create. share. enjoy. (Part 1)

create. share. enjoy. (Part 1)


The Events section works like your own personal housekeeper, organizing and tidying up your photo collection to better help you find what you’re looking for.

 

iPHOTO '08 - LOTS TO SMILE ABOUT

iPhoto will never be a Photoshop killer, but that’s never been its intention - it’s always been about providing fun yet effective tools for “we the people” to prettify and share our digital images. But in the case of iPhoto ’08, the new organizational features may have even the pros turning to it for its simplicity.

 

Smarter Photo Management. iPhoto ’08’s new Events feature makes managing photos easier than ever (good-bye and good riddance to Rolls!). Rather than having you stare at a sea of thumbnails, iPhoto ’08 automatically groups photos by date or time into events, reducing clutter and making finding photos snappier. When we imported our 850-photo intercontinental odyssey into iPhoto 6 a couple months ago, we dreaded the thought of organizing the mess into albums. When we installed iPhoto ’08, the app took care of the dirty work for us. All we had to do was rename the events with country names and we were done - awesome.

 

But you don’t have to stick with iPhoto’s organizing scheme; you can channel your inner Martha Stewart (assuming you have one) and create a new event from within an event to organize your collection further, split an event into multiple separate events, or merge events. You can also quickly flip through the photos from event photos by mousing across the event’s thumbnail, or double-click it to view the collection. If you have a lot of events, however, prepare to scroll; even at the smallest setting, event thumbnails are still kinda big.

 

We like the Magnifier tool, which lets you quickly enlarge images by double-clicking, and allows you to discard out-of-focus photos in a flash. Speaking of bad photos, the new Hide Photo command does exactly that. While it’s not a practical method for hiding, say, your porn collection, it does let you conceal photos that you can’t bring yourself to trash, but don’t always want to see. This comes in handy for your photos of ex-significant others.

 

Search has been consolidated into a streamlined tool, letting you search for photos by title, date, keyword, or rating all in one place. Keywords have also been improved, allowing you to tag and find photos faster. Other new features include the Web Gallery, which lets you publish your photos to .Mac (that’ll cost you $99 per year). And new desktop-printing themes, photo books, and calendars provide extra design choices for the print-minded.

 

iPhoto ’08’s Highlights slider let us quickly resurrect the overexposed church and balance it with the foreground.

 

Better Editing Tools. iPhoto’s editing tools also get a few enhancements. The Crop tool now sports a grid to help you better recompose images. The Retouch tool provides better visual feedback of the area you’re affecting, and you can resize the tool, too.

 

The Adjust palette gets three new sliders: Highlights, which darkens light areas to bring out detail; Shadows, which lightens dark areas to reveal detail; and a midtone slider in Levels, which adjusts midtones. All work well for most photos. To correct color, the new Eyedropper tool works really well - just click on what should be a white or gray item in your photo and kiss the colorcast good-bye. New Sharpness and Reduce Noise sliders work the magic of their namesakes, and worked beautifully for most of our images.

 

iPhoto ’08 does have a few minor blemishes. Scrolling is somewhat sluggish when zoomed way in on images in the Edit window, and we noticed some hesitation scrolling through photos in Photos view. Also, some date ranges in our events displayed incorrectly; while iPhoto properly created five events for our five-day Paris trip (which we merged into one event), it displayed a date range that spanned four years.

 

The Bottom Line. For anyone who owns a Mac and a digital camera, iPhoto ’08 is still the no-brainer choice for image management. Its new features make it a fantastic all-in-one package that covers more bases than ever - and turns it into a viable contender among image editors.

 

COMPANY: Apple

CONTACT: www.apple.com

PRICE: $79 as part of iLife ’08; free with a new Mac

REQUIREMENTS: G4, G5, or Intel Mac; Mac OS 10.4.9 or later; 512MB RAM (1GB recommended); 3GB free disk space

Events take the pain out of photo organization. Quick magnify makes weeding out photos more efficient. Eyedropper tool corrects colorcasts in a click.

Some lag when zoomed in on images. Smallest event thumbnails are too big. A few minor bugs.

 

 

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sinclair_tm

Where is the rest of the iDVD review? You started it on the second page, right after the iMovie review, but the third page starts with iPhoto. So what happened to the rest of IDVD? What rating did you give it, and the rest of the scoop? Please remedy this.

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Anonymous

Automation is a major addition to GarageBand. This feature wasn't even available in Logic Express the last time I checked (just Logic Pro). It even works with plug-in software instruments, though it's somewhat tedious to find the parameter you want. Unfortunately, it seems you still can't assign parameters to midi controls, or record automation live.

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