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Pros: Dramatically improved Camera Raw; simple but useful video editing; great new Crop tool; improved performance; improved typographic controls; great wide-angle distortion correction

Cons: Bridge sees no discernible improvement; interface changes may bother some

Score: 90

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Pros: Improved develop engine extracts surprising dynamic range out of single images. White balance and noise reduction added to local adjustments. Soft proofing brings more predictable output. Book module much easier than learning a layout program. Map module takes advantage of geotagging. Huge price drop.

Cons: No face recognition. Much larger install than Lightroom 3. Awkward video adjustment process, and slide shows can’t include video. Modular design is sometimes limiting.

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Pros: Great selection and compositing tools; very good retouching tools.

Cons: Missing some simple, critical features. Interface needs polish. Limits to file size. All original metadata gets stripped out.

Rating: 7/10

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Pros: Adobe’s new Proto touch app wins points for being fun, easy to use, and for making you look cool and up on the latest trends when you’re with clients.

Cons: Although Proto is great for creating wireframes for small sites, it’s not going to replace more professional tools, such OmniGraffle or Microsoft Visio.

Rating: 7/10

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While the phrase "the pen is mightier than the sword" is dubious advice for many practical situations (fending off invading barbarian hordes, etc.), the phrase "the pen is mightier than the mouse" is almost always true when you're talking about digital painting and graphics work. Wacom Technologies has long been the market leader for pressure-sensitive graphics tablets, thanks to their innovative tablet design and excellent battery-free, cordless pen.

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Pros: Puts iPad publishing into the hands of average publishers, with access to dramatic new effects and features.

Cons: Thanks to Apple, submitting an app is a convoluted affair and requires an iOS developer account. There are also two Flash-related bugs that, while they won't apply to every user, will require some people to employ workarounds to fix the bugs' effects.

Rating: 8/10

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Pros: Selections are more precise. Interface is more streamlined. Effects look like they were created by hand, not by computer.

Cons: As in previous versions, Snap Art does not work with CMYK images, only RGB.

Rating: 9.5 out of 10

Some of Alien Skin's most inspiring products have been its artistic filters for Photoshop. The images they produce are artistic and organic, as if they were created by a human hand rather than a computer.

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If your photo image-editing needs aren't of the professional variety, Akvis ArtSuite might be of interest. This software ($49 as a Photoshop plug-in and $69 as a standalone app) is ideal for adding frames and other effects t0 images destined for postcards, calendars, scrapbooks, etc.
Version 7.0 is the first version of Akvis ArtSuite to accept photos shot in the RAW format. It also adds 105 new patterns to the app's Pattern Library, and 75 new sports-themed frames (available only in the standalone version)
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The $700 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 is a small, lightweight micro four-thirds camera, yet it has many features that you expect to find in a traditional digital SLR:
- An external Mode dial. Settings include Program, Shutter and Aperture Priority, Manual, Custom Modes, Scene Modes, and a Creative Control Mode.
- Built-in flash and hotshoe for connecting external flashes.
- Electronic viewfinder with 100% field of view

The 16MP Lumix G3 also includes the following:
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Filter Forge is a plug-in for Photoshop that helps you create unique filters and effects inside the image-editing program. There's also a Filter Forge community that has contributed more than 8,000 of its own free filters, which you can use and modify.
Now the Filter Forge developers are releasing a beta of version 3.0. If you're the adventurous type, you can download the beta and try out its new features.
Download the Mac version of the Filter Forge 3.0 Beta (85.2 MB)
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Design Buzz is a community for all those involved in designing, developing and running websites, web mastering, etc. Here are featured new design trends, news and events, design articles, design software, webmaster tips and tricks, creative tutorials and hand-picked design stuff from all over the world.

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