Also gains new Text and Shape Cutter tools, Smart Edges
Corel has released PaintShop Pro X7, a major upgrade of its photo-editing suite. The biggest addition is said to be Magic Fill, a Photoshop-like "content-aware" tool that can erase an object and replace it with content that matches the background, even if that background is varied. Several other tools have also been added, including Text and Shape Cutters -- used to create objects based on underlying images -- and Smart Edge, which prevents brush strokes from crossing lines.
Printers added to Envy and Officejet lines, qualify for HP's Instant Ink program
Four new e-All-in-One printers were announced by HP today, adding a few new options for consumers and businesses looking to add a printer that can be used with a number of devices. HP has said that it is adding three low-cost options to the Envy line for in-home use, and an Officejet model for home offices to suit different customer needs. Desktop and mobile devices, including iOS, Android, ChromeOS, Windows 8, and the Kindle Fire HDX can all be utilized with the new e-All-in-One units.
Home projector excels at 3D and bulb life, but has brightness issues and poor color presets
With high-definition televisions now the standard, 4K televisions becoming the next big thing, and plasma TVs going the way of the dinosaurs, in-home entertainment is an interesting beast these days. There are an overwhelming number of choices. Projectors could be a money-saving option, but they still suffer from overwhelming model choices, from business-oriented units to full-blown home theater experiences. Epson, however, hopes to simplify that with the PowerLite Home Cinema 2030, a projector that offers full 1080p without breaking the bank like some home theater choices. But does the projector exceed the TV experience, or will users want their flat panels back? Find out in our review.
Curved Ultra HD OLED televisions from LG have 77-inch, 65-inch screens
Shortly after launching a curved OLED HDTV in the United States, LG has revealed it will be bringing to market similar televisions with a higher Ultra HD resolution. The previously-rumored 4K-capable displays, in 77-inch and 65-inch versions, will have the same OLED technology and curved surface as the earlier release, but this time it will be able to show 4K-resolution video.
New device would receive video streamed from Windows Phone, PCs
Microsoft appears to be in the process of developing a Google Chromecast-like device. Filings with the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) show the software giant to be at least considering a HDMI dongle with Wi-Fi and a USB port, using Miracast to send content from a Windows device, in a manner similar to Apple's Airplay. The device would fill an unserved market, with AirPlay only on iOS and OS X devices and Google Cast on Android, iOS, and, web apps.
Twistable section of Cyber-shot DSC-KW11 designed for selfie photographs
Sony has extended its Cyber-shot compact camera range with a snapper designed for self portraits. The Cyber-shot DSC-KW11 is unusually designed to look like a perfume bottle, with the main camera sensor housed in a transparent top section able to rotate 180 degrees, allowing it to be used for normal photographs as well as selfies.
Refined Leica M-P replaces front logo with top plate engraving
Premium camera producer Leica has revealed an upgraded version of its Leica M rangefinder. The Leica M-P houses a full-frame 24-megapixel CMOS sensor, accompanied by a 2-gigabyte memory buffer double the size of the Leica M version, allowing it to be not only twice as fast, but also capable of up to 24 images in a burst mode at a speed of 3 fps.
Blu-ray support a focus
Apple has issued minor updates to Final Cut Pro and two of its companion apps, Compressor and Motion. Final Cut has been updated to v10.1.3, primarily solving problems burning Blu-ray discs or creating a Blu-ray disk image. It also ensures that color corrections are kept when pasted between clips during Share, and that effects applied to clips in the Browser in previous versions are retained when clips are added to the timeline. Other fixes target XML round-trip imports, automatic library backups, and skimming growing files in the Browser.
Digital magazine newsstand adds batch downloading feature
Zinio, a digital magazine newsstand platform, has released an update for its iOS app. Users can read magazine issues as soon as they are available, and sync their library offline and across devices. Zinio v2.8 features batch downloading, meaning that multiple magazines can be queued to download. Magazine thumbnails now appear larger in one's Library, and featured articles from Explore can be shared more easily via Facebook, Twitter or by email.
