For digital photographers one of the major improvements in CS5 is the raw processing of Camera Raw 6, included as a plug-in for the new version. It supports 275 camera models including all the latest DSLRs and mirrorless system cameras, and can also be used to edit JPEG and TIFF files. It uses new advanced algorithms to provide vastly improved noise reduction and sharpening, and also includes effects filters such as film grain, special processing emulation and vignetting. It can rescue badly under-exposed shots without adding noise, and allows you to use your DSLR at higher ISO settings, something which will prove invaluable to professional photographers.
Also a boon for photographers is the automated lens correction, which can remove the effects of optical distortion, chromatic aberration and vignetting. If you regularly use the same lens and camera combinations you can apply the correction to a batch of pictures, and build up a database for your favourite optics. As with the rest of the program the results are brilliant, correcting in seconds what would take many minutes to achieve manually.
For more creative users there are new painting features that allow Photoshop to be used as a primary tool for the creation of original artwork. These include new bristle tip brush effects, and the Mixer Brush which can be used to combine several colours on one brush tip. When used with a graphics tablet this turns Photoshop into a painting canvas capable of a wide range of artistic effects.