ZIFFPAGE TITLEAt a Glance
ZIFFPAGE TITLEFull Review
Perhaps encouraged by positive user response to the public beta of its new Lightroom software, Adobe has taken the unprecedented step of releasing a public beta of its flagship program, Photoshop. The public beta of Photoshop CS3 is freely available for download by anyone with a valid Photoshop CS2 serial number.
With both Microsoft Windows and Macintosh platforms currently in a state of transition, this public beta is an excellent way for Adobe to enlist a large army of bug testers to help iron out any kinks in Photoshop CS3. The program runs natively on Intel-based Macs, and also in both Windows XP and Vista. Though CS3 is far enough along in its development cycle to prohibit adding any additional new features (the apps final release is slated for the spring), beta users are encouraged to submit bug reports and suggestions for future versions to the Adobe Labs Web site.
Photoshop has no serious competition in the field of professional-level image editors, but longtime users have complained since version 1.0 about the destructive nature of many of its commands and filters. Even something as basic as sharpening an image created an irreversible change to the photo; if you decide after the fact that you oversharpened it, then too bad.
This fundamental problem even led some photographers to use Adobes video program After Effects as an image editor, simply to take advantage of that programs nondestructive filtering environment. At long last, CS3 brings to Photoshop true nondestructive filtering. The implementation takes advantage of the Smart Objects feature introduced in Photoshop CS2; convert your image layer into a Smart Object, and filters applied to that layer are eternally editable. This feature alone justifies the upgrade to CS3.