Shop now Shop now Shop now See more Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now DIYED Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Shop now Shop now Shop now

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Platform: PC/Mac|Change
Price:£99.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

Adobe Photoshop Elements 12 is a great (5 stars) photo editing package for home users and serious photographers on a budget. Adobe's upmarket Photoshop CS6/CC is the defacto industry standard photo editor, and this Photoshop Elements 12 software offers the bulk of CS6's tools for a fraction of the price, so it's hard for any others to compete (although Adobe's streamlined Lightroom 5 offers a faster editing experience with fewer but better implemented tools, and the likes of freebie 'Picasso' may well provide many with all the features they need). For those upgrading from Photoshop Elements 10 and lower, there are some useful additional tools in version 12 and it has the revised Elements 11 interface that I like. However I'd always buy this full licence version rather than the similarly priced Elements 12 Upgrade version, as then you can re-install your old version of Elements onto 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). However 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').

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, drawing and resizing 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, the Pen & Curve tools and CMYK colours required for professional printing). Elements 12 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 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. 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). Personally I choose Photoshop Elements 12 over Adobe's Photoshop Lightroom 5 as I value the extra power in the Expert Editor over Lightrooms speedier options, and I don't often 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 rather than replace it). Lightroom 5 also deals with dSLR RAW files far better than Photoshop Elements 12, offers non-destructive filters, and it's a similar price (£100) - although only Elements/Photoshop CS6 offers advanced tools like Photomerge. If you want to spend a short time editing a large number of photos then Lightroom 5 is ideal, but if you want to spend a long time working on relatively few photos then Photoshop Elements 12 (or Photoshop CS6/CC) is the one to check out. Photoshop Elements 12's Expert Mode editor is quite similar to Photoshop CS6's industry standard editing interface, so it's easy to swap between them. Although the minimum spec for a monitor is only 1024x768 pixels the Elements 12 expert editor can feel a bit cramped on screens less than 1680x1050.

Or as Computer Shopper/PC Pro's review puts it "For new users who want sophisticated layer-based photo editing on a budget, Photoshop Elements 12 is still the software to get. Existing users should save their pennies though. However, those who just want to manage and spruce up their photos are much better off with Adobe Lightroom 5 or the free Google Picasa. Plus the dSLR camera RAW file importer in Photoshop Elements 12 is less powerful than that of Photoshop CS6/CC, so if you want to get the best from your RAW images consider using Photos0op Lightroom 5". 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. Other highly rated budget photo editor contenders to consider are GIMP (totally free), Xara Photo&Graphic Designer 10 (£70), Corel Paintshop Pro X6 Ultimate (£70), Serif PhotoPlus X7 (£80) and if you only work with dSLR Raw files: DxO Optics Pro Standard (£110) - although there is the consistent interface advantage of staying within the market leading Adobe stable, and Elements 12/Lightroom 5 are great value if they offer you everything you want.

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 from Adobe's website 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 that 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 do try out the 30d trial version first to see if you like it.

Update Sept 2014 - Adobe Photoshop Elements 13 (PC/Mac) has now been released, replacing this version and adding a few more features.
2323 comments| 226 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
There is no doubt that Photoshop Elements is an excellent photo-editing program, providing most of the features of full Photoshop which digital photographers will need, and adding some more too. It's got layers, gradients, brushes, filters galore and in the hands of an experienced user there's nothing it can't do to enhance an improve a digital image.

But Adobe have created a real problem for themselves in knowing what to do with Elements now that the editing features in their excellent Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 (Mac/PC) have developed to far. Most enthusiast photographers I know have moved on to Lightroom from Elements. The cataloging features of Lightroom are much better than Elements and the editing features get better and better. In version 5 it now has adjustment brushes, radial filter, gradient filters, spot removal and red-eye removal and most importantly, all the edits are "non-destructive" which means you can revert to the original version of your photo in a single click. Lightroom now has many extras which Elements doesn't have, such as the Lens correction features (which includes an automatic leveling tool) and a very useful Effects panel which has a very easy to use vignetting feature. You can even apply the same edit to a batch of photos in a single click, which is really useful if you've taken a few photos of the same subject in order to make sure you get one good one.

