Many Thanks to Adobe for the Photoshop CS2 Review Copy. I have been stealing time in between my schedules to test this out for the past one month. Personally, I never felt the need to compare Photoshop with any other Image Editors. Maybe, my exposure to the variety of image editors are conservative but then the few that I tried never matched up to what Photoshop does. My review here may be rather vague and not that professional as I am not a professional Graphic/UI Designer, I tried out the features after reading about them and after consulting our Designer Team.
Photoship CS2 was installed on my Lenovo (erstwhile IBM) Thinkpad R52 Intel Centrino running on 1.86GHz with about 1.25 GB of RAM sporting a screen resolution of 1400 × 1050 DPI displayed on a 32bit color depth. While testing, most of the time it was run as a stand-alone program, sometimes with Microsoft Outlook and Firefox opened.
I have been using Photoshop since its 4th version for all of the graphical edition that I needed to do – website designs, image enhancement, photo re-touch ups, well anything that is to with image and graphics. Neverthless, I never went into Designs professionally and was always the second option to help me with my primary needs.
I can recollect, that it was intimidating during my initial encounters with the software, with its varied and elaborate tools, it took quite a bit of time for me to understand the the power it can wield on a digital canvas. But then it became easier to use, manipulate its capabilities to full (if not the fullest) and learn to apply the right option to bring out the desired output. With that said, shifting to Photoshop CS2 wasn’t much of a difference for me though I have never tried Photoshop CS. I never thought of upgrading from version 7.0 as my need was very little, the graphical/design usage was very far and between my actual work profile.
Here are the few features which I have experienced, liked about and want to talk about here;
Help Navigation seem to have taken a quantum leap, and is now much easier to navigate. This was specially helpful for casual or reguar-but-not-experienced user need to refer to them often.
Photoshop CS2 has the ability to select multiple layers by shift-clicking or select non-contiguous layers by Ctrl-clicking the layers. It also allows you to lock contents and positioning separately. I am not really a big fan of the Customized Menu but I am sure seasoned graphic designers would love it.
Ah!, and the much needed tool was the Red Eye Tool. Photoshop CS2 have introduce the One click red eye removal tool.
Photoshop CS2 have also introduced some new sets of Blue Effects – Box Blur, Shape Blur and Surface Blur. One of the cool thing about Surface Blur is that it can blur an image while leaving the edges unaffected.
Optical Lens Correction allows you to adjust, correct camera lens distortions like barrel or pincushion distortion, chromatic aberration, vignetting and perspective problems. It also allows you to monitor the progress with a live preview on an alignment grid.
Photoshop CS2 have also introduced the ability to create Animated GIF right inside it, which is definitely a plus point and a boon for web designers.
I have heard people talk a lot about the Warp transform tool. I wasn’t really able to come up with anything cool but the designers loves this addition. They are all wowp over the ability to fold, stretch, pull, twist and wrap a graphics into shapes of their choice either preset or custom controls. Vanishing Point allows fine tuning graphics by cloning, painting and transforming image objects while keeping the visual perspective intact.
Another fine tool was the Smart Objects, more attuned for the high-end professional designers, is the ability to maintain separate group of layers outside the PSD file – which an then be edited remotely. This looks more like class modules where you edit at one place and is reflected across other graphics which have a common module embedded. This also allows transform and scaling of images (even illustrations) without compromising on the quality.
Adobe Photoshop CS2 is retailed at $649 and an upgrade from any prior version will cost $169. Adobe Photoshop CS2 can also be upgrade from Photoshop LE, PhotoDeluxe, or Photoshop Elements and will cost $499. Visit the Adobe Store to order Photoshop CS2 or any other Adobe Products.