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Author Topic: CS3 vs Elements  (Read 10382 times)
Ken Alexander
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« on: May 24, 2007, 06:33:06 PM »
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Hi Folks,

First time posting here.  I currently use Aperture and DXO on my iMac.  I'm pleased with what both of are capable of, but occasionally I'd like to take advantage of some of the tricks that Photoshop can do.

Checking around, the going rate for CS3 is around $800 and Elements 4.0 for the Mac is $120.  As a photo editor, what do I get for the extra $680?  It seems to me that I'd be better off picking up Elements and either pocketing the $680 or spending it on a lens or something.

I've heard the main difference is that CS3 has capabilities I'm not likely to need as an amateur photographer.  I'd sure like to see a chart that compared the two side-by-side.  I haven't found one on the Adobe website, so if someone could distill the differences down to a few paragraphs I'd be very interested to hear what you have to say.

Thanks!

Ken Alexander
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2007, 11:35:42 AM »
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Actually, CS3 goes for around $600, ($585 on Amazon) but I guess that does not change much your dilemma. I do not mean to be rude, but if you need to ask that question, you do not need CS3. It would be much easier to start with a simpler program, like Elements, and then step up to Photoshop when you start feeling you can not live without the extra features it has to offer. People spend years  and tons of money learning Photoshop and still not fully mastering everything in it (and just when they think they've come close, there is a new version  ) .

In any case, here is a link to the chart you are looking for (it compares CS2 to Elements, but the essence is the same): http://www.pictureline.com/newsletter/article.php?id=288

Hope this helps.

Slobodan
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Slobodan

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Ken Alexander
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« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2007, 02:36:32 PM »
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Hi Slobodan,

Many thanks (an no offence taken!).  The chart helped a lot, as I hoped it would.  Elements looks like the way to go for me.  A lot of the things that CS3 does I'll either never use, am not interested in, or can be done with Aperture...so I think I'm well covered.

I did a little more checking, and with the relative strength of the Canadian dollar vs. the U.S. dollar, ordering CS3 online from the U.S. and taking the hit on the exchange will still save me over $100 compared to buying it locally.  

Regardless, I think I'll still go for Elements and upgrade to CSx when and if the time comes.

Thanks again!

Ken Alexander

Quote
Actually, CS3 goes for around $600, ($585 on Amazon) but I guess that does not change much your dilemma. I do not mean to be rude, but if you need to ask that question, you do not need CS3. It would be much easier to start with a simpler program, like Elements, and then step up to Photoshop when you start feeling you can not live without the extra features it has to offer. People spend years  and tons of money learning Photoshop and still not fully mastering everything in it (and just when they think they've come close, there is a new version  ) .

In any case, here is a link to the chart you are looking for (it compares CS2 to Elements, but the essence is the same): http://www.pictureline.com/newsletter/article.php?id=288

Hope this helps.

Slobodan
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2007, 03:00:00 PM »
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Does elements have layer masks?

You could also try paint shop pro.  Not as fully featured as PS but should be closer than elements.
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AndyF2
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« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2007, 10:54:31 PM »
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Elements (I have Elements 1 through 5...) has one big problem, which you'll encounter once you want to work with your raw files.  Unfortunately the cost to buy CS3 is too high for what appears to be our category, serious amateurs.  If I had $600 to spend, it would be another lens, not software!
Element's problem is lack of 16 bit support.  You can do some minor adjustments in 16 bit mode, but no correction layers, no cut and paste, etc.
Unless there's a decent mid-price 16-bit photo editor, what I find useful is Elements and Lightroom.  LR gives excellent 16 bit adjustments to the image, and E is good for 8 bit work.
Andy
« Last Edit: May 25, 2007, 10:56:39 PM by AndyF2 » Logged
DarkPenguin
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« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2007, 12:07:26 AM »
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Picture Window Pro http://dl-c.com/index.php?option=com_conte...id=14&Itemid=28

is very well regarded.  No layers, tho.  Norman Koren does all his work in it ...

http://www.normankoren.com/

I've tried it.  It is nice.

Oh, and if one is going to try LR one might want to try Bibble, Capture One and perhaps silky pix (or whatever it is called).
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wmchauncey
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« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2007, 02:47:08 PM »
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I bought academic CS3 when it came out and now I'm having second thoughts.  Since I do all my work in Camera RAW all I've used to date is ACR in Bridge.  In hindsite all I really needed was Adobe Lightroom.  A whole lot cheaper.
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Ken Alexander
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« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2007, 03:46:48 PM »
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Elements (I have Elements 1 through 5...) has one big problem, which you'll encounter once you want to work with your raw files.  Unfortunately the cost to buy CS3 is too high for what appears to be our category, serious amateurs.  If I had $600 to spend, it would be another lens, not software!
Element's problem is lack of 16 bit support.  You can do some minor adjustments in 16 bit mode, but no correction layers, no cut and paste, etc.
Unless there's a decent mid-price 16-bit photo editor, what I find useful is Elements and Lightroom.  LR gives excellent 16 bit adjustments to the image, and E is good for 8 bit work.
Andy
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I ordered my iMac with Aperture pre-installed and am pretty happy with it.  However, I don't know if it's a 16-bit editor.  I assume it is, because the entire workflow from import to printing takes place in RAW mode.  "Can" take place in RAW.  It'll import, edit and print JPGs and TIFFs too.  Maybe somebody who knows more about this stuff than I do can confirm my assumption.

