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Thread: Elements, CS5, or Lightroom?

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    Elements, CS5, or Lightroom?

    Considering this exact question was asked in 2009, about much older versions of these three, I thought it might be best to ask the question again rather than gravedig a very old thread.

    Santa has given me permission to ask for some software for Christmas, but whatever I go with now, I'll probably have to stay with it for a long time to come so as to not have multiple learning curves. So I need to make sure Santa brings the right program to see me through my current, and future needs as my skills and knowledge improve.
    So out of these three, which should I be asking for considering that

    My needs are:
    The usual RAW enhancement stuff to get the best out of a photo (sharpen, brightness, contrast, saturation, etc etc).
    Basic touch ups such as clone/stamp etc to remove odd blemishes etc.
    Stitching photos into panos (I do this a LOT).
    Eventually basic HDR etc etc.

    I don't have the need to fake up a crime scene or turn my 100 year old grandmother into Elle Macpherson, and so full Photoshop is definitely out of the equation. Besides ... it also has to be something that Santa can afford - (I am eligible to buy student versions of the software if one exists), but price isn't the major factor.

    It would be especially good if it was something that I can use just the one piece of software to do the whole thing from camera right through. At the moment I'm doing the basics in DPP and the rest in GIMP or even switching to Photo Studio 5.5 (really old Canon software) to do some things, and that's something I really really want to stop having to do.

    Thanks in advance for any light you can shed on the various options.
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    Download trial versions for them and see which you prefer? You can get them from the Adobe website.

    Personally I'm a big fan of lightroom, I do have photoshop (CS3) but I find that too much effort when processing hundreds of images. I have never tried elements.
    Ryan

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    Ausphotography Regular Brian500au's Avatar
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    I have never tried Elements but I suppose it is what you need to do with the software. I use both LR3.5 and CS5 for all my editing. I import raw format in LR3.5, sort and mark images for editing. I then move them into CS5 - do most of my micro editing and then finish in LR3.5 again. With my work flow I could not do without either one of them as they both perform different functions in the editing / cataloguing process. CS5 is a steep learning curve, but once you are there it is a powerful piece of software.
    Last edited by Brian500au; 12-12-2011 at 10:38pm.
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    LR is different that photoshop, so, its not an "or" its a "LR and what pixel based editor, elements or CS5"

    Elements for most is all youd need, so, that'd be the way Id go.
    Darren
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    Simple answer. There isn't one.
    As Kiwi says they are different.
    I have Lightroom 3 to mange my catalogue of images. And it does it brilliantly but it has limited processing capabilities. as per your list. 1 is definitely available in LR whilst 2 and 3 are better handled by CS5. 4 I don't know about.
    So CS5 is what you need as you want to stitch images and do PP.
    Student versions of both are available and I'd advise you avail yourself of those.
    Peter.

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    I have to say I was quite taken with CS5 from what I read of it on the Adobe website.
    I had been using Picasa to catalogue my photos until recently. But for the price, I'd much prefer LR if it has some other features that make it worthwhile, and going by Brian's post, it does. So I guess I'll aim for CS5 and then at some stage grab a cheap copy of LR as well (seen it for $149 student, so hardly worth adding as a Chrissy present, they're normally the bigger things you can't quite justify buying any other time).

    Thanks for the recommendations everyone. Pretty much helped me make my decision.

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    just buy elements, i use it with LR, not a problem

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    I have used Elements for years and only recently got Lightroom........... haven't looked back since. Since getting LR I don't use Elements all that much other than for the "tricky" stuff. I looked at CS for a while but now I don't think I will bother as LR and Elements can do 99% of what I want.

    LR is currently available online from the Adobe site for (what I consider) a very good price.

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    I use Lightroom 99% of the the time, now only go into Photoshop occassionally as it has a better clone tool.
    Get Microsoft ICE, free download to stitch your panoramas and you have it all covered.

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    D750 Shines cupic's Avatar
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    IMHO LR3 is a bang for your buck software some goodies from CS5 but with a smaller price-tag.
    I have LR3 and use this more than CS5

    cheers




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    If you can get the student editions legitimately, why not get both CS5 and LR3? Adobe site has them at $201 and $122 respectively.

    I use Lightroom for 90+% of my work flow. Love it. I'm a bit of a dinosaur as I still use PS7.
    Cheers, John D
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    Another vote for PSE and LR in combo, especially since you can buy at the right price. LR3.5 is now about $125 and PSE $160 when I bought it in a bundle for my iMac. Student prices ought to be even better.

    Spend 99.9999% of my time in LR3.5 these days. PSE is there for the rest, if and when it's needed. As a GIMP user before the iMac, I also downloaded the Mac version of that, but find I don't even use it anymore. Just my personal experience, and I think it's awesome that I got it right even before kiwi's advice too! Must be a Nikon user synchronicity thing!
    Waz
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    Just waiting on my daughters to get some official documentation of their student status, and I'll be buying both LR and CS5 by the look of it. Sure can't go past the $201 price for CS5 at the moment. The seller on it was the very smart content aware clone out tool for removing things such as entire powerlines - even curved ones - with just a couple of clicks. I've spent WAY too many an hour cloning out powerlines by hand, to not be sold by a feature like that pretty quickly. That's probably in all the other programs too. But the video of how to do it on the very front page of the CS5 page on the Adobe website was a bit of a clincher for me.

    So between Elements and CS5, which has more of the features of the full Photoshop. It seems odd to have two cut down versions of it.
    Last edited by Ezookiel; 14-12-2011 at 7:11pm.

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    CS5 is the full Photoshop

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    Is it?
    I thought full PS was like $1200 or something stupid.
    Ah, so now I see why they have CS5 as well as Elements.

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    I actually prefer elements to cs5

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    I'm about to give up the whole idea and choose another company to buy from. Adobe are so damned frustrating!!!!.
    Even their "Live Chat" isn't live, but some dumb computer trying to pretend to be a human and attempting very poorly to answer your questions by spouting pat quotes from their website that actually don't answer the question.
    I'm about to scrap the whole idea and walk into JB HiFi and buy any product NOT made by Adobe just in protest.
    It's been like pulling hair and banging my head on a wall just for the fun of it because it feels good when you stop.

    Nurse! NURSE! It's time for my MEDS!!!
    Aaaahhhh.... that's better. Now to try again tomorrow and see if I can get anywhere with them.

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    Member pghollis1's Avatar
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    Officeworks has CS5 Extended version (student & teacher) for $189. I've also seen it for $161 at CentreCom... Officeworks will beat any price by 5%... so perhaps try that.

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    There's a reason 99% of professionals and advanced amateurs use adobe photoshop, stick with it

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    To their credit, you can't get much help on their website, but on their facebook page, I had a response to the question very quickly.
    I guess companies are diverting their resources to the social media sites over their webpages now.
    But I might have to try Officeworks et al, if those are the kinds of prices they have.

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