After the glowing review I gave the new version of Phoenix with Mesh support here on Monday, I discovered one major problem - flickering alpha textures that were very noticeable with ubiquitous Linden trees and plants. The only way to stop the flashing, which is really jarring, was to enable Phoenix viewer shadows --- which slowed me down too much. In addition, I find the shadows dominating in images -- there is too big a variance in light and shadow for my style of photography.
By the way if you are using the Phoenix viewer there is a necessary upgrade 126.96.36.1990 that was announced today -- make sure to download it here: http://www.phoenixviewer.com/downloads.php
I tried the Firestorm viewer (which is now mesh enabled) for the first time -- and no flashing alpha textures. In addition, there was not as much lag with Firestorm, much less than the new SL mesh-enabled viewer. Its a great viewer. I still need to figure it out - for example, it took me 20 minutes to find the music sound control -- it is on the upper right hand side of the interface and not the lower side. But all in all, the interface really is not that hard to use.
So I am finally off to a new Viewer 2 -based experience in Second Life. I did manage to hold out in basic Phoenix for as long as possible, since after five years, my mind is so set on the old viewer controls. But reprogram my brain I will, and I will be reporting here on Firestorm's new capabilities for my photography- which I assume are many. In the meantime. if you have been resisting Firestorm and using the old Phoenix, you might want to make the transition. It really is not that bad.