Adobe Photoshop Elements 4 vs. iPhoto '06.

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by DarkDTSHD, Jul 5, 2006.

  1. DarkDTSHD macrumors member

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    #1
    Hello guys,

    I'm new to digital photography. Just picked up a Sony DSC-H1. Am using Picasa 2 for now. Seems to fit most of my needs. But later will be ordering a MacBook Pro laptop. What I'm wondering is, as my digital photography experience grows, if it will still be worth purchasing PE4 knowing I have iPhoto '06. Would it be justifiable? Or can iPhoto do pretty much everything PE4 can along with being well intergrated with the other iLife apps?

    Also, have any of you PE4 users run into any problems? Bugs? Or has it performed near flawless?

    Thanks in advance! :)
     
  2. kgarner macrumors 68000

    kgarner

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    #2
    Disclaimer: I don't have PE4 nor did I bother to look up the exact feature set before I posted this.

    I think the two compliment each other nicely. iPhoto is an organizer with some basic editing capabilities (rotate, crop, red eye, color adjust, etc.). PE4 is a photo editing package with some basic organizing functions.

    I say start with iPhoto since it will come with your Mac. When you find yourself needing more advanced editing capabilites you can buy PE4. Then you can set iPhoto to open your images in PE4 for editing when they are double clicked. I do that Photoshop and it works fine.
     
  3. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #3
    The fact that iPhoto does most everything that consumers need and it's native on your MacBook Pro, I'd say go with that until you find yourself needing something extra. Photoshop Elements can do some finer adjustments, if you take the time to learn it, but it takes that investment to get the best out of it and it's not native on Intel-based machines. (It's not all that fast on PowerPC machines, either.)

    Until you need something that iPhoto doesn't do, use it. There are books for it, including a Missing Manual from O'Reilly.
     
  4. DarkDTSHD thread starter macrumors member

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    #4
    Thanks guys. That's most likely what I'll do at first. Play around with iPhoto and see if it suits all my needs first. Just wondered what Mac owners thought. Preferable from people who have spent enough time with both.

    So, if there's any one out there who has invested a lot of time in both, I'd still be very interested to hear about your experiences and comments. To hear exactly what is it about PE4 that might make it still worth considering. Or not worth considering.
     
  5. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

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    #5
    I don't have PSE4 but I do have PSE2 (which I used before getting Photoshop)

    I use a combination of iPhoto and PS to manage my pics (I'm an enthusiastic amateur with a basic P&S camera to set the scene). If I'm sorting out redeye or just rotating an image, I'll do it in iPhoto since it's quick and easy. Occasionally, I'll use the 'enhance' or adjust tabs to play around with exposure, temperature etc where I'm applying a constant effect.

    If I want to play around with an image more - for example, blurring the background more, only brightening part of the image, making a 'montage' of various photos/text, merging images, then I'll use PS since iPhoto can't cope with those tasks.
     
  6. YS2003 macrumors 68020

    YS2003

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    #6
    If you would like to do decent image correction and enhancement on your digital photos, PS Elements would be a better choice. I think iPhoto is an organizer of photos (as the previous poster said) with some minor image manipulation capabilities.

    I have the copy of PS Elments 2 and 3 (because they came with Wacom tablets I bought). But, I have not used them since I have CS2. PS Elements are a toned-down version of PS (which is the king of the hill in this field by many users) and should give you enough tools to correct and enhance the photos/pictures.
     
  7. dabirdwell macrumors 6502

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    #7
    iLife integration

    Remember also that your iPhoto library is available in all of the iLife and iWork apps, which is really killer. I *love* that I can open a project in another applicaction and just open my photos without leaving.
     
  8. DarkDTSHD thread starter macrumors member

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    #8
    That's one of the key reasons why I'm planning to get a MacBook Pro laptop. I've always been a PC guy. But, have at the same time, always appreciated the intelligence of design behind the Mac OS X and iLife apps. The seemless integration between the photo, video and now website design apps.

    Thanks for your advice guys. Better to use them both. Why choose? :) Besides, as one member mentioned I can set up iPhoto to open images in PE4 for editing.