Wins out over Samsung, Sharp, Japan Display
Apple has picked LG Display as its primary supplier of display panels for the iPhone 6, according to supply chain sources cited by Chinese site Feng.com. The firm is said to have beat out Samsung, Sharp, and Japan Display for the bulk of orders. Otherwise, however, it's not specified what the balance will be. The implication is also that Sharp is indeed in the supply chain, despite a May report claiming it had been dropped in favor of Innolux due to quality control problems.
Three new multifunction printers, plus three stand-alone printers added
Printer manufacturer Brother today introduced a new line of monochrome laser printers and all-in-ones for the Small Office and Home Office (SOHO) market. Debuting today are the HL-L2320D, HL-L2360DW, and HL-L2380DW stand-alone black and white laser printers. New multifunction devices include the MFC-L2700DW, MFC-L2720DW, and MFC-L2740DW laser printers.
New projectors deliver 3000 lumens, designed for ambient light
Projector manufacturer Epson today introduced two new EX Pro series projectors, delivering high brightness and advanced connectivity options, including built-in wireless projection and Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) support. The new EX7235 Pro and EX7230 Pro are designed for meeting rooms with ambient light, and deliver WXGA resolution for widescreen HD presentations, 3,000 lumens of color light output, and 3,000 lumens of white light output.
Aspire V Nitro range topped by high-specification Black Edition notebooks
Acer is expanding its range of Aspire notebooks with a new collection of gaming systems, named the Aspire V Nitro. At the same time, the company revealed a collection of monitors for gaming and business, with the three new ranges including screen sizes between 27 inches and 32 inches, and with WQHD and 4K resolutions to choose from.
High speed photos taken with help of smartphone app, compatible with many current cameras
Welcome to another Tuesday edition of the Crowdfunding Critic here at Electronista and MacNN. Every Tuesday and Thursday, we bring you a crowdfunding project that we like enough to share with our readers. As we note, this isn't an endorsement of the project or the campaign, but rather something the staff thought was interesting enough to mention. As with any crowdfunding project, we urge our readers to research the items they are considering pledging on, as all investments come with risk. The subject for today's post is the MIOPS smartphone controllable high-speed camera trigger.
Enables development of Oculus-compatible Mac apps
Facebook-owned Oculus VR has released v0.41 of its beta SDK. Mostly a maintenance release, it is however the first to support OS X, which should allow developers to add Oculus Rift support to games and other Mac software. Since Macs are lacking an appropriate display driver, support currently relies on the Extend Desktop mode.
New FirePro cards support 4K displays, use Graphics Core Next architecture
AMD has taken to Siggraph 2014 to launch new cards in its FirePro graphics card collection for professional use. A total of four graphics cards have joined the range, going from more basic offerings to high-performance variants, with the FirePro W2100, W4100, W5100, and W7100 all supporting 4K displays, with the group also using AMD's Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture.
New Nvidia Quadro releases span low to high-end performance
Nvidia today unveiled its next generation of Quadro GPUs. The company promises that the new lineup delivers up to twice the application performance and data-handling capability of the previous generation of the line. Five new Quadro GPUs have been announced -- the K5200, K4200, K2200, K620 and K420.
Miniature Polaroid action cam measures 1.4-inches cubed, records 1080p video
A miniature Polaroid-branded life-logging action camera is now available for preorder globally. The Polaroid Cube, first shown at CES in January under the C3 name, measures just 35mm (1.4 inches) in each direction but has a shockproof, water-resistant rubber casing with a built-in magnet for quickly attaching it to metal surfaces.
Clear Image function in OnePlus One camera app creates composite from ten photographs
OnePlus has started to roll out an over-the-air update to the OnePlus One smartphone, upgrading the device to Android 4.4.4. The staggered rollout, which should reach all device owners by the end of this week, fixes a number of bugs in the firmware and updates Android itself to a more recent version, as well as introducing a new function to the camera app called Clear Image.
OpenGL 4.5 released, group asks for participation in Next Generation OpenGL Initiative
The Khronos Group make a number of announcements regarding OpenGL today at SIGgraph 2014. On top of a number of industry implementations of OpenGL ES 3.1, the group announced the release of OpenGL 4.5. Khronos also unveiled a new project called the Next Generation OpenGL Initiation, in turn asking for participation in the project to help "define a future standard for high-efficiency access to graphics and computing on modern GPUs."
