Macs are famous for, at one time, being true multimedia-editing powerhouses. While that’s much less true today, a lot of professionals still rely on Macs to do their photo and video editing. Unfortunately, apps for those two tasks are relatively harder to find than on other operating systems – and if you do happen to stumble across one that doesn’t cost your yearly salary, it likely isn’t incredibly good.

There are, of course, free alternatives to the big names in photo editing, but – like I’ve already written – they weren’t very good. Seashore, for example, is an incredibly limited image editor, allowing only the most basic of edits to be completed. Meanwhile, GIMP offered a plethora of extra options – but since it wasn’t a native app, it had to run in Apple’s X11 window environment.

Today, GIMP has been made a native OS X app. It’s still a free image editor, though, so is it any good? Should you spend the time to download a 73.3MB file? Luckily, I’m here to tell you.

But unfortunately, my job is going to be incredibly hard.

I mean, yes: there are an insane number of options that you can utilize to get the job done. And yes, the presentation is clean and simple. And yes, editing images is fairly simple.

And, yes, the results come quickly and beautifully – even if you aren’t just goofing around like I was.

But unfortunately, GIMP is still free. As such, it just isn’t as polished – or as reliable – as bigger-name photo editors. To prove my point, that dialog popped up after GIMP crashed, obviously, but I wasn’t even doing anything incredibly intensive. In fact, all that I was doing was adding a bit of blur along our ‘The Best of Pocketables’ section.

At the same time, however, it’s the first native OS X version, and updates are sure to come soon and fix whatever problems it may currently have. And GIMP is totally free.

As such, it’s difficult not to recommend giving the “new” GIMP a try if you’re really into photo editing. You can download the .dmg file below – and if you do, let us know how you like it!

[GIMP via Mac Rumors]