Reviews say Adobe Photoshop Elements is the best photo-editing software for most non-professionals if you aren't doing at lot of web tasks. Experts say it's simpler and cheaper than Adobe Lightroom 2 (*est. $275), more complex and versatile than the free Google Picasa 3 and better organized than its major competition, Corel Paint Shop Pro X2 (*est. $100). There is a "guided" level for novices, though one review says its purpose is getting the job done rather than preparing you for the more advanced levels. There are special effects beyond the usual photo-enhancement. Professional and owner reviews say version 7 is the best yet for Windows; version 6 (*est. $80) is the most recent release for Mac users, but reviews are also excellent. If, however, you think you might become a digital photography enthusiast, taking loads of photos, Adobe Lightroom 2 (*est. $275) is worth considering instead. Experts say it hits the sweet spot in photo-editing software.
There are lots of credible reviews for Adobe Photoshop Elements. We found the best ones at PC Magazine and subscribers-only Which? magazine because they review the most software. PC World compares Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 (which is still the current version for Mac users) against Corel Paint Shop Pro X2. Mac users will also want to see a detailed report in Macworld. We found about 275 user reviews on Amazon.com.
In the beta release of Adobe Photoshop Elements 7, this photo editor and organizer hasn't made a major leap forward, but in convenience and alacrity, it's still several steps ahead of comparable packages. The most notable news is the major push Adobe is making to add online functions. Although the version I tested was a beta, I found its editing functions surprisingly stable and quick. Those familiar with the editing portion of previous iterations will find the same full, quick, guided edit modes in their accustomed places, with a few appreciated additions, too.
At the time of our report, this one-page review of Serif Digital Photo Suite is the most recent review of photo-editing software at this site. The review includes a link both to an article covering six free online photo editors plus a free desktop program. The author suggests looking at the site's Downloads section for reviews of other photo-editing software, but the list can't be sorted by rating, and the site makes it awkward to find other reviews. Adobe Elements 7 doesn't have a rating yet because it was in beta at the time of its review, but is deemed "a worthy upgrade."
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