Photokina: Google Acquires NIK Software

This is not actually a Photokina announcement, but I expect it to be the talk of Photokina none the less: Google has acquired NIK software, author of many excellent image editing applications, including last year’s iPad of the year award winner Snapseed.

One could ponder what a company that does not offer professional photographic applications might want with NIK, but I suspect that Snapseed is the answer. Perhaps this acquisition can best seen as a countermove to Instagram‘s recent acquisition by Facebook.

Those of us devoted to NIK’s professional imaging apps may feel a bit of concern that Goggle’s laser-targetted plans may not include continued development of specialty tools for our specialty market.

Credits: C. David Tobie, Copyright 2012. Website: Return to Blog’s Main Page


Photokina: Canon EOS 6D Camera Announced

Canon EOS 6D (image copyright, Canon, inc)

No sooner had I commented that Canon and Nikon had already made their big camera releases for the year, then Canon comes out with the new Canon EOS 6D.

What can I say. Well, if you already bought, or an afford, a  Canon EOS 5D Mark lll, then this isn’t of interest, unless you need a backup body. Where this camera gets interesting is for those who can’t justify a 5D Mark lll.

No compact flash support, but camera memory is so affordable now, thats hardly an issue. You can continue using your 5D Mark ll and Mark lll batteries, if you have them. I’ll see if I can get my hands on one at the show this week, but I prodict the crowd will be heavy!

Credits: C. David Tobie, Copyright 2012. Website: Return to Blog’s Main Page

Photokina, A Few First Impressions…

Here is my view of Cologne and Photokina. Starting, literally, with my view: from my hotel room window. Hotel windows in Europe don’t treat you like small children. They actually open, and allow you to look out, to hang out to take photos (something I’ve often put to good use), or even to fall out (something I haven’t managed yet…)

There are other items that strike an American as different, on arriving in Germany. Here’s a tall glass of beer, ordered and drunk at seven in the morning. There were several other beers of various sizes and types being consumed in this airport cafe at the same time. Not something the American Puritan Ethic would be too comfortable with. I was still working on cappuccino at that time of day.
And here is a smoking room in an airport! One of several, of varying sizes. This meets the needs of nonsmokers, by having a ventilation system with negative pressure, so no smoke escapes. But it serves the needs of smokers too; something we don’t seem willing to do in the US.
A new airline is a new opportunity to abuse the universal graphics on the safety card. Here are a couple of my favorite from Lufthansa. The first appears to be directions for using an automatic milking machine. This is something I might expect from Swiss Air, but not from Lufthansa.
Next is an illustration that appears to be telling you that if you have legs this nice, you are free to have them in the aisle. This illustration is way too hot to be willing to date Stumpy, the dot-headed, no-hands-or-feet fellow on US signage.
Germany is not all beer, cigarettes, and hot signage, however. Here’s a photo studio, complete with an iMac, and diffused lighting, on the street across the river from the Cologne Convention Center. They don’t seem too concerned about the threatening weather; if you aren’t willing to do something outside in gray weather, then in Northern Europe, you won’t be outdoors much between September and May. No nude models on this set; though I have seen them in street shoots in this neighborhood previous years. Nice smile from the computer operator, however.
I hope this fulfills the promise of local color. I’ll try to move on to actual photography news in my next post.

Credits: C. David Tobie, Copyright 2012. Website: Return to Blog’s Main Page

Photokina TV Interview: Friday, 21st Sept. at 4:00 pm


My first Photokina news is that I will be interviewed on Photokina TV, Friday, 21st Sept. at 4:00 pm. I’ll post a link to the interview once its available on the web. Topic: Whats new at Datacolor

Credits: C. David Tobie, Copyright 2012. Website: Return to Blog’s Main Page

Photokina, Coming Right Up…

Photokina is the world’s largest photo event, happening in Cologne, Germany every two years. Photokina often brings a raft of new product releases and announcements, and the opportunity to get hands-on time with new cameras and other photography related equipment.

This year it could be argued that the biggest of the big new products have already arrived. Its true that Canon’s 5D Mark lll camera, Nikon’s D800, and a range of other key cameras have already been released. Adobe has already released Photoshop CS6 and Lightroom 4, Apple has already released Mountain Lion and the new iPad, and did not hold announcement of iOS 6 and the iPhone 5 for Photokina, but announced them last week at their own event. Kodak bankruptcy and division sell-off notifications came and went without a show schedule.

So, in this instantaneous digital world, what releases and announcement might Photokina still hold in store for us? And what other value might the show have, beyond the neon lights of new product announcements?

Well, I can assure you that Datacolor will have new and interesting things to talk about at Photokina. Both in terms of products, and in the larger sense of the current direction of the imaging world, and more specifically digital imaging workflow.

So I will attempt to keep on top of any announcements at Photokina which relate to my particular area of expertise. But I will also try to find time to report on what areas of the digital workflow show attendees are most interested in this year, and what new processes they are dealing with, as well as what new products they have already purchased, or hope to, after the show. And I’ll try to find time for a bit of color as well; not the color management kind… the “local color” kind. Beer is likely to be involved…

Credits: C. David Tobie, Copyright 2012. Website: Return to Blog’s Main Page

WEBINAR: Color Management Using Spyder Technology, Wednesday Sept 19, at 1PM & 7PM EDT

On Wednesday September 19th, at 1PM and again at 7PM Eastern Time, David Saffir and I will present a webinar on Color Management using Spyder technology. This is a general webinar, introducing the concepts of color management as well as the most recent tools for color management to photographers, digital artists, and designers.

You can register for this webinar here.

There will be a Datacolor Spyder4Pro given away to a participant at each webinar, and there are likely to be some excellent specials offered as well.

This webinar series has been very popular, so be sure to sign up now to reserve a space. Our last webinar, on a highly specialized topic, was attended by people from 35 countries around the globe. So we are offering this webinar at two different times, to attempt to make it easier for those from other time zones, or with other schedules, to attend.

Credits: C. David Tobie, Copyright 2012. Website: Return to Blog’s Main Page

Thoughts on the Color Gamut of the iPhone 5

In announcing the new iPhone 5, Apple has confirmed that they are extending their recent color strategy. This strategy is to bring all of their devices, not just to Retina resolution, but to sRGB color standards. For the iPhone 5, as for the new iPad, this is a significant increase in color gamut. For the MacBook Pro, it was actually a reduction of gamut from the most recent previous MacBook Pro. But the value of this isn’t just increased color gamut size; its consistency between devices, and consistency between these devices and the web standard of sRGB. This simplifies color management for most users, by creating close to a one-to-one relationship between the image color space, and the device color space.

With the release of the new iPad, and the Retina MacBook Pro, Apple did not use the term “sRGB” when describing their color. But at the iPhone 5 event, they chose to actually use the term sRGB. So its now an official standard, not just an observation by outside experts like myself: Apple is moving its devices to an sRGB standard. There will be complaints that this is not large enough, that AdobeRGB is the ideal color gamut for displays, which may be true for some advanced photographic uses; but for most users, and especially for mobile devices accessing the web, sRGB is the best choice. Custom calibration can still offer improvement on these devices, but their general color representation is quite good for sRGB files, given their sRGB device space.

Retina Gamut compared to sRGB

Earlier Apple Device Gamut


Credits: C. David Tobie, Copyright 2012. Website: Return to Blog’s Main Page