Old 01-24-2009, 09:58 PM   #1
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Hi all, I want your opinion on something. Do you think I should get Photoshop CS4 or Elements 7?

My current setup is as follows:

Canon 40D/D.Rebel XT
70-200mm f/4L IS
17-40mm f/4L
Manfrotto Tripod
Two 4GB CF cards
1TB Seagate FreeAgent Xtreme External Hard Drive
Adobe Photoshop CS2
And a crappy computer.

If I get PSE 7, I'll have some cash left over for extras. What does my setup look like it's missing?
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Old 01-24-2009, 10:10 PM   #2
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I'm sure people are gonna kill me for this but CS4 is pretty much the same as CS3, which is pretty much the same as CS2. Basically, all they do is change the logo around, rearrange the menu and charge you an arm and a leg (otherwise known as a "Madden NFLing")

You have CS2, then you have a pretty good idea what CS4 is. The question to ask yourself is how many of the CS2 features do you use? If you find that you are prone to heavy post processing, go CS4. If you just do ticky tacky adjustments go elements.
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Old 01-24-2009, 10:18 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frederick
What does my setup look like it's missing?
Depending on your non-train photography, the first thing that comes to mind is a flash.

Keep in mind that, if you only occasionally or rarely use features in CS2 not in PSE, then you can get PSE7, and on those occasions save a file as TIFF and then bring it into CS2 for additional work.

Also, how crappy is the computer? Will it even run CS4 well? Do you have a DVD burner for additional backups?
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Old 01-24-2009, 10:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdirelan87
I'm sure people are gonna kill me for this but CS4 is pretty much the same as CS3, which is pretty much the same as CS2. Basically, all they do is change the logo around, rearrange the menu and charge you an arm and a leg (otherwise known as a "Madden NFLing")

You have CS2, then you have a pretty good idea what CS4 is. The question to ask yourself is how many of the CS2 features do you use? If you find that you are prone to heavy post processing, go CS4. If you just do ticky tacky adjustments go elements.
It looks like I'll go with PSE7, and my wallet will thank me. I'm pretty much being forced to upgrade because CS2 has an outdated version of Camera Raw that won't work with my 40D.
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Old 01-24-2009, 10:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRMDC
Depending on your non-train photography, the first thing that comes to mind is a flash.

Keep in mind that, if you only occasionally or rarely use features in CS2 not in PSE, then you can get PSE7, and on those occasions save a file as TIFF and then bring it into CS2 for additional work.

Also, how crappy is the computer? Will it even run CS4 well? Do you have a DVD burner for additional backups?
Janusz, my desktop has 512MB of RAM and very little free space. It has a CD burner, but not a DVD burner.

I'm not a terribly heavy editor, so PSE 7 will probably suit me just fine.
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Old 01-24-2009, 11:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frederick
Janusz, my desktop has 512MB of RAM and very little free space. It has a CD burner, but not a DVD burner.

I'm not a terribly heavy editor, so PSE 7 will probably suit me just fine.
I use PSE3; you'll be fine.

I do recommend that you burn copies of your shots, even given that you have an external drive. Besides, if you have very little free space, then perhaps the external is your only storage. In which case the CDs are needed all the more.
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Old 01-24-2009, 11:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frederick
Janusz, my desktop has 512MB of RAM and very little free space. It has a CD burner, but not a DVD burner.

I'm not a terribly heavy editor, so PSE 7 will probably suit me just fine.
Actually, I suspect you will find even PSE7 to be very slow on a machine with 512MB RAM, that isn't much at all, regardless of the OS. Sounds like your next expenditure needs to be a new computer before anything else! Depending on how old it is, you may find a RAM upgrade to be an excellent use of money - it may be really cheap to get up to 1.5GB. I found it really valuable to go from 512 MB to 1.25 GB on a Dell laptop running WinXP, and the module only cost me $40 or so.
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Old 01-25-2009, 03:44 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRMDC
Actually, I suspect you will find even PSE7 to be very slow on a machine with 512MB RAM, that isn't much at all, regardless of the OS. Sounds like your next expenditure needs to be a new computer before anything else! Depending on how old it is, you may find a RAM upgrade to be an excellent use of money - it may be really cheap to get up to 1.5GB. I found it really valuable to go from 512 MB to 1.25 GB on a Dell laptop running WinXP, and the module only cost me $40 or so.
J brings up a good point. 512MB, that computer must be like 5 or 6 years old. If thats the case I congratulate you because it seems like these things are built to last three years. But I digress, anyway if you only have 512MB I don't even know if CS4 is option, infact I have no idea how you are even running CS2! I have 2.2 GB SRAM and CS2 locks up for me more than I would like.
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Old 01-25-2009, 03:49 AM   #9
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If it were me (and it might be soon), but I'd get PSE7 simply for the Adobe Camera RAW to process CR2 shots from my 40D, save as a TIF, and then open in CS2. I sharpen using the LAB color space, something PSE doesn't have.

