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Thread: Do you really NEED Photoshop?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2003

    Do you really NEED Photoshop?

    Here's a big question I've been wondering lately-- how much do you really NEED Photoshop (ANY version, let alone the latest)??? I have currently 3 different photo-editing programs on my PC, and none of them are the full Photoshop: I have an older Corel PhotoHouse that is a "knock-off" (which I used to use frequently, but not so much lately), GIMP (which I have only used twice), and Photoshop Elements 2.0 (which I use almost exclusively). I have found that PS Elements can do pretty much everything I want to do, so I have never given serious thought to buying the big one.
    It seems to me, though, that everyone who posts here uses Photoshop-- even those who are not (or don't purport to be) professional photographers or artists. So I ask you: why buy Photoshop when you can get something like Photoshop Elements? Is there one big reason, a hundred (thousand?) small ones, or no real reason at all apart from the "status".
    Let's be honest here-- do you really need the full version of Photoshop?

  2. #2
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Albuquerque, Nuevo Mexico

    Do you really NEED Photoshop?

    It is a good question. If I had too buy photoshop my answer still wouldn't change (as my university gives it to me). Absolutely yes! It is a professional level tool that has features that I cannot get anywhere else and I could not get the results that I need without it.

    at age 67
    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep"

  3. #3
    matthew blais's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Riverside, CA

    Do you really NEED Photoshop?

    I think you answered your own question to some extent in saying that it does for you "pretty much everything you want to do". But, from someone who has been using it since version one and for nearly 12 years, the full version blows away the consumer freebie they give in the "elements" form. But I use it with a whole bunch of plug-ins (extras) that I purchased for my design business, and I done't think many of the plugs will work with the elements version.

    I speak as someone who tried to do stuff with the elements version after being used to the full on daddy and was frustrated. Maybe you won't need it...but try it if you can.

    Once you try it and see what it can do that the other versions don't, you'll be amazed-and probably will buy it.

    Kinda like using a disposable camera for all your life then discovering a leica...or something like that.

    Then again, if you don't know what your missing, your not missing anything.
    "I invent nothing, I rediscover"
    August Rodin

    My Now old Photo Site

  4. #4
    Moderator Ralph Barker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1998
    Rio Rancho, NM

    Do you really NEED Photoshop?

    Although I use the full version of Photoshop, Ed, I'm not sure that everyone needs or benefits from all of the features. For lots of people, even some who have the full version, PS Elements or one of the other good image editing programs may work just fine for a lot less investment.

    For those who need the additional features, such as working with, and saving layers, and exchanging real Photoshop files with graphics professionals, however, the full version is a good investment.

  5. #5

    Do you really NEED Photoshop?

    I don't know what features are in Photoshop Elements, so it's tough to comment on what features might be enough to make it worth popping for the full Photoshop CS.

    Previous versions of what I'll call 'photoshop lite' (the free version) were missing features like 'curves' and 'layers', and serious color management

    They could pretty much strip out everything from Photoshop EXCEPT curves, layers, and serious color management, and I'd still be able to use the result effectively to do serious printing.

    Take away any one of them, though, and I'd be in a serious world of hurt.

    On the other hand, my Mom uses Photoshop Elements and seems perfectly happy with it. She doesn't do critical printing, though, nor does she exchange data with other people doing serious printing.

    So in the end, the answer is always going to be 'it depends on what you do'.

    A good way to find out if there are features you might want to use would be to take a class on Photoshop (such classes are offered everywhere nowadays, it seems). If nothing else, it would get you some time on a computer with the full version and you can judge for yourself.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Nov 2003

    Do you really NEED Photoshop?

    Any photoeditor, such as Photoshop Elements, without a curves tool places severe limits on what you can do.

    But the Gimp, which I use, does have such a tool. It works fine for editing 4 x 5 scans.

    So the answer is that you don't need to use Photoshop.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Dec 1999

    Do you really NEED Photoshop?

    As a photographer I do not need the myriad controls that Photoshop CS offers. I am neither a web designer nor a graphic desgner. So yes I agree I do not need all that Photoshop CS offers.

    But, by analogy I am also a Humanities, Photography and Literature professor. I do not use all the features of the library or all of the many encyclopedias that I can access. I do not use all that is available through my favorite search engines either. But I am unprepared to buy into a mini-encyclopedia or a low carb Google or Yahoo if that means sacrificing the available material that I need and use.

    Would I be like a Photoshop CS(or whatever) that allows me to use 16 bit or in the future 32/64 bit files when I manipulate and print my LF 4x5 B/W negatives and my growing number of digital files created in my DSLRs? you betcha!

    But only if I can retain the features and lower the cost of purchasing this new Photoshop for Photographers and its coming upgrades and new editions.

  8. #8

    Do you really NEED Photoshop?

    I wouldn't want to be without 16 bit support or LAB mode. Other than that, elements is fine.

  9. #9

    Do you really NEED Photoshop?

    Something not yet mentioned is full ICC compliance and color management ease. I cannot imagine giving up the efficiency and control of Photoshop for any of the lesser programs.

  10. #10
    Founder QT Luong's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 1997
    San Jose, CA

    Do you really NEED Photoshop?

    It's a bit like asking if one really needs a Sinar P2 instead of an entry-level Calumet monorail. Given enough time, there is no job that the Sinar does that couldn't be done by the Calumet. However, for a productive studio the choice would be clear. PS CS has many features that improve productivity. This might not be indispensable or useful for someone who does not need to prepare many images.

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