iView MediaPro 3.1 released

This version update is for both Windows and Mac OSX, and for the latter there's a big change: MediaPro is now a Universal application and runs natively on Intel-based Macs. Version 3.1 also features the new Notepad tool, designed to enable communication between creative professionals and their clients.

Microsoft presents new image format

While at first sight this may become reason #12.619 to hate Microsoft, one needs to assert a closer look to get all the facts straight. Yes, the jpeg format may have been around for ages, but does it have any shortcomings? Well, it does, after more than 30 years since it's conception the age is showing: Too large filesizes, needs too much cpu power to be processed, and well, in this time and age it's a bit low on features too :) 

Adobe updates Photoshop, camera raw

A long time overdue update to Photoshop CS has finally been released. Also updated are camera raw (ver. 3.4) and DNG converter.  Among the most  important photoshop fixes: Photoshop no longer hangs for several seconds when using painting tools with quick strokes; A runtime error that could appear when mousing over a high-res document with the Brush tool has been fixed; Documents containing a large number of text layers now open more quickly; Problems related to palettes (slow redraw, palettes go white, possible crash) have been addressed; TIFF files from certain scanners can now be opened correctly;After editing an image in Photoshop CS2 via the TouchUp tool in Adobe Acrobat software, the image no longer gets repositioned; Adobe's new downloads page is here  

Apple assembles new Aperture team

Let's hope this second time is a go. First onboard is Blake Seely, from Ex-peopleSoft, a self-described "fanatic coder", and it sounds like just the thing Apple need to get Apperture moving.  We wish the besy of luck to Blake with this new exciting project, and send a note to Apple:

Qimage v. 2006.257 upgrade released

What's upgraded:Improved border interface makes working with inner/outer borders much simpler. Borders can now be edited on the "Size/Loc" panel in the full page editor. new, udated online help-file. Custom colors are now supported for floating text and floating text (and shadow) color can be picked with a dropper just like borders!

Nikon Picture project 1.6.1 update available

According to Nikon this is the change log:  "There are many improvements and enhancements in 1.6.1 over previous versions as well as support for newer cameras. " I think Nikon's webmaster is too bored; but hey, take a guess they say, you can do so by downloading a Pc/Mac version from this page:

Bibble 4.7 update released

One-click optimization eh? yeah right...that will bring the pros in. Also updated, support for canon EOS 30D, Olympus E-500, and the vibrance tool. Bibblelabs has this to say:  "Bibble 4.7 update adds an important new feature: Perfectly Clear? One-Click image correction - powered by Athentech Technologies Inc. This tool is a great time-saver, allowing a simple but powerful set of image optimizations to be applied with a single click. As the folks at Athentech state:   Perfectly Clear? is award winning and multi-patented technology that utilizes the physics principles of light. It's the only technology that automatically and instantly optimizes the lighting for each and every pixel while maintaining true color and zero clipping. At the same time Perfectly Clear? will automatically remove abnormal tint and restore faded photographs. As the final touch, Perfectly Clear? utilizes patented medical imaging technology to provide photographs with optimal contrast and sharpening. By integrating this into Bibble's advanced RAW conversion workflow, you can instantly and automatically get the best out of every one of your images. The image to the right shows a sample of the power of this new tool. Hover over the image to see the image after Perfectly Clear? was enabled - with a single click - on this photo during RAW conversion. Download the demo here  

Dxo Optics Pro 3.5 review at nikonians.org

 Excerpt: "There was only one area where the software performed slightly under what I anticipated - and that was in Noise Reduction. I believe that a program which specializes in noise reduction will generally give better results."

Vertus Fluid Mask 2.0 final available.

If you're in to masking, this is IT.  Price may seem steep at first ($/e150, discounted), but this is a truly proffesional tool. There's a free trial download available too (http://www.vertustech.com/fm_freetrial.htm), and 1 out of 50 downloads wins a full copy of the program! There's also a nice page here at photoshopsupport.com about fluid mask.

