DxO announces landmark moment for Nik Collection with version 6.3

Nik Collection

Download the new Nik Collection 6.3 here, trial version available.

Press release:

DxO announces landmark moment for Nik Collection with version 6.3

It is a big day for Nik Collection. Today’s release of the world’s favorite set of photo-editing plugins for Photoshop and Lightroom Classic marks the culmination of a six-year project to entirely rebuild the software inherited from Google in 2017. Available now, version 6.3 is faster and more reliable than ever before, and features comprehensive updates to Nik Sharpener and Nik HDR Efex.

Nik Collection Completely Redesigned by DxO Labs

In October 2017 DxO Labs acquired the Nik Collection from Google. Six years later, the huge task of re- authoring is complete, with every line of code rewritten for the latest technology. The release of Nik Collection 6.3, the suite is fully compatible with Windows, MacOS, and Apple Silicon, it works harmoniously within Adobe Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Lightroom Classic, DxO PhotoLab, and Affinity Photo, and is faster and more reliable than ever before.

“We are hugely proud of this achievement. With this work complete, we can now focus solely on adding exciting new features and technology. Our talented engineers are committed to making Nik Collection the indispensable creative companion to every passionate photographer’s workflow.” (Jérôme Ménière, CEO of DxO Labs)

The new editions of Nik Sharpener and Nik HDR Efex include a host of updates making them more powerful and easier to use. Both feature a new interface with a clearer, cleaner look that matches the other Nik Collection plugins. Also, you can now choose where sliders for local adjustments appear on-screen: controls can be either kept in a sidebar to tidy the image area, or overlaid in traditional style.

And as with Nik Collection 6.3’s other plugins, the U PointTM technology in Nik HDR Efex and Nik Sharpener now features: NEW Control Lines add flexibility when making broad adjustments, letting you harness the power of Control Points

  • NEW Control Lines add flexibility when making broad adjustments, letting you harness the power of Control Points when sharpening across linear gradients
  • NEW Control Point diffusion lets you regulate the strength and style of sharpening adjustments more easily
  • NEW Control Points and Control Lines can now be inverted, giving you huge flexibility when sharpening specific areas of an image
  • NEW Color Selectivity sliders allow Control Point and Control Line editing to be tied to specific colors and tones in an image
  • NEW Renamable Local Adjustments let you stay on top of complex edits, and local adjustments can now be saved as Presets, giving you quick access to frequently used sharpening recipes.
  • NEW Call on any of your last 15 Nik Collection edits and apply them with a single click
  • NEW Presets can now be searched for by name, so you can instantly find your favorite edits
  • NEW HiDPI & Multiscreen support lets you work with all screen configurations
  • NEW Affinity Photo is now automatically detected as part of installation.

Canon, Reuters And Starling Lab Are Developing Image Authentication Technology

Canon Firmware Updates Viltrox Eos R7 Eos R10 Reuters Canon Cameras Europe Canon Eos R1 Eos R Rf 14-35mm Olympic Games Ef-mount Rudy Winston

Canon press release:

Reuters new proof of concept employs authentication system to securely capture, store and verify photographs

TOKYO, August 31, 2023—Thomson Reuters, a global content and technology company, Canon Inc., and Canon Europe Ltd., a world-leading provider of imaging and information technology solutions, and Starling Lab, an academic research lab based at Stanford and USC innovating with the latest cryptographic methods and decentralized web protocols, announced today the completion of a pilot program demonstrating how news organizations could certify the authenticity of an image and ease concerns about content’s legitimacy.

In collaboration with Canon, global news organization Reuters proved its ability to embed trust into a photograph from its source by preserving a picture’s data provenance chain of integrity – the image’s metadata – from the point of capture to publication. Reuters also successfully integrated Starling Lab’s authentication framework into its picture desk workflow. One of the first practical news-gathering applications of the technology, this pilot comes at a time when consumers are increasingly worried about their ability to distinguish between real and fake news on the internet, and recent advancements in generative AI technologies which are making it easier for anyone to create visuals to deceive or misinform viewers.

“Trust in news is critical. However, recent technological advancements in image generation and manipulation are causing more people to question what is real, and what is not. Reuters continues to explore new technologies to guarantee that the content we deliver to the world be factual and trusted,” said Rickey Rogers, Global Editor, Reuters Pictures. “Our collaboration with Canon demonstrates the potential for new technology in image verification to increase consumers’ confidence that what they see is genuine. We look forward to sharing the encouraging findings from the project with our customers and applying them to protect our photojournalism. Our goal is to remain one of the most trusted global news sources.”

The pilot project saw Reuters photojournalist Violeta Santos Moura capture pictures using a prototype Canon camera that digitally assigns each photograph and its corresponding time, date and location with a unique identifier (hash value) and then cryptographically signs them to establish a root of trust for their authenticity. The photos are then registered into a public blockchain and updated after each modification by the Reuters pictures desk. This process continues until the photo is distributed with its metadata, edit history and blockchain registration embedded in the photograph using the new C2PA standard. To verify the picture’s authenticity, news customers can compare its unique identifier (hash value) on the public ledger.

“Many photojournalists rely on Canon technologies. We understand the role that images play in society and recognize the importance of preserving image authenticity”, said Richard Shepherd, Product Marketing and Marketing Strategy Senior Manager, Canon Europe Ltd. “Working as part of the Content Authenticity Initiative (CAI), Canon wants to take meaningful measures to protect image outputs that serve the news community worldwide.”

Canon Patent: In Camera RAW Processing With Arbitrary LUTs

Canon Patent

A somewhat different Canon patent application. RAW processing with arbitrary LUTs. LUTs (Look Up Table) allow to apply specific color rendition parameters, for instance. If I got this patent right, it will allow to apply LUTs to the in camera RAW processing pipeline.

