Archive for June, 2010

Lightroom 3

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

So Adobe has released Lightroom 3. A full list of changes is available at Lightroom Journal.

While I did not want to update to any x.0 product from Adobe anymore, I admit that Lightroom 3 has a couple of features that really are worth it.

1) Profile-based lens corrections

This is a cool feature. Lightroom recognizes the lens used for the shot and offers a manual correction to the image to correct geometric problems, chromatic aberrations, and vignette effects. It works like a charm, even with Canon’s beautiful L series. Have a look at this image that came straight out of camera from a recent wedding, imported with just the Lightroom standard settings. It was shot with the EF 24-70/2.8L, so the original already looks very good. However, once the lens correction is applied, the image looks brighter and the tiny distortion (e.g. at the church tower) seems to be corrected. In fact, the image looks much better without having even touched it. Good stuff.

Lightroom 3 lens correction applied to a photo straight out of the camera (before/after).

2) Improved noise reduction

Lightroom has always been a champion in the noise reduction department. With Lightroom 3 it seems that they have further improved. Here are two images of the same photo, cropped to reflect 100% size. It was shot at ISO 800, so some noise is visible in the original. But applying a little noise reduction (Luminance 25, Detail 50) gets rid of the noise easily. It’s hard to say by how much this feature has been improved, but it seems that I do not need to “turn up the cranks” as much as I needed to in LR 2.6.1

100% crop from a ISO 800 shot, no noise reduction applied.

The same image, with Lightroom’s noise reduction applied.

As for the overall performance, I have not yet done any tests but will do so and report back. Since I have upgraded to a faster machine, last autumn, I find that exporting images is not the time-consuming task it used to be. Thus, I do not think that Adobe needs much improvement here (though it would be nice to see).

Thieves in Unterhaching!

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Now it’s official: there is crime in the small village of Unterhaching in Germany, that nice suburban community south of Munich!

Yesterday, some arse stole Petra’s old, rusty bike, the one that we are using as “Express Bike” to just get to the suburban train quickly, to make some purchases at the local grocery, or to bring a letter to the post office. On a Sunday afternoon (the bike was still present at 2 pm), that moron came along and just took the bike. At 7 pm we noticed that it was gone. Incredible! While Petra admits that she did not lock the bike when she returned from the grocery on Saturday, it still takes criminal intent to just step into a front yard and steal a bike that clearly is not yours.

The only positive thought is that the thief will probably not be very happy with the bike, not very happy at all: The tires can not keep the pressure, the brakes are producing a loud screeeeching sound but do not work very well, the gear change is broken, and there are no working lights! Still – for us it was a convenient way to get around the village during the day, also thanks to the fantastic bike basket that was attached to the rock solid Topeak MTX Godzilla carrier. I miss the bike already, and it’s a terrible thought that the thief will probably just throw it to the boardwalk somewhere when he realizes that the bike was a bad choice.

What really concerns me is the fact that crime has now crept into our peaceful village, and -worse!- into our quiet neighborhood.

What a sad, sick society we live in!

12/12/2009: Our front yard with Petra’s old, trusted, rusty bike.
Mark Zanzig

Today: Our front yard without Petra’s old, trusted, rusty bike.
Mark Zanzig