DxO Optics Pro v3.55a update available

This program seems very interesting and I would really like to try it out, but NONE of my fav lenses (Sigma 30mm f1.4, Sigma 24-70 f2.8, Sigma 100-300 f4.0 and Sigma 18-50 f2.8) are supported so far. D'oh!     DxO Optics Pro v3.55a Provides Significant Refinements And Supports Three New Digicams Paris, France (March 30, 2006) ? DxO Labs announces today the immediate availability of DxO Optics Pro v3.55a software, a free upgrade to DxO Optics Pro v3.5. Version 3.55a of DxO Labs? flagship product for automatic image quality enhancement contains a number of significant refinements which will improve users? experience when using DxO Optics Pro. New configurable ?docked palette? mode for easy access to all adjustment tools. Improved configuration wizard. The ?Automatic? mode of DxO Optics Pro is now easily and fully configurable thanks to a ?Default preset?. Option to save or not .dxo sidecar files. Option to set application level output setting preferences (can be locally overridden). Numerous other improvements and fixes. Three new advanced digital cameras are now supported by DxO Optics Pro: Fujifilm Finepix S9500 / S9000, Kodak P880 and Samsung Digimax Pro815. These cameras are supported in all versions of DxO Optics Pro v3.55a (Starter / Standard / Elite). DxO Optics Pro v3.55a is a free upgrade available to all v3.0 or v3.5 software users on both Windows and Macintosh platforms. To obtain a free upgrade, users should log on to http://store.dxo.com/.  

Adobe's CEO: specialized versions of Photoshop to appear in the future

Forbes is mainly a financial institute, but in an interview with Adobe's CEO, Bruce Chizen, along the economic stuff some interesting news saw the light of the day: "There are three pieces of the mobile strategy. The first thing: We want to get Flash, and in certain cases Adobe Reader, onto as many devices as possible. For example, Sony announced that they're going to incorporate Flash into the PlayStation 3 and [PlayStation Portable]. In January, Kodak announced a camera with Flash on it." "Today, with Acrobat, we are focused on the architecture, construction and engineering market. And we are already working with manufacturers with Acrobat 3D [launched in January]. But we haven't made any specific announcement about what we could potentially do with Photoshop. We've had a lot of customers coming to us and saying, "We really love Photoshop for medical imaging, but it would be really cool if we could read the images coming out of the scanning system," or, "It would be really great if you had a measuring tool so I can measure with more exactness than I can today." Or, or, or? You can imagine us having a more sophisticated version of Photoshop that appeals to those unique industries. But other than that, we haven't said exactly what we're doing. "   Check out the rest at http://www.forbes.com/, to see when Adobe's CS III suite will be released!    

Adobe Creative Suite 3: Banana Split.

Think Secret, has this interesting story about the alpha phase of Creative Suite III. " Adobe is working hard to release Creative Suite 3 before the end of year, sources have recently disclosed. While internal documents originally pointed to a release date in the first-half of 2007, Adobe is making a big push?and receiving significant help from Apple?to get the software package into customer hands this year."

Fred Miranda releases Canon 5D CSpro plugin

 FM's sharpening plugins are well known to do a descent job out of it.  besides working with 16 bit files, this one also works in layered images. From the Site:

DOP:Tonality and Colors in Photoshop and Raw Converters

Digital Outback Photo has a new workflow technique online, this time it's "Tonality and Colors in Photoshop and Raw Converters", as always a well written essay:   "We recommend in cases like this ( low contrast images) not to perform any tonality control inside the RAW converter. Save the file as 16 bit TIFF and finally tune the image in Photoshop. Of course if you like what you see in your RAW converter all is fine." Link to the article here, and here's another one to DOP's latest ebook, "The art of fine art printing"  

Pc Mag. About Apple Aperture 1.01: hold off until version 2

Despite the new version's multiple fixes and additions, it's still a No Go for many reviewers, Pc magazine included. And it's still mind boggling how a big corporation like Apple could release something as half baked as this, although they've done it on numerous occations before. From the review:

