It’s an inevitable truth that Adobe, like any other company, can’t please everyone. Today’s news of a new, all-cloud Lightroom CC has definitely ruffled some feathers among loyal users. But it might just be time to embrace the future – consider some important points here:
- The current version of Lightroom is not going away. It’s just going CC (‘Classic CC’)
- The standalone version of Lightroom is entering sunset. That doesn’t mean you won’t be able to keep using it for new cameras in the future: you’ll just have to use DNG Converter to first convert your files to DNG format.
- To continue to benefit from updates to Lightroom, though, you’ll have to go CC (Classic or not).
- To benefit from consistent access of your entire library from every device, as well as AI features to help you manage, search, curate and more (a la Google/Apple Photos), you’ll want to go with Lightroom CC.
Whether or not you like the subscription based model, either way you pay for software updates, whether it’s when you buy a new version (upgrading from 5 to 6) or continually via a subscription method. Some would even argue the latter is a better user experience, as you don’t have to worry about ‘versions’.
But ultimately, we expect the cloud-based version will quickly improve and gain features beyond what Classic CC will offer. The AI features will help you organize, search, curate, and maybe even edit faster by learning your tastes. With storage getting progressively cheaper, internet (upload) speeds increasing, and the decreased sales of PC/laptop and the increased expectation to be able to access your files from anywhere, this is Adobe looking to the future, while still offering the present for the foreseeable future.
Chinese manufacturer Huawei has today launched its latest flagship smartphone, the Huawei Mate 10, at an event in Munich. Like previous high-end Huawei models the Mate 10 comes with a camera that has been developed in cooperation with Leica.
This gets you not only a Leica badge on the device’s back plate but also a very promising looking dual-cam setup that combines a 12MP RGB sensor with a 20MP monochrome chip.
Both lenses feature a fast F1.6 aperture and optical image stabilization is on board as well. The high-resolution setup allows for what Huawei calls a 2x lossless zoom and PDAF combined with a laser and depth sensor enables a fast and precise autofocus.
4K video and an 8MP front camera are on board as well. AI and neural networking are applied for improved quality of the bokeh mode and object recognition for automatic scene selection. Motion detection reduces motion blur in low light conditions.
The large 5.9” display comes with a conventional 16:9 aspect ratio, 2K resolution and RGBW HDR technology for high dynamic range and low power consumption. Battery life is further enhanced by a very large 4,000 mAh battery.
In the processor department Huawei is employing its latest and greatest Kirin 970 chipset, Huawei’s first with integrated neural networking capabilities, and combines it with a generous 6GB of RAM, which should allow for smooth operation of the Android 8.0 ‘Oreo’ OS and Huawei’s EMUI 8.0 software.
All the components are wrapped up in a full-metal body with IP53 rating for splash and dust resistance and will be available in a range of colors from November globally and set you back 699 Euros ($825).
Huawei Mate 10 Key specifications:
On October 4th Google introduced two new smartphones: the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. These phones pack the latest 8-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processors and large displays, along with the impressive AI systems that make these devices stand out from many of their peers.
You have to be a real phone aficionado to remember the Nexus One – Google’s first smartphone (codeveloped with HTC) – which debuted in 2010. In 2017 terms the One’s specs are almost laughable, with its single-core processor, half gigabyte of RAM, 5MP rear camera and whopping 3.7″ display. The Nexus One actually had two different displays. It initially shipped with a PenTile AMOLED display but later switched to a Super LCD that promised better power efficiency and color accuracy (though saturation and deep blacks got worse as a result). It also had a trackball reminiscent of Blackberry phones of that era.
The phone launched with Android 2.1 (Eclair) preinstalled and supported voice-guided navigation and voice-to-text transcription. Not long after the One got upgraded to Android 2.2 (Froyo), which added support for Adobe Flash (which was short-lived), a new home screen and Wi-Fi tethering. The final update the Nexus One received was to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), as its hardware couldn’t keep up with subsequent versions.
Were you one of the lucky few who owned a Google Nexus One? Let us know in the comments.
