Lightzone Raw editor has been reborn, is now open source and free, now comes in an IOS flavour too.

Lightzone was once a major contender for the top spot among Raw editors, but at some point in 2011 things went a bit awry and the company had to shut down. PDN Puls has the rest of the story: 

"It has become an open-source project under a BSD license from creator Fabio Riccardi, who is currently with Apple’s iOS Imaging Group. Under the terms of the BSD agreement LightZone will be offered to the public through the LightZoneProject ( free of charge.  The software is newly available to the public for free downloading in the Windows and Linux operating systems, and MAC beta testing has begun today. It is also available to the open-source community for new development now."

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 is out!

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 now available featuring a new selective editing tool and advanced healing/cloning tool, automatic image leveling and perspective correction, and the ability to edit files that are offline.

SAN JOSE, Calif. — June 10, 2013 — Adobe today announced the availability of Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom® 5 for Mac OS® and Windows®. The product is available as an individual license or as part of Adobe Creative Cloud™. Designed for both photography enthusiasts and professionals alike, Lightroom 5 adds critical photo editing capabilities and creates groundbreaking workflows. Lightroom 5 was initially released as a free, public beta in April 2013.

"Lightroom was originally conceived through the requests of Adobe customers, and this feedback continues to drive each new iteration," said Winston Hendrickson, vice president of products, Creative Media Solutions, Adobe. "As the digital photography landscape advances and evolves, Lightroom is the best solution for photographers and passionate hobbyists who want to get the most out of their digital images."

New Features in Lightroom 5

Lightroom 5 adds powerful new editing tools to help photographers create better images faster. . . . read more

Fujifilm releases new firmware update for the X-Pro1 and X-E1, promises improved AF performance?

With the annoucement of the new XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS telephoto zoom lens, Fuji film releases the new firmware in order to improve AF speed when used with XF 55-200mm.

Versions 2.04 for the X-Pro1 and  1.05 for the X-E1 can be downloaded from . . . read more

Winston Hendrickson (Adobe VP of Creative Solutions) and Bryan O'Neill Hughes (Senior Product Manager for Ps) answers questions about the new line of Cloud based applications at DPreview

Following the announcement by Adobe about it's Creative Suite and the backlash that created on the web,  Adobe's VP of Creative Solutions, Winston Hendrickson and Bryan O'Neill Hughes, Senior Product Manager for Photoshop aswers a series of questions at DPreview

"Were you expecting such a negative response from the photographic community?
We expected a higher degree of this type of reaction from the hobbyist photographic community because currently there's not a lot of photography-specific value in our subscription products. That's why we've taken the unusual steps of Tom Hogarty's appearance on The Grid [a Scott Kelby webisode] showing potential Lightroom CC features and the Photoshop Sneak Peek where we showed new features like Camera Shake reduction.

Is a subscription model less prone to piracy?
While service options that connect to our servers are inherently less prone to piracy, once a user downloads software to their computer the piracy threat is the same as for our perpetual products....."

The next version of Photoshop will be Cloud based only

Adobe moves all the CS applications (Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign ...) on its membership based Creative Cloud. 
Adobe has published an open letter explaining the future of the Creative Suit 

Creative Cloud and the future of the creative process.
To our creative users,

At Adobe, we believe our customers are some of the most influential people in the world. You are storytellers. You capture and relate the human experience — be it through a Hollywood blockbuster, an interactive iPad app, or photos from your child’s school play. For decades, building the tools that shape those stories and the world around us has been our passion. . . . read more

Adobe releases Lightroom 5 beta, is it finally time to kick Photoshop to the curb?

For me, yes, the new 'Advanced Healing Brush' and the Horizon leveling thingie do the trick nicelly. From the Adobe Photoshop Blog:

"We’ve been working hard on the next version of Lightroom, and now we’re giving our customers a chance to try out some of the new technology available with the release of Lightroom 5 beta. Since the initial Lightroom public beta release in 2006, we’ve learned a tremendous amount through a collaborative dialogue with our customers, and I’m excited to continue that collaboration to receive feedback on the Lightroom 5 beta. . . . read more

Lightroom 4.4 Now Available, Finally with proper support of the X-Trans Sensor

Fujifilm's X-Trans sensor has an originally developed color filter array with a highly random pixel arrangement. It eliminates the need for an optical low-pass filter, which is used in conventional systems to inhibit moiré at the expense of resolution. The X-Trans sensor produces very sharp and noise free images but there was no "proper" RAW file support by the major program manufacturers. A year after the release of the first X-Trans sensor camera, the Fujifilm X-Pro1, Adobe corrects the demosaic algorithms of Lightroom and adds full support for the X-Trans sensor cameras. 

