Adobe Photoshop Extended CS5 [Mac]
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- Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended is the ultimate solution for advanced digital imaging, delivering all the capabilities of Photoshop CS5 plus breakthrough tools that let you create and edit 3D and motion-based content.
- Go beyond traditional image editing by bringing 3D elements to your 2D artwork directly within your favorite digital imaging application, which now offers an easy on-ramp to 3D image creation.
- Explore new creative possibilities with breakthrough tools that enable you to select, adjust, paint, and recompose images with tremendous precision and freedom.
- Accelerate your workflow with fast performance on 64-bit hardware systems, smoother interactions thanks to GPU acceleration, and dozens of time-savers throughout the application.
- Easily manage media with more flexible batch renaming, and access your assets in the context of what you're working on by using the customizable Adobe Mini Bridge panel in Photoshop.
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- Platform: Mac OS X
- Media: DVD-ROM
- Item Quantity: 1
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Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended software helps you create the ultimate images for print, the web, and video. Enjoy all the state-of-the-art editing, compositing, and painting capabilities in industry-standard Photoshop CS5, and experience fast performance thanks to cross-platform 64-bit support. Also create 3D extrusions for logos, artwork, and motion graphics; edit 3D objects with advanced tools; and create and enhance motion-based content.
Photoshop CS5 and Photoshop CS5 Extended provide unparalleled editing and enhancement control with powerful new selection-refinement tools that produce superior results with complex subjects and state-of-the-art noise removal, sharpening, and raw-image processing with Adobe Camera Raw 6. Click to enlarge.
Create powerful images with the professional standard
Easily explore new creative directions: Create 3D logos and artwork with Adobe Repoussé technology. Twist, rotate, extrude, bevel, and inflate these designs, and then apply rich materials like chrome, glass, and cork.
Advanced 3D editing capabilities
Push your creative boundaries with powerful 3D editing tools--even paint directly on 3D objects. Add 3D objects to your designs and create amazing composites. Illuminate your scene with real lighting, and animate your objects.
Motion content editing
Paint, add text, and clone over multiple frames of an imported video sequence using your favorite Photoshop tools.
Easy access to core editing power
Get just the tools you need--exactly when you need them--when performing common editing activities. Adjustments and Masks panels guide you in making precise edits.
Extraordinary creative tools
Achieve realistic painting effects with the ability to mix colors on canvas and create natural brushstrokes. Merge multiple exposures into stunning high dynamic range (HDR) images. Move, remove, warp, or stretch any image element.
Easily merge multiple exposures to extend the dynamic range with more power, precision, and fidelity than ever before. Convert to black-and-white in new ways. And use Dodge, Burn, and Sponge tools that intelligently preserve color and tone details.
Use measurement and counting tools to extract quantitative information from images. Record and export data for further analysis. Import DICOM files as frames or as a volume to directly analyze and edit your image data.
Industry-leading raw image processing
Enjoy superior results when you convert raw images with the Camera Raw 6 plug-in, which offers support for over 275 camera models plus nondestructive editing so you can experiment without harming your original photo.
Automated compositing tools
Easily create a single image from a series of shots that have different focal points, smoothly blending color and shading and extending your depth of field. And take advantage of accurate, automatic layer alignment.
Efficient media management
Manage your media visually with Adobe Bridge CS5 software. Enjoy more flexible batch renaming plus the ability to access files in the context of your work using the customizable Adobe Mini Bridge panel.
Powerful printing options
Get outstanding prints in less time with automation, scripting, and a print dialog box that's easier to navigate.
Broad file format support
Import and export hundreds of file formats, including PSD, AI, PDF, NEF, CRW, TIFF, BMP, Cineon, JPEG, JPEG2000, FXG, OpenEXR, PNG, Targa, DICOM, OBJ, KMZ, Collada, U3D, 3DS (import only), 3G, FLC, MOV, AVI, DV Stream, Image Sequence, MPEG-4, and FLV.
