Europe is home to some pretty innovative developers. In Slovenia, Lumulabs is a small operation that developed the Lumu Power light meter, a Kickstarter success that started well over a year ago and which successfully ended in June with the first shipment of the finished devices. The Lumu Power light meter is a hardware sensor combined with an iOS app. It has both a fast-response silicon photo diode and true colour sensor in a package the size of a big marble.
Another year, another release of Corel Painter. The new version is packed with new features that guarantee jaw dropping awesomeness. There just seems no limit to Corel’s ambition to develop an application that is meant to create digital art that looks like the real thing. Combined with the newest Wacom Intuos Pro and its amazing natural feel, Painter 2018 is for digital artists to drool over.
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.
Light meters are expensive but you’re bound to have an iPhone or iPad. What has one to do with the other? Simply this: some people develop cheap light meter apps and the nec plus ultra of those apps must be Cine Meter II by Adam Wilt. I’ve tested Cine Meter II as a reflective and an incident meter.
Palette, a smal Australian company of enthusiasts, develops the Cube Portable Color Digitizer, a small, white cube-shaped scanner that stores up to 20 colours in its internal memory and helps designers and artists find matching colours. A smartphone/tablet app and/or macOS/Windows desktop app complete the offering.
In addition to new profiling algorithms, basICColor’s professional profiling software basICColor print now also directly connects to basICColor catch, the measuring software. In addition, it automatically corrects measurement data, lets you load custom illuminants for spectral profiling and delivers new gamut mapping strategies for perceptual rendering intent.
ExpoImaging’s Rogue brand has just been updated with four new products. The 32in Rogue 2-in-1 collapsible reflector and FlashBender 2 XL Pro Super Soft Silver are aimed at delivering softer light effects. They’re great for portraits. The white grid insert adds a nice halo effect to the light circle your 3-in-1 honeycomb grid creates. Finally, a new battery pouch helps you organise your freshly charged and drained batteries while on the go.
It’s almost a tradition. Around this time of the year Phase One releases its new version of Capture One. The newest version adds some important improvements in the realm of metadata and image management. In addition, it has two new processing engines and a whole bunch of new and improved editing tools. I took Capture One Pro 9 for a ride and it remains the top photo editor. Its new cataloguing capabilities are bound to be an extra trump card, although they stay behind those of dedicated apps like Photo Mechanic 5.
I’m sure every photographer knows Trey Ratcliff. He turned HDR photography into an art form. He helped Macphun with the development of Aurora HDR, a brand-new HDR (High Dynamic Range) powerhouse.
Tiffen is renown for their physical filters and gels, but they also have a nice portfolio of digital products. I tested the complete Tiffen Dfx 4 digital filter suite for video and photo. The complete Dfx 4 package comes as a stand-alone app and plug-in for Adobe, Apple and Avid NLEs, and for Adobe’s image editing apps as well as Apple’s Aperture. It is the only plug-in package that replicates Tiffen optical filtering, Rosco and Gam gobos and gels, and now also hundreds of photographic film stocks. It is a quite complete toolkit for photographers and cinematographers alike.