Which photoshop should I get?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by mommy2j, Sep 27, 2006.

  1. mommy2j macrumors newbie

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    #1
    I just received the nikon d50 as a gift and am looking to purchase photoshop to use with my iMac. However I don't know which one to get. I see people talk about so many different photoshops but I don't really know the difference with each of them. I am not looking to spend a lot of money on it so the cs2 is definitely out of the question. Any suggestions would be appreciated...

    Also can someone please explain what are ACTIONS? What do they do? I understand that PSE doesn't have them and I would like to know if its a feature I would be interested in. Hence the question
     
  2. Butters macrumors 6502

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  3. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

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    #3
    Totally different program. Why would you suggest it?

    I would suggest going with Photoshop CS2 - it's the most recent version. But, seeing as that's out of the price range, have a look around for CS1.
     
  4. Butters macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Because it sounds like a more suitable program for someone who has just got a dSLR. I only suggested it to get his/her feelings on it (hence the "?") .


    edit: I'm still using CS back from when it was first released and don't feel like I'm missing out on anything whatsoever from CS2. So if it's definitely Photoshop you want I'd recommend CS too.
     
  5. Scottyk9 macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    Might even be more appropriate to look at Photoshop elements - I have not used it, but I hear it has a decent set of basic features.
     
  6. Kernow macrumors 65816

    Kernow

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    #6
    Elements is a much better suggestion. The feature set is pretty comprehensive, and unless you will be doing advanced colour work or anything really intensive, Elements will be able to cope with it easily.

    I have both Elements and CS2, and I very rarely do anything in CS2 that I couldn't have done just as easily in Elements.

    Actions are very similar to macros in Word or Excel. Basically, you can record a sequence of operations that you perform regularly (like cropping, resizing, level adjustments etc) and then apply these easily to any image or set of images without having to do it manually to each one.

    They are very useful and if you are going to be doing a lot of repetitive editing to loads of images then it may be worth looking into, but I still think Elements would be a good choice. And it's much, much cheaper.
     
  7. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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  8. NinjaMonkey macrumors regular

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    #8
    If you are shooting in RAW then Aperture might be a good idea. You could also check out Adobe Lightroom (I prefer Aperture but thats just personal preferance), which is free for the moment and has similar features.

    If you want to do more than what Aperture and Lightroom offer then go with Elements to start with.
     
  9. islandman macrumors 6502

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    #9
    I'd recommend Photoshop Elements for you. It does most of what you will need to do, at a very low cost. Also, Aperture and/or Lightroom might be alternatives, but it depends on what you are doing. I personally use CS2, but I have Elements on my laptop and I can use it for most of what I need (when necessary).

    Actions are automated scripts that you can perform. It allows you to record a set of executions and save it for later use. When you want to perform that set of executions (instead of doing them manually), you can just run the action. Hope this helps.
     
  10. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #10
    FIrst question: What do you want to DO with Photoshop?

    Seriously untill you can answer this question no one can give you any informmed advice. It all depends on what your needs are. (notice the advice you are getting. Basically people are just saying what works for them or "if you want X get Y".)

    You can start by telling us why iPhoto is not working for you

    What are "actions"? They are like macros or simple programs or Apple's "Automator"
     
  11. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #11
    What?

    Aperture and Lightroom are comparable, but Elements isn't the same thing at all.

    If he wants to do lots of editing with photos, Elements may be fine, but that doesn't mean he doesn't need Aperture or Lightroom. Elements would be a perfect complement to one of these programs.

    I'd suggest he stick with iPhoto rather than go with Aperture or Lightroom. I think there must be a lot of people out there who buy Aperture and don't use it to even half of it's potential, and would have been just as well off sticking with iPhoto. :eek: It's a great photo viewer and has editing features, you can add keywords and search using them. You can create albums, smart albums, etc. What is he going to get out of Aperture or Lightroom that he's actually going to take advantage of?

    I'd also suggest he stick with Elements, since he would obviously have no idea what to do with Photoshop CS1 or CS2 even if he bought it. I'd also stick with iPhoto unless he starts shooting in RAW format rather than JPEG.
     
