Real. Some things we know are going to happen—like the next iteration of Adobe Photoshop. This comes around every couple of years or so and there’s always a lot of grumbling… some at the cost of upgrades, and some at the burden of learning to use the new tools included with each new program version. Cost is certainly a concern, but companies are in business to make money and it’s not a surprise they want to continue improving a product with the hope they can entice you to buy it. And as to the need to keep learning, the continued acceleration of the rate of technological change in the 21st century has pretty much made that a fact of life whether we like it or not.
Adobe has now released their free CS6 Public Beta available at Adobe Labs. By all accounts this upgrade will be significant on several levels, not the least of which is that the entire interface has changed to a new (darker) color scheme with redesigned icons. There’s plenty of information beginning to flow and you can find a pretty good synopsis of the major changes at DP Review. Do keep in mind this beta release is not the final product, so there will almost certainly be some additional tweaks before it ships sometime in the next couple of months. This upgrade will also provide an opportunity for the information industry to launch a new wave of online and hardcopy training materials to help get you up to speed, such as the free video sessions at lynda.com and Tim Grey’s training department. I suspect too that a few eyebrows will be raised regarding elevated system requirements which will demand more of the host computer (for example, CS6 will not support 32-bit Macs). Read the fine print carefully.
Which brings up another point. If you’re anticipating a computer upgrade in the near future primarily to run Photoshop (and/or other computationally intensive photo editing programs), consider the confluence of converging technologies. The next wave of Intel’s “Ivy Bridge” Core i7 processors should find their way to suppliers within the next month or two, and the latest iteration of workstation Xeon E5-2600 series CPUs are coming on line as well, so delaying a purchase just a bit might be good practice. With the new processors will come system components and features that significantly improve data throughput and reduce the time it takes to create content.
Maybe real. And some things are just tantalizing rumors that may or may not eventually make it to market—like a new 37MP full frame Sony Alpha SLT body sporting a square sensor! Far fetched? Maybe. Maybe not. I for one really like the square aspect ratio. I still own a vintage Rolleiflex through which I put many scores of rolls of film a long time ago. Discussion of this interesting new development purports that all current Alpha mount lenses would work just fine with this 36mm x 36mm sensor, removing the impediment of a new lens line. Whether or not this concept gains legs remains to be seen, but it could be a way for Sony to quickly separate themselves from the crowd with one very clever move.