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SHORTS & BRIEFS: June 6

Nik off to a new start…‘Expect more’, says Sony…End of line for Canon EOS 7…

Nik off to a new start
European digital imaging software company DxO has announced the second generation under its ownership of the poweful Nik suite of seven Photoshop plug-ins, Nik Collection 2 by DxO.

It’s compatible with Photoshop and Lightroom Classic and should really beef up little old Photoshop Elements. But for those looking to throw off the shackles of Adobe’s monthly installment plan, it’s also bundled with DxO’s own photo editing software.

The new version has over 40 new ‘En Vogue’ creative presets (we did mention DxO was European) and high-resolution monitor support for Windows. As mentioned, it also comes complete with its own RAW-compatible editing software – the well-regarded PhotoLab 2.3 (Essential Edition).

There were already 156 presets in Nik. Along with its exclusive U-point technology, it’s what made it popular among a select group of photographers. Now there are almost 200 in total, including: 10 new recipes for Color Efex Pro; 10 black and white presets to Silver Efex Pro; 12 new HDR presets to HDR Efex Pro; and 10 new tool combinations to Analog Efex Pro.

An example highlighted in the press release is ‘Blue Monday’ (Color Efex Pro), which, ahem, ‘combines the fresh look of subtle Varitone colouring, the visual interest of cross processing, and the softness of a slightly desaturated effect.’ ‘More Silver’ ‘pairs the crispness of silver toning with a fine grain, resulting in black and white photographs that feature a level of balanced contrast typically achieved through darkroom techniques.’

The Nik Collection 2 now supports Windows high-resolution monitors (HiDPI), and DxO claims it brings high res image quality on monitor up to macOS standards.

The included DxO PhotoLab 2.3 Essential photo editing software gives photographers direct access to the plugins from their workspace via a dedicated button and drop-down menu. After the image is edited in DxO PhotoLab 2, it can be quickly converted and sent to one of the Nik Collection plugins.

PhotoLab 2.3 supports RAW files from a broad range of digital cameras including Leica M 10-D and M 10-P,Nikon D3500,Panasonic Lumix S1, S1R, LX100 II, Sony A6400, and RX100 VA, Canon EOS RP and Olympus OM-D E-M1 X. There are more than 500 new optical modules in the library, bringing its total number of camera/lens combinations to 47,500. Go to https://www.dxo.com/en/dxo-photolab/supported-cameras/

The Nik Collection 2 is now available for download on the DxO website with a price tag of US$150 (on special for US$100 through to June 30). This is a great deal, as PhotoLab 2.3 as a standalone software product is US$129.

‘Expect more’, says Sony
Further to our recent story venturing that Sony was numero uno in global camera sales, the company has now announced that in 2018 it overtook Nikon in interchangeable camera sales – DSLR and mirrorless – in revenue terms. In mirrorless cameras alone – the only growth sector in camera sales – it holds top position. It still trails Canon in interchangeables. It  has overtaken Canon for top spot in compact cameras, with a market share of 29 percent.

About a year ago Sony announced a goal of becoming the top camera manufacturer in the next three years, and it appears it is  ahead of schedule. We still think to all intends and purposes it’s already there.

Sony also occupies top spot in image sensor manufacture – with daylight, not Canon, second – but the revenue from that business is separate from the camera business. It supplies sensors to other camera manufacturers as well as its own Imaging business unit. If Sony were to come out tomorrow and claim market leadership in digital camera manufacture in revenue terms, it would be a difficult position to argue against.

Sony told investor its strengths in digital cameras included one mount covering both full-frame and APS-C formats, lens quality, and compact design.’When we look at the competition – Canon and Nikon – we are approaching their level but still we have room for growth,’ Shigeki Ishizuka, president, Sony Imaging Products & Solutions, told investors on May 21. ‘You can expect much more from us.’ He singled out the professional segment as offering that ‘room for growth’.

He said the market would be essentially flat for the next three years, with full-frame mirrorless cameras making up for a downturn in DSLRs.

End of the line for Canon EOS 7
Canon is making the move away from DSLRs it flagged its last annual report. According to self-explanatory blog Canon Rumors, it’s killing off the Canon 7D premium APS-C line, with the 7D MkII the final generation. Instead, a specced-up EOS 90D is expected to replace both the EOS 80D and the 7D Mk II, possibly late in the third quarter.

A new model in the li’l orphan Annie Canon M range is also written about as being announced at the same time.

 

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