Adobe Photoshop Elements 10: An Intriguing Upgrade
Adobe Photoshop Elements 10, the popular photo editing software, getsan upgrade. Aditya Nair finds out if it was really necessary.
Adobe’s announcement of Photoshop Elements 10 came as a bit of a surprise. Consider this, the last version of Elements borrowed every possible feature it could from Adobe Photoshop CS5. On the other hand, rumours suggest that Photoshop CS6 is likely to be released next year. This prompts us to ask the question, why upgrade Elements now? Does Elements 10 have anything new to offer?
With Elements 10, Adobe has increased the number of novice-friendly Quick Edits and Guided Edits. The upgrade includes new Edits like the dreamy glow of the Orton Effect, Retouching Skin and others. Tool upgrades have ensured that the Crop tool now allows users to crop an image according to compositional rules like the Rule of Thirds. Users also have the ability to type text along a curved path, which is useful when you want to design fun picture postcards for friends and family.
While photo editing upgrades were quite pleasant, they were few and were not as significant as the previous version. What makes Elements 10 really interesting and worthwhile, are its organisational capabilities. While the Elements Organizer is similar to the previous edition, it does have one interesting new feature—Object Search. This feature allows the user to search for images with similar objects in it—for instance, you can look for all the silhouettes in your database. However, this can be a rather slow process and the results of the search are far from perfect.
The Organizer has also been made more compatible with social networking sites. You can link your Facebook account, download your Friend List and tag images with the name of the people present in the photos. It also allows better functions for video uploads to YouTube, including High Definition (HD) video functionality.
Additionally, the online cloud storage facility of Organizer can now be synched with the company’s smart phone app, Photoshop Express. This is extremely useful for photographers who need access to their photographs and videos on the go.
Versus Big Brother
While Adobe Photoshop is the most famous image editing software in the world—most of us do not really need the numerous functions it provides. So, what Photoshop Elements 10 does is, borrow significant features like the Adobe Camera RAW engine, Content Aware Fill and Layer Masking from Photoshop. Also, it includes most of Photoshop’s editing functions like Noise Reduction, Filters and Actions.
In addition to being a lighter software, Elements also includes useful features like Group Merge, which allows you to combine multiple images of the same group shot. Besides this, the software also allows you to view Before and After photographs side by side. Certain functions like the Curves adjustment, the Liquify filter, some of the newer Blending Modes and others are yet to find their way into Elements.
The Final Verdict
While Photoshop Elements 10 is nowhere as ground breaking as its predecessor, the upgrade has been quite decent. The software is good enough to meet the needs of most photographers and may be a suitable substitute for Photoshop users looking for a less complex software. Interestingly enough, Adobe Photoshop CS5, priced at USD 699.99 (approx. Rs. 35,000), is seven times more expensive than Elements 10.
For a Photoshop Elements 9 user, this is not a necessary upgrade. That is, unless you are looking for better social media connectivity and an upgraded Organizer. However for anyone using Elements 1–8, the upgrade is priced at USD 79.99 (approx. Rs. 4000) and is definitely worth it.
The Fun of Smart Object Searches
The Object Search allows you to search a database of images for similar photos. The user has control over factors like shape and colour. The search can also be refined to find a specific object from a picture, like a cricket ball. It then scans through the images and returns suitable matches. This is useful when you need to find similar images or get rid of duplicate ones.
While the search is pretty quick in itself, the software requires you to first index all the files you are searching through. This process, however, can take a considerable amount of time. Though, the end results are far from perfect, the feature is intriguing and should be pretty handy once these bugs are fixed. Yet the feature itself makes us wonder what Elements 11 will be like!
A few new features for editing, intriguing newsearch functions
Easy of Use
Full, Quick and Guided Edits make the software a breeze for user of any skill level
Slow for an organising software, but fast for editing photographs
Value For Money: 4/5 stars
Tags: Aditya Nair, Adobe Photoshop Elements 10, crop tool upgraded, October 2011, Organizer, Search by object, smarter search, Software review