Plus, I'm pretty comfortable with my CS2 workflow. I figure $90 for PSE7 is better than several hundred on CS4 when all I really want is the latest ACR...
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Old 01-25-2009, 05:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdirelan87
J brings up a good point. 512MB, that computer must be like 5 or 6 years old. If thats the case I congratulate you because it seems like these things are built to last three years.
I still use a Mac G3 for music production (on a regular basis) that was built in 1998.

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Old 01-26-2009, 07:04 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdirelan87
I have 2.2 GB SRAM and CS2 locks up for me more than I would like.
There is a friend that shoots weddings, he may have 500 RAW's out of his 50D from one shoot, and is running light room. He has parts for a new PC and its going to have 12GB of ram, That just about blows my mind, not hard to do BTW
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Old 01-26-2009, 02:10 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
If it were me (and it might be soon), but I'd get PSE7 simply for the Adobe Camera RAW to process CR2 shots from my 40D, save as a TIF, and then open in CS2. I sharpen using the LAB color space, something PSE doesn't have.

Plus, I'm pretty comfortable with my CS2 workflow. I figure $90 for PSE7 is better than several hundred on CS4 when all I really want is the latest ACR...
Have you tried using the included Canon software for converting RAW's to TIFF's? It does a pretty good job, as far as I can tell. Certainly worth a shot if you haven't already tried.
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Old 01-26-2009, 09:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ottergoose
Have you tried using the included Canon software for converting RAW's to TIFF's? It does a pretty good job, as far as I can tell. Certainly worth a shot if you haven't already tried.
Yes, and I don't care for DPP's interface. I feel like I have far more control with ACR and I have a decent work flow down pat with that, but other's see things differently...
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Old 01-26-2009, 11:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
Yes, and I don't care for DPP's interface. I feel like I have far more control with ACR and I have a decent work flow down pat with that, but other's see things differently...
Fair enough. DPP's interface certainly could benifit from some "polish."
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Old 01-28-2009, 03:27 AM   #15
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I have a Canon D 30 with the 70-200 2.8 IS lens. My train shots are not coming out as sharp as I want. Since you are also using a Canon camera I want to ask you what mode do you usually shoot trains in? What ASA do you use? I was shooting at 100 ASA on sunny days. I am shooting in RAW. Do you use any of the software that came with the camera? What percent of your photos need post production? All I do is sharpen in Photoshop, but I am not happy with the results. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 01-28-2009, 12:44 PM   #16
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The Canon D30 (Not to be confused with the 30D) is a relatively outdated camera, and has been superseded about 6 times. It looks like it was introduced around Fall 2001. Although I'm not suggesting that you jump onto the bandwagon of getting the latest and greatest cameras, you may want to get a newer camera. The 70-200 f/2.8 IS is a great lens, but the D30 probably can't take advantage of its potential with an old image processor and only 3 megapixel images.

I edit my photos in Photoshop - mainly basic edits like sharpness, exposure, brightness/contrast, etc. Also, I normally use 100 ISO.

If you are shooting in RAW, then post production is almost required. RAW files are like digital negatives.
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Old 01-28-2009, 04:06 PM   #17
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Sagle: Suggest you upgrade to a 20D or 30D, stat. Also, I never use the included software.
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Old 01-29-2009, 02:30 AM   #18
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I really like CS2 and would keep it as long as you can find a platform to run it on. You may be lucky to have a PC version which probably runs on XP.

The real value of CS2 is if you are scanning old slides, and need a LOT of color adjustment. CS2 is really overkill for digital images from a good camera.

I use PSE 6 on my Mac laptop, and I think PSE 6 for Mac and PSE 7 for PC are about equivalent. In my experience PSE 6/7 are more than enough to do anything you are likely to want to do with a digital original.

