View Full Version : Photoshop Elements?

Hal Peeler
01-16-2008, 7:36 AM
Anyone here use Photoshop Elements? I just got my first DSLR (Rebel XTI) and wondered if I should use the software that came with it or would I get more out of PS Elements. I currently use Picasa (free) with my point and shoot for cropping and a little color enhancements but nothing big. What can I expect out of Elements? Is it hard to learn? Thanks.

Dick Rowe
01-16-2008, 8:02 AM

I use it and like it. I'm not an expert but it is intuitive to get the simple things I need done without going through the doc's every time I use it.

It does have a lot of extremely powerful features that I never use, but it's nice to know they are there if I ever need them.

One advanced feature I use a lot is the batch conversion functionality. I have to reduce large pictures down to manageable size and format to fit on the web (like on this site for example). Before Elements I had to load each picture one at a time, convert it, and save it. With batch conversion I can just point at at directory of picture files, specify what I want done, and sit back and watch while Elements automatically loads each file in the directory, applies the conversion I specified, and saves the converted file in a new directory.

Scott Shepherd
01-16-2008, 8:46 AM
I have it but haven't used it a lot. One thing with a DSLR is that you'll probably quickly be building a library of photos. It's easy to go out and take hundreds of photos at one time. Elements doesn't manage that very well, in my opinion (nor was is supposed to). If you open a photo, make some changes (such as cropping), it wants to save the cropped version over the original, so the original is lost forever. That's a bad thing. Yes, it's somewhat of a user error to not say "Save as" every time, but trust me, when you're editing a photo of someone who's passed away, or a once in a lifetime shot and you accidentally hit the "save" button (which will happen), then you're in trouble.

I personally use Adobe Lightroom all the time. It tags and manages the library of photos very well. It also does non destructive editing. So you can crop, change to black and white, and rotate it 37 degrees and you'll always have the original. In fact, I don't think it's even possible to overwrite the original. I like that. So I have a comfort level that all my photos are always safe from my quick mouse clicking fingers. Plus it's got some nice tools in it for building web pages or sending out photos to friends.

One thing you won't see in it is the ability to cut and paste and edit the photo by cutting objects out. It's not for making greeting cards or cutting out your dog and putting him in a photo with someone else. It's purely dealing with cropping, and colors.

Now, Elements will do all the cutting and pasting stuff, but I just don't like it. It's not bad, as I use it for certain things, but it's just no where as intuitive to me as LightRoom.

I think you can download both for free 30 day trials. You should give it a go. I don't know what you needs for it are, so it might very well be just what you are looking for. Having said all that, Lightroom is 3X as expensive as Elements.

Jim Becker
01-16-2008, 8:51 AM
I've been using PhotoShop Elements for a number of years now...since version 1, now on version 6. I'm very pleased with it. Easy to use, quite powerful and extensible--many "big" Photoshop plugins will work with it. (I have one add-in product that I like for fast "fixing" of photos taken by other folks whose cameras are less capable. It's also reasonably priced. Whether or not it's better or not than Picasa, etc., is up to folks who have used both. But I suspect it's a big step up from whatever came with your camera.

I will admit I've been toying with the idea of LightRoom that Scott mentions, but I actually like to do a bit of physical editing sometimes, so Elements needs to stay in my repertoire.

John-Paul Murphy
01-16-2008, 9:05 AM
PCmag has fairly good reviews on both products (old but good).
I use Photoshop. I switched from elements several years back. Elements is many times easier and more intuitive to use than Photoshop. I have and am going through a tough learning curve with Photoshop since I am self taught
If Picasa gives you what you want why pay for something else.
Elements (http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2704,2190204,00.asp)
Picasa (http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1752155,00.asp) now at ver 2.7 is very good for what you pay.:D

I am a Nikon fan so I am not familiar with the Canon software. I do not like the software provided by Kodak, Nikon or HP. I have tried all of those since they were “free” with products I purchased.

David G Baker
01-16-2008, 10:43 AM
Photoshop Elements is designed with the photographer in mind. Most software has a learning curve and Elements is no different.
I use an older version of Adobe Photoshop for all of my work but I only use a fraction of what it is capable of and is designed for. I use it because I already did the learning curve on Photoshop and have not used Elements to any extent. Several friends have Elements and love it. Adobe makes good products and has very good tutorials for most of their software.
The cost of Elements is also very reasonable and an older version can be purchased off of that auction site quite cheap.