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Adobe Photoshop Elements 8

Software for image editing by Adobe.

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Worth the upgrade

  • Oct 22, 2009
  • by
When Adobe skipped version the Mac with version 7 of Elements, I wondered if there would be another upgrade. I'm glad that 8 came out, and at the same time as the Windows version. I often wait a version or two between upgrading but there's enough here to make the new purchase worth it to me.

I'm a fan of this program. It is all that most photographers need. Actually it does much more than most people who own it ever get to. If you are not a graphic designer, Elements is great. I've said this in prior reviews of Elements but it's a much better value than the CS version of Photoshop and up to some heavy duty image editing. You won't be able to edit photos more effectively with the full version of Photoshop. I've challenged pros to do editing with Photoshop CS that I can't do with Elements and so far haven't had to eat crow. That's not saying that Elements has *all* the tools that CS does. But Photoshop has always offered multiple ways to get things done and Elements has enough tools to do the job. The photo tools are there, though.

With this version there are some compelling new features. The first I'll mention is not really emphasized in the Adobe marketing info, but is a wonderful set of tools for photo editing. That's Adobe Camera Raw 5.5 (ACR). ACR isn't actually part of Elements but included with the program. It basically gives the same editing tools available in Adobe's Lightroom. I often use ACR to edit photos and get the majority of my work done there. This is a quality addition that most people don't know about. The upgrade in ACR from version 4 which comes with Elements 6 to version 5 adds some really useful photo editing tools.

Another add on to Elements is Adobe Bridge, which a lot of pros use to sort and catalog their images and video. It's also a quality program in its own right and the center of my photo workflow. It can be well integrated with Elements and is probably worth the cost of the whole bundle on its own. It also plays nice with iPhoto if you want to keep your pictures stored there.

Now to Photoshop Elements 8. Besides the upgrade to ACR, the updates that our Windows brethren got in version 7 have been included, as well as some excellent tools for making composite photos from multiple images. They're slick and very easy to use. There are some one step editing tools that are new to the Mac version and a totally cool way to squeeze a photo into a smaller space without squashing the import parts of the picture. The photomerge can save the day with group shots. Simply take several pictures. The use Elements to switch the picture of your brother in law with his eyes closed for one where he looks awake. It's seamless and easy.

Elements makes sharing your images easier, too with streamlined web albums and slideshow capibility. There's even a send to iPhone function.

Any down sides? Well, Adobe's installer seems to take forever and it helps to have a fairly new computer with a decent amount of RAM. Elements wants some power to perform quickly. And the program is complicated. Though it is much easier to learn than Photoshop CS4. The upside is that since it's so popular there are a lot of good books, web tutorials and classes to help.

This is a solid upgrade to an already excellent program. I recommend it strongly. It's has all the editing power that most photographers need, without the price tag of the full Photoshop. I'd even go so far as to say that if you even question if it's good enough it is. Photoshop CS4 is a professional program with extra professional features, few of which are actually photo realted.

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More Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 reviews
review by . April 09, 2010
posted in Shutterbugs
There are other fairly simple photo editing programs for Macs, and I've used a few of them. None are as versatile or powerful as Adobe Photoshop, and for most non-professional (and likely many professional) uses, Photoshop Elements is the ideal solution. I really like this program. It is relatively inexpensive and allows you to do practically anything you could possibly want to do with photos. Simple fixes are incredibly easy, and I've been amazed by how quickly basic flaws in a photo can be overcome. …
About the reviewer
michael mckee ()
I'm a photographer and writer living in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. I love - in no particular order: nature, good coffee, smooth jazz, mystery novels and speculative fiction. I hike, bike, play … more
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The newest version of the #1 selling consumer photo-editing software, Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 combines power and simplicity so you can easily go beyond the basics to tell great stories with your photos. Bring all your photos and video clips together in one convenient place where you can easily find, view, and manage them. Make your photos look extraordinary with editing options that let you whiten teeth and make skies bluer in one step; recompose photos to any size without distortion; quickly remove unwanted photo elements; combine multiple exposures into a single, perfectly lit shot; and more. And share your stories in unique photo books, scrapbook pages, web galleries, and more. Photoshop Elements works great with iPhoto!

A complete solution for photos.

Extraordinary photos. Amazing stories. Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 software for Mac offers a complete solution for photos:
  • Make your photos look extraordinary with easy-to-use editing options.
  • Share your stories in beautiful, personalized print creations and on web galleries.
  • Easily manage all your photos and video clips from one convenient place.
Top reasons to buy Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 for Mac

The toolbar says it all.

Quickly recompose your photos to any size. Click to enlarge.

Clean up and create composites with Photomerge. Click to enlarge.

Do it all with one powerful yet easy-to-use product
Use Photoshop Elements 8 for all your photo needs. Edit and enhance photos, make unique photo creations, ...

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