The new update extends the support to the latest cameras and lens profiles, as well as several bug fixes. In detail:

Lightroom 4.4 is now available as a final release on and through the update mechanism in Lightroom 4.  The goal of this release is to provide additional camera raw support, lens profile support and address bugs that were introduced in previous releases of Lightroom.

Changes to Existing Camera Support:

Lightroom 4.4  includes a correction to the demosaic algorithms for Fujifilm cameras with the X-Trans sensor. This specifically impacts the following cameras:

  • Fujifilm X-Pro1 (*)
  • Fujifilm X-E1 (*)
  • Fujifilm X100S
  • Fujifilm X20

Mastering Lightroom: Post-Processing Portraits, by Romanas Naryškin at Photography Life

In this installment of the excellent 'Mastering Lightroom" series, Romanas deals with the tricky portrait processing issue in Lightroom:

"The portrait we will be working on, thankfully, doesn’t require too much editing. We will not be playing with Spot Removal Tool, nor will we use any External Editors. The steps we are going to take are quite simple and thus quick. Quick is good – the less time you spend processing your work, the more time you have for photography. Some light usage of Local Adjustment Brush as well as HSL Panel will be needed, and neither one of these have been covered in our Mastering Lightroom series yet. Bear with me if you’ve never used these tools before – I will make sure every step taken is explained in enough detail. In-depth articles about these and other features are to come soon, too. . . . read more

ACD Systems releases ACDSee 15.2 and Pro 6.2, adds support for 19 new Raw capable cameras, fixes some bugs.

ACD Systems Press release

Seattle, WA – March 7, 2013 – ACD Systems International Inc. today announced the availability of ACDSee Pro 6.2 and ACDSee 15.2. Both products incorporate the company’s patented technology and user-focused design which have made ACD Systems the photo editing and management products of choice for over 50 million users worldwide. This update includes Performance improvements to Hierarchical Keywords and support for RAW file formats of the following camera models: . . . read more

Adobe posts Lightroom 4.4 and ACR 7.4 release candidades, promises proper Fujifilm X-Trans sensor support at last. Also, bug fixes and some new cameras and lenses supported.

It is not every day Adobe goes back and changes the de-mosaicing algorithms for previously supported cameras, but this time they've done it, and the first preliminary reports are in. DPreview's Amadou Diallo runs some tests with a couple of X-Pro1 raw files: 

"Capture One Pro 7 produces more crisp results than ACR with contrast and saturation defaults that more closely mimic the in-camera JPEG. Having said that, however, ACR 7.4 RC avoids the edge halos and even more obvious aliasing patterns that exist in the Capture One Pro 7 renderings of our real world and studio test scene. Overall, the ACR 7.4 RC files deliver more realistic, natural results in areas of organic low-contrast detail like the foliage in the street scene above and the fuzzy balls in the studio scene below." . . . read more

Phase One announces Capture One Express 7

Capture One Express 7 may have the same raw processing engine as its much more expensive Capture One 7 Pro sibling, but is seriously crippled otherwise. Here's a partial list of some important things missing: Tethering, Sessions, Focus mask/tool, Local adjustments, Skin tone enhancer, Spot removal, ICC profiles/soft proofing, Multi-monitor support and Customization. While I it is understandable that not all photographers would want to use all of these features, its hard to see how someone could seriously do some Raw workflow on Capture one with all of the above features missing. Price: $ 99/€ 69

Phase One press release: 

COPENHAGEN, February, 25 2013 — Phase One, the world’s leader in open-platform, high-end camera systems and solutions, today released Capture One . . . read more

DXO Optics 8 review at PC Pro: "This software isn’t as multitalented as Lightroom, but it’s more streamlined and just as polished"

