Imaging software giant Adobe has rolled out the next version of its consumer-grade Photoshop image editing application, Photoshop Elements 7.
Designed to make the power of Adobe's professional-standard editing suite more accessible to amateur photographers, Elements 7 provides most of the power of full-on Photoshop CS3 in a more user-friendly interface.
New adaptive tools allow users to perform advanced editing functions without extensive knowledge of traditional editing software tools. For instance, according to Adobe, "The new Scene Cleaner, based on Adobe's innovative Photomerge technology, creates the ideal photo by letting users simply brush away unwanted subjects, such as tourists in a vacation shot who may be impacting the main subject of the photo.
"The new Smart Brush helps users apply incredible effects to a specific area of a photo with a single stroke, making it a snap to improve lighting and add rich textures with access to more than fifty sophisticated effects."
Several Quick Fix tools also provide single-step solutions for the most common image editing tasks, including "whitening teeth or brightening blue skies" – effectively harnessing the power of Photoshop in a format that even those without graphics editing experience can understand and use.
With the launch of Elements 7, Adobe is also touting the benefits of its file storage and resource website, Photoshop.com. By purchasing an annual Photoshop.com Plus membership, users gain access to an array of tips, tutorials, and templates as well as 20 GB of image storage. (A free Photoshop.com Basic membership provides 5 GB of storage space and more limited content access.)
Additionally, Adobe is concurrently releasing a new Elements version of its Premiere video editing package, Adobe Premiere Elements 7.
Photoshop Elements 7 and Premiere Elements 7 are currently available for preorder directly from Adobe and from a handful of other retailers, with retail versions available for purchase in October. Windows-only versions of the products are priced at $99.99 a piece, or $149.99 for the combined Photoshop/Premiere Elements 7 bundle.