The new Version of Adobe Photoshop is now called \"Adobe Photoshop CS\" and is part of the newly announced Adobe Creative Suite which combines full, new versions of Adobe Photoshop CS with ImageReady CS, Adobe Illustrator CS, Adobe InDesign CS, Adobe GoLive CS, Adobe Acrobat 6.0 Professional, and the new \"Version Cue\" file version manager, which lets you easily track interations and quickly locate files. Note that this review of Photoshop CS is based on a (very recent) beta version, so screen captures and functionality may not be representative of the full and final product.
Photoshop CS is no doubt the most significant Photoshop move towards digital photographers. Although this upgrade also provides exciting new features for general users, web designers, and even video editors, this article will focus on some of the exciting new features most useful to digital photographers.
The simplicity of the Photoshop CS interface is as deceiving as its predecessors and at first it appears as if little has changed, making the transition from Photoshop 7 to Photoshop CS very natural, preserving most of your Photoshop learning curve. However, a closer look reveals a large number of exciting new features ranging from major things such as RAW support, and the Histogram Palette to minor things such as Crop and Straighten and the Bicubic Smoother and Bicubic Sharper interpolation options.
The RAW part of the separate Photoshop 7 Adobe Photoshop Camera RAW & JPEG 2000 Plug-in Bundle which was sold separately is now an integrated part of Photoshop CS and has become substantially more powerful. JPEG 2000 delivers superior quality for the same compression ratio (or superior compression ratios for the same quality). However, since no cameras currently support JPEG 2000, support for this format is available through a separate plug-in that ships with the software.
Camera RAW - White Balance and Exposure
Unlike the more universal JPEG format, RAW comes in many flavors, depending on the camera brand. It is usually processed by software provided by the manufacturer or specialized third party software. Adobe Photoshop CS covers most RAW formats available today. However, given the proprietary nature of the various RAW formats, the RAW data may not always be read 100% correctly. For instance, the white balance of Nikon Coolpix 5000 images turned out unnatural, which was not the case using Nikon\'s own Nikon Capture 3.5. That being said, it was relatively easy to fix the white balance by clicking in a non-specular white area, followed by a minor tint adjustment. Further adjustments can be made via the advanced \"Calibration\" tab. Moreover, you can save your settings and use these as a start for subsequent images from the same camera so you will not have to make these adjustments every time.