Buy Elements 12?

Started 6 months ago | Discussions
dcmackintosh
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Buy Elements 12?
6 months ago

I use LR5 for all my PP (mostly sports/event photos, some portraits and landscapes) and the main things it's missing are layers and panoramic stiching.  I have used CS5 a little for making watermarks, content-awared fill (although now LR5's is so good that I don't need to), and dabbling in HDR, but I don't intend to subscribe to CC.

I'm tempted by the $86 Elements 12 deal at Newegg, primarily for panoramas and layers.  Are there other features beyond LR5 that you've found useful?  Are the selection tools comparable to those in CS?  What is the LR/Elements combo still missing for photographers?

Conchita
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Re: Buy Elements 12?
In reply to dcmackintosh, 6 months ago

It's still plenty expensive. If you aren't in a hurry, wait for the holidays and you can usually get it from places like amazon for around 60 bucks. In any case, you should give the trial a full thirty days before deciding one way or the other. There's a fair amount in PSE, but much of it isn't that obvious on first glance. However, if you need a totally 16 bit workflow or LAB color or CMYK, PSE isn't going to cut it for you. Otherwise, try it and see.

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MikeFromMesa
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Re: Buy Elements 12?
In reply to dcmackintosh, 6 months ago

dcmackintosh wrote:

I use LR5 for all my PP (mostly sports/event photos, some portraits and landscapes) and the main things it's missing are layers and panoramic stiching. I have used CS5 a little for making watermarks, content-awared fill (although now LR5's is so good that I don't need to), and dabbling in HDR, but I don't intend to subscribe to CC.

I'm tempted by the $86 Elements 12 deal at Newegg, primarily for panoramas and layers. Are there other features beyond LR5 that you've found useful? Are the selection tools comparable to those in CS? What is the LR/Elements combo still missing for photographers?

I personally think that Elements is a good alternative for a lot of people but I have not noticed much in 12 that is not also in 11. If price is a concern you might want to buy 11 instead as I would expect the price to drop quite a bit soon.

For me there is a bit much missing from Elements - content-aware fill (it has content-aware move but I don't think it has the fill operation which I use much more), Channels, and the CS sharpen functionality. In addition stuff seems to be scattered all over the place (for example horizontal straightening is separated from cropping. Why? If I straighten an image I need to crop it. Why should I have to hunt for cropping when doing straightening?). Still it is a good tool and I considered buying it instead of upgrading to CS6.

If you are on Windows you could also consider PSP X5 or X6 for layers and masking. X5 is very inexpensive at the moment and PSP is a decent tool.

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Conchita
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Re: Buy Elements 12?
In reply to MikeFromMesa, 6 months ago

>you might want to buy 11 instead as I would expect the price to drop quite a bit soon.

That never happens. The price actually goes up, on the assumption that the only people who would buy an outdated version buy it from necessity so they know they've got you. Adobe doesn't discount it; they just stop selling.

There is some content aware fill in PSE 12, although not as much as in PS and not as conveniently. There is fill edges in both pano and the straighten tool, and the content aware move tool can be used as a kind of poor man's patch tool if you use the Extend option and move on a separate layer. Not as good as the real thing but useful.

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Ron AKA
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Re: Buy Elements 12?
In reply to MikeFromMesa, 6 months ago

MikeFromMesa wrote:

I personally think that Elements is a good alternative for a lot of people but I have not noticed much in 12 that is not also in 11. If price is a concern you might want to buy 11 instead as I would expect the price to drop quite a bit soon.

If you have Elements 11, it may be hard to justify an upgrade. However, if you don't, Elements 12 is the way to go. See this link for a feature comparison. I would think content aware move with fill, and content aware straighten with content aware fill would be of interest to the OP. Neither are in 11.

For me there is a bit much missing from Elements - content-aware fill (it has content-aware move but I don't think it has the fill operation which I use much more),

As noted above 12 has fill on straighten, and move.

Channels,

Is Channels really that useful. An expert in the field thinks not.

and the CS sharpen functionality. In addition stuff seems to be scattered all over the place (for example horizontal straightening is separated from cropping. Why?If I straighten an image I need to crop it. Why should I have to hunt for cropping when doing straightening?).

