Re: OT: Photoshop CS4 upgrade overpriced
Hi Greg and Julian,
I've been moving about a lot lately and didn't see your emailed
Greg, as you describe your needs, odds are you don't need CS4. That
means you can keep the cash in your pocket. ;^) As I said in my
original reply, "... with CS4, Adobe has finally moved to define
Photoshop as the domain for serious image editors...." If you don't do
any heavy digital lifting and don't enjoy learning new digital things,
then you probably are going to be no better off in CS4 than with CS2
I will take issue in the friendliest terms possible with Julian's
statement to the effect that only those who "... habitually make
complicated montages or are a graphic designer..." have use for CS4.
I'm neither a graphic designer nor am I making montages (though I have
in years past and thoroughly enjoyed it) but I do find some of CS4's
new features welcomed additions to the digital arsenal. These "needs"
and "find value in" qualifiers are quite individual, making it that
much harder for others to make recommendations unless they are very
familiar with the photographer's workflow, hardware and, as is more
and more apparent, attitude.
Isn't saying that CS4's clone tools, levels/curves/saturation etc. are
the same as Photoshop 6's much like saying the wheels, tires, paint
and upholstery are much that same in a 1974 car as a 2009 model?
That's a fair statement if you ignore advances in brakes, fuel
delivery, suspension, emissions control and safety. (Actually, the
clone tool has been improved and, to a larger extent, replaced by the
healing brush that makes retouching scans so much easier than in pre-
PS7 days. And the spot healing brush makes retouching even more of a
no-brainer. CS4's Smart Objects make a leap in non destructive
editing; if you didn't sharpen or blur just right, you're just a
double-click away from changing your approach. That can save a lot of
time compared to redoing your last several editing steps.)
And lordy, claiming that if you get "your exposure/composition and
focus right in the first place and you hardly need Photoshop other
than to print through" is neither fair to the legions of photographers
who use the wet darkroom as a place of discovery and creativity nor to
the digital photographers and artists who do the same today without
getting their hands wet. John Sexton once commented that it was not
unusual for him to spend 40 hours with a new 4x5 negative before he
had his first fine print. You can bet that he wasn't fussing with
issues of exposure, composition or focus. Please be a bit more open
minded before making proclamations like that.
I stated way back in the second edition of "Making Digital
Negatives" (10 years go) that software publishers had us on a
treadmill of upgrades. Nobody forces you to upgrade, though Adobe's
policy of not updating older versions of Camera Raw to work with newer
cameras could be interpreted as something of an arm twist. Of course,
there are always those junky free Raw converters that come with the
cameras so you aren't really left in the lurch if you want to conserve
To be sure, there's plenty of room for gripes with Adobe. The "Save"
command is still single-threaded, meaning that we sit and twiddle our
thumbs while large images write to disk. There is no good reason this
couldn't be multi-threaded so while we're saving one image we could be
working on another. And don't even get me started on how so much of
Photoshop does not take advantage of the multiple cores that most
modern computers use. I don't enjoy the wait time in Photoshop any
more than I did the pauses between agitations when tank processing
Though my recommendations are never influenced because of freebies,
kickbacks or other stuff from software publishers or hardware makers,
be aware that I do get Photoshop free from Adobe. Greg asked me to
make that disclosure, for whatever reason. Oh, I don't own any stock
in digital companies either except for a bit of Apple (happily). And
our newest car is six years old.
Hope this helps and doesn't offend,
On Mar 10, 2009, at 6:27 PM, Julian Smart wrote:
CS4?? Why?, Why?, Why?
The clone tool, levels/curves/saturation/.unsharp mask etc etc etc
are exactly the same as Pshop6. Adobe con you into assuming you
need to keep upgrading, but what do you actually do with it? Lets
face it, unless you habitually make complicated montages or are a
graphic designer or do need very high end repro facilities or need
the integration that the cs suite offers, you may as well use pshop
5,6,7,or as I do, plain old CS/2/3 (on a daily professional basis).
Get your exposure/composition and focus right in the first place and
you hardly need Photoshop other than to print through (and the
printer driver for Macs in CS3 is appaling).
Sorry that this doesn't answer your question but I think if more
people questioned their requirements and ignored the marketing hype
and peer pressure, Adobe would be forced to abandon their policy of
frivolous change and actually produce a product that is more tuned
to the requirements of its users.
I'll get off my soapbox now ;~)
----- Original Message ----- From: "Greg Schmitz" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Tuesday, March 10, 2009 10:54 AM
Subject: Re: OT: Photoshop CS4 upgrade overpriced
You don't really address my question. Is the upgrade from CS3
Premium to CS4 worth $600? I use Photoshop more as a utility - as
you are aware I prefer a negative, lens and sensitized paper to
digital gagag. That said I do use Photoshop from time to time.
Has CS4 (hard to believe Adobe can really jump to a new ver. # as
fast as they have) really added enough new functionality to justify
me plunking down that much cash; or can I plug along with what I've
got? Most pay as you go software that I've had to buy of late I
would label "buggy" "bloatware;" I only buy the new versions so I
don't get cut off from support or get nailed with having to buy it
all over again if I fall 2 "versions" behind. But given the price
Adobe is asking if I miss one upgrade, it will be cheaper for me to
buy the software new. My original question, again, is do you think
the benifits of owning the new version are worth the price - and
what are those benefits (from the mouth of somebody who is using
the software to do real work? BTW, if you are getting any perks
from Adobe, and I assume you are not - please mention that too.
Dan Burkholder wrote:
If you can get just the Photoshop CS4 upgrade for the price
mentioned by Richard, then yes, you should go for it. The $600 you
quote sounds like an upgrade for the entire suite of products.
Adobe must figure if you're using that full batch of applications
that you're making money with all of them. That isn't always the
case of course.
CS4 is another of those upgrades that hook you like crack; it's
really hard to go back to CS3 (I'm speaking just Photoshop here)
after getting a taste of the "4". I'd also add that, with CS4,
Adobe has finally moved to define Photoshop as the domain for
serious image editors and not the stuff for casual users. The
transition to CS4 forces us to make some pretty major changes to
the way we make selections and masks and modify them. Don't get me
wrong; the changes are almost all for the good. It's just that the
learning curve has been steepened somewhat for those who haven't
had a good workflow to begin with. Make sense?
To throw a bit of a wrench into your decision process, the
Extended version of Photoshop offers some neat capabilities that
are missing from the Standard version of CS4. I don't think Adobe
has an upgrade path from Standard to Extended so you best decide
before purchasing. If memory serves, you can upgrade an older
Standard version of CS2 or CS3 to the Extended version of CS4 at a
fair price. Just don't expect to upgrade CS4 Standard to CS4
Extended for any price approaching reasonable. ;^)
Hope this helps!
On Mar 8, 2009, at 8:30 AM, Greg Schmitz wrote:
I have Adobe Photoshop CS3 Creative Design Premium and can't
decide if I should upgrade to CS4. It seems to me that Adobe's
asking price of $600 for an upgrade is "over the top." Will I
get $600 worth of improvement if I upgrade to CS4? I'd be
interested in hearing from those of you that have upgraded to
CS4 if you think the upgrade was worth the money. $600 is 2-weeks
of work for me and I am loath to give it to some Silicon Valley
wonk so that he/she can continue to drive their Porsche or BMW
whenever they want to.
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