GIMP 2.6 was released this week, with enhanced UI experience, as well as support for 32-bit color. The latter is particularly important as several web designers and photographers have focused on GIMP’s 8-bit support as their main reason not to use the tool. The 8-bit support is still the default, but you can turn 32-bit on, and the next few versions of GIMP should incorporate comprehensive support for both 32-bit and non-destructive editing.
The release is source code only at the GIMP site, though Lifehacker provides links and instructions for installing the tool in Ubuntu and Windows. The application has not been ported to Macports yet, and probably won’t be for some time. I am considering doing a source code build, something I normally wouldn’t touch. However, I really do want to see the new features, and in particular, the 32-bit support.
What makes the timing on GIMP 2.6 especially relevant is the fact that the days when we could spend thousands of dollars on software and equipment in order to work with our photos and web designs are over for most of us. I wasn’t joking when I said earlier that Frugal is sexy. Not buying is the new black.
When I have GIMP 2.6 installed, I’ll be back with a more detailed look. In the meantime, let’s hear it for 32-bit support. Let’s hear it for free.