I wanted to do a comprehensive review on the latest installment of Photoshop, about a month ago. I had envisioned it being about more of the same tools, without justification of the added cost. This is however not the case, CS6 is honestly so much better than CS5, that I was actually shocked. So without haste I decided to use the program a great deal more before writing a review that I felt would be an accurate representation of the major improvements of this update.
63% More Features.
Numerous Speed Enhancements.
Innovative new tools, such as adaptive wide angle and better sharpening techniques.
Clean design that makes the image the focus rather than the interface.
New Interface for creating still videos.
Now from the beginning, the first major update is to camera raw. If you don’t use camera raw, well that’s just stupid so never mind..
Bridge is almost exactly the same, which is fine for me because I really didn’t want any change. They have added a few plugins for social media sharing, but again almost identical.
Camera Raw now has four new sliders that allow you to control the Highlights, Shadows, Whites and Blacks. HDR shooters should definitely take note, as HDR processing can be done right in raw. This replaces the old brightness and recovery sliders. The control is so much better I now barely find myself using the dodge and burn tool in Photoshop itself. Also, because camera raw uses side car files to the raw file there is no data loss, and you can easily apply duplicate settings to multiple images.
I tend to process each image one by one because I’m extremely picky like that. In this case I am doing a simple two image pan so the settings have to be identical. Moving forward, I have run a photo merge command on the two images and they are now merged in Photoshop.
The crop tool has vastly improved to that of the previous versions. There is now a live view option that allows you to see the crop as you are making changes. The former version was frustrating as it seemed to take forever to get the proper crop on an image.
I now have adjusted my curves levels and added some contrast to add some punch. I shoot in raw so this is always a requirement. Now to go over the new adaptive wide angle tool.
This new feature is great as it allows you to use wide angles on subject you normally would not due to distortion. You can still preserve the wide angle look and you are able to straighten any crooked lines. This is especially helpful when shooting interiors, to give that “big” look to a room.
Adobe has also added a content-aware move tool. Personally I do not use this, but it works great if your photography demands that you have to move trees around or something.
Adobe Photoshop CS6 looks better, it runs faster, and there is numerous improvements for the working professional. This program has easily paid for itself within the first month I upgraded. Anything that makes my workflow easier is fine by me.