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Topaz Labs' flagship app uses AI algorithms to make some complex image corrections really, really easy. But is there enough here to justify its rather steep price?
|Artwork by Danner Orozco|
At Adobe MAX, Adobe has introduced a wide range of updates to its Creative Cloud software. We're focused on the changes to Adobe's photo editing software, so let's start with the new additions in Adobe Lightroom.
The updates to the Lightroom ecosystem make it easier to use masking workflows, remove unwanted elements from images, and utilize AI masks on mobile platforms. More advanced AI-powered masking is available on Lightroom for desktop, Lightroom Classic and Adobe Camera Raw (ACR). This time last year, Adobe introduced re-envisioned selective adjustment tools, including Select Sky and Select Subject. Today, Adobe builds upon these tools with all-new Select People, Select Objects, and Select Background. Powered by Adobe Sensei, Adobe's AI technology, retouching portraits is much easier with the new Select People. The software can detect and generate high-quality masks for individuals or groups in any portraits and can select specific body parts, such as face skin, body skin, eyes, teeth, lips, hair and more.
|You can select an entire person or specific parts of an image when creating a new mask|
Similarly, Select Objects is 'now the quickest and most flexible way to mask objects in Lightroom,' says Adobe. You paint over the desired object with Brush Select or draw a rectangle around the object with Rectangle Select. The AI will then automatically refine the edges to create a precise mask.
|You can select an object with a rectangular selection tool or by manually brushing roughly over the subject you wish to select|
The new Select Background option makes it easier to choose the background of an image. Before, you could use Select Subject and then invert the mask. Now you can achieve the same result in one less step.
On Lightroom for desktop, Lightroom Classic, ACR and iOS/iPadOS, Adobe has introduced Adaptive Presets for portraits. Adaptive Presets aren't new, having been introduced this past summer, but using them on portraits is a new feature, and they're now available on mobile. They were previously exclusive to desktop. Adaptive Presets for portraits allows the user to quickly enhance an entire portrait or target specific features like eyes, teeth or eyebrows.
On mobile, Adaptive Presets for sky and subject are now available. These were previously available only on desktop.
There are a couple of updates to masking in general. You can now adjust the intensity of masked edits on Lightroom for desktop. Further, AI masking is now available on Android devices using server-side support. Since a server provides the AI masking, all Android users can take advantage, no matter the power of their device.
Across all Lightroom apps, there's a new Content-Aware Remove feature. Based on the same technology as Content-Aware Fill, Content-Aware Remove will adaptively fill in removed 'blemishes' based on the surrounding content. You can also manually select the sampled area for more fine-tuned control.
|Using Content-Aware Remove, the user has selected and removed a tree from behind the tiger's head and rear|
On Lightroom for desktop, users can access full edit functionality while in Compare mode, allowing users to edit images side by side. The update also promises faster image loading and shorter export times.
On Lightroom Classic, you can now swap the left and right panels for all modules or just for develop. This means you can move your editing sliders to the left-hand side of the workspace. On Windows, import times from portable devices have been reduced.
|If you want your editing tools in Lightroom to be on the left-hand side, that's now possible|
In Adobe Camera Raw, you can now adjust Curves for local selections. This feature will be added to Lightroom in the future. Further, Adobe has added HDR support to ACR via a Tech Preview.
Finally, Adobe has updated Lightroom Academy with new food, travel and night photography content. Lightroom Academy also sports an updated user interface to help make it easier for photographers to find the educational content they're looking for.
Adobe has also released major updates to Photoshop on desktop, iPad and Photoshop on the web (in beta testing within select markets).
On Photoshop on desktop, Adobe has improved its Object Selection tool. First introduced in 2020, the updated tool promises improved fidelity and selection quality. The types of objects Photoshop recognizes have also been expanded. The Object Selection tool recognizes complex objects and regions like the sky, buildings, water, flora, different types of ground/flooring, and more. You can learn more about this tool here.
|In this case, the user has clicked on the person. However, you can also click on the laptop, cup, or background. Once selected, Photoshop creates a refined, precise mask of the selected subject.|
Like the Content-Aware Remove feature added to Lightroom, Photoshop has a one-click Delete feature powered by Sensei-powered Object Selection and Content-Aware Fill. By clicking on an object and pressing Shift+Delete, Photoshop will remove an object and fill in its location in a single action.
|If you want to remove the compass, shown selected in blue, you click on the object and then press Shift+Delete. Photoshop will then remove the selected object and fill in using surrounding content.|
For users who regularly switch between Photoshop and Illustrator, you can now copy/paste live, editable text from Illustrator to Photoshop. Adobe writes, 'Pasting live type as layers preserves type attributes such as font, font style, size, alignment, orientation, tracking, kerning, and color in Photoshop. Other more advanced typographic options such as area type, type on a path, and touch type are also supported.'
Photoshop's Neural Filters have continued to push the limits of AI technology and photo editing. For the latest Photoshop release, Adobe has added a new Photo Restoration Neural Filter to the app. Using machine learning, the filter detects and eliminates imperfections on old photos.
