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Thread: Phase One acquires Expression Media from Microsoft

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    Senior Member Steve Hendrix's Avatar
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    Phase One acquires Expression Media from Microsoft

    Press release for Phase One's acquisition of Expression Media from Microsoft.

    http://www.phaseone.com/~/media/Phas...20Release.ashx

    I think this is good news all around, for iView Media/Expressions Media users, and for Capture One users. For existing Capture One users (through today I assume, but will get confirmation), it is free. For new users, it is 199/149 USD/Euro. More details will follow.


    Steve Hendrix
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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Phase One acquires Expression Media from Microsoft

    Sounds like a sound idea actually. Looks like maybe phase is thinking library type setup ala LR, Aperture. Big guess here

    Thanks for posting this Steve
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Phase One acquires Expression Media from Microsoft

    Yes, this could be good news. iView Media was a great program for cataloging. When Microsoft acquired it they issued an upgrade which I had to pay for and the only thing different in the upgrade was that it now was called Microsoft Expression Media instead of iView - everything else was exactly the same!

    It always irked me that when it became a Microsoft product there was not a function to export to PowerPoint, which seemed a natural (I've stopped using it so perhaps this has been developed).

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    Subscriber Member billbunton's Avatar
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    Re: Phase One acquires Expression Media from Microsoft

    Quote Originally Posted by cmb_ View Post
    Yes, this could be good news. iView Media was a great program for cataloging. When Microsoft acquired it they issued an upgrade which I had to pay for and the only thing different in the upgrade was that it now was called Microsoft Expression Media instead of iView - everything else was exactly the same!
    Well, that's not exactly correct. They did manage to add a bunch of bugs while changing the name! :-)

    But yes, this could be very good news.

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    Contributing Editor ustein's Avatar
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    Re: Phase One acquires Expression Media from Microsoft

    I think it is a right move. Today a RC without an image management component is problematic. Will be interesting to follow the integration process.
    Uwe Steinmueller
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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: Phase One acquires Expression Media from Microsoft

    Microsoft had a bit of a different direction when Gates was still leading. Several of Gates' proteges and their pet projects are disappearing, including pro photo. Part of the strategic message now is focus on relevant technologies in a broad sense. So in that perspective it's not surprising that iView is being disposed of. We'll probably see more deals like this one.
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    Re: Phase One acquires Expression Media from Microsoft

    Quote Originally Posted by ustein View Post
    I think it is a right move. Today a RC without an image management component is problematic. Will be interesting to follow the integration process.
    Uwe makes a very good point. Clearly, Phase One understands this. Hopefully, Phase One can integrate the image management software and raw software into an single innovative package . I no longer use Capture One, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't switch back if their product evolution ends up working better for me. Worst case, competition is good for us consumers.

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    Contributing Editor ustein's Avatar
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    Re: Phase One acquires Expression Media from Microsoft

    I consider C1 still one of the top RCs in the market and always like them to improve.
    Uwe Steinmueller
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    Editor&Owner of Digital Outback Photo
    http://www.outbackphoto.com

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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: Phase One acquires Expression Media from Microsoft

    Sigh..... just another management SW

    Hopefully they integrate it the right way. And leave the possibility to just not activate this function if one does not want to!

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    DougDolde
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    Re: Phase One acquires Expression Media from Microsoft

    Call me a Luddite but I'm sticking with Bridge

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    Re: Phase One acquires Expression Media from Microsoft

    Hmmm. I thought the pre-MS product was very good. So I thought - I will go to the Phase One site and 'purchase' a copy [I have Capture One Pro version]. So my question is - for any Phase One people who might be watching - why do I have to enter credit card details for a zero amount? Darn thing won't let me go past this point.

    Sheeesh.

    John

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    Senior Member yaya's Avatar
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    Re: Phase One acquires Expression Media from Microsoft

    Quote Originally Posted by DougDolde View Post
    Call me a Luddite but I'm sticking with Bridge
    I'm glad English is not my mother tongue:-) Just learned a new word!

