Top positive review
84 people found this helpful
on March 12, 2011
My main interest is photography and after using Photoshop Elements for many years I decided to see what Photoshop CS5 would offer. This software package comes with Bridge which is a Browser that will help you keep track of photos by adding key words, and ratings, etc. It will let you open photos then send them to Photoshop. If you shoot RAW photos Adobe Camera Raw is also included. My first impression of these three elements is very positive. I was especially impressed with Adobe Camera Raw. This very capable program will allow you to do most of the adjustments that a photographer will need to do for non-destructive adjustment of exposure, color, sharpness, spot removal, cropping and more. Bridge is great for organizing photos for projects using other Adobe software along with Photoshop. For organizing hundreds or thousands of photos I think Photoshop Elements Organizer is a little better than Bridge. I think the Elements Organizer is a data base where as Bridge is a browser so PSE Organizer will keep track of and show thumbnails photos on external drives or DVDs even when they are off line. As for Photoshop itself it is an awesome piece of software with an amazing capability. You can find plenty of reviews on-line. There is quite a learning curve for this package so I think you need to get a good book on the subject since there is none included. There are quite a lot of on-line video tutors available however. I suggest you check out the Russell Brown Photoshop Tutor on-line. He has several excellent videos free to view also check out Adobe TV, this may be a good way to review the program before purchase.
One big problem I had is this: I wanted to use my existing Photoshop Elements 8 Organizer, to keep track of photos, with Photoshop but these two programs don't play together well. When a Raw file is passed on to Adobe Camera Raw version 6.3 things work ok but when done with ACR the photo will not be passed back to the Organizer whether or not the photo is opened in Photoshop CS5. Using a JPEG photo sent directly to Photoshop seems to work ok however so it looks like the problem may be with ACR. I didn't see a way to open a JPEG into ACR from the Organizer, you can with Bridge. I sent a notice about this to Adobe support and got a reply that since my PS Elements 8 is not supported I would have to purchase support even though the problem could be in Photoshop or ACR which are supported. A web search revealed that this is apparently a bug going back several versions. One blogger was told to buy Lightroom. So don't plan on using Photoshop with Elements Organizer for raw files and don't count on Adobe support for help. You could pay for the support but may still find this fruitless. Of course you may not encounter this problem (I'm using Win 7 Home premium 64 bit). Photoshop Elements will do both Asset Management plus photo editing. To do the same with Photoshop you will need to use Bridge or a better solution for Photographers is to use Lightroom, an asset management program. The Lightroom + Photoshop option costs 10 times more than Elements alone however.
Bottom line: If you are starting out in photo editing I suggest Photoshop Elements and see if that will meet your needs. If not then move on to Lightroom which has the same capabilities as Adobe Camera Raw plus asset management however you will still need an editor. You can use the Elements Editor with Lightroom and if you what even more capabilities then get Photoshop for your editor. Photoshop, Bridge, Adobe Camera Raw has a learning curve of many hours, which could be fun. Elements also will take a lot of time but a lot of the knowledge you learn for Elements is also useful with Photoshop but plan on getting a book for either. You can learn this software on-line but I found that I would tend to bounce around from topic to topic where as a book leads you through a more logical flow. For PS Elements I used Philip Andrews Advanced Photoshop Elements 7 for Digital Photographers also available from Amazon and found it excellent. If you are a Pro or want to do graphic design then Photoshop is the only way to go. I wish Adobe would offer a photographers version of Photoshop that included Lightroom rather than or in addition to Bridge.