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Photography Question 
April Todd

Photoshop Vs. Elements: Which Is Best?

Hi! I am really new to photography and am going to buy some software. Does anyone know what is better - PS Elements 4.0 or PS 7.0? I would really appreciate your feedback!

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7/19/2006 12:35:12 PM

John P. Sandstedt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/8/2001
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  Photoshop Elements 1.0 was a shortened version of Photoshop 5.0. About a year after its introduction, it was upgraded (PSE 2.0) without really significant changes.
PSE 3.0 was a significnt upgrade of Versions 1/2 - Version 4.0 adds some things. It's a great program for the price.
However, with Version 4.0, Adobe made changes that preclude a lot of free plug-ins. So, there is a problem. And, it doesn't include Curves, one of the two features I like in Photoshop 6.0 and 7.0.
Photoshop 5.0 was a serious upgrade of previous versions and P. 6.0 went further. P. 7.0 is an upgrade of 6.0; the major changes apparently came with P. 8 (also known a Photoshop CS). It's been upgraded to CS 2.0.
I have PSE 1.0 and 4.0, Photoshop 6.0 and 7.0 on my computer. I use features from all of these programs.
The conversion software to handle my Canon 30D Raw images works with PSE 4.0 but not P. 7.0. So, you must check out your camera and exactly what you want to do.
But, Curves and Channel Mixer aren't available in PSE 4.0 unless Richard Lynch has added to his collection. These are great tools that I use often.
After all is said and done, unless you're really into graphics and/or have all kinds of money to spend, it'll be hard to justify more cost than PSE 4.0.

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7/19/2006 3:41:10 PM

April Todd   Thanks for all of your help, I really appreciate all the time you put into it.


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7/22/2006 5:11:24 AM

Daniel G. Flocke
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/31/2004
  April like John said about version 4.0 elements, it doesnt have curves and channel mixer. But the biggest diffence is for just starting out, Elements is under $100 vs Photoshop CS2(version 9) is $600.


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7/25/2006 6:37:07 AM

Jeanne M. Brown
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/2/2006
  Hi, I'm a beginner too, but found that I only need a few "buttons" on Elements 2.0 and another on Corel Paint 8 to improve or artistically enhance my pictures. Once you know what you need the programs for, just concentrate on a few tools at a time.

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7/25/2006 8:32:23 AM

Jack Utter   April,

If you're just starting out then I recommend Elements 4. I've switched from PhotoShop Elements 3 to PS CS2 and the learning curve is really STEEP!! Unless you’re going to NEED this software for “Professional Business” reasons, PS CS or CS2 is overkill. Either way, you should get one of Scott Kelby’s ( books or DVD's, i.e., “Photoshop Elements 4 for Digital Photographers”. His books, and DVD’s, are a Godsend for someone just getting started. They tell you, step by step, what to do and how to do it. I got his book for PSE 3 (with DVD) and I was up and running in about 10-15 minutes, no kidding! Many of the “more” used features of PS is in PSE, Layers, Levels, Sharpening filters, etc. so if you start out with PSE and want to expand your Graphic Arts skills you can always move up to PS. In fact, Adobe sent me an e-mail giving me an offer, as a PSE owner, to move up to CS2 for only $299.00, and I took them up on it. Look at it another way… nobody started out learning Advanced Mathematics before they ever had Basic Math. E-mail me for more info..
Regards, Jack

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7/25/2006 8:36:54 AM

anonymous A.    I think the real bargain in photoediting is still Paint Shop Pro X (ten). I have Elements and a number of other packages, and have tried ms=ost over the years, but for the range of features and the ease of use, Paintshop is very hard to match, especially if you are starting will find it is very easy to get professiional result and be up to speed quickly: a very easy learning curve.

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7/25/2006 8:37:43 AM

Tami Rook
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/26/2006
  Hello I started a discussion on Adobe vs Corel and it has some great information you might want to check out. The question I seem to be missing is

If you shoot raw files- can Corel convert to a readable file?