Adobe Photoshop Elements 4 for Mac

Adobe press Release  Photoshop Elements 4.0 for Macintosh Delivers Editing Magic to Digital Photo Enthusiasts - New version of No. 1 selling consumer photo-editing software* provides innovative tools to creatively enhance and share photos London ? Feb. 27, 2006 ? Adobe Systems Incorporated (NASDAQ: ADBE) today announced Adobe? Photoshop? Elements 4.0 for Macintosh, an all-in-one photo editing and creation solution for Macintosh users. Consistently ranked as the No. 1 selling consumer photo-editing software, Photoshop Elements 4.0 maintains its popularity by merging powerful digital photo editing capabilities with easy-to-use tools, allowing photo enthusiasts to quickly and creatively enhance their photos for sharing. ?Photoshop Elements for Mac delivers the features photo enthusiasts need to make their pictures stand out from the crowd,? said Deborah Whitman, vice president of product management for Digital Imaging at Adobe. ?The Magic Extractor is an example of the power consumers have to seamlessly extract one image out of a photo and easily drag and drop it into another photo, so it looks like it has always been there.  Adobe?s continued investment in imaging innovation ensures our customers get the most out of today?s powerful digital SLRs and point-and-shoot cameras.?   Expert Adjustments in Less Time New tools such as Magic Selection Brush, Skin Tone Adjustment, Magic Extractor and Auto Red Eye Removal easily correct common photography problems and continue the Adobe tradition of innovation in Photoshop Elements 4.0 for Mac. The new Magic Selection Brush quickly selects specific parts of a photo for easy colour, lighting, and contrast adjustments; Skin Tone Adjustment allows consumers to get more realistic skin colours in just moments; and the Magic Extractor easily removes subjects from photos and offers advanced edge de-fringing, for scrapbooking and fun composites like adding the pet dog to a family vacation photo. Improved Red Eye Removal instantly corrects red eye in any photo with one click. For consumers who want more power, Photoshop Elements 4.0 for Mac offers a sampling of the more advanced editing options found in the professional level Adobe Photoshop CS2, such as expanded 16-bit editing and basic Camera Raw support for non-destructive photo editing. Photoshop Elements 4.0 ensures users will be able to open their precious memories for years to come without worrying about proprietary camera formats by supporting the universal Digital Negative format (.DNG). Photos at Your Fingertips The File Browser has been updated to the new Adobe Bridge for Elements to make photo browsing quicker and easier. Its Folder View simplifies adding, deleting or moving images in hard drive folders. Full-screen mode, which doubles as a slideshow, enables consumers to easily compare and choose favourite photos from a hard drive or other media. Adobe Bridge for Elements also supports metadata searches for all photos taken with a flash, with a certain shutter speed or f-stop, or by the camera make and model.  Smart search filters can also be created for commonly searched files or stored as reusable Collections. Share and Enjoy Your Images New to Photoshop Elements 4.0, integrated Adobe Photoshop Services make it simpler than ever to order professional-quality Kodak prints and beautiful hardbound photo books. A variety of printing options allow users to create contact sheets and customise picture package layouts for creative sharing. Photoshop Elements 4.0 is part of a complete family of Photoshop products that meet the needs of a diverse spectrum of digital photographers: the free Photoshop Album Starter Edition for the novice digital camera user; Photoshop Elements for the digital photography enthusiast; and Photoshop CS2 for the professional or the most demanding amateur and professional photographers. Each product offers customers more growth and creative control, giving them access to award-winning technology and options for more sophisticated editing, organisation and sharing options for their digital photos. Pricing and Availability Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0 for Mac (Mac OS X 10.3 or 10.4) is available for pre-order at http://www.adobe.com/ and will be available in early March 2006 at other major electronics retailers, including Amazon.com, Apple Stores, Circuit City, CompUSA, CompuSmart, Fry?s and J&R, for an estimated street price of $79 For Windows? users, Adobe offers Photoshop Elements 4.0 for Windows for an estimated street price of $99.  

Pixmantec: new Rawshooter | Essentials 2006 and Rawshooter | Color Engine update

Pixmantec press release: NEW FOREVER FREE - RawShooter | essentials 2006 RawShooter | essentials 2006 continues to be the ideal digital workflow tool for amateurs, students and enthusiasts who are just beginning to experience the benefits of shooting in the RAW format but don?t have an immediate need for the extended features and functions available in RawShooter | premium 2006 upgrade path.

