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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> what software should i get?
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07/07/2010 12:12:32 PM · #1
i am only familiar with photoshop elements and that's version 2.0.

as an amatuer photographer just starting out, what software would be fits my needs, i don't plan on doing an heavy photoshopping, i just want to clean up and make my pictures pop.

as you see i get student pricing for all so price really isn't an issue.

should i stick with elements 8 ($69) or go cs5 ($199).

what about lightroom $89? I have no idea what this can do.
07/07/2010 12:27:02 PM · #2
Download the trials and buy what suits YOUR needs best...

-dave
07/07/2010 12:32:05 PM · #3
well, if the price is not an issue, i would buy the full version
07/07/2010 12:32:36 PM · #4
I love LightRoom and do almost all of my normal editing in that program. Rarely do I use PSE for normal basic editing.

LR you have all the exposure scontrols, selective tools, gradients, Well I think it would be better to just DL a free trial version and see what you think.
07/07/2010 12:38:55 PM · #5
Originally posted by jminso:

I love LightRoom and do almost all of my normal editing in that program. Rarely do I use PSE for normal basic editing.

LR you have all the exposure scontrols, selective tools, gradients, Well I think it would be better to just DL a free trial version and see what you think.


I haven't tried lightroom since it first came out. I loved the exposure controls, but I was irritated that I still needed to go to photoshop for dodging and burning things like that. Has that changed?
07/07/2010 12:40:31 PM · #6
Based on your statement that you don't plan on any heavy Photoshop use then I would say Lightroom. The price you will pay is a bargain and it should do all you need for the time being as well as give you an excellent cataloging ability with your photo collection as it grows. In addition, if you ever do need Photoshop, either Elements or CS5, they will integrate well with it down the road.

If you ask people here who use Lightroom they will tell you that 90% or more of their work is now done within Lightroom. However, most stil use either Elements or CS for special cases and needs.

One last note, if you stay with photography I would recommend you purchase CS5 sometime before you complete school. The student price is just so compelling and you will likley use it in the long run. But I still say Lightroom first.

Good luck and have fun!
07/07/2010 12:42:14 PM · #7
Learn to use the best out there and that is Photoshop CS5 and Lightroom 3.
07/07/2010 12:44:22 PM · #8
Originally posted by vawendy:

Originally posted by jminso:

I love LightRoom and do almost all of my normal editing in that program. Rarely do I use PSE for normal basic editing.

LR you have all the exposure scontrols, selective tools, gradients, Well I think it would be better to just DL a free trial version and see what you think.


I haven't tried lightroom since it first came out. I loved the exposure controls, but I was irritated that I still needed to go to photoshop for dodging and burning things like that. Has that changed?


Somewhat. They have some pretty powerful selective tools now. They have a brush tool (as well as a gradient tool) that allow you to selectively adjust things like exposure, brightness, contrast, saturation, clarity, sharpness and all these can be done based on color selection.
07/07/2010 12:45:24 PM · #9
Originally posted by vawendy:

Originally posted by jminso:

I love LightRoom and do almost all of my normal editing in that program. Rarely do I use PSE for normal basic editing.

LR you have all the exposure scontrols, selective tools, gradients, Well I think it would be better to just DL a free trial version and see what you think.


I haven't tried lightroom since it first came out. I loved the exposure controls, but I was irritated that I still needed to go to photoshop for dodging and burning things like that. Has that changed?


Yep, the current version has local adjustment tools. As with many who use it, I do 95% of my stuff in LR. I use elements for a few bits but I'm a long way from a photoshop expert so don't miss the features only found in CS.
07/07/2010 01:40:13 PM · #10
I personally would go the other route and get the CS5 for $199 very good price and it will give you room to experiment and learn more about editing, As you progress with photography you will want to be able to progress with editing as well. It is kind of like owning a fast car even if you always drive the speed limit, It is comforting to know that you have the power under the hood if you would ever need it. I think the best suggestion here was from ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' PhotoDave.. Go download the trial versions of both test drive them and then decide if you think you would like one or the other.
07/07/2010 01:49:26 PM · #11
Download GIMP (freeware) and learn to use it :)
07/07/2010 02:00:51 PM · #12
Originally posted by Bugzeye:

I personally would go the other route and get the CS5 for $199 very good price and it will give you room to experiment and learn more about editing, As you progress with photography you will want to be able to progress with editing as well. It is kind of like owning a fast car even if you always drive the speed limit, It is comforting to know that you have the power under the hood if you would ever need it. I think the best suggestion here was from ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' PhotoDave.. Go download the trial versions of both test drive them and then decide if you think you would like one or the other.


