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All posts tagged "photo editing software"

Thursday, September 15, 2011

PhotographyBLOG Reviews Cyberlink PhotoDirector

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Software" @ 10:30 AM

"Cyberlink PhotoDirector is a stand alone photographic work flow tool designed to make editing and storing pictures a lot easier. Using powerful tools such as native RAW conversion for Canon and Nikon cameras, regional adjustments and non-destructive editing, PhotoDirector should be able to speed up your time sat in front of a computer to allow more time to get out and take pictures. After all, that's what photography is all about. Cyberlink PhotoDirector costs around £80 / $100 for the 2011 edition."

We have highlighted Cyberlinke's PhotoDirector previously, and here is a review on it. I personally love that Cyberlink took the trouble to implement Nikon and Canon's SDK, giving me the right colours from my Nikon DSLRs. Adobe Camera RAW is such a mess in that regard. I just wish it would handle larger libraries better; it does not like my current library of just 10,000 photos very much. Still, at US$100, it is a great alternative to Adobe's Lightroom, which costs quite a bit more than that!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Adobe Releases Lightroom 3.5 and Adobe Camera Raw 6.5 Release Candidates

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Software" @ 11:40 AM

For Lightroom and Photoshop users, the release candidates for Lightroom 3.5 and Adobe Camera Raw 6.5 are out. Updates adds a number of cameras (including the newest Olympus and Panasonic cameras), as well as lens profiles. Check it out if you're on an Adobe workflow.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Cyberlink Offers a PhotoDirector 2011 Beta Special

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Software" @ 11:30 AM

Cyberlink is having an offer on Photodirector 2011, their latest photo worflow and editing software, as shown in the above image. The interesting thing about is that Cyberlink claims to match the look derived from Nikon and Canon RAW processing software, which is a reason why I still use Nikon Capture NX2, despite its general slowness and crash-happy temperament. I have downloaded it and my first impressions are that it seems to be a little slow in browsing a library of 12,000 images, but it could well still be indexing the thumbnails. Anyone care to give it a spin and see if the image quality lives up to its promise?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Repair Damage Scanned Photographs in Photo Editing Software

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 09:30 AM

"Old photographs seem to collect dirt, scratches, and bad textures as they collect dust in shoeboxes and photo albums. If you’ve taken the task of scanning them, but have found damage and scratches, here’s how to fix them."

If you need to repair a few scanned photographs, here is a guide on how to do it. In addition to Photoshop, the guide also offers references to and GIMP, which is useful for those who do not have Photoshop. However, if you have a lot more than a handful of photos to repair, I suggest looking for a flatbed scanner with Digital ICE technology. The extra time needed to scan with ICE will be a lot lot less than the time spent touching up, even if you have to make minor corrections to catch the damage ICE missed out after the scan.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Viovio Photo Books Reviewed: Free Your Photos!

Posted by Eric Juillerat in "Digital Home Printing" @ 08:00 AM

Product Category: Photo Books and Printing
Manufacturer: VIOVIO
Where to Buy: VIOVIO
Price: $5.99 USD and up (varies)
System Requirements: Internet Browser, Laptop or Desktop computer
Specifications: N/A


  • Massive library of templates;
  • Excellent customer support;
  • Impressive printing and pricing options.
  • Internet based application can be slow;
  • May not be compatible with some browser plugins;
  • Finished project may not have the printing option you want.

Summary: Am I the only one who has gigabytes of photographs gathering digital dust on my hard drive? I'm not, right? And why? Because ink and photo paper is expensive, and it would take me forever to print them out! And then what? Invite the family over for a sit-down where you pass one photo hand-over-hand to the person on your right, over and over? No, no, this can't go on, and that's exactly what went through the brilliant minds over at Viovio. What if you could pick up a book, and inside have your photos displayed on high quality photo paper? And what if it had interesting notes and text, amid a visual playground that didn't just display your photos, but presented them? Viovio turns Family-Vacation-Photo-Night into an upper scale gala, thick with praise and hyperbole, but more importantly with love. And speaking of love, hidden in this review is a 20% off coupon for you to use! Read more...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Poll Time! Do You Use Your Camera's Internal Software?

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 06:03 AM

Nowadays, as cameras are so common and commoditised, it is getting harder and harder to differentiate them. One way for camera manufacturers to do this is to add more functions to the camera's internal software. Olympus is a prominent example with their fancy Art Filters, but they are not the only one. Sony's Sweep Panorama is another (with similar features appearing in other manufacturer's cameras), as is Canon's lineup of fake shallow tilt photography and other fun stuff like Colour Swap and Colour Highlight. As someone who prefers to have more control over the image, I never touch these options, but not everyone wants to spend the time over their images. As CES 2011 and CP+ 2011 brings even more features across a large range of anonymous budget cameras, I wonder, does anyone else actually use them? Answer in the poll below!