New LG curved OLED TV price less than quarter of similar earlier model
LG has launched an OLED HDTV which it is offering for less than a quarter of the price of a similar-specification television it put on sale last year for $15,000. The 55EC9300 55-inch Curved OLED TV is now available to pre-order in the United States for $3,500 via Best Buy, with LG aiming to ship the television from August 24th.
Snagajob job listing database launches app
American hourly-employment marketplace service, Snagajob, has announced the release of its free app this week. Designed for job seekers, Snagajob for iOS utilizes the video, photo and GPS technology of smartphones and tablets. Users can record and upload short clips of themselves to include with applications; the same can be done with photos. The app can locate all available positions in the user's area, simplifying the job search.
Does the mid-range panel have what it takes for your desk?
Buzzwords and acronyms abound when talking about monitors. HDMI, DVI, HD, Full HD, 4K, and these just skim the surface. With the proliferation of super-high resolution computer monitors adding to the alphabet soup, there is always a need for a midrange but physically large display for computers implementing fewer of the codewords, just to give a bit more real estate to workers, or a fast responding display for gamers. Samsung is attempting to bridge both worlds with the S27D390H 27-inch LED monitor. How well does it straddle the line between affordability and performance? Check our review to find out.
13.3-inc rMBP for $1,450
At Adorama.com this week, get the 13.3-inch Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1,449. That's $250 less than the MSRP of $1,699, and the lowest price we have seen on this Mac model by the same price margin. Free US shipping is included, but sales tax is applied for residents of New York state. This MBP features retina display, a 2.6GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 16GB of RAM and 128GB of flash storage. It is backed by a one-year warranty on parts and labor from Apple.
Adds support for newer cameras to Aperture 3, iPhoto '11
On Thursday, Apple updated its Digital Camera RAW Compatibility plug-in for its two leading Mac photo programs, Aperture 3.x and iPhoto '11, to add support for a number of recently-introduced digital cameras. The update includes support for two Nikon models, two Olympus models, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4, several Sony Alpha releases and a single Sony Cyber-shot camera, the DSC-RX100 III. The update allows RAW files from these cameras to be directly imported by Aperture and iPhoto.
Supports more formats, streamlines interface
Adobe has released an update for Photoshop CC, its flagship image editing software. Listed as 2014.1, the code is geared exclusively towards 3D printing improvements. It now supports VRML, U3D, PLY, and IGES files for instance, as well as the fifth-generation MakerBot Replicator, and Japan's DMM.com printing service.
High-resolution Acer Ultra HD display available in United States
Acer has put a Ultra HD monitor on sale in the United States, aimed at the professional market. Measuring 28 inches, the B286HK has a native 3,840x2,160 resolution in a 16:9 aspect ratio, is said to offer sharp pictures and high color accuracy courtesy of its included six-axis color adjustment system, and has a maximum contrast ratio of 100 million to one, with a response time of 2ms.
New models feature 11x17 printing, wide mobile compatibility
Printer manufacturer Brother today announced the MFC-J5620DW and the MFC-J5720DW, the first two models from its new line of color inkjet all-in-ones for small businesses, the Business Smart Plus Series. The new model offers printing up to 11x17, with print speeds of up to 22ppm black and 20ppm color.
Bokeh control, gyro sensor used in retro-styled Pentax Q-S1
Ricoh has launched another camera in its Q-range of Pentax compact snappers, which it claims is one of the world's smallest and lightest with interchangeable lenses. The Q-S1 has a 12.4-megapixel BSI CMOS image sensor, housed inside a retro-styled body which customers are able to heavily personalize, thanks to its wide selection of color combinations.
Forthcoming Photos may not meet pro needs, at least at first
Following Apple's decision to cease development on its own pro photo organizer and editor Aperture in favor of a forthcoming hybrid photo manager called Photos, Adobe has published a new guide intended to help current Aperture users switch and migrate their images and projects to Lightroom, its own pro-level image manager. While Photos, with its support of third-party plug-ins, may grow into a program that both pros and amateurs can use, its mission is aimed more at "prosumer" users.
Home server replacement captures antenna, cable channels for viewing on most devices
For consumers trying to cut the cord and rely solely on the Internet for television entertainment, there are still some issues. Mainly, the problem is that local channels aren't accessible through existing streaming methods, outside of the some clips or news shorts from a website. Are there other options out there for people that still want to see their local news or sporting events without maintaining a cable subscription? Yes, thanks to Simple.tv. But does the device work in a manner that is consumer-friendly, or does it cause more problems than its worth? Find out in our review.
