Which Version of Photoshop?

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by Greg Berchin, Feb 9, 2014.

  1. Greg Berchin

    Greg Berchin Guest

    I'm an old-time amateur film photographer; was away from the hobby for nearly
    twenty years; just purchased my first DSLR. Reading the magazine articles, I see
    that everybody uses Photoshop to manipulate their images in much the same way
    that I used my darkroom in the past. So I go to the Adobe site, and I find that
    there are multiple versions of Photoshop -- CC, Lightroom 5, Elements 12,
    Premier Elements 12, Touch, Revel. I don't know which to buy.

    I work almost entirely in B&W; would like to be able to simulate the effects of
    colored filters, change contrast, dodge, burn, etc. (I always shoot RAW.) On the
    rare occasions that I do work in color, I seldom do any manipulation beyond
    cropping and retouching. I do not "share" photos via social media, don't create
    photo albums, etc., so I don't care about a program's ability to organize
    images. I just want to be able to manipulate them.

    Please help me to choose. Thanks.
     
    Greg Berchin, Feb 9, 2014
    #1
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  2. Greg Berchin

    Savageduck Guest

    As a photographer working on a computer I would suggest looking at
    Photoshop CC, Photoshop Elements, and Lightroom.
    Premier Elements is a video editor. Touch, & Express are simpler photo
    editors for use on iOS and Android "Smart phones" or "tablets". Reveal
    is a cataloging, cloud storage service and sharing program intended for
    use with smart phones and tablets.
    You are about to be flooded with opinions.

    If you are averse to the idea of subscribing to software Photoshop CC,
    and you work primarily in RAW, I would recommend Lightroom 5.
    Along with that, since you are primarily looking at B&W work, I also
    recommend considering a look at the NIK plug-in collection which
    includes NIK Silver Efex Pro2.
    There are also some very good sources of video tutorials which I also
    recommend.
    < http://www.google.com/nikcollection/products/silver-efex-pro/ >
    < http://www.jkost.com/lightroom.html >
     
    Savageduck, Feb 9, 2014
    #2
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  3. Greg Berchin

    J. Clarke Guest

    There are four Photoshops, CC, CS6, "Elements", and "Touch". Elements
    is the introductory product sold at a (for Adobe) bargain price. CS6 is
    the last release that could be purchased. CC is provided on a rental
    basis with a monthly fee. CC is the newest version. "Touch" is
    intended for smartphones, tablets, and similar devices, and has reduced
    capabilities consistent with the limited memory and processing power
    available on such devices.

    Lightroom is a product complementary to Photoshop--it is intended mostly
    as an organizer but has significant processing capabilities as well and
    many users find that it is sufficient to their needs, but it does not
    provide the full functionality of Photoshop.

    Premiere is a different product from Photoshop--Premier is primarily for
    video editing.

    Revel is an online photo sharing service.
    Photoshop Elements will likely do what you need. If it won't then CC
    would be the logical step-up.
     
    J. Clarke, Feb 9, 2014
    #3
  4. Greg Berchin

    Guest Guest

    if you have to ask, photoshop elements is more than enough. you would
    know if you needed the additional capabilities of the full photoshop.

    premiere is for video and photoshop touch is for ipads.

    however, lightroom is a much better choice because it includes the
    common parts of photoshop with asset management. *finding* which photo
    you want from all the ones you have taken is half the battle.

    another huge advantage to lightroom is non-destructive editing. the
    original image is never altered and you can undo and/or modify the
    changes you've made long after you've made them (as in months or
    years), including undoing cropping and other destructive steps.

    it's possible to have a non-destructive workflow with the other apps
    but it's a serious pain in the butt.
    although you say you don't care about organization of images, you
    really do need it because mac finder or windows explorer were never
    designed for managing huge numbers of files, particularly images, and
    it quickly becomes unmanageable, which is why lightroom is so
    incredibly popular.

    part of lightroom's organizational abilities and non-destructive
    editing lets you create virtual copies of a photo *without* making a
    duplicate file, with lightroom tracking all of the manipulation you do
    to each image.

    that way, you can have many different variants of one image, including
    colour and b/w, landscape & portrait, or whatever else you want, all
    managed separately, without you needing to do anything (other than
    making the initial virtual copy).

    although it's possible to do that without lightroom, it nowhere near as
    straightforward or as easy.
     
    Guest, Feb 9, 2014
    #4
  5. Greg Berchin

    Guest Guest

    you're right.

