In each version of Photoshop, Adobe releases features that are of use to different types of users. Some features are tailor-made for photographers, for example, while others are better suited for designers. Let's take a look at who will benefit from some of the new features in Photoshop CS3.
Bridge has plenty of great new features like a Loupe view of your photos and better ways to sort and compare photos to make it easier to find your keepers and losers. There's also photo stacking, quick thumbnail previews, and easier ways to see your metadata.
Cloning just got easier with the brand new addition of the Clone Source palette. Right under the Window menu, you now have an entirely new way to make the cloning process simpler and more intuitive.
Refine Edges Dialog
This is a brand spankin’ new dialog that will show up in the Options Bar any time you create a selection. It allows you to preview your selection edges over different backgrounds so you can see just how it's going to look. It shows up no matter what tool you use to create a selection and it's there to do just what it says—refine your selection edges. It's pretty cool, too. You can feather your selection on the fly and get a live preview of what it'll look like so there's no guessing involved.
Quick Select Tool
The Quick Select tool is a brand new tool that lives up to its name. It automatically senses the edges of the object you're trying to select and snaps the selection into place. Think of it as the Magic Wand tool on steroids.
Black and White Adjustment
This is one that's a long time overdue. Now CS3 has a dedicated way to turn a color photo into a black and white. No more tricks of the trade for black and whites. You've got a new adjustment and it has a ton of settings that allow you to control just how your black and whites look.
Photoshop CS3 Public Beta also includes a new version of Camera Raw—Camera Raw 4.0. You'll find a lot of cool features that are similar to Photoshop Lightroom such as a Highlight Recovery slider and Fill Light controls. Plus, you have Split Toning controls as well as a Grayscale mixer to create killer black and whites right inside of Camera Raw.
Ever take a photo of a group where one person had his eyes shut? So, what do you do? Naturally, you'd take another photo. But then, cousin Jimmy wasn't smiling and Grandma Emily would be devastated if everyone didn't look his best. That's where Auto Align comes in. It automatically aligns two photos to make it easier to include the best shots of everyone in the final image.
New Curves Interface
Curves got a facelift in CS3. Now, you can see the Histogram behind the Curve as well as get some options for fine-tuning the way your curve looks.
The Vanishing Point filter now includes the ability to wrap graphics around planes other than a straight 90-degree angle.
WooooHoooo! Filters no longer have to create a permanent change to your layer. With the new smart filters you can easily apply filters to your layers and go back and change their settings at any time. I have to say: This one rocks!
General Ease of Use and Other Improvements
The enhanced interface gives you a great deal of control over the areas of Photoshop you use most. There's a new quick palette area that gives you access to commonly used tools and presets. There are also preferences for auto hiding and collapsing palettes when you're not using them.
Web Photo Gallery
The Web Photo Gallery is now actually called the Adobe Media Gallery and it's pretty darn sweet. There are plenty of killer ways to show off your photos and images in great web layouts.
And there you have it. Adobe included something for everyone in this new release so whether you’re a photographer, graphic designer, or anyone who just loves using Photoshop to organize and edit your photos, you’ll want to try out the beta release. Also, make sure you check out the most comprehensive resource out there for Photoshop CS3 beta over at the National Association of Photoshop Professionals CS3 Learning Center.