Digital Outback Photo
- Photography using Digital SLRs


Workflow Technique #070

Photoshop CS2 Preview

preview by Uwe Steinmueller


Once again we experience a long awaited new update of Photoshop. This is a brief overview on some of the features that are new in Photoshop CS2 (aka PS9). All observations are based on a current beta version of PS CS2.

Camera Raw 3.0

Camera Raw 3.0 adds quite a bit of functionality and also shows a very improved workflow over version 2.


ACR with multiple images in film strip mode

ACR 3.0 can now open multiple files and work in the new film strip mode. Work is fast and very convenient:

  • flip though raw files in near real time (as good ar the competition from C1, RSE and Bibble)
  • Apply settings to other files with ease

Last not least now also ACR 3.0 offers background processing (again like C1, RSE and Bibble). That is why ACR has three options:

  • Save (processes in the background)

ACR 3.0 save dialog

  • Open (opens file(s) in PS)
  • Done (only saves the new settings)

Some of the new features

  • Auto tonality

Auto settings

Auto settings (Ctlr+U) can be an excellent start for your own fine tuning.

  • Crop & Straighten tools

Crop tool

  • Curves


Very good to optimize the shadow contrast.

  • Color Sampler

ACR color samplers

You can use up to 9 color samplers to monitor certain areas in your image during your image corrections

  • Clipping indicators

Shadow/Highlight clipping indicators

Overall ACR 3.0 is a significant improvement.

"Bridge" File Browser

"Bridge" file browser

Bridge is the new standalone file browser for the whole CS2 suite. Bridge is very rich in terms of functionality.

Note: We had a note here about Bridge and folders with larger TIFFs. In our latest beta version some of the speed issues seem to be gone. Bridge is now showing the thumbnails quite fast.

You can call Camera Raw 3.0 from Bridge (Ctrl+R). If you want to work on your new raw files you process like this:

  • Select folder in bridge
  • Just wait as long as it takes Bridge to recognize all files (no need to wait for the final thumbnails or even previews)
  • Select all (Ctrl+A)
  • Open in ACR 3.0 film strip mode (Ctrl+R)
  • Perform adjustments in ACR or convert in the background

Major new PS CS2 features for Photographers

Lens Correction

CS2 Lens Correction

The Lens Correction filter is a real power tool and we like it a lot:

  • Rotation
  • Straighten
  • Barrel/Pincushion corrections
  • Perspective correction
  • Chromatic Aberration (CA) corrections

Reduce Noise

Reduce noise

Finally PS has a very serious noise removal tool. We did not really check how well is stacks up against Noise Ninja and the other top tools. But it works very well and will at least be good enough for many jobs.

Smart Sharpen

Smart Sharpen

Also Smart Sharpen is a very welcome addition to the Photoshop toolkit. We probably will continue to use our own EasyS Sharpening toolkit as it offers some extra flexibility. Of course we are biased here. Clearly this is a very good new sharpening tool.

HDR (32 bit)

HDR 32bit mode

This is a mode that is not really for normal photography right now. It is more for animation studios that need HDR files. How do you get such files? Use the new File->Automate->Merge to HDR function by using multiple exposures from your camera. Getting the files later back to 16 bit can be somewhat tricky.

Spot Healing Brush

The Spot Healing Brush is a new variation of the Healing Brush. It does not requite that you sample a source point and takes the source from the environment of the target. We are very used to the normal Healing Brush (could not be without it to remove dust) and did not use the new Spot Healing Brush more often.

Vanishing Point

This is a feature that will excite many PS users. We consider it more for designers though and did not have a closer look here. Vanishing Point allows you to copy/move objects but keep them correct in their perspective.


Lot of useful new features in CS2 and certainly worth to update for most of you.



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