Photoshop CS6 ~ vs.~ Fireworks ~vs.~ Photoshop CC ~vs.~ Elements
There have been some questions about which version to use. Each has its place.
Photoshop CS6 is the Mac Daddy of all image-editing programs. It is amazing with support for very high-end medical, engineering, and scientific applications. 3D imaging and video are all a part of the package. There is nothing on the market to compare. If you have the big bucks to spare, or if your boss buy it for you, great. On the other hand, there are some other good options.
Fireworks was first designed as a competitor for Photoshop. While Photoshop was built for the ground up to be a print producer, Fireworks was built to as a tool for the web. Now as a part of the Creative Suite Fireworks doesn’t get anywhere the respect it deserves. Fireworks is still a great image editor, but where it shines is as a rapid prototyping tool for web development. In a production environment the graphic designers use Fireworks to build quick and dirty mockups of the site that will demonstrate the overall look and feel of the site to get approval from the clients before the programmers can start building the code behind the interface.
Adobe has shifted the way software is licensed and delivered. No instead of writing a fat check for the box and then another fat check a year or so later for the next version Adobe wants you to buy a subscription to use the whole suite of programs in the Creative Cloud. To buy everything in the suite would take several thousand dollars and educators can get it for $10 a month. Great deal if you need all of the stuff in the suite.
If you are scanning and repairing old photographs, tweaking you own photos, doing scrapbooking or building basic web pages there is a much cheaper and highly adequate alternative. Adobe sells Elements, a low cost and basic image editing system with some amazing capabilities. You loose the ability to create super high end work but for 95% of users it is a great solution in the neighborhood of $100.
For even less money, FREE, Adobe has editors for smart phones that do amazing work.