Lightroom 2: what’s missing?

Someone always comes up with what they wanted to see – we want it all! But one thing I think I would have liked to see this time would be more advanced cropping, including some lens correction options. Specifically, being able to correct barrel/pincushion and trapezoid distortion would be most welcome. I was collecting together some photos earlier for a book, going back to older shots, with more basic lenses and the amount of times I had to get into Photoshop for simple lens fixing wasn’t funny. Maybe in 2.0 final?

Lightroom 2 beta

lr2.png

A very nice update to Lightroom just landed. I’m already a fan of LR for various reasons – speed, non-destructiveness being the main standouts.

The beta adds a few things I was just thinking the other day would be nice to be able to do without having to open Bridge (not exactly my favourite Adobe product!) You can create panoramas from multiple selected images or merge them to HDR. Multiple images can be opened as layers in one Photoshop document and perhaps most interestingly, images can be opened as Smart Objects in Photoshop to preserve the non-destructive nature of Lightroom’s editing.

Possibly the killer feature this time though, is the Retouch brush. Local editing without going to Photoshop! For me, this changes the game quite a bit with Lightroom. Dodging and burning become nice and easy and other brush effects are available, like being able to paint in Clarity, Saturation and Tint. And once you’ve brushed around, it’s possible to edit the effect of your strokes after the event, combining all the effects together. All this brushwork comes with an Auto Mask and a couple of Brush presets. All very nice.

Other interesting features I noticed:

  • Smart Collections, based on criteria including keywords, ratings, etc
  • post-crop vignette (in addition to full frame, so they can be combined)
  • 1:1 detail preview in the Detail palette
  • use of second monitor (for Grid view, or Compare, for example)
  • Split Toning gets a nice big colour picker
  • Suggested Keywords (not sure how this works as yet…)
  • Output to JPEG from print module
  • Enhance Print Sharpening
  • 64-bit support

Get it at Adobe Labs. Lightroom 2.0 Beta expires at the end of August.

Yet more insanity/manipulation/demonisation/*

They’re at it again. The authorities want to make photography a criminal activity, at least as far as I can tell. And they want you to get involved.

This has been reported everywhere, and the web is teeming with responses to it.

The Met goes mad

One of the most apt responses was this:

Terrorists have beards! Not, it's true.

Or maybe I just found it interesting because of the beard angle ;) I doubt the USofA would let me in with my passport photo! Here’s what Jesús (no, not that one) thinks of it:

If you’re good, I’ll let you see it…

(*Delete as applicable.)

Sigma DP1 samples on DPReview

Sigma DP1

Digital Photography Review has some samples from a beta of Sigma’s upcoming and LONG-awaited large-sensor compact DP1.

From what I can tell having a very quick look at these is that the detail as you’d expect with a Foveon sensor, and the dynamic range looks pretty too. Colour aberrations look pretty controlled in that lens too, as is lens flare, including when the sun is right in the shot.

Also to be expected, but nice to see pretty much confirmed is the very low noise on the ISO 800 sample. What little noise there is looks like “nice noise” too – nothing to make you recoil. That’s the main conflict of compact cameras for me: the times when I really need something smaller to shoot with is also exactly when I need good high ISO and/or low-light performance, like in a bar or club.

Yet another item for the Gearlust list! <sigh>

Mind That Child!

Not a new phenomenon but certainly more and more in the collective consciousness, taking pictures (gasp!) of children (gasp!) even when they’re your children is deemed “inappropriate”.

[photo: from MEN, but I assume by Steve Brook]

Canon 400D looks maybe interesting…

Canon EOS 400D

Engadget: Canon China spills beans on new DSLR. It looks sort of interesting, with its full-frame 10.1 megapixels and ultra-sonic dust removal. Nothing amazing, though, really. (And am I the only one not following these Canon EOS DSLR naming conventions?)

What looks more interesting, though, is the new EF 50mm f/1.2L USM lens also announced, along with the EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM, which as far as I can tell, a lot of people have been asking for (the IS part, of course…)

[UPDATE: So, it turns out it’s an APS-C sensor…]

Nikon being idiotic, Adobe being hilarious

PhotoshopNews.com has a story about Nikon’s frankly stupid idea to encrypt (yes, encrypt) the white balance data in their NEF file format. No comment, really. What I find really funny is that Adobe is worried about breaking the DMCA to reverse-engineer the format. Send ’em all to gaol (that’s “jail”, for the non-English readers) for an unspecified, unwarranted amount of time, I say ;)