Personalize Photoshop and extend its capabilities. Use developer-created custom panels to accomplish specific tasks. Visit the Adobe Photoshop Marketplace for third-party plug-ins and resources. And check out Adobe Community Help for tips and tricks.
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom integration
Enjoy tight integration with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom software (sold separately), easily moving files from Lightroom to Photoshop CS5 to create HDR images, panoramas, and multilayered Photoshop documents. Roundtrip your files back to Lightroom.
The Edge Detection and Decontaminate Colors features help you make highly precise selections of complex subjects quickly and easily, enabling faster, more accurate compositing of multiple images. Click to enlarge.
Magically remove unwanted detail in your photographs with Content-Aware Fill. In this example, the boat has been removed from the photo by making a rough selection around the subject (left) and then filling the area with the Content Aware option selected in the Fill dialog box. Click to enlarge.
With new tone-mapping and alignment technologies, sophisticated controls, and an updated dialog box, HDR Pro helps you to produce a variety of creative outcomes from a single set of source files. Click to enlarge.
Recreate the look of your favorite film with the new Grain feature. Left: Original photo. Right: After grain has been applied.
The Adobe Camera Raw 6 plug-in includes new features for better sharpening, adding grain, removing noise, and producing creative vignette effects. Click to enlarge.
You can use Puppet Warp to interactively reposition, reshape, and transform key objects in your photos. In this example, rose photos, like the one above, were twisted and layered to form a wreath and the letters in the center of the composition (left).
Top new features of Photoshop CS5 and Photoshop CS5 Extended
Intelligent selection technology
Photoshop CS5 takes the time and frustration out of making precise image selections and masks, providing you a faster way to extract subjects from their backgrounds and create realistic composites. New intelligent selection technology offers better edge detection and faster, more accurate masking results of complex subjects, like hair. Automatic color decontamination helps you eliminate background color around the edges of a selection, resulting in more seamless compositions when placing extracted subjects on new backgrounds.
Experienced Photoshop users know that the best
selections are created by constantly adapting the selection technique for differences in the subject's edges--one method for hair and another for the edge of a building. With Photoshop CS5, you can produce highly accurate masks and selections faster and more simply than before with a set of new adaptive selection-edge modification controls. Smart Radius automatically matches the best selection approach with the subject's changing edge characteristics, and the extra view modes assist you in previewing the quality of your selections. The Refine Radius and Erase Refinements tools customize your masks and selections as you make them. These tools, in combination with the color decontamination settings, help eliminate any residual background color from around the edges of your selections.
One of the most exciting new features in Photoshop CS5 is the remarkable ability to remove an image element and magically replace it with details that match the lighting, tone, and noise of the surrounding area so that it looks like the content never existed. Now, you can make substantial changes to photo composition quickly and easily, as even large complex subjects can be seamlessly erased.
You can use Content-Aware Fill with the Spot Healing Brush or as an option of the Fill feature to replace content in an active selection. Selecting the Content-Aware setting with the Spot Healing brush changes the way the tool fills in the areas you paint. This retouching approach is designed to account more fully for the structure and detail of the image elements that surround the painted area, providing a near-invisible result when removing unwanted objects. Alternatively, you can select the object to be removed, and then replace the area with synthesized details from the area surrounding the selection, simply by using the Content-Aware option in the Fill dialog box.
HDR Pro for creativity and precision with the next generation of high dynamic range imaging
With just a few clicks, you can go beyond the capture capabilities of your camera by combining multiple exposures into a single high dynamic range (HDR) photo that preserves the full tonal range of a scene with high contrast. Photoshop CS5 introduces HDR Pro for more control over the HDR merging process and greater adjustment power over the mapping of tones and the styling of HDR output, resulting in images that range from photorealistic to highly surreal.
HDR Pro offers extended controls, an enhanced dialog box, and improved image processing. New algorithms enable more accurate alignment of source files and automatically deghost any problem areas that occur when trying to merge source photos where subjects have moved during capture. You can even select a source file to be used as the sole reference for any ghosted areas or allow the feature to do this automatically for you.