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!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

piRAWnha Processes RAW Images on iPad; Fills Your Pun Quota for the Next Decade

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Software" @ 02:00 PM

"piRAWnha is the first RAW image developer for the iPad. In piRAWnha, the raw data can be edited and once the settings have been optimized, a high‐quality JPEG image file can be exported to the Photo Library. Currently, piRAWnha supports raw images transferred to the iPad with the Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit. piRAWnha works with all raw files supported by Apple."

The iPad's IPS screen makes it a natural fit in the photographer's bag. Upon the iPad's announcement most photographers saw its potential as a portable electronic portfolio. Others have since used it for a second monitor for photo editing on the notebook while out in the field. Now there is an app to process raw images on the iPad. Besides the awful pun, I am just curious if anyone would really want to use the iPad to process anywhere from 12 megapixel to 24 megapixel raw images.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

ACDSee Pro 4 Beta Open to the Public

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

"We invite you to participate in the ACDSee Pro 4 public Beta program and have your say in the development of the next version of ACDSee Pro, the software application that helps professional and advanced amateur photographers accelerate their workflow from beginning to end. Preview Pro 4's improved metadata management, enhanced processing technology that will bring out the best in your RAW and other image files, and the new Map feature that allows you to add location information to photos, and view photos by location."

Like beta testing? Have a bunch of photos you'd like to work with? Then the ACDSee Pro 4 beta might be just the ticket. They're adding some interesting new features, including mapping, enhanced metadata management, and better raw processing. I see ACDSee Pro constantly, but the features I'd like to see added are, I guess, just too "quirky" to ever make it into the product. One example: quite often, the last photo at an event or location that I take is really what I want to be the first of a set. The restaurant sign, the sign for the park I just walked through, etc. I seem to miss those things on the way in to a place, and all I want is a one-click way - or even a drag and drop method - to change all EXIF/file time stamps at once to be just prior to the first photo I took. Think of it as a time machine for photos. I can do this now of course, but it requires changing, at minimum, three EXIF fields. I'd find a feature like that to be quite useful - would you?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Artensoft Photo Mosaic Wizard, or: View ALL of Your Photos in One Big Picture!

Posted by Reid Kistler in "Digital Home Software" @ 07:00 PM

"Artensoft today [Aug 31, 2010] introduced Artensoft Photo Mosaic Wizard 1.0, a software tool specifically designed to let anyone create a mosaic picture from hundreds of smaller tile images. The program offers a simple wizard-driven interface that allows the beginner to create the first photo mosaic project in a few minutes, without opening a manual."

The good folks at Photography Blog picked up on Artensoft's press release for their new "Photo Mosaic Wizard 1.0," which joins their existing "Photo Editor" application, both of which are intended to combine power and ease-of-use at reasonable prices ($49.95 each, USD, for non-commercial use). The Mosaic Wizard looks like it could be a lot of fun to play with, although no mention is made of how long it might take to assemble a complete work, which may well be very large, as the more photos you start with the better the resulting mosaic will look. For example, the picture on the left above was assembled from 500 "pieces," whereas the one on the right used 2000 pieces - and ended up at 11600x10000 pixels and a 17Mb file size! Fortunately, Artensoft provides a trial version of each of application, so you test them out for yourself, as well as a Gallery of mosaic samples.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Adobe Ups Its Photoshopping Game

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 12:00 PM

"While registering for a free account is a requirement for storing photos online, creating and sharing galleries and albums, the Photoshop Express Editor no longer requires registration, which means the online editor is available to anyone who visits The Editor also now supports the ability to upload directly from a hard drive, apply edits, filters and effects and save the results back to the hard drive, without ever replacing the original."