I didn't completely read the original post, I missed that you get the student price. If I could get cs5 for $200 I would go for it, gives you plenty of room to grow and has some nice stuff.
07/07/2010 02:31:20 PM · #13
MS Paint. Problem solved.
07/07/2010 02:34:06 PM · #14
i guess where im at is i know how to use elements fairly well, but would i get the use out of full blown CS5 for just basic editing?

Also i will take a look at Lightroom, it seems to do most of what want to do. I'm not a graphic artist nor do i want to be, i just want to make my photos look really good, with minimal editing.

oh and i plan to be going to school for some time... Im a part time engineering major, so i will be at this for the foreseeable future.. I will probably have the option to buy CS10 at the discount price... :)
07/07/2010 02:46:01 PM · #15
I've used LR and i've herd very good things about it.. yet, I've never touched elements.. and I use PS professionally..

I will say that 199$ for CS5 is worth it.

Once you've dabbled with photo editing, some of Photoshops other functions should seem very appealing.
07/07/2010 03:40:24 PM · #16
I agree with getting what you can for ALL software at student pricing. The deal with many software companies is that they offer upgrades to registered users. YEAH for that. So, think about what you might want ot have, not just now, but in the future too. If you buy it now at DEEP discounts, you can then just pay an upgrade price if it\'s something you do find you use. It affords you the option to try things that you think you might want to use but am not sure about.

CS% gives you more than just photoshop. The cool thing for me about the suite is that they work well together so if you need to layout a flyer or you want to mix up a good print page, add a bit of text etc. You will have the tools in Illustrator or Indesign to do that. When I print pictures for my job, I drop all of them into a layout program, add frames or what ever else I like and then send them to the printer. Where I use photo paper or some other sheets, I am maximizing paper which in turn minimizes production costs.

One of presents I created was fold over cards that I gave my mother of one of Steve\'s pictures. I added her name on it and printed them at the small copy shop that I worked at. They were very pretty and can be used in many ways. Have thought about cards, postcards and some other paper products that can be sold or given as presents but haven\'t pursued it yet.

Just a few thoughts. I did get my daughter to purchase a few pieces of software when she was in school Was hundreds cheaper that way.

07/07/2010 03:48:00 PM · #17
I have cs5 and I love it...I'm still trying to learn the program but that will come.
07/07/2010 06:25:13 PM · #18
Originally posted by mike_311:

i guess where im at is i know how to use elements fairly well, but would i get the use out of full blown CS5 for just basic editing?

Also i will take a look at Lightroom, it seems to do most of what want to do. I'm not a graphic artist nor do i want to be, i just want to make my photos look really good, with minimal editing.

oh and i plan to be going to school for some time... Im a part time engineering major, so i will be at this for the foreseeable future.. I will probably have the option to buy CS10 at the discount price... :)


I switched from elements to cs4 awhile ago. There are some things that absolutely drive me up the wall with cs4. The organizer was so much better to work with than bridge. To search through all of my photos was extremely easy in elements, slow, painful and obnoxious in bridge. Simple things like white balance were so much easier in elements. I, also, did mostly basic editing, and had no interest in the expert editing and funky graphics that people do with cs4. However, I really do like cs4, and after many growing pains, I'm very glad that I switched. Even for basic editing, there's so much more that I can do.
07/07/2010 10:19:49 PM · #19
Originally posted by vawendy:

Originally posted by mike_311:

i guess where im at is i know how to use elements fairly well, but would i get the use out of full blown CS5 for just basic editing?

