Although there are at least a dozen image editors that are great, these are our favorites for quick edits that won't cost you an arm and a leg.
CNET Editors' ChoiceApr 09
If you're looking for a full-featured image editor at a relatively low price, Pixelmator fills the bill nicely. Sporting a smooth Mac-friendly interface, Pixelmator offers a layout much like Adobe Photoshop with separate toolbars offering standard selector and paint brush type tools, a color-picker, a brush shape picker, and a layer manager.
Also like Photoshop, Pixelmator comes with all the image manipulation tools you might need for adjusting color, saturation, brightness and contrast, and many more. If you want to add effects to your images, you can pick from several different common filters like distortion, blur, sharpen, halftone, and stylize. Essentially, Pixelmator gives you a lot of the same tools, effects, and filters you would find in Photoshop, though you won't find some of Photoshop's more-advanced tools. Perhaps the biggest difference most users with above average image-editing needs will notice is Pixelmator's price ($59).
It's important to note that the demo version watermarks all your images, but once you see the number of features this app has, you probably won't mind paying for all that functionality.Read full review
Acorn is an easy-to-use but still relatively feature-filled image editor that provides a lower-cost alternative to professional editing programs. With its slimmed-down interface -- just a single palette and a document window -- Acorn feels much like Apple's iLife applications, while still providing a full array of editing features, including multiple layers (with masks), vector shapes, filters (such as Tilt-Shift, plus support for Quartz Composer compositions), blending, gradients, text and drawing tools (including a Brush Designer for custom brushes), and a hex color picker.
What makes this app most appealing is its ease of use and raw speed: Acorn takes full advantage of Snow Leopard (which is required), opening, saving, and performing (and even undoing) many operations faster than ever. It also includes countless thoughtful touches, from support for AppleScript to an ingenious keystroke screenshot feature, which instantly opens screencaps in Acorn with automatic layers already applied for different windows and objects such as the Dock and menu bar.
If you're a professional (or you just want more heavy-duty tools or a more flexible interface), Acorn isn't for you -- but for users with more modest image-editing needs, Acorn is an excellent value with a solid feature set.Read full review
GIMP is an ongoing open-source (free) project by numerous people in an effort to make advanced image-editing tools available to everyone. GIMP offers almost the same toolset as Photoshop with all the features you need, though the interface is somewhat different and might take some getting used to. Perhaps the best thing about this project is that it's being worked on constantly and answers to questions about changes and future improvements are available through an active development community.Read full review