Adobe Announces Photoshop Elements 3.0

Adobe Systems Inc. announced Wednesday Photoshop Elements 3.0, a major upgrade to its consumer photo editing software application. The product will ship later this fall and the company is taking pre orders beginning today.

Adobe is billing Elements 3.0 as a add-on to iPhoto, saying it does not compete with Appleis digital imaging software. The company went so far as to coordinate Wednesdayis announcement with Apple and make it appear Elements 3.0 was being endorsed by the Mac maker.

"Photoshop Elements 3.0 is a great companion for our ground-breaking iPhoto software and delivers advanced editing capabilities that bring Photoshopis legendary quality into the hands of photo hobbyists," said Ron Okamoto, vice president of Worldwide Developer Relations at Apple in a prepared statement. "The combination of iPhoto, Photoshop Elements and our stunning new iMac G5 delivers the ultimate home digital photo studio."

The update adds several new features and enhancements that allows users to edit photos with a few mouse clicks. New features include one-click fixes that quickly enhance photos, as well as more sophisticated editing tools that allow people to remove imperfections, transform photos with effects and filters and correct color and lighting.

Other new features include the Healing Brush, previously only available in the full version of Photoshop, and new Spot Healing Brush as well as the ability to support RAW files. SmartFix analyzes a photo and automatically applies enhancements and the new red-eye function has been improved. Elements 3.0 also includes much of the functionality of Adobeis image organization program Photoshop Album.

Elements 3.0 also has a new and improved file browser, allowing users to find photos faster by searching using a number of different criteria, including the date and time the photo was taken, camera type and even the name of the person who took the photo. In addition, the new version offers new ways to share photos, including Adobe PDF slideshows with music and transitions, similiar to the slideshow feature found in iPhoto.

Adobe Photoshop Elements 3.0 is priced at US$89.99 and requires Mac OS X v10.2.8 or higher. The Windows version will be available for $99.99.

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