What Can Photoshop Do that the Others Can't?

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by RegRoy, Jul 4, 2010.

  1. RegRoy

    RegRoy TPF Noob!

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    I'm an amateur photographer and I'm learning more and more about making my images look good. I do not want to waste people's time with an another battle royal about Aperture, Lightroom, Elements, Picasa, iPhoto, Photoshop and everything in between.

    I've read posts about what the above software CAN do, but not about what these products CAN'T do that photshop can. I ask because as a Web Developer, I own a copy of Photoshop CS3 extended (it came wth CS3 web) and I hardly use it.

    So to move to the next level (from the basic Picasa/iPhoto), am I wasting my time trying to learn CS3 for image editing? or is using CS3 overkill for basic to advanced amateur work (I say advanced amateur because I'm really trying to learn more and add to my skill set)? Would I just be better off with Aperture or Lightroom (in terms of the editing ability only -- I will read about the differences in other places so this doesn't turn into a LR/A3 thread). I just don't see a need to drop another $200-300 if PS3 is a workable option.

    Thank you.
     
  2. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry TPF Noob!

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    All versions of PS are worth a little learning time as the program is amazing, however, the constant upgrade brigade leaves me yawning, I find most togs don't know the program well enough to utilize its full potential and upgrading for the latest gimmick/tool/etc is a complete waste of money. I sell PS'ed images and have not noticed a lack of sales due to not having the latest version of whichever program I use, I therefore left the upgrade path at CS1 and to date I'm somewhere in the region of £400 better off. If it's not required use the one you have, as a WD all versions can resize for web. H
     
  3. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    It's like the differences between a vector graphics application and a raster graphics application.

    Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Aperture cannot edit pixels, Photoshop can. Lightroom doesn't have layers or selection tools, the 2 most powerful features Photoshop has.

    So Photoshop can do all that Lightroom and Aperture do, but neither of those can do all that Photoshop can.

    Photoshop also has the same rendering engine Lightroom is based on, Adobe Camera Raw (ACR).

    Photoshop CS can edit non-destructively in 16-bit depth mode. Photoshop Elements is limited to 8-bit depth editing and has a very limited version of ACR and adjustment layers.

    iPhoto and Picasa are vey limited as image editing applications.

    PS3 is ancient and was introducd back in 1986 or so. What you have is CS3 an entirely different animal.

    CS3 is more than adequet for your needs at this time, and you have the Extended version which is a plus. At a later date, if you deem it advantagous, you can upgrade to a newer version of CSx.

    CS5 was recently released so it will be about 18 to 24 months before CS6 appears.

    Upgrades to regular CS typically cost $199 (full retail $700). Upgrades to the Extended versions is a bit more at $349 (full retail $999). You can upgrade from an extended version to a regular version if you find you don't need any of the Extended features and only pay the $199 upgrade cost.

    Upgrading priviledges are limited to back a couple of versions. Those having CS2 can upgrade to the CS5 for the upgrade price. Those having CS (there was no CS1) or an older version of Photoshop would pay full retail for CS5.

    Since you have CS3, CS6 will be your last opportunity to take advantage of upgrade pricing as long as Adobe maintains current policies.
     
  4. RegRoy

    RegRoy TPF Noob!

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    Thanks -- what programs do you use?
     
  5. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    From and editability point of view there's nothing that Photoshop can't do. That said from an editability point of view there's nothing mspaint can't do either. The point is how to get to the end. Photoshop is all powerful for the advanced editor. Lightroom Aperture et al. Take many of the most powerful and useful aspects of Photoshop and put them on one panel a single click away. Everything these programs can do can be done in photoshop, these programs are just designed to make doing them trivial, quick, non-destructive, and part of a larger workflow editing many images.

    There's a lot of threads out there talking about Photoshop or Lightroom, whereas in reality, in the grand scheme of things the talks should be about Photoshop AND Lightroom (or Aperture etc). In this respect one complements the other. Lightroom is far more powerful than Bridge for working with sets of images. Photoshop is far more powerful than Lightroom for editing a single image. Integration between the two of them in any given workflow is however seamless.

    This does not apply to Elements. It seems to be the odd one out in the list you posted.
     
  6. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    I primarily use Adobe's products. For image editing I have Photoshop Elements 7, CS5 Extended and Lightroom 3. I use CS5 and it's included ACR 6.x, the most.

    I also have, and occassionally use image editing applications from:
    Imagenomic
    Nik
    Topaz labs
    and OnOne

    I also infrequently use the open source application, GIMP.
     
  7. RegRoy

    RegRoy TPF Noob!

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    I've been doing more and more reading and it seems that LR can't do soft proofing. It also seems that some professionals do a lot of their work in LR.

    But what do professionals do then when they need to print their photos (to a place like mpix.com)?

    Do they just skip the soft proofing?

    Is it enough to have a well calibrated monitor and to make adjustments in LR to match the screen color to the printed color?

    Because it seems that if you are going to soft proof, you shouldn't waste your time editing in LR because you'll just have to go into PS after and make more adjustments with the soft proof profile turned on.

    Am I missing something here???
     
  8. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well if your printing company will stay the same you can quickly pickup exactly what the image needs to look like on the screen to achieve a desired result in print.

    I know one local landscape photographer who basically only opens photoshop to softproof the final. It's only two clicks to open an image in photoshop directly from lightroom.
     

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