Photoshop CS4 has been announced

It’s late Tuesday, but I didn’t want the day to go by without mentioning this one since Photoshop is my “gig” and all. Adobe has announced the brand new Creative Suite CS4, which means there’s a new version of Photoshop coming out. It’s not out yet but Adobe generally starts shipping within a month or so after they announce (at least that’s judging from the past). Since most Lightroom users, use Photoshop as well I figured you’d like a look at the new features so make sure you visit the links below for Photoshop (and other creative suite programs) coverage from the NAPP gang.

• NAPP’s Photoshop CS4 Learning Center

• NAPP’s Exclusive Members Only CS4 Videos

• I also had another online training course go live at Kelby Training’s website. It’s called the Photoshop CS4 Power Session and it’s an in-depth look at all the new features. I know no one has the software yet but subscribers are free to log in and get a head start. I really took an in-depth look at all the new features and all of the little settings in CS4 and exactly when and where you’d use them. I’ll also be updating the course as I find new stuff in the coming weeks.

• Layers Magazine Creative Suite CS4 videos (yes, videos on all the Creative Suite apps)

• Terry White’s Create Suite podcast takes a look at Photoshop, Bridge and Camera Raw in CS4

• Jeff Revell also has a new flash as well as a “Why I still use Bridge” article worth checking out

So the magic question… do you plan on upgrading? Let us know in the comments. See ya.


Share This Post On


  1. i’m new to digital photography, just about to upgrade from the old school film slr. i am really looking forward to photo editing and playing around with photos but im not sure what to go for in software. I was pretty certain Lightroom 2 would do the job, especially for the organisation and viewing but wondering if it will limit me in the editing side of things. i might be new to it but i plan on reading up, learning fast and experimenting with my pics. It looks like i could do plenty of playing around in lightroom but will there be many things i will be missing out on that i would be able to do in photoshop cs4? i know i could buy both but it seems excessive. any help would be great.

    Post a Reply
  2. Matt,

    I found the answer to my above question about the ability to leave the mask turned on while using the adjustment brush. While there is no check box as in ACR5 the feature is available via keyboard shortcut. The shortcut is pressing the letter O when using the adjustment brush. As an added bonus if you press Shift O you can cycle through 3 different mask color options.

    I found this information from Joe Barrett. His complete explanation can be found here:

    Thanks Matt and Joe.

    Post a Reply
  3. If it is anything like the Lightroom 2.0 release (i.e. BUGGY and not at all ready for primetime) I am doubtful that I will upgrade until after the first major service release…

    Post a Reply
  4. Hi Matt: Knowing how you feel about Pattern Maker filter, I figured you’d be the one to ask if they dumped it in CS4. I’ve heard rumors it’s not there anymore. And the Extract filter is gone, too?

    Post a Reply
  5. Matt,

    I noticed while watching one of the NAPP videos that when using the adjustment brush in ACR5 that there is a new check box marked “show mask”. Scott K. demonstrates this option and it seems to allow the user to toggle a mask showing where the brush adjustment has been made. I have not been able to find this feature in LR2.1 and I’ve felt this was something that needed to be added shortly after beginning to use LR2 because the current method only shows the mask when you hover over the brush ‘control point’. So far I’ve just been running the exposure all the way up as a work-a-round. Is there a way to do this in LR and if not is this a feature that will be in ACR5 and not in LR2?

    Also the 2.1 release seems to have solved the problem I was having with going from LR to CS3 and back. Speed is still an issue with the adjustment brush in LR2.1 but I’m working around that by dropping the bit depth on my video driver.

    thanks and I enjoy your podcasts.

    Post a Reply
  6. It comes down to this: having just purchased LR 2.0 I have to choose between the CS4 upgrade or a new lens. From what I have seen of the new CS4 features, the lens is winning. The changes this version seem evolutionary rather than revolutionary – like Smart Filters, which was so worth the cost of the upgrade.

    Post a Reply
  7. CS4 will be my first Photoshop! I love learning from you and Scott…keep up the good work 🙂

    Post a Reply
  8. Matt,

    After downloading Lightroom 2.1 I still have performance issues with the tool used for sky enhancement (just to the left of the adj. brush). I still get the beachball and have to force quit LR and restart. I was wondering if others were experiencing this and wether Adobe is aware of this issue.

    Post a Reply
  9. Matt, I spoke with Adobe online support right after the launch. They are saying they expect CS4 to ship by October 30th. She also had a good point. Since I’m currently using CS2, I can buy CS3 upgrade now and get the CS4 upgrade free when it is released. That way, I can get more interoperability with Lightroom to CS3 and not have to pay for another upgrade in October. I won’t install the CS4 upgrade until I’m sure it is working properly for the majority of the other posters. I want to have the latest version since the majority of the new tutorials, videos, blogs, and articles are for the latest version.

    Post a Reply
  10. Matt,

    I saw your video about the new Dodge and Burn tools (specifically the “Protect Tones” selection). How does this new feature compare with LR2’s local exposure corrections? Does LR2 protect the tone of the image the way CS4 does?

