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Summary: Adobe Photoshop Elements 5.0  (12/2006)

    by Douglas Dixon

The new versions of  Adobe's Photoshop Elements 5.0 and  Premiere Elements 3.0 available in October 2006 for US $99.99 each, or bundled together for $149.99.

Adobe Photoshop Elements 5.0 is targeted to serious hobbyists, people who are beyond beginners and are proud of their photos (www.adobe.com/products/photoshopelwin). 

   

In comparison, Premiere Elements 3.0 is designed for absolute beginners, and to scale up for serious hobbyists -- before the option of moving on to Premiere Pro (www.adobe.com/products/premiereel)

    See also: Easier Editing: Adobe Premiere Elements 3.0

Adobe also offers the Photoshop Album Starter Edition 3.0 for beginners (www.adobe.com/products/photoshopalbum/starter.html). It's a free software download for viewing and organizing photo collections, fixing common photo flaws, and sharing photos via online services.

The focus of Photoshop Elements 5.0 is still on making editing easy, but also with more creativity and greater ability to showcase and share your images.

Here's a quick summary of the new features:

- To organize your photos, start with the enhanced Photo Downloader that automatically transfers photos from your digital camera or mobile phone, and optionally clears the camera card memory. Photoshop Elements automatically organizes the photos according to your preferences, grouping and tagging photos, removing red-eye, and naming folders as you download, even grouping photos shot around the same time. It also can find multiple photos of similar shots and automatically create Stacks so you can work with just the best of shot of a group of images.

- For geographic tagging, use the new Map View to drag photos to locations on an online satellite map to view images based on the locations where they were taken.

- New editing features include a black-and-white conversion tool that shows multiple possible variations from mixing the color channels, and camera lens distortion correction, and sharpening for blurred edges.

        Black-and-white conversion 

- There's also Adjust Color Curves to fine-tune exposure (color, brightness, and contrast).

        Adjust Color Curves

- For sharing your photos, Photoshop Elements provides themed and customizable layouts and over 100 choices of frames. Create scrapbooks, photo books, and CD and DVD covers; just drag to move and resize within the layouts. You also now can keep the results as a single multi-page Photoshop document to save and share.

        Photo gallery

- For Web sharing, create a new Flash-based photo gallery, animated like a virtual scrapbook with flipping pages, a spinning photo carousel, or a stack of photos on a desktop. Use the integrated Adobe Photoshop Services to share photos and photo creations on the Web, and order prints and hardbound photo books.

Try them out for yourself. Adobe offers free download trial versions that run for a full 30 days, or you can order a free DVD by mail.

Originally published in Camcorder & Computer Video magazine, 22, 8, Dec. 2006.