Verdict: Adobe Photoshop Elements is a highly functional photo editor for amateurs who are not ready to splash out on a subscription or to figure out how to use Photoshop techniques. Elements’ toolkit contains all the tools and capabilities of Photoshop without signing up for a subscription.
Thanks to regular updates, users can take advantage of Adobe's AI technology, called Sensei, and automate routine processes such as removing objects from photos, retouching portraits, and much more. The ability to edit photos on your own, as well as get assistance from the software’s Guided Edits, is also a distinctive feature of this AI photo editor.
|Photoshop Elements Specs:
Select the subject in just one click
Replace background presets
Face retouching options
Content-Aware Fill tech
Lens Profile Corrections
Makes photos colorful
3D text support
A small helper app will assist you in downloading and installing Photoshop Elements software. This app occupies up to 1.7GB of your computer, saving your disk space. However, make sure that there is an extra 6GB available to avoid any performance issues.
Besides, your computer should be fitted with an Intel 6th Generation or newer processor or AMD equivalent with SSE4.1 support; 8GB RAM, and a monitor of at least 1280x800 resolution. The program runs smoothly on Windows 10 version 21H1 or later, and on Apple macOS version 11 or later.
The organization of Photoshop Elements is logical and you won’t have trouble navigating photo editing software for PC and Mac. After launching the tool, you’ll see the Start window with detailed instructions on how to work with the program’s editing toolkit. Besides, there are links to the latest images you edited, and Auto Creations, which are the slideshows and collages generated from your content automatically.
In this Photoshop Elements review, I should mention that the program received multiple updates in 2023. Besides, the developers introduced a companion mobile app and a beta web version of the software. In addition, they have improved performance and stability. Installation is now 35% faster, and the program size has been reduced by 45%. If you are a Mac user, you’ll enjoy 70% speedier launch times and performance on Apple M1 systems.
Add motion to the image. Adding motion to some specific image fragments allows for creating an element of surprise. It is possible to select the speed and direction of the motion and the output file can be downloaded in either MP4 or GIF format to amaze the viewers.
A quick search for Guided Edit. The search in familiar terms using keyword tags or selecting from the popular options lets you find the desired tool in a matter of seconds.
Peek-through overlays. If you want to make your subject look like peeking through vegetation, flowers, or other overlays, take advantage of peek-through Overlays, which are new to Guided Edits. Besides, this option allows you to blur the background.
New content. The updated version of Adobe Photoshop Elements contains new backgrounds, skies, and patterns. In addition, here you’ll find the original collage and slideshow templates.
Importing, grouping, tagging, and outputting your photos is a worry-free task with the Organizer app. It also provides handy search, auto-curation, and sharing tools that serve as an excellent addition to the standard toolkit.
With the Organizer search bar, it is easy to categorize the content content by people, place, keyword tags, media type, date, and folder. Moreover, it is easy to apply several search criteria at once to find the required option more efficiently. Like AI or machine learning technology, Smart Tags is designed to identify what is depicted in the photo: an animal, a face, a landscape, or a flower.
Quality, faces, subjects, and Smart Tags are the criteria used to curate photos automatically. By applying Auto Curate to a search, finding your best shots of mountains or cats won't be a problem as well. This photo organizing software groups images according to lighting, composition, focus, and even emotional impact.
Comparing Photoshop Elements vs Photoshop, you’ll notice that the first option boasts many of Photoshop proper's advanced image manipulation features, which are not so difficult. Furthermore, a great portion of these features are unique to Adobe software, particularly content-aware ones that allow deleting image sections or objects without affecting the background.
To get started, you should choose one of the following editing modes: Quick, Guided, or Expert. Choose Quick for some basic editing tasks. It includes a Smart Fix, thanks to which the program analyzes the image and improves it automatically. The program also allows adjusting the exposure, lighting, color (saturation, hue, vibrance), color balance (temperature and tint) as well as sharpening to provide you with overall control over the image.
There is also a collection of art-inspired effects, with which you can edit images with a single click. Applying just one swipe of a brush allows deleting power lines, pedestrians, and other distracting elements to bring the focus to a subject. The toolkit also enables you to select the subject with a mouse click.
Take advantage of guided editing modes to learn everything you need to know how to work with the program effectively. They illustrate how to perform such basic tasks as turning a color photo into a B&W pic, inserting text into an image, or building an eye-grabbing photo collage.