MBPs, iMacs, cameras, and more
Adorama.com currently has the previous-generation Retina 13.3-inch MacBook Pro on sale for $2,250. That' s $150 less than their regular price of $2,400, and $250 off the MSRP of $2,500. This MacBook Pro features a 2.6GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 16GB of RAM and 1TB of flash storage. Included is a one-year warranty on parts and labor.
Brings styles, filters, fine controls to RAW, JPEG monochrome pictures
Photo software maker Macphun has unveiled a fourth tool in its suite of image-editing apps, this time creating one aimed at the art of black and white photography, whether the image was originally shot in color or not. Called Tonality, the program works with up to 16-bit RAW images or JPEG files and offers a range of tools that go far beyond simply removing color. In addition to serious tools like adaptive exposure, smart contrast and structure detailing, the program brings various styles and filters into the mix.
Parliant releases voice announcement software for Mac users
Parliant has announced the release of its new voice messaging product for Mac users, Echoes. Functioning on a local network, users can contact other Macs running Echoes and send a voice message instantly, without the need for "dialing" like Skype or FaceTime. To send a voice announcement, one selects "Announce" from the Echoes icon found in the menu bar. Users can announce to both individuals or groups, and quickly reply to the sender of the last received announcement. Keyboard shortcuts for sending and replying can be set, and the last announcement made can be re-sent without re-recording. Priced at $10, Echoes is available through the App Store.
Singapore, South America, New Zealand residents first users of Android app
Instagram has done a soft launch of its own ephemeral messaging service application, Bolt. Download links for the Android-only app are active for users in Singapore, South America, and New Zealand for users to start using the app, designed to send one-to-one video and photos between users as temporarily as possible, given the nature of the Internet.
Cascaded display research from Nvidia could lead to cheaper virtual reality displays
High-resolution, low-cost displays for virtual reality headsets such as the Oculus Rift could become a reality sooner than first thought, if recently-revealed research from Nvidia is adopted. Researchers working for the graphics chip producer realized that stacking two lower-resolution panels on top of each other could effectively provide a similar experience to the user as looking at a higher-quality display.
New PowerShot digital bridge cameras include up to 42x optical zoom
Canon has increased its range of versatile PowerShot digital cameras with two new additions. The new PowerShot SX520 HS and the PowerShot SX400 IS are both bridge cameras with DSLR physical styling, with the two touting extended-range zoom lenses capable of providing wide focal ranges, and though they have similar image processors and sensors, they do offer different photographic experiences.
App to be discontinued
Beginning with iOS 8 beta 4, Apple is warning owners of iPhoto for iOS that some features may not make the transition to its replacement, at least at first. Much as with iPhoto on the Mac, users will eventually be migrated over to an all-new, native Photos app, a huge overhaul of the existing iOS Photos app. When trying to run iPhoto in the current beta of iOS 8, an error message now appears stating that iPhoto isn't supported; instead, people are offered the choice to migrate data to Photos, with the exception of "layouts and text added to Books, Journals and Slideshows."
4K tech could come to iMac or new monitor
OS X Yosemite -- which is going into public beta tomorrow -- should eventually ship in late October, sources claim. The present plan is reportedly to keep releasing new developer betas every two to three weeks through September 29th. Work should then shift to a gold master build, due October 10th. Final details, including a launch date, may be announced at Apple's October media event.
Apple could be key client
Sony has announced plans to invest 35 billion yen, or about $345 million, on scaling up production of image sensors for phones and tablets. Manufacturing of stacked CMOS sensors will increase at two factories in the southern Japanese island of Kyushu; meanwhile, the company is planning to complete work on a factory in northwestern Japan that it bought from Renesas. The hope is to boost wafer output 13 percent to 68,000 per month by August 2015, moving towards a longer-term target of 75,000, itself just a mid-term goal.