Bibble Labs releases 4.6 update with Noise Ninja Technology and Intel Macintosh

A little while ago Bibble Labs and Picture code announced their partnership, and now, less than 2 weeks later, the first Bibble RAW converter featuring Noise Ninja is a fact, seriously raising the bar in what has quickly become a very competitive market.   Bibble Labs releases 4.6 update with Noise Ninja Technology and Intel Macintosh Support.   Other improvements include revised user interface and more speed. PMA 2006 Orlando, FL (February 24th, 2006) - Bibble Labs, Inc. announced today the immediate availability of version 4.6 of its popular Raw Workflow software.  Bibble 4.6 offers a major breakthrough via the direct integration of Noise Ninja Technology from Picture Code, LLC. High ISO noise and digital artifacts are one of the more challenging aspects of today?s digital workflow. Historically photographers have had to use 3rd party tools and extra post processing steps to deal with this noise ?After the fact?. By directly merging Noise Ninja technology into Bibble?s already blazing fast workflow, better results can now be achieved in shorter amounts of time. ?Many folks don?t realize that the actual process of ?converting? a raw file from its original form to another format can actually accentuate the noise present in the file? says Eric Hyman, president and CEO of Bibble Labs. ?By integrating Noise Ninja technology into the earliest part of our raw conversion pipeline, not only can we more effectively eliminate noise, but we can prevent it from being exaggerated down stream by actions such as capture sharpening.  This produces cleaner files and better details without the ?plastic effect? that other raw software can produce?. Version 4.6 now runs natively on Intel based Macintoshs.  Previously Bibble had offered the fastest raw workflow available on PPC based Macintosh. Now this same speed is available to users of the new Intel Mac. Bibble?s inherent speed advantage coupled with the new machine?s boosted speed makes for unmatched performance when converting raw files.  Further improvements include a revised and simpler user interface that retains Bibble?s existing configurability while offering a more intuitive interface on first use. Users of Canon cameras will also be please to find that while Bibble is already the fastest way to convert their files, it now is 1-2 seconds faster per file. Batches that might take hours using other software can be done in minutes with Bibble. Bibble 4.6 is a free update for all existing licensees of previous version of Bibble 4. ?We believe in providing exceptional value to our customers.? says Hyman ?While we could easily have made our new ?Noise Engine? a separate add on product and charged an additional fee for it, we feel that would confuse our customers. Including it as part of the core package at a reasonable price is the right thing to do.? Bibble supports over 70 of the most popular DSLR and Prosumer cameras.  Other key  features include best in class speed, a free lens distortion correction plug-in, highlight recovery, shadow fill light, built-in Photoshop Plug-in, arbitrary rotation, curves , levels, tethered shooting and much much more. Availability: Bibble is available in both "Pro ($129)" and "Lite" ($69) versions for Windows, Macintosh (PPC/Intel) and Linux. Please visit our web site at http://www.bibblelabs.com for further details and to download a fully functional 14 day trial version. Be sure to visit us at PMA 2006 Booth #4889 to see this unique workflow in action.  

Pdn Online: Hands on with ACDSee Pro

It's always interesting to read about new RAW workflow applications.  This is a text only "hands on" about ACD systems much awaited ACDSee Pro that starts in a funny tone (Over the years there have been more versions of ACDSee than mocha latte varieties at Starbucks),  then goes on

New photo editing software from Bellamax

Bellmax Up ShotInteresting feature set, and free for the first 3 months after it's official release.  Press release: Bellamax Announces Open Beta Release for UpShot Powerful Photo Editing Tool Brings New Level of Simplicity to Photo Hobbyists SAN FRANCISCO ? February 21, 2006 ? In conjunction with the Photo Marketing Association (PMA) show to be held in Orlando, Fla. Feb. 26 ? March 1, Bellamax, Inc. (http://www.bellamax.com/) today announced the open beta release of a new photo editing software tool, UpShot.

Nikon introduce new severely updated software packages

In another almost unnoticed pair of press releases from pre-PMA, Nikon has announced a significant rehaul of their two main software packages, Nikon Capture NX and Nikon view professional: Press-release: Nikon unveils Capture NX; next-generation digital image editing software

Lightzone for Windows finally available!

