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Posts Tagged ‘new product announcement

Adobe Announces Lightroom 3 Release and Availability

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By Diane Berkenfeld

After thorough Beta testing by the photographic community, Adobe today announced the release of Lightroom 3.

Lightroom 3, like the prior versions of the software, groups tools into five areas: Library, Develop, Slideshow, Print, and Web. The Library is where you organize your images. Develop is where the exposure changes are made, cropping is done, sharpening and noise reduction occurs, grain is added, etc. Slideshow, Print and Web are the areas that you’d work on Slideshows, Printing and Web sharing respectively.

This latest version of the image management/editing/RAW file processing software offers a brand new image processing engine, increased processing speeds and a host of improvements and new features.

Adobe rebuilt the engines that drive Lightroom from the ground up, to keep pace with the growing resolution and file size of today’s popular digital cameras, and the growth of photographers’ image libraries.

Because a new image processing engine is incorporated into Lightroom 3, when working on images that were originally processed in Lightroom 1 or 2, you’ll be given the option of using the previous version’s processing engine, or updating to the image processing engine in Lightroom 3. The choice is given to the user because slight changes can occur when updating from one version to the next, so now you don’t need to worry about the images you’ve worked on in the past and perfected.

Improvements include:

• Improved noise reduction and sharpening.

• Enhanced post crop vignetting.

• An improved import feature.

• Lens and perspective correction. Adobe also created a Lens Profile Creator that you can use to create profiles for the specific lenses you own.

• An expanded offering of custom print layouts.

• Addition of new Develop presets.

New features include:

• The ability to shoot tethered to a camera and import images directly into Lightroom. (26 Canon and Nikon models have been approved as being compatible with the launch of Lightroom 3. Additional models, as well as cameras from other manufacturers are expected to be added to that list as testing is completed. An updated list will be posted at Go.adobe.com/kb/ts_cpsid_84221_en-us.

• Cataloging of video files in addition to still images. Video files will show an icon of a video camera in the bottom left corner.

• The ability to add natural looking grain to images.

• The creation of slideshows synced to music that can be output as movie files compressed for the web, at HD quality and everywhere in between.

• Flexible watermarking.

• Direct access to image sharing websites and mobile devices. An included Flickr plug-in lets you upload directly to that website. Developers will be able to create such direct access for other websites and services.

Minimum system requirements for Lightroom 3 are: Mac – Intel-based Mac, OS X 10.5 or 10.6, 2 Gigs of RAM, 1 Gig of hard disk space, CD-ROM drive, and 1024 x 768 monitor resolution; Windows – Intel Pentium 4, OS Windows 7, Vista Home Premium, Business, Ultimate, or Enterprise (certified for 32-bit and 64-bit editions) or Microsoft XP with Service Pack 2, 2 Gigs RAM, 1 Gig available hard disk space, CD-ROM drive, and 1024 x 768 monitor resolution. Lightroom 3 is a 64-bit application by default for the Mac, and can be used as a 32-bit application if users so choose. For Windows, the 64-bit version will only be installed on Windows 7 or Vista 64-bit operating systems, all other operating systems will install the 32-bit version by default.

My 2 ¢

As a Lightroom user since version 1.0, the decision to upgrade to the latest version of Lightroom is a no brainer. Why stay in the past when you can improve your workflow and utilize the many new features of the software. And at a cost of only $99 to upgrade, its quite affordable to do so.

If you’re debating whether or not to add Lightoom to your workflow, the list of features alone should sway the decision. The full program MSRP is $299.

Lightroom is a powerful part of my workflow. When you’re shooting hundreds or thousands of images per job, you don’t want to be editing through images by opening each file individually. While Adobe Bridge offers the ability to perform some tasks, Lightroom 3 features not only image management but image editing tools as well.

Using Lightroom 3 in conjunction with Photoshop CS5 is my ideal workflow. I import all images I shoot into Lightroom, edit through them for the files I want to work with, make exposure changes, crop/straighten images, and export the files in the size(s) I need. (The export feature alone is worth the price of the software to me! Especially when I have to save multiple sizes of the same images.) Major retouching or compositing is then done in Photoshop.

Adobe is shipping Lightroom 3 starting today.

For more information, go to www.adobe.com.

♦ We’ve begun testing out Lightroom 3 and will be posting a full review within a week! —Ed.