Previously released for iOS in August, turns tablets into notebook, sketchpad
Those looking for a note-taking solution or a sketchbook for Windows 8 and Android-based tablets have a new option to look at today. Wacom has expanded the availability of Bamboo Paper, adding tablets beyond the iPad, including the Kindle Fire, Surface 2 and Galaxy Tab 4, to the mix. Bamboo Paper was originally launched for iOS devices in August.
11.6-inch MacBook Air cut to $950
This week, BestBuy.com is offering sale prices on a variety of Mac models, one being the 11.6-inch MacBook Air, which has seen a $150 discount from $1,099 down to $949. That discount makes this the best price currently available on this Mac model by $50. Free US shipping is included, and sales tax applies for residents of most states. This MBA features a 1.4GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 256GB of solid state storage. A one-year warranty on parts and labor is included from Apple.
Blackmagic Design adds Apple ProRes file formats for Camera 1.8.2 software
Video software maker Blackmagic Design has announced the availability of Camera 1.8.2 software, adding three new Apple ProRes file formats for the Blackmagic Cinema Camera, Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera and Blackmagic Production Camera 4K. The new Apple ProRes file formats include ProRes 422, ProRes 422 LT and ProRes 422 Proxy, and their inclusion means that Blackmagic Design camera can have significantly smaller video file sizes with longer recording durations, while preserving 10-bit 4:2:2 quality. Camera v1.8.2 is available now for download from the Blackmagic Design website, free for all Blackmagic camera customers.
New versions for Photoshop CS 6 and CC add new camera support, bug fixes
Adobe has made available release candidate versions of its upcoming Camera Raw 8.6 plug-in and DNG Converter, also at version 8.6, for final testing by users before an official release. As is now official policy with Adobe, users running Photoshop CS6 are limited to only receiving any new camera support and bug fixes; only Photoshop CC subscribers will receive any new feature updates. The release candidates a number of all three additions in the latest version.
Google Earth aerial images can be purchased, previously only viewable with API
Google opened up a new path for businesses looking for aerial photography this week, with an addition of Google Maps for Business imagery. The service now grants customers the ability to purchase aerial photos used in Google Earth from the continental United States, reducing the need for business to collect and store their own.
FCC approves rules to cover clips under Communications of Video Accessibility Act
Last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted unanimously to extend the provisions of 2012 closed captioning rules to further cover Internet video clips from television shows. The new rules expand provisions of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 in the process. As a method of ensuring equal access to all programming forms to parties that suffer from hearing impairment, the FCC opted to require all Internet TV show clips to have captions in place, starting in January 2016.
4K monitors, cameras, PCs and more
This week at NCIX.com, get the Samsung 28-inch 4K LED monitor on sale for the reduced price of $530 with free shipping. That's $170 off their regular price of $700, and about $90 less than the lowest price offered anywhere else. This monitor features 28 inches of 4K resolution (3840x2160) with a contrast ratio of 1000:1, 1ms response time and a brightness of 370cd/m. It is compatible with both Windows and Mac, with HDMI or DisplayPort connectivity options.
Optical zoom in Pentax XG-1 extends to 208-times magnification with digital assistance
Ricoh has launched a new bridge camera with a long optical zoom and similar physical styling to DSLR cameras. The Pentax XG-1 houses a 16-megapixel back-illuminated 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor with a maximum sensitivity of ISO 3200, behind a 52-times optical zoom lens giving 35mm-equivalent focal lengths from a 24mm ultra-wide-angle to a 1,248mm super telephoto lens.
Wunderlist 3 announced, to premiere in coming weeks
Task management app Wunderlist has announced the upcoming release of its third version, due in the coming weeks. Featuring a new design, Wunderlist 3 includes 60 new improvements, which centre around improving the app's versatility in curating and sharing lists. Those interested in being one of the first users of Wunderlist 3 can sign up, and news updates can be found on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Google+.
Google Cardboard offers an incredibly good VR experience
One of the highlights of the Google I/O developer event for 2014 was the debut of the experimental Google Cardboard project. With the dawn of mass market virtual reality finally upon us thanks to the arrival of the Oculus Rift (at least in early beta hardware form), Google Cardboard seems decidedly low-tech by comparison. Seemingly a little odd at first, the Cardboard premise is a simple one: bring a virtual reality experience to an even wide audience, on the cheap, to anyone who owns a relatively recent Android smartphone. Made from its namesake cardboard, could it possibly be any good?