February 21, 2012

Scalado Remove promises handheld tourist-zapping

About five years ago we gave Photoshop the ability to stack multiple images together, then eliminate moving or unwanted details. Similar techniques have appeared in other tools, and now it appears you’ll be able to do all the capture & processing with just your phone. Here’s a quick preview:

The Verge has a bit more detail on the user experience. [Via John Dowdell]

Posted by John Nack at 8:40 AM on February 21, 2012

Comments

  • Arnon Moscona — 9:25 AM on February 21, 2012

    You may have given Photoshop the ability, but you have not given it to most of the users of Photoshop, because this is only in the extended edition, which is not worth the extra 50% cost unless you are in one of the targeted verticals, and still photographers is certainly not one of them.
    Maybe in 6.0 you will consider finally recognizing that this feature really belongs in the standard edition. Heck, if it’s good for a phone, why not for a camera…

  • michael jahn — 10:18 AM on February 21, 2012

    @ Arnon – well, gee wiz. Why have an extended version, or why charge anything at all – just give everything away for free. Yes, then we can outsource the development to the Greeks who know best how to loose money. Sheesh.

  • Scott Valentine — 10:44 AM on February 21, 2012

    I so totally agree with you, Arnon! I mean, it’s only that one tool that distinguishes Standard from Extended, right? Oh, wait…
    http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshopextended/buying-guide-version-comparison.html

    Huh. So you’re saying the most valuable elements from Extended should be put in standard so they’re available to more people. I get that – no reason we should pay more for additional capabilities just because the company makes some arbitrary decision about where to put the most professional features…

    I think the navigation system in my car is so amazingly useful that I shouldn’t have paid extra for it, either.

    • David — 10:03 PM on February 21, 2012

      Do I have to buy the sunroof and special paint if I want the navigation system?

  • Rob — 1:31 PM on February 21, 2012

    I reckon Michael Jahn and Scott Valentine are attributing to Arnon Moscona an argument he didn’t make. He didn’t say every feature in PS Extended should be included in PS, only one or two of the simple mathematical calculation features. And he’s right. Let PS Extended continue to include special purpose features of particular interest to 3-D modelers, forensic analysts, etc. And let the PS core audience–including photographers, as indicated by the name “Photoshop”–receive the features that are central to the mission of PS.

  • Scott Valentine — 1:46 PM on February 21, 2012

    You’d be surprised… the argument extends quite easily. What if I never need the replacement tools or technical elements, but I do need 3D? Because I’m not a photographer, my niche should pay more?

    As for taxonomy, why aren’t photographers using Lightroom, which is clearly aimed even more squarely at shooters? I mean shouldn’t a photographer just worry about getting the shot right, doing some standard corrections, etc.?

    I’m not arguing with the idea that photographers need these tools, only pointing out the idea that there is no limit to the justifications people can make to support their own individual needs. Image stacking is inherently a technical processing application, but it just so happens to be useful to photographers. Or more accurately, compositors and retouchers.

    This is not a slippery-slope kind of argument, either. How many photographers by percentage of the user base *need* this particular feature to do their jobs? Do you think those who need it regularly are unwilling to pay more and instead do it by hand?

    For that matter, GIMP is free and does a great job. There are lots of free tools out there in all ranges of ability for all kinds of tasks. Photoshop is a for-pay application and is distributed on a profit model. So… I’m actually glad there’s a *less expensive* option for those who don’t need the extended tools.

    There are more categories of user under heaven and earth, Rob, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

    • David — 9:53 PM on February 21, 2012

      My view of Extended is that it is way to get a significant portion of the userbase to pay more whether they need it or not. I would bet that a fairly large proportion of users that buy (or work buys it for them) Extended don’t end up using any of its additional features. If Extended features were sold as a plug-in, it would probably sell far fewer copies.

