Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 review

Novice-friendly all-in-one photo cataloguing and editing software

Adobe Photoshop Elements 10
Are the new features in Elements 10 worth the upgrade?

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Adobe photoshop elements

So what does Photoshop have that Elements doesn't?

Adobe Bridge: The Elements Organizer is more sophisticated, acting as an image database rather than just a file browser, but Bridge can display 'virtual' adjustments made with Adobe Camera Raw, and a wider range of metadata (copyright, keywords and much more).

Vector tools: Photoshop has path and pen tools comparable to those in a dedicated drawing/illustration package. Elements can do basic shapes but it's not in the same league.

Colour modes: Photoshop supports CMYK and Lab modes, which can be useful in commercial print publishing and some image enhancement tasks.

Curves: Elements has an Adjust Color Curves dialog, but it's a weak imitation of the curves adjustments in Photoshop. Curves are important for precise contrast adjustments.

Channels: In Photoshop you can manipulate individual colour channels and create new channels for saving selections and creating certain effects. It's something more advanced users might need.

Masks: From version 9, Elements supports layer masks, a key took in many image-editing techniques. Photoshop also supports editable 'vector' masks made with the Pen or Shape tools.

Actions: These are sequences of commands you can record and play back with a single mouseclick, and they can save a lot of time. You can't record Actions in Elements.

Enhanced RAW tools: Both Elements and Photoshop come with Adobe Camera Raw, but the Photoshop has many more image-editing tools and options.

Automated lens corrections: Photoshop Elements offers basic manual correction for lens defects, but Photoshop adds automatic lens correction based on profiles developed specifically for the lens in use.

Layer styles: Layer styles can be used to add a wide range of effects. Those in Elements are limited in their scope, but Photoshop's are much more powerful.

Rod Lawton is Head of Testing for Future Publishing’s photography magazines, including Digital Camera, N-Photo, PhotoPlus, Professional Photography, Photography Week and Practical Photoshop.