Given Adobe's track record of short lived support for expensive software, I would tend to steer clear of a new version of anything expensive from them. I have the same problem with my Epson printer. It will be a cold day in hell before I buy another Epson printer.

Looking at your equipment, with regard to archiving images you might want to look into some kind of twin hard drives with soft wear that creates duplicate backups, so that is one hard drive goes out you are not up the creek. Some operating systems have the software, and some hard drive configurations offer it. I have never had a hard drive fail (knock on wood), but I hear horror stories all the time, so it does happen.
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Old 01-30-2009, 12:35 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John West
I really like CS2 and would keep it as long as you can find a platform to run it on. You may be lucky to have a PC version which probably runs on XP.

The real value of CS2 is if you are scanning old slides, and need a LOT of color adjustment. CS2 is really overkill for digital images from a good camera.

I use PSE 6 on my Mac laptop, and I think PSE 6 for Mac and PSE 7 for PC are about equivalent. In my experience PSE 6/7 are more than enough to do anything you are likely to want to do with a digital original.

Given Adobe's track record of short lived support for expensive software, I would tend to steer clear of a new version of anything expensive from them. I have the same problem with my Epson printer. It will be a cold day in hell before I buy another Epson printer.

Looking at your equipment, with regard to archiving images you might want to look into some kind of twin hard drives with soft wear that creates duplicate backups, so that is one hard drive goes out you are not up the creek. Some operating systems have the software, and some hard drive configurations offer it. I have never had a hard drive fail (knock on wood), but I hear horror stories all the time, so it does happen.
I've got most my images on both my computer and a Seagate 1TB hard drive. Once I get a DVD burner and/or a new computer, I will start burning backup DVD's. After that, each photo will be archived in 2-3 places.

I might also get PSE7 on my old computer, then sync the files with the new computer through the external hard drive. Where I will get the new computer from is still up in the air. It would be inconvenient to switch to MAC at this point.
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Old 01-30-2009, 01:12 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frederick
I've got most my images on both my computer and a Seagate 1TB hard drive. Once I get a DVD burner and/or a new computer, I will start burning backup DVD's. After that, each photo will be archived in 2-3 places.

I might also get PSE7 on my old computer, then sync the files with the new computer through the external hard drive. Where I will get the new computer from is still up in the air. It would be inconvenient to switch to MAC at this point.
You're basically doing what I'm doing now. But at some point the HD on the puter may not be big enough, so that is when dual external hard drives with some kind of RAID system might be worth considering.

In my experience CD's and DVD's are a pain. I started backing up to CD's and found them to be a pain to burn, store, use, update and reorganize. My CD's are slowly being transferred to an second external HD.
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Old 01-31-2009, 11:47 PM   #21
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A different Route: Get Lightroom and use in conjunction with CS2. Would this be a good combination? What can Photoshop do that Lightroom can't, and vice versa?
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Old 02-01-2009, 12:04 AM   #22
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Quote:
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A different Route: Get Lightroom and use in conjunction with CS2. Would this be a good combination? What can Photoshop do that Lightroom can't, and vice versa?
Lightroom costs over three times as much as PSE7.

I have no experience with Lightroom, but a friend who is more into digital graphics told me he thinks Lightroom is more or less similar to Apple's Aperature, which he uses. His comment was that Aperature is all he needs for digital originals, but that he feels Photoshop handles big scanned film files better.
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Old 02-01-2009, 12:13 AM   #23
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I qualify for educational discounts. It's $99 that way.
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Old 02-03-2009, 02:19 AM   #24
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Quote:
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I qualify for educational discounts. It's $99 that way.
That's how I was able to afford CS2 (the whole thing, not just PS CS2). The disadvantage I later found associated with the educational version is I did not qualifty for any discounted pricing on the subsequent versions (when I no longer could claim to be a student). Which has left me with a version that will not run on the current OS offered by Mac. Which so far is not a big deal because I like CS2 and my old Mac runs just fine. An interesting aspect of the educational version discounting is the discount alone on any of the major Adobe products pays for the registation fee at my local community college. I guess the moral is to sign up for a class, any class, and then go stock up on whatever software you need.
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Old 02-03-2009, 02:58 AM   #25
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Well, after trialling various pieces of Adobe Software, I think I'll go with Elements 7. It's got pretty much everything I could ask for, except for curves adjustments. But I hear that there are plug-ins to fix that.
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