Forget Photoshop: Web apps make image editing cheap (free) and easy

by Shawn Smith on February 17, 2008

Outfitting every reporter/producer with a copy of Adobe Photoshop can put a strain news orgs’ budgets. But don’t fret friends! Evolving web tools are making images easier and easier to edit on a professional scale.

Mashable highlights some of FotoFlexer Pro‘s new features that could offer cash-strapped news orgs a nice alternative to Adobe products:

  • Hi-Resolution Mode – Enables users to work on their images in their highest resolution, providing truly professional quality image editing for professional-grade images.
  • Smart Scissors – Allows users to cut an object out of its background with just a few clicks. Unlike complicated desktop photo editing products where cutting an object out is a tedious and non-precise procedure, FotoFlexer Pro leverages FotoFlexer’s Predictive Pixel Partitioning (P³) technology to cleanly cut images from their backgrounds with just a few clicks.
  • Curves – Provides unprecedented control over the colors and exposure of your images. Hardcore photographers will tell you that, for an image editing platform to be effective for their needs, it needs to have Curves. Now FotoFlexer enables all users – from professional to novice – the ability to easily control an endless amount of personalization for the exposure, color and contrast of an image.

Best of all, FotoFlexer is free!!!!

Picnik is another service that allows users to upload and edit images with professional quality. Picnik offers a standard free version and also an upgraded version with advanced features for $25/year.

After tooling around with both services, I like Picnik’s resizing tool more than the same tools for FotoFlexer. I imagine Picnik’s upgraded toolset will be even better.

Both services integrate with social web

FotoFlexer and Picnik both work well with Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, PhotoBucket and several other services. Users can tap their online photo albums and edit them using the photo web apps. After editing, users can replace the images on their other photo albums, email the new pictures or do a number of other things with them.

I don’t expect everyone to dump Photoshop this instant, but these web apps could give you a nice alternative when Adobe’s products aren’t available or don’t fit your budget.

Have you used these or other image editing web apps? What’s your experience? Will free web apps ever replace the pricey desktop standards?

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