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Alternate Pricing Options


Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to pay out your ass for a fully legal copy of Photoshop. If you know what you’re doing, you can get Photoshop CS5 for much less than the $400 price tag ($999 if you want that silly Extended version).

:bulletblue:Option 1: Student pricing. If you are a student, and I’m pretty damn sure a great majority of you readers are, you would do well to check out Student Pricing. You see Adobe isn’t as stupid as it looks. They know that if they make their products upwards of 80% less for the students and teachers, then they will buy their products, and learn and teach how to use them. When the students get out of school, the only programs they will know how use are Adobe products, but being as they are no longer students, they will be forced to pay full price for their Adobe stuff. It’s a very smart business plan. But anyways, check out the Adobe Education store  for more information, assuming it exists for your country. After that, run down to your local campus book store and see if they carry Photoshop. Chances are you can actually get it even cheaper there. For instance, PS CS5 Extended is only $150 at my school’s campus bookstore, but $200 through the actual Adobe Education Store. That's a $50 difference and $50 can buy quite a few things days, like five gallons of gas! Wooo!

:bulletblue:Option 2: Check around online. No, I do not mean pirating. Pirating is bad. The mean ole FBI agents disguised as 12-year-olds will track you down and put you in federal lock up if they find out you pirated. Instead, check out shopping search engines, such as Google Shopping and see if you can get a better price that way. I can guarantee you’ll find something more affordable. But I cannot be held responsible for any scams you fall for, so shop online at your own risk.

:bulletblue:Option 3: work super hard and get yourself a job at some graphics design firm or some shit that provides Photoshop for you. This option doesn’t always guarantee you’ll be working with the latest and greatest, in fact chances are, you may even get stuck with PS 7 since some strange people still swear by it. Basically, you get what you get and don’t have a fit. Though to be honest, I don’t really know of any company or firm that provides PS for its employees, so you’re on your own for that one.

Photoshop Alternatives


Well those three options are fine and dandy, but not everyone can still afford to pay more than $100. Fret not! For there are even more options in the form of Photoshop Alternatives! Yes that’s right, there are actually cheaper programs out there that do most, if not all functions of Photoshop, and for more than half the price!

The GIMP
:bulletgreen: Website: GIMP.org
:bulletgreen: Current Version: 2.6.11
:bulletgreen: OS Compatibility: ALL
:bulletgreen: Price: FREE. ZERO DENIRO. NOTHING.
:bulletgreen: Summary: The GNU Image Manipulation Program, usually referred to simply as “The GIMP”, is an open-source program that works exactly like Photoshop Elements. In fact, pretty much the only difference between the two is that Photoshop Elements has vector-based type. Yes that’s right, you pay $80 for vector-based type, when there’s a free program that can do everything else. I think you got ripped off there, buddy.

Like Photoshop, The GIMP has gathered its own little cult fan base over the years. There are copious amounts of people who swear by it and spit on Photoshop’s disc. This is mostly because GIMP, like all open-source programs, works with Linux systems, something Photoshop couldn’t do if its life depended on it.

Paint.NET
:bulletgreen: Website: GetPaint.NET
:bulletgreen: Current Version: 3.5.6
:bulletgreen: OS Compatibility: Windows ONLY
:bulletgreen: Price: FREE. ZERO DENIRO. NOTHING.
:bulletgreen: Summary: Although somewhat less popular then GIMP, Paint.NET is just good and powerful. It was originally intended to replace Microsoft Paint, hence the name, but has grown a bit beyond that over the years. Paint.NET uses the Microsoft .NET Framework platform, which is why it only works with Windows operating systems and no others at this time. Unlike GIMP, Paint.NET is not open-source, but simply a freeware program. Just like GIMP, Paint.NET’s power rivals, if not, surpasses that of Photoshop Elements.

Corel PaintShop Photo Pro
:bulletgreen: Website: Corel.com
:bulletgreen: Current Version: X3, which is slightly better than X2 and much better than X1, or so I assume.
:bulletgreen: OS Compatibility: Windows and OSX
:bulletgreen: Price: $99.99 USD (Ultimate) $59.99 USD (Pro)
:bulletgreen: Summary: Corel’s answer to Photoshop. It can paint, it can draw, it can design, it can edit photos and it’s $300 cheaper than the base version of Photoshop CS5. However, it is also $99 more than GIMP and Paint.NET, though, to be fair, it does have a bit more power than those programs.


Let'ss get a few things straight here. I am no one’s bitch. I am not getting paid by any of the companies represented above to present their programs to you, so perish any such thoughts. I simply believe that paying $400 for a program is extremely stupid and highly unreasonable. In fact, it’s pretty much robbery. Adobe has everyone in their pocket, so to speak, but that’s not the point and I’m getting off topic. The point is, there are always cheaper options for obtaining Adobe products, such as Photoshop. You just have to know where to look.

