Is Photoshop Elements a good buy?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by JPDesign, Dec 7, 2008.

  1. JPDesign

    JPDesign TPF Noob!

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    Hello everyone,

    This is my first post here. I am a designer and currently use CS3 for all my photo/design needs....

    My sister has decided to give photography a shot (no pun intended) and has been drooling over (and getting ready to buy) a Canon 40D. I would like to know, after investing the cash, that she would be able to fully utilize the cameras capabilities...specifically being able to utilize RAW images and be able to color correct and adjust photos in RAW or JPG, etc. My question is, is Photoshop elements a good investment vs. whatever software (if any) comes with the camera? Or is PS Elements a waste of money. I think some of the things that the full PS comes with might be too advanced for her at this point (i.e. layer masks, HDR support, etc.) What do you guys think?

    I'm thinking about getting her a copy for Christmas.

    P.S. I did a search for this topic and couldn't find what I was looking for, so my apologies if this topic has been answered before.

    Thanks!
    JP
     
  2. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Starting out full photoshop is way too epensive and way too full of features that won't be used for years for a newer photographer. Its more worth to spend that money on other things (like lenses) a photo can always be edited again - if you have the photo to edit -- but you can't take a photo again after the event has past.

    Elements 7 (latest version) certainly has enough features for a newer photographer, including RAW processings, colour correction, sharpening, noise, limited curves power and other features.

    The other program on the market I would consider is paintshop pro - though I have no direct experience with this program its similarly priced and also has similar contents.

    The only thing I would say is keep note of the following 2 websites - one links to a curves editing plugin and the other to a layermask plugin - I consider both to be invaluble in editing - and whilst curves is a complicated beast layermasking is simple and powerful. I know both run in version 6, but I have no idea if they currently support version 7.
    Layer mask
    http://graphicssoft.about.com/od/pselements/qt/layermasktool.htm
    Curves:
    http://www.earthboundlight.com/phototips/curves-photoshop-elements-4-5.html
     
  3. Montana

    Montana TPF Noob!

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    I do all my editing with Elements 6. (I don't make a living from my photos) I think its plenty for the hobbiest. My father called yesterday and said Costco has Elements 7 for $70, then another $30 off at the register. Elements 7 for $40 is a steal!!!!

    Derrick
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I haven't used Elements since version 2 or 3...but it's a great program for photo editing. Plenty of functionality at a good price.
     
  5. Chris of Arabia

    Chris of Arabia Herding cats since 1988... Supporting Member

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    I'm still using PSE5 and have v6 back in the UK. Both are more than adequate for the majority of my editing needs, though I do find the b&w conversion capabilities a bit less sophisticated than I would like. Other than that, it's a more than competent product for anyone starting out and for a good while beyond that. If Costco is knocking it out for $40, I'd say buy it now without hesitation.
     
  6. rubbertree

    rubbertree TPF Noob!

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    I have PSE6 and love it. It is far superior to the software that comes with the camera. Yes, it comes with Camera RAW.
    While it doesn't have some of the more advanced things that CS3 has, you can download lots of free plug ins for it, like layers mask.
    It can't do HDR but there are other software packages that can for way cheaper. You can't record actions in it either.
    I think it is more than enough for someone just starting out and even for those more experienced photographers.
     

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