New tone-mapping tools and adjustment controls give you the power to implement your own HDR vision, producing photos that range in style from fully textured images of high-contrast scenes to wildly hyper-realistic creations. Save your favorite styles as presets and apply them to multiple groups of source files to provide a common look and feel to your HDR photos. And for times when you don't have multiple source files, create the look of an HDR-processed image from a single photo with the new HDR Toning feature that allows you to mimic the tone-mapping results traditionally achieved in high dynamic range photos.
Together with the existing Photomerge feature (which allows for image stitching), the exposure-merging capabilities of HDR Pro can add up to high-bit-depth, 360-degree panoramas ideal for composite photography, video, and beyond.
The Auto Stack Panorama/HDR files option in Adobe Bridge CS5 and the new panelized Mini Bridge groups source files together into stacks for quicker creation of HDR images in Photoshop CS5. You can even start the creation of an HDR file by choosing Tools > Merge To HDR from the Mini Bridge panel inside Photoshop.
State-of-the-art raw-image processing
The Adobe Camera Raw 6 plug-in, which ships with Photoshop CS5, now supports more than 275 camera models as it continues to provide you with the industry-leading conversion of raw files. In addition, the utility provides advanced, nondestructive image editing and enhancement for raw files, as well as for other standard formats, including JPEG and TIFF. Now you can remove noise, achieve better quality sharpening, and creatively apply new styles of vignettes and film-like grain.
You can now shoot at higher ISO settings with confidence, because the updated controls in the Adobe Camera Raw 6 plug-in remove the noise common in such high-ISO images (as well as in photos captured with long exposures and pictures from consumer cameras) while still preserving excellent color and detail.
New controls for adding grain and additional post-crop vignetting settings join many creative options already available in this utility, such as the Adjustment Brush and the Graduated Filter. For the first time, you can add grain-like texture to photos as part of your nondestructive editing workflow. Adjust amount, size, and roughness of grain to easily give composites a more natural, seamless appearance by matching levels of grain across all source images--or simply use the feature to make a digital photo look more organic or film-like.
Updated post-crop vignetting options offer more creative control over the corner darkening and lightening process, and your favorite vignette effects can be saved as presets for quick application across multiple files.
Upgraded sharpening options produce clearer photos with fewer artifacts while providing better control over key details, especially when working with high-resolution pictures produced by multi-megapixel cameras.
Extraordinary painting effects
With a new Mixer Brush, a Bristle Tips feature, and a new mechanism for blending colors, Photoshop CS5 redefines the way you paint. You can take advantage of more natural and realistic painting effects, making it easy to take your imagery and designs in new artistic directions.
The Mixer Brush lets you define multiple colors on a single tip, and then mix and blend them with the underlying hues on your canvas, achieving creative results that rival traditional painting media. When starting with a photo original, you can use a dry, empty brush to blend the existing colors while at the same time adding a painterly effect to the image. Mixer Brush settings provide extensive control over the wetness of the canvas colors, the load rate that determines amount of paint loaded on the brush, the mixing rate between brush and canvas colors, and whether the brush is refilled, cleaned, or both after each painting stroke.
In conjunction with these new mixing features, Photoshop CS5 incorporates unprecedented control over stroke characteristics of its painting tools with Bristle Tips. Bristle Qualities define key bristle properties such as shape, length, stiffness, thickness, angle, and spacing, which affect how the color is laid on the image as you paint.
The Bristle Brush Preview feature provides a visual representation of these changes, and you can save your tip configurations for future use, allowing you to build a customized collection of Bristle Tips to experiment with when using Photoshop brush tools.
Puppet Warp gives you more freedom when pushing and pulling elements within an image. The feature lets you recompose an image to make it more appealing, or to fit a specific layout, by allowing the precise repositioning of any element within a Photoshop document, or selection, by simply clicking and dragging. After you reposition an object, Photoshop adjusts the rest of the image to account for the shifted pixels.