  • Rob — 2:35 PM on February 21, 2012

    Scott, we agree that Adobe should price its products in a way that makes sense to it. I doubt, however, that it’s in Adobe’s interest to have plain vanilla PS be considered no more functional than GIMP or Lightroom. (I rely on both LR and PS, using the latter to accomplish tasks that I can’t in LR, especially distort, content-aware fill and stack focus.) It boils down to a question that’s easy to state in theory but difficult to assess: additional revenues from upgrading to PSE for those who would otherwise not upgrade if simple mathematical operations were included in PS versus revenues that would be gained from those who do not now buy PS but would if it included simple mathematical operations. And as LR becomes more and more full-featured, having those mathematical operations be part of the PS feature set could be a powerful selling point.

  • Arnon Moscona — 5:41 PM on February 21, 2012

    Indeed I was singling this one feature out from all other Extended features (and all other stacking features too).
    Extended was positioned by Adobe to be for several verticals and their position all the time was that they were not targeting their broad base for it.
    As a photographer, I use *both* Photoshop *and* Lightroom as both give me very distinct value. I am happy to pay extra for Lightroom, even though Photoshop comes with Bridge, that has a significant overlap.
    When it comes to this one single feature of Extended, bear in mind that Adobe already made an exception out of the gate by letting through *some* stacking features into the standard edition. Specifically – layer alignment (auto align), panoramic stitching, extended focus (auto blend),and arguably HDR could be considered in this group as well even though it is not strictly speaking a stacking feature.
    My point is that as opposed to the other stacking features in Extended, which are indeed very vertical in nature, this feature is very broad based and not unlike the other stacking features that were recognized by Adobe from the get go as naturally fitting in Standard edition.

    Personally I would hazard to guess that it was originally an oversight by someone, which Adobe found difficult to back track on.

    It’s sort of funny that this particular feature is shown in demos in user groups all the time, while the same demos almost never include any other features of Extended (unless the whole demo is about Video or 3D). It’s the only feature that I’ve seen demoed by Adobe people over and over again – and always with a general photography use case. Some times the presenter is not even aware that the feature is an Extended feature… It just stands out to me.
    Yes, it’s convenient. But no – it’s no Lightroom. I would not spend the extra money just because of it. BTW I would not elevate it so much as to call it a “need”. Even if it was there, I would not use it half as much as I use auto align or even as much as I use auto blend. But it does seem to me personally as being much closer to them in nature than to the rest of Extended…

  • Scott Valentine — 10:17 AM on February 24, 2012

    All fair points, folks. The cynical part of me feels that Adobe intentionally held this feature to Extended to help sell the ‘luxury model’ concept. It certainly is nice to have, but is really a time-saver more than a unique feature – you can do the exact same thing by hand at the expense of time. By ‘need’ I meant to imply the capability of doing this operation over and over, not the specific feature, btw.

    As to allowing direct access to math in imaging operations, that idea is stellar, and I would certainly pay more for that option.

    And to be perfectly honest, I wish there were only one version again. My response was kind of Devil’s Advocate, given the reality of having two products on the market. Engineering nightmare aside, I’d love to see a core Photoshop application that is something like Elements in features (or even less?), and have add-on options for additional capabilities.

    This model is used extensively in other analytical software suites. Electron microscopy, for example, supports a dozen or so different capabilities that are amazingly useful for very specific tasks. But not many labs outside of academia would use all of them, instead developing 2-3 capabilities at most.

    I guess I’m also a little defensive because as a user group manager and community professional, I get similar questions or complaints all the time – why isn’t my particular feature already available; I would use it all the time, but none of the other stuff. I get this about 3D, analysis, and advanced stacking.

    Again, I recognize the validity of your points, but in this case I disagree solely on the grounds of “we have what we have” and the split more or less makes sense to me.

  • Shangara Singh — 10:43 AM on February 26, 2012

    If only tourists were that obliging and kept moving. In my experience, locals move while tourists stand glued to the same spot for 10-15 minutes. At least till they are sure:

    1. The scene is in shadow
    2. Clouds have rolled over
    3. It’s started to rain
    4. A tourist bus has parked itself right in the middle of the scene
    5. The police have moved you on because you have a brown skin

    And guess what’s making the tourists stay in one spot for aeons? That’s right, they’re looking at the photos/movies they’ve just taken on their cameras or mobiles.

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