20 December 2012

Adobe Photoshop CS6 13.0.3/13.1.1 updates

Today Adobe released an update for Photoshop CS6. Version 13.0.3 (Mac, non Creative Cloud subscription only) and version 13.1.1 (Mac and Windows, Creative Cloud subscriptions), resolve the following, quite serious, bugs:
  • Certain PSD files fail to open when they have layer FX applied to layers
  • The application crashes when opening certain EPS files
  • On Retina machines, the application crashes when the Navigator panel is displayed in some workspaces
To get the update, simply choose Help|Updates from within Photoshop. This launches the Adobe Application Manager from where you can select and install the Adobe Photoshop CS6 update.

Note: It may take a while for the update to show everywhere. I did not yet see it, for instance. The update should definitely be showing up soon though.

19 December 2012

Instagram responds and promises to change the terms

Yesterday I posted about the new Instagram Terms of Use and how they were basically selling you off to the advertisement market. As it turns out I wasn't the only one who raised concerns…

The public outcry over the new terms has led Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom to issue a statement clarifying the terms of use and, more importantly, announcing a modification meant to address the concerns.

I find the statement a bit apologetic to be honest; the terms were pretty clearly formulated and understandable, even without legal knowledge. Anyhow, let's hope Instagram indeed changes the Terms of Use and clearly state what they intend to do with your data (and what not). As of now, however, the text is still the same, leaving the door open for their use of your images without your control… So please keep a close look at the terms before you agree to continue your account or start a new one!

Here's the full text of the statement (marking done by me):
Yesterday we introduced a new version of our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service that will take effect in thirty days. These two documents help communicate as clearly as possible our relationship with the users of Instagram so you understand how your data will be used, and the rules that govern the thriving and active Instagram community. Since making these changes, we’ve heard loud and clear that many users are confused and upset about what the changes mean.

I’m writing this today to let you know we’re listening and to commit to you that we will be doing more to answer your questions, fix any mistakes, and eliminate the confusion. As we review your feedback and stories in the press, we’re going to modify specific parts of the terms to make it more clear what will happen with your photos.

Legal documents are easy to misinterpret. So I’d like to address specific concerns we’ve heard from everyone:

Advertising on Instagram From the start, Instagram was created to become a business. Advertising is one of many ways that Instagram can become a self-sustaining business, but not the only one. Our intention in updating the terms was to communicate that we’d like to experiment with innovative advertising that feels appropriate on Instagram. Instead it was interpreted by many that we were going to sell your photos to others without any compensation. This is not true and it is our mistake that this language is confusing. To be clear: it is not our intention to sell your photos. We are working on updated language in the terms to make sure this is clear.

To provide context, we envision a future where both users and brands alike may promote their photos & accounts to increase engagement and to build a more meaningful following. Let’s say a business wanted to promote their account to gain more followers and Instagram was able to feature them in some way. In order to help make a more relevant and useful promotion, it would be helpful to see which of the people you follow also follow this business. In this way, some of the data you produce — like the actions you take (eg, following the account) and your profile photo — might show up if you are following this business.

The language we proposed also raised question about whether your photos can be part of an advertisement. We do not have plans for anything like this and because of that we’re going to remove the language that raised the question. Our main goal is to avoid things like advertising banners you see in other apps that would hurt the Instagram user experience. Instead, we want to create meaningful ways to help you discover new and interesting accounts and content while building a self-sustaining business at the same time.

Ownership Rights Instagram users own their content and Instagram does not claim any ownership rights over your photos. Nothing about this has changed. We respect that there are creative artists and hobbyists alike that pour their heart into creating beautiful photos, and we respect that your photos are your photos. Period.

I always want you to feel comfortable sharing your photos on Instagram and we will always work hard to foster and respect our community and go out of our way to support its rights.

Privacy Settings Nothing has changed about the control you have over who can see your photos. If you set your photos to private, Instagram only shares your photos with the people you’ve approved to follow you. We hope that this simple control makes it easy for everyone to decide what level of privacy makes sense.

