Photolab 3.1 from DXO has been out a couple of months now, and early looks from photographers have been positive. It's a complete raw editor and has many features photographers will expect to see and adds some very worthwhile enhancements that will highly interest editors at every skill level.
Articles written by Mel Martin
I've been looking at photo apps for the iPhone since the phone was first released in 2007. From the start, it was pretty clear Apple wasn't getting the most out of their own camera with the built-in app, and third parties rushed in. If you wanted to take serious photos, many of the apps were wanting, offering stickers and other features most pros would disdain. But not this app.
Experienced night sky shooters know that some of the most challenging targets are meteors. While meteor showers, which happen several times a year, will make capturing the elusive meteors easier because there are more of them, you can still point a camera to the sky with a 30 minute exposure and get nothing. Then, suddenly, a meteor can appear where you weren't pointing.
In March, I did a post that was critical of Adobe applications of late: lots of bugs, sometimes unintelligible offshore customer support, and their Creative Cloud menu bar app (on Mac OS) that seemed more a marketing device than a useful way to know about Adobe updates (on Windows, the Creative cloud app is launched from the Task Bar).
There has been much talk about the upcoming version of Luminar 4 from Skylum software. I've tested an early beta release and found the new features, particularly sky replacement, rather incredible. Others will be more interested in the new AI Portrait tools, to which I also gave some attention. The bottom line is that Luminar 4 goes beyond any manual method of sky replacement for speed and accuracy. The portrait tools also work more quickly and easily than any software I've seen, including apps dedicated to portrait retouching.
The next version of Luminar, called Luminar 4, will include a one-click sky replacement feature. Other photo editors can get it done, but it usually involves masking, and it often doesn't work very well with foreground objects like trees with a lot of leaves. Adobe demonstrated a one-click sky replacement in 2016, but alas, it never appeared.
I've watched with interest as videographers use external small monitors attached to their DSLR or mirrorless cameras. I could see the advantages: the larger screen, the ability to see vectorscopes, histograms, and the variety of focus tools available. At the same time, I wondered if a monitor would enhance my landscape and nighttime photography, so I took the plunge, and here are my findings.
Many of us remember the debut of NIK Tools in 1995. They were a powerful set of plugins for Photoshop that did color adjustments, created lovely black and white images, and could sharpen images and lower noise in them. Just about every photographer I knew snapped them up at $500.
Software and firmware updates are a fact of life for photographers. They don't come all that often and usually offer bug fixes or new or improved features. As a longtime Canon user, I found firmware updates easy and unintrusive. Having recently moved to a Sony a7 III, I'm rather shocked at the complexity of what should have be a simple operation.
I've been a long-time Canon shooter, back to the film days, then a Canon 10D, 20D, 5D, and 6D. I do mostly landscape work and some nightscapes. They've been great cameras, close to state of the art at their release, and frankly, I've never needed a single repair on any of them.