Elements or CS3?


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Jul 16, 2007
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I know that CS3 is more geared for professionals but I can't find anywhere on the adobe sight where you can compare them side by side.

Elements is offered at a good price and I have room on my computer for it. CS3 I can get at a huge student discount but I would have to upgrade my computer.

Maybe I should start with elements to get the feel for it?

Anyone have either program and how do you like it? Right now I am using DPP by Canon.
I would think that at some point you will have to upgrade your computer any way. If you can get a decent discount on CS3, I would say go for it. I have used CS3 on a computer with only a AMD 2000 processor (1.67mHz) with 768MB RAM and a 128 MB ATI graphics card, without any major problems.
If your a student then get cs3, It cost me £130 which is like $250. You get the extended version which does 3d and video as well plus camera raw 4. What spec is your computer?
With the student discount and if you can afford it, I'd go for it. CS3 is a great choice if you are serious about your photography and want to not only learn, but develop your skills further. With CS3, you will definately be able to grow. Elements is a good program, but lacks some of the tools available in CS3, some are watered down and some are in different menu's than CS3. IMHO, Elements is better suited for someone who wants the ability to work with their photo's on a little more sophisticated level than some of the very basic editing programs out there.
I have a AMD Athlon XP 3200, it says 2.21 GHz 448 MB Ram
CS3 works faster on my PC than the CS version I have an AMD 3000+ with 1 gig ram so its fairly comparable to yours. I am just using the trial download but I was like wow for this increase in speed I am going to upgrade finally.

The PC I am working on is getting very tired and is due for an upgrade so I might just get the PC and then pay for CS3.
I am running CS3 on an AMD 6000+ with 4 gig of ram, and I have to say it runs well.
I use elements and it is all I need.
I use GIMP and it will be a LONG time before I WANT anything more.
Elements does everything a photographer needs. Don't pay for a fancy name and features you won't use just because it's cool to have CS3.

Elements version 6 is out now.

Save the money and buy a better lens or newer flash.
Or LightRoom? Lightroom is tailored specifically to photography, and covers most needs, photoshop is more tailored to artistic alteration and graphics. I hear again and again from people who almost never opened PS after they got Light Room. It depends on the extent of you needs.

and Light room is only like $100 with the student discount!

But, as others have suggested, download the trials and see what works for you.
As far as you computer, you could just stick a bunch of ram in there and I't will probably run ok, a bit on the slow side, but still.

448meg. Well it sounds like some odd combination of modules. either
3x 128 & 1x 64

1x 256, & 1x 128, & 1x 64

so you have either 3 or 4 ram slots. Some older motherboards are limited to 512mb sticks, but I could not say for sure, any way you can get a couple 512 sticks for next to nothing these days and it could really speed things up.
Just like there is a decision to make about how serious you take photography and how far you want to take it with your hardware choices, the same level of questions need to be asked with your software choices.

I bought Lightroom, Elements 5, Bibble, CaptureNX and more... I also recently bought CS3.

Even at the beginner level, I can take older RAW pics, play with them, then compare it to pic that I spent time on with the other programs.

My results make me chuckle... the old pics look amateur at best, and the newer pics come out way better.

CS3 can also save pics that if you use the other progams with would say... delete! I've saved about 100 pics and added them to my collection already.

If you take your photography seriously and your attitude and equipment reflect this... Photoshop is not an option, it becomes a must. It does things that the other apps only dream of, even at the newbie status level and with a little dedicated learning time!

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