Monthly Archives: March 2013

No more boxed Nik Software – what do we get now?

With Nik Software going to download only, what are your choices if you still want boxed photo editing solutions?

(p.s. desktop Snapseed is also going too).

These three are your most comparable matches:

onOne Software

See: Perfect Photo Suite 7 – probably the closest comparison to ‘Complete Collection’ with some arguably more intuitive and useful features.

Perfect Photo Suite 7 includes the entire onOne range from black & white and filter effects to image resizing and layers. With a seamless integration into Photoshop, Lightroom and Aperture, or as a standalone product in its own right, onOne is a very good accompaniment to any image editing photographer. Good for RAW and JPG images too.

Star feature: Paint-in brush tool to work on specific areas of an image

DxO Labs

See: Optics Pro 8 Elite

Software that works in harmony with your camera and lens combination(s) to provide automatic image corrections. Optics Pro is an excellent combination of precision image correction (RAW and JPG) and creative effects. Sophistication meets creativity with very satisfying results.

Star feature: Downloadable corrections for a specific camera and lenses

Franzis HDR

See: Franzis Projects Platinum

The most natural ‘replacement’ for Nik HDR Efex Pro, Projects Platinum offers the latest in High Dynamic Range (HDR) processing. You can apply effects to a single image, or upload your RAW camera bracketing directly for tailored effects and editing. Preset effects give you a good base which can be customised and saved to suit your needs.

Star feature: The automatic ghosting removal feature is a huge benefit when working on bracketing images

Choosing a monitor (updated) – a buyer’s guide.

Back in 2011 we blogged about choosing an NEC or Eizo monitor to suit a specific budget.

Monitor choices

With Eizo launching new models in the New Year, we thought we’d re-visit your options to include these new monitors.

Something for the professionals.

Much of what we said last time is still applicable today. 24″ remains a popular size for most professionals, although we had a lot of interest in our 27″ NEC’s at this year’s Focus On Imaging. Top grade panels and high colour accuracy are still standard, as are monitor hoods and calibration software for your higher-grade models.

So without bombarding you with too much information…

The 24″ choice:

Consider whether you require the IPS panel of the Eizo or the newer P-IPS panel of the NEC. The Eizo has a larger native resolution of 2560 x 1440 compared to 1920 x 1080, but the NEC has a higher Adobe RGB coverage of 98% compared to the 97% of the Eizo. Both come with monitor hood and calibration software.

Again your choice is between an IPS (Eizo) and P-IPS (NEC) display. Consider the Eizo’s 16:10 ratio, 1920 x 1200 resolution and digital screen uniformity feature compared to the NEC’s 16:9, 1920 x 1080 and no digital screen uniformity option.

The 27″ choice:

These are the ‘bigger brothers’ of the 24″ versions mentioned above. The main consideration points are the IPS panel, 850:1 ratio and 97% Adobe RGB coverage of the Eizo compared to the P-IPS panel, 1000:1 ratio and 98% Adobe RGB coverage of the NEC. Both come with monitor hood and calibration software.

The main consideration points are the IPS panel, 850:1 ratio, 97% Adobe RGB coverage and digital screen uniformity of the Eizo compared to the P-IPS panel, 1000:1 ratio, 98% Adobe RGB coverage and no digital uniformity feature of the NEC. Neither monitor comes with hood or calibration software.

Still out of your price range?

If these are still out of your range, consider either dropping down a monitor size or to the next grade of monitor.

  • Eizo SX2462W or NEC PA241W (from approx. £696 to £839 respectively)
  • Eizo CS230 or NEC P232W (from approx. £590 to £450 respectively)

Bear in mind stepping down in price range or grade often reduces the size of the screen and the feature-set included. Granting, these choices are excellent ‘entry-level’ options. They will all benefit from the addition of a monitor hood that can be purchased separately. None will come with their own calibration software.

As ever, your best bet when choosing a new display is to specify what features you desire and then ‘compare and contrast’ which monitor best fits your requirements.

We’ve created a monitor comparison chart to help guide you through this comparison.

If you still can’t decide, comment below or get in touch and we’ll do our best to help!

View from the front

Focused on imaging

So there we go, another Focus On Imaging done and dusted.

It was a very good show for us this year. Our NEC Monitor area was very popular and our presentation area was also full throughout.

With great support from our colleagues at DxO, Franzis, X-Rite, Tecco and NEC, we hope all those who visited our stand came away with more insight into the sometimes daunting world of colour management.

One thing is for sure – lots of people will be going away and calibrating their screens which is great to hear. You’re all on your way to accurate colour!

We hope you’ll agree our stand was a big improvement on last years design too. We were extremely pleased with it.

Take a look at our gallery from the show: