Take Adobe. Please. I’m on record as being critical of Adobe’s new Creative Cloud monthly rental pricing, and the company has completely missed the mobile revolution, but the Photoshop maker does have one bargain for Mac users.
Photoshop Lite & iMovie Heavy
About every year for the past decade or so Adobe has released Photoshop Lite, but under the name Adobe Photoshop Elements.
A few years ago Adobe decided to get back into the Mac video game with another of the Elements ‘lite’ line, Adobe Premiere Elements.
Now at version 12, Premiere Elements and Photoshop Elements are about as close as you’ll get to a bargain from Adobe.
What you get is what you expect. A lite version of each. What you get is also better than expected, in that both Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements are good products at a competitive price.
Oh, really? Yes. When compared to Adobe’s full size versions of each, but not when compared to other apps. Upgrade pricing applies, so you’ll save some coin if you have an older version of Elements, but buying both gets the price down to $150 (minus a penny).
Photoshop Elements comes with more than enough photo enhancement and managing features for most of us, especially so if iPhoto doesn’t do it for you anymore, but you can’t afford Adobe’s horrific monthly rent for Photoshop Creative Cloud.
Elements 12 has a revamped interface, larger icons, a simpler Action Bar, but retains the three basic user modes– Quick, Guided, and Expert.
Organizing photos is easier in Elements 12 with sorting based on people, places, and events (with visual tags). Some of Photoshop’s more esoteric functions made it to the Elements line, including and option to remove unwanted objects from a photo.
Simple shortcuts make easy fixes of under and overexposed photos, and the Photomerge Group Shot feature is priceless– if you take a half dozen shots of the same scene (Photoshop Elements can pull the best from each photo into one good composite).
Pet Eye Correction kills the devilish look in photos of cats and dogs. Photos are easily straightened, cropped, enhanced, and saved online to be viewed by smartphone and tablet. OS X is about sharing, and Photoshop Elements is a good Mac citizen and makes it easy to upload to Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and more. You can even order prints of your favorite photos.
What about Adobe’s Premiere Elements? The following is from Mac360’s Ron McElfresh.
Adobe Premiere Elements 12
In an age where movies are being captured and edited on smartphones, Adobe’s Premiere Elements tries to position itself as iMovie Pro, or Final Cut Lite, but definitely between Apple’s two video editors.
As with Photoshop Elements, Premiere Elements has Quick and Expert editing modes, backs up movie clips online or makes then available for smartphone and tablet. The same photo organizing tools have been adapted to videos in Elements 12.
Essentially, Premiere Elements picks up where Apple’s iMove leaves off. It comes with similar auto editing functions for music, titles, and effects, plus a bunch of Adobe fonts just for video. Graphics, text, and effects can move on screen with subject motion tracking.
Slow-mo? Got it. Even color adjustments are easy in Premiere Elements 12, as is image stabilizer, photo blending, and animated titles. The Auto-Analyzer is a helpful way to avoid watching hours of video clips. It auto tags clips so they’re easier to find. Premiere Elements comes with dozens of music scores and hundreds of sound effects which are easily dropped into the traditional audio and video timeline.
Video can be optimized for traditional TV screens in 4:3, or HD wide screens in 16:9 format, but everything works on iPhone and iPad. I’ve used Premiere Elements since it came back to the Mac a few years ago because it does more than iMovie, but is more user friendly than FCPX.
Adobe remains proud of both applications, each of which retails for $100 (minus that penny) but both are available as a package for $150. Adobe also has upgrade pricing for users of previous versions (it pays to register Adobe apps). Critically, Adobe is not Apple, and ease-of-use is subjective, but both Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements are complex and powerful apps (though lite versions of their big brother counterparts). The Windows versions are available in more languages than the Mac versions (only English, French, German) and export in more file formats.
For whatever reason, Adobe hasn’t made much of a mark in the mobile device space, as both Premiere Elements and Photoshop Elements are decidedly desktop and notebook oriented, with no mobile counterparts.