10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
The gold standard, improved,
This review is from: Photoshop CS 2 for Mac (CD-ROM)Photoshop has been the top of tree for image editing ever since it was first released. Adobe CS2 ups the ante in every respect. In the current version Photoshop offers full 16-bit editing, HDRI support for 32-bit images, outstanding support for Raw images from professional equipment such as Canon and Nikon, panorama stitching, lens distortion correction, a vastly improved form of sharpening, better image resizing, and the ability to apply certain photographic (as opposed to digital) filter simulations. Any of these improvements would be worth the price of the upgrade -- especially since many of them were previously available as individual third-party plugins for pretty much the same price _each_.
This new version does pretty much everything that has been on photographers' wish lists for some time. Most of the real benefits, though, are 'under the hood': almost everything works faster, quality is markedly improved on anything which involves resizing, and the 32 bit support opens the door into the next generation of photography.
The package also includes Image Ready, Adobe's stab at capturing the web-ready market back from Macromedia Fireworks. There really isn't a great deal to be said for Image Ready. Almost all the functionality is available directly in Photoshop, and Image Ready doesn't really compare with Fireworks in the specialised web-images environment.
A word of caution. If you're upgrading, you need to check very carefully which particular upgrade you are getting. There are separate upgrades from Photoshop CS, from versions of Photoshop from 5-7, and from version 4 and below. Ordering the wrong one is a nightmare.
Overall, CS2 is an extremely valuable and value-for-money new version of the classic. It's also possible to buy it as Adobe Creative Studio, which includes Illustrator and InDesign, or as Adobe Creative Studio Professional, which also includes Acrobat and Adobe's web-editing software GoLive. If you are upgrading Illustrator and Photoshop, it's actually cheaper to get the upgrade from Photoshop to Creative Studio rather than buying the upgrades individually. This would also give you a spare Illustrator license, and, of course, you get InDesign for free. The Creative Studio Professional is more difficult to justify -- Mac OS X now includes substantial Acrobat creation features, and Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop can all create their own PDF files directly. The current (6.5) version of QuarkXpress can create powerful Acrobat files, which was our previous (only) reason for owning Acrobat Distiller. Acrobat _may_ be worth the money if you specialise in PDF based forms. GoLive, in my opinion, really isn't -- it's a reasonably good piece of software, but since the entire web world is busy standardising itself around Dreamweaver and Flash, the very hefty price hike between CS Studio and CS Studio Professional would probably be better spent on acquiring Macromedia Studio.