Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Photoshop CS6 Beta - first thoughts

As a certified 'skinflint', I have been using Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 for my picture making. Coupled with Lightroom 4, they make a very competent pair of products at a competitive price (about NZ$400 direct from Adobe). Then I decided to download the Photoshop CS6 Beta ...

I like it; a lot.

That general "like" aside, I was able to identify eight features of CS6 that I would use with some frequency (in addition to those features I already use in PSE10). They are (in order of discovery):
  1. A complete 16 bit, end to end, workflow. (PSE 10 is effectively limited to 8 bit)
  2. The new "Adaptive wide angle" filter - excellent straightening results for little effort
  3. The new photographic blur tools
  4. The additional adjustment layers available over and above those in PSE10
  5. Being able to use my Topaz plugins as "smart filters"
  6. The "Content aware patch tool"
  7. The Art History brush for photo painting effects
  8. A simplified workflow when compared to PSE10 (2 files instead of 3) 
These are quite significant additions for a photographer (designers may have a different set). The problem I am left with is this: Is the value of these eight features worth the additional NZ$930 price of CS5/6 over PSE10? In all honestly, I think the answer should be, "no way". But, what will I do when the beta runs out in June?

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