Many Photoshop users share Photoshop files every day. Share for Review has been added as a beta feature in the new release. You can create a snapshot of your document and invite someone to comment on it. Comments are visible in real-time within Photoshop. You can continue to work on the file, and each time it's updated, people you've shared it with can see the changes.
Another beta feature is Content Credentials. With this feature, Photoshop users can attach attribution information to their images when exporting from Photoshop. It establishes an edit trail for images that have been changed or otherwise edited. Content Credentials is an opt-in feature for Creative Cloud subscribers. If you enable it, all edits and identity information is captured.
|You can export images from Photoshop with included content credentials (beta)|
On Photoshop on iPad, there is a litany of new features. Using Select Subject technology, users can now remove the background with just one click. There's also one-tap content-aware fill on iPad now. Using Adobe's AI technology, Select Subject has been improved on iPad. The software now identifies photos of people, animals, objects and more.
Rounding out the major changes to Photoshop on iPad is one-tap Auto Tone, Auto Contrast and Auto Color commands. For more information on these new one-tap features, click here.
|In Photoshop on iPad, it's now possible to perform one-tap automatic corrections|
Last year, Adobe launched Photoshop on the web. This allowed more people to enjoy Photoshop with an intuitive, more accessible user interface. Photoshop on the web doesn't yet include all of Photoshop's features. Still, many of the software's most popular tools are available, including Object Selection, Remove Background, Adobe Camera Raw image adjustments and Content-Aware Fill. Photoshop subscribers can find and try Photoshop on the web by going to the All Apps section of Creative Cloud home.
Adobe has been experimenting with Generative Artificial Intelligence. This technology is like what you see with tools like DALL-E 2. You type in a semantic phrase, and then AI builds whatever you describe.
While this technology is incredible, it has raised concerns about AI artwork. How do we know if a person or computer creates something? How is existing artwork being used to train AI models, and what does that mean? Adobe writes, 'From the launch of Photoshop to the rise of 3D, Adobe has a 40-year history of helping lead the creative community through technological transformations in how we create. We are committed to helping lead this transition by implementing Generative AI in our tools in a way that empowers artists and opens creativity to new people, but never seeks to replace human imagination and judgment. And we are working with the creative and technological communities to ensure that Generative AI is developed with transparency.'
|With Generative AI, users can add an owl to this image and then select different variations, which you can see as layers to the right|
Adobe is leveraging its Content Authenticity Initiative (CAI) to help navigate these new, uncharted waters with generative AI technology. CAI ensures that creators get credit for their work and that those who view content can find out how it was created, and by whom.
Adobe is still in the early stages with its generative AI technology, but they've shared some of what they're working on. For example, you'll be able to add new objects to an image and create variations based on your existing image. You'll be able to create brand-new, unique fonts with custom-built embellishments. Adobe Express will incorporate AI to let users generate a template based on a prompt, allowing new users or those pressed for time to create faster than ever.
As for photo editing tools like Lightroom, we've already seen AI technology in many tools. However, Adobe wants to use Generative AI in Lightroom to allow users to change the time of day of a scene or even extend a photo beyond the scene you shot. While some of this is already possible by changing out a sky or using content-aware fill, Generative AI promises to enhance existing photo editing technology greatly.
Adobe aims to create responsible AI and ensure that it's implemented in intelligent ways within its software. Adobe writes, 'Art has always been a mixture of craft and other qualities harder to define — style, judgment, and eye. The history of art is an unbroken series of technical innovations — the development of ceramic kilns, invention of oil paints, debut of digital photography — all of which accelerated these crafts. As craft becomes less of an obstacle, the role of the creator — their vision, story, and imagination — becomes more — not less — important. We believe the same will be true with Generative AI and we’re excited to develop AI tools that will help you express your personal vision.'
Adobe's 'Content analysis' program could be using your photos and video to train AI without your knowledge
Jan 5, 2023
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Above $2500 cameras tend to become increasingly specialized, making it difficult to select a 'best' option. We case our eye over the options costing more than $2500 but less than $4000, to find the best all-rounder.
There are a lot of photo/video cameras that have found a role as B-cameras on professional film productions or even A-cameras for amateur and independent productions. We've combed through the options and selected our two favorite cameras in this class.
What’s the best camera for around $2000? These capable cameras should be solid and well-built, have both the speed and focus to capture fast action and offer professional-level image quality. In this buying guide we’ve rounded up all the current interchangeable lens cameras costing around $2000 and recommended the best.
Family moments are precious and sometimes you want to capture that time spent with loved ones or friends in better quality than your phone can manage. We've selected a group of cameras that are easy to keep with you, and that can adapt to take photos wherever and whenever something memorable happens.
What's the best camera for shooting sports and action? Fast continuous shooting, reliable autofocus and great battery life are just three of the most important factors. In this buying guide we've rounded-up several great cameras for shooting sports and action, and recommended the best.
|Wild American Flamingos by Fotorequest|
from Flamingos Unlimited
|No Space Race Here by Nilesh Trivedi|
from Empty spaces in the city
|Two Surfers by JeffryZ|
from Reflections on the Shore
|_MG_5014 by tim and jan|
from Cruise Liners
The a7R V is the fifth iteration of Sony's high-end, high-res full-frame mirrorless camera. The new 60MP Mark IV, gains advanced AF, focus stacking and a new rear screen arrangement. We think it excels at stills.
