The latest version of the professional photo-editing program
Just about every computer user will need to edit photos or other images at some point, and there are many free and low-cost programs available for home users who want to edit family pictures.
If you’re a very keen amateur photographer, though, or edit images as part of your job, then the chances are that you’re using a version of Adobe Photoshop.
Along with the fifth version of its Creative Suite, CS5, the company has released this twelfth edition of the standalone program. Like CS3 and CS4 before it, CS5 is available in two versions: the standard edition reviewed here and an Extended edition that includes additional 3D tools of use to those working with video and other media.
You might have thought that after 11 previous versions there wouldn’t be much to add to a photo-editing tool, but in fact Photoshop CS5 includes some surprising new tools and notably enhanced versions of older ones.
Perhaps the best-publicised new trick up Photoshop’s sleeve is the Content Aware Fill, which attempts to replace a selected area based on what surrounds it. You can do this by selecting an area and deleting, in which case an option allows you to choose between simply removing the area and using content-related fill – or by painting with the healing brush.
Given a reasonable amount of space around the area in question, both can work astonishingly well: we found that we could clone people out of pictures with a single drag of the clone brush, while filling deleted areas often left a background that could be quickly tidied up using the traditional clone brush.
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An impressive upgrade, but the price is out of reach of many users Good points New content-aware tools are remarkable, improved HDR and Raw imaging tools Bad points Expensive; UK customers pay over £50 more than US shoppers
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