After choosing Edit > Puppet Warp, click on your image to drop pins establishing anchor points where you want image parts not to move, and handles that you can use for warping. Then drag any of the pins to reposition the picture elements. Use Puppet Warp to swing a raised arm to a person's side, warp and stretch text to create new effects, or reposition intrusive objects in a photo to create a more pleasing composition.
Automated lens correction
The Lens Correction features in Photoshop CS5 create better quality captures by removing or correcting the three most common lens-based errors: geometric distortion, chromatic aberration, and vignetting. This means you can use a wider range of lenses with the confidence of producing images of the highest quality. With the aid of the Adobe Lens Profile Creator (available separately as a free download from labs.adobe.com) you can produce custom profiles characterizing the optical aberrations of your camera lenses. When installed and selected in the Lens Correction filter in Photoshop CS5, the profile automatically removes or corrects the three types of distortion.
Use the extrusion settings and controls in the Repoussé dialog box to quickly style your 3D model. Click to enlarge.
Quickly add drama and realism to your models with interactive control of scene lighting (right), material selection (left), and the creation of shadows (above) with the new Shadow Catcher feature. Click to enlarge.
The controls in the 3D section of the Preferences dialog box (above) allows you to fine-tune the rendering system in Photoshop to achieve the best 3D design experience.
The Lens Correction feature located in the Photoshop CS5 Lens Correction filter provides camera- and lens-specific correction for three of the most common lens-related aberrations.
Black & White Technique action both converts and tints color photos to produce sophisticated monochrome images.
The Lens Correction filter in Photoshop CS5 is redesigned to include manual adjustment controls under the Custom tab, and settings for locating and applying custom Lens Correction Profiles (LCP files) under a new Auto Correction tab. Installed profiles that match your camera and lens combination are used to apply precise distortion corrections to your photos. Suitable profiles can be located easily based on the EXIF data automatically recorded with the image, and if a suitable profile is not present in the Lens Correction filter, then with a single click within the dialog box, you can search online for the correct profile to meet your needs.
Individual error types can be selected in the filter's settings, as can options for handling any transparent areas that surround the corrected image.
Easy 3D extrusions with Adobe Repoussé (Photoshop CS5 Extended only)
Repoussé is an ancient metalworking technique for embossing artwork on the surface of metals such as gold, silver, copper, tin, and bronze. Photoshop Extended offers a powerful new feature, inspired by this traditional technique, for creating eye-catching 3D artwork.
Use Adobe Repoussé to easily convert 2D artwork into 3D objects and then create depth by altering the extrusion properties of the 3D model. Easily extrude text to create logos and 3D artwork for use in websites, video frames, or layouts.
Starting with a text layer, a path, a selection, or a layer mask, you can convert the content to 3D with the Create New 3D Object section of the 3D panel. After the conversion is complete, you can alter the look of your 3D model by manipulating its key extrusion properties--depth, scale, bend, shear, inflate, or twist--in the Repoussé dialog box.
In addition to manipulating these properties, you can inflate the front or back of the extrusion and/or apply a custom bevel. Sections of objects (internal subpaths) can also be inflated by creating a selection first and then adjusting the Internal Constraints settings in the Repoussé dialog box. The 3D Axis widget allows on canvas rotation of the of the model
Enhanced 3D realism and rich materials (Photoshop CS5 Extended only)
Bring your 3D creations to life with the materials that ship with Photoshop CS5 Extended. You can select materials from the library of included presets, download additional materials by choosing 3D > Browse 3D Content, create your own, or even edit existing materials to customize them for your needs (in the materials section of the 3D panel). Test a variety of looks for your 3D models and extruded designs by adding different materials or textures to their surfaces. Materials that feature reflection or refraction properties can be rendered with the new Adobe Ray Tracer engine. The Repoussé dialog box, and the Materials section of the 3D panel, both contain options for applying a single material to all surfaces—as well as choosing different treatments--for individual sections and surfaces of your models
Use the 3D Material Drop tool and the Material Load tool to easily load a material and drop it into different meshes, allowing you to sample and apply materials interactively. New overlay controls provide instant feedback about where specific materials and meshes are located in your model, and the updated 3D axis widget now works with lights and cameras as well as 3D objects.
