Lumu released its new generation of Lightning-connected iOS light meter sensors just in time for Christmas. The original Lumu Power has proven to be a very accurate light meter sensor but is too slow to measure the colour temperature of a strobe or speedlight. The new Lumu Pro is fast enough.
Denver Riddle is a colour grading expert who first developed Color Finale for Final Cut Pro X. His company now comes forward with a next-generation colour grading app and plug-in for Final Cut Pro X, Premiere Pro, and Da Vinci Resolve via the OFX plug-in, Cinema Grade. The new plug-in is a radical step away from traditional colour grading where the artist either needs to control the adjustments via on-screen wheels and sliders or through an expensive control surface. With Cinema Grade, on the other hand, you just mouse-drag colour adjustments in the frame, although you can still control everything by numbers if you want to.
A control surface is designed to let you navigate and control an image/video editing application efficiently. Loupedeck+ is a Finnish design. It’s a keyboard lookalike with dials and knobs and it integrates with Adobe Lightroom, Capture One (currently in beta) and Skylum Aurora HDR 2018 through a software driver annex control panel.
A light meter is an essential tool for serious photographers and filmmakers. The most useful ones not only measure the level of light and translate it into an f-stop, exposure time or ISO value, but also tell you colour characteristics. They will also measure the bursts of light emitted by a strobe or a speed-light. Light meter apps that integrate with a hardware add-on for your iOS or Android device are potentially as accurate as the most expensive light meters and just as flexible and feature-complete. In this category, about a year ago, the Lumu Power was released and it did not disappoint. Now, only a month or so ago, Illuminati Instruments released its Illuminati Light Meter and that one is a real winner.
Codex creates digital production workflow tools for independent films, motion pictures, commercials, and TV productions. Within some 30 days after NAB, it will be shipping ColorSynth, a layered colour grading plug-in the Indie market can afford, and Keys, a control surface priced equally affordable.
Luminar 2018 has new correction filters powered by artificial intelligence, it’s faster than the previous version, it has a dedicated RAW development module and in 2018 Macphun (soon to be renamed to Skylum Software) plans to release a full-blown digital asset management (DAM) platform. Of course, there are also new features, such as the intelligent Sun Rays filter, LUT support and real-time noise removal. About the only thing that remains unchanged — which is a good thing — is the concept of adaptive workspaces that match your style of shooting of the moment. Macphun/Skylum states that Luminar 2018 has been re-built from the ground up for dramatic performance boosts. I don’t know about the adjective “dramatic”, but Luminar 2018 does load faster than its predecessor. The user interface has been updated too and makes it easier yet to find your way around. A great new feature is LUT support. LUTs are relatively new to photographers — they’re used all the time by videographers. Lookup Table (LUT) adjustments can cater for camera/lens combination-based colour corrections, but …
DxO, the well known French developer of DxO Optics Pro and the force behind DxOMark, plans to continue development of the Nik Collection, with the current version to remain available for free on DxO’s dedicated website, while a new version is planned for mid-2018. The first results of the acquisition are the inclusion of Nik’s U Point local adjustments solution, in addition to a new Repair tool and improved DxO Lens Sharpness technology. As a result, DxO Optics Pro also gets a new name — DxO PhotoLab — and is expected to be setting a new standard in RAW processing for pro and enthusiast photographers.
Turning Final Cut Pro X into a grading application a la Da Vinci Resolve is what Chromatic, CoreMelt’s latest plugin sets out to do. It succeeds pretty well by cramming a lot of functionality into this full-blown colour grading solution. It’s the only plugin that delivers the ability to select colour ranges right in the clip viewer, but to appreciate its power to the fullest, a lowly iMac such as mine won’t do.
Most users in the creative industry know they should regularly calibrate and profile their monitor for colour-critical work, but there’s more to colour accuracy than keeping your monitor in shape colour-wise. If you’re going to be printing or projecting your photos, art or videos, you’d better calibrate the output equipment as well. In fact, if you want to be absolutely certain colours will be accurately rendered from input to output, you will need to calibrate — or at least profile — cameras, scanners, monitors, printers and projectors. There’s only one affordable option that is accurate enough: the Red Dot Award winning X-Rite i1Pro 2 and I had the chance to test the Photo version.
The Luxi for All is a light meter accessory for smartphone and tablet light metering apps. It turns the camera of your mobile device into an incident light meter.