Many consider Photoshop to be the universal standard of editing and post-processing software packages. With its detailed RAW converter plug-in, vast amounts of editing tools and effects, it’s aimed primarily at keen enthusiasts and professional photographers.
Photoshop CS5 comes with the latest version of Adobe Camera Raw 6 (ACR) and offers a vast amount of adjustment sliders – including Tone Curve, exposure correction and lens correction – along with localised correction tools for working selectively within an image. Although CS5 itself doesn’t offer anything in the way of file organisation, the included copy of Adobe Bridge CS5 can run externally to Photoshop and will let you star rate, colour code and generally manage your files. The addition of extra Noise removal and geometric distortion correction features are a great inclusion to the already expansive options. Adjustment sliders are neatly and logically stored into group tabs – ranging from basic to advanced – making sure only sliders relevant to one another are shown on screen at the same time, reducing clutter.
As you would expect from an expensive piece of software, alterations made to RAW files are generally instant, with sliders being precise and responsive – even with larger files. The option of being able to use previous conversion settings for multiple files makes batch conversions quick and easy. Custom settings can also be saved as presets to keep for use with any future photographic projects.
A full copy of Photoshop CS5 will set you back around £608. This may seem like a lot of money to spend on a piece of software – and it is – but for that price tag you must remember you’re getting the most advanced professional editing software on the market, jam-packed with features and advanced photo manipulation tools. Adobe also gives customers currently using the older CS2, CS3 and CS4 versions, the chance to upgrade to CS5 for the greatly reduced price of £182 - Photoshop Elements 6, 7 and 8 users (Elements 4, 6 and 8 for Mac users) can also make the upgrade for £562.
The latest instalment of the long running Photoshop series is even more advanced and featured-filled than the last. With so many different editing options and tools on offer, there’s very little you can’t do with this package. However, the steep price tag may be a turn off for those on a tight budget, or for amateur photographers who’ll most likely brush past the majority of the advanced options, and would be more suited to Elements 9 instead.
- Street price: Discontinued
- PC OS: XP (SP3) and above
- Mac OS: 10.5.7 and above
- 30 day free trial
- Visit: www.adobe.com/uk
This review was first published in the June 2010 issue of Digital Photo - download back issues here.