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Mars Report:

LightZone: New Alternative To Photoshop? Sadly, No

Published May 3rd, 2006

LightZone: The essential photo editor for digital photographers

LightZone Photo Editing SoftwareDownloaded 5/3/06:Yes, Dorothy, it is a universal binary for the new Intel Macs as well as for PowerMacs. Since I’m in the market thanks to Adobe’s waffling on Photoshop, I’d like to see what this can do. At $149, it ain’t exactly cheap, but then again it appears to have some rather unique approaches to the challenges of photo editing.

Update 6/21/06: No, this isn’t for me. I need a graphics editor primarily for web design purposes, not for enhancing photos. Although I use “Photo”-shop for this purpose, that package has long since grown beyond the needs of a narrow photographer clientele. Things I need that LightZone can’t do include:

  • Crop in a non-rectangular pattern
  • Import from a scanner
  • Save to web-based formats, using optimization techniques
  • Read and write PNG-24 image format
  • Play nice with the rest of my system memory
  • Set type
  • Automate edits

I’m sure there’s more, but I didn’t go any further with the evaluation once I realized I couldn’t get anywhere with this. LightZone looks cool, though it’s competing with Aperture, which looks even cooler (but is twice as expensive). It’s “zones” editing controls is the unique selling point, and from what I’ve read it’s just what some photographers have been seeking.

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