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The Milwaukee Photography Meetup Group Message Board › Adobe Elements, Aperture, or Lightroom editing programs for the beginning di

Adobe Elements, Aperture, or Lightroom editing programs for the beginning digital photographer?

A former member
Post #: 1

Hi people, I have a question I am in dire need of an answer to. I am new to digital photography and, just last week, purchased a new Canon D5 Mark II camera and two fast lenses to go with, (a new Tamron 24-70 f 2.8, and a used Canon 70-200 II f 2.8) along with a Canon 580 EX flash as well. This being said, I just shot my first batch of photos a couple of days ago and edited them on my iMac 24 using an older version of Aperture. I found it to be quite limited in so far as the tools offered to edit your photos were concerned. I have a friend who is a computer techie who knows all about computers, but I am not so sure, when it comes to photography. He told me that Aperture or Lightroom is best for me, for editing my photos, but I also have been told by a couple of other people, that Adobe Elements is the perfect program for beginners who do not want to spend the money for the full Adobe photoshop, too. My techie friend told me that Adobe Elements is a desktop publishing program that is not what I want for editing, even though I may think it is what I want and or need. I want to be able to have a full compliment of tools available so as to be able to effectively address whatever kind of editing issues as may arise in any given photo, and, as I said, with this older version of Aperture I have, I am extremely limited as to the tools offered. Would someone who clearly knows all about these things, please enlighten me as to what editing program or software would be in my best interest in so far as editing my digital photos, be it raw or jpeg would be? Thanks people.
Gary P.
Cudahy, WI
Post #: 1
Hello! I do not use Elements, Aperture or Lightroom, and I am on a PC, not a Mac (great start, isn't it?). I use Photoshop CS6, but would not recommend it for general use. I would recommend you try the free 30-day trials of both Lightroom and Elements as see if they fit your needs. Both are fully functional and perform identical to a "paid" version for 30 days, at which time you need a software license to continue.­­

Unfortunately, as of April of this year Apple no longer provides any free trials of Aperture, but have discounted pricing through their web store:
A former member
Post #: 3
Thank you for your response. The more I hear, the more I am inclined to believe I need to either go with the new Apple Aperture, or, LR 4. Either one sounds like they will do for me, what I need to do, quite nicely. Again, thank you for your time in responding to my post.
Ben W.
Thiensville, WI
Post #: 46
If you are serious about photography, I highly recommend you go straight to Lightroom. Adobe Elements is basically a lite version of Lightroom. It is geared toward the average consumer.

I personally prefer Lightroom because it runs on both Windows and Mac, whereas Aperture only runs on Apple. So if you decide to switch platform later (especially from Mac to Windows), you don't have to learn a new program. Another plus for Lightroom is there are tons of free resources and tutorials out there. Not sure about Aperture.

As Gary recommended, you should download the trial version and see which one best suits your need.

Have fun with your new camera and hobby!
A former member
Post #: 4
Hello Ben, thank you for your reply. Yes, I definitely think LR is in my future. I am getting the new Apple iMac coming out in a few weeks and that is when I will make my move. In the meantime, I have an older version of LR that I can play with to familiarize myself with before getting the new one. As for changing platforms, that is just never going to happen. I used to be a pc owner before buying a mac four years ago, and let me tell you, I have had none of the issues with my Mac that I constantly did with a pc. I would never go back to Microsoft, no matter what they do! Again, thank you for your response and I am so looking forward to my new future with photography, my new camera setup and the editing of my photos taken.
A former member
Post #: 1
One thing to keep in mind is what type of "editing" you want to do. Adobe Photoshop/Elements are image editors, while Lightroom is a RAW developer. Elements and Lightroom aren't meant to compete with each other, or offer much in the way of crossover features. Apple's Aperture is similar to Lightroom, meant for processing RAW images and managing your photo library.

If you are looking to simply process your RAW photos, like correcting the inherent balance issues, fixing contrast, and color correcting, then LR/Aperture are what you are looking for. If you need to setup masks for blending photos or creating composites, or anything that alters or ads to what you get in your standard photos, then you want something like Elements at least, or Photoshop outright.

Have fun with the new kit!
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