Pricing

Adobe unveiled its entire Creative Suite 5 yesterday after weeks of teaser videos and screenshots.

For photographers, Photoshop CS5 has a number of tools that help automate what used to be tedious and difficult processes. We've tried out CS5 on a number of photographs of our own to show what the software is capable of.

Editor's note: all examples and tests were conducted using a Beta version of Adobe Photoshop CS5.

Before we delve into some of the new features in CS5, it's worth noting that the software doesn't come cheap for Australian users. Local pricing for Photoshop CS5 is: AU$337 for an upgrade version, or AU$1168 for a full version, a price that's considerably more than what our US counterparts will pay.

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Photo by: Adobe / Caption by:

Content-Aware fill

Ever since Adobe's videos went viral a few weeks ago, there's been a lot of awe surrounding this feature. The best way to explain how this feature works is to demonstrate it, as with our photograph above. In this image, we'll try and remove the large sculpture sitting on the rocks by the foreshore.

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Photo by: Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia / Caption by:

Content-Aware fill

In this example we created a loose selection around the sculpture using the lasso tool and deleted the selection. The fill window opens up, allowing us to choose Content-Aware as the method to fill the gap.

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Photo by: Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia / Caption by:

Content-Aware fill

And like magic, Bam! the sculpture is gone. It's not foolproof though, as other examples we tried resulted in odd content fills in the background. It works best with a textured, relatively simple surface in the background.

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Photo by: Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia / Caption by:

Lens correction

Another feature in CS5 is the ability for the software to correct lens aberrations. In the example above, taken using a fish-eye lens, we'll attempt to use the lens correction feature to straighten things out.

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Photo by: Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia / Caption by:

Lens correction

The dialog box shows the information obtained from the photograph's EXIF data, with camera model and lens used. If a profile does not exist for a particular lens or camera combination, users can manually update the software by clicking on the "Search Online" button. A preview of the effect is shown in the pane to the left.

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Photo by: Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia / Caption by:

Lens correction

The final image, corrected.

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Photo by: Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia / Caption by:

Workspace

Using the preset configurations depending on the task at hand, photographers can switch to the most appropriate layout and display options. The photography option shows the histogram and common editing tools, as above.

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Photo by: Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia / Caption by:

Noise reduction

In Adobe's Camera Raw 6 plug-in, enhanced noise reduction options are in place to address luminance and other forms of digital noise without destroying detail. The shot in the editing window above was taken with a Nikon D3000 at ISO 1600.

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Photo by: Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia / Caption by:

Noise reduction

A 100 per cent crop of the previous image, once the noise reduction in Adobe Camera Raw was applied.

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Photo by: Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia / Caption by:

Lightroom

Lots of photographers use Adobe Lightroom to manage their workflow, and CS5 offers tighter integration between the two suites. Images can be edited in Photoshop with the results automatically shown in Lightroom.

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Photo by: Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia / Caption by:

HDR Toning

Photoshop CS5 offers improved HDR tools, including Merge to HDR Pro (for multiple images of the same subject shot with different exposures), and HDR Toning that can be applied to single images (as above). We tried to merge several images together to create a "true" HDR image; however, our test machine (running Windows XP with 2GB RAM) wasn't up to the task.

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Photo by: Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia / Caption by:

HDR Toning

With the HDR Toning options applied, here's the finished image.

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Photo by: Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia / Caption by:
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