When the little old man across the street,who is new to digital photography,ask you which editing software is east to use, but still allows creativity, you tell him....?
Agree! I'd even say: "PhotoShop Elements 2" if the guy doesn't like to spend money - I've seen it for @ 20 bucks on eBay, and It'll do far more than most folks will ever need - or comprehend!
I have Elements 2 & 3, but usually use 2 - Elements 3 has less workspace on my iMac. Wish I had back the money I spent on 3!!
Ulead's Photo Impact. Great package, designed primarily for web rather than print. A hundred bucks gets you a package that's much more versatile than Elements and almost as capable as Photoshop.
It's well designed too, as almost everything can be done either manually or on autopilot. Pretty sophisticated algorithms too - particularly for auto color adjustments.
It has one significant advantage over Photoshop in the way it handles Text. It does a simply wonderful job with the letters; even if you use nothing else, it's worth the hundred bucks for that alone if you do much web work.
The one major shortcoming of Ulead PhotoImpact is unless they changed it recently, it was not color managed except to choose using sRGB, which is fine for doing images for the web, but not for general photography and serious print output.
No, it's still true - PhotoImpact is primarily a web tool, just as Photoshop is primarially a print tool. But the question was about the "little old man across the street,who is new to digital photography". Chances are that man has a new camera and hasn't even thought about a printer. Just as many images are being taken digitally these days, the primary mode of display is also digital. PhotoImpact is wonderful - both powerful and simplified - for those whose primary intent is to display their images on a screen. That's certainly a significant number of folks these days.
You're right that it's less capable in the print arena, but I think of myself - I print some of my images and for that I use Photoshop (v7 - I haven't upgraded yet), but almost ALL of my images are displayed on the screen, and for that I use PhotoImpact (v6 - it does what I need).
From professional web design to just showing off pictures of the kids, PhotoImpact is a very nice package for working in RGB formats.
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Like cameras, editing software is personal. I would first try to either find a free product on the web or one that could be downloaded on a trial basis. Try it first before buying. Some people like only to crop or make minor changes. Others like more intensive editing. Try a product first, see if he likes it then make the choice after some hands on experimenting.