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Quick Tip: 5 Useful New Features in Adobe CS5

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Today marks the launch of the latest edition of Adobe's Creative Suite - CS5. In today's Quick Tip, we'll be taking a look at a few of the new features in Photoshop CS5 that are particularly useful for photographers. We'd also love to hear what you're looking forward to, and whether you'll be upgrading!

Superior HDR Imaging

Although HDR images always received a mixed response from photographers, there's no denying that they provide a unique and interesting take. CS5 will - for better or worse - make creating HDR images easier, with greater control and accuracy.

Automatic ghost removal compensates for any camera movement, and the HDR tool gains tone mapping and better adjustments. The tool also allows for the creation of a HDR using only one image.

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Content-Aware Fill

Another feature that has "wowed" users in the run-up to the launch is Content-Aware Fill. This is one of the app's flagship pieces of functionality. The idea is to let you remove any part of an image, with content-aware fill automatically filling in the space left by that particular object. It aims to accurately match lighting, tone, and noise so it looks as if the removed content never existed.

Abobe's demonstrations of this look impressive to date, and I'm looking forward to giving it a try with a few of my own images.

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Easier Complex Selections

Accurately selecting delicate areas of an image - such as a person's hair - can be a very difficult task. We actually posted a tutorial on this very subject a few months ago.

CS5 brings new functionality to let you easily select these intricate image elements. You can eliminate background color around your selection edges, and use a set of refinement tools to ensure an accurate selection.

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State of the Art RAW Processing

To co-incide with the launch of CS5, we'll be seeing a new version (v6) of Camera Raw. This new version of the plugin gives far greater control over your RAW conversions. A few notable features let you nondestructively remove image noise while preserving color and detail, add grain to make digital photos look more realistic, and give you greater flexibility for post-crop vignetting.

Better Performance

Finally, a few changes in CS5 promise to bring much improved performance. The main addition in this area is the introduction of 64 bit support. Providing you have a 64 bit computer, this could mean that processing very large images is "up to 10 times faster". Whether you'll experience that type of speed boost remains to be seen, but it's a welcome addition for those of us with newer hardware.

Watch the Launch Event

If you'd like to see all these new features and functionality demonstrated, it's worth signing up for the launch event later today. Julieanne Kost will be demonstrating several new features for photographers.

I'd love to know what you thoughts are at this stage - will you be rushing to upgrade, or are you happy to wait and see how the upgrade is received by everyone else first?

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