Pros Combined Editing and Organizing, Raw editing, Tags for Classification and Collections
Cons Slow if Processor isn't of the moment, Can definitely take some learning if no prior experience
Summary Having previously worked with Elements 2.0, I was thrilled to learn of added features in 3.0. If you're not quite ready for the big-bucks PhotoshopCE, but you do want to work with an industry standard format, this would be it. Mind you, I've been teaching myself through reading books and begging tips from my graphic artist pal and it's been a long road... I've dedicated some serious time staring blindly at the computer. Alas, I've made some serious headway. I improve everyday with the transformations I can make to a photo. I've brought back photos that wer so underexposed I thought they were surely destined for the trash. I have made cool arty images from outdoor shots. I have removed countless dark circles, red-eye, and even double-chins. I have marveled friends and family alike.
That said, learning the ins and outs of Elements 3 (without any prior experience) so that you're happy and confident that you can edit an image to your liking may take a little time, practice and a good book or website (of which there are many). I am a big believer in any book by Scott Kelby for Elements 3. He is amazing and his books have improved my skill more than I can even say. When you get this program, swing by the book section and get one of his books. They are an absolute MUST. There is also an Elements newletter that is terrific and will definitely keep one's repetoire of tricks and techniques on the cutting edge. Wanna know how to change a person's hair color? Wanna know how to add a fast and easy border or frame to your fave photo? Wanna do a little digital botox on your mother-in-law? It's all yours.
The Elements Organizer is a great feature unbefore seen in this program. At first, I was hesitant to use it, but I've found recently that I use the album as my starting point. Having the Editor and Organizer (Album) as separate entities can be, at first, somewhat irritating, but if you launch them both at the outset and use the Organizer as your browser and launcher, it all works out pretty well in the end. Also, the Organizer seems a little quicker and easier to print from than doing it from the Editor. The quality doesn't to be there totally, but nothing you'd readily notice and easy for giving pictures to friends. It also lets you make nifty little cards and calendars.
I'm a big fan of this program and I'm a professional photographer. It suits my needs well and for someone who spends less time and energy than I do, it would perhaps even offer more than one needs. The key, I think, is that to really enjoy it for what it's worth, you have to get to know the program. Play around with old pictures and experiment. There are many printed and web-oriented resources to help with techniques that one may need. Plus, if you know anyone who is a wiz at its big brother CE, you can ask for some help and tips as they use many of the same shortcut commands and functions.
Personally, I LOVE this program and I adore all the people who offer their advice on how to improve all my bad, out of focus shots (from college and before) on the various websites out there and through books and newsletters. You can't go wrong with Photoshop as it lends itself to a wider community, out there, that will help you along as you get to be a master at making everyone look gorgeous in your photos... or just put all your photos in some cohesive order. Go out... buy it. Get some books. Practice and have fun.
Pros Exceptional set of features
Cons Slow and does not really "watches folders"
Summary Like I said the set of features is exceptional.
Very easy tagging makes finding your photos a breeze! The calendar also helps.
The editor is surprisingly "complete".
In short - it would be everything I need....
After install I told it what folder to "watch" - My Pictures.
I expected to see my pictures pop up in the organizer... but nothing happened. I had to import them manually. AND IT TAKES VERRY LONG!!! Try the same thing with Picasa: All my 4500+ photos appear in the program quickly!
Adobe has an "offline" pictures features for which I've been longing! It can take your pictures and burn them on a DVD, but keeps the thumbnails for you to see. When you want to open such a picture it asks for the proper disk to be inserted.
I suppose this is the feature that kills the file handling.
If you change your mind on where you wanted to store some photos on your hdd and move them in a different folder... disaster!! Not only Photoshop does not automatically finds them, but it invites you "reconnect" the files in a window that lists only the names of the missing files AK: P5294091.JPG.
Good luck reconnecting 300 files - one by one!!!! Again on Picasa move your files whenever you want. It will find them without asking you anything.
Don't get me wrong! Picasa is not better then PS. But PS sucks at these tasks.
AND IT IS THE SLOWEST SOFTWARE I'VE EVER SEEN. How I wish it work! I would pay 150 for it! But it just does not!
"Save Your Money"on by 5cents
Pros Absolutely None
Cons Not user friendly - complicated
Summary For the novice user, the guy who just wants to edit home photo's easily, this software is NOT for you.
I purchased this software as a replacement for an older version of Adobe PhotoDeluxe, which Adobe no longer supports. I have had this new software program for almost a month now, and absolutely hate it.
According to the Adobe website, Elements was developed to keep Adobe competative in the marketplace.
Well, I found this software very confusing and complicated to use. What used to take one or two mouse clicks with my PhotoDeluxe, now takes four or five clicks. The various "tools" buttons do not have "drop-down" discriptions, making figuring out their functions difficult.
I gave this software the low rating simply based of it's ease of use. If I had known it would be this difficult to use and understand, I would have saved my money.
Pros Lots of do dads
Cons Could make some of the do dads easier to figure out how to use
Summary Love it except somethings are hard to learn. Like the the simple clone stamp, I still havent figured it out completly.
Pros Easy to learn & use, very powerful
Cons More than many need, somewhat slow
Summary I was surprised by the negative reviews but I have to assume these folks are very used to what they have been using and changing seems difficult.
I had been using Paint Shop Pro, based on CNET recommendation, and found it took a good deal of time to learn. It was also missing tools I wanted such as panorama stitching and photo filing.
I got this software because my wife and I are preparing to teach this on a volunteer basis. Both of us have found it easy to learn and very effective. We are amazed at the level of photo improvement and manipulation available in a reasonably priced piece of software and have been able to learn and do more in a few weeks than we did in over a year of using PSP. This statement should make it clear that I am not a pro, or even semi-pro photographer or artist. But as a serious photo hobbyist, I find this to be a great set of tools.
It is indeed a memory hog, but what do you expect from powerful digital image processing software? I'm running it without pain on a Dell Inspiron 600m laptop with 512M of memory, and a homebuilt desktop with an AMD 1600 and 512M of memory. They aren't powerhouses but they work fine.
Watch out for some of the vendors suggested in the CNET list for this software. The cheapest few are offering OEM disks/downloads without licenses and one seller has a few buyer comments stating they got pirated software. Stay with a name vendor for a few dollars more.