Adobe Photoshop has remained one of the most popular raster graphics and post-processing tools available. Photoshop 2020 is the latest version of this great program, combining powerful editing processes with a simple interface.
Photoshop 2020 adds numerous improvements to previous versions. For example, it has a general improved performance. Whilst previous versions were certainly not sluggish, any performance improvements are welcome.
It also adds improvements to several tools and filters like the lens blur filter and content-aware fill tool. In the text below, we look at what other features Photoshop 2020 has, and if it is still a top contender in the editing software market.
Let’s start with a breakdown of the basic features of Photoshop 2020. It retains the different tools and features you would associate with this program. We have listed some of the main tools and features below:
- Full RAW editing through Camera RAW plugin
- Transformation tools
- Full layer editing
- Full range of basic adjustments
- Great selection of filters and effects
- Ability to create custom patterns and brushes
- Detailed brush tools
- Support for all popular image formats
- Cloud storage
Essentially, you have a full raster graphics editing program. Using Photoshop 2020, you can create complex graphics from a blank document. Furthermore, you can easily edit existing photos and graphics and add different features like text overlays, gradients, and more.
This is all facilitated by a detailed layer management feature that allows you to place objects on different layers and edit them independently.
The layout remains a strong selling point of Photoshop 2020. If you have experience with any photo editing software or raster graphics programs, you will appreciate how important layout is.
Photoshop 2020 uses the same basic formula that has worked for previous versions. Firstly, on the far-left, you can find the basic toolbar that contains your go-to editing tools. This is small and doesn’t take up too much space.
Secondly, there is a huge central viewing panel – this gives you plenty of area to edit graphics and photos without fighting for space. Thirdly, in the far-right are the other important tools like color, swatches, gradients, and layers.
What’s nice about this layout is that everything is collapsible, movable, and changeable. Basically, you can edit the whole layout of Photoshop 2020 to suit your individual needs.
If you never use a specific tool – it can be collapsed or removed from your workflow. This provides ultimate convenience and flexibility which is something that not many other programs offer.
As stated above, Adobe has taken measures to improve the underlying performance of Photoshop 2020. Could we notice a difference? Yes, if only minor. The change is not groundbreaking, but this is mainly because previous versions of Photoshop performed well too.
To use Photoshop 2020, the following minimum system requirements are needed:
- Processor: Intel or AMD 64-bit, 2GHz or faster
- Memory: 2GM of RAM or more
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 or equivalent
- HDD Space: 3.1GB for full installation
- Screen: 1280 x 800 display with 512B of VRAM
These system requirements are by no means intensive – most basic computers you could buy from an electronics store meet these requirements easily. It is recommended that you have 8GB of RAM to run the program effectively, but again this isn’t hugely intensive.
We had no performance issues at all – Photoshop 2020 runs smoothly. When editing images, the tools load quickly, and the effects are applied without delay. Exporting files and viewing folder archives is a smooth process too.
It appears that Adobe has looked to improve usability in Photoshop 2020. Particularly for novice users who may have never used a Photoshop program before.
The different tools now have detailed tooltip overlays – if you hover over the gradient tool, for example, a small box appears. It provides a description of the tool and what it does as well as providing the keyboard shortcut and even a simple animation.
For new users, these tooltips are fantastic, and they don’t affect the performance. Veteran users may not appreciate this inclusion, but we feel it is a great feature.
The general usability remains brilliant. There is a great array of hints and tips that you can turn off if you don’t need them. Furthermore, the opening screen has been altered. It now shows a diverse range of options and gives you more flexibility for opening files, or re-opening recently editing graphics.
Photoshop 2020 vs. GIMP
One of the main free competitors to Photoshop is GIMP. This is another long-standing raster graphics editing program. We have created a basic comparison table of the two below:
|Full RAW Editing||Yes||Yes|
|Support for Cameras||Yes||Yes|
|Social Media Sharing||Yes||Yes|
If judged on basic features, there appear to be minimal differences. One noticeable change, however, is that Photoshop 2020 has cloud connectivity. You can upload images directly to your Adobe Cloud storage and access them from any device.
Whilst GIMP is a great editing program, for us, Photoshop 2020 has the edge. This current version is superior and offers better performance, layout, and usability.
Is Photoshop 2020 Still a Top Contender?
Yes! A resounding yes. There are other viable programs available like GIMP, but Photoshop 2020 is still one of the best options available. It builds upon the success of previous versions by using the same toolsets and core editing features.
However, it also goes above and beyond this and adds many new improvements. For example, the performance improvements are a welcomed change. As we mentioned before, previous versions of Photoshop weren’t slow, but everything now just feels that little bit smoother and faster.
The sleek, dark design looks extremely modern and fits well with other Adobe programs like Lightroom Classic and Lightroom CC. Coincidentally – if you are a photographer, the cheapest Adobe subscription available is the Lightroom & Photoshop package which gives you access to both the desktop and cloud versions of the two programs.