'Streamlined'? Last time i gave it a try, I was forced to hop back and forth like a rabbit, but that last time was also my first time with image editing software from France. Maybe, after so many years, i should give it one more try. The reviewer is Ben Pitt, and the edition he is reviewing is the Plebs 'Standard' one, meaning it doesn't support any full frame Dslr cameras, nor any Leicas:

"DxO’s Organise module gives direct access to your PC’s folders, so there’s no need to go through a convoluted import process. Sorting and filtering options are limited, and it’s possible to create virtual folders inside Optics Pro to bring photos together from disparate sources. A star rating system is used, but the ratings we’d added in Lightroom and embedded in the files weren’t recognised. The lack of a visible undo history is also disappointing. All edits are non-destructive so it . . . read more

DxO Optics Pro v8.1.3 released, 6 new cameras supported: The Leica M-E, M9, and M9-P, the Nikon D5200, the Canon SX50 HS, and the Panasonic FZ200

Also, 261 new Lens/Camera combinations, among wich is plenty of Leica Super-Elmar, Summilux and Summicron goodness. A Trial Version of DXO Optics can be downloaded here

Fron DXO:

The Elite edition of DxO Optics Pro 8 to support three Leica cameras with telemetric viewfinders: the M-E, the M9, and the M9-P. Three other cameras complete the list of equipment supported by both the Standard and Elite editions of this new version: the Nikon D5200, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200, and the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS. . . . read more

Apple Digital Camera RAW Compatibility Update for Aperture 3 and iPhoto 11 released.

From Apple:

About Digital Camera RAW Compatibility Update 4.04

Digital Camera RAW Compatibility Update 4.04

This update adds RAW image compatibility for the following cameras to Aperture 3 and iPhoto '11: . . . read more

DxO Optics Pro: 98 new lens & camera combinations added to module database and available for download.

The good news: DXO keeps churning out new camera/lens combinations for its DXO Optics raw edit program on a regular basis. They do a very good job of supporting very old Dslr cameras with new lens combinations, like the Canon 20D and the Nikon D200. 
The bad news: I believe they need to overhaul the core of the program really soon, it is still ages a bit behind its main competitors (Lightroom, Capture 1 and Aperture) when it comes to speed and user interface. Also, still no support for Fujifilm's X-Trans sensor based cameras. Worse news: I have no clue about where to send the pitchfork and torch wielding mob, lies the blame for the lack of X-Trans support with Fujifilm or DXO labs? 

From DXO Labs:

98 new lens / camera combinations have been added to the DxO Optics Modules library, providing supports for Canon, Panasonic, Sigma and Sony lenses, for Canon, Nikon, Olympus and Sony cameras. Newly added camera body and lens combinations: . . . read more

Software Review at Pop Photo: Anthropics Technology Portrait Professional 11, by Dan Havlik

This piece of code is beloved by fauxtographers everywhere, but it can be used for a good purpose too: 

"If you spend hours nipping and tucking portraits in Photoshop with less than ideal results, you might want to seriously consider Portrait Professional 11, one of the fastest and most powerful virtual airbrushing tools I’ve tried yet. The danger is that some of the brushes, sliders and automated enhancements in this program—available as a stand-alone app or a plug-in—are so effective in altering portraits, you can push it too far with occasionally disastrous results. Used in moderation though, Portrait Professional 11 won’t only save you lots of time in post-processing, it will leave your clients happy and coming back for more. . . . read more

Magix releases Photostory Easy, a quick and light version of its PhotoStory on DVD app.

Photostory easy allows you to transform your photos from digital cameras and smartphones into presentation slides and movies.

Magix Press Release

UK, January 31st 2013, MAGIX AG, One of the leading international providers of software, online services, and digital content, has announced the release of MAGIX Photostory easy.

With the release of Photostory easy, MAGIX is offering a brand new program that will make it even easier to transform photos into amazing movies including music and effects. The integrated Slideshow Maker makes the process simple by automatically combining the photos with transitions, music and . . . read more

Fujifilm posts RAW File Converter update for Windows 8/7/Vista/XP (ver.

