2017-2018 Digital Photography Software News

Luminar 2018 Jupiter

Skylum software has made a free, major update to the Luminar 2018 product, named Jupiter. That makes the full name Skylum Luminar Jupiter. Yeah, that seems like a photography oriented product ;~). 

Overall, speed has been improved throughout the product, with Skylum claiming 3x to 25x speed changes for different aspects of the product (3x faster image import, 25x on responsiveness of some sliders, etc.). The underlying demosaic has been changed to provide “better color and less noise.” There’s now an automatic lens distortion removal feature, as well as a new chromatic aberration removal option. DCP profiles are now supported.

All of the above plus stability improvements, bug fixes, and additional camera support. The Windows version now has key-feature parity with the Macintosh version, adding batch processing, free transform, flip, and rotate.

The update is free for Luminar 2018 owners. If you own Luminar 2017 you can upgrade for US$49 (though look around the Web for various US$10 off coupon codes). New users can purchase the product for US$69. 

Luminar 2018 Jupiter Web page

Adobe Now Accused of Moving Cheese

So, Adobe Lightroom Classic CC 7.3 (April 2018) is now out and about in the wild. Lots of things changed, but little changed. 

The big news is that camera profiles have moved right up to the top of the main develop module, in the Basics panel.  And as if to make it slightly more confusing, the old profile name of Adobe Standard  has been changed to Adobe Color. Besides the existing Adobe profiles we used to have, we now have some new profiles (or is it presets? see below), including camera-maker matching, plus some others like variations on black and white and vintage and artistic. 

Okay, profiles versus presets. The creative profiles in the latest version don't move sliders, they use LUTs to make their adjustments, can be faded (they're basically a hidden adjustment layer of sorts), and require a special tool to create (the SDK Adobe provides developers). Presets move slider positions and are something you can create.

I think Adobe's feeling the pressure from on1 and Skylum: those companies started in the preset business and offer a lot of quick previews of what your image would look like with a different preset in their converters. Well, Adobe has now joined the Chinese menu crowd: just point to what you want and something will be whipped right up for you (a hover over a preset now changes the main develop window to show you what it would look like).

Yes, I'm being snide. I do use some products that apply those kind of profiles/preset formulae at times, but in general there is no one-size-fits-all profile I find at all useful, and I prefer profiles/presets that can be very specifically and extensively fine-tuned, like those in Skylum's Intensify Creative Kit plug-in. My teaching partner Anthony Medici uses his own camera profiles, and he reports that the change doesn't really make things easier for him, it just puts what he needs to do on a different page (who moved my cheese?).

As part of the changes in the new Lightroom, we no longer have .lrtemplate handling presets you use (and you'll get a prompt that Lightroom is changing them all when you start up the first time). Everything is now .xmp, which makes the Lightroom Classic CC changes match up with Adobe Camera Raw, which also updated today. New cameras that are supported include all those recent Canon EOS Rebels/Kisses, the Canon EOS M50, the Panasonic GX-9 and ZS200, and the Sony A7 Mark III. Some new Sigma, Tamron, Loxia, and Hasselblad XCD lens profiles were added, too.

Another Lightroom position move is the Dehaze filter, which moves from the Effects panel to the Basic panel. Other changes: the Sharpening default changed to 40 (from 25); the Tone Curve panel shows a bigger tone curve, which should make it easier to adjust; face recognition "improved." 

I'm not at all sure what to make of this update. On the one hand it feels dramatic, on the other it feels empty. 

And, of course, those of you who aren't on the CC subscription plan and have stand-alone versions of Lightroom, well, you don't get to play along. Your journey ended with 6.1.4. 

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