I purchased Photoshop several years ago as a student and have purchased an upgrade as a non-student. It all worked just fine. Unless Adobe has changed their policy, the "student pricing" is simply a price break for the student and not a "lite" version of their software.
phil, Adobe Lightroom has two main components: it's editing software that can perform some basic, non-destructive edits (which means it's really saving not the edited image but a list of edits you made that are imposed upon your original image file each time you see it in Lightroom), and it's also database software which keeps track of your images: where they are on your hard drive to quickly help you find them later, any keywords or ratings you've attached to them, and so on. You could open Lightroom and say: "Show me all the photos I keyworded 'Angela' plus 'Fred' plus 'beach,' to help you track down one elusive image you're hunting for.
The database component of Lightroom is very much like Apple iTunes, if you're familiar with that. iTunes keeps track of where to find your music files on your hard drive. And just as with music files you have imported into iTunes, when it comes to image files that you have imported into Lightroom, it's very important to move them using the Lightroom application, rather than moving them with Windows Explorer or the Mac OS, whatever you have. Database software stores pointers to tell it where to find a file. If you move a file with your OS instead of within the database program, the database "pointer is broken" because the file isn't where it's supposed to be. You are given an opportunity to tell the database program where the file is, but if you can't do that, you can no longer play your music file in iTunes or see your photo file in Lightroom. These programs do have command sequences for Moving an image file or folder to a new catalog location on your hard drive, if you want, and that's always the best way to do it, if you haven't thought far enough ahead to plan out your system for storing image files before you import them.
In Lightroom, you can also edit a file in another photo-editing application such as Photoshop. Lightroom will look and see if you have Photoshop installed when Lightroom is installed. With applications it doesn't see, you just right-click the file icon in Lightroom and select Edit In > [browse to the application's .exe file location on your hard drive], and it opens a virtual copy of the image file in that application. When you're done editing there, you save and close the file, and you're returned to Lightroom where you can make additional changes to your virtual copy in Lightroom. I've taken images I first imported into Lightroom and done additional edits in Photoshop CS and with Paint Shop Pro, doing things Lightroom can't do, and it works quite well that way.
I have Aperture 3 and just developed a problem with a memory storage glitch which seems to have plagued other users also. Now I cannot download any more photos. I am looking for an alternative. Google "Aperture 3 memory leak" and read for yourself.
No, it's identical to the full retail version. The difference is in the licensing and who is eligible for a student & teacher edition. If you qualify, you will be required to provide proof to Adobe. Also, the student & teacher edition does not include a license key. Instead, you must contact Adobe, furnish proof of your student or teach status, and they will provide you with a key.
I really think that lightroom would be best. it looks like fantastic software that's centered around cool color, hue, contrast etc. affects, unlike photoshop that is mostly used to physically change the image itself, rather than alter it. Maybe you don't understand what i mean, but still, there are plenty of other reasons to get lightroom.
Because you have used film, i think that you would like lightroom, because there are many features focused on different film types. That's just one cool feature. i highly recommend watching the videos on amazon, which i found very informative and useful.
If you still can't decide, i would just base my decision off the price.
They are two very different products and they complement each other very nicely. Lightroom is great for workflow, editing lots of images in a short time. Photoshop works with lightroom to make the deeper edits to images that need that second step of editing. It's not that a ton can be done in LightRoom that PS can't do, it's more of a workflow and speed thing. LR is an amazing program that can handle 90% of the updates / image corrections you will want to make as a photographer.