That fact that Photoshop Elements 14 (Commonly referred to as simply, Elements and therefore is how we will refer to it here) is coming should not come as a surprise to most. For the past 9 years, Adobe has released a new version of Elements dating all the way back to 2006.
- Elements 13 – This is the current version. It was released on September 23rd, 2014.
- Elements 12 – Released on September 23rd, 2013.
- Elements 11 – Released on September 25th, 2012.
- Elements 10 – Released in September 2011.
- Elements 9 – Released in September 2010.
- Elements 8 – Released in September 2009.
- Elements 7 – Released in October 2008.
- Elements 6 – Released in October 2007.
- Elements 5 – Released in October 2006.
Even with the release of the Adobe Creative Cloud it would appear that Elements is still a pretty popular choice with entry level photographic consumers. Now, why is that? I guess I would have to put it on 2 things:
1. Adobe is really great at marketing. And why shouldn’t they be, they have plenty of outstanding products used widely across a multiple of artistic mediums with plenty of capital to spend on it.
2. Because everyone, everywhere know about “Photoshop” and many folks just starting out in photography confuse Photoshop Elements with Photoshop.
That is why we decided to write this article. Elements, and Photoshop, while similar in many things they are not similar at all. Here is a list of what we mean:
- Folder Organization: Photoshop – NO, Elements – YES (But you can from within Lightroom which is part of the Creative Cloud Subscription)
- Keyword Organization: Photoshop – NO, Elements – YES (But you can from within Lightroom which is part of the Creative Cloud Subscription)
- Email from the program: Photoshop – NO, Elements – YES (But you can from within Lightroom which is part of the Creative Cloud Subscription)
- Post to Facebook from the program: Photoshop – NO, Elements – YES (But you can from within Lightroom which is part of the Creative Cloud Subscription)
- Updates upon release: Photoshop – Yes with the Creative Cloud, Elements – NO, you have to wait an entire year
- Ability to work in high quality files such as 16 and 32bit files: Photoshop – YES, Elements – NO
- Cost: Photoshop Creative Cloud Subscription – $120year, Elements – $89+year
In the end, Elements is a great program for just getting your feet wet inside of Photoshop. You can do many things inside of Elements. The problem in using Elements is 2 fold.
- You simply can not achieve the higher quality final images in Elements. With less editing features and lower bit depths you are limited to the amount of control and processing power. This means that you will have a lesser quality image in the end using Elements. If you are only printing smaller images such as 8×10 and smaller than you would never notice the difference. However, once you begin to print larger files, you will see less details and color.
- The cost. If you upgrade your Elements program each year, we are only talking about $40 more (over the year, that is only $3.33 a month) to have the best editing tools on the market. As an instructor it is really hard to recommend Elements when Photoshop is so much better and they have made the price so reasonable.
However, Elements will still release new versions each year and it will be up to you to decide weather it is worth buying the new one, upgrading to the creative cloud or staying put with what you have.