Adobe Photoshop CC 2020 is the biggest name in photo editing, and for good reason. It offers an unrivalled set of tools for image creation, manipulation, and enhancement and is used by a good chunk of all creative professionals the world over. While powerful, it's also fairly simple to use, and it integrates well with other Adobe tools to give you total control over your assets.
Combine it with a pure photo editor like Lightroom CC, and you've got the most comprehensive package of image tools you can possibly get. So, are there any downsides to Photoshop 2020? Well, aside from the cost of subscription, it's difficult to find fault. That's why it sits so high on our list of the best photo editing software apps for 2020.
Adobe Photoshop 2020 review: Features
Adobe Photoshop 2020 has a vast number of photo editing tools and features. It has almost everything you'd need to edit, change, or enhance a photo, so to guide you a little on your decision here, as yourself what you want to do with your photos. If the answer is: significantly change them, crop out objects, work in layers, and craft brand new images then, yes, Photoshop 2020 is for you. If you're looking to take existing photos and manipulate and enhance them, making the most of colors, levels, and other lens correction tools, that is better suited to Lightroom.
Photoshop 2020 has plenty of basic tools for image manipulation - crop, paint, fill, blur, sharpen, erase, dodge, and so on. That'll satisfy most casual users. Get beyond the basics and you have options for manipulating multiple layers, masks, channels and paths. You can replace entire backgrounds with ease, do things like mirror-image creation, and manipulate 3D and 360 degree images too.
You can type on photos, add vector graphics, stitch images together... the list goes on. However, one of the beauties of Photoshop 2020 is that it's simple to use, and has multiple layers of tutorials and tips. You never feel lost here, and even beginners will feel well informed about how to get the effects they need from their photos and images. In that way, it's better than Affinity Photo because it rarely feels intimidating. If you really are concerned that it's too advanced, and you want to own your Photoshop instead of paying a subscription, then Photoshop Elements is an option.
One of the newer features for 2020 is the increased control you have over the Content-Aware Fill tool. This tool basically enables you to quickly remove unwanted elements from your photos. For example, you can remove trash or people in the background and the fill makes the space around the removed object appear as though nothing had been there in the first place. To increase the accuracy of the fill, the update allows you to specify exactly what areas of the photo you want the fill to pull from as well as the areas you want it to avoid.
There are so many features, and it's impossible to cover them all here. Overall, we're impressed with the layout and interface, and how smooth the editing actually is. You'll rarely make mistakes when the program stutters, because once open it's usually solid as a rock.
Adobe Photoshop 2020 review: Compatibility and export options
Since Photoshop CC is part of the Adobe Creative Cloud service, your image files will be automatically saved to a secure cloud network. This means you can access your files remotely from any computer, smartphone or tablet. This makes bringing work along on vacation easier, since you don't have to lug your laptop around. Simply access your artwork from the hotel, library or hostess' computer when you have a few minutes to work on your design. This also allows friends, family, coworkers and editors to access images through their devices, if you give them access to your files.
One of the best things about Photoshop CC is that it supports every file imaginable, including PDF, PICT, TIFF and PNG. You can easily convert your files into other formats that are more compatible with friends' or editors' viewing programs. You can also choose to save images in a file that is compatible with Facebook and upload them to the site straight from the Photoshop CC program.
You can share images easily between Adobe programs, so enhancing color in Lightroom before cleaning up aberrations in Photoshop is usually the way to go.
Adobe Photoshop 2020 review: Price and support options
Photoshop 2020 is part of the Adobe Creative Cloud suite, so you pay a monthly subscription to use it. You can buy it in various forms, and as part of various packages, but we recommend it as part of the Photography Pack. Here you get Photoshop, Lightroom, Bridge and a bunch of other apps designed for photo editing and image creation for either $9.99 per month, with 20GB of online storage, or for $19.99 with 1TB of online storage. Due to the size of the images you'll be working with, your cloud space can quickly fill up, so consider if 20GB is enough.
You can obviously export your projects and store locally on your computer or a HDD, but that makes it slightly trickier to re-upload them for other apps. Either way, the Photography Pack is good value, if you're serious about enhancing your photos. You cannot currently buy Photoshop 2020 to own without subscription, and this is unlikely to change any time soon.
In terms of support, not only is Adobe's customer support options excellent, but you also get a wealth of tutorial videos, tips, and general photography advice built into the app itself. From your home screen, all you need to do is scroll through the tips videos, or search for what you need. There are even interactive tutorials that walk you through the process of adding or using a particular effect. It's very comprehensive.
In terms of specs, you will need one of the best laptops or home computers to really get the most out of Photoshop 2020. While the minimum specs aren't too intimidating, Adobe programs are known for being system-hogs, so if you want to switch between things like Photoshop, InDesign, Lightroom, Bridge etc, you'll want 16GB of RAM as a minimum, and an i7 or above processor.
Should you buy Adobe Photoshop 2020?
Yes, you probably should. Adobe Photoshop CC is the gold standard of photo editors, and if you're looking to do more than just adjust the contrast and crop of your photos, this has all the tools you need to make your images perfect. Whether you choose Lightroom or Photoshop really depends on what you want to achieve with your images - Photoshop is best for creation of pictures, and removal of imperfections (or indeed anything at all).
The best option is to sign up for Adobe's Photography Pack and simply have both, giving you all the resources you need. The only real downside is the subscription cost, which is comparatively expensive. But the best doesn't come cheap, and if you're serious about photography, this is a brilliant post-production tool.