17th February 2011, 08:24 PM
Photoshop Versions & Advantages for Photography
So the threads that I have checked on, it seems that CS5 is the most common of the PhotoShop group used. I am about to purchase one of the groups, but am not sure of the separate benefits for use with digital photography. Can some of you enlighten me a bit on this topic. How about the Extended version or even Lightroom?
Confused here in So Ca.
17th February 2011, 10:11 PM
The cheapest way to have access to Adobe's RAW processing engine is via Lightroom. Camera Raw is the exact same thing but only comes with Photoshop CS(x) which is far more expensive.
Ideally you should not need to use more than just Lightroom itself but it is missing one crucial feature: output sharpening. This means you should use Photoshop Elements to resize and sharpen (this is another $100 USD). Of course there are more useful features that justify buying Photoshop Elements, such as content aware brush, adjustment layers, HDR/tone mapping, and other elementary photo manipulation. As an alternative to Photoshop Elements (not to Lightroom - this is still required) there is GIMP and other free ones, but these don't integrate with Adobe software. Furthermore, they tend not to have extremely important features like adjustment layers and often strip exif data from the image.
Edit: due to Will's statement below, it seems my last sentence above is void.
Last edited by pwnage101; 17th February 2011 at 11:36 PM.
17th February 2011, 11:02 PM
18th February 2011, 02:56 AM
Thank you, looks like I'm back to the net to do some more reading. That helps a lot.
18th February 2011, 03:26 AM
I would suggest trying GIMP for a few weeks at least to get the feel for editing before you spend the money. For processing RAW there is UFRaw, also free, though you will probably want to uprade that once you reach the full potential. I or others on the forums would be happy to help with setting up and learning gimp or photoshop.
18th February 2011, 04:15 AM
thank you, I just may take you up on that. I currently have been using the DPP from Canon, but seems very limited. Where do I find GIMP or UFRaw?
18th February 2011, 10:55 AM
Here are the links to the download pages
http://www.gimp.org/windows/ assuming that you use Windows
The online help http://www.gimp.org/docs/
If you want GIMP for OSX there is a link on the very bottom of the page.
18th February 2011, 02:35 PM
If you are looking at the Photoshop family and are just starting out I suggest Photoshop Elements 9 ($79 on amazon). It gives you access to a good subset of ACR and CS and many people never feel the need for anything more. Should you then desire to get the full CS5, Adobe often gives excellent upgrade deals to PSE users that typically make CS cheaper than buying it standalone.
You never mentioned your objectives in wishing to purchase Photoshop: if you principally want to 'develop' your pictures to bring out their best without planning to do a lot of cut and paste, you may want to start by playing with your camera's raw converter (typically free).
18th February 2011, 02:55 PM
I had photoshop 3 years ago, but let it lag, then bought a new computer and didn't have the disk to move it on. Long story short, I liked photoshop (but expensive) I used it a lot at the time. I like to use layers, move things around, cut and past, develop, the software that came from Canon, while is great, is not very compete. I do shoot both Jpeg and RAW. I uitlize a sperate hardrive (stand-a-lone) seperate from my computer for all my picture files. My taste is big, but my pocket book is much smaller.
Originally Posted by Jack Hogan
18th February 2011, 02:58 PM
I will give this a try and go from there. Thank you
Originally Posted by Sonic4Spuds
18th February 2011, 04:36 PM
Don't you still have your photoshop from 3 years ago? I've used CS2, CS4, and CS5 but they all seem very similar to me. So long as you convert all your RAW files to DNG it won't matter what camera you have.
18th February 2011, 05:34 PM
Bob, I'm not surprised you are confused. I was similarly bewildered when I tried to make sense of the options.
Firstly, Photoshop CS5 is unquestionably the current leader in general photo editing; but it is also the most expensive, (subject to excluding specialist software etc).
If you want to purchase CS5 (but there may well be suitable alternatives) there are several options available.
The full CS5 plus extras software package is really expensive and is a specialist package. The extended version is a bit cheaper and includes extras for video or 3D editing (which might or might not appeal to you)
The 'standard' photo editing programme should include everything that the average photographer will need, and probably quite a lot that you will never use.
And to make the confusion worse, there are several price packages. As well as the full price, there is a student version; adult education or some photography classes may also be included here, but this isn't always clear. Adobe don't appear willing to offer a pensioner package though! There is an update package from an earlier version of CS, but there is a limitation on how far you can go back.
The standard version includes an excellent Raw converter, good noise control and an updated version of Bridge so you probably won't need any additional software; which does make the price a little more competitive.
Vendors of CS5 who are keen to appear competitive don't always make it obvious which version they are selling. And there are even books and courses on using the software which appear to wrongly suggest that you are actually buying the programme as well.
And of course, there is considerable price variation between sellers so extreme care is required when searching for a bargain.
So to sum up, are you sure that you want/need CS5? If money isn't an issue I honestly can't recommend anything better. But most photographers will never need all of those available options and will be perfectly happy with one of the free alternatives, or something which costs around a tenth of the price.
In reality, the majority of photographers don't actually use all of the available items from the free software. But without knowing your current skill level and exactly what you wish to produce, I will refrain from making any definite recommendations on how you should spend your money!
18th February 2011, 05:46 PM
The GIMP should have everything you need from the sounds of it.
Originally Posted by SpiderBob
18th February 2011, 08:58 PM
Well, after checking prices of CS5, I think I will go with GIMP. I just downloaded it, a lot of other things came with it, but I go through and get rid of some of those. I will have to start messing around with it tonight.
As for still having PhotoShop, I had a garage sell and I was not there, I hope the thief that took it (and so much else) chocks on it. Been starting over with so many things, but the good side it's all fresh.
18th February 2011, 09:03 PM
You may have already decided on a programme of learning for the GIMP. But it does require more work to source and identify good learning resources - there are obviously endless resources for the Adobe family.
The best resource I found for the GIMP is the series of video tutorials developed by Rolf Steinhort and available here. Go the table of contents. Don't try and follow it in terms of starting #1 and going through to #156. Look at the contents and choose what seems relevant. That's the way it was designed to be used.
20th February 2011, 12:06 AM
Thank you, I came back just now, to ask about help for this program. And look what i found, help I've been playing around with it all morning, and decided I needed more info. I'm sure I will have more questions soon.
20th February 2011, 01:24 AM
hi, im a beginner.. can you pls help me too.. can you please tell me what a good editor can i use easily, thankyou,
20th February 2011, 06:08 PM
How much are you willing to spend, Maiam?
It is always a bit difficult to make specific recommendations without knowing exactly what the user will require. Which camera and what sort of things do you photograph most often?
The Gimp is certainly well liked and you can't get cheaper than free!
I found Serif Photo Plus to be a relatively logical programme and you should be able to find versions X2 or X3 for around £20 if you shop around.
But did you get any editing software with your camera and do you shoot Jpeg or Raw?
21st February 2011, 03:00 PM
hi, im a student, just a beginner,my cam is a nikon d5000,recently bought, cause thats all i can afford and im really having a good time taking pictures of anything under the sun, i just love taking pictures of anything, just a hobby,pictures in jpeg, im using photoscape,but a friend told me to use lightroom. thankyou,
21st February 2011, 06:33 PM
It looks as if it mostly depends on if you use it for manageing your collection or editing. The software looks great for manageing your collection, but GIMP elements or Lightroom would be better for editing. I am assuming that you don't want to spend a lot of money, so for editing I would try GIMP before spending the money on LR. You can't loose anything in the process as the GIMP is free. The links are farther up in this thread.
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