GIMP vs Elements vs CS4

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Abby Rose, Mar 31, 2010.

  1. Abby Rose

    Abby Rose TPF Noob!

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    Alright, I know this has been discussed millions of times before, but after searching the posts here and doing google searches I'm still lost.

    I am currently using GIMP. But I've had someone offer to help me buy a photoshop. I'm debating.

    I have a student discount at my university computer store, so I could get Elements 8 for $59 and CS4 Extended for $288.

    I doubt that any of you are familiar with my photos since I havent been here that long and mine are no different from any other noobs. Basically, I am very much a hobbyist. My pictures are mostly for my enjoyment, but obviously I like showing them off to get critiques so I can improve them (otherwise I wouldnt be here! :lol:).

    I had almost decided on Elements, but then I realized what the regular price of CS4 was and backtracked a little. I love good deals. What I'm wondering now is whether the extra features are worth the extra money for someone like me, no matter what the discount is. Or if I should just stick with GIMP. :confused:

    Also, I'm wondering how obsolete each of these programs will be in 5 years. I hate upgrades.

    Like I said, I've been reading a lot about both programs, plus GIMP, but I still cant decide. So I'm hoping some opinions here on my personal situation will give me better ideas. Please share!
     
  2. Dominantly

    Dominantly TPF Noob!

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    CS4 Extended is far more powerful then either of those other two. If would give you limitless ability to edit your photos in a very sensible layout. IF you are looking for a program that you can really grow into (I'm not sure anyone could ever learn everything it's capable of), then CS4 would be your choice.
    PSE has similar tools, but lacks the power and quite a few other helpful features. PSE will probably get the hobbyist by, especially if they dislike computers and learning how to operate new software.
     
  3. xsouthpawed

    xsouthpawed TPF Noob!

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    I just recently bought Photoshop CS4.. A friend of mine works at Adobe...
    but anyways.. I know CS5 is coming out in less than two weeks, but the deal was too good to pass up. I don't have a 64bit computer for some of the applications anyways. But for me.. I find PS's interface to be much more useful compared to GIMP (I used GIMP before PS)

    However, a friend of mind says that she doesn't see anything that she can't do with Gimp that she could in PS (CS4). She's really into photo manipulation and such. so.. that's my 2cents.. Maybe you should try using the trials of both PS and PS elements?

    There are probably going to be new features as time passes, but I'm sure CS4 or CS5 if you decide to wait, will stand its ground.
     
  4. Alter_Ego

    Alter_Ego TPF Noob!

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    Photoshop is an incredible program you can do so much with it and its almost impossible to master it since there are various different fields and techniques that people use the program for. From freehand drawing, shading, coloring to web design, photo retouch and manipulation you can never really get bored of it or outdo it.
     
  5. Boomn4x4

    Boomn4x4 TPF Noob!

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    Buy Elements, and CS4..... Then put them on eBay and use GIMP.

    PhotoShop is much more user friendly that Gimp... the interface is easier to use and its more intuitive. If you are a professional graphics designer, or photographer, Photoshop will make your job easier than Gimp will.

    So far, I have found only 1 limitation to Gimp.... It doesn't support Vector graphics. Which can be a problem for web design, but not photo enhancments.

    As long as you aren't going to be doing any professional work, I'd honestly just stay with Gimp and save yourself the money. If you ever run into something that you can't figure you, I'm sure someone out there has a tutorial on how to do it.
     
  6. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Once you get the Student Edition of CS4 Extended, under current Adobe practices and policies you will always be able to upgrade to a newer version release for a reduced cost. So 6 years from now if you decide you want to upgrade from CS4 to CS7 it would cost you less than full price.

    CS5 launches April 12th. It remains to be seen when it would begin to ship.

    Neither GIMP nor Elements can edit images in a 16-bit color depth like CS4 can. They are limited to an 8-bit color depth.

    8-bit color means there are a maximum of 256 color gradations in each color channel: Red, Green, Blue (RGB)

    16-bit color means there are a maximum of 65,536 color gradations per RGB channel.

    There is a very much larger body of published support documentation (books, magazines, video, web sites) for Adobe Elements and CS than there is for GIMP.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2010
  7. Abby Rose

    Abby Rose TPF Noob!

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    :lol: I actually really like that idea! Is it legal, though? I'm thinking probably not, since I can basically buy as many programs at that store as I want plus one computer per year, all at the discount. So I could make a ton of money, which is probably not what the makers of those programs have in mind. :greenpbl:

    I really like learning to use new programs. I'm still learning on GIMP, and thats fun. It;s taking me longer than it might normally, though, with finals coming up. :grumpy:
     
  8. Boomn4x4

    Boomn4x4 TPF Noob!

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    You should be able to sell the software to another qualified educational user... check the license agreement. However, there may also be a "site" license that was given to the university. If they have a "site" license, it may further limit your legal rights. Its been a few years since I've been in college, but I remember signing a contract when I baught the software that stated that I would not sell the software to anyone else.
     
  9. Abby Rose

    Abby Rose TPF Noob!

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    Another question... I like the idea of the free trials. But how much room do they take up on a computer? I try to conserve space in my laptop. And do they "go away" when the trial is over?

    I think I would try the Elements trial first, and then the CS4.
     
  10. Vautrin

    Vautrin No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Try the free trial.

    Elements might do more then you ever need.

    Also, check out lightroom -- I use it more then elements or photoshop and it's a terrific program
     
  11. Abby Rose

    Abby Rose TPF Noob!

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    I'm downloading the Elements trial now! :) Course, I wont be able to use it until my math exams over tomorrow. I really don't like studying. :grumpy:

    I did look into lightroom, as the store carries that as well, and I heard some nice things about it, but I also heard that there are no layers. I really like layers, so I ruled it out.
     
  12. Vautrin

    Vautrin No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well it all really depends on what you want to do and your level of sophistication.

    Personally I like lightroom because of its power organizing photos. It's more about managing work flow then image manipulation. However, it has some really nice features (basic stuff like red eye, dust removal, exposure, burn, dodge, filters) to do basic correction.

    If you want to drastically change /enhance your photos, photoshop is the way to go. You can do some really crazy stuff -- make things dissapear and the like

    The downside to photoshop is it's got a very steep learning curve. Elements will get you a lot of the stuff you might want to do in photoshop -- but you won't need to study for hours to learn to use it

    Gimp is similar to photoshop except it's free, and more difficult to use.

    But try each program and see what you like best. Definitely just do the trial of CS4 until CS5 comes out -- you're not going to want to shell out twice for photoshop
     

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