Adobe Camera Raw 5.6 and Lightroom 2.6 Release Candidates Available

Adobe has made release candidates of Lightroom 2.6 and Camera Raw 5.6 available for download in Adobe Labs.  These versions add raw file support for the following cameras:

Canon EOS 7D
Canon PowerShot G11
Canon PowerShot S90
Leaf Aptus II 5
Mamiya DM22, DM28, DM33, DM56, M18, M22, M31
Nikon D3s
Olympus E-P2
Pentax K-x
Panasonic FZ38
Sigma DP1s
Sony A500
Sony A550
Sony A850

Remember, these are release candidates, which means they’ve been pretty well tested and Adobe thinks they are ready for full release; however, it’s recommended that you keep production work to prior versions until the official releases drop.  Expect those to come soon though.  Release candidates mean that the final versions are just around the corner.

Lightroom 2.6 release candidate can be downloaded here.

Camera Raw 5.6 release candidate can be downloaded here.

Lightroom 3 Beta has not been updated yet.

Windows 7 Photography Solutions and Applications

Windows 7

If you haven’t heard already, Windows 7 is here and available everywhere.

If you use Windows Vista on your computer, you may be more than ready for the upgrade.  Microsoft has been hyping Windows 7 as a better solution for a long time.  What follows are some of the latest developments for photographers, along with a brief look at what casual photographers can expect out of Windows 7 for helping organize and edit images. [Read more...]

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 Beta Now Available – for Free!

Lightroom 3 Beta

All you Lightroom users out there, get ready.  Adobe just dropped the beta version of Lightroom 3 out onto the Interweb, and it’s packed with all sorts of new bells and whistles.

Improved efficiency, Flickr integration, overhauled developing engine and more are served up in this revised processing powerhouse.

So, what are you waiting for?  Go download the Lightroom 3 Beta now.  The beta is schedule to expire in April 2010, so you should continue to use your current version of Lightroom for serious work until this is for real.

There’s more details in the press release below for you over-analytical types. [Read more...]

Alien Skin Software Discounts Require Math Skills, Expire Oct. 21

Alien Skin

Alien Skin, makers of Bokeh, Blow Up 2, Exposure 2, Image Doctor 2 and Snap Art 2, has a couple of discount offers that run through October 21.

Here’s the word from Alien Skin, part of which will require you to put your thinking cap on:

Everything in the Alien Skin store is 20% off, but just until October 21st. And no we aren’t going to extend it. If you don’t already know how our products will make your work go faster and look better, then check out our web site. It is chock full of beautiful example images, informative videos, rave reviews, and demo versions.

Also, Jeff Butterworth, CEO, snuck an Easter egg into Snap Art 2 when no one was looking. If you enter 111 into the Random Seed for the Stylize filter then it will render something out of the ordinary. He’ll give you a concrete reward for finding the Easter egg. Do you know the mathematician who discovered that beautiful shape? You can use his first name (without accents) as a coupon code in our online store to get 25% off. Consider this the math nerd version of our sale, both of which end on October 21st.

Adobe Photoshop App for iPhone – First Look

Adobe has released a Photoshop app for the iPhone.  It’s a available for free from the iTunes App Store.

In the new Photoshop app, you get adjustment features like cropping, exposure, saturation and tint, along with a number of presets and stylized effects.  The overall user interface is pretty slick, which you would expect from Adobe.  You slide your fingertip across the image in several of the settings to add or reduce their intensity.  The crop tool is so smooth too – it just works the way cropping should.  Overall, the app feels very intuitive.

One thing I really like about the app is that it leaves your photos on your camera roll untouched and creates a copy for you to edit.  As a result, you get a second version of your image to process and you’ve always got your clean original if you want to do something else.  The new, edited photo is saved as the last image in your iPhone’s camera roll when you are done with it in the Photoshop app.  I’m not sure if or which other apps do this, but I appreciate this feature. [Read more...]

Wacom Adds Multi-Touch To Bamboo Tablets

Wacom Bamboo Multi-touch Tablet

Wacom has added multi-touch capabilities to its popular line of Bamboo tablets. There are now 2 tablets in the Bamboo family that now offer multi-touch capabilities – the Bamboo Touch; and the Bamboo Pen and Touch.

With the new Bamboo Touch, you can navigate your PC or Mac in a totally different manner than using a mouse.  It works much like the multi-touch screen on an iPhone.  The Bamboo Touch uses 9 key gestures to do things like click, zoom, scroll and rotate.  It also has 4 programmable buttons to take care of common actions.

Bamboo Pen and Touch has two sensors, one for pen and one for multi-touch.  What’s more, the tablet automatically recognizes when you are using your fingers or pen on the tablet’s surface.

The Wacom Bamboo Touch carries an initial retail price of $69, while the Bamboo Pen and Touch runs $99.  Check availability on Amazon.com:

Bamboo Touch

Bamboo Pen and Touch

My first take on these multi-touch products is that they are quite cool and could be used productively.  I have an older Bamboo tablet that I break out for image editing sometimes, but the multi-touch capabilities of this new series give me the hope that I might one day soon be able to ditch my mouse for good.  We’ll have to wait and see how the product performs in real world use to make that call, but I happily welcome effort from Wacom  on this new feature.

More details below. [Read more...]

The Photoshop CS4 Companion for Photographers

O’Reilly, a mainstay of photography-related learning resources, has just announced the new book, The Photoshop CS4 Companion for Photographers.  The book carries a retail price of $24.99 and is currently available for pre-order at OReilly.com.

Press Release:

The Photoshop CS4 Companion for Photographers–New from O’Reilly
Compact, Portable Photoshop Advice You Can Take Anywhere

Sebastopol, CA—Many photographers, even the pros, feel overwhelmed by all the options Photoshop provides. Fortunately O’Reilly’s latest release, The Photoshop CS4 Companion for Photographers ($24.99), spotlights only the critical tools you’ll need most often in one compact reference. In the new book, professional photographer and bestselling author Derrick Story teaches you how to quickly and efficiently organize and edit your photos without compromising the originals. [Read more...]

Adobe Camera Raw 5.1 Update

Adobe has release the version 5.1 update for Camera Raw.  “This new version of the Camera Raw plug-in replaces the original one that was installed with Adobe® Photoshop® CS4; Adobe Photoshop Elements 6.0; and Adobe Premiere® Elements 4.0 software.”

The Camera Raw plug-in updates are available as free downloads for existing customers. Click here for the download page: http://www.adobe.com/downloads/updates/