Actual prices for photo-editing program vary, because there are different prices for the boxed version and downloaded version. In addition, there may be special sales, rebates, bundles and coupons. So, don’t be surprised if the actual final price is lower than the boxed-price amount listed below. (Unless otherwise noted, demonstration versions of all listed software are available from the company’s Web site and the products have plug-in support.)
= Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0
Plus: Adobe’s Photoshop program set the standard for digital image manipulation, and this home-user version retains most of the power and features, so it’s easy to get support from friends and co-workers with digital photo-editing experience.
Minus: Steep learning curve makes this a poor choice for beginners.
Photo album companion : Adobe Photoshop Album ($50)
Plus: An amazing combination of power and simplicity.
Minus: No trial version, so there’s no try-before-you-buy, a major marketing blunder.
Photo album companion : Built in Digital Image Library.
Plus: Sophisticated keystroke-recording software allows for easy automation
of repetitive tasks.
Minus: Interface is a bit clunky and not very user-friendly.
Photo album companion : Jasc Photo Album 4 ($49)
Plus: Users willing to put in the time can create a highly customized workspace.
Minus: Confusing interface with an overwhelming number of button choices.
Photo album companion : Included PhotoExplorer.
Plus: The definite choice for those on a budget or those who want quick results without having to spend a lot of time with manuals.
Minus: Can be frustrating for those who want a lot of content control and tweaking, and there is no plug-In support.
Photo album companion : Build-in photo album software included.