Photoshop Elements remains a very nice middle of the range photo editor, and the main advantage with Photoshop Elements is that it costs less than Photoshop and Lightroom, yet is powerful enough for most photo editing tasks.
As a result, the enhanced raw work-flow is quite improved; you now can bypass it entirely if you want. For example, in order to create a slide show of NEF files, the program simply applies the default raw-processing settings and treats them like JPEGs.
There is also a new text search box in the organizer, which is a fast, easy way to filter by keywords or basic meta-data. Be warned however that it is very basic meta-data only; you can only search on time, data, camera, and caption text. But that should be sufficient for basic home users.
Of course there is always one feature per version that is designed to blow your socks off; Photoshop Elements is no different and includes the Photomerge Scene Cleaner, basically an extension of Group Shot. Photomerge allows you to effortlessly combine variations of a photo to remove unwanted objects in the scene. Typically features like these never work for me without a great bit of work on my end; amazingly enough this one did, on two random photos (which met the similarity criteria).
Adobe has also streamlined adjustment operations with Smart Brushes, which consolidate multi-operation adjustments, such as selecting then creating a new effects layer, into a single selection operation that automatically generates the layer and mask. However, I can’t get around how confusing the user interface remains, in part because everything seems organized by technology, rather than by task. Before and after views are still only available in Quick Fix and Guided modes.
A hodgepodge of stuff lives on the Guided palette, some of which you can’t find elsewhere in the program, like the Photomerge tools, or which don’t seem guiding at all, like the Saturated Slide Film effect or the Action Player. The latter runs scripts that request user input, which is why I suspect they’re considered Guided, but in that respect they’re no different than dialog boxes or Wizards. I just can’t remember where to find things a lot of the time.
Unfortunately, these are the things that rarely change before the product ships. Stuff that I expect to improve are the performance (the beta is slow) and the selection of presets, actions, and templates are pretty thin. But when you take a look at the latest version of Photoshop Elements 10, all these performance problems have been ironed out, making Photoshop Elements the very best photo editing software for beginners, and it really is very user friendly, as you will see on the sample Photoshop Elements video tutorial. (Just Click On Link Below To View:)