Product mockup by Zach Vega.
Meet Google Clips
After some expected hardware update announcements, Google’s “one more thing” turned out to be Clips, a tiny, hands-free camera designed to automatically capture everyday moments.
Meet Google Clips
Small and lightweight, Clips is sold with a case that, uh, clips to things. Demo objects included toys and books. Point it at you and your loved ones, and Clips will do its thing without you ever needing to push the shutter button (although you can still push the shutter button if you want).
Meet Google Clips
Clips uses AI to identify and remember frequent subjects. When it detects a familiar subject smiling, for example, it will capture a burst of images. What’s more, Google says that it gets smarter over time, capturing more of the moments you want and fewer moments you’ll ultimately throw away.
Meet Google Clips
Clips works with the Pixel 2, naturally, but a rep we talked to said it will also work with an iOS app. It captures bursts of images from which videos (without audio) or stills can be extracted. Clips can be trimmed in the accompanying app, and they can be exported as GIFs as well.
Meet Google Clips
Clips will sell for $250, and eager customers can join a pre-order ‘waitlist’ now.
A before and after of Photoshop Elements’ new Open Closed Eyes featured at work.
While the professional photography market waits with bated breath to see what Adobe has in store for us at AdobeMAX, the company behind Lightroom and Photoshop unveiled something that appeals to a bit broader of an audience today: Photoshop Elements 2018 and Premiere Elements 2018.
The new, user-friendly versions of Adobe’s photo and video editors come with some really creative and easy-to-use features that the company says are aimed at “memory keepers.” The idea was to create two programs that make finding, enhancing and sharing the precious memories hidden away inside random memory cards, hard drives and (most likely) smartphones almost totally automatic.
Photoshop Elements 2018
Photoshop Elements 2018 tackles the same problem that everyone—Google’s Photos App, Apple Photos, etc.—is trying to tackle: how do you help the typical shutterbug find their best images out of the thousands they take every week on their smartphone, and enhance those images so they look ‘professional’ and worth sharing on social media?
As with everybody else, Adobe is leaning heavily on machine learning and computer vision (different types of ‘AI’) for this trick.
It starts with an easy-to-use Organizer view and something called Auto Curation, which uses computer vision and some nifty algorithms to guess (because it can’t REALLY know, can it?) which of your images are the best. So if you have a group of 200 images, you can ask Photoshop Elements to cull those down automatically to just 15.
Once you’ve selected your shots, you can use the program’s new Guided Edits and a new feature called Automatic Selection to do things like drop in a new background, create a double exposure → continue…
Apple has reportedly acquired a small computer vision startup called Regaind, according to TechCrunch, who is citing ‘multiple sources.’ The acquisition falls onto our radar because of what Regaind’s technology is designed to do, namely: score photographs based on their composition, lighting, perspective, and other aesthetic qualities.
In other words, the company’s computer vision algorithms can tell how ‘good’ your photo is, insofar as such things can be analyzed objectively.
TechCrunch reports that the acquisition happened ‘earlier this year’, and while Apple hasn’t confirmed the news, the statement it sent to TechCrunch doesn’t deny it either. In fact, it’s about as close to ‘confirmation’ as Apple ever gets in such matters:
Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.
A quick look at Regaind’s website will give you a look at the kind of information the company can ‘see’ in your photographs. This more professional portrait, for example, scores high in the areas of Aesthetics, Sharpness and Exposure, with multiple positive ‘Properties’ highlighted such as ‘Subject Well Framed’ and ‘Pleasant Blur.’
This birthday snapshot, however, scores much lower and suffers from ‘Dull Colors’ and an ‘Annoying Background.’
How Apple intends to use this technology (or already is?) may never be explicitly stated, but Regaind’s technology will no doubt make it into Apple’s Photos app on both macOS and iOS, and may even help future iterations of the iPhone camera prompt you to frame your subject better, seek better lighting, or get rid of that ‘Annoying Background’.
Your guess is as good as ours, but if you want to learn more about this company Apple almost certainly acquired, head over to → continue…