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Author Topic: Elements 8.0 or CS4?  (Read 3383 times)

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« on: February 12, 2010, 10:27 »
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I'm new in microstock and though I have been taking photos for several years, I never did some postprocessing. I've downloaded the trial of Elements 8 and I'm thinking of buying it after the trialperiod. But I'm not sure if it is sufficient in the long term, could I better buy CS4?
My main question is: What are the advantages of CS4, what can you do with it which isn't possible in Elements?
Thanks in advance.


« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2010, 11:31 »
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My main question is: What are the advantages of CS4, what can you do with it which isn't possible in Elements?

What I would miss in Elements (if it's still the same in 8, I used 6 before switching to CS): Working in layers on a 16-bit image. Elements didn't allow that, you could either work in 16-bit colors flat files or in 8-bit colors layers.

You might also want to look into Lightroom. Price is between Elements and CS. It's more photographer oriented than CS, you can do a lot of things in there easily. But the interface is pretty different, so it's hard to get tips from others. I use it as a library tool and for the RAW conversion before switching to CS for the fine-tuning of the image.

Then again, if you don't earn a lot money with photography yet, you might want to keep your investments low at the beginning. It's not as easy to get the money back as a newbie than it might have been three or four years ago.


abimages

« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2010, 12:18 »
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The Pen Tool. I couldn't do without it. :)

« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2010, 12:29 »
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The main differences would be CMYK and Lab color modes, and the Pen Tool.

If you need to ask "what is Lab color?" then you don't need it. The Pen tool essential for me to do quick isolations.

I have old elements 5 (which I have not used in a long time), and Layer Masking was either poor or non existent. Maybe it's improved with version 8. Layer masking is another thing that's essential for me, I found a clunky work around in the old Elements, so it did work to an extent, you just had to find the trick to doing it. I really only bought the old elements to get the video bundle.

PS elements is a very capable tool, and as mentioned, if you are a beginner it's the best place to start. You may also want to check out GIMP which is free, if only just to get to know your way around a photo editor.

http://www.gimp.org/

« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2010, 12:46 »
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I use elements 7 with smartcuve for lab color.  Its a free plugin.  There are lots of free plugins for elements that make it more like photoshop.

For the pen tool, I use the gimp, also free and works as well as the photoshop pen.

« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2010, 18:47 »
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Check also PSP, the X3 version was just released (I knew the cheap price a few weeks ago had a reason!).  I can't tell about PSE8, but when I used PSE6, I found it very weak.  For US$100 you can get a much better software with almost all functions you find in PS.

« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2010, 18:56 »
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If u need a basic photo editor and an image organiser, then Elements (I've used 5 & 6),

If on the other hand u need a good editor only, then Photoshop,

Better still, get Lightroom2 !!  Excellent organiser + basic editor (and Photoshop as well, if u can afford it )

 :)

« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2010, 19:20 »
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Depends what you need and what you are willing to spend:
1. Photoshop Elements 8.0 - $80
2. Photoshop Lightroom 2.0 - $220
3. Photoshop CS4 - $680

If you are total newbie I would spend time and money on learning photography and get the cheapest software.

« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2010, 19:31 »
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I'm new in microstock and though I have been taking photos for several years, I never did some postprocessing. I've downloaded the trial of Elements 8 and I'm thinking of buying it after the trialperiod. But I'm not sure if it is sufficient in the long term, could I better buy CS4?
My main question is: What are the advantages of CS4, what can you do with it which isn't possible in Elements?
Thanks in advance.

If you're a newbie to photo editing, then by all means stick with Element, it's a good teacher :)  You can always sell it on eBay later and buy CS4 !!  ;)

Having said that I bought CS4 & LR2 very cheap !!   just a case of looking around ;)
« Last Edit: February 12, 2010, 19:40 by Stu49 »

« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2010, 03:34 »
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Thank you all!
I think I 'll try GIMP and PSP first and then decide. CS is so expensive; I've only earned about 2 dollar a week so far on microstock, so it will take about 6 years to get the investment back LOL.

« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2010, 04:19 »
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Check also PSP, the X3 version was just released (I knew the cheap price a few weeks ago had a reason!).  I can't tell about PSE8, but when I used PSE6, I found it very weak.  For US$100 you can get a much better software with almost all functions you find in PS.
I went from photoshop 6 to elements 7 and it is great.  The elements editor is so close to photoshop, I couldn't believe it at first.  I can do just about everything that I used to with my old version of photoshop, with a few free plugins and it has some useful extras.  I did try PSP but it was so different from what I am used to and didn't seem to offer anything that elements didn't have.

« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2010, 15:05 »
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Sharpshot,

It's been a while since I tested PS (I still have it in my mother's notebook, but I don't use it at all), but I remember it lacked a couple of things I use a lot, such curves or levels or layers - I can't remember which.

I won't be upgrading to X3 soon, maybe by the end of the year, when they often have sales prices.  X2 is very different from PSP7, but I got used to it quickly and I often discover new useful things.

« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2010, 15:26 »
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I had CS4 for a while in its demo version on two PC's. The only differences I saw (but there must be more) are the preview of the clone tool, the better RAW treatment for Nikon, better navigating during selections, and the fact that all filters are 16-bit, unlike CS2. I didn't like the layout of the right toolboxes though. For me, the layout in CS2 is more handy. In short, the upgrade from CS2 to CS4 isn't worth the 200 euro for me, considering the very low yield of images on microstock. The jump from PS7 to CS2 was huge though.

« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2010, 19:17 »
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I've started using Elements 8 and I guess the big missing thing, compared to PS, is layer masks. But PS costs $600 more.  Forget it. Not going to happen.




« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2010, 19:40 »
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You can use adjustment layers as layer masks (at least in PSE6) - just create a layer and join it to upper one. Do not do any adjustments, use its mask only

« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2010, 20:17 »
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My opinion, since you haven't used CS$ and only used Elements for a short time, you don't really know what you need or what the limits are. And since one is about $700 and the other is less than $100, it would make more sense to stick with Elements until you learn how to use it and begin to hit its limits.

I used Elements for a few years before going to CS. I wouldn't go back now, but you don't know what you don't have yet.

Also, a lot of what you learn in E will tranlsate to CS, making the learning curve easier now and later.

To answer your question, there is a lot you can do in CS you can't do in E, otherwise it wouldn't cost 700% more, but do you need it and do you need it now? I don't think you have enough informaiton to answer those questions.

« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2010, 22:21 »
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GIMP can do well... It is very good software for money it costs... ;-)

PaulieWalnuts

  • You talkin' to me?
« Reply #17 on: February 14, 2010, 07:59 »
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I started with PSE5 and now have PSE8. I think it's great and haven't come accross anything PSE8 won't do for stock. I've used full Photoshop plenty of times at employers but for just photo editing I don't see the justification for the extra money.

I also don't get the hype around Lightroom. Tried the trial. Looks like a very pretty photo organizer with some touchup tools. No layers or other advanced stuff.

PhotoDuneMicrostock Insider

 

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