GIMP vs Photoshop: Key Differences

Key Difference between GIMP and Photoshop

  • GIMP is a FREE image editing software, whereas Photoshop is a PAID image editing software.
  • GIMP and Photoshop both contain numerous plugins, but photoshop plugins are designed by famous photo brands like Phase One, Kodak, and more.
  • GIMP contains fewer tools, while Photoshop contains a lot of tools.
  • You cannot use GIMP to edit pictures on the smartphone, while Photoshop can be used to edit pictures on the smartphone.
  • As GIMP is communal software, standards are not classified, on the other hand, Photoshop runs on industrial standards.
  • GIMP is used for general purposes, and Photoshop is used professionally.
GIMP vs Photoshop
GIMP vs Photoshop

What is GIMP?

GIMP is a freeware and open-source raster graphic editing tool. The full form of GIMP is GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is used for image editing and retouching, free form drawing, convert images into different formats, and more specialized work. This program is released under GPLv3+ licenses and is available for macOS, Microsoft Windows, and Linux.

What is Photoshop?

Photoshop is an application for photo retouching and image editing. It is published by Adobe for Windows and macOS. This tool offers you to create, enhance, edit artworks, images, and illustrations. Adobe Photoshop is an important tool for designers, graphic artists, photographers, web developers, and creative professionals.

Difference between a GIMP and Photoshop

Here are the main differences between GIMP and Photoshop:

GIMP Photoshop
GIMP is a Free image editing software. Photoshop is a paid image editing software.
GIMP is built with digital photography in mind Photoshop is not built with only digital photographs in mind. It covers many other aspects.
Training or knowledge is needed because its usability is hard. Can be easily used by anyone.
GIMP supports Windows, Linux, and Mac operating systems. Photoshop supports Windows and Mac operating systems.
It is a lightweight software. It is a heavyweight software.
Usually not takes storage space more than 25 MB. It usually occupies up 1GB from your computer.
You do not require a large amount of memory to run GIMP. You need a large amount of memory and other resources to run photoshop.
It is an open-source software. It is proprietary or close source software.
GIMP is easy to use even for non-professionals. Photoshop is ideal for photographers and designers and photo editors.
GIMP is a community-centric tool. Photoshop has paid customers.
Opening Photoshop files in GIMP is possible as
it can read as well as edit the PSD files.
You cannot open the GIMP file in photoshop as it doesn’t support GIMP’s native file format.
GIMP contains numerous plugins. Plug-ins for Photoshop, designed by the famous photo brands like Phase One, Kodak, and more.
GIMP is ideal for batch processing images. Photoshop can process in batch, but it takes a lots of time to complete it.
You cannot use GIMP to edit pictures on the smartphone. Photoshop enables you to edit pictures on the smartphone.
Its updates are not so significant. It offers big and important updates.
GIMP is a software that contains fewer tools. Photoshop is a software that contains a lot of tools.
It used for general purposes. It is professionally used.
It provides flexibility. It does not provide flexibility.
As GIMP is communal software, standards are not classified. Photoshop runs on industrial standards.
Needs lower system requirements to operate. Needs higher system requirements to operate.

Features of GIMP

Here are important features of GIMP:

  • Manage color efficiently
  • This tool comes with a customizable user interface
  • It helps you touch up digital photographs captured from the camera.
  • It has basic vector graphic features.
  • Enhance photos with ease.
  • Supports different hardware devices, including the MIDI controller, USB, etc.
  • Export to JPEG, PNG, GIF, TIFF, and more file formats.
  • You can open unlimited number of images at one time.
  • GIMP supports the full alpha channel.
  • Multiple undo or redo is possible.
  • It provides transformable selections and paths.
  • It has a foreground extraction tool.
  • Up to 100 readily available plugins.
  • You can load, display, convert, and save the GIMP file to many formats.
  • Easy to use gradient editor and blend tool
Google Trends GIMP vs Photoshop
Google Trends GIMP vs Photoshop

Features of Photoshop

Here are important features of Photoshop:

  • You can connect to Behance, a social media platform.
  • It has smart sharpen filters.
  • It is built using generator technology.
  • Image edited with photoshop on mobile can automatically save as a cloud.
  • Intelligent upsampling feature to make low-resolution image print-ready.
  • A useful tool for multi-shape and path selection.
  • Supports conditional actions that help you to automate tedious and repetitive tasks.
  • It provides a one-click color correction.
  • You can retouch a photo with ease
  • Special effects and distortion features.
  • It also helps you to restore faded photo
  • You can increase the size of UI.
  • Multiple undo is possible.
  • You can make quick selections by selecting subjects.
  • Repairing flaws like dust, one lens, or red-eye are simple.
  • Publish edited image online or send via email.
  • Draw image with pencil and pen tool.
  • Objects can be quickly converted to layers.
  • Proportionally transform more than one layer without using the Shift key.
  • It has a motion blur gallery that includes two effects, spin blur and path blur.

