Monday, October 6, 2008

Evaluating An Upgrade

Do you need to upgrade? Perhaps, perhaps not. The cover at right was created by Bob Staake. Now, the remarkable thing is that Staake used Photoshop 3, running on OS 9. Yes friends, a 14 year-old application, and an ancient OS.

(Continued after the Jump)

I submit that he was trying to make a point, because he also did this video detailing just how he did it.

The point is - do you really need all the features of Photoshop? Do you need to upgrade from CS3 all the way to CS4? It seems that most people I've spoken with will upgrade just to get the latest Camera Raw. That doesn't seem much like a reason to upgrade. What else is there worthwhile - and more importantly, do you need it?

PhotoShop News reports (What's New In Photoshop CS4 by Martin Evening) "Photoshop CS3 had some mixed reviews. It didn’t have quite as many features of interest to photographers as say, previous versions of the program...The most noticeable changes are in the interface design appearance."

Interface? That's what you've got?

There's talk of speed increases, but I just can't see that being the reason to upgrade, on it's own. At each new version, I look to see that one or two features that makes me go "I gotta have it..." . I just don't see it right now. Heck, John Nack even said on his blog that CS4 on the Mac wouldn't even be 64-bit. Yes, for you PC users, it's both 32-bit and 64-bit, but not on a Mac. One less reason to upgrade.

Frankly, and especially for photographers, Photoshop seems to be reaching the law of diminishing returns, where there are fewer and fewer possibilities for "oh my God" features. Maybe Photoshop CS4 will be Adobe's Vista, in that everyone hops over it to the next version? Heck, if PS3 works for magazine illustrators, 5 generations later (i.e. CS3) should be plenty for 98% of photographers.

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