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  1. #1
    mizuno is offline I'm new here!
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    Default Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 vs Windows Live Gallery

    So I just purchased a new computer and it came with Windows 7.
    I would like to do more photo editing with my digital pictures.
    Would you recommend buying photoshop elements 9 or should I start with what the Windows default software?
    I would mainly be cropping pictures and resizing for printing.
    Although I hear that Elements has many good functions that I would eventually like to learn. Can Windows Live Gallery do pretty much the same stuff as Elements?
    What would you recommend?
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  2. #2
    dlambert's Avatar
    dlambert is offline Take better pictures.
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    Watch for Photoshop Elements to go on sale. In the meantime, there's no harm in playing with Windows Live Gallery or one of the other free options (Gimp, Paint.net, Irfanview, FastStone) that are out there. If you find that you're ridiculously happy with one of the free options, then there's no need to invest in PSE. Having said that, if you still think you might be interested in PSE, or even something like Lightroom, Adobe offers free trials for both.
    David Lambert
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  3. #3
    mizuno is offline I'm new here!
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    Does Photoshop Elements provide any additional functionality over the free ones?
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    dlambert's Avatar
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    If you look at all the stuff that PSE does, there's a pretty good chance you can find a free alternative somewhere that also does that thing, but you're not going to find one option that does all of those things well, and does them in a single product.

    I used to do basic cropping & resizing in Paint.net, but when I started shooting more digital photos, I got Paint Shop Pro X2, which at the time, was cheaper than PSE and seemed to do at least as much stuff as PSE. I was pretty happy with this as an upgrade, as it gave me some "presets" and "auto-fix" commands that improved photos without me needing to know a lot about how to do those things by hand -- sort of an "auto" mode for post-processing.

    When it came time to upgrade PSP, I'd seen PSE on sale a couple times for about the same cost as upgrading PSP, so I decided to give it a shot. I really wanted to try out Adobe's RAW processor to see if it was better than PSP, and it had also become clear that every image editing tutorial I found was done with PS or PSE, so I thought I'd be able to follow along a little better in PSE.

    I think that if you compare either PSP or PSE to the free alternatives, you'll see that it's easier to edit well with them. Operations are more integrated, and your results are better. Little things like feathered selections, "magic wand" selection, and so on make editing tons easier in these programs vs. free alternatives. In other words, if I really had to, I could probably figure out a way to most everything in another program, provided I was willing to devote sufficient time to figuring it out, and in some cases, to bounce between several programs to do it. I found that I'd rather spend more time taking pictures!
    David Lambert
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  5. #5
    mizuno is offline I'm new here!
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    Thanks for the info. I'm looking for something that is preset and "auto-fix" right now, because I do not have the time to learn every feature. I was told that Windows Live Gallery was equivalent to PSE. But like you said a lot of tutorials use PS or PSE and not Windows Gallery. So it just comes down to a $100 question. Buy PSE or not. Are the added benefits worth the $100 or will Windows Gallery do all the preset and "auto-fix" features already. Save the $100 and put it towards a flash or save it until I need the fine tuning features of PSE..

    Does anyone have experience with both programs?

    Quote Originally Posted by dlambert View Post
    If you look at all the stuff that PSE does, there's a pretty good chance you can find a free alternative somewhere that also does that thing, but you're not going to find one option that does all of those things well, and does them in a single product.

    I used to do basic cropping & resizing in Paint.net, but when I started shooting more digital photos, I got Paint Shop Pro X2, which at the time, was cheaper than PSE and seemed to do at least as much stuff as PSE. I was pretty happy with this as an upgrade, as it gave me some "presets" and "auto-fix" commands that improved photos without me needing to know a lot about how to do those things by hand -- sort of an "auto" mode for post-processing.

    When it came time to upgrade PSP, I'd seen PSE on sale a couple times for about the same cost as upgrading PSP, so I decided to give it a shot. I really wanted to try out Adobe's RAW processor to see if it was better than PSP, and it had also become clear that every image editing tutorial I found was done with PS or PSE, so I thought I'd be able to follow along a little better in PSE.

    I think that if you compare either PSP or PSE to the free alternatives, you'll see that it's easier to edit well with them. Operations are more integrated, and your results are better. Little things like feathered selections, "magic wand" selection, and so on make editing tons easier in these programs vs. free alternatives. In other words, if I really had to, I could probably figure out a way to most everything in another program, provided I was willing to devote sufficient time to figuring it out, and in some cases, to bounce between several programs to do it. I found that I'd rather spend more time taking pictures!
    Canon EOS Rebel XSi
    EF-S18-55 f/3.5-5.6 IS
    EF75-300 f/4.5-5.6 III USM
    EF50 f/1.18 II
    Tamrac Velocity Photo Sling Pack

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