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HawgMan

Photoshop

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If I were to buy CS4 would Photoshop Elements 7 be a benefit add on or a waste of money?

Don't shoot for money, just for personal pleasure.

But would like to do some PP to make shots look better.

Using a Canon 50D w/ 18-200mm.

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If you have CS4, it would be a waste of money to buy Elements. Elements is just a scaled down version of Photoshop. Whatever features Elements has, CS4 will also have, but a lot more of.

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It depends on your comfort level with CS4. That program has everything in elements and much much more.

The thing Ive heard (and experienced since I have CS4) is that CS4 is an entire garage full of tools that can be used for a variety of applications, just one of them being post processing. Most of us photographers will hardly scratch the surface of everything you can do with CS4.

Elements is just one tool box labeled photograph processing - and the tools are labeled better and more user friendly than CS4. It certainly doesn't have ALL of the tools that a photographer could use, but it has more than most will use.

Although I DO use CS4 and would have a hard time switching, its not because I USE everything in it and would be lost without it. I have just used it throughout high school and college (starting with the early versions of PS) and I am very used to the controls in PS.

If I switched to PSE 7, I could pick it up really quickly and have 99.9% of every tool I use - I think...I really havent explored elements that much.

For the money, Elements is a POWERFUL piece of software. If you are considering both because that is where your skill level is, then you dont need Elements. You only need CS4 because there is nothing in Elements that isnt in CS4.

Sorry for the long winded explanation...

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Elements in addition to CS4 would be like having your 200 H.P. outboard wide open and dropping down your 5 H.P. kicker motor and running that too to try and get more speed.

If you are just interested in making your images look better with basic adjustments,Elements should be plenty. The Photoshop CS series is more attuned to graphic arts work-which is what it was designed for [so say it's creators]Lightroom on the other hand,was produced specifically for image editing.

If you want to represent what "your eyes saw" and not create something that wasn't really there,any basic editing software should suffice.

Have you used your DPP which came with your 50D?

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I've used all of the editing programs mentioned and everyone is spot on. Started with Elements, works great lots of good tools, forced myself to start using CS2. Completely lost in CS2 until I picked up a Scott Kelby book. Went to CS4 last year, love it! DPP, not all that great an editing program, very basic. Elements would be a better choice. Tried Lightroom 2 for the 30 day trial. Didn't care for it, just didn't work all that well for my work flow. I am in the minority on that by the way, most folks love Lightroom. It is built for the photographer.

So how will you be using it? Jumping to CS4 is a very large step up from Elements. You will need some help in terms of a good book, on line class, community class, etc. in order to reap some of the advantages of CS4. I can't live with out one feature most of the others lack....ACTIONS. Virtually everything I do is done with actions. I also batch process large groups of photos, right up CS4's alley. I do a lot of graphic design as well so having one program for everything will make me stick with CS4 and its future upgrades for a long time to come. There are a ton of really cool things that only Photoshop can do. I use the program a few hours every day and still find new things to experiment with or use in my work flow.

If you just take casual, ordinary amounts of photos you might find Lightroom or Elements serving your needs very well. If you shoot 1,000's of photos every week you might find Lightroom or CS4 to your liking. If you throw graphic work into the mix there is one very good choice...Photoshop. Your time might be better spent learning good PP routines which can be easily done in Elements rather than spending time learning those same routines and taking a lot more time figuring out how to make them work in Photoshop.

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One other thing there are a ton of really good add on programs for Photoshop that normally work in Elements as well. Many will automate a number of PP routines. Some run well into the $100's and others can be had for free or a small price. One really good reason to stay along the Adobe lines. I currently have four or five running in CS4. In fact I think I may have spent almost as much on add ons as I did on Photoshop.

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Also if you have an older copy of Elements, you may able to upgrade to CS4 for a discount. I was able to go from Elements 5 to CS4 earlier this year for $300 right from Adobe.

Dan

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Dbl touched on an aspect of Photoshop that photographers often overlook. It's a full-fledged graphic design program with full-fledged photo editing capabilities. It was built for graphic designers, and is widely used by those pros. Most pro photographers who use the CS version (and many, many pros don't) use less than 5 percent of the program's capabilities.

If I was starting right now, today, with no photo editing software on my computer, I'd install Lightroom 2.4 and PS Elements 6 (7 is for PC only).

I've used Lightroom for two weeks, including a 1,900 image wedding shoot, and I find it intuitive, muscular, fast and streamlined. It's a great tool to get through a lot of photos and give them all the same look, and the filing/metadata system is great for people building up a lot of images over time. I did not have to pull up Photoshop to complete any task during the processing of these wedding images.

The three or four routine tasks I do when I pp my nature work that can't be found in Lightroom are available in Elements.

We have Photoshop CS3 because my spouse is, in fact a longtime pro graphic designer. She was in the trade when the first Photoshop version came out, and has been mastering each new version released since then. I imagine we'll pick up CS4 at some point, but there's really no hurry for us. So that's what I use, but if I'm stuck on anything I just ask her and she knows it off the top of her head.

And I agree with what everyone else has said: If you buy CS4, buying Elements as well is simply wasting your money.

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Thank you all for the informative replies!! I think I'll go with the PS7 for now & possibly add on Lightroom in the future.

I was just considering CS4 cuz there are some pretty good deals on evilBay for brand new sealed CS4 extended for a fraction of the original cost.

Again,Thanks for the info!!

><>

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HawgMan, there are some great deals to be had on Evilbay for sure, but if you're looking at a new-in-box sealed version of CS4 Extended for a really, really low amount of money, it could very well be an upgrade version rather than the full version, and then you would need a previous Photoshop version to upgrade from.

Anyway, Elements will do you a darn good job. smilesmile

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