News / Other Product News
Adobe has announced a special offer allowing CS4 and CS3 users to upgrade to Creative Suite 6, when it is released. Adobe upset many CS4 and CS3 users when it announced that it was changing its upgrade policy so that only owners of the most recent versions would be entitled to discounted upgrade pricing. Although it has not formally gone back on this policy, the offer will provide an upgrade route for CS3 and CS4 users until December 31st 2012. Users of individual packages will also benefit from the offer. Meanwhile, the company has also renamed its 'Carousel' cloud-based image processing, sharing and hosting service 'Revel.' The company says it 'plans to offer additional photography solutions on the platform in the future, so the new branding more broadly encompasses these offerings.'
CES 2012: The Secure Digital Association has announced a standard for wireless communications from SD cards. The standard builds on the work done by Toshiba, which has been showing compliant cards at CES. The standard includes two communications systems, denoted 'W' and 'D.' 'W' cards can communicate with other devices (such as tablets and televisions), in a peer-to-peer fashion, or can upload to 'cloud' services. The 'D' section of the standard aslo allows connection to home networks. 'W+D' cards that allow both communication types will also be available.
CES 2012: Corel has announced AfterShot Pro, a Raw processing and workflow tool based on Bibble's technologies. Coming just a week after the announcement that Corel had bought Bibble Labs (though several months after the deal was done), AfterShot Pro provides the kinds of photo management and non-destructive editing that products such as Adobe's Lightroom offer. The software, available for Mac and Linux as well as Windows, will cost $99 or $79 for existing Bibble 5, PaintShop Pro X2, Lightroom or Aperture customers. A free trial is available from Corel's website.
Professional photography company Phase One has released v1.2 if its Media Pro asset management software. Formerly developed as Microsoft Expression Media, the latest version improves and extends the software's metadata handling and export, ensuring compliance with the IPTC-Extended standard. There are also bug fixes for both the Mac and Windows versions. Version 1.2 is free for Media Pro users or costs $199/€139 for newcomers.
CES 2012: Nik Software has announced its award-winning Snapseed image editing and sharing software will be available for both Macs and Android tablets based around NVIDIA Tegra processors. The Mac version will be available from the Apple App Store for a price of around $19.99, while the Android version, that will work with tablets running Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) on Tegra 2 or 3 processors, will cost $4.99 or the equivalent in other currencies.
Pre-CES: Samsung has announced three camcorder models: the Q20, F80 and the W300 pocket camcorder. The Q20 shoots 1080i HD footage and incorporates a 20x zoom lens. The company is also offering a Wi-Fi capable QF20 variant. The less expensive F80 model shoots 720p30 video and a 52x optical zoom lens. Finally, the W300 is a rugged pocket camcorder that can shoot 1080p30 movies.
Pre-CES: Canon has updated its camcorder range with three M-series and three R-series Vixia HF models. The more advanced M-series cameras feature an enhanced version of the HD CMOS Pro chip used in last year's models and share a 10x optical zoom lens. The Vixia HF M52 and M50 feature DNLA-compliant Wi-Fi connectivity along with 32Gb and 8Gb of internal memory, respectively. The less expensive M500 misses out on both features. The R-series models follow a similar pattern, with the R32 and R30 offering Wi-Fi capability and 32Gb and 8Gb of memory, with an R300 model stripping out both. The R-series models have smaller sensors, allowing a 32x optical zoom. There will also be an optional waterproof case for the M-series models.
Pre-CES: Sony has become the first company to offer a range memory cards in the XQD format. XQD was recently announced by the Compact Flash Association and is based around the PCI Express specifications, allowing write speeds of 125MB/sec and beyond. Sony claims that, when used in the brand new Nikon D4, (currently the only camera supporting the format), the cards can record up to around 100 frames in RAW format in continuous shooting mode. The first cards will be available from the end of January. Sony has also announced a USB 3.0 card reader for the format.
Pre-CES: Bibble Labs, the maker of the Bibble Pro Raw conversion software, has been purchased by Corel, maker of CorelDraw and PaintShop Pro. The announcement was made by Bibble President Jeff Stephens on the company's blog. According to Stephens' post, Bibble 5.2.3 is the last planned release of Bibble 5. The entire Bibble team has now joined Corel where they are working on developing of an image workflow solution based on Bibble technology. He says the company will continue to support both Mac and Linux. Bibble and Corel will be making an official announcement next week at CES.
