Adobe Creative Suite 5 review
Adobe Creative Suite 5 isn't without fault, but as a whole it adds up to one of the most impressive software releases we've ever seen
Review Date: 12 Apr 2010
Reviewed By: Tom Arah
Price when reviewed: £1,032 (£1,213 inc VAT) to £2,303 (£2,706 inc VAT)
So here it is. Some 18 months after its last release, Creative Suite 5 has arrived to set the benchmark for professional creatives producing work for page and screen.
With big updates to flagships and market leaders such as Photoshop, InDesign, Dreamweaver, Flash Professional, Premiere Pro and After Effects, there's a huge amount to get to grips with. In fact, with the introduction of yet another key application, Flash Catalyst, Creative Suite 5 sees the synchronised launch of 16 applications.
But that's not all. There are two important support programs: Device Central CS5, for testing how content works on an ever-wider range of mobile device emulators; and the media management tool, Bridge. Adobe is also using the launch of Creative Suite 5 to move into services. Most of these weren't running at the time of review, with the exception of BrowserLab.
Which suite to buy?
To get your hands on all CS5 services, support apps and standalones, you'll have to shell out for the Master Collection. At around £2,300 exc VAT it isn't cheap, especially as Adobe again penalises UK users with a punitive dollar-sterling exchange rate. However, users of any CS4 or CS3 suite can now upgrade for around half that price.
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The big problem with the Master Collection is that it's unlikely any one user will be producing commercial print, websites, rich internet applications and broadcast video. Most users will find it makes more sense to buy one of Adobe's targeted suite editions, while businesses would do better to buy a mix of suites using Adobe's volume licensing schemes.
The cheapest edition and the most focused is CS5 Design Standard. This provides Photoshop CS5, Illustrator CS5 and InDesign CS5. Throw in Acrobat 9 Professional, and it's an impressive combination made even more so by a strong round of upgrades.
For those wanting to mix print and web design, Adobe provides Design Premium CS5 and, thanks to CS5's flat-rate upgrade pricing from any CS4 suite, it's a bargain for existing Design Standard users. Here, the new Flash capabilities of InDesign CS5 prove central, as they provide a bridge between traditional page-based design and screen-based delivery.
Adobe also opens up another route towards Flash-based delivery with Flash Catalyst CS5. This takes artwork produced with the creative tools and converts them into interactive Flash and AIR apps. Finally, Design Premium includes the powerful new Dreamweaver CS5.
I am a fan but...
I spend most of my time with Photoshop, Lightroom and Dreamweaver so I am a fan and as I get the upgrade prices, things are not too bad but I think that their pricing overall is little short of suicidal. I haven't checked lately but certainly up to the CS3 Master Suite, Adobe was the most ripped off company going and little wonder, they tick all the Pirate boxes. Big demand and high price so well worth ripping off. Master Suite as an idea is a total nonsense and why they have never looked at annual licensing amazes me. Whilst some of the other 'suites' are now more logical in terms of content, why sell in suites anyway, this is not MS Office. It would make more sense to sell 'Pick and Mix' 3 or 4 product modules on an annual basis. I don't wish it but sooner or later, Adobe will come unstuck on all of this.
By Bikey2 on 14 Apr 2010
I cant really justify that amount of money for something which is a hobby ...although a hobby Im pretty good at... couple of newer features really interest me .... Puppet Warp & Creative Fill & think their called... puppet warp allows you to take a person or object and change them in to different positions or alter an object ....creative fill just allows you to quickly and easily remove almost anything from a photo... flares , peoples tress by just selected and delete fill (terminology may be wrong ) thats what i spend most time doing with my photos so would be time saver.. hopefully they still let you download the demos from the website so I can have a play.
By akoli on 15 Apr 2010
edit : I only dable with photoshop and this is where the new features are from (in case anyone is not photoshop savvy)
Sure there are plenty of others in the other apps
By akoli on 15 Apr 2010
PC Pro guys, you forgot to include the review part of the review. How do the packages perform compared to CS4 do the various components still crash for no reason, does media encoder still stop working for no reason, does running after effects or Photoshop still cripple Premiere Pro. How can you give a recommended rating without actually doing a review, this is barely even a preview. Where's the journalism, all you've done is retyped the press release and given a rating based on advertising revenue, backhanders, free junkets to California or whatever.
By dodge1963 on 16 Apr 2010
Agree with Dodge, this is a non-review
Mentioning new features would be a starter,
Context-Aware Fill for example, or improvements, like the one to Media Encoder, or the fact the Master Suite actually takes up less disk space, etc. etc. would make for some sorta review instead of this lame excuse for one.
By herojig on 5 Jun 2010
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