Photoshop is literally synonymous with photo editing, so it's no surprise that this industry leader remains the go-to choice for professional photographers and graphic designers. With Adobe's introduction of its Creative Cloud subscription model, users have a choice for now: Sign up for a membership and receive access to many Adobe products, including Photoshop suites and updates, or download Adobe Photoshop CS6 on its own.
This could be complicated. Photoshop CS6 comes with a sharp learning curve if you've never worked with photo-editing software before. Some enhancements to the interface and palettes, with a darker and sleeker look, make CS6 more aesthetically pleasing, but you'll need to understand what you're doing before the software can perform up to its greatest potential. Once mastered, most editing features will work so smoothly you'll think your images processed themselves.
The best of the best. Re-engineered auto-correct and content aware tools, non-destructive cropping and layer search are just some of the time-saving features that have been worked into Photoshop CS6. Other tools, like a blur gallery, erodible brushes and adaptive wide-angle, and updated content aware tools allow you to manipulate your images for best effect. The content aware tools scan your image and attempt to repair trouble spots that you click on. CS6 also offers better 3D layering capability, video editing and more support for Camera RAW (unprocessed files).
The need for speed. The background save is a huge time saver, allowing you to save huge compressed PSD files without waiting. And the benefits of auto-recovery are self-explanatory. Creative Bloq editors note, "Photoshop CS6 makes full use of your computer's Graphic Processing Unit (GPU), which provides tremendous acceleration in many areas." Of course you'll need the hardware to go with it. With more support for Camera RAW, you'll also have an easier time with workflow issues. New layer search tools, updated filters and patches will also make your post-processing more efficient.
The reviewer meticulously tests CS6's new interface on both a PC and a Mac as well as new functions such as layer search, background save and auto-recovery, GPU-accelerated drawing, blur gallery, updated crop and content aware tools, video functions, and 3D layer adjustments.
Review: Review: Adobe Photoshop CS6 and the "Creative Cloud", Dave Girard, June 3, 2012
2. Expert Reviews
CS6 is rated 5 out of 5 stars here. The author provides a comprehensive review, testing the blur, content aware and crop tools, and the speedier GPU graphics functionality.
Review: Adobe Photoshop CS6 Review, Ben Pitt, April 24, 2012
A PCMag.com Editors' Choice, Photoshop CS6 is rated 5 out of 5 stars based on an in-depth review and testing of interface, performance, new tools, video editing and more.
Review: Adobe Photoshop CS6, Michael Muchmore, April 23, 2012
"Photoshop CS6 is overflowing with new features," says Lesa Snider, who gives the software 4.5 out of 5 stars. She tests out these new features, and includes screenshots throughout the review.
Review: Photoshop CS6 Dazzles with Technical Prowess and Artistic Inspiration, Lesa Snider, May 9, 2012
TechRadar.com gives Photoshop CS6 a rating of 4 out of 5 stars. The author reviews and tests Photoshop CS6 in detail, specifically Camera RAW support, Heads Up display, and crop and blur tools.
Review: Adobe Creative Suite 6 (CS6) Review, Dan Grabham, April 23, 2012
CS6 gets 5 out of 5 stars here. The reviewer provides an overview of notable features, but no specific testing or comparisons are noted.
Review: Adobe Photoshop CS6 for Mac, Eddie Cho, April 11, 2013
Digital Trends gives a
high-level overview of what's new in the Photoshop CS6 beta, focusing on the
interface, content aware tool, RAW support, video editing, and blur and crop
Review: Hands On with Photoshop CS6: Darker, Faster, and Feature-Full, Molly McHugh, March 23, 2012
8. Photo District News
Reviewer Dan Havlick provides an overview of Photoshop CS6's key features including the new dark interface, content aware additions, blur effects and video. He likes the software but says it's "somewhat ho-hum in terms of interesting new features."
Review: Software Review: Adobe Photoshop CS6, Dan Havlick, Sept. 19, 2012
CS6 earns an overall rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars based on more than 80 user reviews. More than 50 users give it a perfect score, saying no other software can compare. Complaints include features that haven't been removed from this version and issues with the interface.
Review: Adobe Photoshop CS6, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of July 2013