    Post a Reply
  11. I’m going to wait to try the trial version (assuming they will have one) as I don’t see a killer upgrade on CS4 that makes me want to spend my money yet. The argument that this is just a point upgrade not a new version may yet prove to be true

    Post a Reply
  12. I will definitely be upgrading. I know there is a ton of stuff that we all could complain about. There is always something that could be done better. I absolutely agree that it shouldn’t be such a huge hit financially to upgrade each time. But seriously, Adobe does a great job. I feel like the upgrades are always worth it. True, it’s not always revolutionary new technology, but when they speed up the process behind tasks it really is a huge time saver. I spend hours of each day in Photoshop and Lightroom, if they’re doing things that will cut down on that time, or allow me to do more in the same amount of time, it is worth it.

    Thanks to Matt and all the NAPP guys for making the transition a smooth and exciting thing!

    Post a Reply
  13. Im with Nat on this one.

    Before i upgrade to CS4 I too need to upgrade my computer, to be able to take advantage of the speed gain. Upgrading to 64 bit is probably the way to go now.

    But hey.. that gives me reason to go shopping..heh


    Post a Reply
  14. I have had CS2 and CS3 at the same time as Lightroom 1 and 2. I hardly use CS3 now (due to Lightroom) and only really adopted it because I was held to ransom for RAW updates. I won’t be moving to CS4 and if the RAW support stops for CS3 as part of the change I will take a dim view for all time.

    Post a Reply
  15. I currently use CS3 Extended and LR2.1 but Adobe Australia are charging $299 for the upgrade to CS4 and a huge $599 to upgrade to the full Extended version, so an upgrade really isn’t on the cards until Adobe Australia join the rest of the world 😉

    Post a Reply
  16. Matt:
    I’m not upgrading yet. I currently use CS3 and Lightroom 1.4.3. I will move up to lightroom 2.x as soon as I see enough of “yea, they fixed it” comments.

    I’m still unsure about the difference in ACR 5.0 and what can be done in Lightroom 2.x (localized adjustments). From what I’ve seen on NAPP and other sites, it seems that this upgrade should be a 3.5, not an entirley new version. Maybe the rest of the suite products are substantially changed – I don’t know since I don’t use them. For $199 (less 15% NAPP), I don’t think it’s worth it at this point.

    Post a Reply
  17. Matt: I also want to thank you and all the people at NAPP for your outstanding support and assistance. I recognize you are in a postion to provide us ONLY with advice. I do not hold you responsible for your opinions and/or recommendations. THANK YOU MATT.

    Post a Reply
  18. I can’t believe all the whining out there. I am a pro photographer and work with Photoshop and Lightroom daily and the latest versions have increased my workflow by light years! Although I have had NO problems with the adjustment brush, or any other feature of LR2, I did download the upgrade a few minutes ago. I have pre-ordered Photoshop CS4 after seeing some of the new features at the launch yesterday, and when I ordered on line, my NAPP discount code was accepted without any problems. I am looking forward to using CS4 and if it has even ‘one’ feature that will speed up my workflow, the upgrade will have been worth it. For me, time is money!

    Post a Reply
  19. Thanks Matt. I appreciate the response and , as I wrote, I am relying on you all at NAPP to give us the best input to make a decision whether buying the upgrade at this time is necessary or cost effective. It looks like the jury is still out for some of us and I am sure your efforts to unravel it’s feature in the coming weeks will help most of us reach a “verdict”.
    To tell you the truth I would be totally lost if it weren’t for you all at NAPP. I can’t imagine what it would be like for my photography if it weren’t for your training , advice and other benefits. I sincerely mean this.
    Geez this is beginning to sound like a commercial for NAPP. Do I get union scale? :<)

    Post a Reply
  20. Did they make CS4 64-bit for Windows? I had heard in previous reports that this would be the case but I don’t see anywhere if that has actually been implemented in the final version.

    Please tell me they have made this 64-bit!!! If they haven’t I won’t bother upgrading.

    Chris Fitch

    Post a Reply
  21. John (and everyone really) – Please keep on thing in mind. We get a check for 0$ each year from Adobe. Is the success of what we do tied in part to Adobe? Sure it is. But remember this. We get absolutely no benefit from telling you to use software that we wouldn’t recommend to our own family members. You’ll buy it, not like it and blame us for it in the end and never buy our products and services again. I succeed from showing you what I’m excited about and showing you the products I use. I use LR and PS because I think they’re the best out there. I don’t use Aperture. If I didn’t work for who I work for, I would still not use Aperture because I don’t believe it’s the best solution out there. So please don’t think we’re telling you to go out and buy CS4 right now. Our job is to show you what’s new and what we’re excited about. After that, it’s up to you to look at those features and decide whether or not you find them appealing enough to shell out another $200 bucks.

    Tom – sorry man, but as you can imagine I have 0 pull with Adobe’s customer service.

    Take care folks!
    Matt K

    Post a Reply
  22. WOW! Have I a story for you.

    First, My Napp discount code was not accepted on the online order. Needless to say I was charged 15% more than I should have. I called Customer Service and they said that order would be cancelled and no problem. Only one problem, they ordered the wrong version!!! They told me MAC over the phone however the receipt shows WINDOWS! ARRRGH.

