Adobe CS5 – whats new for photographers
With Adobe releasing CS5 yesterday the question on most peoples mind is “Is this upgrade going to be worth it?”. An upgrade to CS5 will set you back at least $599 so will it be worth it for you to upgrade? Here are some highlights of CS5, mainly Photoshop CS5 to help you make that choice.
An Overview – What is CS5
Just like most creative suite releases in the past there are many different flavors of CS5. There are five editions of Creative Suite 5: Web Premium, Production Premium, Design Standard, Design Premium and the Master Collection. Creative Suite 5 introduces over 250 new features. There are all-new versions of fourteen point products (all products except Acrobat Pro), and there’s a brand new product called Flash Catalyst, which is included in all of the editions except Design Standard. Adobe is also introducing CS Live, a collection of online services that work within the CS5 applications. The services are designed to help you speed up your productivity and make it easy to collaborate with others on your projects. Here is a breakdown of the 5 editions, click to view the full image:
Pricing depends on your current version of Creative Suite and can be found by going to Adobe’s online store here: View CS5 Pricing
What’s New in Adobe Photoshop CS5
A few new features like the content aware fill have been amazing everyone online but there are lots of other useful new features in CS5. Here is a breakdown of my top 10 features:
1) Complex selections made easy
Select specific areas within an image in fewer clicks. Easily select intricate image elements, such as hair; eliminate background color around selection edges; and automatically vary selection edges and perfect masks using new refinement tools.
2) Content-Aware Fill
This is the one you have all seen online, a really quick and easy way to fill in a selection. Remove any image detail or object and watch as Content-Aware Fill magically fills in the space left behind. This breakthrough technology matches lighting, tone, and noise so it looks as if the removed content never existed. You can see a video on our site here: Adobe Photoshop CS5 Content Aware
3) HDR Pro and HDR Toning
Create photo-realistic or surreal HDR images with unprecedented speed, control, and accuracy. Get better-than-ever results thanks to automatic ghost removal and greater control with tone mapping and adjustments, and even give single-exposure photos the look of HDR.
4) New painting effects
Easily change a photograph into a painting or create unique artistic effects with the Mixer Brush, which offers on-canvas color blending, and Bristle Tips, which let you create lifelike, textured brush strokes. Mixer Brush settings provide extensive control over the wetness of the canvas, the load rate to add paint to the brush, the mixing rate between brush and canvas colors, the angle of the brush and whether the brush is refilled, cleaned, or both after each paint stroke.
In the example below, you can start from a sketch (top), and use the new Mixer Brush and Bristle Tips to layer on colors to create a painting (bottom).
5) Automatic lens correction
Save time with automatic correction of lens distortions, chromatic aberration, and vignetting. Photoshop CS5 uses an image file’s EXIF data to make precise adjustments based on the type of camera and lens you used.
6) Camera RAW 6
Camera RAW has also been upgraded to include a lot of the features that Lightroom 3 has. Use the Adobe Photoshop Camera Raw 6 plug-in to nondestructively remove image noise while preserving color and detail; add grain to make digital photos look more organic; enjoy more control as you perform post-crop vignetting; and more.
7) Puppet Warp
This is one of those new features like the content aware that really blew me away. It’s pretty amazing to watch this work in the sample videos they have. Precisely reposition any image element to create a more visually appealing photo. For example, easily straighten an arm that’s bent at an awkward angle. Or in the example below move the elephants trunk.
8) Workflow enhancements
Enjoy productivity and creativity boosts thanks to dozens of features and enhancements requested by Photoshop users.
These are some of the improvements that Adobe implemented based on user feedback:
• Default value for Shadows/Highlights changed from 50% to 35%
• The ability to move a selection while the active layer is hidden
• A Neutral Density option is now available from the Gradient Picker presets menu.
• An on/off option for trackpad gesture support on Mac and in Microsoft Windows 7
• A new layer command for deleting all empty layers via scripts
• A Straighten button on the Ruler tool options bar
• A Close All Open Images Without Saving option
• A Save As option for always defaulting to the folder to which you last saved an image
• The ability to drag and drop a file onto an open Photoshop document to create a new layer
• Multiple improvements in Lens Correction filter options
• A new Cache Tile Size control in the Performance section of the Preferences dialog box
• Zoom in and out with the new scrubby zoom tool
• Presets for setting Cache Tile Size and Cache Levels simultaneously
• The ability to use keystrokes to set values in the Adjustments panel text fields
• Performance increases of up to 50% when importing OBJ files
• Sample colors faster using the new on screen color ring built into the eyedropper tool
• Customizable default values for Layer styles The Green/Magenta slider found in the updated Lens Correction filter dialog box provides great control over the manual correction of Chromatic Aberration. You can now simultaneously adjust the opacity of multiple layers.
• New creative resources, including actions, tools, presets, brushes, swatches, shapes, gradients, styles, and tool presets
• Window and Door shapes added to list of meshes that can be created from a layer
• An option for changing the opacity of multiple selected layers
• The ability to create a mask from the transparent areas of a layer
• Pick colors faster using the new on-screen color HUD
• Print settings saved with the image file, allowing one-button printing with user-selected values
• Selecting a printer automatically lists the profiles installed for that printer at the top of the profile list
• Printer-specific profiles are selected automatically when choosing a printer
• Customized print settings can be recorded as part of a Photoshop Action
• An overlay grid can be displayed when using the Crop tool
• Layer groups can be nested more than five levels deep
• New Paste Outside and Paste Inside commands, along with the previously existing Paste In Place option, are included in a new Edit > Paste Special menu
9) Easier media management
Easily manage media with more flexible batch renaming, and access your assets in the context of what you’re working on by using the customizable Adobe Mini Bridge panel in Photoshop.
10) Faster performance across platforms
Speed up day-to-day imaging tasks and process very large images up to ten times faster by taking advantage of cross-platform 64-bit support. (Requires a 64-bit-capable computer with a 64-bit version of Mac OS, Microsoft® Windows® 7, or Windows Vista®. Actual performance varies depending on amount of RAM, driver types, and other factors.)
Is CS5 worth it? For me the jury is still out but it always depends on your specific workflow. Are there some features in CS5 that will save you a lot of time? Leave your comments below, would love to know what you think about CS5.