Exploring The State Of The Art In Imaging Programs Page 2
Google (www.google.com) was the last company that I expected to see at PMA (not counting telephone makers like Nokia), but they're the new owners of Picasa, a free Windows-based image management, web sharing, and enhancement program. When asked about a Mac OS version, they said, "It's a good possibility." Unlike its peers in this field, Picasa has an attractive and functional interface, but the latest version (and maybe I'm wrong here) seems to lack some of the original's pizzazz. Every time you open Picasa, it automatically locates all your pictures (even ones you forgot about) and sorts them into albums organized by date and names. Picasa offers one-click fixes and special effects and lets you e-mail, print, make gift CDs, instantly share via their "Hello," and post pictures on your own blog.
Running on any OS X machine in your network (from Apple's Mac Mini up to Xserve), SeeFile lets you put your image files on the web, live. The SeeFile server can be the file server for a workgroup, so it can act as a web gateway to in-house production, via its built-in preview, upload, and download functions. Image files, PDFs, and QuickTime movies all display in thumbnail, and expanded views and folders are clickable just as they are on your desktop. SeeFile includes advanced features such as a messaging system that lets anyone comment on files and folders, a File Actions menu that lets you launch scripted commands without being a programmer, and a user-defined logo on every page. Their Bureau version ($1995) even lets you assign up to 10 logos to each of 100 users along with upload and download permissions.
DxO Labs announced the availability of DxO Optics Pro 2.2 software that adds support for Canon's EOS-1Ds Mark II and offers Adobe Digital Negative (DNG) file format as an output option. DxO Optics Pro is now offered either in a $139 "Standard" version for expert amateur cameras or a $219 "Elite" version for all cameras including professional digital SLRs.
Corel Corporation (www.corel.com/downloads) offers a 30-day, fully functional trial edition of RawShooter Essentials 2005. Developed by Denmark-based Pixmantec, RawShooter Essentials enables photographers to view, prioritize, and process large batches of raw images in more than 50 different raw formats. During conversion, you can apply image adjustments, including color and exposure corrections, sharpening, and noise suppression. The result is a set of TIFF or JPEG files that can be opened in anybody's, including Corel's, digital photography software, where more advanced image enhancements can be made.
ArcSoft's PhotoPrinter 5, an easy to use desktop printing application, lets you print multiple photographs on a single page in a variety of sizes and multiple pages at one time. It offers all standard print sizes along with a variety of clever templates. It also has a custom layout support, including photo collages, index sheets, and wallet-size prints. There are automatic tools such as redeye removal and image enhancement. Right now, PhotoPrinter 5 is only available for Windows but Version 4.0 was Mac compatible. Let's hope this new cool one will be, too.
REALVIZ's Stitcher 4.0 enables the creation of high-quality, professional quality panoramas in just a few clicks. Stitcher 4.0 also enables users to print and export their panoramas in the format and resolution they require. The less expensive Stitcher Express offers multi-row capability up to full spherical panorama and is compatible with QuickTime, producing interactive virtual visits, up to full spheres.
Open Source: A method and philosophy for software licensing and distribution that is designed to encourage use and improvement of software written by volunteers by ensuring that anyone can copy the source code and freely modify. Open source is not the same thing as freeware, but has a similar meaning--free of distribution restrictions, not necessarily free of charge. There are various open-source licenses available, including the popular GNU (www.gnu.org), and programmers can choose an appropriate license to use when distributing their programs.
Manufacturers/Distributors' addresses can be found on page 176.