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12-27-2007, 11:02 PM   #1
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DSLR photographers...Photoshop CS3, Lightroom, or Elements?

I use a Pentax K10D for almost all of my photographic endeavors. Most DSLR makers make a camera model that fits your needs and budget. It would be nice to own one of each.

The Holy Grail of imaging software is, (in this photographer’s opinion anyway) Adobe Photoshop CS3. However, Photoshop Lightroom is becoming one of the most versatile software used by Digital Photographers. Photoshop Elements, now released in version 6.0, is also a good alternative for entry-level to advanced hobbyists. It seems that photographers using all brands of cameras, from Nikon to Canon, Pentax to Olympus, Sony and all the other brands, all have one thing in common…Adobe Photoshop family of software. There is no question that if money is no problem, or if you make your living from photography, Photoshop CS3 or CS3 Extended is likely to be your overall best choice. That is not to say that Professional photographers are better at the craft. It is to say that since Professional photographers make their living from taking pictures, they need the best tools on the market. They need the current leader in image manipulation as well as a reliable indexing system, capable of handling thousands of files. Their business depends on it, and it is a competitive market. It would be nice to know what of the categories below you fit in.

Are you an entry-level photographer, a hobbyist or a Professional Photographer? What platform are you using, PC or MAC? What software are you using, and why? What Pentax DSLR are you using?
Please leave your comments or opinions here in this forum.

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Thank you for reading,

Yvon Bourque

12-27-2007, 11:15 PM   #2
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Yvon, I am an advanced amateur. I have been using Pentax cameras (35mm) since 1960, and have had a k10d for about a month now.

I use the windows XP Pro platform, Service Pack 2
I use Lightroom as my primary organizing software. It's cataloguing suits my way of thinking.

I will preprocess my images in DxO, once the lens modules are debugged for the K10d. I do not wish to spend time correcting lens faults over and over again. This should clear up the chromate aberrations and the distortions.

I use Elements 6 for editing from within Lightroom when needed, because it allows layers.
12-28-2007, 02:31 AM   #3
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I am a Beginning Hobby Photographer.

I use Debian GNU/Linux BUT I had to put Windows XP Pro back on one of my computers to be able to use Photoshop.

The first tool I bought was Photoshop Elements 6. This is because I "need" it for a Photography & Image Manipulation course.

I also bought Lightroom and I mainly use that program now. I use it to import my photo's, adjust them and export them (for web for example). Basically if I don't want to "Photoshop" my images Lightroom is ALL I NEED.

When I need to do some more advanced work or when my Photography course requires I start Photoshop Elements 6.

However I AM thinking of getting Photoshop CS3 in the future. The reason is that I've found some sites with instructions and tutorials for special effects on your photos but most of these tutorials need Photoshop CS or above.

As for the Camera : Pentax K100D Super, since I'm a beginning Hobby Photographer I have no need for a professional camera (yet).
12-28-2007, 03:12 AM   #4
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I am a beginner also I guess...

I use CS3, because I know how to use it, I work with it. It can do ANYTHING I can think of, from very basic operatiopns to complex changes to the photo. So there is no need for me to get other programs, since they will not offer something, that cannot be done in CS3.

12-28-2007, 03:21 AM   #5
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I am a beginner/entry level photographer ... I have much to learn.

I use Windows XP SP2 (my PC hardware does need upgrading though)
I also use Photoshop CS3 Extended on my PC (runs slow though) with the RAW plug-in.
It has served me well ... although I could do ith some tuition in it as I not using it to it's full potential though.
12-28-2007, 05:05 AM   #6
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I use mostly Picasa, Image Magick, and the GIMP on Linux, with a few various plugins.
12-28-2007, 05:52 AM   #7
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I guess i would have to class my self as advanced amateur, for most applications, and a Pro as far as Equine Photography, as i sell these pictures. I have owned Pentax cameras since 1971(SP500) up to today, with K10D and istD in the bag.

I use a PC clone with XP home SP 2, as my main computer. I also have a Mac ibook G4 that serves as an onsite viewer, storage and internet machine. I also use it occasionally to process, but no much.

I use CS2 on my PC and or Lightroom. CS1 and LR on the Mac.

I tend to use PS more as LR is more of a general editor in that only global changes are made to the image, were as layers and masks in PS can do more fine work. I like what LR can do for B&W conversions and find myself using that more, then PS for the final tweaks.

I print from PS to an Epson 2400 or send files t a lab, depending on client request.

Oh, and just because the K10D does not look like a Pro camera, does not mean it is not.