With the Shadow Catcher feature, you can now easily generate a shadow on the ground plane of a scene, and then adjust how the shadow interacts with image content of other layers by altering its opacity and its softness. To further enhance realism, you can use an HDR image to light your scene, or re-create traditional depth-of-field effects in your rendered scene by adjusting the zone of sharpness with the new Distance and Blur controls.
Better 3D performance and workflow (Photoshop CS5 Extended only)
Take advantage of better performance and immediate rendering feedback thanks to the improved Adobe Ray Tracer (ART) engine in Photoshop CS5 Extended. ART 2.0 brings substantial improvements in performance when you interact with and edit 3D models. ART 2.0 progressively renders 3D scenes with an option to re-render after a pause, or even perform selective renderings, all while providing more immediate feedback and dramatically reducing the time it takes to preview key areas in high quality.
You also get faster previews and more responsive interaction thanks to changes made in the OpenGL engine, which now fast-tracks the delivery of complex 3D geometry to the video card. Overall workflow performance has been optimized with improved import, interaction speeds, and better merging of 3D objects into a single scene. To aid with fine-tuning and adjustment of these performance features, there is a new 3D section in Preferences.
User-inspired productivity enhancements
Photoshop CS5 helps boost productivity and creativity throughout the editing workflow with dozens of enhancements inspired by Photoshop users. Some of these include:
- A neutral-density preset for the Gradient tool
- The ability to save 16-bit Photoshop documents in 8-bit JPEG format in a single step
- An option for reversing the clone source using the flip buttons in the Clone Source panel
- A Don't Show This Message Again option when saving files with maximum compatibility
- Default value for Shadows/Highlights changed from 50% to 35%
- The ability to move a selection while the active layer is hidden
- An on/off option for trackpad gesture support on Mac and in Microsoft Windows 7
- A new layer command for deleting all empty layers via scripts
- A Straighten button on the Ruler tool options bar
- A Close All Open Images Without Saving option
- A Save As option for always defaulting to the folder to which you last saved an image
- The ability to drag and drop a file onto an open Photoshop document to create a new layer
- Multiple improvements in Lens Correction filter options, including:
- Grid Display is off by default
- Show Grid, Grid Size, and Grid Color settings are now sticky
- Default grid size is increased from 16 to 64 pixels
- Decimal point adjustments are allowed as values for the Chromatic Aberration sliders
- A third Chromatic Aberration slider enables the correction of green/magenta fringing
- The Background Color Edge setting is replaced with the Black Color entry
- A White Color option is available in the Edge menu
- Reset options are changed so that only the calibration settings are reset, not the Grid options
- A new Cache Tile Size control in the Performance section of the Preferences dialog box
- Zoom in and out with the new scrubby zoom tool
- Presets for setting Cache Tile Size and Cache Levels simultaneously
- The ability to use keystrokes to set values in the Adjustments panel text fields
- Performance increases of up to 50% when importing OBJ files
- Sample colors faster using the new on screen color ring built into the eyedropper tool
- Customizable default values for Layer styles
- New creative resources, including actions, tools, presets, brushes, swatches, shapes, gradients, styles, and tool presets
- Window and Door shapes added to list of meshes that can be created from a layer
- An option for changing the opacity of multiple selected layers
- The ability to create a mask from the transparent areas of a layer
- Pick colors faster using the new on-screen color HUD
- Print settings saved with the image file, allowing one-button printing with user-selected values
- Selecting a printer automatically lists the profiles installed for that printer at the top of the profile list
- Printer-specific profiles are selected automatically when choosing a printer
- Customized print settings can be recorded as part of a Photoshop Action
- An overlay grid can be displayed when using the Crop tool
- Layer groups can be nested more than five levels deep
- New Paste Outside and Paste Inside commands, along with the previously existing Paste In Place option, are included in a new Edit > Paste Special menu
Streamlined creative reviews through integration with Adobe CS Review
Collaborate with colleagues and seek client comment quickly and easily with Adobe CS Review, a new CS Live online service* designed to simplify and accelerate the design review process.
