DigitalCameraReview.com
Digital Camera News, 3/30/08
by David Rasnake -  3/30/2008

Apple updates Aperture photo software with version 2.1

Apple has released an update to the latest release of its popular RAW conversion and photo editing software, Aperture.

Aperture 2

The headline update in version 2.1 is the addition of open plug-in architecture; expect third-party plug-ins for Aperture, including Tiffen's Dfx and PictureCode's Noise Ninja, to begin providing a range of new tools within the software in the near future. To this end, Apple got the plug-in ball rolling, providing a manufacturer-developed dodge and burn tool with Aperture 2.1.

Aperture 2.1 is available for purchase directly from Apple for $199, or as a free update for Aperture 2.0 users.

Kodak expands digital photo frame lineup with three new models

Kodak has announced three new additions to its Easyshare line of digital photo and multimedia frames. The multimedia Kodak Easyshare M820 and M1020, and the photo-only Easyshare P720 all feature Kodak's Quick Touch Border interface technology, which allows the user to control the frame's functions via an illuminated, edge-mounted touchpad slider control.

Kodak M1020

The 10-inch M1020 and 8-inch M820 are multimedia ready, playing MP3s and video-clip audio through the frame's built-in speakers. The M-series frames support many common video types (including MPEG 1 and 4) and allow MP3 audio to be added to slideshows. The common memory card types (including MemoryStick and xD-Picture Card) are supported, and the M1020 and M820 add 128MB of internal memory.

In addition to Quick Touch Border control, the 7-inch P720 features USB flash drive compatibility and support for several common memory card types. An additional SD slot allows the user to add memory to the frame as desired.

All three screens display images in the 16:9 aspect ratio common to HD devices. Several frame/matte color and style options are available.

The new models are all currently available for pre-order from Kodak, with retail delivery expected in mid-April. Retail prices for the M1020, M820, and P720 are $229.95, $179.95, and $119.95, respectively.

Adobe unveils free online version of Photoshop

In an announcement late last week, Adobe – maker of the famed Photoshop image editing package – made a version of its headline product available for free to anyone with an internet connection.

Adobe opened the public beta testing phase on its latest Photoshop offering, Adobe Photoshop Express, which provides easy-to-use versions of many of Photoshop's most useful editing functions in a user-friendly, browser-based interface. The free Rich Internet Application (RIA) makes sorting and cataloging images equally easy, providing two gigabytes of free online image storage space and connectivity with social networking sites like Facebook.

Unique functions in Express combine several steps in traditional image editors into single, simple functions that create effects like selective color, sketch, and soft focus. All editing in Express is non-destructive: the original images remain untouched, allowing for infinite levels of undo.

Photoshop Express is now available to test drive. Visit www.photoshop.com/express to check it out.