After some initial delays, Lightcraft.com has made the  windows version of this much talked about program ready for tryouts. Some of the features of Lightzone: StudioZone? Built-in image browser makes it easy to view, organize and store your photographs ZoneFinder? Automatically analyzes the light values and the shape of the objects in the image and identifies tonal zones   ZoneMapper? Adjusts zones to improve detail and contrast RegionMapper? Makes it easy to select specific areas of the image?even the most complicated shapes. Complete tool set? Sharpen, Blur, Contrast Mask, Hue/Saturation, Remove Noise, Color Temperature and more Integrated RAW converter? Provides a seamless workflow from camera media to LightZone   Download the program from here there's a small hassle of a "virtual shop" to go through, but it's just a few clicks, and it's free.  I still think it would be best if Lightcrafts just presented us with a plain download link instead of this.    

RawShooter premium V1.0.2 build 73 update

RSP users rejoice! From http://www.pixmantec.com/:  We are please to announce the release of RawShooter | premium 2006 V1.0.2. This is essentially a maintenance release with some added camera support, and some additional feature enhancements. Full release notes will be listed in the next days. Partial Release Notes:
  • Support for Nikon D200 added
  • All known major bugs corrected
  • Code optimization that results in faster operation and quality in many aspect of RawShooter, including preview generation and conversion.
  • Memory usage further optimized. Even smaller memory footprint is now used.
  • Resize functionality is enhanced.
  • Previews now generate from front to back
  • Tweaks to some camera profiles
  • ...other changes and fixes..

Google ports picasa 2.0 to Linux!

Google and CodeWeavers Inc. are working together to bring Google's popular Windows Picasa photo editing and sharing program to Linux. The program is now in a limited beta test. The Linux Picasa implementation includes the full feature set of the Windows Picasa 2.x software. It is not, strictly speaking, a port of Picasa to Linux. Instead, Linux Picasa combines Windows Picasa code and Wine technology to run Windows Picasa on Linux. This, however, will be transparent to Linux users, when they download, install, and run the free program on their systems.

Bibble Labs to License Noise Ninja from PictureCode

Austin, TX - February 17, 2006. Bibble Labs Inc has reached an agreement with PictureCode LLC, developer of the best-of-breed Noise Ninja image noise reduction software application. Forthcoming versions of Bibble Labs? award winning RAW workflow software will feature fully integrated versions of Picturecode?s patent pending noise reduction technology. This will enable a new level of image quality in the raw workflow, especially for high-ISO images. Raw conversion yields the highest image quality possible from today?s professional level cameras. Nonetheless, it can magnify and enhance grain like noise that is inherent in all digital photographs, especially at high ISO sensitivities. By integrating PictureCode?s sophisticated noise reduction technology into the earliest stages of the raw conversion pipeline, noise can better be eliminated then ever before, yielding cleaner, smoother images. The new versions of Bibble will soon be available as an upgrade to all current Bibble 4.0 users at no additional charge. The most recent Windows, Macintosh, and Linux releases of these products will be available for download on www.bibblelabs.com and are priced at $129.95 for the Pro version and $69.95 for the Lite. See us at PMA Booth #4889 for more information on this exciting development.  

Background Blur and Bokeh - a optical blur calculator by Bob Atkins

Bob Atkins has released a very usefull little program that in his own words "can calculate the sharpness of the image outside the traditional "depth of field" limits. This is useful if you want to compare various lenses and formats to see what the effects are on the background (or foreground) blur in an image. It's part of what constitutes "Bokeh" and

Nikon & Nik = Love (and new software products)

Perharps the most inresting part is the one about Nikon buying a stake in Nik software (formerly Nik Multimedia), maker of such fine products as Nik Color Efex pro and Nik Sharpener.   Press Release:  Nikon Digital Imaging Software Business Enhanced by Collaboration With American Developer, Nik Software, Inc. TOKYO, Feb. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Nikon Corporation (Michio Kariya, President) is pleased to announce collaboration in the field of imaging software for digital cameras with American software developer, Nik Software, Inc. (formerly nik multimedia, Inc., Mr. Michael J. Slater, President & CEO; headquarters in San Diego, California).
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