From Fujifilm:
The firmware update Ver. incorporates the following issues:

Applicable models for the raw file converter are added as follows

FUJIFILM X-E1 / XF1 / X-Pro1 / X-S1 / X10
FinePix X100 / F800EXR / F770EXR / F775EXR / F600EXR / F605EXR / F550EXR / F505EXR / HS30EXR / HS33EXR / HS20EXR / HS22EXR . . . read more

Akvis announces MultiBrush 7, a light and easy photo editing software.

Akvis Press Release

Jan 29, 2013 -- AKVIS releases AKVIS MultiBrush v.7.0, photo editing software, for Windows and Macintosh. The new version comes with many improvements, offers more flexibility, awesome new features and tools! New to Version 7.0: Selection tools, Crop, Move, and Text tools, alignment options, HotKey Manager, and other changes. 

 AKVIS MultiBrush is rich in features and easy-to-use image editing software. It is an all-in-one photo enhancement and . . . read more

Apple Aperture 3.4.3 review by Jmeyer at Digital Camera World: Aperture’s image-editing tools aren’t bad, but its real strength lies in its image browsing and sharing tools.

"You can carry out basic adjustments such as cropping, Levels adjustments, Curves and sophisticated hue, saturation and tonal adjustments, but while Aperture can correct chromatic aberration, it doesn’t fix lens distortions, either with automatic lens correction profiles or even manually. It does offer localised adjustments via Quick Brushes, for tone and colour enhancement, sharpening and noise reduction, for example, but they’re not as straightforward to apply as Lightroom’s Adjustment Brushes. . . . read more

RawDigger version 0.9.14 is out, adds new functionality, bugfixes, and a slew of new suported cameras (Notably, X-E1, 6D, EOS M, GH3, D600, p7700, XF1, and many more)

RawDigger is a cool Raw app that does many good things, costs nothing, and is compatible with Windows (32 & 64bit) and Mac OS. Changelog:

New functionality and major improvements
The list of recently opened files is moved to a separate sub-menu and now has slots for 25 files.
Added convenience for processing color targets for profiling and field (non-)uniformity analysis (Selection Grid).
Added an option to filter out bad pixels in raw files produced by Panasonic cameras.
Changed the display of metadata in raw files: 
Added: display of type of metering, exposure compensation, lens used, focal distance. . . . read more

DPreview's Chaps and Lads turn into Homies and Dudes: Raw Converter Showdown time Capture One Pro 7.02 VS. DxO Optics Pro 8 VS. Lightroom 4.3

Yo Phil, that place ain't what it used to be, eh? The move from London to the Wild West may have dented the lingual footprint of the site, but cultural fusion can have some wonderful effects too: Here comes a comparison SHOWDOWN of epic proportions, showing off some nice reviewing skills by Amadou Diallo. I would really have liked to see what Bibble-in its new 'Aftershot' persona, is up to nowadays, but this review is very large as it is, spanning 6 pages that share tons of information between them. Some snippets:

"For my money, Capture One Pro 7 produces more realistic skin tones for the Olympus OM-D E-M5 and Nikon D600 shots seen above. DxO Optics Pro 8 delivers more faithful results in the Olympus EPL-3 and Sony SLT-A57 images. I'd rank Lightroom 4 the most accurate in the Canon EOS T4i portrait. This is an admittedly subjective ranking, and the differences are fairly subtle.

DxO Labs have released DxO Film Pack 3.2.3 that now officially supports Windows 8 and integrates with Adobe Photoshop Elements 11

The Dxo Film Pack is a plug-in that gives several 'film-like' renderings of your images, like negative or positive prints, black & white, cross processing etc.

Dxo Press Release

DxO FilmPack v3.2.3 now fully compatible with Adobe® Photoshop® Elements 11

DxO FilmPack v3.2.3 now integrates automatically with Adobe® Photoshop® Elements 11 to instantly and faithfully . . . read more

Phase One Capture One 7 Pro review by Gary Wolstenholme at EPZ: Phase One Capture One 7 Pro brings greater control, better noise reduction, and produces sharper details.

"Capture One Pro 7 is a big step forward in image quality over previous versions and those who are hanging onto Pro copies of older Phase One software will find the very reasonable upgrade price of around £60 a no-brainer. This new version brings greater control, better noise reduction, and produces sharper details.