The current version of Elements for Macs (4.0) doesn't look like it was written for Intel processors.  I don't know if that means it won't work on an Intel iMac or if it'll just work slowly.  Regardless, I think I'll wait.  My problem isn't with softwarte...it's with getting out there and taking pictures more often!

Regards,

Ken
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iancl
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« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2007, 05:46:07 PM »
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I've been using Lightroom for quite a while now and absolutely love the programme. As a purely organizational device it is great and add to that the ability to do some 90% of what I want to do to an image in the same programme and it is outstanding. I also love the ability to create easily accessible, nameable, templates of just about anything and to sync your work across multiple images. Anyways, if you were to ask me to name the single best programme I've used in the last 10 years, Lightroom would be it (or at least near the top). I am a thrilled user. Oh and the grayscale conversion interface -- brilliant!

BUT, there are a few shortcomings and I have recently bought CS3 as a result. The cloning tool in LR is only OK. It is not for any serious retouching -- it would be a major pain to even remove a phone-wire with LR. CS3 wins hands down. Sharpening is also much more controllable and effective in CS3. Plus, of course, the ability to do local corrections such as dodging, burning, and local saturate/de-saturating.

I picked up an educational-license copy of CS3Extended for Canadian $279 (vs. $760 retail for the non-extended).

I haven't used elements. Just thought my opinion might help. I have also attached a recent work done entirely in Lightroom that I think shows just how much can be done from within that programme.[attachment=2558:attachment]
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Ron Steinberg
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« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2007, 12:49:42 PM »
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I picked up an educational-license copy of CS3Extended for Canadian $279 (vs. $760 retail for the non-extended).


[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=119901\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Can you tell me where you picked up an educational copy for $279 Canadian? I'm a teacher at a college and best I can find is $299US for Photoshop CS3 Extended. I can't even get the Adobe site to show me their store in Canadian dollars! Grrr.

Thanks,
Ron
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iancl
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« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2007, 05:56:56 PM »
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Can you tell me where you picked up an educational copy for $279 Canadian? I'm a teacher at a college and best I can find is $299US for Photoshop CS3 Extended. I can't even get the Adobe site to show me their store in Canadian dollars! Grrr.

Thanks,
Ron
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=121263\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Sure! I bought it from U of T's computer shop. They are in the Koffler centre at the corner of St. George and College in Toronto -- they are affiliated with the UofT bookstore. Both have websites.

If you buy the educational copy I think it is CDN$399 and available to any educational buyer from a variety of licensed retailers (there is a list for the Toronto area on Adobe's educational-pricing mirror site for example). This is a standard box copy at a discount for educators and students at any licensed educational programme.

However, the $279 price is for a UofT student educational-license copy (the web site says I should have paid $239 -- but, I'm sure it was $279. I think their webpage is mistaken). This copy is sold OEM (no box, no manual). A usage license must be signed and my UofT student number given as proof. The usage license is quite limiting if your were to follow it to the letter and attempts to make a distinction as to why this is different from a Educational-price copy. I've now lost my copy of the license form. But, something like: use for purposes related to your education in this programme and only use while attending this programme.

I'm sure similar license arrangements exist with other Canadian educational facilities of significant size (i.e. York, UBC, Ryerson, Dalhousie, McGill, etc. . . ).
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Ron Steinberg
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« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2007, 07:47:53 PM »
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Sure! I bought it from U of T's computer shop. They are in the Koffler centre at the corner of St. George and College in Toronto -- they are affiliated with the UofT bookstore. Both have websites.

If you buy the educational copy I think it is CDN$399 and available to any educational buyer from a variety of licensed retailers (there is a list for the Toronto area on Adobe's educational-pricing mirror site for example). This is a standard box copy at a discount for educators and students at any licensed educational programme.

However, the $279 price is for a UofT student educational-license copy (the web site says I should have paid $239 -- but, I'm sure it was $279. I think their webpage is mistaken). This copy is sold OEM (no box, no manual). A usage license must be signed and my UofT student number given as proof. The usage license is quite limiting if your were to follow it to the letter and attempts to make a distinction as to why this is different from a Educational-price copy. I've now lost my copy of the license form. But, something like: use for purposes related to your education in this programme and only use while attending this programme.

I'm sure similar license arrangements exist with other Canadian educational facilities of significant size (i.e. York, UBC, Ryerson, Dalhousie, McGill, etc. . . ).
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=121323\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thanks for the info. Wow, students at UofT get  a really great price! Wish I was attending and not teaching..
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k bennett
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« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2007, 08:06:48 PM »
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For me, the biggest difference between Photoshop CSx and Elements is workflow -- the ability to automate my work using Actions and Droplets. Elements will do a lot -- probably most of what an advanced amateur photographer needs. But for daily professional use, on deadline, doing repetitive production tasks, being able to customize and automate the application is a huge benefit. For example, if I had to manually go through every step in a simple Save As... command, it would seriously slow down my workflow. So instead I have several buttons for Save As a TIFF file, save as a JPEG file, save as a 16-bit PSD file, saved in various sizes in various permanent folders on my desktop. Click, click, click, I'm done. It's easy to automate profile conversions, local contrast enhancement, capture sharpening, various saves, the creation of multiple adjustment layers, etc.

(Now I need to figure out the Mac Folder Automations, so when the photos are saved to a folder, they are automatically copied to the server, emailed to the client, etc. But that's another project.)
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Equipment: a camera and some lenses.
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