With CS Review, you can avoid the hassles of large email attachments, logon problems with FTP servers, and time-consuming next-day air deliveries usually associated with client reviews by instead initiating a secure, shared review. Comments are displayed in near-real time and in context, providing convenient feedback on your images and designs. You can access the CS Review service from within Photoshop CS5.
Faster performance with cross-platform native 64-bit support
Tight deadlines and large file sizes make performance a high priority for many Photoshop users. Photoshop CS5 and Photoshop CS5 Extended deliver cross-platform 64-bit support, allowing you to perform day-to-day imaging tasks up to 10 times faster. Video and photo professionals, especially, benefit from the extra performance, as gains are even greater if you regularly work with very large files, where processing can be up to ten times faster when you take advantage of higher addressable RAM amounts--limited only by what your hardware accommodates.
To help you tweak the performance of your setup, Photoshop CS5 lets you adjust history, tile, and cache controls in combination.
Greater access to key resources via flexible custom panels
Photoshop CS5 offers easy ways to integrate and extend your workspace with customized panels. With the aid of the Configurator 2.0 panel utility (available separately as a download from labs.adobe.com) you can produce your own panels, bringing together your most used tools and menu selections and incorporating your favorite web feeds or video tutorials.
Stay connected to the greater Photoshop community and all facets of your digital life directly from within Photoshop CS5 by using panels you create or those produced and distributed by other users. You can access anything that lives on the web--favorite blogs, video content, even your email--with these integrated panels. You can even expand content beyond a panel's standard viewing area when you need a magnified view.
Easier interface management with Live Workspaces and Workspace Switcher
Creating dedicated, task-specific workspaces that mimic your individual workflow increases productivity and efficiency by hiding the features you don't use and exposing the ones you do. New Live Workspaces auto-save any changes you make to a task-specific workspace, so that if you switch to a different workspace and then back again during an editing session, your panels remain exactly where you left them. The number of entries displayed in the collapsible Workspace Switcher can be altered, and the position of each workspace can be rearranged. This provides quicker navigation between frequently used setups.
Superior black-and-white conversion
Photoshop CS5 continues to support the tradition of producing finely crafted monochrome photos with the inclusion of new ways to explore an endless variety of black-and-white looks. You can use the integrated Lab Black & White Technique action, located in the Default Actions group of the Actions panel, for an easy and interactive way to convert color images. Create gorgeous HDR black-and-whites with greater ease and speed by taking advantage of the new and updated features in HDR Pro. Take your monochrome creations in new directions with conversion presets in the Black & White panel.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I never imagined you could do what you can with the latest version of Photoshop, though. If you've ever thought about upgrading to the full version of Photoshop, now would be the time, especially if you are a student and can get the student price, or if you can get the upgrade price. Some of the features on this new version are nothing short of astonishing.
First of all, it can do all the usual adjusting and layering and touch up and effects, and seems to do them better than ever. It appears to be quite stable, and very fast, possibly owing to the new 64-bit support on CS5. I've been working with Photoshop CS5 Extended every day for a few weeks (on a Macbook Pro, OS 10.6.3, 28GHz, 4GB Ram) and haven't had any problems or glitches. It installed without a hitch and runs nicely. No slow downs, no hangups, no crashing.
One thing I like is that when you open another program in Mac, the photoshop tools and utilities windows hide out of the way until you go back into it. Final Cut doesn't do that, for example, which means that if I'm working on Final Cut I need to move my windows out of the way to get at other things, or use Spaces and set my apps on different spaces windows in order to be productive.
