Review: CameraBag 2 (Desktop) snapshot editing software
Persian Air Services DC-7C, Mehrabad Airport, Tehran, Iran, 1961.
Filter: "ColorCross" and "Lolo" + Exposure and Contrast adjust tools.
CameraBag 2 lets you apply a sequence of Styles, Adjust tools, and (optionally) a Border to an image. This sequence, called a filter, is dynamic: you can change the order of the items and change their configuration at any time, and the resulting image will be adjusted to reflect that. Nevercenter calls this "non-destructive" editing, which is true during the editing of a photo, but the effects are destructively applied when the final image is saved.
You can also save the filter configuration, which is useful if you might want to come back to revisit the processing some day. You'll have to do that as a separate step — the filter is not automatically stored when you save an edited image. You can save the filter into an ordinary folder, or into CB2's "Favorites" list for easy use on other photos.
The components: Styles, Adjust tools, and Borders
CB2's Styles are specialized tools that are designed to produce certain looks such as "high contrast B&W" or "instant camera," while the Adjust tools are more classical image-processing tools like Contrast and Saturation. Borders are (obviously) borders that can be applied.
From what I can tell, all of CB2's operations treat each pixel individually. There don't seem to be any operations that involve neighboring pixels, so there aren't any convolutions like Gaussian Blur and Unsharp Mask. CB2 doesn't provide any sharpening tool at all.
CameraBag 2 provides over eighty pre-defined "Favorites" filters, to which you can add your own. Some of these filters are usable as-is, some are mainly a starting point for tweaking or for inspiration. The Toolkit filter is just a shortcut to add a collection of standard Adjustments — Exposure, Contrast, Colorize, and Saturation — all of which are initially at their "no effect" settings.
Adjusting a component
Each Style comes with two adjustment sliders. The Amount slider is a standard opacity or fade control. The Remix slider controls various internal settings of the style. Nevercenter claims that there are an "infinite" number of remixes, although a more accurate statement is that there are billions of remixes. For most Styles, each step of 10 on the Remix takes you to a new configuration, and the values in between the "tens" are mixtures. Also for most Styles, the Remix has a somewhat cyclic nature at steps of 50. The pre-defined Favorites use a wide variety of Remix values, ranging from -288 to 3654. The Ctrl-Up-Arrow and Ctrl-Down-Arrow keys move the Remix in steps of 10, and clicking an end of the Remix slider moves the Remix in steps of 50.
The Adjust tools have their own individual interfaces. Sliders are widely used, as are curves and color-picker boxes. The Contrast and Luminance Contrast tools have two sliders: one to increase or decrease the contrast, and the other to select what brightness level is the reference. Interestingly, the Multi Tool (Exposure, Contrast, and Saturation) has a Contrast setting that consists of a conventional single slider.
The cropping part of the Crop/Straighten tool has its own interface, and I always have trouble with it. It differentiates between whether you're clicking somewhat near an edge (the edge turns red and you can then drag that edge) or not, and if not, whether you've already adjusted the edges or not. If you haven't already adjusted an edge and click somewhere not near an edge, CB2 assumes you want to drag out a specific crop box. If you've already adjusted an edge, CB2 assumes you want to move the crop box.
There are two simple Borders that fit the current aspect ratio of your photo — with square image corners and with rounded. These have a slider that control the width of the border and a color picker; the Border with rounded image corners has an additional slider to control the radius of those corners. There are also a dozen fancy Borders with fixed aspect ratios that will crop from the center as needed; these have no adjustments.
It's possible to type in specific values for sliders and color pickers, but not for curves.
All of the Styles and almost all of the Adjust tools can be combined in any combination and permutation, including duplicates of the same Style or Adjust tool. These can be re-arranged, switched on or off, or completely deleted from the current filter.
The Crop/Straighten Adjust tool is special. If present, there is only one, and it is always the first tool in the filter sequence.
The Constrain Size Adjust tool is also special. If present, there is only one, and it is always the last tool in the filter sequence. This tool is mainly of use for batch operations — whenever you save an individual photo, CB2 will ask what dimensions you want it saved at, so you shouldn't need Constrain Size there.
Borders are also special. If present, there is only one, and it is always the last tool except for a Constrain Size tool in the filter sequence.
The components in your current filter appear as gray (orange if selected) square tiles underneath the image. They are in a line, and are applied from left to right. Each tile has an "on/off" button to temporarily disable it, and an "x" button to completely delete it. Except for the three fixed-position components, you can drag-and-drop tiles to a different point in the sequence.
When you choose a Style or Favorite, you can choose to have it completely replace the main part of the current filter, or to have it added to the end of it (by clicking the "+" on the button). When you choose an Adjust tool, it's always added to the end. When you choose a Favorite that has a Crop/Straighten tool or a Border, those will replace the current tools even if you choose to have the Favorite added to the current filter. I still find this variation in behaviors to be a bit disorienting.
