Good, FREE photo-manipulation software?

Having given up on ever seeing any of my cameras again (my children “borrow” them) I invested five bucks in two working 5mp Fijis I found on eBay. I paid twice as much for the postage, but I’m sick of never keeping a camera long enough to learn how to use it. Nothing fancy, just 3x optical zoom, AA batteries, and a by-god-real viewfinder–I’m nearsighted and just using the display is a PITA. No B&W format, but I can try converting pictures in the darkroom, hoping to recreate the velvety blacks of Panatomic-X. I found TrueGrain, which promises to duplicate the look of good, ol’ 32ASA Pan-X without the languid, full-minute exposures, but it costs ten times what my cameras did. So what’s good and free?

Note: I don’t want to shoot B&W entirely because I’m a twat with pretensions to artiness. It’s also what I know and I have always found color photos jarring and a bit unrealistic. But I have to get used to it and the alarming detail of even five megapixels, so I will ease into color. At least until my kids find my last camera, 12mp with a B&W mode. That’s like the resolution of 120 Pan-X, a film I never had a camera worthy of!


Also Phocus a free bit of software produced by Hasselblad,

Please note this particular site may be UK only but I’m certain there’s an international version.

Phocus is a little more conventional in it’s use than the Gimp which has a few, err, idiosyncrasies!


FastStone Image Viewer is a bit out of date, not as good as GIMP, but it’s easy to use. is pretty good. It is for Windows. You didn’t mention your operating system.

In my opinion it is more friendly than GIMP, but I admit I haven’t used GIMP in years.

I’ve been using PhotoScape for a few years and really like it. It’s easy to use. It’s certainly not as flexible and versatile as some of the expensive programs, but it’s free and easy to use and serves my purpose for photo manipulation - cropping, red eye, one-button fix, resizing, etc.

I’ve been using Irfanview for years. It has all the basics plus a few extras like batch processing, slideshows. When I click the desktop icon, it takes about one second to open. I haven’t tried any of the others mentioned here so I can’t compare it, but I’ve been completely satisfied with it.

Just like me!

I love the idea of the Gimp, but the reality has caused me to delete it from a succession of computers.

Really? I’ve been using it for years as my favorite viewer, but I didn’t know it could do much else. Except play videos, which I found out when I installed it on this computer a year ago. I’ll have to look at it!