Which Photoshop software to use?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by fljoe, Jan 12, 2012.

  1. fljoe

    fljoe Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 30, 2011

    I am just starting out in the Micro 4/3 world .. just got a E-PL1 and couple of additional lenses with the kit lens (a 20mm f1.7 Panny and Oly M.Zuiko Digital ED
    14-150mm f4.0-5.6). I have been a P&S shooter till now. I have been reading quiet a bit and I am seriously interested in shooting in RAW mode. So I will be needing a good RAW converter/modifying software.

    So for a person who is starting out, what would you recommend:
    1) Adobe Photoshop CS5
    2) Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3
    3) Adobe Photoshop Elements 10

    Thank you very much on your opinions.
  2. ean10775

    ean10775 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 31, 2011
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Real Name:
    If your E-PL1 came with a software CD you should have Olympus Viewer which can read the raw files and allow you to do basic processing. Alternatively, I believe you can download it for free from the Olympus website.

    All three Photoshop products use the same RAW converter - Adobe Camera Raw (ACR), its just implemented in different ways. I've used CS5, and more recently Lightroom 3, and I have to say that for me, Lightroom 3 was a great investment and much easier to use than ACR through CS5. I have no experience with Elements - perhaps someone else can chime in.
  3. leonberdi

    leonberdi Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 15, 2011
    I used to use Photoshop but think it's overkill for my needs. I'm more than happy with the usability and simplicity of Aperture.

    I apologize if your heart is set on Photoshop, but I wanted to chime in that there are other (simpler) alternatives out there.
  4. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Real Name:
    Lightroom, if you're going to shoot large quantities of images, but not version 3. The beta to LR4 is out and will be available around March. You can try the beta for free. Otherwise I'd get the Elements bundle (photo and video). It's excellent value, powerful and cheap.

  5. fljoe

    fljoe Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 30, 2011
    Appreciate the replies ... I am open to other RAW processing software than Adobe products. I am really looking for Ease-Of-Use and I don't want to have a steep learning curve in using the software initially. I will definitely look at the Olympus Viewer and then try and download the trial/beta versions to find out which is the easiest to use.

    BTW if there are any good books on Lightroom/Elements, please also recommend them.

  6. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    Just search "Lightroom" in the forums here. There have been at least two recent threads that discuss the questions you're raising.
  7. Markb

    Markb Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 9, 2011
    Kent, UK
    Real Name:
    The E-PL1 is famous for its jpeg output. Just saying...
  8. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Unless you are going pure pro , you will not need the full Photoshop. I have not used lightroom but I have looked it over and it does look good and not too expensive. Elements is a great program , especially for the price.
  9. fljoe

    fljoe Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 30, 2011
    @oldracer.. thanks for the Search suggestion. I did it and it came up with few interesting threads. Here are some links:
    Photoshop vs Lightroom: Photoshop vs Lightroom

    Based on reading some of the threads, I am convinced that I will be better served with Lightroom as it offer really good image editing capabilities and excellent picture management.

    Some of the tutorials recommended:
    Adobe Lightroom 3 Video Workshop: 15 tutorials on the Lightroom Develop Module
    Lightroom Tutorials : Zen Cart!, The Art of E-commerce

    Thank you all once again for all the responses!
  10. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    LR and PS CS5 have 30 day free trials. Elements may, too, but I'm not sure. Download them and see. But here are my thoughts:

    If you don't know why you need PS CS5, you don't need it. It's very complex, very difficult to learn to use, and overkill for most photo editing purpose.

    As for elements vs. LR, I think LR is the better solution for probably 90% of what you'd typically do for photo editing: adjusting brightness, color balance, sharpness and contrast, noise reduction, etc. PS Elements is better to do more complicate editing on individual images. LR is better for typical tasks and for dealing with large numbers of images.
  11. hunyuan7

    hunyuan7 Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 31, 2011
  12. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Real Name:
    That's just the upgrade version. The full version is $299. Lightroom for organizing, adjusting and output along with Elements for in depth editing make a nice combination.

    If you're using a Mac you might also consider Aperture. Was $199, now $79 at the App Store with no change in functionality.

