Photoshop CS3 for Mac is still your top choice if you're serious about image editing. Loaded with features for color-correction, photo enhancements, filters, effects, and layer management, Photoshop is the pro-level image-editing software to measure all others by. If you'd like a closer look at some of the features Photoshop CS3 has to offer, check out our First Look video to see if you're ready to download the trial.
Cooliris for Firefox (formerly PicLens) is an add-on for Firefox that makes viewing images much more elegant and fun. Once installed, you can simply perform a search for images at a Cooliris-enabled site--like Google, Flikr, or Amazon--to bring up a full-screen 3D wall of results. Grab the bar at the bottom to watch your wall of results scroll by smoothly on your screen. When you find an image or movie you like, click on it to get a larger view. Cooliris also lets you search from within the interface by category or by site with its Discovery tools.
For more … Read more
My coworker Lori Grunin already covered Canon's announcement of its $1,400 mid-range EOS 50D SLR, but as somebody who's in the market for a new SLR, I thought I'd weigh in with some thoughts of my own. I'm glad Canon is investing where perhaps it counts most: the sensor. If the reviews look good, this will be the first time I've really been tempted to upgrade from my well-used Canon Rebel XT.
When it ships in October, the 50D will sport a 15.1 megapixel sensor, up from 10.1 megapixels in the current 40D. The increase in megapixels is nice for the poster-print and microstock-sales crowds, but what's most notable is the increase of the top ISO from 3,200 to 12,800.
That means Canon has done some serious work to cut down on the noise levels inside the sensor, which bodes well for image quality not just at the new extremes but also at more ordinary sensitivity settings. ISO 3,200, for example, is now part of the ordinary range, not the extended range that must be manually enabled before it's available. Canon hit some sweet spots in sensor design, for example with its earlier 20D and the full-frame 5D, and the 50D holds the potential of being another model that balances megapixels with low noise and accurate color.
Canon attributes the advance to "newly designed gapless microlenses over each pixel to reduce noise." Microlenses gather light for the light-sensitive part of the image sensor, compensating for surface area occupied by other electronics. Gapless microlenses presumably stretch across the entire pixel width. Perhaps this technology will also help out whatever model will succeed Canon's 5D, my other obvious upgrade path but one that likely would require spending twice the price for the camera body and that would require me to shell out another few hundred dollars for a new wide-angle lens to support the full-frame sensor size.
Fending off Nikon Higher sensitivity is important for Canon. It's been losing market share to Nikon, which has pushed high sensitivity as an advantage, though with lower megapixel counts. The full-frame sensors on Nikon's D3 and D700 can reach ISO 25,600, though reaching that level was made easier through a sensor design that emphasizes a smaller number of larger pixels. … Read more
Is Hasselblad feeling some pressure from the more plebian realm of 35mm SLR cameras?
That's the thought I had when I got a promotional e-mail from the high-end camera maker offering a 31-megapixel H3D-II and an 80mm lens for $17,995--a lower price, the company is eager to note. The tagline of the promotion: "If you thought you couldn't afford a Hasselblad, think again."
Those of you who aren't photographers for Vogue advertisers or astronauts taking snapshots of the moon might not be familiar with the Hasselblad name, but it's a prestigious brand … Read more
Why spend big bucks on graphics software when you can get many, if not most, of the same features from freeware? Here are three mui-expensive graphics apps and their free counterparts:Adobe Illustrator Available for Windows only, Creative Docs .NET (yeah, weird name) is a vector-based graphic design tool for creating illustrations, manuals, flow charts, icons, and the like. It offers advanced features like Bezier curves, styles, convert-to-curves, and curved-path text. Adobe Photoshop You've actually got two choices here: GIMP, which is available for all platforms, and Paint.NET, which is Windows-only. Both programs offer powerful, Photoshop-caliber image-editing tools, … Read more
Do you want a simple way to bring life to your photos? Photo to Movie is a fairly basic concept which adds drama to average photographs. Once you have your chosen photo, use the intuitive tool set to choose your starting and ending frames to create a camera path across the image. The end result is a slow motion pan across a photograph or several photographs, making for excellent slide shows with extremely smooth animations. You can even add music to make it more dramatic. If you're looking for a way to make a photo DVD, a personalized screensaver, … Read more
Fiber-optic technology has long helped doctors get at problems in a patient's body without having to resort to major surgery. But for all the technological wonder of being able to see deep inside the body through a tiny tube, the view has been largely limited to the typical two-dimensional rendering of a TV or computer screen.
Now, however, surgeons are able to make use of 3D imaging--best known as a sometime Hollywood special effect--for delicate procedures such as removing tumors from the brain. One such surgeon is Dr. Theodore Schwartz of the Weill-Cornell Medical Center in New York, … Read more
With Adobe Systems' release of version 2 of its Photoshop Lightroom on Monday night, the company no doubt hopes customers will be drawn by a number of new features in the software for sorting, cataloging, and editing photos.
But the company believes an external factor will also help the software: the booming sales of high-end SLR cameras. These high-end models are helping usher in many of digital photography's biggest changes, and Adobe is trying to intercept the trend with Lightroom.
From 2007 to 2008, digital SLR shipments increased a dramatic 41 percent to 7.5 million units, according to market researcher IDC. And though plenty of those cameras went to gadget-happy doctors or to snapshooters who won't exploit the cameras' full features, plenty of others went to the photography enthusiasts at whom Lightroom is aimed.
"Prices are coming down, so more people with entry-level SLRs are experimenting," said Tom Hogarty, the Adobe senior product manager in charge of Lightroom. "If you pick up the camera for the sake of creating an artistic thing and not just recording a family event, you've really taken the plunge into serious photography. Anyone at that level is an ideal Lightroom customer."
One significant feature common to SLRs is the ability to shoot "raw" photos--the images taken directly from the image sensors without the camera baking in its own assumptions about what's right.… Read more
Earlier in the week we posted a review of the JVC Everio GZ-MG330, a good, basic compact camcorder with a 30GB hard disk drive (HDD) for recording anywhere from around 7 hours to nearly 40 hours of digital video, depending on quality mode. We're also currently testing the Sony Handycam DCR-SR45 that similarly offers copious recording times on a 30GB hard drive (check Crave on Monday for a testing update). Both models also come in step-up versions with 60GB capacities. More storage space, especially in the case of fixed-media camcorders, is great since it means longer recording times.
However, … Read more
JAlbum for Windows and Mac users is a long-time favorite free Web album generator. There's no wizard to direct you through the process, but a quick look through the menus will be enough to get you started creating image collections online.
To begin, specify the original image folder, set the album-destination folder, select the images, and generate the album--it's really not more complicated than that. Using the integrated FTP client, you can upload your album to your Web site or you can use the integrated Web server to serve your album from your computer. The JAlbum site also … Read more