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 (www.lightzoneproject.org) 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 releases Lightroom 5 beta, is it finally time to kick Photoshop to the curb?

Adobe Lightroom 5 Uproght level horizon feature before and after

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

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

Sigma releases Photo Pro 5.5 software update with Monochrome mode and several fixes.

Sigma Press Release

Ronkonkoma, New York —February 21, 2013 — Sigma Corporation of America a leading researcher, developer, manufacturer and service provider of some of the world’s most impressive lines of lenses, camerasand flashes, is pleased to introduce Sigma Photo Pro 5.5 software, which includes upgrades and updates for both Mac and Windows platforms, as well as a new Monochrome Mode processing interface. This updated software is now available for download for both Mac and Windows operating systems. . . . 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

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

Fujifilm posts RAW File Converter update for Windows 8/7/Vista/XP (ver.3.2.13.0)

From Fujifilm:
The firmware update Ver.3.2.13.0 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

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.

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

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.

DxO Optics Pro v8.1.2 supports the Canon EOS 6D, the Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-RX1

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

Adobe Photoshop version 13.0.4 (Macintosh) Update for CS6 available for download, adds support for Retina HiDpi displays.

"For convenience and reliability, we highly recommend that you apply this update directly from within Photoshop. To do so, choose Help > Updates in Photoshop CS6 and apply all of the updates listed under Adobe Photoshop CS6 in the Adobe Application Manager. The Adobe Photoshop 13.0.4 update enables support for new HiDPI displays on the Macintosh platform for a dramatic improvement in image fidelity and resolution. This update applies to all languages of Adobe Photoshop CS6. To install the Photoshop 13.0.4 update: . . . read more

Phase One Capture One version 7.02 now available for download, adds support for Fuji X-Trans sensor cameras, and more.

Capture One 7.02 release notes:

Improves Stability, Adds Support for New Cameras

COPENHAGEN, January 14, 2013 — Phase One has released Capture One Pro 7.0.2 for immediate download. This service release has focused on solving bugs reported by customers, strengthening overall stability, and adding support for new models of Canon, Olympus, Fujifilm and Sony cameras, and includes new tethered support for Canon EOS 6D and Canon EOS M cameras. . . . read more

Fujistas, Rejoice! Capture one 7.02 final version to be released today.

Happy news for fujifilm X-E1 X100 and X-pro1 owners!

Set Yourselves free from Silkypix Crappy interface, and Lightroom's crappy rendering of Fujifilm RAF files, Patrick from Fuji Rumors (and others) reports: "Here is the email I received yesterday from Lionel of the Capture 1 team: Let’s see what the final version of C1 can get out of the X-Trans RAF files.

“Dear Beta Customer.
The beta of Capture One 7.0.2 has now ended. The terms of the beta will terminate on Monday Jan 14, 2013, at 14.00 CET, where Capture One 7.0.2 will be officially released. Thank you all very much for the participation in making Capture
. . . read more

Lightroom Video: Fooling Lightroom Presets To Create Cool Effects, by Matt Kloskowski at Lightroom Killer Tips.

Neat! Also check out their other recent videos with tutorials about Lightroom 4 working aspects.

"Hey everyone. Got a new video for you. A question or comment I hear quite a bit about is the fact that you can’t save Adjustment Brush settings into a preset in Lightroom. Now, don’t confuse this with saving adjustment brush presets – that you can do (say you have a favorite brush setting for softening skin or whitening eyes). But if you paint something on to the photo you can’t save it. There is a semi-workaround though. It uses the Graduated Filter in Lightroom, and . . . read more

DXO Optics Pro gains 130 new body\lens combination modules, Fujifilm X-Trans sensor camera users please look elsewhere.

130 new lens / camera combinations have been added to the DxO Optics Modules library, providing supports for Canon, Nikkor, Olympus, Sigma and Tokina lenses, for Canon, Fuji, Nikon, Panasonic and Sony cameras.

To see supported and planned combinations, click on the link bellow then select the second tab.

Supported or planned combinations

New DxO Optics Modules : . . . read more

Software review: Camera Bits Photo Mechanic 5 by Dan Havlik at PDN Online: PM 5 sticks to what it’s good at: quickly importing and displaying high-resolution images so photographers can spend more time shooting photos than diddling with them in software.

Software Review: Camera Bits Photo Mechanic 5

"Unlike Lightroom and Aperture, which seem to continually add editing functions, Photo Mechanic isn’t a photo editor at all. With version 5, some new photo-cropping functionality has been added to the program but it’s for compatibility reasons. For instance, now you can rotate photos to any angle or add non-integral crop ratios to your shots, and they’ll be replicated in Adobe Camera RAW.

If you’re familiar with Photo Mechanic, you’ve heard of the Ingest feature, which is how you import images into the . . . read more

Latest Capture one beta vs Lightroom on Fuji X-Trans raw conversion: Two steps forward and one step back.

A user at the Serious Compacts forum has posted raw conversion samples from the latest Capture one beta that is supposed to relieve Fujifilm owners of X-Trans cameras from SilkyPix hell. The results are encouraging, but not in all cases:

"This evening I installed Phase One Capture One 7.0.2 beta and ran some test with Fuji X-Trans RAW files in comparison with Adobe's Lightroom 4.2. The test was simple, I grabbed an existing RAF file, imported and exported it in LR4.2 and . . . read more

DxO Optics Pro v8.1.1 supports four new cameras: The Sony SLT-A99, Canon EOS M, Pentax K-5 II/s, and sorry, no Fujifilm

DXO Labs Press Release.

DxO Optics Pro v8.1.1 supports four new cameras, including the Sony SLT-A99
300 new DxO Optics Modules available
Special 33% discount through December 25, 2012
December 17, 2012 – DxO Labs announces the immediate availability DxO Optics Pro v8.1.1 for Mac and Windows, the . . . read more

Adobe releases Lightroom 4.3 and DNG converter/Camera Raw 7.3 final versions, lots of fixes, lots of new cameras added, lots of disappointments for Fujifilm X-Trans sensor users.

Adobe Lightroom 4.3 final and Adobe DNG converter 7.3 final released

Bugs Corrected in Lightroom 4.3:

The following bugs that were part the Lightroom 4 releases have been corrected. The team appreciates the very detailed feedback the community has provided on Lightroom 4 and we’re excited to correct a number of issues experienced by our customers. These issues have been FIXED:
Autolayout produces a Book with the correct amount of pages but without any images added. Please note that this only occurs when the filter is set to “Unused”. . . . read more

Adobe's creative cloud is on a roll: Mith the membership pool having surpassed the 1 million mark, Adobe gifts its users with new Photoshop features, the most outstanding of these is of course the much rumored Apple retina display compatibility.

Press release by Adobe:

SAN JOSE, Calif. — December 11, 2012

Adobe Systems Incorporated

Adobe  today is revealing a major update to its Adobe® Creative Cloud™ offering.

During Create Now, an online event this morning, the company is announcing that Creative . . . read more

PetaPixel presents the "Simplified guide to getting started in Photoshop". Easy and thorough enough for grandma to understand.

Adobe Photoshop getting started tutorial

Seriously, this has got to be one of the most comprehensive Photoshop for starters tutorial there is:

"When photographer Devon Mikale was in high school, he created this lengthy manual for his newspaper class to help others learn how to get started in Photoshop. The high school’s faculty loved it so much that they ended up purchasing it for re-distribution in future classes. Mikale has graciously allowed us to publish the guide here for free. . . . read more

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