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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos RAW, Post Processing & Printing 
Thread started 06 Feb 2010 (Saturday) 11:15
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Pros and Cons of CS4

 
Tom ­ W
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Feb 06, 2010 11:15 |  #1

OK, here's the deal. I have an opportunity to buy CS4 for $299 through Adobe. Which sounds like a good deal. But, I have a few questions about the product first.

I'm guessing that CS4 is the latest version of photoshop, but I have to ask whether it is due for an upgrade soon or if it is a relatively recent version. If it's old, I fear that it might not support near-term future cameras. How far back does Adobe offer ACR updates? I know that ACR 5.6 supposedly won't work on PSE-6 and older and I don't want to get caught up in the "have to upgrade for $300 every 2 years" mode of operation. That is expensive, and I'm not quite wealthy yet!

Is it cumbersome to use? I've been using PSE for several years. I've tried a few alternatives but keep coming back to the familiarity of Adobe.

What does the full version of PS do that PSE doesn't do?

I'm leaning towards getting it, since it is affordable at that price. But I don't want to dive into something that will give me little yet cost me a lot.


Tom
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Tom ­ W
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Feb 06, 2010 11:32 |  #2

Another question - what about batch processing of CR2 files. Does PSCS4 accomodate that, or would I still need to use something like Lightroom to handle that?


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HankScorpio
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Feb 06, 2010 12:13 |  #3

OK,

CS5 is due out sometime within the next 2-6 months but at the price you've been offered plus the upgrade price to CS5, that would still be cheaper than a stand alone version of CS5.

Adobe only upgrade ACR for the current version of Photoshop.

It's more complex than PSE but if you've used PSE then the transition will be simple especially for the tools you already use.

I don't use PSE so I don't know what it lacks but I can imagine that if you only find one thing that PSE didn't have, you'd be very happy.

Batching is typically done with Bridge which comes with PS and it's very good at it.


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davidcrebelxt
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Feb 06, 2010 12:24 |  #4

Hank has a good point, you'd have to see what PSE lacks that you particularly want.

(30-day trial of CS4 is available... may as well do that now as you'd be able to do another 30-day with CS5 when that is released.)

Is CS upgrade $299 or $199 for existing CS users?
In any case, if the enhanced RAW processing of CS over Elements is a draw, you might consider LR. Its still $299 (unless you qualify for student discount, then $99.) But upgrade last time around was cheaper than CS at $99. For the improvements they've been doing lately that seems reasonable to me. With LR you could use that for your RAW processing, and continue using Photoshop Elements for your heavy cloning, adding text, layers, etc.

$299 is a really good deal, but with CS5 right around the corner you'll probably be left wanting for THAT, especially if you shoot RAW. Based on the LR3 beta, ACR's underpinnings have been reworked for better noise reduction and better demosiacing, along with other enhancements.


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basroil
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Feb 06, 2010 12:31 |  #5

Tom W wrote in post #9553918 (external link)
Another question - what about batch processing of CR2 files. Does PSCS4 accomodate that, or would I still need to use something like Lightroom to handle that?

Bridge (comes with PS) can do it, just not as user friendly as LR2.

Tom W wrote in post #9553833 (external link)
What does the full version of PS do that PSE doesn't do?

I'm leaning towards getting it, since it is affordable at that price. But I don't want to dive into something that will give me little yet cost me a lot.

How about:
All sorts of useful filters you can't get anywhere else?
Layers! Masks! Blending!
More streamline operation.
OGL accelerated user interface.
Smart objects and smart scaling.
Plugins and scripts like you can't believe it.
Normally costs $600, you're getting it for half that.


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Tom ­ W
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Feb 06, 2010 13:18 |  #6

basroil wrote in post #9554240 (external link)
Normally costs $600, you're getting it for half that.

Thanks, all.

Basroil, you ought to be in sales. :)


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davidcrebelxt
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Feb 06, 2010 14:18 |  #7

Tom W wrote:
What does the full version of PS do that PSE doesn't do?

basroil wrote in post #9554240 (external link)
Bridge (comes with PS) can do it, just not as user friendly as LR2.

How about:
All sorts of useful filters you can't get anywhere else?
Layers! Masks! Blending!
More streamline operation.
OGL accelerated user interface.
Smart objects and smart scaling.
Plugins and scripts like you can't believe it.
Normally costs $600, you're getting it for half that.

Just so we don't start spreading rumors about what PSE can't do:

+PSE can do layers (don't know where the rumors come from on this but I hear it repeated all over the place... layers have been there since I started using it back in version 3.)
+PSE can do masks (with a plugin, or so I hear... I use Gimp when I want to use masks.)
+PSE can do blending (talking about lighten, darken, multiply, overlay, hard light, soft light, etc?)... if so, yup... PSE can do it, right in there with layers.
+Not ALL plugins work, but MANY do. A lot of plugin makers like NIK's are either compatible with PSE, or they make versions FOR PSE. Just verify before you buy or download.
+As far as filters... not sure all the ones that come with CS, but PSE has a pretty extensive list of its own in the 'Filters' toolbar.

I'm not knocking CS... the scripts and automation could be really useful, and some more advanced tools also... but just make sure those features are worth the cost to YOU (and upgrade costs, as OP mentioned. That's why I still suggest getting the 30-day trials and start testing it out while you can before the upgrade offer expires.)

Screenshot below from PSE6


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dave92270
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Feb 07, 2010 02:45 as a reply to  @ davidcrebelxt's post |  #8

I got the same $299 offer from Adobe, and I grabbed CS4 last week. I've been using PSE 2 for long time, then upgraded to 7. I've been facing similar decision - what can PS do what PSE can't?

For me , at least for now, it is automation through the actions - PSE doesn't have this feature. This alone is worth to me $299 because it saves great deal of time. I'm sure you'll find something what PSE lacks. I think it's a great offer for us who don't qualify for Academic discounts....


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Tom ­ W
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Feb 07, 2010 10:52 |  #9

Thanks Dave and David (or Dave^2). I am seriously considering the move. Time savings is becoming important since I regularly seem to be firing off 400-800 images at an event and it is getting time-consuming to deal with all of them.


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Guapo
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Feb 08, 2010 01:09 |  #10

Tom W wrote in post #9559692 (external link)
Time savings is becoming important since I regularly seem to be firing off 400-800 images at an event and it is getting time-consuming to deal with all of them.

Unless you're pixel level editing every one of them, it sounds like Lightroom would be ideal for this task. Have you considered downloading the free 30 trial?


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basroil
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Feb 08, 2010 02:18 |  #11

+1 for LR, especially LR2/LR3 with the added local edits.


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Player9
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Feb 08, 2010 09:01 |  #12

Tom W wrote in post #9553833 (external link)
What does the full version of PS do that PSE doesn't do?

A lot. But you should ask yourself this first: what do you do or want to do with your images that you cannot do with PSE (including free add-on features)? Don't be oversold.


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Tom ­ W
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Feb 09, 2010 14:59 |  #13

Thanks to all the responses. I've downloaded the 30 day trial of CS4 to try it out. I haven't had much time with it yet, so I won't comment.


Tom
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Feb 09, 2010 18:07 as a reply to  @ Tom W's post |  #14

You may find this useful.

Adobe TV - Learn Photoshop CS4 (external link)


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Tom ­ W
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Feb 09, 2010 19:40 |  #15

thanks, Gene. I'll give it a look.


Tom
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