There are three basic parts to the Photoshop package: an organizer (Adobe Bridge), a non-destructive photo adjuster (Adobe Raw, which is designed for RAW format photos but works on JPEGs as well), and an editor (Photoshop, which does ordinary adjustments and tweaks but also works with layers and masks and an inexhaustible array of effects to allow you to do pretty much anything you could possibly imagine with your photos).
What's new in CS5?
Mini Bridge - in addition to the ordinary Bridge program that helps organize your photos (and other files for use with other CS5 programs), Photoshop includes the Mini Bridge that functions like a bridge app that opens within photoshop itself. It only works, though, if Bridge is already open.
Refine edge - Photoshop's selection tools are already pretty astonishing, and with the new refine edge tools (that work both for selections and for masks) they've gotten much more sophisticated, allowing you to fine tune selections in pretty amazing ways. For example with frizzy hair, where you can see through the hair at the edges to a background, refine edge can usually allow you to select just the hair and not the background. There's even a tool that allows you to get rid of reflections from the background on the subject. When I do green screen photography, it's always difficult to avoid getting some green light bounce on the perimeter of the subject. What's truly amazing is that with Photoshop's selection tools and refine edge, you really don't even need to use the green screen because you can replace the background of most photos without it.
New painting options - there are a whole range of new brushes you can paint with and each brush can be adjusted for thickness and stiffness, and several other properties that make photoshop into a true painting program, and allow you to use painting to either modify existing photos or create original artworks. The coolest painting feature is the "Mixer Brush" that allows you to treat a photograph as if it were covered in wet paint and to either paint from it as if it were a palette or to mix other colors with the existing colors on the photo.
3D & Puppet Warp - you can take a photo and make it into a 3-D postcard that can be rotated and re-oriented however you like. Additionally you can create three dimensional objects or make elements of photographs into 3-D objects so you can experiment with different ways of laying them out. Puppet Warp allows you to take an object and move its elements around - turning a head or raising an arm for example.
Improved HDR Pro Support - you can shoot photos with a range of exposures and it will bring them together in a single shot that captures all the nuance you want; you can then adjust these in case you want, say, to flatten the shadows or want less nuance in the highlights of a certain area in the photo. Note that this can even work if you don't have a tripod and just eyeball the frames, since the program will automatically detect the overlap regions. Pretty cool.
Content Aware Fill - of course the most astonishing feature of CS5 is the content aware fill. CS4 (and Photoshop Express 9) already had the content aware transform that allows you to shrink a photo and let it know which parts you don't want warped and which parts you'd like to lose. Content Aware fill is like a mixture between that function and the healing brush tool. You can select, say, a piece of garbage on the lawn in an otherwise nice photo, then fill it with content aware fill and Photoshop will reconstruct a seamless piece of lawn turf in the place of the garbage. You can get rid of a stranger who wandered into your frame without doing any cropping or resizing (provided that the background that needs to be filled in is not too complicated). You can even fill in gaps in a panorama shot (where you take a few photos in order to get an expanded range). Some of this would be possible already with older versions of Photoshop but would take hours; but some of the things you can do with this tool are simply magical. (For a quick illustration of how it works, see the brief attached video).
Online Review Feature - another new thing that would be quite handy for the professional user, or for someone collaborating with others artistically, is the online review function. Basically it allows you to upload the latest version of your image and notify others it's there. They can then go into the image and post comments, both general comments and comments tied to specific parts of the photo, and then those comments appear ready to review and read by the original poster.
This is not really a beginner's program. For those who want to just tweak exposure and color balance, stick with iPhoto or something simple. For slightly more complicated fixes, but with a smaller learning curve, stick to something like Photoshop Elements. If you really want to work magic with your photos, though, and if you're willing to put in some serious time trying things out (and going through the seemingly endless tutorials online) - or if you already know Photoshop or Elements and you know how much time it can take to do some of the fixes that the Content Aware tool can solve in seconds, you really ought to check out this latest version of Photoshop. It's pretty amazing.
Something that really helps in learning the program is the monthly magazines Focus Guide Photoshop. I bought back copies on eBay.