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The Photoshop CS Rip-off

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Old 09-01-2005, 06:14 AM
tom langford tom langford is offline
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The Photoshop CS Rip-off


I'm a professional retoucher and photographer, and recently joined RetouchPro.

I've used Photoshop every day for years and I'm dismayed at how much of a rip-off each new upgrade has become. I'm presently using version 7, and checked out CS2 to see if it was worth upgrading.

I was disappointed at how little it has to offer me. As a professional user I use about 0.5% of its vast mountain of features. A few that are essential to me have been left to rot for years: It still has the same crappy unsharp masking. Image interpolation hasn't changed. The brushes dialog is impressive, but still of little use to me, and does not address what I need at my fingertips, daily.

I know that there are many users who love to experiment and enjoy some of the astonishing filters and features that Photoshop is packed with. Most of the images I work on for clients, however, have to appear totally real and show no traces of being worked on. For me it boils down to a pressure-sensitive pen and mountains of laborious layer masks.

There were only two things that I could see being of use to me: support for raw files (for some reason all the rage now with photographers), and a more advanced transform feature.

Annoyingly I will HAVE to upgrade to CS2, simply because of the raw file support. The advanced transform feature is still clumbersome to use - it's fine for creative playing about, but doesn't do what I need most.

For me this is only version 7.5, but I would not have minded paying a modest upgrade fee. I feel that Adobe are on the make, and not even pretending to cater to an established core group of professional retouchers.

I realise that this criticism may seem like sour grapes from a specialist user. But I am one of many thousands, worldwide, that Adobe has neglected for years.
Old 09-01-2005, 07:27 AM
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HexImpaler HexImpaler is offline
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Hi there,

you might allready know this but CS2 have some serious problems with pressure sensitivity in wacom boards and such. I don't know if it's the same problem with your "pressure-sensitive pen".

sorry for my crappy english
Old 09-01-2005, 08:17 AM
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wbcarey wbcarey is offline
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I agree with your post. I feel that adobe should have released this as a free upgrade but that will never happen. Photoshop is a cash cow for adobe and adobe would like nothing better than to be able to sell as many copies of PS as possible. With the increase of digital camera sales Photoshop is more popular than ever. Do a search with google and see how many PS centric sites that are out there A cottage industry has developed around this product with everyone selling a book,dvd,plugin whatever. I am not saying this is a bad thing. I am just using this as a example of how mainstream the product is. Hold on to your hat as CS3 is right arounf the corner and rumoured to be in standard and premium flavors.

Old 09-01-2005, 04:07 PM
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byRo byRo is offline
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Agreed, except for the title....

Agreed - I have said almost the same a few times around here. To repeat myself, I will happily work with PS 7.0 and leave CS 2 collecting dust (until I need to do a "Vanishing point" clone- once a month).
However, if you look at it from the point of view of Adobe, they haven't really got much of an alternative. They don't want to go out of business, so they've got to keep on inventing (un-necessary) stuff for new versions.
I like to compare it with MS-Word. I've seen it written (and if you want I'll find the quotes) that for serious writers the best thing is Word 4.0. Which it seems was the sweet point where are the necessary things were present and the rubbish hadn't set in yet. I've gotten the feeling the PS 7.0 is that "sweet" point.

The title - If they had messed things up so that PS 7.0 and CS 2 were totally incompatible, that would be a rip-off.
As it is - if you don't have either then by all means buy CS 2 (if you have a good machine), if you already have PS 7.0 then think hard and long before upgrading.

Old 09-01-2005, 04:19 PM
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Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
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If you look at a cost/benefit ratio, taking into consideration that (in a professional environment) any time saved is money earned, and taking a conservative figure of $35/hr and a cost of $150 to upgrade, then if CS2 can save you 5 hours of work over the next 18 months (when CS3 hits) then it is a worthwhile investment.

For a professional retoucher, I'd suspect the new 16bit and multi-layer sampling for the healing and spot healing brushes alone would save that. Add to that the new ability to address more than 2gb of RAM (which speeds up everything in Photoshop) and even more return is seen on the investment. And the new Smart Sharpen and Reduce Noise filters and all the other new features would just be gravy beyond that.
Old 09-01-2005, 06:36 PM
GaryRP GaryRP is offline
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Doug makes a very valid point ... As professionals "time is money" ....

