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ATPM 4.08
August 1998




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Review: Photoshop 5

by Jamal Ghandour,

[ps1 graphic]

Product Information
Published by: Adobe Systems
List Price: $990

Adobe rightfully describes it as "The world-standard photo design and production tool." Adobe Photoshop is simply the best professional image editing software around (not to mention most expensive.) So, does the latest version (5.0) keep up the reputation? Or is it just an over-hyped resource-hungry upgrade?

At version 5.0, Adobe Photoshop is definitely in its best shape ever. The transition from 4.0 to 5.0 was very well-executed (unlike the awkward 3.0 to 4.0 transition, which left many end users confused and angry, due to radical shortcut changes.) Adobe has also, carried a complete face-lift to the code engine (which runs considerably faster now). Last, but not least, are the slew of new features, which are more than just a last day wrap-up. These babies rock!

So, where is the catch? Well, everything comes at a price, and in this case the prices to pay are huge. To work with the new features efficiently at high resolutions, tremendous amounts of both RAM and hard disk space are required. I mean tremendous. If you're still uncertain, just look at Adobe's stated system requirements:

[ps2 graphic]

Can you see how large Adobe recommend your hard drive be? I will leave the rest to your imagination.

Although Photoshop is pretty good at what it does, various "wish list" features were (again!) omitted. The most shameful is the lack of more "Web-savvy" features (I smelled that it had to do with Adobe's ImageReady which is supposed to be Adobe's solution to Web images). If you think that is weird, then can you believe Adobe added just one new filter this time? (We know quantity doesn't matter, but I would have loved a squeeze filter in there somewhere.) How about a plug-in management system? Why can't we manage our filters like we manage our extensions?

Another point, which everyone might find silly, is numbering. One of the things I liked most about Adobe "was" its ability to number its version correctly (at least Photoshop-wise.) While some programs were in their 20th version, Adobe was still in its fourth.

So why does this bother me so much? The Adobe we know would have named this version 4.5 (at most) because most of the improvements were good but not to the extent of jumping a whole version up. I guess either Adobe's goals are changing (release a new version: make'm pay more for the upgrade, now let's think of version 6.0) or they are trying to catch up with their Illustrator program version (as in number :P).

If you think, that I am just imagining things and Adobe has not changed, can anyone tell me how long it took Adobe to release Photoshop 3.0 from 2.0? Even then we passed through 2.5, and while 3.0 to 4.0 was unexpected (we were really expecting 3.5), the features were enough to justify the jump. Don't get me wrong, Adobe Photoshop 5.0 is a most welcome addition to my hard disk, and I still think that Photoshop is the role model for all the imaging software (but I would have gladly waited a few extra month for even better features). Anyway, enough opinions and let's get to the core: listed below are the new features:

[ps3 graphic]

[ps4 graphic]


If you are a professional designer, with lots of hard disk space and RAM to spare, then Photoshop 5.0 is for you. Otherwise, you're better off staying with your current version. I don't really think dashing out to upgrade (both in terms of software and hardware) is really worth a few pre-saved chopped actions or even the multiple undos (you've lived without them long enough, you can do it for the next 10 months too.)

Lastly, I am interested in your opinion: do you think Adobe's latest release is really worth the 5.0 or just the 4.5? Just drop me an e-mail with the subject "Adobe Photoshop 5.0 or 4.5." I think it will be interesting to see the results; they will probably be published in the next issue of ATPM.

[apple graphic] Copyright © 1998 Jamal Ghandour, Jamal has been heard screaming all over the place "no no no NO!! How could they do this to me!!" (Poor
soul, the Windows version of Photoshop 5 was delivered to him three weeks before the Mac version.

Reader Comments (3)

Rick Bowman · October 12, 2001 - 11:28 EST #1
I am not familiar with Photoshop 5.0 or 6.0, but support a shop with three work stations that use it. We just purchased some very nice Kokak printers. Is there a way to include a code or number on each photo so we can cross reference the photo to the file used to print it later on? Thanks, Rick Bowman
John Trigg · May 3, 2008 - 01:30 EST #2
Please, how do I burn a collection to disc without going through a slide show.
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · May 3, 2008 - 11:08 EST #3
John - can you be a bit more specific? Photoshop doesn't really have collections or slide shows, so I'm not sure what you're asking.

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