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Author Topic: Price & performance for amateurs  (Read 8096 times)


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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.
He was a linguist, after all, and it seemed entirely possible to him that religion and literature and art and music were all merely side effects of a brain structure that comes into the world ready to make language out of noise, sense out of chaos. Our capacity for imposing meaning, he thought, is programmed to unfold the way a butterfly's wings unfold when it escapes the chrysalis, ready to fly. We are biologically driven to create meaning.


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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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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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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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