Dear, Pant Tool SAI Fantards,


I did not forget SAI. SAI is designed only for painting and does not match the overall versatility of Photoshop. Do not leave any more comments on SAI. Just get over it. :P
Add a Comment:
 
:icontaschasan:
Taschasan Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
You forgot Paint Tool SAI ;)
Interestingly enough, a teacher at my school was seriously goin' around distributing cracked versions of Adobe CS3 Master Collection among the pupils >.>'
Until the school offered licenses for CS4 for everyone XD
Reply
:iconjrcnrd:
JRCnrd Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I did not forget SAI. SAI is designed only for painting and does not match the overall versatility of Photoshop.
Reply
:icontaschasan:
Taschasan Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Ok. Yes, you're right on that XD totally forgot orz
Reply
:iconjrcnrd:
JRCnrd Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2013  Student Digital Artist
:p
Reply
:iconthegalleryofeve:
TheGalleryOfEve Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you, this is very useful information! :hug:
Reply
:iconyoloisntamotto:
yoloisntamotto Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
JUS' SO YOU KNOW BRO.
Using "The Unarchiver" on iMac (which is free.) can help with Paint.net.
I use it all the time, lol. xD
Reply
:icontux-prowess:
Tux-Prowess Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2012  Student Digital Artist
That's why people crack this stuff.
Reply
:iconmadame-finitevus1890:
I wanted to try Gimp, but alas, it is not compatible with Windows 7....
Reply
:iconjrcnrd:
JRCnrd Featured By Owner May 14, 2011  Student Digital Artist
yes it is.
Reply
:iconmadame-finitevus1890:
It is? That's not what I saw on Gimp's page...did I miss it somewhere?
Reply
:iconjrcnrd:
JRCnrd Featured By Owner May 14, 2011  Student Digital Artist
The vista version works with win 7. You may have to run it in compatability mode to get the most out of it, but it works. ;p
Reply
:iconmadame-finitevus1890:
Ahhh, I see ^^;
Reply
:icongrapplemace:
GrappleMace Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012
I have Windows 7 and gimp works fine and dandy on my computer~
Reply
:iconquackzz:
Quackzz Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2011
my tablet cam with photoshop elements 8
Reply
:iconl0ft:
l0Ft Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2011  Professional Photographer
+ 1 for gimp :above:
Reply
:iconwingfetish:
Wingfetish Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Corel Paint Shop PRO X2 - affordable and more than powerful enough for those who don't do a lot of digital work :D
nice article!
:+fav:
Reply
:icont-weaver:
T-Weaver Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Student pricing + store membership + christmas special = $80 Photoshop CS 3 for my Dad and I.

FFF yes.
Reply
:icongisapizzatto:
GisaPizzatto Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
featured: [link]
Reply
:iconbluesolitaire:
BlueSolitaire Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
I guess I lucked out: my PhotoShop and Corels came with my WACOM tablets, and I got regular version (non-upgraded) Corel Painter X for $80. Which I gather would be a "steal" :D Nice article to show what else is out there. (I read the "Stop Letting Money Troll You" too)
Reply
:iconmarchingstitch:
MarchingStitch Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2011  Student General Artist
I swear by the GIMP. Used it for over 5 years, and the only limitation I've ever had was my creativity. It's done anything I've ever asked of it, without question.
Reply
:iconvonhollde:
VonHollde Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Fortunately I got my Software from my work xD (an animation company) they got Cs5 recently, but my computer Ram is low, so I'm stuck with Cs2 xD

But I love CS2.

There's a storage thing in my work they call "the freezer" in which they save the boxes and the manuals. It's kind of cute

My other softwares are evul and nasty :B
Reply
:iconppgrainbow:
ppgrainbow Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
:lol:

I recently got Photoshop 3.0 for Christmas and it's pretty much only designed to run in a virtualised enviromnent. The latest version of Paint.net that I have on this PC is version 2.7.2 which is the last version supported under Windows 2000. :(
Reply
:iconjrcnrd:
JRCnrd Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2011  Student Digital Artist
you still have Win 2000? :O jeeeebus. GET WITH THE TIMES, BUDDY! :U :giggle:
Reply
:iconjamseye:
JAMsEye Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
"Get in the times" => "Follow fashionable victims who give up stability for the sole sake of hype"...
Reply
:iconjrcnrd:
JRCnrd Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Have you ever heard of a joke? They're pretty damn awesome things.
Reply
:iconjamseye:
JAMsEye Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I love double meanings too ;) ...
Reply
:iconjrcnrd:
JRCnrd Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2011  Student Digital Artist
you lost me.
Reply
:iconjamseye:
JAMsEye Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
:D

Never mind. I thought you were serious in the first place and my reply can be taken as either serious or sarcastic as can be.