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Mamiya Announces RZ33 Digital Camera Kit

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Mamiya announced the addition of a new medium format digital camera kit to its line, with the introduction of the 33MP Mamiya RZ33. The RZ33 offers cable-free operation, because it was designed with integrated electronics, for direct, cable free communication with the digital back. Also, it features a CompactFlash card slot, so you aren’t tied to a computer while shooting. However, should you want to shoot tethered, you can, connecting the camera to a computer via a FireWire 800 cable, and using either Capture One and Leaf Capture software.

The RZ33 has an ISO range of 50-800, with a 12 f/stop dynamic range. The camera produces a .mos RAW file, with 16 bits/channel. It is an HDR-type Mosaic RAW file, with uncompressed or lossless compression. The largest file that the RZ33 is capable of producing is a 190 megabyte 16 bit TIFF.

Other features of the camera include flash sync at all speeds from 8 seconds to 1/400 of a second (plus T-setting for up to 32 seconds) through the use of leaf-shutters built into the RZ system lenses; precise rack and pinion bellows focusing on all RZ lenses without mounting adapters; and a 6x7cm LCD touchscreen interface. And because the RZ offers vertical-horizontal rotation, you don’t need to turn the camera while shooting.

You can view images remotely on an Apple iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad (in tethered mode, Wi-Fi required).

The RZ33 kit is ideal for photographers who already own RZ system cameras; it is compatible with all 19 RZ system lenses and most accessories. Optional accessories include: film backs, interchangeable viewfinders, (the waist-level finder is included); interchangeable focusing screens, (the Matte Focusing Screen is standard); the Power Winder 2, which cocks the shutter and resets the mirror automatically, for exposures at about one frame per second. It can also be remote controlled with radio or IR transmitters; extension tubes; and more. You can also use RZ67 system accessories with the new RZ33.

“The new RZ33 brings all the ease-of-use advantages of the tried and true RZ camera system to large-sensor digital photography while making tremendous use of the existing line of world-renowned Mamiya RZ optics and accessories,” says Mamiya Product Marketing Manager Mike Edwards.

The new Mamiya RZ33 digital camera kit, including the RZIID camera body, 33MP focusing screen, Mamiya cable-free digital integration plate, Mamiya DM33 digital back and battery, battery charger, FW800 cable, Capture One and Leaf Capture software, will be available in the U.S. for $17,990 and will begin shipping in July 2010.

Go to www.mamiya.com for more information.

— Diane Berkenfeld

Sony Joins the Compact Interchangeable Lens Camera Party

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Sony recently introduced two new Alpha compact digitals that join in the non-DLSR, interchangeable lens category that Olympus, and Panasonic are already part of, with their micro four-thirds systems. The cameras were first announced at PMA earlier this year.

Sony's Alpha NEX-5

The Alpha NEX-5 and NEX-3 provide the quality of a DSLR in a compact body. Because this type of cameras don’t utilize a mirror prism, their physical size can be much smaller than the ordinary DSLR.

Both Sony models utilize a newly developed 14.2 MP Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor. The sensor is 60% larger than the micro four-thirds camera sensors.

What makes the new Alpha NEX-5 and NEX-3 cameras so cool is that the APS-C sensor continually adjusts focus and exposure while recording video—the first of its kind. The NEX-5 offers Full HD movie capture at (1080i AVCHD and 720p MP4) with Full HD 60i recording. The NEX-3 shoots 720p HD video, saving them as MP4 files.

Features of the cameras include built-in stereo microphones, Sony’s BIONZ processor, and high speed burst of full-res images at up to 7 frames per second. The cameras are also the first to incorporate the Sweep Panorama feature that allows your images to show up to 226° horizontal or 151° vertical field of view. With a firmware update available mid-summer, the cameras will also be able to shoot 3D Sweep Panorama images with a single lens.

Sony Alpha NEX-3

Both camera models feature a 3-inch LCD, that tilt up or down for added flexibility.

Three new E-mount lenses are being introduced with the NEX-5 and NEX-3: the 16mm f/2.8 prime lens, an 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS standard zoom and an 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS zoom.

The cameras come with a super-compact clip-on flash. They also feature dual media card compatibility, accepting both Memory Stick PRO Duo (and Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo) and SD cards, (including SDHC and SDXC formats).

An optional mount adapter—LA-EA1—makes  all 30 of the Alpha family lenses usable on the camera bodies, as well as older legacy A-mount lenses (manually focusing only). Other optional accessories include an ultra wide converter that gives a 12mm view and a Fisheye converter; an optical viewfinder, and stereo microphone. The flash, optical viewfinder and mic all connect to the cameras by the accessory shoe at the top of the camera body.