I am grateful to everyone for their feedback and that we have a community that cares so much. We need to be clear about changes we make — this is our responsibility to you. One of the main reasons these documents don’t take effect immediately, but instead 30 days from now, is that we wanted to make sure you had an opportunity to raise any concerns. You’ve done that and are doing that, and that will help us provide the clarity you deserve. Thank you for your help in making sure that Instagram continues to thrive and be a community that we’re all proud of. Please stay tuned for updates coming soon.

Kevin Systrom co-founder, Instagram

18 December 2012

Instagram is selling you off

With Facebook taking over Instagram, I was already afraid something like this was going to happen. But with the new Terms of Use (active as of 16 January 2013) Facebook is going even further than I had anticipated.

The new terms of use allow them to use and sell your pictures for advertising. While you may feel honoured your images are being used for this, think a bit about the consequences. First of, people are going to be freely making money from your work. While you may be OK with even that, there's another associated problem with their use of your work without your control: you may get connected with a brand/image that you totally disagree with.

Would you want to be associated with a brand that goes totally against your beliefs, makes use of child labour, produces chemical weapons, is known for heavy pollution, killing people, …? I think not.

If you don't want any of this, there's basically only one solution: quit using instagram altogether and kill your account. Before you do, download all your images first of course. For instance using instaport. Note: Instaport is finding heavy traffic at this moment (I guess more people are using it to ditch their Instagram account) so this could take a while…

Here's the text article in the updated terms of use granting Instagram the right to sell you off.
Rights, Article 2
Some or all of the Service may be supported by advertising revenue. To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you. If you are under the age of eighteen (18), or under any other applicable age of majority, you represent that at least one of your parents or legal guardians has also agreed to this provision (and the use of your name, likeness, username, and/or photos (along with any associated metadata)) on your behalf.

Note: Sure, chances of your images actually being used in an advertisement are very slim; there are simply very many images to choose from. And yes, there are some further guards against using images with people on them. So yes, the actual risk may not be that big, the implications, however, could be huge. So my advise would still be: ditch that Instagram account (and be very careful what you do on Facebook and other Social Media as they have similar far reaching terms of use).

17 December 2012

Nikon D4 and Nikon 1 receive Germany’s iF Product Design Award 2013

The Nikon D4 DSLR camera and the Nikon 1 system (the cameras, lenses, speedlight, and GPS unit) have been awarded the “iF design award 2013: iF product design award.”

The iF product design award is one of the most important design awards worldwide. With the iF label, participating manufacturers, developers and designers will be able to present a strong incentive to buy their products. Since 1953, the iF label has been used as a marketing tool for excellent products – ranging from A for automobiles to Z for zip locks – and has received a great deal of attention in the media and from the general public. Participants have included large international corporations as well as small to medium sized companies and design studios.

14 December 2012

Canon EOS 6D Firmware update 1.1.2

Canon has released a firmware update for their EOS 6D DSLR camera.

Firmware Version 1.1.2 incorporates the following fix:
  • Fixes a phenomenon which prevents movie files shot using EOS 6D Digital SLR cameras from being played back on YouTube.

Helpful Information from the release notes

Firmware version 1.1.2 may present some Video Snapshot limitations. Please review the two scenarios and the workaround provided below.

EOS 6D running Firmware Version 1.0.9:
If a video snapshot captured when the camera was running firmware 1.0.9 is combined with a video snapshot created by a camera which was running firmware 1.1.2, the resulting video snapshot album will be corrupted.

EOS 6D running Firmware Version 1.1.2:
If you try to add a video snapshot from a camera running firmware 1.1.2 to the video snapshot album created when the camera was running firmware 1.0.9, a warning message "Cannot select this movie" will appear and the video snapshot cannot be added to the album.

Please follow the following workaround to help addresses the two scenarios described above.
  1. Shoot a video snapshot and create a video snapshot album.
  2. Import the captured video snapshot album to your computer.
  3. Start ImageBrowser EX, an application bundled with the EOS 6D.
  4. Select the video snapshot album, and select [Edit Movie] in the [Edit] tab.
  5. MovieEdit Task will start.
  6. Select [Add Image] and select video snapshot album to add the movie snapshot.
  7. Select [Save] and [Save image type], and then click [Save].
Firmware Version 1.1.2 is for cameras with firmware version 1.0.9. If the camera's firmware is already Version 1.1.2, it is not necessary to update the firmware.

You can download the new firmware updates from the canon website.

