Photoshop Vs Clip Studio Paint: Which Is Better?

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The term “artist” is quite broad. It could mean someone who takes photos and manipulates them, someone who sketches, someone who paints, or even someone who makes manga.

There are subcategories, but sometimes they don’t quite fit, or you’re looking for a tool that works for several types of artistry. However, when looking for the best tool for an artist, you have to make sure it’s software that fits your needs. 

Though both Adobe Photoshop and Clip Studio Paint work for artists, they have different target audiences. While one tool may work well for someone, that doesn’t mean it’s the perfect tool for you. You need to understand the main differences between these two software to find out which one fits your requirements best. 

In some areas, the applications overlap. Still, each one has areas where they’re more useful or better than the other. Continue reading to determine which application best suits your needs and style. 

Check out this breakdown of the Top Digital Art Software.

Key Takeaways

  • Though Adobe Photoshop is expensive, it’s the golden standard for image editors for a reason
  • Clip Studio Paint is perfect for illustrators and artists who paint and draw
  • Sometimes, the product that works best for you comes down to your budget. 

Photoshop and Clip Studio Paint Comparison Table


PhotoshopClip Studio Paint
PriceAdobe Photoshop is available for $22.99 a month by itself. It is also available in several package deals including the Creative Cloud All Apps Plan, which includes many Adobe applications, for $59.99 monthly. Clip Studio Paint offers a monthly plan and one-time purchase options. The monthly usage plan starts at $0.99 per month, while the one-time purchase costs $49.99 at the base price.
CompanyAdobe Inc.Celsys
Main UsesAdobe Photoshop is mainly used for image editing, but also has amazing digital drawing and painting capabilities that are often favored. Its main uses are the creation of comics, 2D animation, and illustrations.
Experience LevelIntermediate to advancedBeginner to intermediate
Best ForMore advanced photography designers or editors who are looking to elevate their work and find ultimate control in the details. Clip Studio Paint is best for illustrators who need to draw and paint.
System RequirementsAdobe Photoshop is available on Windows devices of Windows 10 or newer. MacOS must be version 11.0 or newer. Both must have standard graphics cards, 8GB of RAM, and a connection to the internet.Clip Studio Paint is available on Windows devices with a 64-bit operating system and Windows 10 or higher.  MacOS needs to be 12 or newer. Most must have at least three GB of storage space free.
Key FeaturesApplication for desktops and tablets integrates with other Creative Cloud Adobe applications, complex interface with a variety of different uses.Plenty of customizability, a large range of colors, and 3D models are the key features of Clip Studio Paint.
PlatformsAdobe Photoshop is available on both Windows and macOS devicesClip Studio Paint is available on both Windows and macOS devices
Acceptable Import File TypesPSD, PSDC, PNG, JPEG, TIFF, HEIC, PSB, RAW, PDF, GIF, EPSCLIP STUDIO FORMAT (extension: clip), BMP, JPEG, PNG, TIFF, Targa, Adobe Photo­shop Document (extension: psd), and Adobe Photoshop Big Document format (extension: psb)
Comparison table of  Photoshop and Clip Studio Paint across various categories

Adobe Photoshop

Photoshop is a software from Adobe. It’s used for many sides of art including editing, creating, retouching, and compositions. It even works to create mockups and add effects to certain art.

Because it’s an Adobe product, Photoshop integrates smoothly with other editing products to let you move from one software to another without any issues or formatting problems. 

Key Features

  • A wide range of options when it comes to editing tools
  • Accepts many different files and formats
  • Quick touch-ups on images
  • Create collages and extend the backgrounds of your photos
  • Connect with other Adobe products
  • Use the cloud software to store all of your important images and edits
  • Layer and masking for easy editing

Photoshop Uses

While Adobe Photoshop does work for all sorts of drawing and editing, its main purpose is imaging touchups and edits. The newest updates use AI to assist in editing and creating or removing backgrounds

However, to compete with other programs, Photoshop also offers a way to make your images and art from scratch. The most basic and most used features are easy to navigate for quick touch-ups and changes. 

