Photoshop CS - great upgrade for digital photographers

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Bill Hilton, Nov 24, 2003.

  1. Bill Hilton

    Bill Hilton Guest

    Most of the posts about CS are about activation, but I'd like to say a few
    words about the new features that are of interest to digital photographers.
    I've been using Photoshop since V4, including buying the V5, 5.5, 6 and 7
    upgrades, and I think CS is the best upgrade ever for digital photography.
    Here are a few reasons why ...

    The Shadow/Highlight tool does an excellent job of plucking extra details out
    of the shadow areas, which is very useful if you're scanning film, especially
    slides. The default settings are for backlit subjects that should have been
    shot with fill-flash and are overkill for most of my shots, but I changed the
    shadow 'amount' and 'tonal width' defaults to 25% (and usually modify them
    depending on the image) and see more subtle effects in the shadows. If you
    could build a very complex, subtle shadow mask and use curves to pull out the
    details without adding noise you'd be able to mimic what this tool does, but it
    does it effortlessly and it's a very valuable additon to the digital toolbox,
    well worth the price of the upgrade I feel.

    The RAW converter is now built-in and it's so much better than the Canon crap I
    was using it's not even funny. This is also a very worthy upgrade if you don't
    have one of the expensive 3rd party converters.

    CS now has much better 16 bit support, including layers, adjustment layers and
    adjustment layer masking. I know there's debate about whether or not you need
    16 bits (or at least Dan Margulis says you don't), but if you want it you've
    got it.

    To me, with the way I use Photoshop, these are the three top new features in
    CS. There are several other things that are also useful for digital
    photographers though, including a robust panorama stitching option, a "Photo
    Filter" that mimics various color correction filters like the 80, 81, 82 and 85
    series, a histogram that's always visible, the Color Replacement Tool for
    fixing red-eye or matching colors between files and a Filter > Blur > Lens Blur
    option that lets you play with various degrees of bokeh.

    I work with four basic types of files, 6 Mpix digital camera tiffs and 4,000
    dpi scans of 35 mm, 6x4.5 cm and 6x7 cm film. I set up some test suites to
    check CS vs V7 for speed and the V7 files running the same long actions took
    175% to 270% longer to complete than the same tasks on CS, so CS is a good bit
    faster too.

    Basically, it's a great upgrade for me.

    What about activation? All I had to do was open up my firewall once to let CS
    call the mothership and I was activated in seconds, then I disabled CS's
    ability to access the net and it hasn't asked for permission since. (There's
    also an option to phone in for the activation number if you don't want to go
    over the net even once). From what I understand activation looks for some
    unique ID number on your hard drive so when you open the ap it checks to see
    that you're still using that same drive. I can see how this is a hassle if you
    change drives often but otherwise it's not a big deal to me. I was able to
    activate on two computers without any problem.

    If you have a valid serial number don't let all the scare talk about activation
    keep you from this upgrade, it's the best one yet.

    (no, I do *not* work for Adobe :)
    Bill Hilton, Nov 24, 2003
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  2. Hi Bill

    Thanks for the excellent review.

    I'm also a paying/upgrading user
    since V4, and am looking forward to


    Stanley Krute, Nov 24, 2003
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  3. Bill Hilton

    Rick Guest

    You should.

    Unless the market nips this nonsense in the bud, eventually
    we'll all be renting our software, or paying per use for it.
    And that's exactly what the market appears to be doing.
    Two-thirds of Adobe's customers are saying they either
    won't upgrade to CS, or are switching to different software
    because of activation.

    Egos run very high at Adobe but the fact is they are not
    Microsoft. They do not have an essential monopoly in their
    respective market like MS does, and they won't get away
    with shoving activation down the market's throat like MS did.

    Rick, Nov 24, 2003
  4. I agree.
    Even though I spent $100 on the RAW plugin in May, I had to get CS for
    all the other features.
    Charlie Dilks, Nov 24, 2003
  5. Bill Hilton

    Mxsmanic Guest

    Actually, they do. There is no effective competitor to Photoshop.
    Illustrator holds its own quite well, also. InDesign and PageMaker (and
    FrameMaker, IIRC) are still in competition with Quark XPress. Adobe's
    PostScript and PDF have no competition.
    Mxsmanic, Nov 24, 2003
  6. Bill Hilton

    Bill Hilton Guest

    I'd like to say a few words about the new features that are
    Also should have mentioned the two new resampling choices for when you have to
    interpolate ... there's a new 'bicubic smoother' for enlarging (something I
    rarely have to do so I haven't tried it yet but I do have one test file I
    worked on earlier with Genuine Fractals, Stair Interpolation and just 'bicubic
    in one step' so I can try it against those options) and also a new 'bicubic
    sharper' for downsampling. I tried 'sharper' recently when I was downsizing
    some film scans to 600x400 for the web and to 100x100 for thumbnails and my
    impression is the final jpegs were higher quality with smaller file size than I
    was getting before, though I haven't tried any exhaustive tests.

    Bill Hilton, Nov 24, 2003
  7. Bill Hilton

    Paul J Gans Guest

    I think that's a bit extreme. If Adobe keeps its promises
    the only folks inconvenienced are people like me who tend
    to chew up hard drives. Sure, I'd like it better if there
    was no activation. But I'll upgrade as soon as I get the
    new machine to avoid the "I've got a new hard drive" hassle.