Also i will take a look at Lightroom, it seems to do most of what want to do. I'm not a graphic artist nor do i want to be, i just want to make my photos look really good, with minimal editing.

oh and i plan to be going to school for some time... Im a part time engineering major, so i will be at this for the foreseeable future.. I will probably have the option to buy CS10 at the discount price... :)


I switched from elements to cs4 awhile ago. There are some things that absolutely drive me up the wall with cs4. The organizer was so much better to work with than bridge. To search through all of my photos was extremely easy in elements, slow, painful and obnoxious in bridge. Simple things like white balance were so much easier in elements. I, also, did mostly basic editing, and had no interest in the expert editing and funky graphics that people do with cs4. However, I really do like cs4, and after many growing pains, I'm very glad that I switched. Even for basic editing, there's so much more that I can do.


Ok, I agree that somethings were easier in Elements, such as looking at my pictures. Digital Photo Professional and shooting in RAW has changed that. I am currently using that to look at the pictures together to see what I want to work on . I can then do minor adjustments and make further decisions. But my best suggestion to ANY student looking at software/computers is buy all you can afford now when the price tag is so much smaller. Then decide what you like as you start to use them. Now you can pay for upgrades or even new if that's cheaper. I'm still on CS2 because we haven't been able to afford to upgrade me but have used it at work.

There are always pros and cons to any piece of software. I haven't found anything yet that did it all without limitations in some area or another. So put together the best package you can afford and go to town. Learn to master what you have and get help when you can't figure it out. Till then HAVE FUN!


07/07/2010 11:14:03 PM · #20
I'm an old school guy in a digital age. For the most part there's nothing you can't do in cam if you put your mind to it. Get something simple and learn your camera inside and out. Once you do you'll find that a digital camera is like PS. It's limitless. Then once you're happy with where you are with the camera get whatever you want and do whatever you want. The key, that a lot of people now seem to bypass, is learning how photography works and the power of light.

Jimmy Page put it best (with guitar but art is art)... (paraphrase) "I learned all about music theory and the right way to do it. I got a lot of gigs and became known. Then I forgot it all and really played". He's modest, he became a legend. He didn't really on outboard gear or studio tricks he just relied on his ability to play, and it worked.

Screw around with gimp, elements, whatever until the results you achieve are totally awesome then move to PS and crush everything. Remember... if it starts out bad it will be mediocre, if it starts out amazing it will be more than you ever expected.

D
07/08/2010 07:50:18 AM · #21
i was playing around with light room and its an amazing program for basic editing of the photos. it was exactly what i was looking for. very easy to use, very intuitive. I loved the way my picture turned out (however i figured out i do need to do some monitor calibration...).

I know a lot of you here are saying get cs5, but i really have no urge to photoshop my photos (using advanced editing techniques). and I'd hate to spend all that money for a bunch of features i wont use. I want to take a good picture and enhance it.

its seems like lightroom will allow me to do that, but will cs5 do the same stuff? i just love how easy lightroom is to use.

and the noise reduction and sharpening algorithms are flat out amazing.
07/08/2010 08:11:24 AM · #22
Originally posted by mike_311:


its seems like lightroom will allow me to do that, but will cs5 do the same stuff? i just love how easy lightroom is to use.

and the noise reduction and sharpening algorithms are flat out amazing.


Yes, it will, and it's a good organizational tool as well. Since you don't ever intend to use the power of Ps, you are probably better off without it. If you feel the need for some tweaking that Lr is not capable of, a recent version of Elements might suit. There have been a *lot* of features added since 2.0.
07/08/2010 08:20:31 AM · #23
Fair enough argument. The only other reason I would suggest Photoshop is there will come a time when you get a picture that you really want to keep but will require more editing then Lightroom or Elements will allow. However at that time you would always have the option of using Gimp or even letting someone here at DPC who is willing to fix it for you take a shot at it.

Originally posted by mike_311:

i was playing around with light room and its an amazing program for basic editing of the photos. it was exactly what i was looking for. very easy to use, very intuitive. I loved the way my picture turned out (however i figured out i do need to do some monitor calibration...).

I know a lot of you here are saying get cs5, but i really have no urge to photoshop my photos (using advanced editing techniques). and I'd hate to spend all that money for a bunch of features i wont use. I want to take a good picture and enhance it.

its seems like lightroom will allow me to do that, but will cs5 do the same stuff? i just love how easy lightroom is to use.

and the noise reduction and sharpening algorithms are flat out amazing.
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