Well I finally did it. After years of holding out on Adobe I finally broke down and upgraded my Adobe CS to CS4. Yep I have held out since upgrading to CS, not CS2, not CS3, plain old CS. I really was disappointed with CS, I really didn't see the point after I upgraded from PS 7. I guess it was a little better but cost a lot of money. Then came C2. By the time I had time to even consider upgrading I had Intel based Macs. There was no way I was going to pay for and upgrade that ran in emulation mode on my new machines at the same speed that It ran on my old machines. No freaking way. By the time CS3 came around there was nothing in it compelling for me, I didn't do nearly as much commercial work as I used to and had no personal projects that screamed for anything it did. I guess smart objects would have been a time and space saver IF I was jacking around making cartoons for public consumption but I wasn't at the time.
Fast forward - I heard a bunch of places that CS4 was really really good. So what? Well I finally started working on something that screamed for features that were in CS3 but kind of clunky and came into their own in CS4 (more on those later). I guess that was the primary motivator. The distant secondary and subliminal motivator were the emails I receive every other day telling me the ticker is running out on my ability to 'save money' by upgrading soon.
Guess what. CS4 IS fantastic on new hardware. It is fast, most of the functionality for 16bit images actually is there and workable on 500 Megabyte Tiff files, Bridge is absolutely fantastic for a 'free' afterthought. Actually it is like Lightroom lite. Did I mention it is fast - like really fast. I cannot wait to see the Snow Leopard update (big assumption Adobe will give this away for free). The interface changes will probably bother a lot of long time users. They are taking me a bit to get used to but guess what - that is only due to habit. Finally this thing is actually getting UI changes that are good - it's been since like the mid 90's or something since anything real significant has been really improved.
Bottom line If you are on the fence this is one upgrade that is worth every penny. I usually get all of my stuff at Amazon. If you want to help offset my costs for running this mess please use the little Amazon or B+H links on the side or on the sponsors page.