When comparing Photoshop vs GrafX2, the Slant community recommends GrafX2 for most people. In the question“What are the best pixel art / sprite editors?” GrafX2 is ranked 3rd while Photoshop is ranked 17th. The most important reason people chose GrafX2 is:
GrafX2 is scriptable using the Lua language, which can be used to automate tasks and add new functionality to it. The script library features advanced color reduction and enhancement tools, [palette analysis](http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=76519), and much more.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Industry standard
Photoshop is used by professionals everywhere in a wide variety of fields including photography, graphic design and digital art. It is the de facto standard for image manipulation. If you've seen a magazine ad featuring a model, you've probably seen the effects of Photoshop. You won't be alone when using Photoshop.
Pro Trove of plugins that extend functionality are available
A wide variety of plugins that add new effects, improve existing functionality and simplify workflow are available.
Pro Lots of tutorials
There's a huge number of both free and paid tutorials available online. Websites like Lynda.com offer premium high-quality, in-depth tutorials, but there are plenty of free alternatives to be found on YouTube, blogs and specialized sites on the Internet.
Pro A cheaper, standalone version called Photoshop Elements is available
A stripped down version of Photoshop, called Photoshop Elements can be bought as a standalone application for $100.
Pro Includes powerful content-aware tools
Photoshop includes content-aware tools such as content-aware fill that can fill in a select area based on what surrounds it.
Pro Packs a staggering amount of functionality
Photoshop is the most fully featured image editing software available today allowing you to perform highly advanced image manipulation.
It has tools for RAW image adjustments, lens correction, retouching, image stitching, HDR, fixing framing. It supports most professional color modes and file formats. It includes extensive lists of filters, styles, effects, fonts as well as tools for painting, sketching and typography work. It understands both raster and vector graphics. It even includes tools for video editing, working with 3D objects and support for 3D printing.
Pro Integrates with Creative Cloud
You can save all projects directly to the Creative Cloud allowing you to access them from any device and with any relevant Adobe software.
Pro Creative Cloud Photography subscription includes Lightroom
Lightroom is another image editing software from Adobe that's specifically designed for photo editing and managing of large quantities of digital images.
Pro Scriptable using Lua
GrafX2 is scriptable using the Lua language, which can be used to automate tasks and add new functionality to it. The script library features advanced color reduction and enhancement tools, palette analysis, and much more.
Pro Supports many file formats
GrafX2 supports many file formats, including the popular gif and png, but also importing and exporting from deluxe paint, degas elite, and various other editors using custom formats.
Pro Palette color cycling
GraphX2 being based on older 256 bitmap software has inherited some tricks that modern pixel editors do not have . One of them being the ability to cycle color palette and produce animations and effects with it.
Pro Free, open source, and cross-platform
GrafX2 is totally free to use, copy, and modify. It's available on Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Haiku, AROS, MorphOS, SkyOS, Syllable, Mint, and a few more systems. Basically anything is supported by the SDL library.
Pro Very large number of tools and effects
Pro Supports tileset addition and extraction
Pro Has a great palette tool
You can create gradients from one color to another, work in either RGB or HSL color space, save and load palettes, sort and organize palettes, and even work on "color cycling" images.
Pro Supports animations
The program has a basic support for animation using frames in newer versions. Graphics can be cloned and copied between frames and changed slightly.
See here how to animate with GrapfX2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gnq6zBZOqoM
Pro Has a customizable UI with themes support
Theme UI style can easily be changed from settings including buttons and colors.
Pro Drawing constraint mode for vintage 8bits machine
The program is able to enforce the pixel constraints of old machines (C64, ZX Spectrum, Apple II, Game Boy Color, etc.)
For example, in ZX Spectrum mode, only 2 different colors can be used in a 8x8 pixel block.
The standalone version of Photoshop costs $19.99/month, though it can be leased as part of the Creative Cloud Photography bundle that includes Lightroom for $9.99/month.
Con Latest versions of Photoshop are subscription-only
While you can still buy CS6 from 2012 without needing a subscription by contacting Adobe support or the cut-down Photoshop Elements, any full-version version of Photoshop past CS6 requires a subscription.
Con Learning it can take some time
While you can relatively quickly learn how to perform a few basic image editing tasks, understanding Photoshop's ins and outs can be difficult. It's partially due to the sheer amount of functionality that Photoshop packs (and understanding that some of the advanced functionality can take a while to understand on its own), and partially due to it being aimed at professionals with little hand-holding for novice users.
Con Batch editing of images is not straightforward
Photoshop is designed to work extensively on one image at a time and while batch editing support exists, it's not that intuitive to use.
Con Affinity Photo is just as good at a fraciton of the price
Switching from Photoshop to Affinity Photo and it's hard to notice the difference quality of a professional's work. They say that PS is the industry standard, but so very few pros that tried Affinity Photo ever look back.
Con Asset management capabilities are lacking
In Photoshop asset management is done through a separate program called Bridge. As Bridge is supposed to be a file management tool for not just Photoshop's files, but for files generated by all of Adobe's applications it covers a breadth of capabilities, but not depth.
Con Very slow
It needs a very power CPU and GPU and many GBs of RAM and still it is so slow.
Con Not good enough to be so expensive
Probably the only big advantage Photoshop has over the other free software is the adjustment layers. But still too expensive for just one feature.
Con Dated look and feel
It looks like it was never supposed to be used in the modern world.
Con Lack of modern features
Some modern features that are necessary to do pixel art creation for game dev work are lacking.