To start, here is the list of what is new between CS5 and CS6:
- Content-Aware Patch
- Faster rendering with Liquify and Puppet Warp
- Some UI improvements
- Blur Gallery
- Improved Crop tool
- Video creation
- Migration/Sharing thing
- Adaptive Wide Angle
- Background Save
- Improved auto-corrections
- Content Aware Move
- Skin tone aware masking
- Erodable brushes
- Layer search
- vector layers
- Lighting effects gallery
My Persona: I am not a full time graphics designer. I use Photoshop a few times a year. However, I am pretty proficient doing the basics. Mainly, I am manipulating a photo or possibly doing some web production design work. The reason I upgraded was that I needed to do some production work this week and I figured I would try the new version.
Generally, I LOVE new software. I want to upgrade, upgrade, upgrade. I never downgrade. Until now. I literally went back to CS5 after 2 days of CS6. Here are the main reasons:
No compelling feature
There wasn’t anything I said, “I have to have that!”. This is usually not that big of a deal, maybe I will want that stuff later. However, because there wasn’t anything that changed the game for me, I could go back. I realized how to change the colors back, from black to gray. The black was actually straining my eyes after a little while. This was the least of the issues.
Slower, Alot Slower
This was the primary deal-breaker. It literally pulled my system to a crawl. I have a Windows 7 (32-bit) desktop with 4G of ram. The CPU is a Intent Core 2 Duo @3GHz. This is not the latest greatest machine, but it should run Photoshop on basic files, shouldn’t it? CS5 runs fine, I have no idea why this got so slow. Speed is a feature. I want it to launch quickly, open files quickly, switch between layers quickly. At one point, I tried to move a folder with alot of layers in it. It took 20 seconds to nudge 10 pixels. In CS5, it happened almost right away.
In addition to being slow, Photoshop crashed twice in 2 days. In addition to crashing, the last saved “recoverable” version was OLDER than the version I had actually saved. I don’t get this at all. Is it not saving a “recoverable” when I actually save to disk? Bizarre! So this is actually two problems: Auto-save doesn’t save when I do a full save and the fact that it crashed at all. This tipped me over the edge.
I will eventually upgrade again, I can’t help myself. However, I am going to wait 6 months and let them patch a bunch of bugs and optimize the speed. As a low-end user, I don’t need all the fancy bells and whistles. Truthfully, Photoshop was a “finished” product a long time ago. More features doesn’t excite me. Speed is what I want at this point.
It’s interesting to think about products that have reached a high degree of maturity. Like almost all of Intuit, Microsoft and Adobe’s products fall into this category. There is something depressing about a mature product. There isn’t much room for innovation and creativity. I am trying to think of a product that was mature and then revolutionized itself. Maybe MacOS 9 to MacOS X?
Anyway, that’s my review of PS CS6. It needs performance and bug fixes.