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Author Topic: Price & performance for amateurs  (Read 8372 times)

timpenner

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Price & performance for amateurs
« on: January 09, 2006, 08:46:34 AM »

I have yet to actually use Photoshop because photography is only a passhion for me and I would rather spend the grand on a better camera. I've been using Photoshop Elements for years augmented by a couple of excellent books, one which included Photoshop plug-ins that give Elements a large majority of the curve and tonal controls that make Photoshop so valuable. I finally broke down and bought Elements 4.0 so I could use Camera Raw.

It's interesting to note that some of the tools I see described by Michael in his primer on Lightroom are actually just better versions of gizmos that are already in PE4. The new Tone Curve adjuster, for example, looks a lot like the Shadows/Hightlights adjuster in PE4. The PE4 version lacks the compression sliders on the highlights and shadows, as well as the brightness slider on the midtones.

A good organizer is another matter. Photoshop Elements has always included some kind of organizer tools, and now PE4 has the organizer built right in. I wish I could make it disappear. I also have Adobe Bridge that came with Illustrator CS - I'm a technical writer. In a word, these products suck. I use ACDSee 8 to organize my photos. It runs roughly 10 times faster than anything published by Adobe and has features and ease-of-use attributes that make you wonder what the product managers at Adobe are thinking.

So, as a total amateur on a very limited budget (still using a Canon G3), I've solved my photo editing and processing problems with combinations of economical products that, in some respects, are superior to Adobe professional solutions, not just price-wise.

Now that Adobe has decided to bring an end-to-end workflow product and serious ease-of-use to the pro digital photography market, it would be nice if it doesn't cost the moon and if it's performance is better than just acceptable. There seems to be a tendancy to charge large for well thought-out products even when the thinking is only timely, not necessarily long and expensive. From cars to watches, good design seems to be an excuse to over-charge. We know Adobe is not doing all that well lately. I guess this is a vague hope.
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DarkPenguin

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Price & performance for amateurs
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2006, 11:58:25 AM »

I paid less than $300 for CS2 from Adobe.   (As an upgrade from the version of elements that came with my camera or printer or something like that.  I can't remember.  I think there was a trade show coupon for 10% off or something.)

So it isn't insanely expensive.

There are free programs better than ACDSee.  (*spit*)  I actually paid for ACDSee (*spit*) and learned a great lesson in learning to use trial versions first.

I forgot my point.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2006, 12:02:12 PM by DarkPenguin »
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DaveW

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Price & performance for amateurs
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2006, 04:53:58 PM »

I guess it remains to be seen what price point Adobe is thinking of selling their new software for.  CS 2 full version is frightfully expensive for alot of the newer camera users - let's face it, if you've forked over 10k for your camera and a lens, PS CS 2 doesn't seem so expensive - but if you are one of the many people who's picked up a DSLR for around 1k - then the sticker shock is going to make you think twice.

Elements isn't a bad compromise - but it seems needlessly cripped and bloated (could be because it's full photoshop with some menus just disabled??)

I don't need a full version of PS for most of my needs - but things like channel mixing and the ability to change color profiles are a must for me - things elements doesn't do.   The manner in which many things are implemented in PS is just mind boggling - light room seems to try and address these.  (like curves or B&W conversion - more helpful methods of sharpening would be nice too!)

I'll keep my fingers crossed that lightroom has all the tools a photographer needs but not at a professional price....
« Last Edit: January 09, 2006, 04:56:09 PM by DaveW »
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macgyver

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Price & performance for amateurs
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2006, 05:26:32 PM »

Find a college student to buy it for you; because of acedemic discounts I got the full version on CS for $400 USD.  PS only costs $100 USD.
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