of the word “Parries”, a fencing term which, in this context, implies “cleverly evasive answers”. So let your imagination run wild. Email all your nagging digital camera questions to: email@example.com , and then, En Garde!
You may also attach to your email an ORIGINAL PHOTO of your choosing. A preview of the photo will be displayed with your question, and a full-sized version will be just a click away. No personal information will be published with your question unless you specifically include it in the text or attached photo of your email, which may be further edited for grammar, content, or other reasons.
*** QUESTION 1—- $30 PHOTOSHOP EQUIVALENT
As a novice, I am looking to buy my first image-editing software. I have heard that PhotoShop is the de facto industry standard for this, but I have also read that you are currently using the Macintosh application, GraphicConverter, for your own work. Could you please tell me how these two programs compare regarding functionality, ease of use, and cost?
Thank you for your help.
*** ANSWER 1
John, comparing GraphicConverter and PhotoShop is like comparing Apples and Windows. GraphicConverter is a $30 Macintosh shareware program, while PhotoShop, depending on which version you choose, can cost more than ten times as much.
However, if you own a Macintosh, I would highly recommend that you obtain a copy of GraphicConverter and give it a try. Since it is shareware, you can download a FULLY WORKING version for FREE, and then test it out for as long as you need. And even though it is shareware, this program has some very, very powerful features, comparable to PhotoShop in many respects.
For starters, GraphicConverter is an image browser. It allows you to store all of your photos and movies, after which you can sort, catalog, and email them, as well as create a slide show from them. You can batch process your images with GraphicConverter’s more than 50 built-in functions. You can rotate your images, read and edit their EXIF data, search for images based on a host of image parameters and/or custom keywords, and much, much more.
But GraphicConverter’s true forte is its image editing capabilities. Just double-click on any photo from the browser to open it in the image editor. Once opened, you can crop, resize, resample, rotate, and/or unskew the image. You can adjust its brightness, contrast, hue, saturation, resolution, and sharpness. You can easily eliminate red-eye. And if that isn’t enough, GraphicConverter also provides a graphics tools palette as well as a host of built-in special effects with which to customize your images. You can even install PhotoShop compatible effects plug-ins to augment GraphicConverter’s built-in effects.
As I mentioned, GraphicConverter is Macintosh shareware, so you can download a full working version of the software for free (along with an extensive PDF Users Guide) at http://www.lemkesoft.com/en/graphdownload.htm . Once you’ve tried GraphicConverter and decided that you like it, you can register it for $30, after which you are entitled to full on-line support second to none. GraphicConverter is available in Mac Classic, OS X, and Universal Binary, and comes translated in 12 different languages.
[Note: Thank you Nick in Japan for submitting the accompanying photos. – Ed.]
*** TOPIC 2—- CARRY THAT WEIGHT
1. This is one good-looking camera. From its sexy shape, to its ultra-compact size, and its three-color metal housing, this camera is a real eye-pleaser, as was evidenced by my wife’s expression when she opened her anniversary gift.
2. The camera has a very sturdy feel to it, with plenty of weight for its compact size. And if you remember Newton’s Second Law Of Motion, F=ma, it takes a greater force to put a heavier object in motion than a lighter one, so this is one steady camera, even before you activate its IS.
3. The camera’s USB 2.0 “High Speed” mode is lightning fast (40x faster than USB 2.0 “Full Speed” mode), which makes downloading images a snap.
4. A precursory examination of the camera’s first 33 images showed excellent color and image quality.
5. And last but not least, this is one good-looking camera. :)
[Note: Accompanying photo of Doug MacLeod, world renowned Blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter, taken June 30, 2006 at Lucille’s Smokehouse BBQ in Long Beach, CA. – Ed.]
[Column photo “The Photographer” by Brenda LaFleur of Brenda LaFleur Photography .]