Exsiting Elements users are finding that these annual updates to Photoshop Elements look more and more pointless and more like a marketing exercise to keep the upgrade treadmill going. I have been using Elements since version 4 and my last upgrade was version 11 last year which I did actually think was quite a good investment. As I look down the list for version 12 however, I can see no reason to upgrade this year. A reasonably competent Elements user can achieve the features of the new version with earlier versions. For example, just try googling "elements correct pet eyes" and you'll see numerous quick and easy ways of doing this. "Photo-puzzle" guided edit? Well, how often am I going to need that? And in any case there are countless websites which will create photopuzzles for you for free.

I regret to say that Elements is beginning to look a little tired nowadays. Let's face it, most people will be happy with Google's free Picasa for organising and editing their photographs. For anyone who wants advanced cataloging and editing, Lightroom is the software to go for. Elements is now looking like a mish-mash of features, with some "guided edits" bolted on top for those who are new to it or find Photoshop-style editing just too complicated. I really can't see the point in it any more and definitely will not be upgrading to this new version.

Incidentally, if you're looking for another alternative to Elements, but don't want the advanced features of Lightroom, take a look at Serif's new PhotoStack (PC) software which is looking like a good alternative to Elements with very good tagging and editing features.
66 comments| 192 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 13 November 2013
Who needs full Photoshop?

I have Elements 9 and 12 is the right upgrade as it brings so much more in the way of bells and whistles it is almost as good as the full version of Photoshop. As an amateur photographer, I simply don't need many of the features in CS (and I have no wish to "join the cloud" and pay monthly for the privilege).

I prefer the old-fashioned, simple method of buying a programme, loading it from disc, installing it with the unlock key and getting on with it. Updates arrive (eventually) and I do not need to have them before anyone else - it is just not that urgent for me. My prep from RAW is simple, adjust the tonality with the RAW processor, convert the adjusted file to a TIFF (also uncompressed) an then apply the magic of Photoshop.

It lets me prepare my shots, either for printing (I use ColourMunki to standardise my screens and printers) or DPI preparation and is completely consistent.

I must recommend this to all who want a 'Digital Darkroom'
0Comment| 69 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 23 February 2014
I recently purchased an upgrade to Corel Paintshop with the intention of improving my editing skills but after I spent many hours trying to understand the many aspects of the programme, I decided it was going to be a long haul and probably not for me. At a recent trade show, I saw an exhibitor using Adobe Photoshop Elements and was struck by its simplicity and ease of use and so I decided to try it on a trial download. Amazing, all I wanted was there. User friendly, video tutorials and step by step guidance. Perfect.
Thoroughly recommended for budding photo editors.
0Comment| 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 25 April 2014
I use Photoshop CS6 and bought Elements 12 to teach people how to use the Elements version. I bought it primarily so that I could install it on my laptop and teach people in their home. I have had no problem installing it on my desk top. After literally tens of hours trying desperately to load the programme on my laptop using Windows 7 and going through every single technical solution on the Adobe website, I have failed miserably and still cannot use the programme. I have enlisted the help of a computer expert friend and we have not yet been able to solve it. Waiting to find the time to call and speak to Adobe technicians. Frankly, loading a brand new piece of software on a relatively new laptop should be child's play. It isn't

The software is actually quite good. BUT I CANNOT USE IT ON MY LAPTOP!!!
0Comment| 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 1 January 2014
I know from previous experience of much earlier versions of Photoshop that the software is very effective and along with Elements enjoys great reviews in the computing press. However, although the product installed without problems it will not run. As soon as I try to access the Organiser, it comes up with an error saying that SweetPea failed to initialize, Also, although I successfully installed it as a purchased version (not a trial) and it happily accepted my serial number, when I tried to run it again just one day after installing, it told me my trial period was over and invited me to buy it! (Even had it been a trial, it should not have expired after one day.)
Searching the web for the SweetPea error message revealed that this has been a problem for some users since at least version 10 of Elements (now on version 12) and has proved difficult to resolve. It seems likely that it lies in a conflict between versions of .DLL files installed on the machine. One would have hoped that Adobe would have sorted this out by now.
I'm sure the software, when running, will warrant at least a 4 star rating, but in the circumstances a 2-star seems if anything generous. I will shortly be buying a new desktop PC, so am not going to struggle to resolve this issue with my Compaq laptop. Hopefully a clean installation on the new machine will go OK. For now, however, a very disappointing result.
0Comment| 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 16 September 2014
After transferring loads of photos from my Dell laptop to my new Mac, it took me a while to re-organize everything.
Adobe Photoshop Elements 12 has become indispensable for downloading, editing and organizing all my photos. Great!
I take lots of photos and the 2 parts (Photoshop Elements 12 Editor and Adobe Elements 12 Organizer) are in constant use!
I tried other systems but for me, this is the most convenient and the best one.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 30 June 2014
I have used previous versions of Elements without any problems and have a copy of Lightroom 5 running on my PC. I decided to upgrade to Elements 12 as I have just started a photography course. I managed to install the software from the DVD and activate the product, or so I thought!!

