At our lunch and learn at Becks Prime in July, we discussed two main topics – what’s next for some of the major photo editing software programs, and what to to consider when it comes time to update your computer hardware.

First…..here’s what some of the major photo editing software developers up to.

Adobe
Adobe has already announced Adobe MAX for October 18-20. So we know that there will be added features to Lightroom Classic, Lightroom, Photoshop and the other Creative Cloud applications.

However, Adobe hasn’t publicly announced what new features are coming. I might know, but….I’m under a NDA.

Adobe MAX is both in person and online. Joining in and watching online is free. So, be sure to sign up and at least watch the keynote.

ON1
ON1 has started teasing what they’re adding to the next version of of ON1 Photo RAW/ON! Effects. The first two teaser videos are about updates to masking. They call it “semantic masking”. Using AI, their software identifies various regions and objects of a photo (similar to Adobe’s Sensei), which allows you to make edits to a specific object, person, etc.

Skylum
Skylum (based in Kyiv, Ukraine) has released an updated version of Luminar Noe that supports what they call “extensions”. The first one released was HDR Merge (replacing Aurora HDR). The next extension to be released later this month is Noiseless AI. Skylum has also committed to five more extensions before the end of the year. Skylum has gone to both an annual subscription model – where you’ll get the latest version and any added extensions, plus the option for a perpetual license option for just the current version.

DXO
DXO (who wrenched Nik Collection from oblivion after Google left it for dead) updated Nik Collection earlier this year to ver. 5. Also updated is DXO’s Photo Lab to ver. 5. Nik Collection used to be the “go to” plug-in for effects in Photoshop and Lightroom.

Exposure Software
Exposure Software started out as a plug-in that mimics filmic looks. It’s now both a plug-in and stand-alone program. Exposure hasn’t announced anything as to “what’s next”, but……stay tuned.

Updating Your Computer Hardware

It’s a given – every year that Adobe updates Lightroom Classic, Photoshop and the other Creative Cloud apps, the recommended hardware requirements will probably increase.

If your looking to get a new computer, here are a few tips we discussed

  • If you are running a Windows-based system, a high end nVidia or AMD video card is a must have.
  • M1/M1 Pro-Max-Ultra/M2 Apple systems have from 7 to 64 GPU cores (hint – you don’t need 64 cores). Apple’s ‘system on a chip’ design tends to do a better job at allocating CPU/GPU/RAM resources than x86 based computers.
  • Adobe advises Lightroom Classic requires at least 12GB of RAM. If you’re looking at getting a new computer, look to a minimum of 16GB of RAM.
  • Color-accurate displays are a must. If you are using a laptop, Apple’s displays are very color accurate. For Windows users, Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio, Lenovo ThinkPad X1, HP Z Book Studio, Dell XPS, Asus Zenbook, Razer Blade, LG Gram
Charles Putnam
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