What's the difference between Photoshop Elements and Light Edition?

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by jespdj, Jul 16, 2003.

  1. I have Photoshop Light Edition installed because I got it with one of
    my devices (don't remember if it was my scanner, digital camera or

    What's the difference between Light Edition, Elements and the full
    version of Photoshop?

    I've looked at Adobe's website but I can't find anything about
    Photoshop Light Edition. Is it an old product that they don't sell /
    give away anymore? I've also searched the photo.net forum but
    couldn't find a lot of info about Light Edition.

    A slightly related question: Until now I've been using Picture Window
    Pro 3.1. How does Photoshop Light Edition or Elements compare to
    PWPro? Is PWPro better in color management / editing 48-bit images?

    regards - Jesper
  2. Photoshop Light Edition is just that, "light" on a few of the more esoteric functions of the "full" version of Photoshop, for most purposes it is perfectly adequate. The latest version of "Light" I've seen was 4 or 5, which implies that Adobe no longer release it, preferring now to bundle Elements with scanners/printers, probably a better choice of product for the average home user.

    "Elements" falls somewhere between the two, the built-in functions and filters being more aimed at the digital imaging user, so is superior to "Light" from this point of view ... Elements 2 is superior to the original Elements, both of which have some features/wizards that make them "better" than Photoshop 5 full version, for the purposes of digital photography.

    I've not used any later version of Photoshop than 5.5, or PWPro.
  3. Photoshop Lite is rubbish: if I recall correctly the gamma is fixed at an incorrect value which means the on screen image never looks like the printed image - doh. Elements is excellent but (I think) lacks channels and some other high end features of the full blown product.
  4. Light Edition, based on PS 4 or 5, was replaced by Elements, which is a cut down PS 6 (or 7, I guess, for Elements 2). Light actually has slightly better features for the photographer, such as curves (and it may have some 48bit capability, not available in Elements - I can't remember offhand).

    I invested in the full Photoshop mainly for the colour management, which neither Light nor Elements did to my satisfaction.
  5. I've been using Photoshop 5.0LE for a couple of years.
    My latest scanner came with the current Photoshop
    Elements. Elements has prettier icons, but that's
    about the best thing I can say about it. It lacks
    48-bit color and it lacks the "curves" command,
    two of the most useful features of 5.0LE.
    Since it lacks the "curves" command, you obviously can't save
    and load .acv files. It does have a nifty little "fill flash"
    command, which is inappropriately named. The "fill flash" command
    simply lightens some tones as could easily be done by loading a saved
    .acv file in 5.0LE. But if you do it via a saved .acv file,
    you get much more control.
    As far as I've been able to figure out, Elements is a seriously
    dumbed down version of 5.0LE with somewhat prettier
    cartoon-like icons. But I'll admit that once I figured out
    that Elements had no "curves" command or 48-bit support, I didn't
    explore too much further. Perhaps there's something useful in
    Elements that's not in 5.0LE -- Anyone??
  6. The image browser in Elements is useful.
  7. As people correctly noted, LE is no longer produced. Photoshop Elements has an
    excellent stitching-panorama feature that is still absent in the Full Edition of
    Photoshop. For its price (generally included with some product), Elements is still hardly
    a toy, but a powerfull, sophisticated program with many intuitive 'fix that photo"
    features, plus the ability to take Plug-ins, work with graphics tablets, do a Scan Acquire,
    etc.. There are books/tutorials out there, I understand, to help work around some of
    the identified missing features like curves. GOOD LUCK.
  8. Also, Photoshop Elements can be augmented with third party plug-ins and tools
    which can make it almost as powerful as PS7. I can use curves, channel separations,

    Thanks to Richard Lynch and his book The Hidden Power of PS Elements 2.


    You are still limited to 8bit Color depth. So, that still might be big issue for some. I
    just scanned my first slide with the new Minolta Scan Elite 5400; the output file was
    107MB at 8bit, 226MB at 16bit. I used 8bit, and after some test work in PS with
    curves, channels, etc. I wound up with a 647MB layered file...ouch. On an iBook no
    less. At 16bit it would have crashed my computer, since the G3 processor can't
    tolerate files greater than 1G.
  9. Thanks Jose,

    That makes Photoshop Elements a lot more interesting. Too bad that it can't go beyond the 8-bit limit. I prefer to scan and edit in 16-bit mode. I've scanned some underexposed negatives before, and when I scanned them in 8-bit and adjusted the curves in PWPro, I got banding problems which I didn't get when I scanned them in 16-bit.

  10. 8-bit seems to be sufficient for slides in my experience, but with negs 16-bit is a neccessity to get the color right without loss of quality.
  11. Hi all! I come in this discussion because I had the same question, but I notice that this thread is very old (jul 2003).
    What has changed since then? I mean, what are the main differences between the 2 programs? Is elements more "professional" nowdays?
  12. It has curves and has some limited 16 bit support. I think it does color management reasonably well. It handles raw quite well since it uses a stripped down version of ACR. (ACR same quality, simpler controls). Still can't do CYMK or any pre press stuff, probably never will.

    Is it more 'professional'? Not really, but it has kept up with the changing perception of needs for the amateur.

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