With Pixelmator 3.0 FX, who needs Photoshop?

“Pixelmator has long been my graphics editing program of choice,” Dennis Sellers writes for Apple Daily Report. “The app has only gotten better with the recently released version 3.0, which changes the name to Pixelmator FX.”

“Pixelmator supports over 100 different file formats, including — thank you, Pixelmator Team — PSD files,” Sellers writes. “The Pixelmator toolbar is very Mac-like. It’s streamlined, clean and easy to use after a short learning curve.”

“Pixelmator supports Photoshop images with layers, and it comes with more than 16 color correction tools and 50 Core Image-powered filters, transform tools, a QuickMask mode, ColorSync support, and Spotlight support. The brush and gradient tool is precise and fun to use,” Sellers writes. “I also love the magic wand, which visually shows the selection as you drag across targeted areas.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Apple shuns Adobe Photoshop in favor of Pixelmator 3 to show off Mac Pro performance – October 23, 2013
Pixelmator unveils Pixelmator 3.0 FX – October 22, 2013

27 Comments

      1. There are millions of people who don’t ever send files for offset printing who have absolutely zero use for CMYK. Web & interactive, video, motion graphics, photography… They couldn’t care less about process color.

        It’s a huge development rabbit hole to go down to support CMYK; dot gain, UCR, display profiles and color space conversion. Plus, any guesses on how all the real-time awesomeness in Pixelmator (based on OS X’s CoreImage) with CMYK?

        Given all that, I’d bet it’s probably pretty low on the Pixelmator folks’ to-do list.

        1. I completely agree. That’s why I am tired of all those comparation of Pixelmator and Photoshop. They are totally different apps, and a print pro will always need Photoshop. Even Pixelmator is a great app, it’s not a replacement for Photoshop and I don’t think the makers will go this way.

      2. Very few people need CMYK. My job is preparing files for commercial printing. All my images stay in RGB, then, when I make the print file (usually a PDF) they are targeted to the output device – FOGRA 39 here in Europe for offset presses, but other output profiles are available for other devices. These final files are indeed CMYK. This is how colour management works keep everything in the biggest colour space possible.

  1. Pixelmator is a nice hobbyist program, full of Image Core fun. But, it is not Photoshop. No 16 bit, no Lab or CMYK, no attachable color profiles.

    I use it occasionally for light duty work, but with Photoshop running constantly, why bother?

    1. Totally agree. I’ve tried hard not to use Photoshop and been using Pixelmator and it is a nice program but it is no way a replacement for Photoshop. It has a way to go but I’m glad it is around.

  2. Photoshop will always be powerful for the full fledged media company. However, I find that I can do about 80% of what I need in the current version of Pixelmator. However that last 20% is also very important.

    CMYK – Need to be able to save files in CMYK format.
    Batching/Actions – Not being able to automate batch work is a huge problem. I need to be able to record actions and then process batches of files based on those actions.

    There are some great 3rd party Mac Apps that are very affordable to be able to work with RAW image format and make many changes before importing into Pixelmator (or anything else). But these two items are major reasons I can’t drop Photoshop just yet.

    1. I haven’t done any cmyk print work in pshop for years. Even offset work. My offset printer just supplies acrobat distiller profiles that contain their specific press profiles. Much better than the generic Rgb-cmyk profiles in Photoshop. I just use Rgb bitmaps imported into quark for layout and then export to PDF using the Distiller PDF profiles supplied by the offset printer. Works a treat as these profiles have been specially tuned to the specific offset printer, inks, screen ruling and even stock their using.

      Using Photoshops generic ink, swop and coated stock profiles will never give you as vivid colour as full gamut Rgb image converted to the specific cmyk profile of the offset press you are actually using.

      Pixelmators lack of cmyk is no impediment to great offset output, you just need to find a better printer with decent distiller profiles 😉

  3. A bunch of you are missing the point of the article. If you need Photoshop, you need Photoshop. Period.

    The point of the article though, is that there were (are?) a whole lot of people using Photoshop because there were no good alternatives. Now there is. For those people who don’t need CMYK, color profiling, or 16-bit editing, Pixelmator is an excellent solution, and at a ridiculously affordable price.

    Nobody is saying Pixelmator is a good replacement for Photoshop for EVERYBODY. For many however, it most certainly is!

  4. For a product so tightly integrated with Mac OS X, I am surprised it cannot be used as a plugin with Apple’s Aperture. Some photographers still use Aperture as their digital asset management application, instead of the wildly popular Adobe Lightroom. I can open a raw file directly into Photoshop from Aperture, then when work is completed, the file saves right back into Aperture’s management system. As far as I see, that cannot be done with Pixelmator.

    I understand Pixelmator is a graphics editor. That is the primary function of Photoshop as well. But the latter is also the most popular photo editor among professional photographers as well. I suspect there has not been much of a demand from photographers for this ability in Pixelmator.

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