Digital Home Thoughts - News & Reviews for the Digital Home

Be sure to register in our forums and post your comments - we want to hear from you!

Zune Thoughts

Loading feed...

Apple Thoughts

Loading feed...

Laptop Thoughts

Loading feed...

All posts tagged "photo editing"

Thursday, April 7, 2011

ACDSystems Releases ACDSee Pro 4

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Software" @ 09:46 AM

"Take your digital photos to the highest standard. ACDSee Pro 4 will help get you there fast, with all the tools you need for everything you shoot. Manage, view, process and publish your images in one full-featured application. You'll enjoy organized files, achieve stunning visual results, and free up more time to spend behind the camera."

I've been a huge fan of ACDSee for years - I've used every version of their product since the mid '90s - but I have to admit I'm not terribly enthused by this upgrade in their Pro line. The cost of the upgrade for owners of Pro 3 is high; $167.99 for the upgrade (compared to $99 for the Lightroom upgrade for example). When I look at the list of what's new, I don't see many things that make me say "Oh yeah, I've been waiting for that!". Pro 4 offers a better metadata panel, metadata presets, a location-based map view, improved raw rendering and vignette correction, chromatic aberration fixes...and that's about it. There's mention of an HDR feature on the product home page - and I don't think that's in Pro 3 - but the What's New page doesn't mention the HDR feature as being who knows? Read more...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Lifehacker's Guide to Getting the Most Out of Your New Camera

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 02:00 PM

"Whether it takes photos or videos, and whether it fits in the palm of your hand or has interchangeable lenses, you've got a brand new camera to play with. Here's how to get the most out of your great new gift."

Lifehacker has complied a very long guide for those who just got a camera; personally I think it is a bit too long to read in a sitting, but take a look. You never know what might be useful. Oh, and if you did just get a camera, share with us what you got!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Six Reasons Why Adobe Lightroom 3 Should Be in Your Digital Toolkit

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Software" @ 07:00 AM

Back in 2009, I reviewed Lightroom 2 - and gave it a fairly glowing review. I spent a fair bit of time evaluating different raw process solutions back then, and Lightroom 2 was the best one out there. A year and a bit later, Adobe has released version 3 of this software tool and it's only gotten better. All of the basics are still the same, so rather than repeating what I've already covered in my review of v2, I thought I'd cover off some of the things that I like the most about Lightroom 3 ($285.99 USD full version, affiliate). Here they are. Read more...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Enter the Corel PaintShop Photo Pro X3 Ultimate Giveaway

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Events" @ 07:00 PM

Hey everyone - just a quick reminder that our give-away of three copies of PaintShop Photo Pro X3 Ultimate closes tomorrow. Right now there's only a handful of entries, so your odds of winning are quite high. The contest closes tomorrow, so enter now!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Win a Copy of Corel PaintShop Photo Pro X3 Ultimate

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Events" @ 08:00 AM

Last month, Corel released the newest version of their flagship photo editing suite: PaintShop Pro Pro X3 Ultimate. This $99 USD suite has a lot to offer, and new in this version is an enhanced photo organizer, enhanced raw support, easier batch processing, improved multi-core and multi-threading support for faster performance, new and improved tools (Smart Carver, Vibrancy, Object Extractor, On-Image Text Editing), HD video slideshows - and bonus tools like Corel Painter Photo Essentials 4 and Kai's Power Tools Filters. Anyone else remember Kai's Power Tools? I have some seriously fond memories of that software...

The kind people at Corel have offered me three copies of this $99 USD software bundle to give away - if you win, you'll get a digital download version of the software. So how can you win? Post a reply telling me what you're using now for photo editing, and how Corel PaintShop Photo Pro X3 Ultimate would be better than what you have now - tell me which feature(s) you're looking forward to using. Check out the list of features and well me what catches your eye. That's it!

I'll randomly select three posts on October the 13th at noon (GMT -7), so make sure to have your post finished before then. One post per person, and the contest is open to anyone in the world. Have fun!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Speedy Workflow Tips

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 10:00 AM

"I often envy photographers who shoot for fun and don’t have the pressure of clients waiting for their images. Not only can they take as much time as they like to review and process their images, but they can also play with the latest Photoshop actions and generally experiment with postproduction techniques. Unfortunately, that’s not so viable if you’re running a photography business where time is money. In my day-to-day life as a wedding photographer, it’s vital for me to stay on top of things so I don’t get left behind with a backlog of post-production work. Over the years, I’ve developed an efficient workflow that helps me to process my images quickly, while keep the quality level high."