    The next call to customer service (Which sounds like their in India) said I would need to send the software back with a letter of software destruction. I told him it hasn’t shipped yet and he said yes thats true but send it back with a letter of software destruction. We then placed an order for the correct version via an American-ish sounding person.

    So Matt if you can help I have a possibility of 3 orders being shipped to me with Adobe messing up on two of them. 1) Not accepting the Napp code and 2) Ordering the wrong version. Customer service in India sounds the utmost confused with me having to send back letters of software destruction for software that is not even out yet. Is there a customer service in North America??? HELLLLLP

    Tom Q

    Post a Reply
  23. PS: A caveat to my cooments above. I hope that my comments will be carried over to the NAPP forums and not become a consuming item on this blog. That really isn’t the reason for Matt’s blog. I will look to post over there under appropriate topic or maybe someone can suggest one.

    Post a Reply
  24. I agree with what seems to be the majority of folks above. Adobe seems to be pushing these up upgrades a little to fast and CS 4 seems to be more of a face lift. I try it first. hopefully there will be a demo.

    I have got to say this: As much as I value my NAPP membership and Matt and the guys advice and Adobe’s products, I feel a little uncomfortable at times with NAPP and there relationship with Adobe in the marketing of some of these programs and upgrades. I hope,after the guys at NAPP ‘s evaluation of CS 4, they will give us a unbiased view as to the real value of upgrading this time.
    I have been a faithful customer for while with NAPP and Adobe’s starting worth CS and LR beta and now have CS3 and LR 2. For now though I think I will sit back and not be stampeded. Besides being a very causal semi-professional my budget becomes very tight when all the software upgrades upgrades( NIK, OnOne, Lucis. etc)usually are released around around the NAPP convention.
    Again I wouldn’t trade my NAPP membership for anything .

    Post a Reply
  25. Hopefully there will be the usual 30-day trial version of PS CS4. This should allow me to answer my own questions. In particular it will be interesting to see if the same performance issues in local adjustments experienced to some degree by all users of LR2.x will be present in ACR 5.0

    I noticed that Matt highlighted the clone stamp tool change in his video with Scott and Dave; I noted this as a feature request for previous versions and wasn’t at all impressed with what came out. Thank goodness that nice feature from the vanishing point process has made into the mainstream.


    Post a Reply
  26. I will upgrade, because I always do. However, I also have Lightroom 2, and now that CS4 has most of L2´s picture-tweaking features, I am quite confused as to how to use L2 and Photoshop CS4 together. Matt, could you please do a video on how you see them working together, now that there is so much overlap?

    I can still see value, anyway, in L2´s database and organizing features, so, if it was only for that, I would continue using it.

    Post a Reply
  27. See Paul’s comment above…
    I will hang off until I have done the research. So far CS4 looks more like a facelift than a new model….

    Post a Reply
  28. I’ve been a Lightroom and CS3 user for some time now and recently upgraded to LR 2, mostly because of the new brush tools. In the glaring light of the performance problems I and almost everyone is experiencing with LR 2 that still haven’t been corrected in 2.1, I’m not upgrading to CS4 until the early adopters indicate there’s no equally significant problems or Adobe releases a proven CS4 update.

    Adobe has been doing better at listening to customers, but has been in too big a hurry to rush poorly QA’d product to the market. Their customers deserve more respect.

    Post a Reply
  29. Boo! Upgrading to CS4 will mean having to buy a new computer for me!!! The Adobe announcement webcast was very cool, and although it seems very cool, it looks like video post production and web designers will have the greatest advantage in upgrading to CS4.

    Post a Reply
  30. Hurray for CS4!

    (Figured I had to saying something about the post’s content, although that’s not why I’m commenting. 🙂 Rather, I’m writing in hopes that you can tell me whether or not the presets you’ve developed for Lightroom can be used in Camera Raw. The file format seems to be different, but I can’t claim to be especially savvy about such things, so there may be a way to utilize them in Camera Raw as well. I’ve Googled, I’ve searched, I’ve tried it on my own. But now it’s time to ask the expert, and the preset creator himself…Can I upload your Lr presets for use in the Preset tab of Camera Raw?? Thank you in advance for the response I hope is forthcoming!)

    Post a Reply
  31. I have mixed feelings, though I do plan to get CS4. I think adobe is charging way to much for updates that are cool, but not revolutionary. Adobe knows how to cash cow, especially since they have no competition these days.

    Been running a poll over on Pro Photo Show. At this points about 50% are upgrading, 25% aren’t sure, and 25% are not.


    Post a Reply
  32. I just use PS to play BUT I will upgrade, don’t want to be the only kid on the block without the new toy.


    Post a Reply
  33. I do not plan on upgrading to CS4 as I can’t see anything in it that is worth the price and it doesn’t seem like such a big upgrade like many in the past have been. I currently have CS3 and Lightroom 2.0.

    From what I have read about the Lightroom 2.1 RC, I wont download that either until it is out of beta and seems to work right.

    Post a Reply
  34. sweet that there is already trainig available and yes I did preorder the upgrade version of PS CS4, Don’t forget your NAPP discount

    Post a Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *