Is Photoshop CS5 Worth It?
Both the extended and standard version of Photoshop Cs5 serve as professional-grade image-editing packages. Photoshop isn’t only for design pros, but it’s what they use for retouching advertisements, designing packages for probably half of the things you buy, and working on graphical assets for movies like "Avatar." It’s not that professional designers don’t care about the cost of software or that Photoshop is only priced for users with that kind of a budget, it’s that Photoshop is pricey because it has a full range of tools professional users need.
It’s important to judge Photoshop for what it is, not what else is on the market. If you’re only touching up a few holiday snaps, the majority of the features in Photoshop are overkill and the interface is needlessly complicated. There are also useful photo-management tools you won’t find in Photoshop. Windows Live Photo Gallery and iPhoto let you organize pictures by date and tags and Bridge assumes you want to create specific folders and collections with which to work.
If you do need the power of Photoshop, we think the range of new features in CS5 (alongside the vast range of tools from previous versions like panorama merge, dodge and burn, combining multiple exposures for improved depth of field, and content-aware scaling) will justify the cost, especially with how much time you’ll save on common tasks like retouching and selecting and how much more you can achieve when you want to get creative with effects. At this stage, it’s still beta software, while performance can be slow with the more demanding features and we did see occasional crashes. However, the overall feeling is still polished and professional.