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Review #3
updated September 23

Photoshop Elements

System Requirements

This software is available for the Macintosh OS 8.6 Power Macintosh. It will work on a Power Macintosh running with a 604 at 150 MHz. But it is recommended to run on a faster G3 or G4 running any MHz speed. Recommended with a minimum of 64 MB RAM but 128 MB is much better and 125 MB of free hard drive space and a CD- ROM drive

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A Pentium II or higher is recommended with a minimum of 64 MB RAM. A 130 MB disk of space but more is better. A VGA, and a CD- ROM drive. OS Windows 98/Me/2000 or NT 4 with SP 4, 5 or 6a.

Software Review

Photoshop Elements is a watered down image- editing package of its predecessor's, Photoshop LE. (for "Limited Edition") The best program to date would of coarse be Photoshop 6.0's but would be much more pricey. Photoshop Elements has an interface tweaked for newbies, and fits more comfortably with most pocket books too.

This software is for the photo- enthusiast , and includes almost everything you need for retouching and embellishing digital images. The program offers photo- retouching tools and filters, some useful for adding to a Web page, such as GIF animation and file size optimization. A practical selection tools include the background eraser, the layer styles and
the history palette all included in the full version of Photoshop 6.

Elements is based on the Photoshop 6.0 engine, and uses a variety of interface tricks to make a complex program more approachable for mainstream users. Photoshop's Curves
adjustment is will Adjust Backlighting and Fill Flash, which let you to darken or lighten an image's mid tones, respectively. New features not included in Photoshop 6
are new tools like the one - click Color - Cast Removal, File from clipboard, file thumbnail browser, and visual Filter selector .

The program is suited well to work with digital camera stills and its image- stitching tool, Photo Merge, which automatically imports a directory of files, figures out which ones belong together, corrects the perspective, and snaps them together in a panorama. It however lacks in the performance to handle lighting correction. The one - click straighten and crop feature is a nice touch and convince for the first time consumer user.

Less impressed were Adobe Hints and Recipes. Hints is a Tool Tips which pulled out into a floating palette. Recipes is a combination of step - by - step instructions for performing a variety of procedures. Both lacked a better in depth.

For example, Elements has a Color Correction Recipe that lets you adjust Brightness / Contrast and Tonal Range. Unfortunately, it never really indicates when to pick one or the other. In fact, the Levels adjustment it shows you doesn't use or address the most important role the tool plays, fine - tuning an image's mid tones.

The real value of Photoshop Elements, lies less in a flattened learning curve than in the high quality imaging tools you get for its modest price. If you're looking for hand - holding,
look elsewhere. If you're looking for imaging power on the cheap side of software than Elements is it. However if you can find a version of Photoshop LE go for it. or if you plan on doing a lot of touching up or adding special effects save up and buy Adobes Photoshop 6.0 you won't be sorry it is an excellent program I know I use it.

Currently Adobe is offering a 30 day free trail go here if you would like to try this software before buying it.

 

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