  13. mister_roboto

    mister_roboto Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 14, 2011
    Seattle, WA, USA
    Real Name:
    Yes... if it were the full version :wink: That's the upgrade for existing users.

    As others have said with links posted etc, my $.02:

    Lightroom. Typically it's $150-$175, at times it's on sale at various photo stores online for $80-100 though. If you happen to be a student or work at a higher education institution, you can get it for about $85 as Adobe has a pretty good education discount.

    Think of photoshop as making minute changes, and lightroom for global changes. There's more to it than that, but that sums it up mostly. Lightroom is also a cataloging system for your photos, so if/when you have tons of photos spread out- it's a great organizing and key word tagging tool. FYI: Lightroom 4 should be out some time later in the year (it's in beta now), where it looks like they've added geotagging (if that's of any interest to you).

    For photoshop- it can do the image manipulations of Lightroom, but not as well thought out as Lightroom. As for the Elements vs. CS Full version, other than the price point- I typically ask people "will you ever need to do any sort of pre-press, or need CMYK anything?" If the answer to that is "no" or "what?" then the Elements version is all you need :smile: Having a combination of Lightroom and either copy of photoshop though makes for a very nice work flow. If you're unfamiliar with using the programs, I recommend Adobe's Classroom in a Book series.
  14. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    If you're implying that the OP doesn't need post-processing tools if he is not working with RAW files, IMHO that is simply wrong. None of the tools, even Camera Raw, are limited to working with RAW files. They work just as well with jpgs and can improve them a lot. Of course a jpg has lost some information in the compression process so it may not be possible to restore highlight or shadow details that could be dug out from a RAW file, but for the most part you will not notice the difference between working with the two file types.

    I picked my copy up on CraigsList for $75. But be careful if you go the CraigsList or eBay routes, as there is a lot of counterfeit software sold on both venues. I paid $65 from B&H for my copy of Elements.

    +1 to what mister_roboto said about Elements and full Photoshop. One thing they do (there are other tools, too) is panoramas, which can be a lot of fun. Lightroom does not do panoramas on its own.
  15. wlewisiii

    wlewisiii Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 16, 2011
    Hayward, WI
    Real Name:
    William Barnett-Lewis
    I used to use Photoshop Elements but I've switched to Aperture instead. It's especially nicer now that I'm mostly doing digital and not as much develop & scan.
  16. crsnydertx

    crsnydertx Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 31, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Real Name:
    For my needs:

    Lightroom: 90% of my images are completed in LR.

    Photoshop Elements: 8-9% require some post-LR touchup.

    CS5 Extended: the remaining 1-2%. I only open CS5 every so often just cuz it's there...:redface:
  17. sprinke

    sprinke Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 5, 2011
    Pasadena, CA
    Real Name:
    I have both, and use Lightroom 99% of the time. I only use Photoshop for serious image manipulation.
  18. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010

    However, if you are just getting started and IF you are a Mac user, try Snapseed for Mac. It was just released, and it's easy to use, pretty cool and only $20. It's available through the Mac App store. If you are on Windows, then this won't help.
  19. nueces snapper

    nueces snapper Mu-43 All-Pro

    ACR in Lightroom is great. Easy peasy. You can make your pics do nearly anything by just playing around with simple sliders. Unfortunately the Lightroom file system that you get stuck with is like trying to learn to play Bridge. Maybe worse. It's great if you have thousands of pics and can figure out how it works ( so I am told ) but I hate it. Hate it. Hate it.

    However. ACR is fantastic. If you have the bucks buy Photoshop and forget about all that masking, layering etc etc etc. Maybe use the healing brush or the clone stamp once and a while. Or maybe photo-merge or stitch function. Anyone proficient in these functions can show you how they work in an hour. Less.

    Maybe there is another way to get ACR. I don't know.

    That's my $00.02 worth. :smile:
  20. harrysue

    harrysue Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 12, 2011
    It also comes with Elements.

    I have both Lightroom 3 and Elements 9. I prefer Elements for its histogram/levels controls, but I see why lots of people like LR. With LR, I was learning more about photo database management and batch edits in my opinion than I needed.