Sony is shipping the NEX-5A digital in silver and black and NEX-3A digital in silver, black and red as a kit with the 16mm lens (MSRP $650 and $550 respectively); and as a kit with the 18-55mm lens (MSRP $700 and $600 respectively). The camera bodies, accessories and 16mm and 18-55mm lenses will be available in July. The 18-200mm lens will be available in the fall.

(l. to r.) NEX-3 in red, silver NEX-3 with accessory stereo mic, the rear tilting LCD is a feature of both models, the NEX-5 and NEX-3.

For more information, go to www.sony.com.

— Diane Berkenfeld

Adobe Creative Suite 5 NOW SHIPPING

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By Diane Berkenfeld

Adobe (www.adobe.com) announced yesterday that it has begun immediate shipping of the Creative Suite 5 collections and the 15 individual software titles that make up the CS5 Master Collection.

More than 250 new features have been integrated into the Adobe Creative Suite 5 Master Collection. Adobe offers all 15 software titles that make up the CS5 Master Collection individually, as well as in collections designed to incorporate those programs that photographers would need, or graphic designers or web designers. These are: Creative Suite 5 Master Collection [everything but the kitchen sink —Ed.], Creative Suite 5 Design Premium, Creative Suite 5 Design Standard, Creative Suite 5 Web Premium and Creative Suite 5 Production Premium.

Click here to read more about some of the great new features packed into Adobe’s Creative Suite 5.

Look for reviews of Creative Suite 5 programs coming to Picture-soup.com soon!

Canon Expands Rebel line with new DSLR

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Canon U.S.A., today introduced its new flagship model for the company’s popular Rebel DSLR line: the Canon EOS Rebel T2i DSLR. The camera is ideal for the photo enthusiast looking for a camera they can grow into as well as a backup camera for the Canon shooting pro. The Rebel T2i offers 18-megapixels resolution for still images and can also capture full HD video at 1080p.

The Rebel T2i offers a wide range of impressive features including an ISO range of 100-6400 (expandable to 12,800), a 63-zone Dual Layer Metering System, and Canon’s proprietary DIGIC 4 Imaging Processor. For the Rebel T2i, Canon developed a new 18MP CMOS sensor. The camera also offers 3.7 fps continuous shooting for stills, an expanded ± 5 EV exposure compensation range as well as a number of user-selectable Canon image processing features, including tagging of RAW files, and in-camera optimization of JPG files.

Other features include: Canon’s Auto Lighting Optimizer to enhance shadow detail and add contrast to “flat” scenes, Highlight Tone Priority adding up to one stop of detail in bright highlight areas, Peripheral Illumination Correction for automatic correction of vignetting, High ISO Noise Reduction with four user-selectable settings, and Long Exposure Noise Reduction applied to exposures one second or longer.

The camera has a 3-inch LCD. The EOS Rebel T2i Digital SLR camera is the first EOS model to support SDXC memory cards. The camera also incorporates such features that photographers are used to seeing in a Rebel: Live View, a built-in pop-up flash, and the EOS integrated cleaning system, as well as compatibility with Canon EX-series Speedlites and Canon EF and EF-S lenses. The EOS Rebel T2i Digital SLR camera is also compatible with Canon’s new BG-E8 battery grip and new RC-6 wireless remote control for both still images and video capture.

The video capture in the Rebel T2i allows for manual exposure control, selectable frame rates and an external mic input, for added flexibility. Photographers can also capture video in standard definition with the camera. Adding a new pro-level feature for EOS cameras, the Rebel T2i includes an Auto ISO function that works in all Creative Zone exposure modes including Manual where users can set a limit to the highest ISO the camera will use, enabling them to retain the lighting and look they desire for a scene. By setting an Auto ISO range, videographers can retain dark shadow areas and avoid blowing out highlight areas in a scene while still retaining the benefit of automatic ISO adjustments. The Rebel T2i DSLR captures video in both NTSC (US system) and PAL (European system) standards at selectable frame rates.

The camera also features Canon’s new Movie Crop mode, whereby you can get an additional 7x magnification when shooting SD video; this is done by the camera cropping the image directly from the CMOS sensor.

Canon expects to ship the EOS Rebel T2i to dealers in early March. Estimated retail price for the camera, body only is $799.99; and MSRP of $899.99 for the kit version that includes the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS zoom lens. For more information about Canon, check the website at www.cusa.canon.com.