I am new to Adobe Photoshop. I downloaded a trial version of PSE7 two weeks ago and downloaded a trial version of Premiere Elements 7 (PRE) last night. I use a HP Pavilion Laptop 1.66 GHz Intel R Core TM 2 CPU w 2 GB of RAM. I also have a Dell Dimension DIM4700 Desktop Pentium (R) 4CPU 3.40 GHz w 1.00 GB RAM. I am thinking about expanding the RAM on the Dell Desktop to 2 or 4 GB as needed. I don't plan on shifting to Apple at this time, in spite of what my semi-pro, "imagist" friend recommends.
Both Photoshop trial versions are loaded on my HP Laptop. I am running Internet Explorer 8 in compatibility mode on both computers.
I am an inexperienced user of photo editing software. I have a "trunk full" of old photo prints that I will be sorting/scanning in the next year or two. I also have about 3000 electronic images that I am or will be working. I am currently working some family reunion slideshows and mother's/father's day projects. I have used PowerPoint extensively and have done about 20 minor projects using Windows Movie Maker 2 [which by the way works pretty good -with my novice skills].
I also have a JVC digital video camera w 16X optical zoom. I have shot about 1 hr of video with it, but I will be shooting much more in the near future (reunions, vacations, holidays etc.). I expect to create video family history projects for my 3 sons and 1 daughter and numerous grandchildren with another grandson due in May.
With that said, I have a few questions. (Note: I am educated enough to feel comfortable asking "stupid questions" so don't be too surprised!)
Question 1: Must we have PSE7 installed in order to use PRE?
(Note: I am frugal by nature and don't like buying things "just-to-impress" or simply because the manufacturer advises. Conversely, my wife is a QVC addict and one of their original customers, so I don't get a chance to buy much anyway. Other than improved sound and movie capabilities, I don't quite understand the needs/advantages of PRE over PSE7. I have dropped a few hints to the wife about a digital SLR camera for my birthday. I would rather have a quality, 12 Mega Pix camera right now than more computer software/equipment.)
Question 2: Does PRE run slower that PSE7? I wonder if the HP laptop is suited for PRE. PSE7 runs fine on my laptop, but PRE is slow to boot, and it is much slower handing projects. PRE tends to hang up on my laptop.
Question 3: Should I upgrade RAM on the Desktop to 2 or 4 GB? (Especially when I start making movie projects with the digital video camera.)
(Note: I am willing to consider buying a more powerful computer if necessary, but it will take a lot of convincing. I don't want to struggle with the whole PC vs Apple thang. I would rather focus on photo editing, and not have to redo all of my other computer stuff. I loaded the Photoshop trials on my laptop, but when I buy the product, I will put them on my desktop computer.)
Question 4: How useful is Adobe Photoshop support? Is the support outsourced or domestic?
Question 5: Is there any way to remove the "Created with Adobe Premiere Elements 7 trial version" watermark? Is this watermark the kind of stuff I can expect from Adobe?
(Note: the PSE7 trial version does not use this absurd watermark. I don't know if PRE is advertising, trying to "protect" their product from unauthorized use, or simply trying to "irritate" trial version users into buying the software. Either way, this watermark is a HUGE negative for me. It is plastered right smack in the center of the images. They could have placed it in the corner or at the top or bottom of the image. I would rather buy the product upfront and have the ability to return it with a full refund within an established duration, like 30 days, than use butchered, trial products like PRE. They made a BIG mistake with this watermark! WHAT WERE YOU THINKING ADOBE!)