Photoshop CS6 13.0.2/13.1, Lightroom 4.3, and Camera Raw 7.3 updates

Adobe has just released updates to their major photo editing software.

Lightroom 4.3/Camera Raw 7.3

The Lightroom 4.3 and Camera Raw 7.3 updates add support 20 for new cameras, including the Canon 6D and Nikon D5200.

Lightroom 4.3 also includes HiDPI (Mac Retina display) support for the Library and Develop Modules. It is a real pity that Camera Raw does not yet include this support though (hopefully the next update will cover this).

Here's the full list of new cameras supported in LR4.3/ACR7.3:
  • Canon EOS 6D
  • Canon PowerShot S110
  • Canon PowerShot G15
  • Canon PowerShot SX50 HS
  • Casio Exilim EX-ZR1000
  • Casio Exilim EX-FC300S
  • Leica M-E
  • Nikon 1 V2
  • Nikon D5200
  • Nikon D600
  • Olympus PEN E-PL5
  • Olympus PEN E-PM2
  • Olympus STYLUS XZ-2 iHS
  • Panasonic DMC-GH3
  • Pentax K-5 II
  • Pentax K-5 IIs
  • Pentax Q10
  • Sony DSC-RX1
  • Sony NEX-VG30
  • Sony NEX-VG900

Photoshop CS6 13.0.2 (Mac only)

Like Lightroom 4.3, this new 13.0.2 version of Adobe Photoshop enables support for new HiDPI displays on the Macintosh platform for “a dramatic improvement in image fidelity and resolution.”

Photoshop CS6 13.1.0 (Creative Cloud subscription only)

If you bought Photoshop CS6 through the Creative Cloud subscription (from $19.99/€24.59 per month) you get some new features added to this, showing the advantage of this subscription based service (though, personally I still find it quiet expensive).

The first Creative Cloud-only update of Photoshop offers a host of new and improved features:
  • The Blur Gallery and Liquify are now usable on smart objects, greatly enhancing your “non-destructive editing” capabilities.
  • Web design enhancements:
    • CSS export from text and layer styles for faster and easier web design.
    • Import of colour swatches from you HTML, CSS, or SVG files.
  • Conditional actions – People making use of actions a lot will love the fact that you can now have conditional actions.
  • Improvements to the crop tool, naming of merged layers, and the ability to see up to 100 of your recently opened files.
Note to Windows XP users: these features are not supported on Windows XP any longer (the same already holds true for some of the GPU-enabled features by the way).

6 December 2012

Canon 1D X service advisory

Canon has indicated there may be an issue with auto-focus in combination with lenses with a maximum aperture of f/8 on some Canon EOS-1D X Digital SLR Cameras with firmware Ver. 1.1.1.

Firmware v1.1.1 enabled the centre AF point to autofocus when the camera is used with lens/extender combinations whose combined maximum aperture is f/8. On some of the cameras with firmware v1.1.1, auto-focusing does not function at f/8 aperture. Funnily enough this is only the case when the camera came with the v1.1.1 firmware out of the factory, not when the user (or Canon support) updated the firmware manually!

To fix this problem, one simply re-applies the firmware (you can download the v1.1.1 firmware from the Canon website)

The problem affects Canon EOS-1D X DSLR Cameras with a 4 or 5 as sixth digit in the serial  number (except when you have a white dot in the battery compartment).

4 December 2012

Nikon releases Camera Control Pro 2.13.0

Nikon just released a new version for their Camera Control Pro 2 software.

Version 2.13.0 contains the following enhancements:
  • Support for the D5200 has been added.
  • When the focus area displayed in the Camera Control Pro 2 live view window is double-clicked with autofocusing in live view mode, the camera will now focus automatically.
    However, the camera will not focus automatically with the following cameras when Hand-held is selected for Live view mode: D3-series cameras, D700, and D300-series cameras.

Additional changes to the Windows version:
  • Compatibility with 32- and 64-bit versions of Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, and Windows 8 Enterprise has been added. However, under 64-bit versions, this software operates as a 32-bit application.

Additional modifications to the Mac OS X version:
  • Support for OS X version 10.8 has been added.
  • Support for Mac OS X version 10.5 has been eliminated.

You can download the software from the Nikon support sites: