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Photoshop CS5 – The Verdict


Its been a great two week look at CS5 and I’d like to thank the five contributors for their insight. I’ve only been using the Beta version for a week so I’m still getting to grips with all the new features.

My first thoughts are that its different enough to be exciting but similar enough to be familiar. In that, I mean the changes are huge, Content Aware Fill and Brush are amazing to watch, while the brushes are an all new toy to play with. The tweaks and changes, like the layer effect ‘Make default’ button and the rule of thirds on the crop tool are great, a real improvement and make using Photoshop even more of a joy. There’s the bubtle changes too, the magic wand and brush icons get pepped up a little and its a sad goodbye to our gnome friends in the palette options. 

But enough of me jabbering on, lets hear what the experts thought of it; 


Janine Smith – Restorationist

I would say that it’s definitely worth upgrading to CS5 if, for some reason, you’re still running CS2 (because this is the last version you can upgrade on, given the three version-to-upgrade cutoff) or, and this is a big or, the new features are relevant to you and your work flow.

I know there are those who upgrade to every new version of all major software, who buy the newest gadget the minute it hits the market and who always dress in the latest *insert fashion magazine name, here*style, but I’m a bit more cautious. If the software version you’re working with still works for you and there’s nothing in the new version that will rock your life, or your work flow, then to my way of thinking, there’s not much reason to upgrade. That being said, I would most definitely encourage you to download the demo of CS5 when it’s available and at least try it! Don’t just make your decision based on what you are hearing others say, decide for yourself! CS5, Photoshop at least, is the newest, freshest, chock full ‘o’ goodness version I’ve seen in a long time, if ever, and I highly recommend it, if it works for you!


A.J. Wood – Adobe Community Professional

WOW. So many cool things about Photoshop CS5 it probably makes your head spin right? As an Adobe Community Professional & training partner, I’ve been asked what impact I think CS5 will have on the industry. Features like Content Aware Fill draw a mixed reaction of both excitement & fear. We’re excited because the increased productivity such tools give us, but fear the client’s perception of “how easy” the work has become. Never forget our most valuable asset to our clients is that we are creative problem solvers. A fancy DSLR camera doesn’t instantly make someone a photographer, nor will improvements to Refine Edge & Content Aware Fill be the death nell to Photoshop creatives.
CS5 has a lot to offer the creative community. Whether it’s helping designers move to the web (Flash Catalyst), increasing productivity (After Effects & Photoshop) or providing tools for mobile content development (Flash & InDesign) this is not the time to skip an upgrade. 


Mike Hoffman  – Adobe Certified Expert

If you’re a Mac user, CS5 brings you into the world of 64 bits. And, being a recent convert on the Windows side (CS4 has been a 64 bit application, but I have only recently upgraded my system), I can assure you that after running PS as a 64 bit application, you’ll never want to go back. With 64 bits comes the ability to access lots of RAM, and that means speed and responsiveness form your application. Mac users, don’t delay. Upgrade as soon as you can!

However, PS CS5 has a LOT more to offer, and the new features Adobe has brought to the table in this round are nothing short of astonishing. Whether you’re a photographer (Content Aware Fill, improved HDR engine, Lens Correction, ACR enhancements), a designer (Workflow improvements galore, CS Live) or an artist (the new Bristle Brushes and Mixer Brushes), CS5 has new features you’ll use every day.

For me personally, the new 3D capabilities, with Repoussé as the new “killer” feature, is worth the upgrade alone. Look for lots of future tips on these new (and easy to use) features, here on TipSquirrel and on my blog, www.hoffmanartdesign.com

Tim Shelbourne – Artist

There’s always a lot of hype surrounding any release of Photoshop, and having been involved in the last 4 Beta rounds, I’m the first to admit that some PS upgrades are rather less inspiring than others. However, I’m going to pin my colours to the mast here and now, and say that from my perspective , upgrading to CS5 is something I really wouldn’t miss. Okay, so I’m pretty much natural-media-centric, so for me the new Mixer Brush and the Bristle Tips make it a complete no-brainer, but quite apart from that, there is so much about CS5 that just makes it so much more fun to use. For eons now, one of my biggest gripes with PS has been that teenie-tiny Colours panel, fiddling around like a bloody hen scratching for daylight when I’m trying to choose a colour really isn’t my idea of fun, but all that has come to an end now with the new Heads-Up colour picker.

Quite apart from that, in CS5 I can just drag with the Zoom Tool to zoom in and zoom out (I’ve never been a keyboard shortcut fanatic!), and I can also just drag to change the size or hardness of a brush! Okay, so I’ve still not got my long desired Mixer Panel, but I can now make one of my own on another layer with the Mixer Brush… Ooohh, and then there are the new bristle Tips (did I mention those?), well, now you can actually paint properly in Photoshop! And then there’s the Mixer Brush!… and then there’s faux HDR via the CS5 HDR Toning command (without having to convince my camera that bracketed exposures really are a good idea), and being able to adjust Opacity and Fill over multiple layers, and being able to delete all empty layers with a couple of clicks, and, and, the Mixer Brush!!!

Oh, and then there’s SPEED. Trust me, CS5 is fast, quick, nippy, and slick.

CS5 worth the upgrade? Well, let’s say if I can’t find the money, I’ll have a wife for sale on Ebay very soon!

For me, 2010 marks the point in time when Photoshop came of age.

Don’t think about it… Do it!

About Eric Renno (435 Articles)
Eric’s background in video editing with Adobe Premier led to his interest, and then obsession, with Photoshop. Starting TipSquirrel.com as a hobby he is proud to have gathered together and be a part of The Photoshop Nuts. Known as only “TipSquirrel” for two years, Eric ‘went public’ when he was a finalist in The Next Adobe Photoshop Evangelist competition. He’s also been a finalist in Deke’s Techniques Photoshop Challenge. While still taking on some freelance work, Eric has recently become a Lecturer at Peterborough’s Media and Journalism Centre where he enjoys sharing his knowledge as well as learning new skills. This realisation that he loves to teach has made Eric look at altering his career path.

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