Photoshop Elements 8
Photoshop Elements 8 is an appealing but evolutionary upgrade of a well-established photo editing program.
- Keywording is much easier and comprehensive; Organizer can now import, sort and keyword video
- PhotoMerge manual exposure tool requires finesse
Version 8 upholds Photoshop Elements' reputation as one of the top consumer-level photo editing programs. Its new edit tools, content, and templates are certainly appealing. If you already have Photoshop Elements 7, however, note that the primary reason to upgrade to Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 is the new edition's improved facility for keywording and managing your database of media. If your collection of photos is small, you may be fine sticking with 7.
Price$ 159.00 (AUD)
Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 delivers Photoshop's imaging power to consumers and hobbyist photographers in an easy, accessible tabbed interface.
In version 8, Photoshop Elements offers a handful of new photo editing tools that are useful and fun, but its most compelling improvements are in digital asset management.
On the Mac, Photoshop Elements comes with a CS4 Bridge tab for sorting and maintaining your image library. On the Windows side, however, is where you'll find the big news. There, Photoshop Elements' Organizer tab has several new tools to make keywording your photos much easier, even automated. As soon as you start importing image files, the new Auto Analyzer gets to work, assessing the content of your pictures and applying special keywords, called Smart Tags.
Smart Tags identify images by predefined quality (High, Low, or Medium), focus (In Focus or Blurred), the level of contrast, the exposure, the number of faces and/or objects, and so forth. What's more, Auto Analyzer also initiates automatic face recognition. The more you identify photos as containing specific people, the better the program becomes in recognising them, even at different ages, with other hairstyles, and with or without dark glasses.
On Windows, Organizer goes even further, acting as a conduit between Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 and its sister program Premiere Elements. (Premiere Elements isn't available for Mac.) Selecting a photo will launch Photoshop Elements; selecting a video will launch Premiere Elements if you have that program installed. Even if you don't have Premiere Elements, the Organizer will still display and sort your videos, and it will allow you to keyword them.
The new Auto QuickFix tools (Smart Fix, Color, Tone, Contrast, Detail, Color, and Red Eye) in the Organizer's full-screen mode can handle all of the editing that many photos require before you move on to the Create and/or Share tabs. For pictures that need special treatment, Adobe Photoshop Elements 8's full edit interface is now more flexible, with quick icon-based alternatives for arranging multiple pictures on your screen, plus resizable, self-adjusting tool panels similar to those in Photoshop CS4.
Among Photoshop Elements 8's handful of new or extended photo editing tools is PhotoMerge, which now includes an Exposure tool that allows you to combine two nearly identical photos, taken with different exposure values, to attain the optimum exposure. Although the auto mode works nicely on some pictures, other images may need you to tweak them via the manual tools, in which you select the areas to be combined - a task that demands some good hand-eye-cursor coordination for best results.
A less finicky new tool is Recompose, which allows you to redefine a photo selectively to fit into a specific size or orientation by choosing which elements of the picture to remove and which ones to keep. For instance, if you have a landscape-oriented (horizontal) photo of five people, and you want to change it to a portrait (vertical) orientation without distorting the subjects, you can select which of the five and/or what portions of the background to eliminate, and which ones to retain and stitch together into a recomposed photo. What is particularly nice is that when you're working on a project, such as a photo collage, you can right-click on a picture to use the Recompose tool on it without leaving the project.
In the Create tab, Photoshop Elements 8 offers additional and more creative templates and content in an intuitive interface, for making photo books, photo calendars, greeting cards, photo stamps, photo prints, photo collages, and sharable slide shows. The Share tab has delightful new Flash templates for sharing photos and videos digitally.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Kogan Atlas UltraSlim Pro laptop: full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
Latest News Articles
- Windows 10 S will not run Linux, even though it's a downloadable Windows app
- The Windows 10 Game Bar: What PC gamers need to know
- Microsoft redesigns OneNote UI to make it more universally accessible
- Windows 10 Insider build 16199 fills some holes in the Creators Update
- Google Assistant branches out, supporting third-party hardware and smarter features
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Huawei P10 smartphone review
- Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- CCPHP DeveloperNSW
- FTIntegration SpecialistQLD
- FTProject Control Analyst - PMONSW
- FTCustomer Service OperatorVIC
- FTSenior Microwave Transmission EngineerNSW
- FTMobile Apps TesterWA
- CCSolution DesignerNSW
- CCProcess Improvement Specialist - TelcoVIC
- FTSenior Project ManagerNSW
- CCWintel Support EngineerVIC
- FTSales Client Services Manager (Mid-market)QLD
- TPICT Customer Support OfficerNSW
- FTOAM Specialist | 3-6mth ContractVIC
- FTAccounts and Office AdministratorNSW
- FTSAP ISU Billing Consultant - FunctionalVIC
- FTSystems EngineerNSW
- FTScrum MasterNSW
- FTLAMP Stack DeveloperNSW
- FTSenior .Net DeveloperVIC
- FTUX DesignerNSW
- TPDelivery Coordinator - ProjectsQLD
- FTApplication Support EngineerACT
- CCSQL Analyst DeveloperNSW
- FTSystems EngineerNSW