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Photoshop CS2 or CS3


Mr Reorg
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I have been using Photoshop CS (a.k.a. v.8.0) on a company issued laptop and now want to buy my own license (full version, not upgrade) for my home PC. So I was going to get CS 2 but then CS3 came out. (I do have Elements 3.0 on my home PC and now find it totally inadequite. Does Elements qualify me to purchase an Upgrade?).

Anyway, can anyone here substantiate the complaints and issues about CS3 found here? Am I better off purchasing a copy of CS2 and skipping CS3?

Your experiences and insights would be very much appreciated. Thanks.

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Have you tried Elements 6 yet?

There are some issues with CS3 as well as any other software that's made. Something as complex and as large as Photoshop is will have bugs. Overall, CS3 is a nice update from CS/CS2. I just wish Bridge would have been better than what it is. I really miss the fast file browser in CS. If you have the $$$ to layout for this program then I definitely suggest CS3. I think it has an overall better "feel" to it and has some nice features.

I know it's a short writeup, but I see nothing in the program yet that would make me want to stop using it.

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As a graphic designer who has used photoshop professionally for the last 7 years, the buzz I hear from friends in the industry is to not go CS3 yet, if not for the many reports of bugginess circulating around online photoshop user forums, then merely for the fact that it is even more resource hungry than it's predecessor.

When I trialled CS2, after using photoshop 7 for four years (CE version, which is faster and doesn't contain resource-hogging US fed anti-counterfeiting spyware) I was stunned at how more resource greedy CS2 was - so I shudder to imagine how much worse CS3 can be, going by the reports I hear.

I decided after trying CS2 to stick with PS7, which is what I still currently use. For the kind of print, pre-press and high-end photography restoration work I do (when I am not developing graphics for web) it has served me just fine and I can't justify forking out for an upgrade when it would require a hardware upgrade too.

But then, I'm of the "don't fix if it's not broken" school of thinking.... as well as being a spendthrift.... and I also tend to wonder how much of the bloated commercial software we used today is REALLY an upgrade when they bring out a new version.... Vista being a good case in point... :D

But seriously tho, except for a few useful new features in PS7, I can't see much advantage to anything new that's been added by Adobe since PS6 - it's mostly been resource-hogging candy for non-pro users so they can market PS to the amateur digital photography market.

Just my opinion. And I know there will be many who disagree because resource use is just not an issue for them. Nice for those who can afford a computer with fancy new hardware huh :P

And yanno... if it wasn't for Image Ready I think I could probably be content with the old photoshop 5 even hehehe ;)

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I used to use version 7 too. I agree it is a lot less resource hungry. But there are some really helpful tools in cs2 that I do enjoy. Allthough it still was pretty simular to version 7. So upgrading to CS2 wan't a must for me. But I did take the plunge and I got addicted. CS3 is the same for me. It doesn't bring a lot more to the table than cs2. But it does have it's benefits. My favorite new CS3 tool is The Quick Select tool. It is very easy to use. Cuts the time way down when you want to extract something from a pic. Also the ability to edit RAW pics is awsome. The way I look at it... If you are going to spend the money go for it. If you allready have Version 7 or CS2 then it isn't really something to go out and spend money on because it isn't really all that much of a difference. computers are getting cheaper and faster... so the extra resources aren't much of an issue. Of course with anything new it has it's kinks. But I haven't seen many issues yet and the ones I have seen were very minor.

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My favorite new CS3 tool is The Quick Select tool. It is very easy to use. Cuts the time way down when you want to extract something from a pic. Also the ability to edit RAW pics is awsome.

Yup I agree, and don’t forget the multi CPU/core and new CPU instruction set support here!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you, all, for your thoughts. I'm sorry I haven't had the opportunity to respond before this.

I thought I might save a few dollars in getting CS 2 and save some hassels (as some have reported with CS 3). But I guess I might as well just go for it and get CS 3.

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i do lots of amateur photography, and i edit on linux, OS X and XP, and its hard to answer this question. i have PS 7 on my laptop, and it fits my every need for low power editing. i shelled out for a student version of CS2 just before CS3 came out, and i'm glad i did.

1) the icon looks better

2) CS3 only has more tools, CS2 has multi-core/multi-cpu support

3) i only work with a 4MP camera right now, and i'll be jumping to a 10mp DSLR soon, after i do that, i'll have more to say on the capabilities of CS2.

CS2 runs well on your average system. i managed to get it to half-a$$ work on a P4 1.4ghz with 256mb of RAM...never said it was always worth running though. now i have 3gb of RAM [shelled out $100 for it] and its worth running every time i run, on any platform [i migrated licenses to use in linux] and it works well.

i talked to my friend who lives on photoshop and just bought CS3 when it came out, and for him its perfect, but unless you use photoshop for everything, CS2 will do everything you need it to.

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  • 2 months later...

I got used to Photoshop CS2,

it is the most powerful graphic tool for the most of design activites,

IMHO it is better to switch to CS3 because of better integration with Flash CS3 (9),

So if you don't work with flash at all, CS2 is could be ok for you. :thumbup

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