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Some news here and there from the digital photography world.

Sony has announced a new mid/entry level DSLR: the A450, as a cheaper version of the A5xx range.

With respect to the similar A550, the sensor is the same (14.2 megapixel CMOS) but it lacks fast-AF live view system and the tilt and flip LCD screen that I think to be quite a useful acquisition from compact cameras world. Despite this, it has some advantages like longer battery (since consumption is lower and battery is big).

Cost will be less than 1000 $.

Bibble Labs has announced the release of its RAW file converter and image catalog management: Bibble 5 Pro. It supports many operating systems (Windows XP, Vista and 7, Mac OS X 10.4 or greater, Linux Fedora Core 6 or later, Ubuntu 6.06 or later).

Main changes:

  • image cataloguing;
  • non-destructive application of local editing adjustments;
  • improved speed, the company website shows also impressive comparison with "other famous RAW converters" without naming them. We might guess one of those to be Adobe Lightroom or DxOptics that are not so fast.

Bibble 5 Pro misses some features of Bibble 4 Pro (like Perfectly Clear tool, the Heal & Clone brush, black / white / gray pickers in the curves tool, Web Gallery output) that should be added to version 5.1 (as a free update of course).

Upgrade from version 4 is free if purchased after September 1st 2006 or for $ 99 if purchased before.

Curiously, the Lite version of Bibble 5 Lite won't be ready for a couple of months, so in the meantime, owners of Bibble 4 Lite can use Bibble 5 Pro with their Lite license.

 

Nikon has announced that NASA has purchased 11 Nikon D3S cameras (full frame models) and 7 lenses AF-S Nikkor 14-24 mm f/2.8G ED to be put into the International Space Station.

A great estimation of Nikon quality...

The Panasonic Group has completed acquisition of SANYO Electric Co. Ltd. that will then become a subsidiary of Panasonic.

The X-Rite ColorChecker Passport is a stand-alone camera DNG profiling and RAW workflow solution to tune a RAW file editor.

It consists of a software to build a DNG profile, a Lightroom plugin and three targets (Creative Enhancement Targets, Classic Targets and White Balance).

Basically, you shoot a target as a RAW, convert the image to DNG, drop it on to the ColorChecker Passport software and create a DNG profile. That profile can then be applied to shots from the same camera to tune color response.

The software is also freely downloadable. Of course not the targets.

Canon has posted firmware update to version 2.0.0 for the Canon wireless transmitter WFT-E2/E2A to allow this transmitter to function with the new camera EOS-1D Mark IV.

Adobe has updated the Camera Raw plugin for Photoshop CS4 (only, CS3 is not supported) and DNG Converter (from RAW to DNG) to version 5.6.

Direct download links:

Camera Raw: Windows and Mac.

DNG Converter: Windows and Mac.

Adobe has released Lightroom 2.6. It adds RAW support for 20 cameras (among them Canon 7D, Nikon D3s, Sony A500/550/850, Olympus E-P2), fixed a bug of artifact creation in highlights for shots from some cameras when using a PowerPC), a bug in crop tool has been fixed (unlocked ratio after a rotation) and a problem in Mac when panning in Develop module when zoomed 1:1.

Download the new version here: Windows or Mac.

IDImager version 5 has been released, IDImager is an extremely powerful and flexible archiving/album software, with good editing features, built in Holland. In terms of features is the richest among DAMs.

Some of the new features:

  • speech labeling
  • face labeling
  • a new label assignment panel
  • a new and powerful download tool
  • non-destructive editing
  • great GEO labeling support.

2 versions available: Pro (139 $, 55.6 $ upgrade), Personal (69 $, 27.6 $ upgrade).

More info about the product at the vendor site - link.

Olympus has updated Master software to version 2.3: added support for Diorama and Cross Process Art Filters for E-P2 RAW files, iEnhance picture mode with Windows 7 and Mac OS X v 10.16 (Snow Leopard).

Download the update here.