Photo software recommendations for switcher??

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by momefarley, Jun 21, 2007.

  1. momefarley macrumors newbie

    Jun 20, 2007
    We've just begun our switching process by upgrading one of our two PC's to a Mac (Intel MacBook). I'm the "computer expert" for my family and friends, but I've got tons to learn.

    My hubby is an amateur/hobbyist photographer, plus we have three kids and all of our family is a continent or more away... So here's what I have:

    I've been using (on the PC) Photoshop Elements 4.0. I have probably 60,000 digital photos altogether - many of them tagged using the "album" features. I use the editor for simple things like red-eye (though I much preferred previous versions of red-eye correction), cropping, etc. But on occasion, I also create photo collages, or edit out a background and put a nicer one in, etc. With kids, it's helpful to be able to take a good shot of them from one photo and "cut/paste" (I actually mean the more complex process of "cutting" it nicely, etc, but I don't know what the technical term for it is) it into another from the same session with good poses on everyone else and come up with a photo that actually has everyone looking at the camera or whatever at the time. If I had more time, I'd use more features, but I'm pretty busy with other stuff in life too...

    Oh, one other thing that I was looking forward to with PSE 5.0 is the ability to upload to Smugmug. I think Aperture also has that ability, but I don't know if it would be able to do the other stuff I want/need to do.

    I'll probably download and try out something, but recommendations based on my specific usage would be great. Since my husband is still in school, it's very possible I'll just limp (OK, not so badly, but...) along with my PC and PE 4.0 until after the new year when hopefully the finances will be better, and maybe there will even be a new version of PSE for Mac??? But if there's something better to use in the mean time....
  2. Eraserhead macrumors G4


    Nov 3, 2005

    The new version of PE for Mac will be universal so is taking a while.
  3. momefarley thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 20, 2007
    I moved 30,000 photos over to iPhoto, but IMO it hard to work with, especially in tagging (keywords). It also crashed a lot during the adding photos process, and works quite slowly with that number of photos (I have 1GB RAM). The editor isn't nearly as strong as I'd like, I think. Of course, it can fill in for a while, just doing the basics.

    Yes, I understand that the delay probably has to do with Intel processors, updated OS, etc. On a related note, I'm waiting until the next version of Office to "buy into" the Mac versions... But I can manage with other stuff until then (probably primarily on my PC because of the need to share files and keep exact formatting (NeoOffice redid pages or formatting enough to change the total pages numbers +/- 5 or more pages when working with a 100 page document!)) with Office...

    If I need to just sit on my hands and wait, that's fine. I'm just looking for a possible replacement or good second fiddle to play until the next version comes out.

    I've also considered checking into CS3 at academic prices (we're eligible for a few more months), but don't even know where to start there. I don't mind having more software than I really use as long as it doesn't slow my computer down. If someone could kinda explain how components of CS3 (and Lightroom??) would substitute for the components of PSE, that would really be helpful to me in the "weighing my options" process.
  4. M@lew macrumors 68000


    Nov 18, 2006
    Melbourne, Australia
    Go for Lightroom since you have a Macbook. Look at the Digital Photography forum where I posted a link to a nice article comparing them. (It's from Macworld)
  5. islandman macrumors 6502

    Sep 13, 2006
    Having used both Lightroom (as a beta tester) and Aperture, I recommend Aperture hands down.
  6. momefarley thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 20, 2007
    But neither one does all that I want/need....

    Here's the link for anyone else reading... (and here's another shorter comparison)

    On page 5 of that article, it mentions that neither one can do a couple of things that I do probably at least once a month (and sometimes do a whole batch of photos) -- selection-based editing, and layering and compositing...

    So neither one would serve all my needs, though I'm pretty tempted to at least try them out.

    Any other ideas?
  7. GavinT macrumors member

    You could always wait for Adobe to get their rear-ends into gear and bring out Elements 5.0 on the Mac ;)

    I personally would suggest you get Lightroom. It's a far better Organiser than the one you get in the Windows version of Elements 4.0 (never seen Elements 5 for Windows though).
    Then, when the time comes, you get Elements 5.0 as well for the Mac. If version 5.0 on the Mac is anything like version 4.0 on the Mac... then it won't even come with the Organiser, only the Editor part.

    I suppose Aperture would be an option, but maybe it would be easier to integrate the future Elements 5 with Lightroom :confused:
    In the mean time... while waiting for Elements, use GIMP. It's not as nice to use as Elements, but if you are in bind and need to do something.

    (This is exactly my approach at the moment... I'm a switcher from PC where I used Elements 4, and now use Lightroom+GIMP, with a potential Elements 5 purchase).

    As you've discovered though, iPhoto is not really an option is it. Great app for casual snaps, but if you've got serious collections you really need something like Aperture or Lightroom.
  8. theBB macrumors 68020


    Jan 3, 2006
    If you already have PS Elements for Mac, I would use that and just drag and drop the edited picture into iPhoto.

    As a file manager, iPhoto is better than just a folder structure. I would start with it to see if it is good enough. Probably it will be, but if it is not, then I'd look into Aperture or Lightroom. The main feature of iPhoto for me is its integration with the rest of iLife. The slideshows it generates with what it calls Ken Burns effect are very easy to setup, but looks very impressive.

    If you don't have PS Elements for Mac, I would try GIMP. It is quite powerful, even though it may be a bit short on the automated "consumer" features. I bought Akkana Peck's book, which explains how to do certain things with GIMP in maybe more than one step, but I get to see what is under the hood. If you don't like GIMP, you can always pay for PS Elements later.
  9. momefarley thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 20, 2007
    Really no organizer in PSE for Mac????

    I do NOT have PSE for Mac. I have 4.0 on my PC.

    I suppose if I can limp by on iPhoto and GIMP until the next PSE (or whatever they might call it) for Mac comes, I very well might do it. I'm going to check into the trial versions of Aperture and Lightroom, though I'm not sure if I can justify the costs of both.

    So can someone confirm/deny this for me??? Is there really no Organizer in the PSE 4.0 for Mac???? That might also change some things for me. I first got into Adobe because of their Album... really helped organize my photos (I've got WAY to many, and since so far I'm not printing (I keep thinking of photo books, but haven't sat down and done it), running a screensaver scrolling through it is my kids' only way of seeing their photos most of the time...).

    Thanks for all the responses!!!
  10. Dave00 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 2, 2003
    Not sure if this really what you're looking for, but I find Graphic Converter very useful for organizing and working with my photos. Not sure how it does with meta tags, because I don't really use this.

  11. theBB macrumors 68020


    Jan 3, 2006
    I think iPhoto is a good organizer. Of course not at the level of Aperture, but I'd be surprised if it is not as good as the one that came with PSE. Besides, iLife integration will make it more valuable on a Mac for you.
  12. momefarley thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 20, 2007
    Maybe you missed it. I've already imported over 30,000 photos into iPhoto, and I can tell you it isn't nearly as powerful and easy to use as PSE 4.0 for Win in terms of the organizer. Sure, it does a lot of good, and does integrate with iLife, but that still doesn't mean it's as powerful or extensive. I'm a bit too much of a "power user" with too many files to use iPhoto well. And besides, on the 1GB RAM I have, it runs quite slowly (as I imagine PSE would too).

    Maybe it would help if I list clearly what I'm looking for in a software:
    1. a powerful organizer with ability to tag, control folders, etc.
    2. good basic editing to adjust lighting, including a good red-eye corrector (have light eyes in our family and very frequent red-eye from any P&S)
    3. more advanced editing ability to use layers and selection-based editing (for occasional use, but I get frustrated quickly if the ability isn't there!)

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