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Customer Review

on November 3, 2011
Platform: PC/Mac Disc|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I installed Photoshop Elements 10 on my 2.8 GHz i7 iMac, running System 10.6.8. Since many reviewers have thoroughly discussed the features of Photoshop Elements already, I am focusing this review on my experiences with using the application in conjunction with Apple iPhoto.

*My main camera is a 7-year old "prosumer" Nikon. Back when my camera was new, digital SLR's were primarily targeted to professionals and compact digital cameras had extremely limited functionality. Even though prosumer cameras aren't a significant presence in today's digital camera market, these cameras still produce better images than most current compacts due to their relatively large image sensors.
*I also have a collection of images that were scanned from 35mm film prints. Many of these pix have faded colors as well as digital artifacts from the scanning process.

My review perspective
*I use iPhoto as my main photo repository and for simple tasks such as cropping, straightening, and basic exposure adjustments. I want to use Photoshop Elements to do things that are beyond iPhoto's capabilities, including correcting lens distortion on wide-angle shots, cleaning up and enhancing scanned photos, and making extensive alterations to images (such as removing an unwanted bystander from an architectural shot or blurring a distracting background).

*Total installation time was about 25 minutes.
*Users of Little Snitch (a network security utility) need to approve connections to Adobe servers at several points during the installation process.
*Adobe Elements Organizer 10, a bundled image indexing and organizing program, can import your iPhoto library automatically but creates duplicates of your photos. If you're low on hard drive space, you probably won't want to use Elements Organizer.

User experience
*Photoshop Elements is a feature-laden and complex application. As a result, it has a steep learning curve, especially for Mac users. Much of the user interface is un-Mac like. It takes some time to become accustomed to how the program functions.
*Fortunately, the Help system is extensive and includes many step-by-step guides.
*Once you become comfortable using the program, it's a powerful tool for editing and manipulating photographs. In many ways, Photoshop has transformed photography. Now, instead of worrying about exposure, composition, and everything else when you're out shooting, all you need to do is get a halfway decent image of your subject. It's now possible to manipulate pretty much every aspect of a picture in post-processing as long as you have an in-focus image and sufficient pixels to work with.
*The program does everything I wanted it to do initially and, even better, has opened up many new ways to be creative with my photos. The extensive collection of effects, filters, advanced exposure controls, and editing tools has reignited my interest in photography.

Bottom line
*Photoshop Elements is an outstanding application for photographers who need more advanced tools than iPhoto provides. The only real downside for Mac users is that Photoshop Elements is time consuming to learn and requires regular use to maintain one's skills. Four stars.
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