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News from the photo world focused on amateur/enthusiast and professionals.

Adobe Systems Inc. has announced a new release of the popular consumer imaging application: Photoshop Elements 8.

Most important new features:

X-Rite has announced a new product for color calibration: ColorChecker Passport.

It is a plastic and protective case (against color change due to ultraviolet light) that contains three ColorChecker targets: White Balance, Classic and Creative Enhancement.

A software application is included both as a standalone version and as a Lightroom plugin: it allows creation of DNG profiles to be used with Photoshop and Lightroom.

Price will be around 100 $.

Detailed info available at this link.

Pentax has announced an upper-entry level DSLR: K-x. It is derived from the K2000 (also called "K-m" outside the United States) but with a lot of additions and improvements also taken from bigger brother K-7.

The most notable ones are:

  • a new 12.4 megapixels CMOS sensor
  • a 11-points autofocus system with face detection up to 16 faces (in case you have many friends...),
  • HD video recording (not full HD though) up to 24 fps and with an internal microphone;
  • HDR mode to take multiple shots with different exposure and combine them to get a high dynamic range image;
  • ISO up to 6400;
  • shutter speed up to 1/6000th second;
  • 4 new digital filters (post-processing effects).

Interestingly, this model will be shipped in 4 colors: the classic black and the the original white, red and navy blue (the last two in limited numbers).

The new model should be available from October 2009 at an Initial price around 650 $ with kit lens that is a 18-55 mm DA-L (note that "L" in Pentax indicates an economic version of the lens not like in Canon that indicates a pro lens).

SanDisk today has announced new CompactFlash - CF cards offering the fastest performance so far: Extreme Pro, able of up to 97MB/s read speeds (about 647x) in Rob Galbraith tests. Sizes will be 16, 32 and 64 GB.

Also Transcend has announced new CF cards with 8 GB size and 600x speed (about 90 MB/s).

Lastly, also PhotoFast (a not worldwide known manufacturer based in Taipei -Taiwan-) has announced 2 new CF cards with 533x speed.

The pixel race pumps up this faster and faster cards.

Adobe has released Camera Raw 5.5 for Photoshop CS4 (not compatible with earlier versions of Photoshop) and Lightroom 2.5.

Let's see the changes in the new versions:

A couple of days ago Corel has launched Digital Studio 2010: a software for both video making (also DVD burning) and for photo retouch and organizing. The new version offers touch operation.

That means that with, of course, a dedicated device it leverages the Windows Touch feature available with latest Microsoft® Windows® 7 and allow touch based operations like photo organizing.

The product is available for download at a retail price of about 100 $. Link to US Corel website: http://www.corel.com/us/

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