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.
Luminar is Macphun’s image editor and its Neptune release updates the app with an AI-based filter and features that will appeal to professional photographers. With it, Luminar enters the league of extraordinary image editors.
Affinity Photo is a strong competitor for Adobe’s Photoshop CC product on the Mac and now it’s an equally strong alternative for Adobe’s Photoshop on the iOS platform. I tried Affinity Photo on my iPad Air 2 and I was very impressed with it.
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.
Compatible with a huge range of iOS devices, Adonit’s Pixel Bluetooth-enabled iOS stylus delivered on its promise of unparalleled precision, better tip drag and pressure sensitivity for comfortable and accurate drawing. I tested with my iPad Air 2.
Wacom’s new Intuos Pro graphics tablet is the thinnest since the company started selling graphics tablets many years ago. Wacom sells its professional line of tablets most often to graphics designers and photographers, but I managed to put it to good use with mocha Pro and Motion as well. The experience led me to try to use the newest Intuos Pro with Final Cut Pro X, my goal being to use it as a poor man’s control surface. For my tests, Wacom kindly sent me a large Paper Edition model.
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.
I’m not a fan of automatic image enhancement tools, but Perfectly Clear 3 struck me as a Photoshop plug-in that allows for subtle improvements on portraits without making you look like a plastic Barbie doll. It offers a plethora of presets and a full set of controls too.
DxO has built itself a reputation for automating RAW image editing. With DxO ViewPoint 3 you can automate the correction of image distortions such as perspective and skewed horizons and there’s one new exciting feature: a tilt-shift lens effect.
Macphun develops Aurora HDR 2017, the best HDR app currently on the market. It just released Luminar, a photo editor that resembles Aurora HDR’s interface. However, it is less feature rich and falls short in some areas, although it is easy to use.