Assuming Lightroom is like ACR, it would be the better place to straighten. When you straighten it crops automatically. If you want to create fill then you obviously have to go to Editor. If you add PSE 12 to LR5 you will have 3 different places to straighten, depending on how you want to do it. LR5 and ACR are likely close to a duplication though.

Elements 11 and I presume 12 have 6 variations of Photomerge, including Panorama.

My thoughts are that it is easier to justify PSE12 when you have LR5, than it is to justify LR5 when you have PSE12. PSE12 has an Organizer, ACR for RAW development, and a pixel Editor. It is a more complete package out of the box.

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MikeFromMesa
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Re: Buy Elements 12?
In reply to Ron AKA, 6 months ago

Ron AKA wrote:

MikeFromMesa wrote:

I personally think that Elements is a good alternative for a lot of people but I have not noticed much in 12 that is not also in 11. If price is a concern you might want to buy 11 instead as I would expect the price to drop quite a bit soon.

If you have Elements 11, it may be hard to justify an upgrade. However, if you don't, Elements 12 is the way to go. See this link for a feature comparison. I would think content aware move with fill, and content aware straighten with content aware fill would be of interest to the OP. Neither are in 11.

For me there is a bit much missing from Elements - content-aware fill (it has content-aware move but I don't think it has the fill operation which I use much more),

As noted above 12 has fill on straighten, and move.

If I wish to cut something out from a photo but don't need to do it where I am cropping and don't need to do a move, then how can I use either the straighten or move to fix my content aware issue? That is the question I asked myself when I was trying to do some content aware fill with a photo. There was a bottle in the middle of the photo that I wanted to remove. The image was already straight and, even if it was not, straightening it was not going to give me content aware where I needed it. And I did not need to move anything. The only thing I could do was go to CS.

It seems to me that adding content aware only to move and straighten is silly.

Channels,

Is Channels really that useful. An expert in the field thinks not.

Fine for him or her. But he or she does not have my workflow. I use it for Luminous masks and have been pleased with the results.

There is much that some people do and others do not. I was trying to point out what might be an issue for someone, but not necessarily for everyone.

and the CS sharpen functionality. In addition stuff seems to be scattered all over the place (for example horizontal straightening is separated from cropping. Why?If I straighten an image I need to crop it. Why should I have to hunt for cropping when doing straightening?).

Assuming Lightroom is like ACR, it would be the better place to straighten. When you straighten it crops automatically. If you want to create fill then you obviously have to go to Editor.

Which you can't do in Elements.

If you add PSE 12 to LR5 you will have 3 different places to straighten, depending on how you want to do it. LR5 and ACR are likely close to a duplication though.

Elements 11 and I presume 12 have 6 variations of Photomerge, including Panorama.

Elements has PhotoMerge but if you need to do any ghost removal you are out of luck. Similarly if you need to align the images you are out of luck. This is not real HDR functionality and that is what I was trying to say.

My thoughts are that it is easier to justify PSE12 when you have LR5, than it is to justify LR5 when you have PSE12. PSE12 has an Organizer, ACR for RAW development, and a pixel Editor. It is a more complete package out of the box.

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dcmackintosh
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Re: Buy Elements 12?
In reply to MikeFromMesa, 6 months ago

Thanks for the replies.  FWIW, I am using a Mac and I would continue to use LR5 as my primary workflow tool.  I would probably only go to PSE for panoramas, where I've seen that the edge fill can be useful (when I've tried it in CS5), and because I'd like to start working with layering bracketted exposures.  It does sound like it would work well for that.

Here's a more spedific question.  Say I've shot an irregular object (product) of some type on a nasty background (ugly floor) and want to use selection tools to place it on a whte background, can I do that with PSE?  Are the tools likely to be as effective as with CS5 (or later)?  I probably won't go as far as painting new shadows and such, although I might do a bit of that with a mask in LR5.

