Adobe Sets New Digital Imaging Standard

It has been forecasted that by 2006, sales of digital camera will make up 63 percent of the US$9.9 billion camera market in the world.

According to managing director for the Pacific & South Asia of Adobe, Craig Tegel, the proliferation of digital images have caused image management challenges for professionals and non-professionals (which consists government, schools and non-publishing or advertising firms). Adobe hopes to address these issues and improve the overall digital experience through its cool, new Photoshop 7.0.

Among its new features, the Healing Brush is the most impressive. It is able to
remove blemishes including wrinkles and eye bags on faces effortless as it automatically preserves shading, lighting, texture and other attributes when cloning within one image or from one image to another. Unlike the Clone Stamp Tool, the Healing Brush automatically preserves shading, lighting and texture as well as other attributes when cloning from one layer to another or from one image to another.

The File Browser, on the other hand, allows users to quickly locate, organize and visually manage images and view EXIF information from digital cameras, including data captured, exposure settings and associated metadata such as creation and modification dates.

The product also comes with a new painting engine that enables users to create custom brush presets. This eliminates the common problem where someone else resets the brush presets either by accident or otherwise. This new engine also allows users to simulate techniques such as pastels or charcoal, and add special effects such as grass or leaves with ease.

In addition, an enhanced Liquify plug-in provides even greater control over image warping with zoom, pan and multiple undo capabilities.

Other features of the product include multilingual spell checker and PDF security that is especially useful for professionals who are sharing terminals.

Currently, Adobe has garnered 90 percent of the DI tool market, with a small amount of competition coming from Macromedia Fireworks and a handful of other consumer products such as Picture Painter. In addition, Adobe has a four million installed user base worldwide. Out of this, about one million is from Asia.

Where revenue is concerned, Asia represents about 22 percent of its world wide sales.

“Japan is the largest market in Asia and the growth markets are Korea, India and Hong Kong and Taiwan,” said Tegel.

With its new version 7.0., ready for shipment in April this year, it is hard to imagine how its sales in Asia will not increase, especially when non-professionals and consumers can also make use of the product.

Already, the older versions of Photoshop were no longer restricted to just professionals. Installed user base for non-professionals, which consist of non-publishing or advertising corporations, government and education, has already increased by more than 50 percent worldwide. This trend will also be prevalent in Asia as the digital camera craze sweeps the world.

Priced at US$680 or US$158 for standard upgrade, the product supports Mac OS 9, Mac OS X, Win XP, Win 98, Win 2000, Win ME and Win NT.

Adobe Systems will hold a press conference in Hong Kong on 13 March to showcase its latest product.

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