I have said in past posts both on this forum (I think) and others ... my current copy of Photoshop CS (not CS2) ... is collectively worth the same as a small car ....

I've faithfully upgraded it every time since v5 ..... hence my hesitation to go to CS2 ...

I'm thinking of taking the approach of updating every second upgrade ( with a caveat that the next version has to have something I really need ...) ...

Keeps my watch and nervousness on the $$$ a little less stressful ...
Old 09-01-2005, 07:11 PM
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Racc Iria Racc Iria is offline
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I use CS2 and have a wacom tablet and have had no problems with pressure sensitivity or anything else.

Concerning if upgrading to CS2 is worth it.... It depends on what you use photoshop for. Doug pointed out some very good features for retouching that save a bundle of time. However, a lot of other features were added that may not impact a retoucher at all, such as the new ability to handle non-square pixels. This comes in real handy for those of us that also use Photoshop in the video industry.

So, the bottom line is that if new features in the latest version aren't going to help you, then save your money and don't upgrade. But, that doesn't mean the program is a rip-off or that all the new features are useless junk.

Is the program perfect? No. And never will be. But it is the best game in town, IMHO.

Old 09-02-2005, 10:30 AM
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Swampy Swampy is offline
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CS2 Arrrgh...

I did a job for postcards last year using CS1. The job repeated this year with one minor change - addition of a web site address on the BACK of the card - the color photo on the front did not change. The typeset change was made is CS2.

Sent the file to the same printer and the color shifting from the last run was absolutely unacceptable. When I got the color proof back I was steaming. I used the same ICC profiles and color setup in CS2 that were set up in CS1.

I went back to CS1, made the changes there and resubmitted the file to the printer. Second color proof was spot on.

Needless to say, I'm back to CS1 for all my jobs. It cost me $60 for the second color proof. I asked my printer to give me the first color proof which I mailed off to Adobe along with an actual postcard from the first run. Adobe's did get back to me with an explanation... yeah... They said my printer's RIP was at fault!!

Hey, Adobe, somehow I don't believe it.
Old 09-03-2005, 07:23 PM
tom langford tom langford is offline
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When I first started this thread my main point was that Adobe continue to add clever features to Photoshop that will appeal the majority of users, but fails to provide ongoing support to professional retouchers.

Admittedly, we are a minority group, but Photoshop is the industry standard image editing and manipulation program. The retouchers who use it deserve better treatment.

The Unsharp Mask (or the High Pass) filter often causes unnatural "highligts" and oversaturated pixels - why, because Adobe hasn't developed it for years. If they had upgraded it then I would have saved lots of hours of work over the last few years. I COULD buy a good-quality sharpening plug-in, but the point is: why haven't Adobe bothered themselves? Possibly because sharpening isn't as exciting to write about as the new vanishing point filter, and won't get rave reviews that help sell more upgrades.

Another core feature is the curves adjustment: The most important blending mode in which I use this is Luminosity (to keep the colours from oversaturating when you tweak the contrast), But there isn't a preference to make this the default blending mode. OK, you can create a Photoshop Action that will do this for you, but it irks me that Adobe just can't be bothered about this, too. They would rather develop any other filter except these core ones used over and over by retouchers. There are many other small niggling core-feature inadequacies that I don't have the stamina to list.

And why wasn't support for Raw files supplied as a plug-in for faithful Photoshop 7 users? Because they want us to spend on CS2. The thing is, I have absolutely no problem about them being in business to make money, and I would be happy to buy yet another upgrade, but I feel annoyed over their lack of concern over the finer points that would make me suspect that they cared.

Photoshop is still a superb product, stuffed full of goodies, and the next upgrade will no doubt contain lots of new Wow features that will make good copy in magazines. But surely, by now, they could have got around to looking at some of the more useful, basic, core features?!

Old 09-03-2005, 07:31 PM
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Swampy Swampy is offline
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I hear ya Tom...

I've often wondered why Adobe never incorporated a bleeds setup for a document. I can't tell you the number of times I've needed an x by x size document with a 1/8 inch bleed on four sides. I shouldn't have to do the math in my head and then still have to define bleeds by draging out ruler guides so I can see the margins on the screen.

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