PhotographyBLOG has an article on how to get an efficient workflow up and running. While I am perfectly happy with my current workflow for now, I also am a much lower volume shooter than most. I think most people in their second or third year of shooting will likely find themselves starting to get overwhelmed by how to store, keep, and process their photos. Not helping is the fact that most of the good tools are not cheap. Lightroom is about $300, and there are few competitors to it. I've learnt that some of my friends just dump everything into the "My Pictures" folder, and use the built-in Windows Picture Viewer to sort things out... not the best way to do things!

Friday, February 12, 2010

DxO Optics Pro 6 Elite Reviewed

Posted by Matthew Shanks in "Digital Home Software" @ 07:00 AM

Product Category: Digital Photograph Enhancement Software
Manufacturer: DxO Image Science
Where to Buy:
Price: $299 USD (Elite), $169 USD (Standard)
System Requirements: 2 GB RAM minimum, 400MB space, Intel Pentium 4 or AMD equivalent processor, Windows XP, Vista 32 or 64 bit, Windows 7
Specifications: Version 6.1.1


  • Automatic or fully customizable processing of batches or individual digital photographs;
  • Excellent noise reduction, optical fault and geometry correction;
  • Powerful, customizable and user-friendly;
  • Integrates well with Adobe Lightroom;
  • Comprehensive and easy to understand manual.


  • No searchable help functionality;
  • Manual only available through support website, rather than within software;
  • Large output file sizes in TIF and DNG formats;
  • Some corrections not visible at zoom levels below 75%;
  • Exposure compensation data not available in EXIF palette.

Summary: DxO Optics Pro 6 is a powerful software package for digital photographers looking to apply automatic and quick processing to batches or individual photographs. It excels in noise reduction of high ISO RAW images, optical fault and geometry correction, and integrates well with Adobe Lightroom. I was impressed with the software's performance and recommend it as a standalone program or integrated with Lightroom, especially for those photographers now using new high ISO digital cameras. Read more...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

ACDSee Pro 3 Released: More Speed, Better Workflow

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Software" @ 03:52 PM

"ACD Systems International Inc. today unveiled ACDSeeTM Pro 3, a new version of its leading digital image management software that retains the same fast and flexible features photographers rely upon and incorporates an enhanced user experience that delivers professional level workflow tools at a tremendous value. ACDSee Pro 3 builds on its reputation as a leading viewer, browser and organizer with new advanced speed capabilities in the editing and online stages. For example, the program's unique process mode integrates two highly prized features - nondestructive image editing and precise pixel-level editing - into one seamless application."

I've been a long-time fan of ACDSee, in all its variations, and it's always one of the first five applications I install on any new computer I'm using. It's really fast, really stable, really useful software. Version 3 of their Pro line brings with it some user-interface changes, and a bunch of improvements when it comes to raw photo processing. I'm a big fan of Adobe Lightroom, but I'll have to take ACDSee Pro 3 for a spin with some raw photos and see how it does. About once a year I email the nice people at ACD Systems and make some feature requests...I'll have to see if any of them made it into this product. Probably not, but a guy can dream, right?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Adobe Releases Photoshop Elements 8 and Premiere Elements 8

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Software" @ 11:36 AM

"Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 & Adobe Premiere Elements 8 software gives you power and ease of use so you can do some amazing storytelling with photos and videos. Create extraordinary photos and incredible movies, and use them together in cinematic slide shows and more."

Another year, another version of Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements. It still feels like v7 of both products are "new" to me, but Adobe has locked into a yearly release cycle for both these products so I shouldn't be surprised. I'm a big fan of Photoshop Elements and use it daily. I happen to believe that a large number of people using Photoshop really don't need it, and encourage people to give Photoshop Elements a try whenever I can - it's a very capable program that can do everything most people need to do. There's certainly a place for the full-fledged version of Photoshop in the marketplace, but I think people buy into the "I need to have Photoshop, nothing else will do" a little too often.

Premiere Elements? I have mixed feelings about this program. On the one hand, it's delightfully easy to use - everything is fairly intuitive about it, and after having used it for a few years I can work really quickly with it. The down-side is that, in general, it's not a very stable program. Prior to v7, I'd describe it as "crash happy". Things got much better with v7, but I still had trouble with it on a fairly frequent basis. What boggles the mind is that Adobe seems to be the only company in the world that never releases software patches or updates for their Elements line - they don't fix bugs, or address new codecs, they just release a new version and presumably fix the problem in the new version. As an example, Premiere Elements 7 chokes on the AVCHD Lite files from my Panasonic DMC-ZS3 camera. Is there going to be an update to fix this problem? Nope. Will it work properly in v8? Yes, it's likely that it will. So I'll very likely give v8 a try and hope that things get better with it again...

