Since late last year the photo sharing site 500px — which even then was “growing like a weed” — has continued to expand, grow, add features, and otherwise challenge Flickr for online photography dominance. But Flickr hasn’t taken it lying down. In the past this involved a redesign to make the site more visually appealing and the addition of the Aviary photo editor. Now the improvements are beginning to improve functionality. Read more…
Last month some retailers had short sales that heavily discounted Adobe Lightroom 3, selling it at $70 and $80. If you were one of the people who jumped on those deals, here’s some even better news for you: you might qualify for a free upgrade to the newly launched Lightroom 4! Adobe’s upgrade policy offers complimentary upgrades to people who purchase an old version shortly after a new one is announced, but it can also apply to you if you purchased shortly beforehand. Here are instructions on what you’ll need to do.
Upgrade policy after product announcement [Adobe]
Adobe caused a stir last November after changing its upgrade policy to only cover one version back instead of three. This meant that only Photoshop CS5 owners would qualify for the upgrade price on CS6 when it’s launched, leaving CS3 and CS4 owners the not-so-nice option of buying the CS5 upgrade before buying the CS6 one. Perhaps in response to the angry customer response, Adobe announced a “special offer” for CS3 and CS4 owners today:
[...] we want to make sure our customers have plenty of time to determine which offering is best for them. Therefore, we’re pleased to announce that we will offer special introductory upgrade pricing on Creative Suite 6 to customers who own CS3 or CS4. This offer will be available from the time CS6 is released until December 31, 2012.
We’ll find out just how much of a discount those users will receive once CS6 is released. It also appears that Adobe isn’t planning to restore the old upgrade policy — today’s announcement is more of a one-time fix for angry customers.
(via Adobe via John Nack)
Image credit: Adobe Creative Sweet CS5 by pcfishhk
Last week we reported that starting with Adobe CS6, only people who own the previous major release of the software (i.e. CS5 and above) will be eligible for upgrade pricing. Needless to say, Photoshop users are’t too happy about the changes, and now National Association of Photoshop Professionals president Scott Kelby is weighing in. In an open letter to Adobe, he writes,
While I understand that Adobe needs to make business decisions based on how it sees market conditions, I feel the timing of this new pricing structure is patently unfair to your customers (and our members). Here’s why: You didn’t tell us up front. You didn’t tell us until nearly the end of the product’s life cycle, and now you’re making us buy CS5.5 for just a few months on the chance that we might want to buy CS6 at a discount when it’s released. Otherwise, we have to pay the full price as if we were never Adobe customers at all.
Kelby also makes a plea for Adobe to either start the new policy with CS7 or to offer a tiered upgrade structure in which upgrade price is based on how recent your version is. That definitely makes more sense than having CS4 users pay full price to upgrade to CS6.
An Open Letter To Adobe Systems [Scott Kelby]
If you’ve been waiting to upgrade Photoshop CS3 or CS4 to CS6 when it’s released sometime next year, here’s some bad news: the upgrade price won’t apply to you. Starting with CS6, Adobe will be enforcing a new upgrade policy:
[...] we are changing our policy for perpetual license customers. In order to qualify for upgrade pricing when CS6 releases, customers will need to be on the latest version of our software (either CS5 or CS5.5 editions). If our customers are not yet on those versions, we’re offering a 20% discount through December 31, 2011 which will qualify them for upgrade pricing when we release CS6.
The existing policy is that customers with software from three versions back quality for upgrade pricing. For example, owners of CS2, CS3, and CS4 and upgrade to CS5. Buying the full version of Photoshop CS5 right now costs nearly $500, while the upgrade is only priced at ~$150.
(via Adobe via PhotoWalkthrough)
Image credit: Adobe CS5 nude by pcsiteuk
The latest version of Android, called “Ice Cream Sandwich”, was unveiled by Google and Samsung in Hong Kong this morning, and they’ve focused a great deal on improving the gallery and camera aspects of the mobile OS. There is indeed built-in photo editing now, allowing users to do everything from crop and rotate to adjust levels and remove red eyes. There are also a number of Instagram-style filters that can be applied to photos. Adjustments are non-destructive and stored in a file separate from the photo being edited.
The camera has also been upgraded with zero shutter lag, touch-to-focus with exposure lock, panorama stitching, 1080p recording, and time-lapse video mode. The UI has been improved with a digital zoom slider, and many of the editing options (including red eye removal) can be used in “live view”. The war between smartphones goes on, and photography continues to be one of the main battlegrounds.
Android 4.0 Platform Highlights [Android Developers]
Today Instagram released version 2.0 of its wildly popular iPhone app, which will soon see its 10 millionth user. The base technology has been completely overhauled to bring speed to the app — filters now apply 200x faster, tilt-shift applies 100x faster, and both can be viewed live while shooting. Four new filters have been introduced (seen above), and borders on filters are now optional. Finally, the resolution of photos saved to the iPhone 4 has been increased from 612×612 to 1936×1936 (the size of photos uploaded to Instagram remains unchanged).
Noticeably absent from today’s announcement was an Android version of the app, though with this major release you can bet that they’re working harder than ever on getting it released.
Instagram Version 2.0 (via Instagram via TechCrunch)
Photo sharing is proving to be one of the main battlegrounds in the social networking war between Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Facebook launched another counterattack today by increasing the resolution of displayed photos yet again from 720px to 960px, a 33% increase (last year they increased by 20% from 604px to 720px). Furthermore, the company claims that photos now load twice as fast as before.
If you had any doubts that Leica’s new M9-P is simply the M9 given a cosmetic makeover, get this: Leica is offering to upgrade any customer’s M9 camera into an M9-P. For the low Leica-esque price of $1,995, the company will give your camera “sapphire glass” for your LCD screen and a new top cover without the famous Leica red dot. If only upgrading to the latest DSLR were this easy!
Apple unveiled its new iOS 5 at the Worldwide Developers Conference 2011 today, which includes some notable upgrades to the camera functionality on the iPhone. First off, the volume up button now doubles as a shutter button, allowing the phone to be used more easily in a camera orientation. There’s also a new camera button on the phone’s unlock screen, letting you quickly switch to the app before a precious moment slips away. Finally, a AE/AF lock feature will allow you to tap any area on the screen to quickly determine the appropriate focus and exposure for that point.