Adobe has updated the photo downloader with more file-naming choices, as well as a variety of different dialog displays for those suffering from TMI (too much information) overload.
You can drag photos to a particular location on the map and subsequently filter search results by location. If you're GPS-enabled, Photoshop Elements can automatically use the GPS info to populate the map with photos.
When you import photos into Photoshop Elements 5, the program can optionally create stacks of sufficiently similar photos. I wish it were a little more aggressive in its decisionmaking, however, and considered more photos similar than it did during beta testing. It's possible Adobe will tweak this before the final product ships.
Though a minor change, Adobe updated Elements' stack interface to operate more like Lightroom, with stacks that slide open and closed.
Photoshop Elements 5 gives you some nice controls for converting from color to black and white. They're not quite as powerful as those in Photoshop, but far better than most automatic conversions.
Putting in a distortion-correction tool in Photoshop Elements 5 was a nice idea; unfortunately, in software, it's not just the thought that counts. These tools aren't as easy to work with as you'd think. I'd prefer the ability to draw horizontal and vertical lines and have the software calculate the mesh and corrections from those.
The new sharpness adjustment-dialog allows you to choose from three types of blur to remove: Lens Blur, Gaussian blur, and Motion Blur. The question is, how do you know which type of blur you've got? Maybe the Help system in the final product will shed some light on the issue. Meanwhile, the traditional Unsharp Mask remains as well
Adobe has improved the interface for customizing projects, such as the Web photo gallery shown here.
In some cases, however, the program operates counterintuitively. For instance, it treats frames as containers for photos. That's good. At least until you want to apply filters or retouch the images. Then you're forced to merge the frame with the photo, and any effect you apply affects the frame. That's bad.


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