    *almost* everyone uses photoshop and/or lightroom.
    it's not worth the time thinking about the gimp, let alone trying it.

    photoshop is what the gimp wants to be when it grows up.

    the gimp *still* lacks basic functionality that photoshop had back in
    the 1990s and isn't going to be getting any time soon.

    the hassle of using the gimp actually makes it *more* expensive in time
    and frustration than its asking price.

    photoshop elements is typically around $50 and does more with
    significantly less hassle, which makes it money well spent.

    people spend orders of magnitude more than that on cameras and lenses
    and yet they cheap out on the software. what's the point in that? none.
     
    Guest, Feb 10, 2014
    #5
  6. Greg Berchin

    Savageduck Guest

    While GIMP is capable I have feeling that he might do better with
    something else.
    The OP is shooting RAW only and is at the lower end of the digital post
    processing learning curve, either PSE 12, or Lightroom 5 would be a
    better choice. I would lean towards LR 5.
     
    Savageduck, Feb 10, 2014
    #6
  7. Greg Berchin

    Guest Guest

    While GIMP is capable I have feeling that he might do better with
    something else.
    The OP is shooting RAW only and is at the lower end of the digital post
    processing learning curve, either PSE 12, or Lightroom 5 would be a
    better choice. I would lean towards LR 5.[/QUOTE]

    agreed. lightroom is definitely the way to go.

    it's easy to use and very capable. it has a few things he doesn't think
    he needs but he'll quickly find they're actually quite useful to have.
     
    Guest, Feb 10, 2014
    #7
  8. Greg Berchin

    Eric Stevens Guest

    Not everybody uses Photoshop.

    I've just gone over to Photoshop after years of using first, Photo
    Paint (Corel) and later, Paint Shop Pro (also Corel). My particular
    economics plus the desire to do things impossible in Paint Shop Pro
    made me make the change.

    I can assure you that at the basic level that you have referred to
    there is not that much difference between working in PhotoShop or
    Paint Shop Pro. Both offer free trial periods so I suggest you try
    them both.

    One thing you should research is the ability to share files between
    applications. Both products will save files in all kinds of weird and
    wonderful file formats but are more limited when it comes to
    importing.

    If you do buy Photoshop I would recommend that you put yourself
    through the 'Adobe Photoshop CC' 'Classroom in a book'. It will teach
    you how to do all kinds of things that you are never likely to want to
    do. Nevertheless it will introduce you to a variety of tools which you
    will need to acquaint yourself with.

    That book is basic but it's a good starter. Next you should lay your
    hands on 'Photoshop CC - The missing manual'. This is a well laid out
    general reference book. I highly recommend it.

    I don't think Paint shop Pro has publications of comparable
    quality/utility. Both Adobe and Corel have online tutorials but, once
    again, Adobe's are more numerous and generally dig into more corners.
     
    Eric Stevens, Feb 10, 2014
    #8
  9. Greg Berchin

    Guest Guest

    sharing files between apps is not important unless you own *both* apps
    for some reason.

    most people use one app or a set of apps from the same company (e.g.,
    adobe creative suite) so there is no issue sharing files. it all 'just
    works'.

    everything exports to jpeg, tiff, etc., so the photos can be shared
    with other apps and/or users, which is something he said he didn't want
    to do anyway.
     
    Guest, Feb 10, 2014
    #9
  10. Greg Berchin

    Eric Stevens Guest

    In any case, he has been warned. Paint Shop Pro can save in a number
    of formats readable by Photoshop but you loose a number of features of
    the original Paint Shop Pro file in the process. I wouldn't be
    surprised if the same applied to Photoshop. I have my own views on the
    implications of this but I don't know enough of the OP's situation to
    really make a recommendation to him.
     
    Eric Stevens, Feb 10, 2014
    #10
  11. Greg Berchin

    Greg Berchin Guest

    OP here.

    It's a Canon. I worked with the Digital Photo Professional software, and found
    it pretty clunky for adding colored filter effects, changing gamma, dodge and
    burn, etc. Probably there are more functions under the hood that I haven't
    discovered, yet, but as every photo article I read goes straight to Photoshop, I
    figured that was the best path to take.

    Thanks.
     
    Greg Berchin, Feb 10, 2014
    #11
  12. Greg Berchin

    Greg Berchin Guest

    OP here.