Friday, September 25, 2009

Google Responds to Picasa 3.5 Face Tagging Complaints

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Software" @ 11:04 AM

When I posted about Picasa 3.5's new face recognition feature, the discussion that ensued quickly turned to the fact that Google implemented this feature in a way that severely limits its usefulness. Here's what I said in the Google Picasa Help Forum:

"I absolutely LOVE the way that I can tag faces - Google's technology is really great here - but the fact that the face information isn't saved into the file itself makes this new feature totally useless for a large number of people.

Like many people, I have more than one computer. And like anyone with more than one computer, I want to have all my pictures on all my computers. I use Windows Live Sync to keep my 18,000+ photos in sync across all my computers. I was THRILLED when I saw the face recognition technology in Picasa 3.5, but crushed when I saw how it was implemented. If it was only data stored in the picasa.ini file, I could live with that limitation since the picasa.ini files get synced across my computers. But it's implemented in a combination of picasa.ini files and the Picasa database, so there seems to be ZERO way to make this feature work with a multi-computer system. There might not be appropriate EXIF/IPTC fields for Google to implement this fully inside each photo, but why not make it all part of the picasa.ini files at worst?

And because of that, I'm not going to use this new feature - even though I really want to. Come on Google, you know that more and more people own more than one computer - why design a feature that's limited to people with only a single computer."

There are dozens of other comments from people who are finding the same sort of fault with the implementation of this feature. Google, amazingly, is listening - seriously, it's virtually impossible for me to get a response out of Google for anything, ever - and here's what one of the Picasa team members (I presume that's who this guy is) had to say. Read more...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

ACD Systems Releases ACDSee Photo Manager 2009

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Software" @ 12:20 PM

"ACD Systems International Inc. today today unveiled ACDSee Photo Manager 2009, the latest version of its powerful digital organization and photo sharing software designed especially for avid amateur photographers, scrapbookers and crafters. Improved features combine to make ACDSee Photo Manager 2009 the quickest, most flexible and affordably priced organization software available for at-home use. Users enjoy real-time viewing, management and editing of multiple image files, whether they be treasured family photos or digital design elements for creative projects."

It seems like ACDSee 10 was just released, but here we have a new version of the venerable image management program - and it looks like calling it ACDSee 11 wasn't in the cards, so meet ACDSee Photo Manager 2009. It doesn't quite roll off the tongue, but it's a more descriptive name for a very useful product. I use the Pro version of the software (now at version 2.5) but the core functionality is very similar: I use ACDSee every day to view, edit, and resize images. In the time it takes Photoshop Elements 6 to start up, I can open, resize, and save an image using ACDSee. The batch tools are also invaluable when it comes to re-naming groups of files, altering metadata informaton, and many other functions. This is definitely very useful software, and well worth the $49.99 USD asking price.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Adobe Photoshop CS4 Released

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Software" @ 08:26 PM

Adobe, the 800-pound gorilla in the graphics world, has released a new version of their flagship product, Photoshop. I have to admit that since I haven't used Photoshop since version 6.0, I'm not particularly excited about this - but there are a lot of new features, and if you're a Photoshop junkie, this release will probably get you excited. The "content aware scaling" feature looks really cool - this is the commercialized version of some work I saw a year or so ago.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Ars Technica Reviews Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 08:00 PM

"While some of the new things in 2.0 are tweaks that you'd expect in a second-revision product, Lightroom also supports some significant additions that aim to raise the feature bar for RAW image processing. The much-touted localized adjustments feature, which attempts to bring some Photoshop-level control to RAW image processing, is headlining this release's feature set. Lossless RAW image editing is a bit of a holy grail for digital image processing, so the more granular control we're given over RAW images, the closer we'll be to that digital imaging grail. But Lightroom 2.0 isn't just about localized edits-there are a lot of other additions that warrant a closer look."