The bread and butter of Adobe is not sitting still in this technological landscape. Web applications is what everyone is into, and while has been around for a while, it has been updated, and without registration, it is open to everyone! Of course, the features supported by Photoshop Express Editor is not in the same league with its old grand-daddy, but still quite handy for those who want an easy way to do touch-ups and have Flash on their computer. While I personally prefer to tools and responsiveness of an installed program, after trying out Express for a while, I can see this fitting the needs of a casual user. Anyone sold on

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Topaz Labs DeNoise 4.1 Review: A New Generation of Noise Reduction Software

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Software" @ 07:00 AM

Product Category: Noise Reduction Software
Manufacturer: Topaz Labs
Where to Buy: Topaz Labs Online Store
Price: $79.99
Requirements: Macs: Intel-based Macs with OS 10.4, 10.5 or 10.6 (Topaz is NOT compatible with PowerPC processors - like G4 or G5). 1 GB RAM minimum. Adobe Photoshop CS3-CS5, Adobe Photoshop Elements 6- 8. Apple Aperture 2 and 3, Lightroom 2 and 3, and iPhoto now supported via Topaz Fusion Express on OS 10.5 or higher.
Windows: Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit). 1 GB RAM minimum. Adobe Photoshop 7-CS5, Adobe Photoshop Elements 1-8, or another editor that supports Photoshop plug-ins. These include: Irfanview, PaintShop Pro, etc.


  • Good quality noise reduction; on par or exceeds previous generation software;
  • Easy-to-use interface.


  • Slow; really slow;
  • Settings can produce somewhat inconsistent results.

Summary: Noise reduction software is not entirely new; back in 2003 I first heard about Neat Image, and for a period it was Neat Image vs. Noise Ninja. Now, a new generation of products has arrived, and Topaz Lab's DeNoise 4.1 leads the pack. How does it do against an old stalwart like Noise Ninja? Read on!


Monday, June 21, 2010

PhotographyBLOG Reviews Adobe Lightroom 3

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Software" @ 11:00 AM

"Close on the heels of Adobe's release of Photoshop CS5, Lightroom 3.0 is now available. Lightroom, unlike Photoshop, is built from the ground up for photography and the unique workflow that we have as digital photographers. Rather than dealing with 3D, vector graphics, and other general graphics tasks that aren't of interest to most of us, Lightroom distills the features down to what is important - image management and optimization. While Lightroom 2 is a popular option for many, the latest release adds some new features that improve the overall workflow and quality of output."

PhotographyBLOG takes a spin at the latest incarnation of Lightroom, and gives it the thumbs up. The main attraction of Lightroom for me is its DAM (Digital Asset Management) capabilities, though currently it's still weak at handling video files, if you're a hybrid user.

For me, I'm still waiting for Nikon to make a Capture Plugin for Photoshop/Lightroom. That's combining the best of both worlds: Capture's better image quality with Adobe's better and more universal workflow.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Adobe Releases Lightroom 3

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Software" @ 10:43 PM

"Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced the immediate availability of Adobe(r) Photoshop(r) Lightroom(r) 3 software for Windows(r) and Macintosh, the essential digital photography workflow solution that allows photographers to quickly organize, enhance and showcase their images from one application. First released as a public beta in October 2009, the final version of Lightroom 3 introduces a completely redesigned performance architecture that better handles growing image libraries and provides an unrivaled raw processing engine with noise reduction and sharpening tools to achieve the highest image quality. The 64-bit capable Lightroom 3 includes new features that optimize workflows and allow images to be shared in creative ways, including support for DSLR video files and tethered shooting on select cameras."

After public betas for eight months, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 is ready to go. I've played with the public beta, but only here and there, and on an HP dv2, a woefully underpowered laptop for raw photo editing. Overall, I liked what I saw - did you have a chance to check out the beta? What did you think of it, and what are your favourite new features?

The remainder of the press release is after the break. Read more...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

ACDSee Photo Manager 12 Released

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Software" @ 07:30 PM

"A new decade brings new and powerful features to ACDSee Photo Manager 12, the latest version of ACD Systems International Inc.'s easy-to-use photo software designed for people who need speed and flexibility when managing their photos and creative projects. ACDSee Photo Manager 12 helps users quickly and affordably stay organized and share their growing number of digital images and priceless memories. In this new version, photos and personalized artwork can easily be stored online and turned into posts on the leading social media network, Facebook."

ACDSee, my all-time favourite image management tool, has been updated to version 12. In terms of big changes, there's a 2 GB storage account that users receive access to; it allows them to share photos, give others access to original-resolution images, etc. There's an improved user interface - that's always been a bit of a weakness with the program - and the ability to resize and transfer images via FTP. I have to admit, nothing on that list really jumps out at me as being "Wow, I've got to have that!". Things that would excite me in a future version of ACDSee are anything that would save me time or save me from having to use other applications. Read more...

