Free photo editors certainly aren't thin on the ground, but finding one that suits your needs – and your abilities – can be tricky.
Photo Pos Pro
Photo Pos Pro aims to find the middle ground by offering a choice of interfaces: one for beginners, and one for experts. This means that it's possible to get started with what proves to be a very powerful program without feeling intimidated.
While it's great to have a choice of interfaces with Photo Pos Pro, opting for Novice mode does mean making some compromises – you can't work with layers, for instances.
This free photo editor's support for RAW files will appeal to photographers, and there are a large selection of filters and effects that can be added, in addition to the standard selection of editing tools. You can try the program's premium features free for 21 days, and there's scope to expand Photo Pos Pro with extensions. It's worth pointing out that these are rather amateurish, which is a little strange because, despite having a Novice interface option, this is a program that is clearly aimed at the more professional user, with the potential to be a free alternative to Photoshop.
While there is a choice of interfaces, the 'pro' side of things is something of a cluttered mess. There are certainly a lot of very powerful tools to play with – the magic eraser is superb, for example – but there are so many toolbar buttons scattered seemingly haphazardly that, it takes some time to get used to where everything is.
Novice mode, on the other hand, if very well thought out, with everything being very clear, easy to locate, and easy to identify.
In general use, performance of the program is fine, but it can be slow to start. There is also a strange issue which sees a hidden window called FrmStartup running in the background. It's not a major issue, but it can get in the way of alt-tabbing between programs.