12-28-2007, 06:08 AM   #8
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I recommend Adobe Photoshop simply because I've been using it professionally since v.2 (way back in '93) and have found nothing to compare to its range of applications re. image enhancement and manipulations, although were it not necessary for my work, I probably would have settled for a "lesser" product to use with photographic work and been just as happy. My brother-in-law (amateur photographer) is blown away by what Lightroom can do re. photography.

I'll just say this though: Photoshop has not improved much since v. 5.5, and in fact I still have this version on a home computer and am able to achieve anything with this version that can be done on CS3. The much-touted improvements to each version since 5.5 have been superfluous. Others may find added options to be "indispensible", but in regards to photographic adjustments and enhancements, I certainly haven't. At best, they are convenient when facing a deadline, but for personal work in a non-pro environment, these conveniences aren't worth the outlay.

Just mentioning this in case anyone has the option to get hold of an earlier version of Photoshop at a cheaper price than CS3. Provided your operating system supports the earlier version, there's no disadvantage in my mind, and it saves forking out the big bucks.

12-28-2007, 06:39 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by marcdsgn Quote
Just mentioning this in case anyone has the option to get hold of an earlier version of Photoshop at a cheaper price than CS3. Provided your operating system supports the earlier version, there's no disadvantage in my mind, and it saves forking out the big bucks.
Hmm, interesting.

one of the advantages of an older version would be that it's probalby faster then CS3.

since most newer software with more features and GUI tweaks is mostly more dependant of system resources (needs more RAM and harddrive space).
12-28-2007, 06:42 AM   #10
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I am an advanced amateur.

I am currently using Windows Vista Home Premium.

I mainly use Photoshop CS2, along with Corel Paint Shop Pro X2.

k10dbook, I would like to add that Corel Paint Shop Pro X2 is a fantastic program for sometimes less then Elements, but can give CS2 a run for its money. Do yourself a favor and buy this cheap but full featured product and see how it compares to the Industry standard. I think for most people, this would be plenty enough.

I find myself more and more liking the Corel alternative simply for the price and feature point of view. If you know how to use any digital darkroom software, they mostly all follow general standards. It does work slightly different then the Adobe products, so there will be a little learning curve to it.

I use both, because they both offer different things. I am leaning more and more to the Corel product however. I just like its interface better.
12-28-2007, 06:46 AM   #11
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I've been obsessed with photography since I was about 15 (1995), when my dad bought me an old Rolleiflex TLR. I hesitate to call myself "advanced", but I suppose I know a thing or two.

I currently use CS2 on a tiny Apple G4 laptop. Not the best platform, but it's all I've got for now. 99% of everything I do is in the raw editor in Bridge, and I hardly ever use Photoshop at all.
12-28-2007, 07:08 AM   #12
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I have used PSP since version 8, missing only version 9. Am now using PSP X2.

This has been used for all my digital photo management, including scanning of allslides and negatives.

I have found the use relitively simple and intuitive, but can find at times corel is a little slow with respect to updates and I was especially frustrated when they waited until PSP X2 to include RAW support for the K10D even though the camera was out within a month or so of the release of PSP XI.

There were a lot of negative reviews regarding charging for something as simple as including new cameras.
12-28-2007, 08:21 AM   #13
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The Holy Grail of imaging software is, (in this photographer’s opinion anyway) Adobe Photoshop CS3
Yvonne, I don't know how you can say that, unless you have tried ALL the rest.

You have fell into the same trap as those others who will buy a Nikon or a Canon because it makes them not only a better photographer but a good photographer - all crap, as far as I'm concerned.

Yesterday we were refered to a mag. article that said Pentax is getting a Porche whilst paying for a Chrysler. Getting CSx is getting a FERRARI when you only need a Mini Minor
12-28-2007, 08:44 AM   #14
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I need nothing else. It's photography for cripe sakes. I don't need to create a video game.
12-28-2007, 08:49 AM   #15
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i have used corel products since coreldraw 3 (now using ver 12) for museum exhibit work. the mainstream was always that Adobe illustrator was the "stanard" for graphic design. now other designers i work with also use Photoshop for manipulating design graphics so i am back to the same corel vs adobe again... i have PSP Xl as well and find it does most things PS does and i can import and export without a lot of problems.

i favor corel because i have grown up using it. i now have obtained both Photoshop Elements and Photoshop CS2 so i will be better able to make the comparisons.

i will likely be using CS2 more due to the design projects i have in progress and exchanging files with fabricators and printers.

with all that said, i agree that PSP is an excellent product for a fraction of the cost of CSx.

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