Even the best photographers need a little help to make their photos shine in the digital world. We are coming closer and closer to the day where photo-editing software actually can auto-correct almost any image. Adobe’s Photoshop Lightroom 5 gives users the power to enhance their creations at a reasonable price.
Personally, I don’t like the direction Adobe and other companies are going in with the software as a service model. We no longer own anything and are trapped paying for the same stuff for the rest of our working lives. However, you can’t get around it and to paraphrase Dr. Strangelove – Time to stop worrying about the bomb and learn to love it. Adobe has just release a really nice update to Adobe Creative Cloud that includes a lot more options for multi-platform publishing and app building.
For those who do not know, Adobe’s Elements line of products is a streamlined version of their high end professional applications. Adobe uses the same core code from its professional products and streamlines it for a consumer friendly audience. The Elements bundle is based around a simple workflow process and concept: Organize, Edit, Create and Share.
Adobe Premiere/Photoshop Elements is the Video/Photo Editing solution for folks that have hit a wall with the free tools that come bundled with their Windows or Mac systems but are not ready for expensive professional tools like Final Cut X or Photoshop. It offers enough additional features that budding photographers and video producers could ask for without going overboard. It is also a nice, cheap way to get familiar with Adobe’s flagship Adobe Premiere Pro and Photoshop product lines.
It’s been rumored for months, today Adobe makes the release of Adobe CS5.5 official. Today they announced Adobe® Creative Suite® 5.5 Production Premium, the complete software solution for video and post-production that helps deliver content to virtually any screen. The entire goal of this release is to push the use of Adobe tools in the creation of new mobile applications. One of the highlights of the new package is Photoshop Touch a new SDK for developing tablet and mobile applications using Photoshop.
To show off the capabilities of the new suite, Adobe is also releasing 3 brand new apps for the Apple iPad: Adobe Color Lava for Photoshop, Adobe Eazel for Photoshop and Adobe Nav for Photoshop. The apps are designed to enable users to create custom color swatches, paint and drive popular Photoshop tools from tablet devices. These Apps will range in price from $1.99 to $4.99. We will review them when they are released in early May and of course we’ll have a full review of CS5.5 when that streets. Press release after the break.
Several months ago Adobe unleashed Adobe Creative Suite 5, their latest and greatest collection of tools to fit all sorts of creative people – Web Developers, Video Editors and Publishers. Initially one of the main selling points for the new collection was their support of Apple Products through the creation of an iOS conversion tool. Uncle Stevie put the kibosh on this neat tool prior to release. While the functionality is still there, there’s no guarantee Apple will let any of your creations into it’s Walled Garden. I’ve been playing around with the Super Bundle – Adobe Creative Suite 5 Master Collection for the last few months now and while there have been little tweaks here and there, from an end user stand point there doesn’t appear to be a whole lot new here. Or anything that makes you go “Wow, I must have this!” What it does do well is fix most of the issues with previous versions, adds just enough to keep you interested and it’s now really fast and stable. Hasn’t crashed on me once during any of my tests.
This is how Adobe wants it, sure they’ll spout off about all the great new features – “oooh, look at this great brush stroke in Photoshop,” “Or how about these nifty 3D Capabilities,” “Or DreamWeaver has more CSS Features than you can shake a stick at,” but really this release feels like more of an under the hood spruce up than a full blown product revision. Adobe has the Microsoft problem where at some point, there’s but so much you can do to really improve a product – at least from an Feature standpoint. It’s why I’ve had a lot of problem wrapping my head around this year’s review. If you are in the business and you aren’t using Adobe’s tools, what’s wrong with you? They are the leaders for a reason.
Adobe started shipping their latest and greatest collection of way overpriced apps today, Adobe CS5. I’ve been playing with an early release of this the last few days and will hopefully have a full review next week. I’m particularly interested in playing with the Flash to Apple Tool and seeing if I can get an app approved in the App store to see how strict Apple’s new ban will be. I’m also interested in playing with the new eBook tools. The Creative Suite 5 line-up includes five new versions: Creative Suite 5 Master Collection, Creative Suite 5 Design Premium, Creative Suite 5 Web Premium, Creative Suite 5 Production Premium, Creative Suite 5 Design Standard, as well as 15 point products and associated technologies. Creative Suite now includes a brand-new component, Adobe Flash® Catalyst™, a professional interaction design tool that allows designers to rapidly create expressive Web application interfaces and design interaction without writing code. The full press release is after the break.