Also if you are just starting you can look at a free one that was fun Picasa (I think this is correct spelling)

You can down load Corel free trial for 30 days.

Adobe will send you a disc for a free 30 day trial (I am still waiting for it to come)

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7/25/2006 9:25:29 AM

Judy T. Howle   I much prefer Photoshop CS2 to Elemments 4 which I have for teaching purposes. However E4 is an excellent program, it just doesn't suit my needs as a DSLR photographer.

A perfectly legal way to get Photoshop CS2 cheaply is to go on ebay and purchase an old version of PS for a cheap price that is registerable and then buy the update to CS 2 for $150 or so. Several on the photography forums have done this. Just make sure the old version has never been registered. You can upgrade from ANY version of PS to CS2.

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7/25/2006 9:25:56 AM

Andy Mitchell   cs2 buy it and you want regret it ,dont waste money on elemments after a couple of months you will wish you had cs2

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7/25/2006 11:35:09 AM

Jagadeesh Andrew Owens   I can't agree more with our friend from down under, David. Corel PSP X is a Godsend, and a happy medium between PSE 4 and PSCS2. I'd recommend it.

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7/25/2006 1:48:51 PM

anonymous A.    Yes, Tami, PaintShop handles all current RAW files. And free (earlier) versions are available for downloads, as well as trial versions of the greatly enhanced current version.

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7/25/2006 3:09:56 PM

John Collins    I have always used PE2 and 3. Each "improvement" of this program has attempted to hobble a fine product. PE2 can run actions written for PE2 but PE3 cannot.
Both PE2 and PE3 can use either Grant's or Bud's tools which include curves, and many other PS tools. However, as far as I know PE4 cannot run these tools because of Adobe's improvements in PE4. My advice: stick with PE2 or 3 and download all the improvements. The best are buzz.Simplifier (not free) and the free aforementioned tools.

John Collins

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7/26/2006 4:43:18 AM

Jane M
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/30/2005
  John is right about PE2, I use it with Curves and Channel Mixer free add-ons, Neat Image and occasionally Buzz, and the funky 'New Layer' method of masking. Using these I've found I can do most of what is available in CS2. The only thing (a big thing for some) is that it is not usually possible to run the many Actions available for the full Photoshop.

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7/26/2006 5:09:19 AM

April Todd   Wow! Thank you for the overwhelming responses! All of you are wonderful and I appreciate you taking time to help me out. Now I want to buy all of the software! haha.

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7/26/2006 10:15:26 AM

Craig m. Zacarelli
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/3/2005
  what cam do you use? wether or not adobe raw will work with it matters. I had to upgrade to cs2 when I got me 350D (xt) or I couldnt open the raw files! But, if you get the elements and register it, adobe will let you upgrade to cs2 for like $200.00 or there abouts!

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7/26/2006 10:19:32 AM

April Todd   Right now I just have a Conon Power Shot, I am getting the Nikon D70 in a few months (still saving!). Will PSE 4 work with the Nikon D70? What about PSPX? Thanks...

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7/26/2006 10:26:56 AM

anonymous A.    Fancy moving from Canon to Nikon! but PSPX isn't works fine with the D70. By the way, Photoshop compatible filters all work in Paintshop.

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7/26/2006 3:37:46 PM

Slim Brady 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/1/2006
  sound like a money issue rather than taste

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7/26/2006 6:12:27 PM

April Todd   Not really a money issue at all, just want to get the most out of my purchase! Thanks!!

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7/26/2006 6:19:57 PM

Slim Brady 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/1/2006
  if you are still saving for nikon , then you are nowhere close to geting a canon

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7/26/2006 6:35:44 PM

Richard Lynch
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/12/2005
  I realize this is somewhat of an old thread, but the question is timeless...I wrote an article on this here:

Photoshop Vs. Elements

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1/10/2008 8:33:49 AM

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