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Friday, November 17, 2006

LightZone 2.0 Launched

The shipping version of LightZone 2.0 (it's been in beta for several months) was announced yesterday.

A powerful RAW converter that handles an expanded list of cameras and proprietary RAW formats in see-through fashion, LightZone is also a sophisticated image processing program. It can either be used in place of Photoshop or in addition to it. You can choose versions that integrate into Lightroom, Aperture, or other programs, or use it as a stand-alone.

LightZone has a large number of innovative and unique features, including the fact that it works in "stacks" that automates a "layers"-like function (preventing the accidental degradation of any file), always works in 16-bit color, and opens and uses RAW files as easily as TIFFs or JPEGs. However, the centerpieces of the interface and the user's experience of the application are the ZoneMapper and ZoneFinder, both of which are inspired by and based on the Zone System of Ansel Adams. No other program has anything like either one. Both tools are serious fun to use and can get addictive after you start to get used to what you can do with them.

LightZone is the primary sponsor of The Online Photographer. The new ad (top left), leads to a Holiday Special page that will give you a 20% discount on any LightZone program.



Blogger Adam McAnaney said...

One more thing: LightZone is to be applauded for not simply equating dollars with Euros. The Euro is currently worth 28% more than the dollar, a fact that more companies ought to take into account in their pricing policies.


8:04 AM  
Blogger Hans-J. Hertz-Eichenrode said...

Michael, this part of your news is worth more than one comment ;-), so I uncover for one time from long time lurking mode fwiw. Especially this software might proove for more than a few people to be of higher value for the final result on paper or screen than some 80 % of the exerted expert-noise about camera-hardware. I have had the fun to follow the proceedings of the program´s interface from the unexpertized perspective of a pure amateur during the last pre-Photokina-phase and after some patience-challenging mode-performance in versions before I find being worth to add: The now officially published version is a big step from the former versions. More responsive, well organized especially concerning the browser modes, so that one enjoys straightly the tools instead of fighting with modes. For anything about contrast I find that LZ gives more intuitive and simply superior options than the usual curve-and level-tools (the often inadequate S-curve-rule is left behind in a moment); defining areas is most elegant, and the blending modes give stunning control over any actions, including sharpening and anti-noise-tools and the layer-organization is plain straight. In the case of my Olympus E1 the raw engine does extract more detail than my only having survived comparison Capture one; of course this is not significant for other cameras. Where PS or the like is still needed for me is anything having to do with selective colour and replace-colour-modes. Next versions will show whether that can be harmonized with the programs philosophy - well, it should ;-).
In the newer foto-software-designs I found improved convenience with regard to organizing but this program adds to that unique redesign of digital tools pointing the work on a picture being a sample of different light-areas, not the worst remembrance of darkroom days - great in my opinion and worth any support to see further progress with LZ.
Best regards
Hans-J. Hertz-Eichenrode

4:40 AM  

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