Yesterday Apple updated their Development rules to exclude Apps created with 3rd party tools like Adobe’s upcoming CS5 which is touting the ability to port Flash and other CS5 developed apps directly to the iPhone via a conversion tool. I asked the folks at Adobe for a comment and they came back with this generic response, but I’m sure we’ll hear more about this in the future. I was all set to try and develop for the iPad but Apple is making it really tough to continue to support them. They’ve become as draconian as the Apple fantards claim MS is. I mean really, I have a iPad, then yesterday they announce that the iPhone 4.0 SDK won’t work with my 3G iPhone and I won’t even be able to get the multi-tasking on my Janky iPad that won’t connect to the internet. I’m ready to completely abandon Apple and go back to Windows and dump my iPhone. I’m tired of their BS. Anyway, here’s Adobe’s response – “We are aware of Apple’s new SDK language and are looking into it. We continue to develop our Packager for iPhone OS technology, which we plan to debut in Flash CS5,” said an Adobe Spokesperson.
Its Fall and time for another round of Adobe’s consumer level apps Photoshop and Premiere Elements. Honestly, I’m running out of things to say about the Elements series. Overall, I love both Premiere and Photoshop Elements it provides most of the features that an average consumer would use from Photoshop and Premiere prime, only in a leaner, meaner, stripped down version at a reasonable price of about $150.00.
Photoshop Elements 8 provides a pretty slick way of organizing your photos. The interface is lean and clean, surprisingly fast. The organizer imported over 2,500 photos in just a few minutes. It seems like this year’s version is really geared towards making the integration between Elements and Photoshop.com. It’s so seamless that half the time I couldn’t even tell if I was working with photos on my machine or photoshop.com. Ok, that’s hyperbole, I could certainly tell because I’m on a painfully slow internet connection. If I was home using my Fiber Optic line, then I doubt there’d be much difference. I kind of like this integration, when you import all your photos into the Organizer, you have the ability to also automatically update your online library.
I feel incredibly guilty, which is always a bad way to start off a review, I know. But the kind folks at Adobe sent me a copy of Photoshop and Premiere Elements their latest and greatest consumer level photo editing and video editing software last August and I’ve been meaning to write up a review of this excellent suite for the last 5 months and things kept getting in the way. You know the holiday madness of Film Award Season, CES Planning, the Video Game crunch and I can come up with a million excuses, but in the end, I just lost interest after reviewing the Adobe’s big brother applications – the Adobe CS4 suite. But I’m glad they hounded me like I stole their first born, because I really prefer Photoshop and Premiere Elements to their counterparts, probably because I don’t like my life to be complicated. I like things simple and straight forward and that’s what I get with the Elements suite. It feels like you are getting Pro Level versions at a reasonable price – I mean $149 for both (as a bundle, separately they are each $99) is a damn good deal.
Over the last few months I’ve started to get a little more into photography and to that end I recently purchased a Nikon D60 and Photoshop Elements is the perfect companion to that purchase. I’m not a photographer and don’t need or want a lot from my photo editing software. I just want to be able to import my images, easily crop and resize. Do some common touch-ups with easy to use Wizards, include an reusable watermark, maybe create a photo gallery or slideshow and then be able to share it with friends. Photoshop Elements let’s you do all of this with minimal fuss, the one area where it falls down is creating digital Watermarking, but hey you can just put the watermark on your image yourself. So this is not that big of deal.
Sometimes it’s a little difficult to do whatever it is that I do here at Eclipse. Last June, the folks at Adobe brought a bunch of us tech reviewers and writers up to New York to take a look at the latest and greatest of their offerings – Adobe CS4, with the caveat that everything was embargoed until they officially announced it in September. The problem with embargoes is, I’m very much a in the moment kind of person, where I’m excited and really want to talk about something the day I learn about it. When I have to wait months before I could even mention I even went to New York, my excitement level for CS4 kind of waned. I finally got my retail copy of the Adobe Master Collection a few weeks ago and have been playing with it. This is the most feature rich update that has come out in quite a while with numerous changes and tweaks to some of their key apps where needed, and in other cases they smartly left well enough alone.
The Master Collection is a beast of a collection and at almost $2,500 for the full version – upgrade pricing (at $899) is a lot cheaper, you are getting everything Adobe has to offer including OnLocation, InDesign, Premiere, Illustrator, Flash, Dreamweaver, After Effects, Contribute, Photoshop, Acrobat, Fireworks, and all their million little utilities. With an application toolbox this big it is almost impossible to review everything, so I’m going to touch on the highlights. It’s hard to figure out where to start….