Another new ability is to tag photos according to the map location where they were taken. However, this is powered by Yahoo’s maps and only functions when you have an active Internet connection. The Yahoo map information for the UK is also rather limited, even if the satellite images are relatively detailed. There is no facility to search the maps for a specific location, either. So unless you’re really good at spotting places from aerial photographs, you might find it hard to pinpoint exactly where photos were taken. When you do, you can simply drag the images to the map to tag them with the GPS coordinates. This allows you to search for photos that are within the visible map area, but also allows you to share the gallery as a map online. This again only works via the Adobe Photoshop Showcase, but could be a lot of fun. We just hope Yahoo updates its map data with greater non-US focus.
Images can now be tagged with map locations, although the Yahoo engine is a bit limited outside the US.
There are sundry other features. Photoshop Elements 5 can open RAW files in a variety of different file formats, which is handy now that more cameras are offering this native image type. You can create a photo flipbook as a WMV file at up to DVD resolution. You can also back up your photo catalogue to DVD. The burning engine keeps the session open, so you can add to the backup incrementally.
Overall, none of these new features are quite as major as the new tagging system or the automatic selection tools introduced with Photoshop Elements 4. But there is just about enough to tempt existing users of the latter that the new version could be worth the £57.58 upgrade. Newcomers will find this the most powerful image editing app available for under £100, just like its predecessor.
The new Adjust Sharpness filter gives you much more control over edge sharpening than any other image editing app at this level.
Neither new Elements seems like quite such a big upgrade as its predecessor. Photoshop Elements 5 offers more in terms of raw new features, but the core editing abilities remain relatively unchanged in both applications. Still, they were both already strong, and with their professional bigger brothers to call on for their underlying engines, both have always offered more power than similarly priced alternatives.
So, while the bundle may not be the dream update for existing users of either program, it remains the most valid choice for anyone looking to get potent video and image editing abilities in one affordable package. If you’re a couple of versions behind in your Elements apps, or a newcomer, Adobe still offers the most powerful combination of features and ease of use on the market.