Affinity Photo 1.5 is launched

This happened fast! We only reported on the public beta last week, but now Serif Affinity Photo 1.5 is here, and there are two major stories. The first is that it’s now available for both Windows and Mac users – previously this was a Mac-only program – and the second is that Serif has dropped the price from £39.99 to £29.99 which, for a program with this kind of power, is just plain crazy. There are lots of new features in version 1.5 too, including full HDR merging tools, 36-degree image-editing, recordable macros, batch processing, focus stacking and a new Tonemapping persona. I’ll post a review just as soon as I’ve taken a proper look at what this release can do. In the meantime you can find out more at www.affinity.serif.com.

Lightroom CC 2015.8 now available

In another update to its deskop and mobile apps, Adobe has added an interesting Reference View feature to the Develop module. The idea is that you can keep an exsiting edited image open in one pane while you work on another. This should make it easier to replicate a favourite ‘look’ across a whole series of images. Adobe says users should also notice some improvements in general performance when carrying out background housekeeping tasks like generating previews, moving files and carrying out backups. It supports a bunch of new cameras’ raw files too, including the EOS M5, Fujifilm X-A3, Nikon D5600, Sony A99 II and more – including preliminary support for the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II. Find out more in this Adobe blog post.

MacPhun promises more Luminar updates on December 18

MacPhun is clearly keen to push Luminar’s development forward as far and as fast as it can. The updates will include new filters – the building blocks of Luminar’s effects and editing tools – and batch processing options. Macphun COO Alex Tsepko has big plans for 2017 too in this MacPhun Luminar blog post, including digital asset management (DAM) and – amazingly – a Windows version (not sure what they’re going to do about the company’s name, then). The digital asset management plans are exciting because Mac users desperately need something to fill the gap left by Aperture, and Apple Photos isn’t really it.

Ricoh launches Keenai online photo sharing site

This is a bit of a surprise. Camera maker Ricoh has launched an online photo sharing service designed to bring all your smartphone and digital camera images together in one place. You can upload them straight from your smart devices using free apps and upload using your browser from a desktop computer. Once your photos are online you can view, search, organise and share them using albums and automatic image recognition and smart tagging. It will store both JPEGs and RAW files and there is no storage limit – but there is a $4.99 monthly fee. You can find out more and start a free trial at www.keenai.com.