When creating this Elements review, I was surprised to find out that there are guided edits for more advanced editing techniques like removing models from the image background. It is great that all guidelines, similar to Photoshop Elements tutorials, provide a comprehensive explanation on how to leverage all Elements tools with ease.
Expert mode provides overall control over the image editing workflow, which is further enhanced with layers, actions (the ability to apply preset Actions like resizing and effects, not to create them), histograms, and multiple artistic and graphic effects.
This mode also comes with a collection of backgrounds, frames, and shapes to jazz up your images. With the Text tool, you can easily wrap text around a shape without covering the significant parts of a pic. Moreover, the program offers a set of Character-styling options that even excel those in Photoshop.
The Recompose tool is another impressive feature of the program, which lets you change the aspect ratio of a photo without distorting faces. It is even possible to delete undesired objects and mark others to preserve them. But, if you have any difficulties during editing, you can always entrust this task to professional retouchers.
Expert mode also offers the basic Photoshop editing toolkit for blurring, sharpening, pic, and adding imagery. Its selection of clip art is amazing as well.
To be honest, I did not expect anything unusual from this tool, because I got used to it in Photoshop. However, the developers changed it in Elements and now it is a completely new instrument.
You can select any element in a photo and it will disappear. In Photoshop, this happens very noticeably and leaves behind a curved space, whereas here the objects simply disappear as if they have never been there.
Camera Raw opens automatically if you choose a RAW file. Comparing Lightroom vs Elements, I noticed that Elements’ collection of features is simpler than the toolkit offered by Lightroom.
Nevertheless, its functionality is enough to change white balance, exposure, contrast, and some other parameters. It comes with Adobe's raw Profiles like Color, Portrait, and Vivid along with noise reduction, but Elements cannot correct chromatic aberration.
Adobe Elements Photoshop can automatically add the motion to either a specific image fragment or as an overlay. Thanks to AI tools, it is easy to turn your favorite pics into moving images ( like animated MP4s and GIFs with 2D and 3D camera motion).
The 3D option allows you to select the photo’s subject for animating it without affecting the others. However, it is easy to make the whole photo move by disabling the 3D Effect slider. If your picture does not feature a subject, apply the 3D effect to make an image look like the camera is moving in a circle.
The program automatically enhances the image by opening closed eyes, turning frowns upside down, fine-tuning face tilt, making the skin smoother, etc. It detects faces and allows smoothening or blurring of the areas. It is great that the retoucher is free to customize the degree of smoothening.
You can also visually enhance faces with Lips, Eyes, Nose, and Face options. The last option allows changing the height of the forehead, jawbone shape, and chin height. With a face option, it is possible to change the direction of many faces in an image.
The program’s toolkit lets the editor alter the sky, get rid of haze, and delete undesired objects to achieve epic composition. For your convenience, the developers introduced a one-click sky replacement option. And thanks to Guided Edit, you won’t have to think of such things as cropping, straightening, and dehazing.
Turn your image from monochrome to RGB, wait for a while and the program’s Auto mode will create four colored images, two of which feature warm shades and the other two – cold shades. Unfortunately, it is not possible to tweak the degree of colorization here, but you can easily perform this task using the separate Hue/Saturation tool of this colorized software with the separate Hue/Saturation tool.
If you need to create a suitable image for your Instagram Story, Facebook page background, or Pinterest post, this feature is a real lifesaver. There is a set of canvas sizes for those use cases.
You are free to choose the direction to extend the background. Then pick either Autofill or Extend option. Leveraging high-end content-aware technology, the Autofill tool can detect and replicate the background, whereas the Extend feature extends only the sides of a pic leaving the subject intact.
The ability to warp images to fit any shape is another highlight of the program. Insert a pic into another wrapping it around the object or fitting it inside shapes to create mesmerizing compositions.
Recently, the developers have introduced new Photoshop Elements Web browser and Beta iOS and Android apps that should be upgraded with new features during the year. Currently, they are suitable for sharing and viewing inside the Web-based application.
You can benefit from the collection of photo collages and slideshows, as well as a rich library of layouts, graphics, and audio. The editor also enables you to use the images from your cloud to make Pattern Overlay creations.
You can download Elements for free and work with it for free for 30 days. After that you can perform Adobe Photoshop Elements download both separately and together with Premiere Elements. If you already have one of the previous versions, you can purchase an upgrade for a lower price.
Adobe Photoshop Elements price: Full – $99.99 / Upgrade – $79.99
Adobe Photoshop Elements & Premiere Elements 2024 Prices: Full – $149.99 / Upgrade – $119.99