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MikeFromMesa
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Re: Buy Elements 12?
In reply to dcmackintosh, 6 months ago

dcmackintosh wrote:

Thanks for the replies. FWIW, I am using a Mac and I would continue to use LR5 as my primary workflow tool. I would probably only go to PSE for panoramas, where I've seen that the edge fill can be useful (when I've tried it in CS5), and because I'd like to start working with layering bracketted exposures. It does sound like it would work well for that.

Yes, It should do all of that.

Here's a more spedific question. Say I've shot an irregular object (product) of some type on a nasty background (ugly floor) and want to use selection tools to place it on a whte background, can I do that with PSE? Are the tools likely to be as effective as with CS5 (or later)? I probably won't go as far as painting new shadows and such, although I might do a bit of that with a mask in LR5.

Sure. The selection tools in Elements are only a subset of those in CS but, what there is, seems to work the same way and to be as effective. In Elements you have the Magic Wand and the Selection Brush and I have not seen any difference in how those work between Elements and CS. You do not have the Color Selection or Channels functionality (which I use for Luminous Masks) but you may not need that.

You have a lot of the same mask and layers functionality as with CS so creating a mask, cutting an object out of an image and placing it on a different background should not be a problem. You will, of course, only be working iwth 8 bits but unless you are doing some extensive layers work (with a lot of layers) this will not be an issue. When you reduce the image to a jpg it is at 8 bits anyway.

I think that Elements is a perfectly good tool for about 95% of what most people do with CS anyway. I would certainly buy it rather than CS6 if I did not already have CS5 (which I got on an Adobe 1/2 price sale). You should be fine.

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Conchita
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Re: Buy Elements 12?
In reply to MikeFromMesa, 6 months ago

Also, elements+ (about ten bucks) gives you a lot of PS features not enabled in the PSE interface, like channels, creating smart objects from layers, etc:

http://simplephotoshop.com/elementsplus/index.htm

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Ron AKA
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Re: Buy Elements 12?
In reply to MikeFromMesa, 6 months ago

Mike, I think you should download a trial of Elements and you would better understand how it works. You do know it includes ACR, right?

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MikeFromMesa
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Re: Buy Elements 12?
In reply to Ron AKA, 6 months ago

Ron AKA wrote:

Mike, I think you should download a trial of Elements and you would better understand how it works. You do know it includes ACR, right?

I guess I don't understand your response.

I mentioned that some functionality is not included in Elements. 16 bit layers, content-sensitive fill, channels, smart sharpening and some other stuff. That is why it is so much less expensive than Photoshop. I said that it is still a very good editor and a good replacement for Photoshop for a lot of people and, I suppose, that is why it sells so many copies.

I know how Elements works. I have had several versions and currently have the version 12 trial on my system. I know it includes ACR (although a scaled-down version of ACR) and I know how Elements works. But I don't see why you would think that I don't know how Elements works based on my comments about the missing functionality.

Perhaps I am missing something here?

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Conchita
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Re: Buy Elements 12?
In reply to MikeFromMesa, 6 months ago

Smart sharpening has been in PSE for years. It's called Adjust Sharpness in PSE.

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Ron AKA
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Re: Buy Elements 12?
In reply to MikeFromMesa, 6 months ago

My comment: "Assuming Lightroom is like ACR, it would be the better place to straighten. When you straighten it crops automatically. If you want to create fill then you obviously have to go to Editor."

Your Response: "Which you can't do in Elements."

I would suggest Elements 12 can do it.

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Peter Del
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Re: Buy Elements 12?
In reply to dcmackintosh, 6 months ago

Does PSE 12 have curves and will it open RAW ORF files from my Olympus OMD EM5?

Thanks,

Peter Del

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MikeFromMesa
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Re: Buy Elements 12?
In reply to Ron AKA, 6 months ago

Ron AKA wrote:

My comment: "Assuming Lightroom is like ACR, it would be the better place to straighten. When you straighten it crops automatically. If you want to create fill then you obviously have to go to Editor."

Your Response: "Which you can't do in Elements."

I would suggest Elements 12 can do it.

Perhaps there is a disconnect in what I meant with my reply and what you seem to have assumed I meant.

My response "Which you can't do in Elements" was intended as a reply to your comment "If you want to create fill then you obviously have to go to Editor".