    That is an interesting subject. I considered asking about the
    differences between Photoshop and Paint Shop Pro in a different thread.
    I go way back with Paint Shop Pro, back to the JASC days. Most recently
    (if you can call fourteen years ago "recent") I used version 7 for
    retouching scanned film images, mostly color slides. That version does
    not have anywhere near the capabilities that I would need for the kinds
    of "darkroom" processing that I need now. But I assume that the new
    versions have more or less kept up with developments in Photoshop, and
    that the interface is reasonably similar so that the learning curve
    might be shorter.

    Thanks.
     
    Greg Berchin, Feb 10, 2014
    #12
  13. Greg Berchin

    J. Clarke Guest

    The big benefit to Photoshop is not Photoshop itself but the immense
    user base that means that anything you want to do somebody has probably
    worked out a way to do and posted to a blog or Youtube.
     
    J. Clarke, Feb 10, 2014
    #13
  14. Greg Berchin

    Savageduck Guest

    I still firmly believe that your best option for B&W work is going to
    be Lightroom 5 + NIK Silver Efex Pro 2, or Photoshop CC (subscription)+
    NIK Silver Efex Pro 2.

    Photoshop CS6 might still be available, but if you are going to go the
    Photoshop route, subscription is a pretty good way to go.
     
    Savageduck, Feb 10, 2014
    #14
  15. Depending on the camera model you buy, some RAW editor like Lightroom
    might well be included in the set and it might also be all you will ever
    need. My Olympus, for example, came with Olympus Viewer, a free and
    highly valuable RAW editor which includes a set of image editing tools
    on top of the RAW editing tools. It's à peu près the same as Lightroom
    which may come bundled with your camera. Quite possibly, you won't need
    anything else.
     
    Mathias Dubois, Feb 10, 2014
    #15
  16. Greg Berchin

    Tony Cooper Guest

    The recommendations have been made, so I won't add more. My only
    comment is that you've done some research, know some techniques, and
    are active in exploring the possibilities.

    That makes you a good candidate for the Adobe Creative Cloud program
    at $9.99 a month. That gives you both Photoshop CS6 and Lightroom 5
    to work with. These are not simple programs to learn, but there are
    enough tutorials out there that the willing learner can get up to
    speed quickly enough. You have to put time and effort into it,
    though. The disappointed users are the ones who think they can buy
    the program and start producing good post-processing results without
    spending the necessary time learning about how to use the features.

    If you want to progress in learning how to use the features, the best
    second investment I can suggest is adding a second monitor so you can
    view a tutorial on one screen and work with an image on the other
    screen. That approximates hands-on learning with an instructor
    telling you how.

    I picked up my second monitor for around $50. It was a used NEC
    bought from a store that sells used equipment from businesses. Most
    books on using Photoshop and Lightroom run from $35 to $50 now, so the
    monitor can be less of an investment than a couple of books. I'd
    rather work with a tutorial video than a book anyway.
     
    Tony Cooper, Feb 10, 2014
    #16
  17. Greg Berchin

    Savageduck Guest

    The special promotion ended Dec. 31, 2013. So unless you twist their
    arm and beg a, newcomer to the CC is looking at $19.99/month for the
    single program plan. Still well worthwhile.
     
    Savageduck, Feb 10, 2014
    #17
  18. Greg Berchin

    Savageduck Guest

    Agree. The NIK Collection will install on any copies of PS, LR, PSE,
    and/or Aperture you might have on your computer.
    NIK developed NX for Nikon. I am not sure of the current Nikon/NIK
    relationship after the Google buy out.

    For the photographer not involved with complicated compositing, the
    best choice by far is Lightroom 5 + the NIK Collection.
     
    Savageduck, Feb 10, 2014
    #18
  19. Greg Berchin

    Tony Cooper Guest

    When I go to "Adobe pricing", I get this page:
    http://www.adobe.com/products/creativecloud/buying-guide.htmlA pop-up offers the chance to "chat" with an Adobe rep. I asked
    "Sherry" if the $9.99 plan is still available, and if it includes LR5.
    Here is her reply copy/pasted:

    Sherry: Yes, we do have Photography program for $9.99 /month available
    which includes Photoshop CC, Lightroom 5 and Bridge.

    Sherry: You will get the future upgrades without additional fee.

    Where do you get your information?
     
    Tony Cooper, Feb 10, 2014
    #19
  20. Greg Berchin

    Guest Guest

    the software that comes with cameras generally is pretty bad.

    photoshop or lightroom is what you want.
     
    Guest, Feb 10, 2014
    #20
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