Adobe Photoshop Elements 3.0 (Windows) review: Adobe Photoshop Elements 3.0 (Windows)

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.6
  • Setup and interface: 8.0
  • Features: 8.0
  • Performance: 6.0
  • Service and support: 8.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Uses Photoshop's imaging engine, including raw file support; comprehensive feature set for digital photographers; easy to use for newbies.

The Bad Can be slow with large files or generating thumbnails in the background; color management a bit too stripped down; Projects and How To content need some work.

The Bottom Line A comprehensive, easy-to-use imaging tool for digital photographers.

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With version 3.0, Adobe Photoshop Elements has finally developed a personality of its own. No longer simply a stripped-down version of Photoshop, this $99 hobbyist-targeted image-editing package looks, feels, and behaves more like competitors from Microsoft , Ulead , and Jasc . Though folks looking for a cheap version of Photoshop will likely be disappointed, overall Adobe does a better job of addressing the needs of consumer digital photographers with this version than the last. Unless you gravitated toward previous versions of Elements for its low-budget resemblance to Photoshop, version 3.0 is definitely worth an upgrade. And if you're still searching for a hobbyist-friendly imaging program, it's definitely worth a look.

First, there's a lot more hand-holding. For instance, the program now has three different interfaces for retouching images: an Auto Fix window, which provides a handful of automatic tools; a Quick Fix editor that offers a full set of retouching options but with friendlier tool implementations; and Standard Editor, which provides a more Photoshop-like interface for all the tools. Version 2.0's Recipes have evolved into the more common How To, and there are a lot more automated, template-based projects.

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Where to Buy

Adobe Photoshop Elements 3.0 (Windows)

Part Number: 29230115 Released: Oct. 13, 2004

MSRP: $99.99

See manufacturer website for availability.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Oct. 13, 2004
  • Category creativity application
  • Compatibility PC