Pre-CES: Color calibration company Datacolor has launched the Spyder4, the latest in its range of affordable colorimeters. The Spyder4 range includes Express, Pro and Elite versions that vary in terms of the complexity of calibration you can conduct and how many devices you can calibrate. Datacolor claims the latest versions offer 26% better color accuracy than the Spyder3 models. Prices range from $119 for the Spyder4 Express to $249 for the Elite version.
Paris-based software maker Oloneo has launched version 1 of its HDRengine high dynamic range photo software. Built around what the company claims is 'the fastest HDR engines available today' it allows real-time tone mapping and HDR manipulation. The software supports 380 Raw formats and works on them in 32-bits per channel to ensure image quality retention. Oloneo HDRengine is available at an introductory price of $59/€59 through the company's online store or can be trialed for 30 days for free.
Software maker ACD Systems has announced acdVideo Converter and ACDSee Duplicate Finder - two tools for videographers and photographers. Duplicate Finder is a Mac-only app that identifies duplicate copies of files, even if the filenames differ. Meanwhile acdVideo Converter will convert footage into several popular formats to make them easier to share. acdVideo Converter is initially being offered for $14.99 while Duplicate Finder is $4.99 if bought before January 9th 2012.
Unified Color has announced second-generation versions of its HDR Expose software and its 32Float HDR plugin for Photoshop. The latest versions add color dodge and burn tools, and tone curve adjustment, all the while using the company's 32-bit colorspace that separates color and luminance information to avoid color shifts when changing brightness. The latest version also includes presets, which can be created and modified, to speed up the blending process. Version 2 also gains the ability to batch merge images, using one of these presets. A free 30 day trial of both the 32 Float v2 plugin and standalone HDR Expose 2 software is available.
The Compact Flash Association has announced the development of the XQD memory card format. The smaller XQD format is based around the PCI Express specifications, allowing write speeds of 125MB/sec and beyond. The association says the first example cards will be shown at the CP+ trade show in Japan, in February 2012. No details of capacities or which camera makers are likely to support the standard are given.
The crowd-funded universal camera trigger, TriggerTrap, has gone into production its creator has announced. TriggerTrap is a light, laser and sound-sensitive programmable camera trigger with built-in time-lapse function. It also has an auxilliary input and is built around Arduino open-source architecture, meaning it can be programmed to trigger a camera in response to almost any electrical input. The TriggerTrap is compatible with a large range of cameras, via cable or infra-red communication, it will be available from February at a cost of $125.
Nikon has announced the SB-910, the flagship flashgun in its Speedlight range. Replacing the SB-900, the 910 gains the simpler graphic user interface (GUI) of the less powerful SB-700. Its more advanced thermal protection system slows the flash recycle time, rather than it simply shutting down to prevent overheating. It comes with hard filters for matching fluorescent and tungsten lighting and automatically switches the camera's white balance to match the filter. Similarly it adjusts the available zoom steps to suit the body (FX or DX) that it's attached to. The SB910 will be available from mid-December, priced around $549.95.
DxO Labs has announced that Optics Pro 7, the latest version of its Raw processing and optical correction software, will be available from November 30th. The company says version 7 has been extensively re-written to make it faster - up to four times faster in the case of batch processing. Version 7 also includes support for popular enthusiast cameras, such as Fujifilm's X100 and Sony's A77, as well as more than 300 additional camera/lens Optics Modules. Refinements include an improved lens softness tool that attempts to correct for inherent lens softness without interfering with bokeh in out-of-focus regions. DxO Optics Pro 7 will be available with a 33% discount until December 24th (and free to users who bought version 6 after September 1st).
Accessory grip maker Richard Franiec has announced an add-on grip for the Canon PowerShot S100. The grip differs from his existing wrap-around designs to avoid blocking the port door on the side of the camera. Instead the raised, textured design mounts on the front plate of the camera, over its existing hand-grip. The accessory will be available from late November at a cost of $29.95, plus shipping.
Red Digital Cinema has released the Scarlet-X professional video camera with Canon EF or PL mount. With 4K video from 1-30 fps and burst modes up to 12 fps at 5K resolution, it enables users to capture motion footage and still content simultaneously. Available for pre-orders, the basic kit (which is primarily the body, or as Red calls it "The Brain") is priced at $9750 while the Scarlet-X AL Canon Mount Package is priced at $14,015 and includes such essentials as a power adaptor, 5" touch LCD, and hand grip.