 Those interested in an alternative to Adobe's popular Lightroom software, may balk at the price of the full, non-upgrade version of Capture One 7 Pro, being around twice as expensive. Before doing so, they may wish to have

. . . read more

In Depth: Mastering Lightroom 4 Virtual Copies, by Romanas Naryškin at Photography Life.

I try to post about most comprehensive Lightroom tutorials out there, and this is the best one when it comes to Virtual Copies in LR4:

"As the name suggests, Virtual Copies are copies of an image file created virtually. In other words, they are copies created within Lightroom environment only. Creating a Virtual Copy does not copy the source file physically. Lightroom only stores editing information within its catalog. Among other things, such an approach also saves disk space (you only need to store information about the adjustments, not both that and a copy of the RAW file itself). . . . read more

Lightroom 4 sharpening tips and tutorial at EPZ

"If you're a Lightroom user you may not have considered the sharpening tool as a serious feature, just dragged the amount to the right and never given it a second thought. Well it's a much more powerful tool than that and here we explain how to get the most out of it. As Lightoom is none destructive the sharpening changes you make do not appear on the original file. And you can have two or more variations of sharpening for each photo - one for printing and one for web viewing, for example. When you've adjusted the sharpening to the desired settings save as a snapshot (Develop>New Snapshot or ctrl+N). Then no matter what you do you can revert to that version by clicking on it in the left Snapshots  . . . read more

Really Nice Images launches Instagram filter presets for Lightroom, will charge a juicy $20-per set.

Really Nice Images Press Release:

Another Instagram presets for Lightroom? Not really. What makes it so special? Two things: We created the first and the only one product in the world emulating not only the latest Instagram filters but also those from Instagram v.1.0. So we offer both: the true spirit of old filters and the most up to date look of new ones. Which set to use? It's up to customer. Approach and precision. We use our unique colour/tone matching technology to achieve the best matching result (see samples).
. . . read more

3 cool tips for better Black and White conversion using Adobe Lightroom 4, by Darlene Hildebrandt at Digital Photography School.

Ever wondered how the professional photographers get those dreamy black and white or sepia toned images? Wonder why yours come out looking dull and flat looking?  I’m going to give you 3 tips to help you do better black and white conversions using Adobe Lightroom, and solve that problem!
Today’s cameras are pretty smart, and many of them offer a black and white setting or shooting mode. I recommend using those to start, especially if you’ve never done any black and white (B&W) or if you are not currently doing any post processing or image editing on your files. BUT, if you have some experience with b/w photography, and you are
. . . read more

DXO Optics Pro version 8.1.2 released, adds support for the Canon 6D, Sony RX-1, Nikon 1 V2, and surpasses the symbolic milestone of 10.000 available optics modules.

From DXO Optics:

Since the previous version, DxO Optics Pro v8.1.2 has added nearly 300 new camera/lens combinations to provide support for additional Canon, Nikon, Sigma, Sony, Tamron and Tokina lenses for Canon, Nikon and Sony cameras.

DxO Optics Pro achieved the goal it set in early 2012 to have 10,000 DxO Optics Modules available by the end of 2012. Developed in the laboratory using an exclusive calibration process, DxO Optics Modules contain tens of thousands of data points about the intrinsic characteristics and flaws of each camera and lens. This database, unique in the entire world, allows DxO Optics Pro to automatically correct all the optical flaws in RAW and JPEG images – distortion, vignetting, chromatic aberrations, lens softness – with an unrivaled level of quality. . . . read more

Nikon ViewNX 2.7.1 Update Available for Download, adds support for the D5200, and Nikon 1 models J3 and S1, fixes a bunch of bugs.

Modifications enabled with version 2.7.1 :

Modifications that apply to both the Windows and Macintosh versions

Support for the D5200, and Nikon 1 models J3 and S1 has been added.
The following issues with movies recorded using the Nikon 1 V2 with White Balance set to Underwater have been resolved.
Thumbnails for movies transferred with Nikon Transfer 2 using a card reader are not displayed in the thumbnail list area.
. . . read more

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