Using affordable Sony NP-F batteries and the Power Junkie V2 accessory, you can conveniently power your camera and accessories, whether they're made by Sony or not.
According to Japanese financial publication Nikkei, Sony has moved nearly all of its camera production out of China and into Thailand, citing geopolitical tensions and supply chain diversification.
Got a new camera? Get started with your Canon EOS R7 by changing these critical settings.
A pro chimes in with his long-term impressions of DJI's Mavic 3. While there were ups and downs, filmmaker José Fransisco Salgado found that in his use of the drone, firmware updates have made it better with every passing month.
Landscape photography has a very different set of requirements from other types of photography. We pick the best options at three different price ranges.
AI is here to stay, so we must prepare ourselves for its many consequences. We can use AI to make our lives easier, but it's also possible to use AI technology for more nefarious purposes, such as making stealing photos a simple one-click endeavor.
This DIY project uses an Adafruit board and $40 worth of other components to create a light meter and metadata capture device for any film photography camera.
Scientists at the Green Bank Observatory in West Virginia have used a transmitter with 'less power than a microwave' to produce the highest resolution images of the moon ever captured from Earth.
The tiny cameras, which weigh just 1.4g, fit inside the padding of a driver's helmet, offering viewers at home an eye-level perspective as F1 cars race through the corners of the world's most exciting race tracks. In 2023, all drivers will be required to wear the cameras.
The announcement is believed to be the M.Zuiko Digital ED 90mm F3.5 Macro IS Pro lens, which was confirmed on the OM System roadmap last year.
The new ultrafast prime for Nikon Z-mount cameras is a re-worked version of Cosina's existing Voigtländer 50mm F1 Aspherical lens for Leica M-mount cameras.
There are plenty of hybrid cameras on the market, but often a user needs to choose between photo- or video-centric models in terms of features. Jason Hendardy explains why he would want to see shutter angle and 32-bit float audio as added features in cameras that highlight both photo and video functionalities.
SkyFi's new Earth Observation service is now fully operational, allowing users to order custom high-resolution satellite imagery of any location on Earth using a network of more than 80 satellites.
The firmware update adds eye-detection AF to video capture and improves autofocus performance in other modes.
In some parts of the world, winter brings picturesque icy and snowy scenes. However, your drone's performance will be compromised in cold weather. Here are some tips for performing safe flights during the chilliest time of the year.
The winners of the Ocean Art Photo Competition 2022 have been announced, showcasing incredible sea-neries (see what we did there?) from around the globe.
Venus Optics has announced a quartet of new anamorphic cine lenses for Super35 cameras, the Proteus 2x series. The 2x anamorphic lenses promise ease of use, accessibility and high-end performance for enthusiast and professional video applications.
We've shot the new Fujinon XF 56mm F1.2R WR lens against the original 56mm F1.2R, to check whether we should switch the lens we use for our studio test scene or maintain consistency.
Nature photographer Erez Marom continues his series about landscape composition by discussing the multifaceted role played by the sky in a landscape image.
Check out some of our full resolution Canon EOS R6 Mark II photos, captured over the holidays and in the mountains.
After weeks with a production Canon EOS R6 Mark II, Chris and Jordan get into more detail than they could in their initial review.
The NONS SL660 is an Instax Square instant camera with an interchangeable lens design. It's made of CNC-milled aluminum alloy, has an SLR-style viewfinder, and retails for a $600. We've gone hands-on to see what it's like to shoot with.
Recently, DJI made Waypoints available for their Mavic 3 series of drones, bringing a formerly high-end feature to the masses. We'll look at what this flight mode is and why you should use it.
Astrophotographer Bray Falls was asked to help verify the discovery of the Andromeda Oxygen arc. He describes his process for verification, the equipment he used and where astronomers should point their telescopes next.
OM Digital Solutions has released firmware updates for the following cameras to add compatibility support for its new M.Zuiko Digital ED 90mm F3.5 Macro IS PRO lens: OM-D E-M1 Mark II, E-M1 Mark III, E-M5 Mark III, E-M1X, and OM-5.
Micro Four Thirds has 'size benefits, and a shooting experience that can’t be matched by a smartphone,' says the director of Panasonic's camera business, as we talked about the system's future, the role of video, the adoption of phase detection and the role his dog played in the development of the S5 II.
Today's modern cameras are armed with sophisticated autofocusing systems. They can focus anywhere in the frame, track multiple subjects, and switch on the fly. But what good are these advanced tools if you can't see where the camera is even focusing? It's time for the autofocus box to upgrade from its single-color status.
The Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 II is a powerful mid-range full-frame stills and video mirrorless camera that introduces on-sensor phase detection, 6K 'open gate' video, LUTs for still mode and more. We put the camera through its paces during a hands-on trial run in the real world.