18 July 2014

New version of Canon Digital Photo Professional software

Canon has released a new version of its Digital Photo Professional (DPP) software. This new version contains quite a few radical changes and new features over its predecessors. Big disappointment for many will be this new 4.0 version is only compatible with the very latest Canon DSLRs; only the EOS-1D X, EOS-1D C, EOS 5D Mark III and EOS 6D are currently supported! For other models, an update of DPP (3.14) will be released (not yet available, though).

For the new camera's the software does offer some great improvements though. Designed and developed from the ground up, the new Digital Photo Professional 4.0 is much faster as it fully utilises the 64-bit architecture of the host system.

You can download DPP 4.0 (for free) from Canon Europe's support site. Select your camera - EOS-1D X, EOS-1D C, EOS 5D Mark III or EOS 6D – and select DPP 4.0 from the software options to download.
Please note that DPP 4.0 will be compatible only with 64-bit versions of Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 as well as Mac OS X 10.8 and 10.9.

New key features

  • Faster, real-time adjustments.
  • Improved RAW file workflow.
  • Better, more approachable user interfaces.
  • Compatible with 64-bit native environments.
  • Colour adjustments for specific colour gamuts.
  • Improved highlight recovery provides expanded tonality.
  • Improved shadow recovery function.
  • Support for movie playback.
  • Auto Lighting Optimizer can be applied to JPEG images.
  • Better integration with EOS Utility.

New colour adjustment palette

A new colour adjustment palette allows hue, saturation and luminance adjustment for eight individual colour gamuts, enabling the user to adjust one specific colour in isolation without affecting the image as a whole. This is particularly useful when adjusting background tones in portraits, where there might previously have been a risk of giving a colour cast to skin tones, for example.

Enhanced highlight function

Canon software developers have re-engineered the processing algorithms to increase the freedom in tonal rendering. By adjusting highlights, it is now possible to reproduce tones such as those in clouds and peoples’ faces that would previously have appeared washed out.

Dual display support

For those photographers with dual monitors, DPP 4.0 allows a secondary monitor to be used as the preview window on the primary display. While the main monitor can be used to perform delicate adjustments, a secondary image window for images can be used as a magnifier for closer inspection of part of an image.

Better EOS Utility integration

With the launch of DDP 4.0 comes an updated EOS Utility 3 and the two pieces of software now offer better integration. The introduction of EOS Utility 3 makes it is possible to trigger the camera direct from the DPP tool palette as well as access to all the rest of the EOS Utility remote shooting functions without the need to start a separate application, thus enabling a more streamlined and integrated workflow.

Adobe Camera Raw 8.6 (Release Candidate) available

Together with the availability of the new Nikon D810 camera, Adobe has released a release candidate for its Camera Raw (and DNG convertor) software. So if you are the lucky owner of a brand new D810 camera (or any of the other newly added cameras and lenses), you can start enjoying the full benefits of ACR.
Please note that as a release candidate, this is not yet the final version of the software and things may change/get added to the final release.
Downloads available from adobe labs:

Changes in Camera Raw 8.6RC

  • Improve performance when batch processing images (via the Save button in Camera Raw) and when converting images to DNG (via DNG Converter). This performance improvement is only available on 64-bit systems. (CC and CC 2014-only)

New Camera Support

  • Nikon D810
  • Panasonic LUMIX AG-GH4
  • Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ1000

Added Camera Matching colour profiles

  • Sony DSC-RX100 III
  • Sony A7S (ILCE-7S)
  • Sony Alpha SLT-A77 II (ILCA-77M2)

New Lens Profile Support

Lens NameLens Mount
Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STMCanon
Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USMCanon
Nikon 1 NIKKOR VR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6Nikon
Schneider Kreuznach LS 40-80mm f/4.0-5.6Phase One A/S
Sony 28mm f/2.8Sony Alpha
Sony 100mm F2.8 MacroSony Alpha
Sony DT 16-105mm f/3.5-5.6Sony Alpha
Sony DT 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3Sony Alpha
Sony 70-200mm f/2.8GSony Alpha
Sony 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G SSMSony Alpha
Zeiss Touit 2.8/50MSony Alpha

Bug fixes

  • Fix crash on launch in some cases on Hi DPI (Retina) systems.
  • Fix crash when opening some Sigma SD9 raw files.
  • Fix issue with JPEG images saved by Camera Raw not readable in some external applications.
  • Fix automatic lens profile selection for Leica M (Typ 240) when using most recent firmware version.
  • Fix issue with some Hasselblad H5D-50c and H5D-60 3FR raw images appearing slightly too dark. Unfortunately, this fix may affect the appearance of existing images captured with this combination of settings. It is recommended that you (1) purge the Camera Raw cache via the Camera Raw Preferences dialog, and (2) review previously captured images for unexpected brightness changes.

17 July 2014

New versions of Nikon Camera Control Pro, Wireless Transmitter Utility and UT-1 firmware

Nikon released updates for its Camera Control Pro, Wireless Transmitter Utility software, and Communication Unit UT-1 firmware. Amongst others they now all support the new D810 camera (available as of today).