    Also, I never knew you could blur the background with PE4 (if PE2 can as Applespider said why not PE4). An affect I really like. And one that is hard to do with fixed lens cameras (compared to DSLR's). Though not impossible.

    One more question. Do you guys think PS CS2 would be too overwhelming for a new photo editing software user? Keeping in mind I've only had a chance to play around with Picasa 2. I'm wondering if I should just make that jump to CS2 immediately. Instead of purchasing PE4...then later discovering I actually need the power of CS2. :)
     
  9. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

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    #9
    Yes, I think it's overkill. Get to grips with PE4 which holds your hand a little more but will still give you the basics in how to work with layers and masks at a much reduced price. As an amateur, you're unlikely to use the more advanced tools you'd get in CS2 but you should be able to follow most of the general tutorials you'd find in Elements.

    I use Photoshop CS because work moved to PCs and the Mac copy was going spare to a good home. If I had to purchase it, I'd be going for Elements as a more cost-effective solution. Particularly since CS2 isn't Universal so if you did decide to go for it in the future, you'd be better waiting for CS3
     
  10. theBB macrumors 68020

    theBB

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    #10
    Simplicity vs. Power

    If you need to make corrections such as the ones Applespider suggested iPhoto canot handle those, so you would need something like PSE or the free open source alternative GIMP. However, as a user of both PSE and iPhoto, for quick corrections iPhoto is much easier to use. All of the corrections are in one place. In PSE, I would have to go from one menu-submenu-correction value to another set and it would make it more time consuming and discouraging to try out different combinations of saturation, exposure and brightness corrections. Maybe an experienced photographer could easily guess what needs to be done, but sometimes more powerful is not always the best option for me.
     
  11. orbital~debris macrumors 6502

    orbital~debris

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    #11
    I've found that iPhoto doesn't always handle red-eye elimination as well as you might expect…

    Sometimes, I find the first eye i click is perfectly adjusted, but then the second eye either still has an area of red or is given an excessive adjustment the effect affects too large an area (i.e.. around the eye as well).

    On the other hand, Photoshop Elements 3 handles red-eye reduction consistently better.

    I think iPhoto is definitely a tool for 'sprucing up' photos easily & quickly before using them in projects, whereas Elements is more for making finer alterations in a more precise way.
     
  12. DarkDTSHD thread starter macrumors member

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    #12
    Right after I posted my last message I went to the Apple store website. Just remembered a photography editing/file-management software from Apple called Aperture. Had a quick look at one of their demo movie clips. And to me it looks like iPhoto on steroids. Having a lot of the common iLife funtionalities like "metafiles". And the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously will be a plus. Either within Aperture or cross apps...then there is "vaults" for backup...etc. The list is long. And it's $350.00 CAD. Half the cost of CS2.

    And as you said, bringing up a great point about PE4...to do similar tasks you have to jump through more hoops. That's how it's always been with PC-based software. As we know PE was a PC-based app before it was made available for the Mac OS X. Not sure if it was the same for PS CS.

    Any how, at this point, I'm just gathering information. Whether I ened up with Apple's Aperture or Adobe's PE4 is any one's guess at the moment.

    Thank you all for your help!!
     
  13. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

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    #13
    Aperture is great for managing photos and workflows but not for editing. I'd honestly suggest starting with iPhoto initially and see how it goes. Basic editing is very easy in iPhoto. If you need to do other things, then get PSE4 (it's easier than CS2 to get to grips with) but takes a few more hoops than iPhoto to do simple tasks but obviously, can do a heck of a lot more than iPhoto.

    Who knows... by the time you're ready for more power, perhaps PSE5 will be out in Universal...
     
  14. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #14
    PSE 4.0 handles red-eye reduction much better than version 3.0 but I dislike that it just darkens without looking for the actual eye colour.
     
  15. DarkDTSHD thread starter macrumors member

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    #15
    Didn't know that about Aperture. Thanks for the heads-up! :)

    As for starting with which program...I'll most defintiely be using iPhoto before trying something more powerful. I suppose PE4 or "PE5" will be the next logical step.