I'm twisted, yeah ;) .
Reply
:iconjrcnrd:
JRCnrd Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2011  Student Digital Artist
i see.
Reply
:iconppgrainbow:
ppgrainbow Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Yep. But I have 2 GB of memory and it's capable of running Windows XP Home in a VM (with 512 MB allocated)! :giggle:

I'll take a close guess that the latest version of Paint.net will be the last to support Windows XP, because the next version of Paint.net will only support Windows Server 2003 or Windows Vista SP2. :B
Reply
:iconjrcnrd:
JRCnrd Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Actually, M$ recently annouced that XP will be obseleted and they're going to stop making updates for it, and they'll be doing the same thing to Vista not too soon afterwards, since Win 7 is basically everything Vista should have been. :B So the next version of Paint.NET will probably be supported by Vista, but they may end up just making it only for Win 7 eventually, since more people will move to Win 7 with XP and Vista's lack of updates and such.
Reply
:iconppgrainbow:
ppgrainbow Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
So when did you hear the news that Windows XP will be obsoleted and that they're going to stop making major updates for it? :p

Windows XP will only continue to receive security updates non-security related hotfixes, because Mainstream Support For Windows XP was terminated on 14 April 2009. With the release of Internet Explorer 9, it certainly won't run on Windows XP anymore...and the same thing applies to Paint.net, which will require a modern hardware that has come along way since 2001! :B

Paint.net 4 will most likely only support Windows Vista SP2 or later.

Vendors may soon only support Windows 7 as early as the end of this year. Microsoft will soon end Windows Vista preinstallation sales and Mainstream Support will end in April 2012.

By that time, consumer versions of Windows Vista will be unsupported, meaning that Windows XP will outlive consumer versions of Windows Vista. But by that time, many products are not expected to support Windows XP anymore.


Right now, I'm trying to download the latest security updates for Windows XP in VMware Player. :lol:
Reply
:iconjrcnrd:
JRCnrd Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Well thank you for imforming me. :meow: and good luck to you, good sir.
Reply
:iconppgrainbow:
ppgrainbow Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Not a problem at all! :hug:
Reply
:iconcrossovergenius:
CrossoverGenius Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
:D Love the GIMP.
Reply
:iconeagleeyez:
EagleEyeZ Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
You might want to mention that it's "illegal" to make a profit off something you made in the educational version.

(Unless they changed that recently, but I doubt it.)
Reply
:iconthelonesoldier:
thelonesoldier Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2011
No, it's not. The student store sells fully licensed copies of their software. I studied this a lot before buying Flash CS5 for $180 instead of $500.
Reply
:iconeagleeyez:
EagleEyeZ Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Well they changed it then.

I've used PS on and off since PS 4, and it was always illegal to use the student version for commercial work.
..Until now, apparently.
Reply
:iconthelonesoldier:
thelonesoldier Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2011
The only restrictions are that you can't resell your Student and Teacher edition and you can only buy one copy every twelve months. When I bought it they just emailed me the product key and I plugged it into the Flash Pro trial version and it activated it. It doesn't even say student or educational version, just Flash Professional CS5.

I think it's a smart business move. Honestly I would have pirated it if I couldn't use the student version for profit.
Reply
:iconjrcnrd:
JRCnrd Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2011  Student Digital Artist
They havent, but ya know. What Adobe doesn't know won't hurt them. :iconiamparanoidplz:
Reply
:icondragoonfliy:
Dragoonfliy Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm lucky enough to get Photoshop Elements free by being a student at a freaking awesome college, but I used GIMP beforehand and will no doubt go RIIIIGHT back when I graduate. Or check out that Paint.NET you wrote about! I'm much to cheap to spend the major moneys on a big program when there are other workable options.

Now what I'm REALLY interested in is a cheap/free animation program. Oh yes.
Reply
:iconspiralhorn:
SpiralHorn Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2011
Or you can be lucky like me and get Photoshop (cs3 extended, woot) for christmas :iconawesomefaceplz:

Though buying the student version is a good idea, some companies give mad discounts too. I got Corel Painter 11 for 10$ through my school.
Reply
:iconthugnastay227:
Thugnastay227 Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2011   Photographer
I will swear by corel. Never will i use photoshop!
Reply
:iconsentient-zombie:
sentient-zombie Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2011
I use Sai and Ps, but that doesn't matter since YOU CAN'T BUY DRAWING SOFTWARE HERE.
Adobe is a bitch, they don't have an outlet here, and we can't buy shit online legally (and illegally buying it means you have an offshore account, which I cannot afford).

So I pirate. Like everyone else.
Ahoy, matey.
Reply
:iconpernoda:
Pernoda Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2011
Who loves torrents? I know I do!
Reply
:iconanewchronicle:
ANewChronicle Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2011  Student General Artist
It's times like this where I say this site needs a like button! :D
Reply
:iconpernoda:
Pernoda Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2011
Why thank you! I felt that it needed to be said. Even with the student discount you're not getting much off the price. And, I could be wrong on this, the student edition of PS contains a legal loophole. Technically anything you create on the student version can't be used for commercial purposes. Again I could be wrong but that's what I heard.

Besides why pay for it when you could spend a little time downloading the entire creative suite.
Reply
:iconsuzannemoseley:
SuzanneMoseley Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2011
I am so with you there!
Reply
:iconpernoda:
Pernoda Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2011
Huzzah! I'm surprised that torrents weren't addressed in the article in the first place.
Reply
:iconjenniferlover:
Jenniferlover Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
I <3 torrents too :D (but I think they are not mentioned because they might be illegal :D)
Reply
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