The headline just about covers everything you need to know about PixelShop. It’s not a Photoshop Lite, or Pixelmator-mini app. It’s an affordable, entry-level pixel pusher that’s simple to setup and use, easy to master, and a good way to drop in non-destructive filters to create special effects from a photo or an image.
PixelShop is a little bit of Photoshop, Illustrator, Pixelmator, and iPhoto, all rolled into one. It uses layers so you can position text or drawing objects over a photo or image, and the original remains non-destructive. Every layer and filter can be modified, removed, or edited without touching the original.
As opposed to Photoshop or Pixelmator, one notable feature I prefer is that all tools are on a single window vs. a number of floating palettes.
More than a few of OS X’s basic graphics tools show up in PixelShop, and these include gaussian blur, inner shadow, and more. Interestingly enough, it also has a few vector graphics tools to draw circles, lines, rectangles, and text; each on a layer, each easily editable or removed and repositioned.
PixelShop isn’t cluttered with tools and options that seldom get used so it’s fast to open, save, and edit; filters, photos, or any other onscreen element. That said, PixleShop can only be considered a good value for entry level users, or those who want photo manipulation without expense or learning curve.
I don’t want to say that the effort to develop and publish PixelShop is half hearted, because there are many competing apps that are priced similarly; some with fewer features, some with more. However, the PixelShop website is devoid of any explanatory material; no tutorial, nothing about the developer, no support link, and absent of anything that would help a prospective buyer choose the app. That’s too bad, because it works well, and many Mac users don’t have the time or patience for the more capable Pixelmator which also has a high learning curve.