    "out in Universal"? Would you explain that to me? :)
     
  16. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #16
    Universal Binary format means that you can run it natively on PowerPC or Intel processors. As they delay Photoshop Elements from the release of Photoshop, we could see version 5.0 in late 2007. That is, if everything else goes right. :p
     
  17. GavinT macrumors member

    #17
    In terms of editing power, I would have though PSE4 is better than iPhoto (as already commented).

    PSE4 mechanism for organising pictures I think is better too (it's a cut down version of the full Adobe Bridge product in the Mac Version of PSE4. Windows PSE4 uses it's own integrated Organiser product, which is easier to use than Bridge, and better to use).
    From what I've read (and by all means, correct me if I'm wrong), iPhoto cannot catalog items that are on external drives, or located in multiple locations WITHOUT making it's own copy of the pictures. In other words, say I have a 300Gb External Drive with pictures on it. I can't import them in iPhoto if I only have a 100Gb drive on my Mac.
    PSE4 (and 3, both Mac and Windows) only keeps a record of the location of files in it's catalog.

    Another tool to keep an eye on is Adobe Lightroom, which looks being a competitor to Aperture. Its Public Beta at the moment, though it is a Universal Binary. I've been wanted to test it (quite like the Adobe products), but I've not made the switch from Windows yet, and there is no Windows version yet.


    Having said that, iPhoto is a pretty cool application, and it's the one my wife will be using as she does less editing/processing compared to me.
     
  18. DarkDTSHD thread starter macrumors member

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    #18

    Hey Gavin,

    Thanks for the info! Noted.

    What I'll likely do is pickup my MacBook Pro. Play around with iPhoto '06 for a while till I feel I've out grown it. Then buy Adobe's PSE4 using it as the editor. And at that point...should I become more serious...I'll consider Lightroom and CS2. But that's way down the road. :)

    I'm sort of surprised Apple hasn't come out with their version of CS2. A direct compeitor. If they only beefed up the editing abilities of Aperture to match (or even approach) that of CS2 then maybe Aperture might have been a CS2 killer. Oh well... Perhaps in the next version of Aperture. Heh!

    And thanks for explain "Universal Binary" to me bousozuko! :)

    Cya you all on other threads on this forum! Cheers!!
     
  19. GavinT macrumors member

    #19
    Don't forget that CS2 (and previous incarnations of Photoshop) are large scale uber-programs used by Photographers, and other Graphics people.

    Aperture and Lightroom are designed to be more of a virtual digital version of the Darkroom process for professional photographers. Hence, you will notice that you can make adjustments to the RAW files that digital cameras produce. However, if you start compositing images, and other kinds of digital manipulation (maybe for magazine and printed media), that's when you'd switch to CS2.
    I don't think Aperture is going to be a competitor to CS2. Lightroom is the Adobe competitor.
    What I'm interested in though is if Adobe drop Bridge (which is pretty much a fancy version of a simple File Explorer, with an ability to work with metadata). LightRoom seems better, and would be a better partner product with CS2 rather than Bridge.

    Just my 2cents/pence
     
  20. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

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    #20
    Is this still the case with iPhoto 6? It added the ability to use iPhoto without copying things into its Libarary if you changed the Preferences to tell it to use your existing file structure. I haven't played around with that facility much so I'm not sure if it excludes external drives but I'd be surprised so long as the link to the file remains.
     
  21. Kernow macrumors 65816

    Kernow

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    #21
    I have just upgraded to CS2 from PSE3, and it is an enormous step up. To be honest, for the majority of things I do, there is nothing in CS2 that I could not have done equally as easily in Elements. I guess that this would apply in your situation too.

    I found that Elements and iPhoto complemented each other perfectly - I used iPhoto to organise the photos, and Elements as the external editor.
     
  22. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #22
    You're right. Unless you're working in professional colour modes or need truly advanced processing, Photoshop Elements will do. Even for the majority of my professional stuff, PSE 3.0 or 4.0 is fine.
     
  23. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #23
  24. kgarner macrumors 68000

    kgarner

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    #24
    I haven't played with it either, but it should work fine. The other option is to actually have the iPhoto Library on the external drive. Or even setting up multiple libraries and switching to the appropriate one by holping Option when launching iPhoto.
     
  25. GavinT macrumors member

    #25
    Thats pretty interesting to read about that. Useful to know.
     

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