Adobe Configurator

Adobe recently made available a nifty free utility ‘Adobe Configurator‘ update for download on Adobe labs.

Adobe Configurator 3.1 interface

Adobe Configurator 3.1 enables users to easily create custom panels (palettes) for use in both Photoshop CS5/Cs6 and InDesign CS5/CS6. Users can drag and drop their favourite tools, menus, scripts, actions etc. into a panel design and then export the custom panels for use in Photoshop or InDesign.

In a matter of minutes, I created a quick panel containing my most used Photoshop tools and have it imported into Photoshop CS5. The utility is fun and a joy to use.

Configurator 3 panel in PSCS5

You can visit Adobe labs for more info on Adobe Configurator and download links.


OSX Mountain Lion

MacBook Pro

Just one year after the release of OSX Lion, Apple has announced a new OSX scheduled for 2012 summer release. Mountain Lion will be a paid upgrade but details have not been disclosed at this point.

Mountain Lion will have a tighter integration with iCloud and syncs your existing accounts, settings and personal data seamlessly. The new OSX will also come with a few new apps from the iOS which includes iMessage, Reminders, Notes, Notification Centre, Twitter integration, Game Centre and Airplay Mirroring.

For this upcoming release, Apple is introducing Gatekeeper which allows users to determine what kinds of apps can be installed on their machines. This follows Apple’s strategy of preventing malware getting into your system through the approval process. Like the App Store, Mac developers can now sign up with Apple and get the status of ‘identified developers’ with a personalized certificates. These developers can then cryptographically sign their apps with the certificates. If any apps from this group of developers turned out to be malware, Apple can then revoke that particular developer’s license thus preventing their products being installed on any Macs in the future.

Sharing has also become a whole lot easier in Mountain Lion with Share Sheets. These are pop-up menus that appear when you click on the Share icon within the apps. This can be a Safari webpage you are visiting or a picture or document in Preview. You can send the content via iMessage, tweet it or email the items.

Some of the new features in Mountain Lion are directly targeting users in China. In the new OSX, there is a dynamically updated dictionary for better suggestions or corrections. Also, Pinyin and English can be mixed during text-input without having to switch between keyboard layouts.

Search engine Baidu is now available as an option in Mountain Lion’s Safari. Sina weibo, a microblogging site, is supported in Share Sheets. As for video-sharing sites like Vimeo and Flickr, Youku and Tudou will be added to the list of supported sites.

This is definitely good news for those Mac users who worry that Apple is lagging behind OSX development in comparison to the iOS. This annual OSX and iOS release cycle will be hugely beneficial to both Mac and iDevice users alike.

Nikon D800 & D800E

Nikon D800 (Nikon USA)

The much anticipated full-frame D800 has been announced by Nikon. There is not just one new camera but two. The difference between the D800 and the D800E is the absence of the optical low-pass filter on the D800E model. This in essence will give you a sharper final image but at the expense of  moiré. It will be interesting to see how well the E model is going to be received by photographers.

Here are some quick specs:

  • 36.3 megapixel 35.9 x 24mm CMOS sensor
  • 7360 x 4912 pixel (L), 5520 x 3680 px (M), 3680 x 2456 px (S) resolution settings
  • 4 fps (FX), 6 fps (DX)
  • ISO 100 – 6400 (50 – 25600 in boost mode)
  • Video format: MPEG-4, H.264
  • Video resolution: 1920 x 1080 (30, 25, 24 fps). 1280 x 720 (60, 50, 30, 25 fps), 640 x 424 (24 fps)
  • 51-point multi-cam AF system (20% more sensitive compared to D700)
  • 3,2 inch, 921,000-dot rear LCD
  • In-camera HDR
  • Automatic time-lapse
  • CompactFlash Type 1 and SD/SDHC/SDXC card slots
  • USB3.0, Type C mini-HDMI, 3.5mm headphone jack, PC sync, 10-pin remote socket

You can download the press release from Nikon USA by following this link: Nikon D800 & D800E Press Release.

Kodak Files for Bankruptcy Protection

< from Jennifer Burrell's collection >

It’s pretty sad to see a giant in the photographic industry which traces its roots back to the 1880 finally files for bankruptcy protection today. Considered that Kodak practically invented the first digital camera in 1975, the photography pioneer had trouble staying competitive in the digital age with dwindling revenue over the past few years.

Here is an interesting retrospect of Kodak in pictures on the BBC.

Photo Industry News

Nikon D4 is announced. Here are some of the specs:

  • 16.6 MP FX CMOS sensor (4928 x 3280 pixels)
  • standard ISO range of 100 – 12,800 extendable to 50 – 204,800
  • HD video capture at resolutions up to 1080p/29.97fps
  • improved Multi-CAM 3500FX autofocus sensor module with TTL phase detection
  • in-camera HDR (2 consecutive jpegs)
  • auto timelapse movie creation
  • dual card slots – CF and SONY QXD formats
  • built-in voice memo mic
  • built-in 100Base-T Ethernet wired networking
The D4 will be available in late February 2012 with a retail price of $5999.95.

Joe McNally’s quick review here.
Rob Galbraith’s overview here.


Adobe Lightroom 4 Beta is announced.

Here are some of the new features in version 4:

  • improved video support
  • video publishing to Flickr and Facebook
  • new Map module
  • new Book module
  • new Shadow and Highlight controls
  • simplified Basic Adjustments
  • soft proofing
  • additional local adjustments including noise reduction and white balance

For more info, please visit DP Review’s article here and Tom Hogarty’s Lightroom Journal here.

Fuji X Pro 1

Fujifilm has announced the new rangefinder style mirrorless X-Pro 1 interchangeable lens camera. Here are the main features:

  • 16 MP (4896 x 3264 pixels)
  • APS-C sized X-Trans-CMOS sensor
  • hybrid multi viewfinder
  • Fujinon interchangeable XF Lens and F-Mounts

For more info, go to DP Review’s article here and FujiFilm’s page here.

Sneak Peeks of New Adobe Technology

Adobe has posted videos of the latest technology being showcased at the recent annual MAX conference in Los Angeles. The star of the show was the senior research scientist Jue Wang who demonstrated the new image deblurring technology. It quickly became an internet sensation.

You can catch the video on Adobe TV.