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Photoshop CS5 – The Inevitable Return of the King

A long-awaited release of Photoshop CS5 is coming up - according to the Adobe officials the big launch is scheduled for April 12th. This legendary software that have celebrated its 20th anniversary a couple of months ago and yet it still keeps surprising us with perfect performance, unbeatable functionality and fresh ideas and features. Though these guys have proved that they are simply the best long time ago they don't want to stop.

Previous version of Photoshop - the CS4 - was accepted by the design community as a good product (some even claimed that CS4 was the best possible promotion of Photoshop 7 since the launch of Photoshop 7 itself). So now the situation is sorta similar to the situation of Microsoft before the launch of Windows 7 - after the previous product (Vista for Microsoft and CS4 for Adobe) the new version must rehabilitate the good name of the company! Well it appeared to be that Microsoft has succeded in this effort and Windows 7 has made us forget of the Vista failure. The question about Adobe is still on - will CS5 be good enough?

Below you'll find our short roundup of the main features that we thing are worth being noted in the Photoshop CS5. We should mention that our criteria was to highlight primarily the design-related features that will be useful for professional web designers but we hope that our roundup will be useful for all Photoshop users.

New awesome features!

As every new product, Photoshop CS5 has some extremely discussed and really exciting options that can easily be called its key features. Here they are:

  • Patch Match is a randomized correspondence algorithm for structural image editing. This cool option allows healing and filling any part of the image. New algorithm takes pixels from around of the target area and tries to create a similar result by blending it.
  • Refine edge option was first presented in CS3 version and CS5 offers really enhanced opportunities of this tool because you can apply refine edge to any image. New Photoshop allows working more efficiently with masking and selection. Now you can easily edit even the trouble areas such as hair, the edge between two different objects etc. One of the best features is the "Smart Radius" that uses advanced edge detection to help you create complex selections really fast.
  • Painting and brushes are one of the main innovations in the Photoshop CS5 and soon you'll understand why. First of all you'll get a model of palette that allows mixing up colors with the wet brush effect (looks very realistic). You will be able to use any image as a canvas template for painting. The brush performance is really awesome in CS5 because now all brushes are available in 3D preview that simulate real live physics of the brushes. This means that you can see exactly how different brushes will paint and choose the proper one or even create your own.

Small but also important innovations

  • you'll be able to select multiple layers and settle them all at once;
  • color management system was improved and now end users will feel the difference in quality and calibration;
  • in CS5 you can create your own layer styles instead of the default one;
  • new version allows saving 16-bit files as JPG in a single step without downsampling;
  • now you can use switch for activating and deactivating multi-touch gestures;
  • new system of adjusting opacity can really save your time;
  • new CS5 allows to save multiple documents with single command;
  • from now on you can use a ruler tool together with straighten button to rotate and straighten image really quickly;

Though this new Adobe software has very 'democratic' hardware requirements, if you really intend to use it on a daily basis you may really want to have a huge hard drive, believe us. But in terms of today's designers' workstations trends this will not be a big problem, most of designers already have HDDs like that.

Now what do you guys think of the new version of our primary software and its new features? Will they really save the Photoshop CS family? Are they really useful and most importantly - will you be ready to abandon the software you're used to in favor of the new Photoshop CS5? Let us know in the comments!

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