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Windows Live Helps You Share Memories

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 07:00 AM

"These trends remind us that even with tens of billions of photos being stored on social networking and photo sharing sites, there are hundreds of billions more photos and videos sitting on hard drives around the world. Infotrends reports as many as 210 billion photos on PC hard drives in the US alone."

Digital media has helped everyone preserve their memories much more easily. From digital cameras to camcorders to camera phones, there is a lot of media out there. The folks at Windows Live realize this and have developed a lot of tools to help you tweak and share this media. With all the options available, it is good to see Microsoft keeping current with the competition. What I am impressed with is that, there is actually enough storage either at home, or in the cloud, to handle all of our memories and then some! It almost makes me think one would never have to do anything like cleaning up our computers.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Adobe Releases Lightroom 3 Beta 2

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Software" @ 12:50 AM

"New features in this release include tethered shooting support for select Nikon and Canon cameras, the ability to import and manage video files from DSLR cameras for a streamlined workflow and additional behind-the-scenes architecture enhancements for faster importing and loading of images. The addition of luminance noise reduction to the color noise reduction options already available in the beta helps photographers achieve overall exceptional image quality from high ISO images. The import experience and watermarking functionality have also been modified to reflect feedback received from the Lightroom community during the first beta period."

Anyone using the Lightroom 3 beta? I'm toying around with it on one of my laptops, but it's a sadly underpowered 1.6 Ghz AMD Neo processor that is pretty awful at keeping up with Lightroom - I'm still using Lightroom 2.0 on my main media editing computer. Lightroom 3.0 brings some pretty cool things to the table - I like that it's able to import and manage video files now. It's a hassle to insert a memory card, import the photos using Lightroom, then have to manually dig to get the video files. I don't expect Lightroom to help me edit the video files, but I do expect it to at least import them for me. Looks like Lightroom 3.0 is shaping up to be a winner!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

CyberLink Media Suite 8 Ultra Review

Posted by Reid Kistler in "Digital Home Software" @ 03:30 PM,281...,2361195,00.asp

"CyberLink's latest media playing and editing suite gets not only a new name - switched from DVD Suite to Media Suite - but also, for the first time, a sound editor. It's also been updated with a spiffy new starter interface and Blu-ray playback in its Ultra version. These updates, along with the suite's excellent video editing, graphics card acceleration for faster performance, and a consistent modern UI across all modules, keep CyberLink at the top of the media editing and playing pile." has awarded CyberLink's Media Suite 8 Ultra an "Editor's Choice" award in the Media Playing and Editing Suite category. Although they tested the high-end "Ultra" version, Media Suite 8 is also available in "Pro" and "Centra" versions, all of which feature an impressive array of features, with list prices ranging from $130 down to $80. The review is worth reading not only for the overall comparison between Media Suite and its main "suite" competition, but also for the references it makes to other applications - commercial as well as free - that might handle particular tasks better than the suite does. Which, of course, raises a question: do you use / prefer a "Suite," such as CyberLink, Roxio, or Nero, or do you prefer individual applications which are targeted to specific tasks?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Photoshop Elements 8 DRM: No Third Install for You!

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Talk" @ 01:00 PM

The above screen shot was taken yesterday when I fired up Photoshop Elements 8 [affiliate] on my media editing computer. I was surprised to see this warning about the serial number conflict, because I tend to install most of my software on two or three of my computers and most software developers don't put heavy-handed license activation on their consumer-level products (unlike Photoshop for instance). I think most software (other than operating systems of course) licensing should be on a per-user basis rather than a per-computer basis, so I really appreciate software developers that allow for two or three installs right in the EULA, and when they don't use activation - mostly because activation tends to be fraught with problems. Read more...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Aviary Web-Based Image Editing Now Free

Posted by Reid Kistler in "Digital Home Software" @ 05:00 AM

"Aviary, the cool web-based suite of image editing tools -- and more -- now costs nothing to use. Thanks to a new round of funding, full access to the web apps with the funky bird names no longer costs $24.99."

Jay Hathaway, at, picked up on Aviary's new status ("Free!") from TechCrunch, and both sites compare Aviary favorably with Adobe's web version of Photoshop. A visit to Aviary's website shows a number of available tools, most of which are shown in the menu capture above, along with many samples of work done using these, over 70 tutorials, an active community, and a regularly updated blog. Registration was easy, and provided essentially immediate access to the tools. The couple of tools I sampled seem well presented, with apparently powerful options, but - at least for myself - these would require a fair amount of tutorial time to learn how to properly use. I will stick with Photoshop Elements and for the time being, but if you like playing around with images, Aviary is certainly worth a look!

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