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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Photoshop Elements 12 is a great (5 stars) photo editing package for home users and serious photographers on a budget. That said this is one upgrade I'd skip if I had Photoshop Elements 11 as there's little extra on offer (i.e. just the 'mobile albums connection' app for tablets/smartphones and a few updated features like improved 'red eye' reduction for pets and 'moving objects within photos'). For those upgrading from version 10 and lower there are some useful additional useful tools and it has the revised Elements 11 interface that I like. However I'd always buy the full licence version as then you can re-install your old version on another machine or laptop (and even use it legally at work). The Adobe licence allows you two installs, one at work or on your main PC, and another at home or on the laptop (provided you don't use both programs at the same time). To uninstall an Adobe application these days you must 'deactivate' the licence first which is done under Help in the top menu - this is important as otherwise your licence will still be active on the old PC and the new install will not register (do this if you are reformatting the system drive or you will lose a licence otherwise).

Although the Elements 12 Expert Editor interface looks fairly kiddy Fisher Price, within the editors buttons and menus there's a lot of submenus and options that include Layers, Masks, the 'correct camera distortion' tool, Transformations (distorting photos or distorting/moving objects within photos), Photomerge (for creating panoramas and transferring/removing objects within photos), Levels (brightness & contrast), Colour Correction, Shadow Highlight (bringing out details within shadows), plus many selection and drawing tools, image sharpening apps and various art filters, all similar to that within Photoshop CS6, albeit in cut-down form (although Elements does lack CS6's macro recording, non-destructive filters, and the Pen & Curve tools). Elements also has an advanced Photo Organizer that catalogues your photo folders into a thumbnail database so that you can search and find photos more easily (even using face recognition and location). In addition there's the Quick Edit and the Guided Edit modes to help you quickly carry out simpler editing tasks or to learn new ones.

With the full licence version of Elements 12 you can even leave the old version of Elements on the PC as well as Elements 12, as they install as separate programs - you can only run one at a time though. With this full licence version of Elements 12 you can even leave an old version of Elements on the PC as well as Elements 12, as they install as separate programs - you can only run one at a time though. The photo Organizer can convert/transfer older Organizer catalog 'settings' to new versions, but it's not always possible or completely successful, depending on version and OS. Personally I choose Photoshop Elements 12 over Adobe's Photoshop Lightroom 5 as I value the extra power in the Expert Editor over Lightrooms streamlined options, and I don't use Elements Organizer preferring logical folder names instead (Lightroom is very good at the photo organisation and fast batch processing side, and it is designed to run alongside Photoshop Elements 12 or Photoshop CS6/CC). Lightroom 5 offers a faster editing experience with fewer but better implemented tools, and it deals with dSLR RAW files far better than Photoshop Elements 12, offers non-destructive filters, and it's a similar price (£100). I suppose I also like Photoshop Elements 12 as its Expert Mode editor is quite similar to Photoshop CS6's interface and I am very familiar with that, plus only Elements/Photoshop CS6 offers advanced tools like Photomerge. Also check out the Adobe Photoshop Elements 12 and Premiere Elements 12 Bundle Edition, as Premiere Elements is a pretty good package for home video editing.

When installing Elements 12 you can install the latest version direct from Adobe rather than use the supplied CD - the licence code in the box will activate either. If you are unsure whether you should go for Lightroom 5 or Photoshop Elements 12 (or Photoshop CC Extended for that matter) you can download any Adobe software for a fully functional 30d trial, which can then be activated by the code in the retail box. Adobe software is frequently buggy on first release, and I get the impression Apple users get more problems than Windows 7 users like myself, but Adobe are pretty good at releasing patches to correct these (another reason for early adopters to leave an old version of Elements on the PC I suppose). So great photo-editing software but personally I'd avoid this upgrade version and go for the full licence .
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on 16 October 2013
Adobe don't seem to be on the ball here. I already own PE10 and get the auto display message to upgrade for a "special price" whenever I open up that programme. However I am in the UK and it takes me to their US site, where the upgrade price is more than it would be for me to just buy a whole new version from Amazon. Even more bizarre is that the upgrade price on Amazon is fractionally more than buying a new original copy! What on earth is the logic of this? Who, having spent out on the product already, is going to pay even more to upgrade it than someone who doesn't own it already. Commercial suicide. I am not going to bother at all. Their loss - not mine.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 August 2014
I upgraded from Elements 10 and immediately I do not like the main screen, looking like it's designed for a child, yet isn't that immediately clear.

It also seemed to be forcing me to use the organiser, with yet another unclear message. And why should the 'upgrade' version cost almost as much as the full new version for possible just a few bits of tinkering by Adobe?

I was hoping that the new version would overwrite the old and save my plug ins, but no I have to re-install them too and have lost one already as it must have been an older version that does not seem to work with Elements 12.

It seems to me that these 'upgrades' are more about extracting money that showing REAL improvement and simplicity.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 30 October 2013
This is the perfect programme for the serious photographer
It is sophisticated and initially daunting, but once you have used it a few
times it becomes so powerful and so easy to use that you wonder what
you did without it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 26 October 2013
I go to U3A for Photography lessons. This programme does all an amateur needs and more. I use CS5 in the U3A and can do almost as much and easier in Elements 12. Well done and at my age now (74) I would recommend it to anyone and have done. If you make your living out of Photography you will need the higher end of Photoshop. Well done

Aubrey McComb
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 6 December 2013
I have been using Photoshop Elements for about 10 years. I don't upgrade every year so for me this was an upgrade from V9. Well worth it. No other software at this price gives you so many features.
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on 16 May 2014
Excellent software for both catalogue and edit modes. The guided edit function makes things simple. I upgraded from Elements 10, and this is much better.
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on 5 May 2014
Did all that I wanted, but instructions not that good, it is better than the previous version that I was using.
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on 6 March 2014
I regret upgrading from Elements10.
I don't think that Elements 12 looks as professional as Elements 10 and the extras in this version are just not enough to justify the expense - goodness knows what Elements 11 contained. Sorry Photoshop but you need to rethink this product.
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on 10 February 2014
Having used elements 12 for a while now and getting used to it I was hoping that this upgrade would do great things, however the best I can say is, "It's OK". No great leap forwards more a tweak forwards. I don't really think it's worth the money, but you might find it useful.
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