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Old Jan 8, 2003, 11:32 PM   #1
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Default Best value in software.

I've been using Microsoft Picture It! for over a year, and it seems to do a great job. It's very easy to use.

Question is, what is the best software for the dollar? I know PhotoShop is good, but $500!!!!!!! I got my copy of Picture It! for free with my Dell laptop. Would I be any better off with any other program or is what I have the same as any other?
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Old Jan 9, 2003, 6:36 AM   #2
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I think your best bet is to keep using what you have untill you want to do something it cannot do.

What sold me on PhotoShop was the masked layer output of Panorama Tools. And even then I could have done without by using PT's mulit image masked TIFF output. IMHO, the masked adjustment layers is the best photographer's tool in PhotoShop. It will probably show up in something more reasonably priced some day.
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Old Jan 11, 2003, 12:24 AM   #3
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OK, I've decided it's time to upgrade the software. Here's my choice as I see it, unless someone can reccomend something better.

Microsoft Digital Image Pro
Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0

Both are highly rated from what I've read. Both seem to do the same things functionally. Both about the same price.

Which would you recommend, and why?

I do plan to download the trial version of Photoshop Elements, but Microsoft has no trial. I would hate to buy it and be stuck since most places won't take opened software back.
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Old Jan 11, 2003, 7:45 AM   #4
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Take a look at PaintShop Pro as well - timed demo at http://www.jasc.com/ I used PSP for several years and was happy with it. My impression is that many of the editing programs that cost about $100 (full retail - often on sale) are powerfull enough to deal with most things.

With any timed demo of fairly complex software, don't download until you have time to figure out how to use it.
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Old Jan 11, 2003, 10:26 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillDrew
I think your best bet is to keep using what you have untill you want to do something it cannot do
Boy, you sure hit the nail on the head, Bill! It couldn't have been said any plainer!

Jbailey, since you admit you have reached that point, here's my input. I used PaintShop Pro's demo version quite some time ago, and it did a wonderful job-- only I didn't think I needed all the bells and whistles that it offered. For all the simple corrections I do, I have found the best value to be CompuPic. For $40, with just a few keystrokes I can remove redeye, correct exposure and saturation, crop, and resize a whole batch of pics in just a very few minutes. It also allows you to create thumbnailed web pages, do batch rename, and lots of other things. Since I have Microsoft Office, I use Microsoft PhotoEditor on the rare occasion it need to do some specific touching up.
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Old Jan 13, 2003, 1:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillDrew
I think your best bet is to keep using what you have untill you want to do something it cannot do.

What sold me on PhotoShop was the masked layer output of Panorama Tools. ...
Bill,
What's "Panorama Tools"?
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Old Jan 13, 2003, 5:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sergey
What's "Panorama Tools"?
My main use is stitching difficult panoramas together and correcting perspective distortion - it will do more than that. Somewhat specialized freeware that is very usefull at times, and not very easy to use. Not recomended until you have figured out a fairly sophisticated photo editor and/or simpler pano stitching software.

http://philohome.free.fr/barrelpers/barrelpers.htm and http://www.bigbenpublishing.com.au/ will give you an idea of some of what PT does.
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Old Jan 14, 2003, 11:37 AM   #8
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Thanks for the links, I installed PS add-inns and trying to follow. You're right, it's not that easy.
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Old Feb 11, 2003, 2:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillDrew
IMHO, the masked adjustment layers is the best photographer's tool in PhotoShop. It will probably show up in something more reasonably priced some day.
I'm a total newbie to PS Elements 2.0, but if you mean creatign an adjustment layer (say, a levels adjusment layer), and having it only apply to a specific area of the image (by using a layer mask), then yes, PS Elements 2.0 can do this. You can change the mask after creating by painting on the mask with a brush. Just like full blown Photoshop
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Old Mar 22, 2003, 10:37 AM   #10
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I can do both masks and adjustmennt layers in paint shop pro, but am unaware of a combination of the two. Is it possible on Paint Shop Pro?

Oh and yes, Paint Shop has served my needs wonderfully. I have a book on Photoshop, and from what I've read, Paint Shop Pro has 90% of the same stuff. In fact, I have downloaded the beta for Paint Shop, and it picks up 50% of what was missing, and adds stuff that I don't think Photoshop even has!
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