Canon patent application 2023121533 (Japan, published 8/31/2023) discusses technology and methods to integrate LUTs to the in camera RAW processing. From the patent literature:

An object of the present invention is to obtain an image having a degree of applicability desired by a user while using a lookup table desired by the user.

Description of the Related Art

A lookup table (hereinafter referred to as LUT) is generally used as means for correcting the color and contrast of an image. In many imaging devices, an LUT built in the imaging device can be applied to an image, or an LUT created by an external application can be loaded into the imaging device and applied to the image.

In addition, LUTs for converting to cinematic images, LUTs for special effects, etc. are often provided on the Web regardless of whether they are paid or not. can be applied.

However, LUTs provided on the Web, etc. are LUTs for converting into images that the creator considers good, and not everyone finds the images good. Some people may want to weaken the effect and apply it. In that case, it is necessary to first shoot an image without applying the LUT, and then combine the image as shot in post-production with the image to which the LUT is applied. It takes a lot of effort.

In the conventional example described above, the correction table changes depending on the determined scene. Even if it differs from the user’s preference, the user cannot change it according to his/her preference. Therefore, it is conceivable that the user adjusts the degree of application of the LUT before applying it to the image. However, when recording image data that has not been subjected to image processing, such as RAW moving image recording, naturally the LUT is not applied. Therefore, in order to reproduce the same image as the image viewed at the time of photographing at the time of post-editing, it is necessary to perform the same processing on a PC or the like using the LUT used and information on the degree of application, which takes time and effort.

In order to solve this problem, for example, the imaging apparatus of the present invention has the following configuration. That is, an image pickup apparatus having image pickup means and capable of connecting to a predetermined storage medium, an acquisition means for acquiring a first lookup table for image conversion from the storage medium, and Setting means for setting the degree of application of the first lookup table; and generating means for generating a second lookup table from the first lookup table based on the degree of application set by the setting means. and converting the image data obtained by the imaging means using the second lookup table generated by the generating means.

More Canon patents are listed here.

[via asobinet]

Canon Patent: 24mm F1.4, 35mm F1.4 And 50mm F1.4

Canon Patent

And yet another Canon patent application. Fast primes for the RF mount.

Canon patent application 2022024113 (japan, published 8/30/2023) discusses optical formulas for three fast prime lenses:

  • 24mm F1.4
  • 35mm F1.4
  • 50mm F1.4

From the patent literature:

Optical system and imaging device

A compact optical system capable of high-speed focusing with a wide angle of view and a large aperture ratio is provided.

Description of the Related Art

Imaging devices using solid-state imaging devices such as CCD sensors and CMOS sensors are required to have optical systems that have a wide angle of view, a large aperture ratio, a small size, and high optical performance. There is also a demand for high-speed autofocus in the optical system.

An optical system with a wide angle of view and a large aperture ratio has the problem that it is difficult to correct various aberrations. In particular, if the weight of the focus lens group is reduced in order to perform high-speed focusing (autofocus), it becomes difficult to suppress aberration fluctuations in focusing from an object at infinity to a close object.

According to the present invention, it is possible to provide a compact optical system capable of high-speed focusing while having a wide angle of view and a large aperture ratio.

Example 1 (24mm F1.4)

  • Focal length 24.36
  • F value 1.44
  • Half angle of view 41.61
  • Image height 21.64
  • Lens length 106.56
  • Back focus 12.72

Example 2 (35mm F1.4)

  • Focal length 34.09
  • F value 1.45
  • Half angle of view 32.40
  • Image height 21.64
  • Lens length 113.84
  • Back focus 13.67

Example 3 (50mm F1.4)

  • Focal length 48.50
  • F value 1.45
  • Half angle of view 24.04
  • Image height 21.64
  • Lens length 108.70
  • Back focus 11.47

More Canon patents are listed here.

[via Digicame Info]

Canon Patent: 10-20mm F2-2.8 And 10-30mm F2-2.8 Lenses

Canon Patent

A new Canon patent application was spotted. Two wide angle zoom lenses.

Canon patent application 2023120768 (Japan, published 8/30/2023) discusses optical formulas for two relatively fast wide angle zoom lenses:

  • 10-20mm f2-2.8
  • 10-30mm f2-2.8

From the patent literature:

A zoom lens that is advantageous in terms of wide angle of view, small size, high optical performance, and the like is provided.

Description of the Related Art

Zoom lenses used in imaging devices such as surveillance cameras, digital still cameras, video cameras, and broadcasting cameras are desired to have a wider angle of view and a smaller size. Patent Documents 1 and 2 disclose a negative lead type zoom lens as a compact zoom lens with a wide angle of view.

The above zoom lens is also required to have high optical performance corresponding to high image quality such as 8K image quality.

An object of the present invention is, for example, to provide a zoom lens that is advantageous in terms of wide angle of view, small size, and high optical performance.

Example 1

  • Focal length: 10.41-20.81
  • F-value: 2.05-2.84
  • Half angle of view: 59.1-29.7

Example 2

  • Focal length: 10.79-28.04
  • F-value: 2.00-3.17
  • Half angle of view: 58.9-22.3

More Canon patents are listed here.

[via asobinet]

The Canon EF 200-400mm F4L IS USM ×1.4 Might Get Discontinued Soon

EF 200-400mm

The Canon EF 200-400mm F4L IS USM ×1.4 might be on its way to be discontinued, Asians sources suggest.

The Canon EF 200-400mm F4L IS USM ×1.4 might get replaced by the RF 100-500mm f/4 IS, some sources claim. The RF 100-500mm might get announced in Q4 2023, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

The EF 200-400mm F4L IS USM ×1.4 is not that old for this class of lenses, it was released in 2013.

[via asobinet]