Photoshop Elements vs Lightroom vs Aperture

ArtByQJ

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I am hoping to spur some discussion. I am preparing to purchase a photo editing software. For computer hardware, I purchased a macbook last Feb and will be purchasing an iMac in the near future.

Please weigh in my friends... Pro/Cons of each and a recommendation. Thanks
 

Overread

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I can't comment on Aperture as I've never used it.

Adobe has 30 day demos on their website, so you can trial their software if you want, further if you choose to purchase you can purchase direct through adobe and just activate the software already installed on your computer.


Lightroom - this is primarily aimed at organisation and library features. It's designed to allow a photographer easy batch processing of their JPEG/RAWs within a non-destructive environment (which means any changes made are not saved to the original, but instead saved as a separate file of alterations - those then only being saved over when the photos are exported out of the program - eg into a JPEG or TIFF file or direct into editing software like elements).
Lightroom also has the current full RAW processing software by Adobe as well as a range of common editing tools, however its editing is primarily aimed at global changes to the photo and more powerful and more localised changes are far more restricted/not possible. As a result its designed to support, not replace, proper editing software (eg Elements or CS5).

Elements - is a stripped down, but still strongly featured editing software option. It lacks some of the batch processing options of lightroom and its RAW processing is more stripped down again (its the same software, but lacks key features and options in editing). For many photographers it does all they need and it is also fully compatible with most photoshop 3rd party plugins (commercial and free) so there is a lot of scope to expand its basic capabilities.
 

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