I’m an original Photoshop user going back to version 1.x. I learned not to upgrade every version.
My last Photoshop upgrade was the original CS. It’s time to upgrade again and boy, have times changed.
They say there’s not much inflation in the US economy. If so, the folks at Adobe haven’t heard the news. Inflation is rampant.
In addition to Photoshop and Illustrator, I’m also a long time user of Dreamweaver, Fireworks, and Flash, probably the best one-two-three punch in web design.
Adobe now owns Dreamweaver, Fireworks, and other Macromedia tools, and Adobe’s Creative Suite 3 has bundles to suit any Mac or Windows graphic or web designer. Except those on a budget.
The latest upgrades make Adobe the Microsoft of graphic design and media tools. Microsoft and Apple’s offerings pale in comparison to the sophistication offered by CS3.
To keep it brief, there’s not much to not like about CS3. If you’ve used and require Photoshop and Illustrator for your graphic designs, CS3 has a bundle for you.
If you’ve stuck to Macromedia’s powerhouse trio of Dreamweaver, Fireworks, and Flash, they’re available in various bundles, too. All the bundles are designed to put a smile on your face.
No, not a smile of “Wow, what a great deal.” It’s the smile you cough up to hide your true feelings knowing that you have little choice but to cough up again—cold, hard cash.
CS3’s bundles, relative to packaging of years past with a smaller product line, are an eye opener. The retail price tag on a new version of Create Suite 3 Master Collection will empty your wallet of about $2,500.
Upgrade, upgrade, upgrade. If your boss isn’t paying the freight, make sure you have an upgrade in your future, as that’s where the true savings are available.
I haven’t upgraded Photoshop since the original Creative Suite, missing CS2, so my upgrade “tax” is stiff. However, I did upgrade to Macromedia’s Studio 8 a few years ago, so my pain is reduced substantially.
Adobe Creative Suite 3 Web Premium gives my the latest versions of what I use most, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, and Flash, along with Photoshop, Illustrator, and a handful of other goodies, including Acrobat and Contribute.
Upgrading from Studio 8 is a mere $499 compared to the full price tag of $1,599. What am I getting for the upgrade price? Adobe loaded up all the bundles and individual packages with more features, more capability, and more compatibility.
For example, Photoshop in Intel Mac native, new palettes here and there (actually, a single column of tools) in a new look. That’s fine as I thought both Photoshop and Illustrator had too many palettes.
There are more tools and more non-destructive filters and a bit more speed.
There’s also a Check Browser Compatibility function which is sure to come in handy when creating sites for web site visitors who use something else besides Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.
Fireworks may be my favorite graphics app of all time and goes Intel native with new workflow tools, quick sharing with Dreamweaver and Photoshop, and new tools. The Common Library will save time by centralizing a collection of common web page elements, all of which have editable attributes.
My experience so far is limited to the beta downloads from Adobe, as CS3 is slated to ship later in the month. Yes, I coughed up the $499 to upgrade to CS3 Web Premium Edition.
While that’s the most I’ve ever spent on an upgrade to Adobe or Macromedia, it sure sounds like a bargain when compared to the retail price of $1,600.