Cheap digital cameras are quite common nowdays, with low-cost cameras coming packed with features that were once reserved for the most expensive of models. The problem, however, is actually processing those images on a computer to iron out flaws and improve the overall quality. That's where the term photo shopping came from, after all.

The thing is you do not need to pay big bucks for Photoshop or similar high-end software suites for basic image editing. You can chug along just fine using the following free software packages:

1. Paint.NET – if have just obtained your first set of cheap digital cameras and want a simple software package that is easy to use, then Paint.Net is your first choice. It has all the basic tools to crop, resize, adjust, rotate and otherwise manipulate the basic properties of a picture. Then there are secondary effects to spruce up the same photo and even has basic layering capabilities. In a nutshell: Paint.Net is great for first-time owners of budget cameras.

2. Fast-Stone Image Viewer – It is a bit more complicated to work with than Paint.Net and sports an interface that takes some getting used to. Put some in ime learning it, however, and it quickly proves itself as a capable image editing software that goes well with many cheap digital cameras. The highlight, however, is Fast-Stone Image Viewer's slide show feature which lets you put together your own slide show complete with music and picture transition effects. In a nutshell: Fast-Stone Image Viewer is great for intermediate photo editing as well as creating customized slide shows.

3. Pic-Pick – Pic-Pick offers an expanded array of features all packed into a no-nonsense interface. Magnifier, pixel ruler, protractor, whiteboard – all these and more allow users to more thoroughly manipulate the images captured by dedicated digital cameras. Pic-Pick is so feature rich in fact that it can even be used for digital art design. This is especially true for Pic-Picks' whiteboard mode, which allow users to introduce elements into and on top of the images they plan to edit. In a nutshell: Pic-Pick is great for more advanced photo editing and digital art design.

4. GIMP – the GNU Image Manipulation Program has a storied history, reaching as far back as the 90's. It has been constantly updated and improved by a cadre of dedicated fans – leading to one of the most comprehensive free photo editing suites out there. Its interface is easy to work with, comes loaded with options that complement its image manipulation capabilities (like conversion, batch processing and photo retouching) and can even be modified with a wide array of downloadable plug-ins if you can not find the features you are looking for. This makes it the perfect companion for techies that know what they want from their cheap digital cameras and the software that supports captured images. In a nutshell: GIMP is hands-down the free software suite of choice for advanced photo editing for those willing to invest time and effort to customize the suite.

5. Snap-seed – if you prefer to do your photo editing on tablets instead of personal computers, then Snap-seed comes highly recommended. It comes with an Auto Correct feature that will quickly 'fix' an image for you with nothing but a single tap, although you can modify saturation, brightness, shadows and other features yourself if you want to. Then there are the custom frames, filters and layers to help jazz up your photos captured with your cheap digital cameras that you can share via email and / or social networks if you want to. In a nutshell: Snap-seed is great for hooking up affordable digital cameras to tablets and then doing a few basic edits using the processing power of the latter.

Download and install these free software suites to help keep your photo editing costs down to match the price of the cheap digital cameras you use. Use the software right and even images you captured using humble mirror less digital cameras can be polished up to perfection!

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