Adobe Photoshop Elements 12 review
A limited selection of new features add little to a powerful, market-leading package that’s stuck in the doldrums
Review Date: 24 Sep 2013
Reviewed By: Barry Collins
Price when reviewed: £96 (£115 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
Ease of Use
Yet, the thought of uploading snaps to another online photo service when so many already exist caused us to let out a wearied sigh, and even more tiresome was the amount of time it took Elements to process and upload a mobile album of 51 photos. On a fast office ADSL connection it took more than 40 minutes, most of which was spent processing rather than uploading, and left our laptop almost inoperable until it had finished.
In fact, resource hogging is one of our biggest complaints about Elements 12. Even sitting idle, the Organizer swallowed more than 50% of CPU resources on a 1.7GHz Core i5 (Sandy Bridge) laptop, and both the Organizer and Editor occupied a total of almost 800MB of memory while doing nothing. Elements has never been a lightweight application, but this year's version seems particularly hungry.
In some respects, we find it hard to criticise Elements. It still delivers an awesome amount of editing power for a modest outlay, and it's one of those rare packages that offers features for rank beginners and sophisticated enthusiasts alike, without alienating either.
On the other hand, the package feels tired and bloated. Spitting out new versions merely to meet an annual schedule is a carry over from a bygone era – the metronomic releases suit nobody but Adobe's accountants. Adobe can't champion the benefits of Creative Cloud's frequent updates and then try to convince consumers that an annual come-what-may release is in their best interests. At least not with a straight face.
Photoshop Elements 12 offers little to anyone who bought last year's update, and it's highly debatable whether even those sitting on two- or three-year-old copies of Elements have much to get excited about. We think it's time Adobe stripped down Elements and started again, getting rid of the legacy baggage and bringing fresh thinking to what a consumer photo editor should be doing in the era of powerful mobile apps and touchscreen devices.
It remains, just about, the best consumer photo-editing package out there, but we wish something else would emerge and wake Adobe from its complacency. It's sleeping on the job.
Author: Barry Collins
Thoughts for the next version
I agree.Things they need to address
1) 64 bit version to use more than 4gb of ram in a computer.
2) full 32 bit colour editing mode.
3) offload as much processing to the gpu as is possible.
rather than put even more junk features in, get rid of some of the bloat. Just make it leaner and meaner.
By Jaberwocky on 24 Sep 2013
New products not working 1100 kroner out the window
Just bought PS elements and Premiere after waiting and waiting for the new edition.
4 hours download time. I have slow connection.
Long installation process. Big program, yeah!'
And then error upon error. Nothing works.
Never again Adobe.
By Thinge on 24 Sep 2013
Lightroom the way forward?
Must admit that since Lightroom dropped in price, I rarely resort to Elements. Still running V10 which does everything I need in terms of the rare occasions I need to edit. Wouldn't be without LR5 though for giving photos that polish though.
By offroadrunner on 24 Sep 2013
Editor useful, Organiser useless
I invested in PSE Photo/Video bundle last year. I'd say in a nutshell that the organiser is too frustrating. I went back and started again with Aperture/iPhoto which integrate better with the mac as a whole and manage the files better. Using Elements as an external editor to iPhoto works best for me, but I share the reviews opinion that most home users this is pitched at just won't care about this level of editing I mean who has time to go thru photos and do this sort of fine editing!!
By aitch2000 on 26 Sep 2013
PE is Frustrating with Eyefinity
I have used PE for a number of tears and last year when investing an a 3 screen Eyefinity setup found it really frustrating that the one app which didn't support this setup is PE. Adobe support didn't want to know and blamed graphics drivers which are up to date and according to AMD & Adobe are fully compatible. I got no solution and won't buy or upgrade another Adobe product until resolved. Come on Adobe get up to date. Plus add full Win 7 64 bit support. I agree with all the comments above.
By Sirarchie6 on 7 Nov 2013
I think this is a badly written review. Why is it written ONLY for people who already have the product? There is no indication of how good it is, or how it compares to its competitors. This is very unhelpful.
By dmart7 on 27 Nov 2013
- BlackBerry's nightmare quarter: the hard facts
- BlackBerry loses $4.4 billion in a single quarter
- Google approves smartphone running CyanogenMod
- Microsoft's new CEO: we rate the contenders
- Spain fines Google £750m for personal data harvesting
- Project Siena: a WYSIWYG app creator for Windows 8
- Microsoft Security Essentials misses 39% of malware in Dennis test
- Ofcom tells BT to fix faulty connections within two days (well, some of them)
- Zuckerberg cashes in Facebook shares to pay taxes
- Lucky Redditor gets Secret Santa gift from Bill Gates
- Play it again: Berlin's Computer Game Museum
- Switching from iPhone to Android: what I miss, what I don't
- Tech City: Easy to score when you move the goalposts
- How to remove SkyDrive from the Windows 8.1 Explorer
- Switching from iPhone to Android? Switch off iMessage
- Why is Google pumping more money into Firefox?
- Sky Broadband Shield review
- Samsung Galaxy S4: how to double your battery life
- Motorola Moto G review: first look
- IBM Watson meets Willy Wonka
- Internet blackout: could it happen?
- The top five consumer security threats for 2014
- Windows XP: Microsoft’s ticking time bomb
- The top five SMB security trends for 2014
- Backup your life: how to keep your data safe
- Best gifts for Christmas 2013: tech gifts for less than £200
- Online "experts" are full of hot air
- Best tablet PCs to buy in 2014
- Closer to reality: photorealism in computer graphics
- Windows 8.1: Top 10 advanced features
- Is Facebook safe for business?
- Jon Honeyball's money's-no-object Christmas gift idea
- The importance of load balancing
- Windows Phone App Studio: an easy way to create your first Windows Phone 8 app
- The end of Windows XP support: what it really means for businesses
- Don't rely on Chrome's password vault
- Using Buffer to manage your social media
- Microsoft needs its own Steve Jobs
- Forget credit cards: hackers want your Facebook account
- Can't get fast enough broadband? Here's what to do