I am able to access and use the Elements Organizer but every time I try to access the photo editor I get a window telling me to sign in to my Adobe account to activate the software. The serial number shows on my account but the software just will not run past this sign in to activate window.

I have now spent 3 sessions on the Adobe customer help chat service and got absolutely nowhere. So basically this software is completely useless to me and will very shortly be returned to Amazon for a full refund.

As for Adobe Customer Care.....ABSOLUTELY USELESS!!!!! Don't buy this useless piece of junk.

UPDATE: I have now returned this product to Amazon who have promptly refunded my money, thank you Amazon. As for ADOBE, the technical support is useless and this software, or at least the activation system, is defective. I have since purchased Paint Shop Pro x6 and am very impressed with it. It does everything Elements does and more. It's also very user friendly. My advice is forget Elements 12 and forget ADOBE until they start to appreciate their customers and sort out their software. As for me I'm now very firmly a Paint Shop Pro man.

As a matter of interest, another piece of software worth a look at is The Gimp 2.8 This is a very powerful image editor and is free of charge, being freeware. It is just as powerful as Photoshop and although there is a steep learning curve, there are a number of excellent books available on Amazon to help. The Gimp 2.8 is available to download from the internet.
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 6 December 2013
I was very pleased to see this package coming up on Amazon at just over thirty pounds (on Black Friday deals), which puts it at half its nearest rival Corel PaintShop Pro X6 Ultimate (PC). Photoshop has become the "industry standard" for photo editing and if you talk to professionals they will inevitably be using a version of this.

This is of course the cut-down budget version, but it does virtually everything that most people will want and it has the capability to do a lot more - for example, it allows you to work with RAW files, which is a big part of why I use this kind of software. Having recently tried out Paintshop Pro X6, I was interested to see how this compared and I found it to actually be faster in use, than the Corel package and the main interface is a lot less cluttered.

I liked the way you had separate interfaces for the orgainiser/editor and could concentrate on what you needed. I also found that the "smart fix" worked very well and I liked the way that it was easy and automatic, but allowed you options. I found this gave better results than Paintshop and although this is the most basic feature, it is what a lot of people will start off using and as such is a good comparison point.

Basically, compared with its rivals, this is still the best package out there at this price level and it has a simple and uncluttered interface that allows you to easily get started and working with your images - which is what it's all about really. Of course those with particular requirements will be looking at more expensive packages, but for general photo editing and organising this has to be top recommendation for the average hobby photographer.
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 8 January 2014
I bought this as it was on special offer and I thought it was time to upgrade from PSE8 which I've been using very happily for the past few years. First impressions however are disappointing. There may be things I have yet to discover which will improve my experience, but as a reasonably advanced user I still prefer the older version and have gone back to using that for now.

This new version has various different interfaces depending on whether you classify yourself as beginner, intermediate or expert. The 'beginner' interface as it suggests just has basic editing functionality and a number of wizards to help you do creative stuff with your photos. Probably fine for basic home users. As you go into the more advanced interfaces, you get more functions and more control over the editing as you would expect. I went straight for the 'advanced' user interface which seems much more cluttered than the PSE8 workspace I'm used to. The control palette icons are big and colourful, more like a children's software program than a professional bit of software and take up far too much space on the desktop. The adjustment palette is not stacked with the layers palette as before and can either be free floating (which gets in the way) or docked by the side of the layers palette, which takes up more space and further reduces the available size of the editing window.

Overall impression is that while this incorporates new features, the program has been' dumbed down' to appeal to the less advanced users, leaving the more advanced users with the choice of either putting up with the lack of editing space or buying the full version of Photoshop CS-whatever, which is out of the price range of many people.

I may play around with this further in due course to see if I can find ways of making it more user-friendly, but first impressions have left me a bit disappointed. Sorry Adobe.
11 comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Questions? Get fast answers from reviewers

Please make sure that you've entered a valid question. You can edit your question or post anyway.
Please enter a question.
See all 74 answered questions

Need customer service? Click here

Sponsored Links

  (What is this?)