Saving the filter
If you choose to save a filter, whether to the Favorites or to a separate folder, you'll find that Constrain Size tools are never saved, Borders are always saved if present, and if you've got a Crop/Straighten tool in the filter, you'll be asked if you want to save it as part of the filter.
Dec 4, 2014
Aug 13, 2013
Nov 5, 2013
Aug 7, 2013
|DSC_9643 by NOWHITELENS|
from Best Photo of the Week
|Thailand Sunrise by ozziebadger|
from Ships and Boats
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017, and sitting pretty at #5 is the Fujifilm X-T20.
See some of the most iconic black-and-white photographs throughout history brought to life by a community of colorization enthusiasts and professional retouchers in the new book Retrographic.
Shopping for a photographer? Whether you are one yourself or not, chances are you could use some ideas. From stocking stuffers on up, we've got some photography gift suggestions for every budget.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. Drum roll please... the #6 spot belongs to none other than the Sigma 85mm F1.4 DH HSM Art.
Read the story behind this gorgeous wedding photo captured at Trolltunga in Norway by husband and wife duo Priscila Valentina Photography. The 14 hour hike in the rain that preceded this shot was TOTALLY worth it.
Go behind the scenes with filmmaker Nick Arcivos, who recently created a beautiful cinematic short film in Paris using only the iPhone X, a couple of gimbals, and a few lights. The results are very impressive.
A Bay Area startup offering a pay-by-the-photo camera service cleverly addresses the pain points photographers experience when they pick up their first DSLR. But can it survive the smartphone?
It's been a big year for software innovations, dual cameras and huge displays. Take a look at our picks for the top smartphone cameras and why we think they stand out.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. At the #7 spot is the ready-for-any-weather Olympus Tough TG-5.
By combining his skills as a time-lapse filmmaker and an engineer, Julian Tryba created this out-of-this-world creative 'layer-lapse' of New York City that alternates between night and day in time with the music.
Canon Japan's new lineup of novelty camera-themed gifts was just revealed online, including a lens mug and lens thermos, two retro camera-themed USB drives, and a picnic mat.
The Profoto A1 most certainly isn’t for everyone [...] But for those who are used to using the Profoto systems, and want something that pairs seamlessly with the strobes you already have, there is no better companion.
Fujifilm has asked a US district court to clear it of any wrongdoing, after allegedly being threatened with trademark litigation by Polaroid.
While a couple of our reviewers are out testing the Sony a7R III in Arizona, back in Seattle we slapped the camera in front of our studio scene to get a close look at its image quality. See how it stacks up against the competition.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017, and the #8 ranking belongs to the Nikon D7500.
B+W has announced a new aluminum filter holder that offers three slots so users can use multiple filters at the same time. The holder goes with the 2mm thick 100mm square filters it launched earlier this year.
8K video is coming a lot faster than you think, and Blackmagic is ready for it. Meet the DeckLink 8K Pro, a new high performance PCI-E capture and playback card built to handle 'real time high resolution 8K workflows.'
"Glass is everywhere in photography. From Eugène Atget’s reflective vitrines to Lee Friedlander’s sly self-portraiture, photographers have long been in thrall to the visual complications glass can inject into a composition."
Former Apple Aperture lead developer Nik Bhatt has designed an iOS app called RAW Power that lets you edit raw photos from your professional camera using your phone and tablet.... color us intrigued.
Advertising photographer Blair Bunting got his hands on the new Microsoft Surface Book 2, and it blew him away. Bye bye MacBook Pro...
The OnePlus 5T retains many of the 5's features and specs, but comes with an edge-to-edge display and a dual-camera that is optimized for low light.
Sony's recently announced IMX461 backside illuminated medium format sensor will bring 100MP resolution and almost 2x the speed to the next-gen Fuji GFX and Hasselblad X1D.
With the ‘Rent a Hasselblad’ camera equipment renting program, the camera makers is aiming to give enthusiast and professional photographers easier access to its medium-format photography products.
They say seeing is believing, and that's exactly what happened when one DPR staffer took the Google Pixel 2 out for an afternoon shooting under challenging conditions.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. At the #9 spot we have the Fujifilm GFX 50S, a medium-format camera that took CP+ 2017 by storm.
Instagram is testing a new feature that lets you follow hashtags in addition to people, making it possible to keep track of your favorite #landscapes or #portraits without leaving your home feed.
Despite the gigantic volume of second hand film bodies in existence, it seems there is still a demand for new 35mm SLRs with a retro feel. The latest is a remake of the Ihagee Elbaflex from the 1960s, but with a Nikon F mount.
The Polaroid Insta-Share Moto Mod straps an instant printer directly to your Moto Z smartphone, so you can print your photos as soon as you've captured them.
The Mitakon Speedmaster 135mm F1.4 lens is being relaunched in 7 different mounts, including: Sony A, Sony E, Canon EF, Nikon F, Fujifilm G, Pentax K, and Leica L. Got an extra three grand lying around?
In January, Kodak announced it would bring back the beloved slide film Ektachrome. The timeline has been pushed back a bit, but Kodak says you can expect to purchase Ektachrome again in 2018.