Which Version of Photoshop for Pics only

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by bbadalucco, Sep 17, 2009.

  1. bbadalucco macrumors 6502

    Jan 4, 2009
    As I stated in a previous post I’m just getting into photography. I’m in school for a few more months and was thinking it would be smart to pickup Photoshop while I can (for $199/$299). I guess my question is should I get the Normal or Extended version. I don’t have much interest in anything with video, just pictures. With doing some research it appears the extended version offer the following over the normal version.

    1. Breakthrough 3D, motion graphics, and image analysis
    2. Comprehensive image analysis with enhanced measurement and counting tools, as well as support for DICOM images and MATLAB processing routines
    What would you recommend I get???

    The normal version is $199 and the Extended $299
  2. jampat macrumors 6502a

    Mar 17, 2008
    For photography, extended gives you very little extra.

    Be careful with student licenses of Adobe software, I don' t believe Adobe allows them to be upgraded (ie. to CS5) in the future, you need to buy a full license of the new version if you want to upgrade. As long as you know this going in, the student version is a great deal.
  3. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Mar 25, 2009
    Folding space
    Hi. I had an interesting chat with a sales guy at my local camera shop while pricing dslr cameras yesterday. On the topic of software, he recommended PhotoShop Elements rather than PhotoShop. The interface was simpler and more closely targeted to photos. He said - and I stress "he said" - That Elements combined with the photo editing tools from NIK (Sharpener Pro, ect) would be the best bang for the buck.

    They sold the NIK software, so get out your salt shaker...

  4. JTTech macrumors member


    Nov 17, 2008
    Washington, DC
    FYI, the Student Editions page on Adobe.com says that they are actually eligible to be upgraded:

  5. Kronie macrumors 6502a


    Dec 4, 2008
    If its truly just for photography you may want to consider Lightroom or Aperture.

    Many pros don't even use PS except for the occasional use. Both Lightroom and Aperture can do everything that PS does as far as tweaking photos.

    I use both LR and PS extended myself and do almost 100% of my photography editing in LR.
  6. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2009
    I wouldn't necessarily say that most people only use LR. It all depends on what you typically do with your images. Some prefer only to make global adjustments and make use of what local adjustment tools are available in LR. However, others really tweak the PP to the max and also make extensive use of masking, applying it to everything including color adjustments to noise reduction, sharpening, etc. Many of this is not possible with standard LR. It all depends on the final look you're going for.

    That said, if you're only interested in photos the standard version of photoshop should be fine. Look closely at the details between the standard and extended versions though. I recall that for CS3 the extended version not only included the 3D and scientific imaging capabilities but also a few others that did matter for photos like HDR tonemapping and also some expanded capabilities with smart objects, etc.

    I'd also recommend though picking up LR as it probably does more for the vast majority of photos than PS would. It has a really good organization/cataloging and a UI that is designed to work with photos (as opposed to working with other digital art/graphics).

    Photoshop elements is a great value and it is probably more than 90% of casual photographers need the one thing I don't like about it is that (at least last time I checked) it cannot handle 16-bit color precision. This won't matter for anyone starting out or anyone who shoots JPEG but the second you shoot RAW it limits you as one of the major benefits of shooting in RAW is higher color precision (RAW files are 12 or 14 bits) and thus being forced back to 8 bits in PSE is limiting. And I would argue that it does not take a seasoned pro to shoot RAW, many photographers begin on JPEG but quickly move to RAW, and if you do all your processing in PSE you'll be limited to 8-bits.

    Perhaps an alternative is to get LR and PSE together?

  7. Edge100 macrumors 68000

    May 14, 2002
    Where am I???
    I do almost all of my work in LR2, but I wouldn't go so far as to say that LR can do everything PS can do, even with respect to photo editing.

    Layers and layer masks are the biggest thing I miss in LR; adjustment brushes in LR2 went a long way in helping out, but they're not really layer masks.

    But I agree, if all you're doing is managing and editing photos, LR or Aperture could be the only product you need.
  8. bbadalucco thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 4, 2009
    I just figure if I can pickup Photoshop now for $199, I should as its normally around $700-$800.
  9. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2009
    But if you're not going to need it, you're just throwing $200 away. If you know or strongly forsee that you will use it, then get it. The standard version is more than sufficient if you're just a beginner photographer. At my school LR (also Apple Aperture) is also available on educational discount so may want to consider picking that up as well or instead.
  10. jampat macrumors 6502a

    Mar 17, 2008
    I don't consider Aperture a suitable substitute for photoshop as it cannot do masking. For some photos, that is absolutely essential. LR seems to be much better on the editing end than Aperture, but I still don't know if you can completely avoid PS (or PSE). I bought Aperture, and if I was doing it again, it would be LR 100% for photo management, it's just too much work to switch now.

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