2017-2018 Digital Photography Software News

The Late Spring Collection

Everyone's on a software update schedule for June it seems. Apparently all the software engineers want to go out and have a summer vacation, so they've been coding up a storm.

  • Adobe has a mild update to Lightroom CC, Lightroom Classic CC (7.4), and Adobe Camera Raw (10.4). Apple HEIC image file format is now supported (but you must have macOS High Sierra 10.13 or later). Use the Creative Cloud Installer to get the updates. 
  • Skylum has a free update to Aurora HDR 2018 (1.2.0). It gets a performance boost, batch processing, and Loupedeck integration. I've been meaning to write about Loupedeck; now that it's broadening its appeal as something more than a "Lightroom keyboard," I'll have to tackle an article on it. Capture One is also getting Loupedeck support.
  • On1 Photo RAW 2018.5 also gets a significant performance boost, new camera profiles, handling of raw+jpeg files, and lots of other new features (mostly in the browsing and preset functions). 
  • Topaz Labs has a new noise reduction add-on for Topaz Sudio called AI Clear. Oh dear, another trained neural network has been loosed upon the world. This US$60 plug-in works with the otherwise free Topaz Studio to both remove noise and sharpen subjects. There's a 30-day free trail for new Studio users. Personally, I think Topaz has gotten a little out of control with the plug-in situation (they now have 41 if you count both those that only work with Studio and those that are traditional Photoshop Plug-ins). There's too much nickel-and-diming going on while their competitors (Skylum, On1, Alien Skin, DxO, etc.) are all moving towards the Lightroom approach, where you get everything in one (less expensive) package. Nevertheless, I still support them because they have some products that do unique things.

Nik Collection 2018 by DxO

bythom nik silver efex

DxO has today introduced Nik Collection 2018 by DxO, which offers full compatibility with the latest Adobe CC products and both recent macOS and Windows updates and is 64-bit. The Selective Brush tool is now fully operational across all the filters. The plug-ins are now compatible with Lightroom Classic CC, Photoshop CC 2018, and Photoshop Elements 2017/2018. 

Note that DxO recommends that you first export your custom and imported presets and recipes from the earlier version before installing the new one. 

In addition, version 1.2 of PhotoLab introduces new U-point type correction features.

The new Nik Collection 2018 is available for US$50 until July 1st, US$69 afterward. It includes the full set of original Nik products (Analog Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, HDR Efex Pro, Sharpener Pro, Silver Efex Pro, and Viveza). There's a free 30-day trial for those that want to check out the product. 

Note: DxO isn't doing much to increase my confidence in their handling of Nik. Upon first download, I could still get Silver Efex Pro to crash in Photoshop CC 2018. But wait, there's an update already. Yeah, tried loading that, won't let me activate from the installer or after it's installed  ;~). At least it doesn't crash Photoshop. DxO points you to the email you receive for the activation code. Only problem, the purchase email they sent was blank. I would say that DxO is exhibiting all the indications of a company trying to get a release out before it was actually ready. 

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