Month: January 2012

Review: Helicon Focus Pro x64

Helicon Focus is an application that allows you to create a completely focused image from several partially focused images by combining the areas in focus. Its main use is for macro photography and microscopic photography, but it does wonders to beat the diffraction problem on landscape photography as well.

Uncompressed video in via HDMI and out via Thunderbolt

Black Magic’s Intensity is a range of devices that capture your video camera’s signal to Uncompressed video from up to 1080HD. The Intensity Extreme, has a Thunderbolt interface. The Extreme has only one Thunderbolt interface, just like the Sonnet Technologies’ Echo ExpressCard/34 Thunderbolt adapter. The Intensity Extreme is an aluminium block and has two HDMI ports. Black Magic’s other HDMI input device is the HyperDeck, a SSD type video recorder without a monitor. The portable Hyperdeck Shuttle records to uncompressed QuickTime and Avid DNxHD MXF file formats, and operates on batteries or 12V power. The Shuttle has USB 3 only, but combined with the Sonnet Echo that isn’t a problem, provided you use one of Sonnet’s new USB3 ExpressCards.

Why a photo scanner can be fully colour balanced

Ever wondered why a scanner can be colour calibrated and a digital camera can’t? Your digital camera needs to be white balanced at the least. The reason is that the way the camera ‘sees’ grey should be calibrated to a known neutral value. From there, you can rely on the camera ‘knowing’ how other colors should be rendered. For best accuracy, a camera should be fully colour calibrated, just like  a scanner. But in practice, this is near-impossible. You use your digital camera under different lighting conditions. One moment, you’re in bright sun light, the next clouds make for a grey mess. This makes it virtually impossible to calibrate a camera for all known colours. What you theoretically should do is make a profile for every slight change in colour temperature — whenever the light changes even a little bit — and that is simply not feasible. Instead, what you can do is ensuring the camera “sees” white, grey and black the way it’s supposed to look, and then correct the minor colour casts that are inevitable, …

Review: Corel AfterShot Pro

[expires off=”2012-01-21 18:00:00″]NEW [/expires]Corel has released its first professional photo catalogue and RAW editing software, AfterShot Pro. It’s based on a number of technologies that are widely known and respected in the photography world, such as Noise Ninja, Perfectly Clear, and Bibble Pro, and it’s available for Windows, Mac, and Linux users.

What to look for in scanner software?

Scanner software is not necessarily a thing of the past. There are many people who are still digitizing their photos, and for that a scanner is inevitable. What do you look for in scanner software? Obviously, you can just do fine with the scanner’s own software, but in order to unlock all functionality and get the most out of a good scanner, you’ll need software such as SilverFast. So, what do you look for in scanner software? Ease-of-use. Good scanner software has an automatic workflow that will take you through scanning batches of photos fast. It should adapt to your particular needs. If you have large collections of Kodachrome, the software should be fit to accommodate for it (blue cast!). Workflow presets Strong and accurate calibration. Calibrating your scanner ensures correct colors. SilverFast has an automatic calibration feature that is the best in the industry. Strong and accurate color correction. Imagine a portrait where the subject has a yellow robe, but the color has faded completely. You should be able to change that yellow — …

Review: Ergonis Typinator 5

Ergonis just released Typinator 5, their text expansion app. The major new feature is undoubtedly scripting support, which enables users to create generic and versatile text snippets. Using a simple inclusion mechanism based on files in an “Include” folder, text expansions can execute external scripts and include their results in the expansion. But that’s not all.

Review: xScope 3, the designer tool

IconFactory and Artis Software have just released their designer tool xScope 3. xScope 3 has become a power tool for everybody involved with graphic and web design. Except for the tools that have been supported since version 2, this new version comes with about 70 new or improved features. xScope has also become the tool of choice for mobile design.