Adobe Photoshop Express review: Adobe Photoshop Express

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.3
  • Setup and interface: 8.0
  • Features: 7.0
  • Performance: 7.0
  • Service and support: 7.0
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Reviewed:
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The Good Slick, attractive interface; useful retouching tools and well-done interface for using them; most operations relatively fast.

The Bad Doesn't support photos from 12-megapixel or higher cameras; no filtering or keywording; no printing options.

The Bottom Line Though there's a lot to like about Adobe's first stab at online photo editing and sharing, however, you probably want to wait until the company fixes a few problems with the beta before uploading scads of photographs to Adobe Photoshop Express.

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Editor's note: This review has been updated to reflect changes in Photoshop Express' Terms of Use, slated to take effect on April 10, 2008.

Adobe's VP of Hosted and Consumer Services refers to Photoshop Express as "the on-ramp to the Adobe digital-imaging franchise." Next exit, Photoshop Elements? Construction delays? Slippery pavement ahead? The mind reels with metaphorical possibilities. With its familiar-looking organizational tools, slick Flash-based interface, and robust retouching algorithms, Express embodies Adobe at its potential finest--this is a newborn beta, after all, and we should expect bugs. (If it should reach senior betahood, such as Gmail, we will cease to forgive.) But there are also a few potholes in this on-ramp to beware.

Photoshop Express is two things: a photo-sharing site targeting the millions of snapshot photographers who think software such as Photoshop Elements is too difficult, too disconnected or just too much, and a platform from which Adobe will serve partner sites with editing tools. At beta launch, Facebook, Photobucket and Picasa comprise the short list of partners; Flickr will be next in line, though a date has not been announced.

As a sharing site it's simultaneously pretty and functional. And it succeeds as a proof-of-concept that Flash and Flex allow you to create robust online applications that look and feel like local ones. For sharing, the feature set is pretty typical: it lets you upload photos into albums (up to 2GB), organize them, make them public for sharing or share them privately via email links, and generate and email nice-looking self-contained Flash slide shows. There's lots of dragging and dropping to organize, and a free vanity URL.

For editing, it delivers a better-than-average experience. In addition to a more-than-sufficient set of tools for adjusting exposure, color and sharpness and touching up artifacts like red-eye and fixing blemishes, it also supplies a basic set of specifial effects that let you turn bad or boring pictures into something a bit more interesting. The application also displays a snapshot history of your edits, which is a nice touch missing even from Adobe's desktop products. Most of the tools operate relatively quickly; only Distort left me singing the not-so-realtime blues. (Click through the slide show)

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Adobe Photoshop Express (Web)

Part Number: CNETADOBEPHOTOSHOPEXPRESS
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