New Microsoft Camera Codec Pack Released

Nikon D800

Microsoft has released a new camera codec pack that will allow RAW files for supported cameras to be viewable in Windows Explorer and other software that’s based on Windows Imaging Codecs.

Loads of new and old cameras are supported, including the latest models like the Canon 5D mark III and Nikon D800.  More details on Microsoft’s website.

The Case for Adobe OS

Adobe OS

For the past couple of years, I’ve been known to rant to my friends and creative professionals with whom I work closely about OS choices – or the lack thereof.  This is particularly the case when I encounter some kind of Mac or Windows anti-solution.

In the whole wide world that we live in, there are only two operating systems on which most creative professionals can accomplish their work. It’s about high-time for a third, real choice.  Isn’t it? [Read more...]

Microsoft Discusses Digital Photography

While at Photokina, Microsoft’s Kostas Mallios took a moment to discuss the company’s efforts to help photographers solve problems. According to Mallios, Microsoft has been focusing on providing applications that help pros and advanced amateurs, such as Expression Media 2 (a professional asset management tool that comes bundled with Capture One).

Mallios also pointed to the investments Micorsoft is making to new ideas, such as Photosynth. He also discussed the Metadata Working Group:

The Metadata Working Group is dedicated to the preservation and seamless interoperability of digital media metadata and to interoperability and availability to all applications, devices, and services. When we started looking into some of the leading technology problems that digital photographers faced, we realized we needed to address the interoperability issues that still exist with metadata. For example, you may use metadata tags to rate your photos in Expression Media but if you use different applications, devices or services to process or share photos, that information may not be preserved. We knew we couldn’t solve the problem alone, so about a year ago Microsoft assembled leaders in the industry, including Adobe, Apple, Canon and Nikon to form a group with broad expertise. I’m pleased to say that Sony also recently joined us and that the group, led by Chairman Josh Weisberg of Microsoft, has already delivered its first metadata specifications.

Photosynth Leaves Beta

As of this morning, Microsoft’s Live Labs project, Photosynth, is out of beta. The application / browser plugin combination allows you to stitch standard photos into 3-D panoramas.

Currently, Photosynth is Windows only — if you aren’t a Windows XP or Vista user, you’ll have to wait to get your photo-stitching fix. Photosynth uses a desktop application for creating your own ‘synths,’ and a browser plugin to see them online, if you choose to upload your work. All synths are public.

I’d recommend trying out Photosynth with only a few photos at first — it can take quite a bit of time to build a complex synth, though the end result is worth it.

We covered a new Photosynth demo at the beginning of the month.

SmugMug to Enable Powerful Syncing

My favorite photo sharing service just got better.  I have been a staple SmugMug user for over 2 years now and have been most happy with their service.  On the few occasions that I needed to get in touch with someone, they have been back to me within hours of my initial email and, usually have any problems resolved without further inquiry on my part.  What’s more, I don’t recall my photos ever being off-line.  Enough of my ranting, check out the release below regarding SmugMug’s integration with MS Sync Framework.  (By the way, if you want to take SmugMug for a spin, you can use the following code for $5 off at sign up: 7jCtURK05RxCQ – as a disclosure, I get a credit against my account renewal too.)

PRESS RELEASE:

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., June 3, 2008–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Online photo sharing site SmugMug announced tools today to make safe backup of photos simple. Now adding or modifying photos in one location, such as a desktop, can automatically add or modify them in many diverse locations and applications, such as SmugMugs online photo albums, laptops and handhelds.

SmugMugs integration with the Microsoft Sync Framework empowers SmugMugs thriving developer community to provide dynamic photo sharing across devices, such as electronic photo frames, and many applications, such as desktop photo editing & online photo sharing. When a customer adds such things as captions and keywords to photos, they can automatically be added wherever customers choose to synchronize.

Everyone loves to flaunt their photos and wants to keep them safe, said SmugMug President Chris MacAskill. Now they can add once and flaunt everywhere. And watch as theyre safely backed up online and copied to all their devices.

Online photo sites are becoming more popular every day. With the multitude of devices that people use to access and modify them, synchronization is a must, said Mark Jewett, Director SQL Server at Microsoft Corp. SmugMug has shown one of the many innovative ways that the Microsoft Sync Framework can be used to make people’s life easier.

For more about SmugMug, point your browser at www.smugmug.com.

About SmugMug

Since 2002, snap-shooters, passionate amateurs, and pro photographers have added more than 300 million photos and videos to SmugMug. Founded by son and father team Don and Chris MacAskill, SmugMug is the largest profitable independent photo sharing site. Its emphasis on beautiful displays and safe backup keep its sales almost doubling each year.

Product and service names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.