If you’re looking for more detailed edits, Photoshop is a little more complicated to use. With so many tools and options, it gets a little complicated, but with a little practice, it’s easy enough to use. Thankfully, the layering technology makes it easy enough to make fixes if you end up wanting to make changes down the line. 

Photoshop Pros and Cons

ProsCons
A wide range of tools at the tip of your fingersNo one-time purchase option
Professional-level features and settingsSometimes, features are laggy or don’t work after updates
Works alongside other Adobe productsThe overwhelming number of features means it is difficult to learn for some.
The use of AI and simple tools makes basic edits and changes easy

Popular Companies That Use Photoshop

  • The North Face
  • Fujitsu
  • Puma
  • Heritage Auctions
  • Angry Ventures
  • RoofStacks

Clip Studio Paint

Though Adobe is the professional standard, it’s not the only professional tool. Many companies use Clip Studio Paint as well.

Learning this software might not give you quite as many job opportunities out there are Adobe would, but it’s a favorite among companies looking for a more lifelike and less digital touch. 

Key Features

  • Easy alignment and distribution for both layers and objects
  • Blending of brushes is much more realistic than with other software
  • It’s easy to load and toggle between your favorite toolsets and brushes
  • Transparency brushes so you don’t have to fight with erasers for each type of brush

Clip Studio Paint Uses

Clip Studio Paint was originally known by the name Manga Studio. This is because it was used mainly for the creation and illustration of comics. While that purpose hasn’t changed, it’s also expanded, now having a lot more features. 

In addition to comics and illustration, Clip Studio Paint works well for 2D animation. It also supports bitmap and vector art. The wide range of features and cheap cost makes it perfect for many artists looking for a way to digitally create their art. 

Though it works on a computer, Clip Studio Paint works best with a tablet of some sort, including a graphics tablet or tablet computer. The features and brushes allow you to replicate traditional art tools like brushes, pens, and pencils to make your art as natural as possible.

Clip Studio Paint Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Cheaper than Photoshop and has an option for a one-time purchaseKeybinding is rather complicated
Works well with vector toolsSome features are only available in the PRO or EX version
Allows for frame-by-frame animation
Flexibility when it comes to drawing

Popular Companies That Use Clip Studio Paint

  • TapToBook
  • InnerApps
  • Zglue
  • Gameloft
  • Ninh Thuan Tourist

So, Which Is Better?

Which one is better depends on what you’re looking for from your software. As you can see from above, both have their own niches, even if they overlap a little.

Sometimes, the preference simply comes down to cost. In that case, Clip Studio Paint is probably your best option as it’s often much cheaper, even if you pay monthly.

Best for Illustrating and Drawing

If you want to draw and illustrate images from scratch, Clip Studio Paint is the most worth it. This software has a lot more to offer in terms of realistic brushes and design features. The easy-to-manipulate brushes and toolbar also make the work much nicer. 

Check out this list of the Top Drawing Progams For Beginners.

If you’re working on illustrations or comics, then Clip Studio Paint is a must. It works well with various panel shapes and sizes and offers you just the tools you need.

Best for Image Manipulation 

If you want to manipulate or add to photos and images, then Adobe Photoshop is the better option. It’s made to help with basic edits. The AI tool works to fix simple errors, and you can touch up the photo from there to better suit your needs.

While Photoshop does have other uses, they’re fairly limited and not as natural-feeling as Clip Studio Paint. However, if you’re looking for software that lets you work with a lot of different styles of digital art and manipulation, then Adobe Photoshop works well.

It may not be a master of other forms of art, but it is a good generic software for digital art outside of photo manipulation. 

Best for Swapping Between Various Software

If you’re looking to use a slew of different software for different steps in your work, then you likely want Photoshop. Though it’s pricy, it offers amazing file transfers between apps.

If you want to save money, it’s worth checking out the Creative Cloud subscription from Adobe. The subscription offers access to dozens of Adobe’s other products. 

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