Adobe Photoshop CS5 (beta)
Adobe Photoshop CS5 adds enhancements to the image-editing software that enable smoother workflow and boost creativity.
- Fun Mixer Brush offers creative potential, Refine Mask and Content Aware tools save time in selecting and cloning
- HDR Toning works only on a single-layer image, Refine Edge dialog box doesn't have Undo/Redo options
Adobe Photoshop CS5 has lots of little tweaks, enhancements, and improvements that add up to smoother workflow, greater convenience, and more creative potential for those who use Photoshop day in and day out. If you're still using CS3, combining the advances of CS4 with CS5 makes upgrading an easy decision. If you are currently using CS4, moving up to CS5 could save you some time and effort - especially if your regular tasks include masking and cloning.
Price$ 1,168.00 (AUD)
Whenever a new version of an important program comes out, the need for it, depending on the changes, can run the spectrum - from it's-revolutionary, got-to-have-it-now to ho-hum, I-can-wait-for-the-next-revision. Adobe Photoshop CS5, the latest version that's sold both individually and as part of Adobe Creative Suite 5, falls between those two extremes. We reviewed a beta.
Photoshop is a mature program that is already an indispensable component of everyday business for photographers and graphics professionals. What sets Adobe Photoshop CS5 apart isn't any one killer app but dozens of refinements that will make users' lives easier, more efficient, and, potentially, more creative.
Adobe Photoshop CS5: Interface
Adobe Photoshop CS5's interface remains comfortably familiar, although slightly changed - and more efficient to use. For instance, the revamped Workspace switcher is no longer buried in the Window drop-down menu. Instead, it is always immediately available at the top of the screen to the right of the Ribbon Bar. What's more, if you make changes to any Workspace (such as Photography) and then switch to another (such as Painting), when you return to Photography, those changes will be retained.
The most significant workflow improvement to the interface is the introduction of Mini-Bridge. In essence, it's a palette (or panel) within Photoshop that's really a window on to Bridge, allowing full access to all your image files without having to leave Photoshop. As with the full Bridge, you can choose different display options, depending upon what information you need or want: Thumbnails, As Filmstrip, Details, or List. And as before, if you need the full functionality of Bridge, just click on the BR icon, either within the Mini-Bridge palette or at the top of the screen.
The other noticeable (albeit trivial) change to the interface is that the appearance of many of the toolbox icons is different. While the shapes remain the same (for instance, the Clone tool icon is still a rubber stamp), they're redrawn.
Adobe Photoshop CS5: Advances in Camera RAW
One of Adobe Photoshop CS5's most important changes is in the new noise reduction algorithms in Camera RAW 6. It now has sliders for both Luminance and Color Noise. However, it wasn't fully implemented in the beta version we tested, so our judgment has to be based on demonstrations by Adobe, which made it look quite good.
If your creative instincts lean toward filmlike texturing, the new FX tab in Camera RAW will add grain or vignetting.
By the way, Camera RAW 6 and Lightroom 3 are now better coordinated, since they both use the same RAW conversion. This means that you'll no longer have conflicts and be forced to choose between the two. Camera Raw 6 will not be available for anyone who is using earlier Creative Suite software than CS5.
Adobe Photoshop CS5: Smarter Masking
Photoshop's masking and selection tools are the workhorses of the program, because a high percentage of any creative session starts with drawing a good mask. That's why any improvements for easier, more precise selections are always welcome.
The Refine Edge selection dialog box has been redesigned to allow more accurate selections, especially of difficult textured edges, such as wooly clothes or flyaway hair. This isn't to say that creating such masks are now child's play, but with the Refine Radius and Erase Refinements brushes, along with Smart Radius analyzing the edges, the task of working on such difficult subjects isn't as grueling. In addition, the Color Decontaminant option helps remove excess background that you might have inadvertently included in your mask - though as with all such tools, your original picture must have some differentiation in colour and contrast between the background and the subject.
Refine Edge will generally save time with such masks, but it is annoying that the dialog doesn't have Undo /Redo options - just Reset, which takes you back to your starting point, when all you might want to do is roll back a couple of brush strokes. When saving the mask, Refine Edge offers several useful options, such as Layer Mask, New Layer, New Layer with Layer Mask, New Document, or New Document with Layer Mask. Incidentally, Refine Edge works with Smart Objects, which means you can return to Camera RAW to re-edit the conversion parameters, while retaining all the work you did on the mask.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Gadgets & Things
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- 2016 will be 1 second longer: Google can help you cope
- Microsoft declares summer's Windows 10 upgrade fit for business
- Stop pouting: Google’s Santa Tracker is updated just in time for the Christmas countdown
- You can finally watch Netflix offline now
- How to clear unwanted autofill entries in Google Chrome
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- The top 10 best and worst tech gadgets and products of 2016
- Best phone of the year 2016
- TV of the year award 2016
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCChange AnalystNSW
- FTLevel 2/3 Application Support SpecialistQLD
- CCLead Systems EngineerNSW
- CCData Surveyor, Data Analyst, Electrical backgroundACT
- CCField Engineer - Hardware DecommissionNSW
- FTMid Level .Net DeveloperNSW
- FTSolution Architect - Application IntegrationQLD
- FTPMO Lead/ ManagerNSW
- FTSenior Java DeveloperNSW
- CCIT Service Management Delivery SpecialistNSW
- TPProcurement Support AnalystNSW
- CCTechnical AnalystACT
- CCMainframe Developer (with ASP.NET)ACT
- TPSolution Architect | HRISQLD
- FTTechnology Solutions Architect - CloudACT
- FTSecurity AdministratorVIC
- CCOracle SOA DeveloperACT
- CCPMO Lead/ ManagerACT
- CCIteration Manager / Scrum MasterNSW
- FTProduct LeadVIC
- CCIteration Manager / Scrum MasterQLD
- FTDesktop Delivery Team LeaderVIC
- CCChange or Project Manager- Electrical Network EngineeringNSW
- CCSenior Automation TesterVIC