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Old Dec 22, 2006, 12:11 PM   #1
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I'm looking to buy editing software, and am pretty committed to getting either Adobe Photoshop Elements 5.0 or Corel Paintshop Pro Photo XI. I have been struggling through a number of reviews and user opinions, but still haven't been able to decide which to get. My understanding is that PSP XI is a bit more powerful for photo editing, but I've read of problems with the software being slow or crashing. Elements sounds like it might be better for organizing/cataloging, but could be a bit less powerful for photo editing.

I am a beginning DSLR user (but reasonably experienced SLRphotographer), and don't want to do anything that alters the image too unrealistically. Help/opinions?!?
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Old Dec 22, 2006, 1:24 PM   #2
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Neither program will alter the image any more unrealistically than you tell it to. If you have a DSLR you are probably advanced enough that your image editing isn't going to mainly comprise of clicking automatic fix buttons.

Elements has been hobbled in some ways to keep a market for the much more expensive Photoshop. Even Photoshop has been hobbled in vector images to keep a market for Illustrator.

Paint Shop Pro was designed to be all it can be by Jasc. Corel bought it and it doesn't appear so far they are hobbling PSP to get you to buy the Corel suite.

The feature missing from Elements that would limit my editing the most is actions. If there is a series of things you want to do to an image you can record an action of the steps and apply the action to another image or bulk the action to many images. You can't record an action with Elements but you can with PSP. PSP calls it scripts rather than actions, but the scripts interface seems even more sophisticated than the full Photoshop's actions.

I don't think Elements will work with vector images – I know Photoshop won't. Illustrator is designed to coordinate with Photoshop and I presume Elements, but it is still a hassle to have to work in two programs and a considerable extra expense to buy Illustrator. PSP is both a raster and vector program and integrates the two fairly well. It isn't as sophisticated as Illustrator at vector work, but it will do most things you need to do.

There are advantages to Elements as well. The interface is more similar to Photoshop should you ever upgrade. You can't record actions but there is a roundabout way to install pre-made Photoshop actions. These generally won't work in PSP. Most Photoshop plug-ins work in PSP, but I think there are some that will work in Elements but not PSP. I put everything into Photoshop, which is my main raster editing program. So I'm not completely conversant with what does and doesn't work in PSP.

Many Photoshop tutorials can be run more easily from Elements, but you can do it all in PSP if you understand what they want you to do. There are quite a few tutorials specifically for both PSP and Elements.

I bought PSP X from Ebay in the CD-only version. It is the full program and can be registered. It is meant to be sold with new equipment, so they send you a little useless doodad with it to make it legal. As far as I am concerned it is up to Corel to police how their CD-only versions are distributed – there isn't anything illegal about buying, registering and using it. They now have PSP XI in the CD-only version for under $40. For that price it is an impressive program IMO.

I can't compare the cataloging capabilities of the two as I don't use them. I have used several and much prefer using the Windows file system with Irfanview as my interface. PSP X hasn't crashed my system or caused anything to run slowly. It is about as fast as Photoshop and seems to gobble about the same amount or RAM. As far as I know Elements is about the same as Photoshop or PSP in that regard. You will have problems with either program if you don't have sufficient RAM.

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Old Dec 22, 2006, 9:29 PM   #3
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I think Slipe did a great job, and it all boils out to a coin toss. Likely PSP is a bit more powerfull since it isn't crippled to avoid undercutting PhotoShop. But there is more info on elements.
h2oman wrote
I am a beginning DSLR user (but reasonably experienced SLRphotographer), and don't want to do anything that alters the image too unrealistically....
You, not the program will do any alterations. The real key to avoiding a serious problem is to make sure you keep a copy exactly as it came from the camera with no alterations whatsoever.
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Old Dec 30, 2006, 5:53 PM   #4
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You are right about Paint Shop Pro crashing.... i`ve had it plenty of times while trying to use the "script" feature for batching multiple pics in one click.

I must say i`ve had problems with Element 5 too.

What i could seriously advise you would be DXOv4.1 , it`s expensive but really good and reliable.The best results i have ever seen so far and believe me i`ve tried many .
They have a 21 day free trial on there site... try it.

If price is an issue you could try ACDsee Pro which is also available in a trial version.
It`s almost half the price.
Look at the "shadow & lightning" feature because it produces wonderfull results in a one click movement.

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Old Jan 17, 2007, 6:54 AM   #5
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i have PSP XI and love it. it does everything for me that i want it to do. check out some of my photos using the Pentax DL in the pentax SLR forum. they were all touchedup with PSP.
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