With the latest versions of Adobe Photoshop and Premiere Elements, Adobe's laying on the Web subscription message really thick. Take, for instance, the Welcome screen, which is your first encounter with either one of the applications. The standard Organize, Edit, Create, and Share options get relegated to a task bar that's relatively inconspicuous compared with the large, rotating slide show heralding the many benefits of the free and $49.99 Plus memberships for Photoshop.com (more project templates, remote backup, and 20GB-plus of storage space). Adobe might as well have sold the space as an ad; it's that annoying. (For more on the online and mobile aspects of the Elements release, read our coverage on Download.com.) And that's too bad, because Photoshop Elements remains a very nice midrange photo editor, but all of these bells and whistles--some pretty off-key--increasingly detract from its core strengths.
The program's main advantage is that it's cheaper than Photoshop and Lightroom, but remains powerful enough for most photo retouching tasks. Thus, the improved raw workflow is quite welcome--improved, in that you can bypass it entirely if you want. For example, to create a slide show of NEF (Nikon raw) files, it simply applies the default raw-processing settings and treats them like JPEGs.
Also quite useful is the new text search box in the organizer, which is a fast, easy way to filter by keywords or basic metadata. Very basic metadata; you can only search on time, data, camera, and caption text. But that should be sufficient for this class of user.… Read more