  12. NinjaMonkey macrumors regular

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    #12
    I guess I should have worded it better. If he/she wants to do more than tweaking exposure, white balance, contast, etc. then Elements would be my recommendation.

    However a good organizer is a must and if you are shooting lots of RAW images then Aperture or Lightroom are the way to go to start with. Add Elements on later and you are set. iPhoto while it works with RAW images is not a very good solution.
     
  13. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #13
    I shoot with a D50 also and iPhoto does just fine with the D50's RAW files. What the Aperture web site don't tell you is that RAW conversion is handled by a core Mac OSX library. Aperture, iPhoto and even Preview all use the same RAW converson facility. The difference is the user interface and controls presented to the user. For a guy just starting out with a D50 and new to SLR photography I'd suggest simply using iPhoto until he can clearly enumerate (in writting) several things he wants to do but can't do with iPhoto.

    To many people buy things simply because they can afford them. Beter to spend the monay on a nice lens then on software that is not needed. It's ther LENS that makes the image. Camera only record the lens' image and software only tweeks what the camer records. Spend the bucks at the front end of the chain.

    What about "Gimp". The question was "Which PS?" but if "Photoshop" has become a generic term then Gimp is a photoshop (lower case "p").
    Gimp is really ideal for someone who has not invested years in learnning Photoshop. The only complaints people make about Gimp is that it's user interface is not an exact clone of PS. The Gimp people say this is a feature. PS's interface is not at all easy and does take years to learn, so why clone it? Gimp is also free so ther is no reason not to get it, unless you've already invested those years of learnning PS.
    There are also a whole family of gimp derivitives like "cinepaint" but gimp remains the flagship of the line. Gimp runs native on both PPC and Intel Macs, PS uses Rosetta.

    But still I'd try iPhoto

    I say the same thing to people who want to buy another lens for their SLR. Shoot with your current lens for one full weekend and keep a log of all the shoots you missed due to not having the "right" lens. Then you go through the log and buy the lens that would have gotten you then most missed (or compromised) shots.

    Maybe you all can tell I work as an engineer -- designs flow from requirements. Most errors are tracable to erroronius requirements -- it was built correctly but does the wrong thing. You have to be sure of your needs before to can hope to find a way to meet those needs. Sounds simple but you'd be surprized how few people do this.
     
  14. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #14
    There is only ONE Photoshop™. The most current version of it is CS2, and it can come either as part of the Creative Suite or as a standalone version.

    There is Photoshop Elements™. That is the "light" version of PS and it is the one most recommended for casual shooter who are not doing to be doing extensive manipulation of their images. It is considerably less expensive than PS. Version 4 is now available for the Mac.

    There are a number of other photo editing programs, such as Paint Shop Pro and GIMP and so on....

    Adobe has recently been working on its beta Lightroom and Apple has just announced v. 1.5 of Aperture. These are not strictly image-editing programs, however, and are designed to work in conjunction with one.

    iPhoto works just fine for basic imagine editing, too.

    My recommendation would be to start with iPhoto and then pick up a copy of PSE 4 when you're not able to achieve what you want with iPhoto.
     
  15. andiwm2003 macrumors 601

    andiwm2003

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    #15
    go for photoshop elements. i'm still using 2.0. (maybe there still is the deal: buy a cheap wacom tablet and get photoshop for free with it).

    then wait and see what you really need. if photoshop elements isn't good enough you only lost $80. then you will have to shell out $600 for CS2 (or 3 if you wait long enough)
     
  16. beatzfreak macrumors 6502

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    #16
    Go for Elements.

    I recently got my first DSLR, and Elements is perfect.
    It's only $60.

    And just use iphoto to organise your photos until you figure out what type of workflow you will need.

    And congrats on your new camera!
     
  17. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #17
    Non-destructive editing. Also, iPhoto saves edited files as JPEGs, so you have 2 copies of every edited photo (RAW + JPEG), which is a waste of HD space. I want to keep my RAW files as RAW, and I want non-destructive editing, so iPhoto isn't the way to go. I only want JPEGs when I want them and export them as such. I'm actually surprised that you still use it and find it suitable. :eek:

    However, I think it's perfectly fine if you're shooting JPEGs and you're not shooting more than 200 photos at a time.