Tools Used in GIMP

Here are important tools used in GIMP:

  • Selections tools: square region, eclipse, lasso, scissors, foreground, fuzzy, etc.
  • Brush tools: Blend, paintbrush, airbrush, clone, heal, and more, pencil, smudge, dodge, ink, perspective clone, and bucket fill.
  • Transform tools: Move, crop, rotate, scale, flip, scale, align, and perspective.
  • Colour tools: Color balance, colourize, brightness-contrast, threshold, posterize, desaturate, threshold, levels, curves, brightness-contrast tool, hue-saturation, etc.
  • Other tools: Path, measure, magnify, and color picker tool.

Tools Used in Photoshop

Here are important tools used in Photoshop:

  • Retouching and painting tools: Healing brush, patch, brush tool, red-eye, pencil, color replacement, Eraser Tool, background eraser, sharpen, smudge, and dodge tool.
  • Brush tools: Mixer brush tool, history brush, and art history.
  • Clone stamp tool and pattern stamp tool.
  • Transformation tools: Rotate, scale, distort, skew, warp, perspective.
  • Liquify tool.
  • Crop and slice tools: Perspective crop tool, slice tool, slice select tool.
  • Move and selection tools: Move tool, Artboard tool, elliptical marquee, rectangular marquee tool, single row marquee tool, lasso, and magic wand.
  • Measurement tools: Eyedropper, 3D material eyedropper, color sampler, ruler, and count tool.
  • Type and drawing tools: Pen, freeform pen tool, add/ delete anchor point tool, convert anchor point, Vertical and horizontal type tool, path selection tool, direct selection tool, etc.
  • Navigation tools: Hand, rotate view, zoom tool.

When to use Photoshop?

Here are the important reasons of using Photoshop:

  • You can use Photoshop if you are a professional.
  • Photoshop is mainly used for its multipurpose tools and numerous options to the professionals.
  • Most of the clients like work done with photoshop.
  • Many times, professionals provide PSD files to the clients. In this scenario, you compulsory need a photoshop tool.

When to use GIMP?

Here are the important reasons of using GIMP:

  • When it is a matter of price
  • If you have Linux operating system, you can prefer GIMP over Photoshop.
  • There are numerous apps that allow you to crop a photo, add brightness or contrast, but with the GIMP app, you can do real editing work.
  • GIMP is portable, so you can easily keep it in a pen drive and carry it with you anywhere.
  • You can use a desktop or laptop as a temporary image editing machine, as you have complete software with you.

Advantages of using GIMP

Here are benefits/ pros of using GIMP:

  • The most significant advantage of GIMP is that it is free.
  • GIMP can run from a cloud, external drive, or local folder without installing it into your computer system.
  • It contains all advanced features like paths and layers.
  • You can remove backgrounds from photos.
  • Photoshop files can be opened in GIMP. It means you are able to use Photoshop brushes and patterns in GIMP.
  • It has a smarter menu system that is more useful than the one present in Photoshop.
  • It has well-developed tools to work with image masking.
  • This image editing tool is faster than Photoshop when you work with small photos, which are targeting web design.
  • It is a user-friendly software for beginners.

Advantages of Using Photoshop

Here, are benefits/ pros of using Photoshop

  • You can automate anything using Photoshop Actions tools.
  • Photoshop has a very useful spot removal tool.
  • Making panoramic and photo stacking images is very easy.
  • It provides better complex layer support.
  • Images in the photoshop can be altered to fix the fault.
  • You can quickly create and edit new artwork images.
  • Adobe Photoshop enables you to reduce the red-eye problem.
  • You can whiten the teeth with the one-click of the mouse button.
  • It helps you to adjust the skin tones of the person in your pictures.

Disadvantages of using GIMP

Here are cons/drawbacks for using GIMP:

  • GIMP cannot handle anything other than 8bit RGB, grayscale as well as indexed images.
  • It contains limited third-party plugins compare to photoshop.
  • GIMP does not perform well if you need to edit big images with lots of layers.
  • Creating good looking arc shape in GIMP software may be difficult.
  • GIMP has fewer tools compared to Photoshop. You can find a few GIMP app tutorials.

Disadvantages of Using Photoshop

Here are cons/drawbacks for using Photoshop:

  • Adobe Photoshop is an alternative to GIMP, which is quite expensive.
  • Photoshop is a heavyweight program and thus requires a well-equipped PC.
  • Photoshop can be a useful learning resource, but it is not well suited for beginners.
  • It provides less support for vector graphics.
  • High-quality graphics are hard to render.
  • In case if you are not well versed in image editing, then it is tough to work in Photoshop.