Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Review: Adobe Photoshop CS5

As the industry-standard, Photoshop skills are a necessity if you want to be employable in the graphic design field. Priced in the hundreds and with a learning curve to match, it's not for everyone, but the investment can pay off in increased productivity and the ultimate in flexibility. Since Creative Suite 3, Photoshop comes in a Standard version as well as an Extended version with specialized tools and features for the video, engineering, architecture, manufacturing, science, and medical fields.

  • The industry standard for professional photo editing, graphic design, and digital imaging.
  • Offers ultimate flexibility and more non-destructive editing features with every version.
  • Photoshop CS5 includes many new innovative features and dozens of user-inspired enhancements.
  • Since CS4, Photoshop takes advantage of the graphics card's GPU for improved performance.
  • Supports unlimited RAM and 64-bit processing under Windows and Mac 64-bit systems.

  • Steep learning curve.
  • Price may be prohibitive for some.
  • Buyers must choose between giving up features or paying more for the costly Extended version.
  • Some legacy plug-ins and features have been removed, or require manual installation.
  • GPU and OpenGL features increase the hardware graphics card requirements.

Product Description
  • The industry standard for professional photo editing, graphic design, and digital imaging.
  • Preview, organize, search, and manage image files with the Adobe Bridge File Browser.
  • Combines tools for painting, drawing, retouching, adding notes, and working with type.
  • Edit images non-destructively with layer styles, adjustment layers, masks, smart objects, smart filters, and history.
  • Automate tasks and speed up production with actions, batch processing, history tracking, and scripts.
  • Adobe Camera Raw offers non-destructive pre-processing of Raw files from most digital cameras, plus JPEG and TIFF files.
  • Includes tools for graphic design, Web design, video production, and photography.
  • Extended version offers tools for film & TV, medical, science, engineering, architecture, and manufacturing fields.
  • Photoshop CS5 adds innovative features and dozens of small improvements which will benefit many types of users.
  • Requires at least Mac OS X 10.5.7, Windows XP SP3, Vista SP1, or Windows 7 and DVD-ROM drive. Note: Windows Vista Home Basic Edition is not supported.

Guide Review - Adobe Photoshop CS5

For the ultimate in graphics power and flexibility, Photoshop can't be beat. Photoshop offers more non-destructive ways of working than any other photo editor, and Adobe is always adding enhancements to help get the job done faster and with less frustration.

Photoshop CS5 bring s a lot of exciting and innovative new features which will appeal to a wide range of users. I wrote about many of the new features in my Photoshop CS5 Sneak Peek, and after having worked with them a few months now, I can say that they are all winners.

New tools like content-aware fill, puppet warp, and selection refinements don't always function as "magically" as Adobe would want you to believe, but they will save you loads of time and demonstrate Photoshop's edge over competing products.

The new painting features broaden Photoshop's appeal for artistic work, and can also bring a new dimension to the ways photographers can showcase their work. The mini-Bridge integration ratchets up the convenience factor for anyone who uses Photoshop, and the new 3D features in Photoshop CS5 Extended are quite impressive.

For Photoshop CS5, Adobe also worked on dozens of user-requested enhancements which might not jump out at you, but will certainly improve your Photoshop workflow in ways you may not realize until you have to do without them. And this version of Photoshop supports 64-bit on both Windows and Macintosh, allowing users to take advantage of unlimited RAM. However, be aware that you may have to give up some legacy plugins and features, particularly when running the 64-bit version of Photoshop CS5. The 32-bit version is also installed on 64-bit systems, which you can use as a workaround, or you may be able to download and manually install some of the excluded plugins.

I wrote that the changes from CS3 to CS4 were more evolutionary than revolutionary, but Photoshop CS5 brings much more dramatic benefits. I believe this is a worthwhile upgrade for all Photoshop users. Although the cost of Photoshop may be prohibitive for some, the investment can pay off in increased productivity and maximum flexibility. Students and educators can take advantage of academic pricing to bring the cost down.


DISCLAIMER: This review was written by Sue Chastain of About.com Guide. Originally published from this site.

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