Friday, January 12, 2007
Buyer's Guide 2007: Digital Imaging Software
From basic fixes to professional tools for the most demanding enthusiast, there's a photo app
Mac users have it good. One look at the newest release of iPhoto, Apple iPhoto '06, which is included with every new Mac, will quickly tell you why. This application has grown into a powerful image-editing program capable of handling most of the tasks the average user will throw at it. With version '06, iPhoto has added the ability to store your images anywhere you like rather than in a single directory structure as before. This is a boon to anyone with a large set of digital images and limited disk space.
Excellent keywording tools, along with a very intuitive interface, make iPhoto a joy to use, even for those of you who need to spend time in Photoshop as well. The latest version supports RAW file conversion from most Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Olympus cameras.
The basic iPhoto interface looks like many of the other image browsers, but when you double-click an image to edit it, you go to a full-screen mode with floating palettes that are very similar to working in Aperture. iPhoto includes a number of filter effects, along with controls to adjust colors, levels, cropping to specific sizes andmore.
One of the strong points with iPhoto has always been output, with a number of useful templates for cards, calendars and books available, as well as the ability to post to the Web and send e-mail or your images out for printing. iPhoto '06 adds a new feature, Podcasting, which automatically broadcasts new images to anyone you allow to subscribe, similar to a blog.
If you use a Mac, look no further than iPhoto '06 to see if it meets your needs. When you're ready to move on to something more full-featured, you have a number of options available to you, which we cover here. List Price: Free with a new Mac, or as part of the $79 iLife '06 suite.
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