You can download these updates from the Nikon Support sites:
  • Nikon Camera Control Pro v.2.18.0: EU / USA
  • Nikon Wireless Transmitter Utility v.1.5.1: EU / USA
  • Nikon Communication Unit UT-1 firmware update v.2.1: EU / USA

Changes in Nikon Camera Control Pro v.2.18.0

  • Support for the D810 has been added.
  • Highlight-weighted has been added to Metering options in the Exposure 2 tab (available only when the D810 is used).
  • Metering options have been added to the Movie tab (available only when the D810 is used).
  • Flat has been added to Picture Control options in the Image Processing tab. (available only when the D810 is used).
  • A Clarity setting has been added to the adjustment dialog displayed when the Edit... button in the Image Processing tab is clicked. (available only when the D810 is used).
  • A Show Capture NX-D option has been added to the Tools menu.

Additional modifications to the Windows version

  • Windows XP is no longer supported.

Additional modifications to the Macintosh version

  • Mac OS X version 10.6 is no longer supported.

Changes in Nikon Wireless Transmitter Utility v.1.5.1

  • Support for the D810 has been added.
  • Support for the Communication Unit UT-1 Firmware Ver. 2.1 has been added 

Additional modifications to the Windows version

  • Windows XP is no longer supported.

Changes in Nikon Communication Unit UT-1 firmware update v.2.1

  • Support for the D810 has been added.

16 July 2014

Nikon Capture NX-D officially released

As announced recently, the official version of Capture NX-D, Nikon's new processing and adjustment application, is now available for free download from the Nikon imaging website.

Capture NX-D offers raw development of images captured in by Nikon digital SLR cameras, Nikon 1 advanced cameras with interchangeable lenses, and COOLPIX compact cameras that support this capability.

11 July 2014

New versions of Nikon ViewNX2 and Picture Control Utility available

Despite the fact that, in my opinion, the new Capture NX-D (available from 15 July, see earlier article) should replace it, Nikon still released an update to it's Nikon ViewNX2 application.

They also released a new version of the (usually integrated with e.g., Capture NX2) Picture Control Utility.

Both applications now have added support for the new D810 camera.

You can download the new software from the Nikon support site:

Changes in Nikon View NX2 v2.10.0

  • Support for the D810 has been added.
  • Picture Control Utility has been replaced by Picture Control Utility 2 v2.0.0 (see below).

Changes in Picture Control Utility 2 v2.0.0

  • The application be used from ViewNX 2 and Capture NX-D, and also as a separate, stand-alone application after installation.
  • Support for the D810 has been added.
  • Users can now choose to save Custom Picture Control files in "NP2" format, compatible with the new Picture Control System, or in "NCP" format for use with all cameras that support Custom Picture Controls.
  • The following are possible when "NP2" is selected.
    - Flat can now be selected from the list of Stored Picture Controls.
    - When Manual Adjust is selected, each of the adjustment items can now be adjusted in units of 0.25 for more precise adjustment.
    - A new Clarity item has been added to adjustment items.
    - The adjustment range for Brightness has been expanded to −1.50 to +1.50.
  • The Custom Curve is larger, making it easier to adjust tone curves.
  • The size of the application window can now be adjusted, allowing the area in which the preview image is display to be enlarged.
  • A new Adjustments for Preview function enables adjustment of Exposure Comp. and White Balance. However, adjustments to these settings are not reflected in the Custom Picture Control being created.
  • A Reflect changes on preview check box has been added for before-and-after comparison of the Custom Picture Control on the preview image.

26 June 2014

Nikon Capture NX-D available as free download from 15 July

On top of the new Nikon D810 camera, Nikon today also announced that it will release the official version of Capture NX-D, its new processing and adjustment software application for RAW images captured with a Nikon digital camera, for free download beginning 15 July.

Capture NX-D is the replacement of Nikon Capture NX2, albeit with limited functionality and a completely new approach (e.g., propriety sidecar files for storing your edits).

For me (and many many others), this was a reason to switch to another software solution (see my earlier blog on this). For others, it may, however, offer enough as a raw converter. It definitely offers much more than View NX2, so people using that application may certainly be thrilled by the new and free (!) Capture NX-D.

Capture NX-D offers raw development of images captured in by Nikon digital SLR cameras, Nikon 1 advanced cameras with interchangeable lenses, and COOLPIX compact cameras that support this capability. The application will be available for download, free of charge and it will already have support for the new Nikon D810 DSLR, also announced today.

The good thing is that Nikon has listened to the ideas and requests of users of the beta version, so the final version will have improvements to the user interface, and the ways in which adjustments are applied, for example, to white balance. Nikon plans to keep listening to user request and will continuously update the software and improve image processing and operation. One of the first things the plan to offer is the return of the automatic retouch brush. This was actually one of the tools I would have missed most in NX-D.

As of 15 July, you will be able to download Capture NX-D from the Nikon imaging website.