Content-aware fill does not exist in Elements as far as I know so, when you say "you obviously have to go to Editor" I was pointing out that the editor you have to go to is not Elements, but Photoshop.

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MikeFromMesa
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Re: Buy Elements 12?
In reply to Peter Del, 6 months ago

Peter Del wrote:

Does PSE 12 have curves and will it open RAW ORF files from my Olympus OMD EM5?

Elements has a function called Adjust Color Curves which appears to have curves functionality although it does adjustments through the use of sliders for Highlights, Brightness, Shadows, etc. I could not find a normal curves adjustment section that allowed you to directly adjust the curve itself.

As for ORF files I don't know. You might want to look at the Adobe web site here:

http://helpx.adobe.com/creative-suite/kb/camera-raw-plug-supported-cameras.html

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Ron AKA
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Re: Buy Elements 12?
In reply to MikeFromMesa, 6 months ago

MikeFromMesa wrote:

My response "Which you can't do in Elements" was intended as a reply to your comment "If you want to create fill then you obviously have to go to Editor".

Content-aware fill does not exist in Elements as far as I know so, when you say "you obviously have to go to Editor" I was pointing out that the editor you have to go to is not Elements, but Photoshop.

A quote from the link I posted earlier on the features of Elements 12:

"Easily move objects and have the background automatically filled in with Content-Aware Move"

and

"Easily straighten a photo and fill in any missing background with Content-Aware Fill for the Straighten tool"

Elements is a three part tool; Organizer, Editor, ACR. You can straighten and crop in one step in ACR. You can straighten and fill in one step in Editor.

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Ron AKA
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Re: Buy Elements 12?
In reply to Peter Del, 6 months ago

Peter Del wrote:

Does PSE 12 have curves?

The short answer is yes. The longer answer is that PS uses 14 points while Elements only uses 3. The even longer answer is in this video.

Using Curves in Photoshop Elements

And the alternate answer is that I would not use the Editor to adjust colour. It is better done in the Adobe Camera Raw section of Elements, even if it is a JPEG. Or if you have Lightroom better to do it in Lightroom.

On camera support if any Adobe product supports it, so does Elements. They are all really using Adobe Camera Raw. There may be timing differences in when they become available, but that is about it. I believe Elements 12 shipped with ACR 8.2 and will likely include 8.3, 8.4 as they become available to cover new cameras. And beyond about that, you will need Elements 13 which will ship about a year from now. That is how Adobe makes money!

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MikeFromMesa
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Re: Buy Elements 12?
In reply to Ron AKA, 6 months ago

Ron AKA wrote:

MikeFromMesa wrote:

My response "Which you can't do in Elements" was intended as a reply to your comment "If you want to create fill then you obviously have to go to Editor".

Content-aware fill does not exist in Elements as far as I know so, when you say "you obviously have to go to Editor" I was pointing out that the editor you have to go to is not Elements, but Photoshop.

A quote from the link I posted earlier on the features of Elements 12:

"Easily move objects and have the background automatically filled in with Content-Aware Move"

Move objects. I said that the software has content-aware move. I said it did not have content-aware fill. That is true unless you are telling me that you can move a selected item completely off the image and have Elements still fill the area. I am not aware of that functionality in Elements.

and

"Easily straighten a photo and fill in any missing background with Content-Aware Fill for the Straighten tool"

Yes. This fills the outside of the cropped area. I am talking about cutting something out of the middle of an image and having that cut area filled in a content-aware manner. That is neither move for cropping.

Elements is a three part tool; Organizer, Editor, ACR. You can straighten and crop in one step in ACR. You can straighten and fill in one step in Editor.

Again, I am not talking about filling in the edges of an image. I am talking about filling objects in the middle of the image which are being cut out of the image.

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Conchita
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Re: Buy Elements 12?
In reply to Peter Del, 6 months ago

Elements does have a rather wimpy curves tool, but you can add better curves from many sources. For windows, the free EasyFilter Smart Curve is excellent, but there are also a number of add-on toolsets, both free and costing a couple of bucks, that give you a regular curves adjustment layer.

NB, though, that the adjustment layer can only operate on the combined RGB channel (unlike smart curve), without a lot of jiggery pokery.

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