OpenRAW Survey

Darren wrote this at 11:09 pm:

Non-profit advocacy group OpenRAW has just launched a survey to gather empirical data about “the experiences, beliefs, and preferences of photographers concerning RAW imaging technology”.

It’ll only take about 15 minutes, but your participation will help to ensure that photographers’ rights and concerns are addressed by camera and software makers. It’s totally confidential, and the results of the survey will be released into the public domain so that everybody has full access to them.

Please visit the OpenRAW site and fill in the survey.

The survey will run until March 31, 2006 24:00:00 GMT.

Aperture vs LightRoom on Technorati

Darren wrote this at 7:20 pm:

Here’s a cool way to see how much buzz Apple’s Aperture is getting compared to Adobe’s LightRoom – Technorati charts:

Posts that contain Apple Aperture per day for the last 30 days.
Technorati Chart
Get your own chart!

Posts that contain Adobe Lightroom per day for the last 30 days.
Technorati Chart
Get your own chart!

If you click through to the Apple Aperture chart on Technorati and expand it to look back to include mid-October, you’ll see that the blogging world went nuts when Apple first announced it. There were nearly 600 blog posts about Aperture in one day!

It’s interesting to note the huge increase in Aperture mentions around the time that LightRoom burst onto the scene – obviously a lot of people were doing comparisons between the two. You could hardly mention LightRoom without at least giving a nod to Aperture, its primary competitor. I guess that goes to show the advantage in being the first product into a new market. It also shows that the emergence of a competitor isn’t entirely a bad thing – it generates a lot of coverage for both products, since people (and the press) love a conflict! They also love to read head-to-head comparisons when trying to figure out which product is best for them.

Overall, Aperture is mentioned in a lot more blog posts than LightRoom, and is still being mentioned in many more posts per day. A large part of that is probably due to all the non-photographer Mac mavens and stock market analysts who mention Aperture while discussing more general Apple news. Adobe just isn’t reported on in as much detail as Apple.

It’ll be interesting to watch what happens to these graphs once Adobe releases LightRoom for Windows.

Ashes And Snow Exhibition

Darren wrote this at 7:40 pm:

Gregory Colbert has an exhibition running at Santa Monica Pier, California, USA, titled Ashes and Snow. On display are over 100 large-scale photographic works and three 35mm films. From all accounts, if you’re anywhere near Santa Monica Pier, this exhibition is well worth going to see.

The display runs through until May 14, 2006.

More information is available at the Ashes and Snow web site.

If, like me, you’re unable to get to the show, you can still see a very impressive portfolio of some of the images on display at the above web site.

Olympus Announces Evolt E-330 DSLR

Darren wrote this at 3:10 am:

Olympus has made a lot of new product announcements this week, including their new Olympus Evolt E-330 digital SLR.

The E-330 is a ’4/3 System’ 7.5 megapixel DSLR, basically refining the previous model E-300′s feature set with improvements seen in the later E-500. The most striking new feature, though, is its ability to do full-time live preview on the rear LCD, something not available on any other digital SLR. There are two live-preview modes: A-Mode (full-time live view) allows for full use of the optical viewfinder as well as the rear LCD; B-Mode (macro live view) locks the mirror up preventing use of the optical viewfinder, is manual-focus only, but gives very accurate depth of field and framing with a 10x magnification option.

Obviously A-Mode will be useful for general photography and for handing the camera to bystanders to take a shot, while B-Mode is designed for more technical tripod-based photography such as macro and still life work.

DPReview has posted an Evolt E-330 Preview examining the features of this interesting new camera, including a very good look at how live view works.

Edit: fixed the link to DPReview. Thanks to those who emailed to let me know it was wrong!

Smart Portrait/Wedding/Seniors Workflow

Darren wrote this at 9:55 pm:

ShootSmarter.com has posted a great article, Smart Workflow for Portrait, Wedding and Senior Photographers. You may need to register or log in to view the article.

This article goes through the tools, techniques and technology you can use to get professional quality results, from before you make the exposure right through to how you have prints made.

Making great looking prints from your digital capture files is easier than you think as long as you realize that great looking prints start from great looking files.

Fuji S3 Pro Buffer Upgrade

Darren wrote this at 9:17 pm:

If you own a Fuji S3 Pro digital SLR and live in the United States, good news! For USD$379.95 + tax (return shipping is included), you can double the S3′s internal buffer from 128MB to 256MB. This will boost your continuous frame shooting ability – for example, instead of 3 RAW frames in a burst, you’ll now get 8 before the buffer is full.

This is the same upgrade that was initially launched in Japan in September 2005.

It’s unclear whether overseas S3 owners can send their cameras to Fujifilm USA for upgrade.

Full details are available at the Fuji FinePix S3 Pro web site.

Digital vs 4×5″ Film

Darren wrote this at 7:15 pm:

The Luminous Landscape has just posted an insightful article by Charles Cramer, a highly-regarded American large-format landscape photographer with 30 years of experience: Phase One P45 Digital Back vs 4×5″ Drum Scanned Film.

Charles reports on the results of a three-way shootout between Jim Taskett with a Phase One P45 digital back (39 megapixel) on a Hasselblad body, Bill Atkinson with a Phase One P25 digital back (22 megapixel) on a Hasselblad H1 body, and himself with a Linhof camera loaded with Fuji Velvia 4×5″ film.

Adobe Camera Raw 3.3 Released

Darren wrote this at 1:30 pm:

Previously released as a beta version, Adobe has now announced the official release of Adobe Camera Raw version 3.3.

This update adds support for the following cameras:

  • Canon EOS 5D
  • Canon EOS 1D Mark II N
  • Canon EOS 20Da
  • Kodak EasyShare P850
  • Kodak EasyShare P880
  • Fujifilm FinePix E900
  • Fujifilm FinePix S5200/5600
  • Fujifilm FinePix S9000/9500
  • Mamiya ZD
  • Nikon D200
  • Olympus E-500
  • Olympus SP-310
  • Olympus SP-350
  • Olympus SP-500UZ
  • Pentax *ist DL
  • Pentax *ist DS2
  • Sony DSC-R1

In addition, the following improvements have been made to the software:

  • Improved redraw speed at some zoom levels.
  • Added warning dialogs when attempting to cancel or reset the dialog when there are changes to non-selected images.
  • Tuned Bayer demosaic algorithms.
  • Fixed DNG decoding for some camera models.
  • Write “legacy” IPTC data block (in addition to the existing XMP data block) to TIFF, JPEG, and PSD files saved directly.

Samsung Unveils First Digital SLR

Darren wrote this at 1:13 pm:

Samsung has announced the release of their first digital SLR camera, the GX-1S. It’s a fairly compact 6 megapixel camera with a Pentax AF lens mount – reportedly little more than a rebadged Pentax *ist DS2.

You can read the press release, study the specifications, and see photos of the GX-1S at DPReview.

Sigma 17-70mm Lens For DSLRs

Darren wrote this at 10:22 am:

Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 DC Macro LensSigma has announced a new 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 zoom lens designed for APS-C reduced-size sensor digital SLRs.

Features include:

  • Minimum focusing distance of 20cm,with an impressive maximum magnification of 1:2.3. at all focal lengths.
  • New design and multi layer lens coating reduce flare and ghosting.
  • Aspherical and SLD lenses offer excellent correction for various aberrations.
  • Large aperture of F2.8 at the wide angle setting.

You can read all about it at the Sigma web site.