I tried out of the box Paint shop Pro and of course it was easier and then i decided to try photoshop elements 2 which is a very watered down version but i wanted to see what it was all about and a buddy of mine let me use his. It was great for doing minor changes and touchups and i then decided to go to the photoshop 7. it was good but i use my program for photo restore as well as graphics and i found the healing brush in this program a tad awkward to use without a lot of concentration. so i moved up to cs, and found for graphics i preferred the special effects filters better and as a graphic developer i can now better control layers by grouping into color codes and locking. the art brushes are like fine art techniques and as well the colour consistency is very noticeable.
For photo I found the healing brush for removing dust, scratches, blemishes, flaws was much more user friendly and i did not have to spend a lot of time concentrating. The color correction, and matching of color is great and the straight command is much more responsive.
The program does need a lot of experimenting but not hard to learn you simply need the desire to learn and have the intent to put time into the learning aspect which requires some doing.
I can't comment on the web or video aspect as i don't use it for that specifically, though i have done some website work and have been very satisfied with the final results, Take a look at the wealth of books out there and it will give you a good idea about the 2 programs. And assist in your final decision. The fact that photoshop does not give support once a new program is out is a frustating fact and may want to be included in your thoughts when you review 7 and cs as i am not sure when their new product will be out.
My instructor in the course that i took was a web designer as well were 6 out of the total of 10 members enrolled in the class. they all previously had photo shop 7 like i did and after the class are now committed to cs, as we keep in touch with one another which is the virute of enrolling in a class. Good Luck on your choice and enjoy the challenges and the final work that the program produces.
And remember, I am only one of probably many members that use this software at B/C and the comments that i make are only my experiences and opinions. Hopefully you will hear other first hand experiences with the programs.
I know that the programs are pricey, but i have always been a firm believer that you get what you pay for, and as I mentioned earlier Santa's helper gifted me with the cs early, i believe with a slight hint that i would do some pix enhancements up for Christmas presents which is what i did.
It's amazing the number of people that like to get pictures from days gone by.
Take care and again good luck, put your chosen program on the list and maybe jolly ole St. Nick will hit the computer stores in his mad rush of getting things together!!!
Edited by georgia, 16 December 2004 - 10:07 AM.
Talent is a flame. Genius is a fire.