Ars Technica wasted no time in getting their review of Lightroom 2 out the door - I'm waiting for my copy to arrive from Adobe, then I'll be taking it for a spin. If there are three words to describe the changes in 2.0, it seems "more like Photoshop" would be a good fit. They've adding masking tools to allow you to make selections, then alter those selections. So if you're processing a RAW file and you want to boost the exposure only in the sky, you can do that. That has some powerful possibilities, so I'm looking forward to seeing what I can do with the new version of Lightroom. I'm also looking forward to (hopefully) the bug fixes they put into 2.0. Version 1.4.1 still has bugs around something as simple as deleting an image. Let's hope 2.0 can do what 1.x hasn't managed to do: not frustrate me every five minutes. Call me an optimist, but I have high hopes!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Adobe Releases Photoshop Elements 7 and Premiere Elements 7

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Software" @ 01:00 AM

"New Adobe® Photoshop® Elements 7 & Adobe Premiere® Elements 7 software with Plus** membership combines two powerful yet easy-to-use products, so you can do so much more with your photos and videos. Easily create extraordinary photos and incredible movies, use them together in cinematic slide shows and other creations, and stay connected with your favorite people and memories."

Photoshop Elements is a superb program, and provides most of the photo editing needs for beginner to enthusiast users - a good number of people that dish out the megabucks for Photoshop CS3 would be well served by Photoshop Elements. It's a bit hard to decode exactly what's new, but looking at this page, I'd say they've added the ability to combine a mask with a paint effect - they're calling it Adobe Smart Brush. Might be dodging and burning on steroids? The description is pretty vague. They have Adobe Photomerge as well, which allows you to combine several near-identical photos to get the best parts of each one. It's listed as "new" but this feature is in Photoshop Elements 6, so Adobe calling it new is confusing. Adobe really needs to come up with a better list of what's new and what's not - they can look to Ulead for how it should be done.

One of the new features of this software, and seemingly what they put most of their efforts into, is actually a software service: Plus. If you sign up for the yearly service, you get template updates, 20 GB of online storage for your photos and videos, online album sharing, and the rather-vague-sounding "access your photos and videos from anywhere". Read more...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Sharpen Your Images - Unsharp Mask Explained

Posted by Suhit Gupta in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 04:00 AM

"You never had to sharpen your photos when you were using film, so why do digital photos need it? Because film and digital cameras record images differently, young padawan. Read on... Digital cameras have a fixed grid of pixels, each of which can only capture one color or shade at a time. Say you take a picture that has a sharp edge between black and white. The razor-thin boundary of that edge would look half black and half white to the human eye. But the single pixel that records that hairline edge can only record one color, so it renders it as gray. What we think of as sharpness is actually the contrast we see between different colors. A quick transition from black to white looks sharp. A gradual transition from black to gray to white looks blurry. So when we look at the picture you just took of that sharp black & white edge, the gray pixels along the edge will make the photo look blurry."

I must agree with this article in that the idea of sharpening a blurry image just seemed more frustrating to me than useful. I don't think I have ever gotten a blurry image sharp enough where I was satisfied with the reduction in blur without increasing the noise in the image to a point of intolerance. So my alternatives have either involved being more aggressive about deleting blurry images as I see them or since my DSLR (as do most other cameras) takes fairly high resolution images, just reducing the size of the image. I find that the sampling algorithms when reducing the size of the images work far better at hiding the blur in images than just plain sharpening. Having said that, it is not like I have given up or anything like that, so I am going to try what this article recommends.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Age Your Photographs

Posted by Suhit Gupta in "Digital Home Software" @ 07:00 AM

"The Japanese have gotten hold of a time machine. We knew it would happen sooner or later. The weird thing is, this time machine only works on photographs. You feed it a sharp modern photo, and it comes back to you looking like it was taken sixty years ago. Maybe it came from The Future! Or Outer Space! Or the Underground Lair of the Mole People (yikes)! We don’t know because, well, we can’t read Japanese. All we know is, if you click “browse”, upload a photo, and then click on the blue button in the middle, the time machine magically oldifies your picture. It might also summon an army of cranky Mole People, we’re not sure."

You can look at a lot more pictures here, though the site is a bit slow (and in Japanese). But a cool photo editing result. I don't know how often I would use this though. I remember being totally excited the first time I discovered Sepia where I could give photographs that 60's or 70's feel but after the novelty wore off, I never used it again. So I wonder why I would want to make photographs look even older?

Featured Product

The Canon PowerShot S100 - The incredibly fun and small camera that offers you 12.1 megapixels with a bright f/2.0 lens and full 1080p video recording . MORE INFO

News Tip or Feedback?

Contact us

Thoughts Media Sites

Windows Phone Thoughts

Digital Home Thoughts

Zune Thoughts

Apple Thoughts

Laptop Thoughts

Android Thoughts

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...