    ---- Paul J. Gans
    Paul J Gans, Nov 24, 2003
  8. Bill Hilton

    Rick Guest

    Among pros, yes. That accounts for 15-20% of Photoshop sales.
    The other 80 or 85% of the market can and do use other, less
    expensive products. Adobe does not have anything resembling
    a monopoly on the market as a whole.
    None of those Adobe products have a monopoly or anything
    close to one, and the latter two are licensed to the point where
    activation isn't relevant.

    Rick, Nov 24, 2003
  9. Wow. Who did the research on this?
    Stephen H. Westin, Nov 24, 2003
  10. Bill Hilton

    Troy Guest

    Regardless of how you feel, activation is here and is going to stay.
    People put up with even more annoying dongles for the longest time. A
    single quick check into a server to verify that your key isn't being
    used by thousands of people is much less intrusive than having to keep a
    dongle plugged into your USB or parallel port any time you want to use
    the software, then having to spend another $100 to replace the dongle
    when it dies after a few years.
    Was that actually 2/3 of Adobe's customers, or 2/3 of Adobe's users?
    There's a big difference since Photoshop is one of the most
    widely-pirated pieces of software out there. Of course, most pirates
    won't upgrade or will switch to different software because they *can't*
    I don't have much of a problem with activation. As long as no personally
    identifiable information is sent, I don't see why it's considered
    intrusive. Software piracy is a major problem and activation is one of
    the few forms of copy protection that actually works (mostly).

    As for renting software, activation does not necessarily mean software
    rental. They are two completely independent concepts. Activation does
    make annual licenses easier to enforce, but it isn't required. There
    already is software that expires after x number of days or x number of

    The only difference is that, without activation, the user just has to
    roll their clock back. However, for most businesses, that's an
    inconvenience that just isn't worth the money saved by not renewing.
    Limited use licenses will exist even without activation.
    Troy, Nov 25, 2003
  11. Bill Hilton

    Birk Binnard Guest

    If no one bought software requiring activation, there wouldn't be any.
    Birk Binnard, Nov 25, 2003
  12. Bill Hilton

    Mxsmanic Guest

    It apparently didn't stay with Intuit.

    The problem with this scheme is not the activation itself, but the
    corruption of the disk drive that the activation system causes.
    Mxsmanic, Nov 25, 2003
  13. Bill Hilton

    Annika1980 Guest

    From: Troy
    Annika1980, Nov 25, 2003
  14. Bill Hilton

    Troy Guest

    Intuit's activation was different. With their activation, if somebody
    got a new computer, they could no longer view their taxes. The taxes are
    in a proprietary format.

    With Photoshop, if you don't re-activate, you can still use another app
    to view your images.
    Activation does not cause disk corruption. The problem is that the
    activation is tied to a specific physical hard drive. So, when you
    upgrade your drive, you lose your activation.

    If Adobe handles re-activation the way Microsoft does, this isn't a
    problem. With MS, you can re-activate x number of times within a certain
    time frame. If you go over this limit, you just need to talk to somebody
    on the telephone. As long as 3000 different people aren't trying to
    activate a specific key, it's never a problem.
    Troy, Nov 25, 2003
  15. Bill Hilton

    Jeremy Nixon Guest

    Unfortunately, at least at the high end, they do have a monopoly.

    Fortunately, they haven't (yet?) encumbered the Mac version with this
    nonsese, and, well, who cares about Windows anyway?
    Jeremy Nixon, Nov 25, 2003
  16. Is the upgrade that important to someone that doesn't really use much in
    photoshop anyway?...........Beyond the RAW converter, is there any really
    major changes or improvements? The better 16 bit support sounds great, but
    then it sounds like not everybody thinks it is that necessary anyway??
    The raw converter is the only real draw for me as I hate the Canon
    converter, but I am probably going to buy Breezebrowser anyway, as it is
    supposed to be better than the plug-in for photoshop??
    I think one of the reasons any program is pirated a lot is that it is so
    damned expensive to begin with. I have a lot of peeves with the anti-piracy
    tactics.................selling computer systems with software, but not
    giving you original program disks being one of them.etc.

    Scott Fairbairn, Nov 25, 2003
  17. Bill Hilton

    Tony Spadaro Guest

    Tony Spadaro, Nov 25, 2003
  18. Bill Hilton

    Tony Spadaro Guest

    The figures you quote:
    "Two-thirds of Adobe's customers are saying they either
    Sound like pure horseshite to me.
    But I can make up "facts too". Here's one:

    Nine tenths of all the people who say Adobe is losing business to other
    software because of the activation have IQs below 30 - and the other tenth
    are all at 32.

    home of The Camera-ist's Manifesto
    The Improved Links Pages are at
    A sample chapter from my novel "Haight-Ashbury" is at
    Tony Spadaro, Nov 25, 2003
  19. Bill Hilton

    HornDawg Guest

    No need to activate if you have the right crack.
    HornDawg, Nov 25, 2003
  20. Bill Hilton

    Rick Guest

    Rick, Nov 25, 2003
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