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Photography Question 
Stephanie Meyer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/16/2005
 

Should I upgrade my Adobe CS to CS3?


I tried out the Photoshop CS3 and liked it. I tried to upgrade but quickly realized I had to upgrade my whole Adobe Creative Suite. I would like to know how many of you think that upgrading from Adobe CS to CS3 is worth the $599.00.. I also have lightroom 2. (I think I would have rather gone with CS3 but I had already purchased the Lightroom2)


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9/22/2008 1:39:51 PM

 
John P. Sandstedt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/8/2001
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  Definitely not. Adobe announced CS4 this morning [September 23] and CS5 is on the drawing board already.


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9/23/2008 1:57:25 PM

 
Carlton Ward
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/13/2005
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  Hi Stephanie, I jumped from PS 7.0 to CS2 and last year when I switched to MAC, I was going to transfer my license but decided to download the 30 day trial of CS3 for MAC and I was so impressed with the changes (especially with the raw converer) that I bellied up the $600 and bought it. I agree with John though about waiting for CS4 and download the trial version and decide for yourself if its worth the price. My .02 - Carlton


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9/23/2008 5:35:10 PM

 
Stephanie Meyer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/16/2005
  I knew CS4 was comming out and that made me nervous because an adobe salesman said I wouldn't be able to up grade to it if I didn't upgrade to CS3 first... SOOOOO glad I waited.. The upgrade (and I can) From CS is going to be the same as it would have been to go to CS3... So you both think the improvements will be worth it? Thanks for you responses.


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9/23/2008 7:41:55 PM

 
Richard Lynch
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/12/2005
  My pat answer to this is to ask a question:

Why do you want/need the upgrade?

If you can't answer that question yourself, there is no reason to get it. I am always on the newest version as an occupational hazard, and I can clearly say that 'new' features are ones I rarely use...I can get more out of Elements, frankly, than most people get out of Photoshop. In fact, I think just about anyone -- even professional photographers -- can 'get away' with using Elements. A lot of people buy the Extended version of Photoshop, I think because they assume that for $300 more it HAS to be better for their images than regular Photoshop...that $300 buys a suite of specialty tools for 3D design, medical imaging, and a few other obscure things a photographer will never use...Know what you are buying, and WHY.

Carlton has some sage advice: try the tryout. It's 30 days and you can test out the features to see if you really need them. Check out the Release Notes for the program...but don't bbe surprised if some of the NEW features are things you think you already have. I find the release notes to cloud the issue a little at times because they name feature releases as new even when they've been in the program for a few versions. This is called 'marketing'. But at least the release notes will tell you where to begin looking for the 'new' features.

Photoshop is a mature application. It is remarkable that Adobe can improve it still with all the things that are already in it, but they do manage to. Whether you need every new toy, though, is another story.

As far as versions...plan on a new version being released every 18 months or so -- that's the way it has almost always been. And yes, they are planning several versions in advance, so you can bet they'll be planning not just the next release but the one after as you are buying the one off the shelf. It is usually a good idea to wait a version or three between upgrades, unless you can identify a feature that will be really really beneficial. Honestly, it usually takes 2 versions for me to incorporate "new" features into my standard workflow. All the standards are already there. So while Carlton's jump from 7 to CS2 was probably pretty dramatic as he uses camera RAW, those who don't shoot RAW (or don't even know what it is) may have noticed little or even nothing different but a few button changes in the interface.

Test it out yourself, and be honest with what you need. You may be able to save hundreds of dollars that will be better spent on other photo equipment and gear.

I hope that helps!

Richard Lynch


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9/26/2008 7:59:28 AM

 
Jessica Jenney
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/2/2005
  Here, here, Richard! I just got a First Place Win with a point and shoot and Photoshop Elements 2!!!!


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9/26/2008 8:01:47 AM

 
W.   
In addition to Richard's wise words: CS4 was announced, but not yet released for actual sale. No dates mentioned yet, afaik, so I'd gamble on late October or later.

However, this is (again) a major release of a BIIIG application, so I would wait for at least CS4.03 to allow Adobe to get at least the major bugs out.

I.o.w. whatever happens, I can see me using CS3 for probably another year before even contemplating to upgrade. But NOT IN A MILLION YEARS for $599...!


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9/26/2008 8:15:54 AM

 
Richard Lynch
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/12/2005
  Jessica,
Your gallery is filled with great work enhanced by fine technique. That is exactly what I am talking about: people don't know what even Elements can do (though there is something to be said for your vision and eye which is something even Photoshop will not improve: It isn't one lucky image with a point-and-shoot in your case, you've a lot of nice work there).

Richard Lynch


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9/26/2008 8:25:28 AM

 
Jessica Jenney
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/2/2005
  Thank you so much, Richard!!! Although I wouldn't mind an upgrade! ;-D


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9/26/2008 10:22:43 AM

 
Oliver Anderson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/16/2004
  CS4 Bets is great but I have been instructing a friend on Elements and was surprised how much you can achieve with it. I'd advise NOT upgrading unless you can specifically list a couple reasons or processes that Elements doesn't allow you to do. For any beginner or intermediate post processing Elements is MORE than enough...like I said it surprised the heck outta me. I remember Elements 2.0 and it was way too watered down...Not anylonger for $80 (Costco) its an amazing deal.


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9/26/2008 10:41:53 AM

 
Richard Lynch
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/12/2005
  Oliver, actually I wrote a book on Elements 2, and all the features they left hidden in the interface (curves, color balance, channels, and more). Elements, really, IS Photoshop, and the same features are actually right there in some versions. Regretfully after my book came out Adobe made some changes to make it harder to access the hidden stuff, but I found more ways to do what was 'impossible'. A great learning experience for me! I can even make CMYK files in Elements...and show readers how to do it. Ask Kelby how to do that...

Richard Lynch


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9/26/2008 10:55:07 AM

 
Oliver Anderson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/16/2004
  I'm sure...Kelby is in Abobe's back pocket for sure. But the books are entertaining...even I laugh sometimes at his stuff and I'm a tough critic. Kelby is a Abobe machine and I'd be surprised if he does much with photoshop except pump out books and attend seminars...I hate to say this but as skilled as I am with photoshop I don't use key codes so the little icons are all important for me (but I am very fast since writing my own actions).


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9/26/2008 11:22:11 AM

 
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