13 Feb 12
30 Jul 12 2:26 pm
Sure, free applications are good when your budget is strictly limited.
And yet do professionals chose to pay their hard-earned money for professional products for no reason? Of course not. They chose the best products on the market and are willing to pay a fair price (price fairness is a matter of opinion of course) for those industry standard products.
What do they get in return? A few things would likely be:
* A bigger community for online help
* More plugins and extensions
* A large community of 3rd party supporting products
* Many more free and paid tutorials
* Better technical support.
My recommendation is to move up to the best applications when you can afford to do so. If the best is free, that's great - but it's not always true.
Your time is valuable, so is producing the very best results you are capable of. Freebies may be capable of those things. Remember the "Reality Triangle of Business":
Also, keep in mind that Adobe offers a full powered 30 day trial of all their products. Some other vendors do the same. In 30 days of free use, you might earn enough to pay for the product.
Hope this helps...