Adobe Photoshop Elements 9: Everything Real Estate Photographers Need

December 6th, 2010

I’ve always been amazed by how many full blown Photoshop features you get in Photoshop Elements for around 1/10th the price of Photoshop CS5. The new Photoshop Elements version 9 released in Sept of this year takes this concept to the next level.

PSE9 now has layer masks, content-aware fill, refine-edge, and improved panorama stitching. You can now use content aware fill to fill in the uneven edges on a stitched panorama that you used to have to crop off. I especially like the fact is that for the last couple of versions Adobe is bringing the Mac and Windows versions of PSE together so they are the same. Mac and Windows releases are now made at the same time and are pretty close to identical.

It’s like Adobe says to users, “Okay, if you can’t afford $700 for a Photoshop CS5, how much can you spend? $99, okay, that works”. Then they proceed to put almost everything in the $99 application that’s in the $700 one. It’s hard to find features Photoshop CS5 has that PSE9 doesn’t have too. One thing that PSE9 can’t do is save 16 bit files. But for real estate photographers being able to save only 8 bit files works just fine. Sure, PSE9 and it’s separate organizer application are a little more home oriented in design be the photo editing part does heavy duty photo editing.

It looks to me that for real estate photographers, there is really not much reason to drop $699 on the full Photoshop CS5 version when you can do everything that real estate photographers need to do with PSE9.

If you are interested in getting your feet wet in video editing the bundle of Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 and Premiere Elements 9 many be the way to go. You get both applications, normally $99 each for $149. You save about $14 by getting the bundle from Amazon. I’ve not used Premiere Elements 9 yet but some say it has some more serious video editing that beats iMovie.

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10 Responses to “Adobe Photoshop Elements 9: Everything Real Estate Photographers Need”

  • How about Elements vs. Lightroom? Is the better move to get Elements for CS5-light bells and whistles?

  • @RL- I would say Lightroom is a real estate photographers core software. It will do 99% of what the average real estate photographer needs to do. But, there are a few things that LR just doesn’t do. Like cloning out large objects, making panoramas, completely replacing windows with layer masks. So the combination of LR and PSE9 will get you all the photo-editng and workflow management you’ll ever need until you start doing print jobs that require 16 bit file and CMYK colorspaces… PS CS5 are required for those.

  • @larry– Thanks for the very helpful comments.

  • Often you can buy PS elements at for very reasonable prices, too.

  • Larry,

    That loud whack sound we just heard was you hitting the nail on the head.

    I could not agree more. With PSE 9 photographers finally have 99% of the tools they need at a great price. I paid $50 for my version during the COSTCO special. PSE 9, Lightroom, Photomatix and PtLens Edit meet 100% of my PFRE photo editing needs. For me Lightroom is the core. I use Photomatix exposure fusion (never tone mapping) mostly for exteriors and once in a while for extremely difficult interiors. PtLens Edit is useful when for fused jpegs (plug-ins seem to loose the meta data so LR can’t i.d. the lens anymore) and for a couple of lenses I use that are not supported by LR. Of course, PSE repairs lighting errors and other problems I don’t catch on-site. The content-aware tool can be a real time saver.

    Great post.

  • Larry: If your post had come one day earlier I would not have to send back the copy of CS5 I just ordered on line from Adobe! I have been using Elements 6 for some time and had finally gotten fed up with it’s limitations – thus the pop for CS5. Back it goes when I get it on Monday from FedEX. Elements 9 will be my new tool.

    One thing though: I really liked the ability to tie directly into Photoshop from Lightroom through the “process in Photoshop” button in the Lightroom drop down menu (I had a copy of CS3 that blew up a few years ago that was, ahem, lacking a licence.) The extra steps necessary to export to desktop, open Elements, make corrections, save back to the desktop and then reimport the finished file back into Lightroom has been getting tedious. Do you know if there is any way to tie directly into Elements 9 from Lightroom through the Lightroom drop down menu?

  • @John- Yes, you can setup PSE 9 as an external LR editor just like CS5. Here are instructions on how to do that:

  • Larry, Thanks again just saved me a bunch of time and money as had wishful thinking on premiere. Have dropped for Premiere Elements 9 instead to have a crack at video. Thanks again Larry. By the way love the iphone pano of your lovely looking home. Best

  • Larry, you’re right, PSE is a great program and it keeps getting better with each edition with more of the features that are in Photoshop. I look at PSE a little different. You can thank its existence to JASC/Corel Paintshop. It historically has done a significant amount (approx 90%) of what Photoshop would do, forcing Adobe to create Elements to respond at that pricepoint. Layers, content aware, perspective adjustments all were in Paintshop Pro X3, now Adobe matches with Elements 9.

    Elements keeps getting stronger and stronger and will meet the needs of many real estate photographers. Probably the biggest advantage it has over Paintshop is learning the Adobe command and menu logic structure making the transition to the full Photoshop much easier, plus with upgrade get your original MSRP cost back with the PSE to PS upgrade pricing. While I have progressed to Lightroom/PS. I started with Paintshop back in its shareware days and through its transition with JASC and Corel as a commercial product. Both Paintshop and PSE are good advanced editing products which will meet and exceed most peoples needs.

  • Heads up everyone, Adobe has this on sale for $59! A $20 instant rebate plus $20 mail in rebate! Can’t beat this price. I’ve been using Elements 8 and LR 2 and love the combo…upgrading to PSE 9 ($59) and LR 3 ($99) today! My Christmas present to my business!

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