    I suggest getting Elements, but that's all right now. If you want something better at cataloguing photos, then try Lightroom or Aperture, or even try iView Media Pro (fastest of the 3 programs when running on the same hardware, and has many more capabilities, and some people even find it to be the best of the bunch).
     
  18. YS2003 macrumors 68020

    YS2003

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    #18
    If the OP is willing to learn Photoshop in depth as he tries it out with his new SLR camera, PS CS2 may be a good option. In my case, I went for the real thing (CS2) from the get-go as I thought I would rather start learning CS2 from the beginning instead of switching from PS Elements to CS2 in the mid stream.

    For casual photo editing, Elements would be enought, as the previous posters said.
     
  19. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #19
    Aperture is really designed for professionals or for advanced "enthusiasts" who shoot with pro-level or near-pro-level cameras and who shoot in RAW and are interested in non-destructive editing and flexibility in DAM (data assets management), which one does not get with iPhoto.

    Someone using a D50 who is not shooting extensively, who is not using their camera as a money-making tool, who is not interested in or able to understand the value of many of the features that Aperture offers will be perfectly happy with iPhoto or PS Elements.
     
  20. cgratti macrumors 6502a

    cgratti

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    #20
    PS Elements... you probably wont need anything more for a while.

    Google Actions and you can see what the are, and get a ton of free ones.

    Basically they are recordings of what other did to change a photo, like changing a photo from color to B&W, it runs the exact same set of filters, settings, ect on your pics. You can use them to speed up your workflow and make sure you get the same look on every photo.
     
  21. rhoydotp macrumors 6502

    rhoydotp

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    #21
    congrats on your d50. i am also a happy owner of one for over a year now. i use iPhoto for now. i've been waiting for Aperture 2.0 to be released (it might be a while) and i've also been testing with lightroom.

    so far, iPhoto works out. the only probem is that it creates multiple copies of the photos once you start modifying it (even rotation). lightroom is a good product but is quite slow. i wonder if they finally come up with the GA release if it will be faster. it's a little different than aperture. i guess it will come down to 2 things for me:

    - usability & integration with iLife (Aperture)
    - price (rumour has it, Lightroom will be cheaper)

    so we will see ... anyhow, enjoy your new toy! :D
     
  22. fusionstudios macrumors member

    fusionstudios

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    #22
    Elements. If you don't use photoshop for a living this is really all you need, and it's MUCH cheaper
     
  23. jimmer116 macrumors member

    jimmer116

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    #23
    What's really the difference between elements and the full blown CS? Like what are the major feature differences?
     
  24. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #24
    My son is in high school. He took a class in web design that included Photoshop. He's learned PS pretty well. But you know what. He can now pick upand use either Elements or Gimp as use them to do real work. The thing is that once you learn the concepts that's enough. The differences between the three programs are little things like which pull down menue gives yu access to the "curves" dialog box. OK so it you know one of these programs and are using one of the others for the ffirst time you spend 15 seconds hunting for "curves" but then you only hunt once.

    If you know that you need to muild a mask, use the mask to make a gradient and then use the gradeint to composite two images so that one blurs into the other, knowing this is the "hard part". Knowing on which sub-menue horizontal gradients can be found is something you can figure out in 10 seconds but it's the concepts that are harder and take time to learn.

    But then on the other hand how many new D50 owners are going to acually need, use or even want to go in and change an image. Most all of them will ONLY gross level adjustments to the entire image, like maybe exposure adjustment, sharpening or maybe color balance and crop. NONE of those require even the low-end image editore like Elements and iPhoto will do fine for very simple things like that. Elements is for people who want to do things inside an image to just parts of the image, for example "clone out" skin blumishes in a prtrait or remove distracting objects for and llandscape (like a utility wire or pole or combine images to make a composite. Most peopkle never do this kind of thing.
     
  25. wmmk macrumors 68020

    wmmk

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    #25
    as PSE still comes with bridge, i'd say go with it.if you have an intel mac, you might want to wait for version 5, which will be a UB.
     

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