Pixelmator – An incredible value and better replacement for Photoshop

Yes, I said it — Pixelmator is a better replacement for Photoshop.  I don’t say this without some experience to back me up either – I’ve used Photoshop for 15 years and even taught classes on it for UC Santa Barbara.

When upgrading my Macintosh recently from Leopard to Snow Leopard, I needed to consider the upgrading of Photoshop, too.  (I’ll likely post about the nightmare of this upgrade in Mac OS X software soon, too.  Yikes!)  Photoshop is a great program — but at a cost that is overwhelming for most people (i.e. the 99%), and frankly it is now extremely bloated.  I just couldn’t see shelling out the money for yet another upgrade to this app.  It’s not that it isn’t a power and really useful program – Photoshop is truly all that.  However, the cost is an upgrade is more than all of my other apps combined.  Is it seriously worth that much?  I searched for a replacement and didn’t expect to find something that would manage PSDs, work in Lion and be so feature rich.

I first looked at the open source app GIMP.  While feature rich, the interface feels very… PC? 1990s?  clunky?  It also requires running in an X11 environment further dimensioning it’s desirability for me.  There may be many reasons to love GIMP, and I do appreciate that it’s open source, but the interface has gotten more difficult to use with each upgrade that I’ve tried over the years and it always turns me off.

Some research led me to checkout Pixelmator.  It’s a design winning application, including one by Apple and was named App of the Year in the Apple App Store in December of 2011.  That’s pretty impressive right there.

I thought I might have to spend a fair amount of money to purchase it.  By fair, I mean reasonable, too — something in the range of $100 to $150.  I was shocked – at $30 a license, it was really too good to believe at first.  (There is currently a special sale price at 50% off too!)

Pixelmator is also light in both file size and resource consumption.  Pixelmator does all I need it to do and for me, completely replaces my dependence on Phototoshop.   I’m sold and highly recommend this application to everyone.

NOTE: Images were downloaded from the Pixelmator website and then resized for display.