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    Administrator Bob's Avatar
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    Re: Phase One acquires Expression Media from Microsoft

    iView was a pretty good product,...until Microsoft bought it and pretty much let it stagnate. Phase has its work cut out for it especially updating it to support the phase formats reasonably.
    Strategically, I think this may be a result of Phase understanding that for some, metadata is a very valuable part of image retrieval, especially in current art, publication, and advertising organizations. It makes no difference if you paid for a shoot if the image you want cannot be located.
    -bob

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    Senior Member vieri's Avatar
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    Re: Phase One acquires Expression Media from Microsoft

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnH View Post
    Hmmm. I thought the pre-MS product was very good. So I thought - I will go to the Phase One site and 'purchase' a copy [I have Capture One Pro version]. So my question is - for any Phase One people who might be watching - why do I have to enter credit card details for a zero amount? Darn thing won't let me go past this point.

    Sheeesh.

    John
    Hello John,

    I struggled with it too, but I guess I finally got it: once you go through the card thing, you are seemingly back to the beginning, but if you look carefully under the "Expression Media" item top of the page you get the key for it. Then, just go to the "Downloads" section and download the software... I am doing it just now (the download part), let me know if you have troubles with the above.
    Vieri Bottazzini
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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: Phase One acquires Expression Media from Microsoft

    There should be good hope for P1 to make the integration happen fairly soon - while an image management software can be huge, adding more formats and basic integration is no rocket science. A fully integrated experience like LR takes much more work, of course.
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    Re: Phase One acquires Expression Media from Microsoft

    This may be very good news, and if Phase is able to get the app back into a mainstream, it will be useful. I still have a couple of questions about how integration and cataloging may work. I had looked at iView Media Pro when it was first released, and thought it a very powerful DAM...still is, despite some of the Microsoft neglect ;-) To me it is great to be able to have a single large catalog that allows one to view and sort across all of their stored locations. What is unclear is how, if at all, it could work with something like LR or Aperture, where a single RAW file is cataloged, and all the subsequent versions of processing are just instruction sets. It seems like each of these iterations would have to be output as a completed file (even a small version would do), in order to be entered into the Expressions Media catalog for future sorting and locating and stuff. In other words, if folks are using other apps to process and store multiple version instruction sets, there is no way to really link to stuff in LR or Aperture, other than final outputs entered into the Expressions Media catalog.

    Secondly, it does not appear to have the feature, though this could be added at some point....maybe, to launch the processing app once you have found the image you want to work on again. So you go to your catalog, sort through things (assuming you have invested the time to enter more an more metadata), then have to see where that file is stored in your archives in order to go get it with the processing app if you wanted to do added work. Then, if you did some revisions and created yet another new version, you have to recatalog that new file in the DAM so you could find it later.

    Not throwing cold water on this, as I think it is good that Phase One is trying to create a more completed software workflow tool, and they should do much better than MS. It still is unclear how it will integrate with C1 itself, other than just being a catalog, which in itself is very, very useful, and how it may integrate with any other tools easily, if at all. A lot of folks that use LR or Aperture may find Expression Media to be just another step, but only for cataloging. If you use only C1, it can be a very useful and needed way to help organize and find things, but it still does not have integration, from what I see. It is simply a very powerful and practical cataloging tool, which as I said, is great, and what many folks need. But it does not appear to be a practical, nor easy tool for folks to use with other integrated DAM tools, like Lightroom and Aperture.

    Anybody see a way to make this more practical beyond just a powerful catalog?

    LJ

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    Senior Member yaya's Avatar
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    Re: Phase One acquires Expression Media from Microsoft

    Quote Originally Posted by LJL View Post
    Secondly, it does not appear to have the feature, though this could be added at some point....maybe, to launch the processing app once you have found the image you want to work on again. So you go to your catalog, sort through things (assuming you have invested the time to enter more an more metadata), then have to see where that file is stored in your archives in order to go get it with the processing app if you wanted to do added work. Then, if you did some revisions and created yet another new version, you have to recatalog that new file in the DAM so you could find it later.
    I hope I understood you correctly but if you select an image and then Right-Click>Open With you can assign a processing/ editing application. If it is C1 it'll launch it and open the relevant folder in your HD.

    Anybody see a way to make this more practical beyond just a powerful catalog?
    LJ
    Early days still but there are many ideas for how things can become more integrated...for example assigning adjustments and processing instructions from within EM, similar to what Bridge does and having C1 pick up those instructions for batch processing etc....

    Yair
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    Re: Phase One acquires Expression Media from Microsoft

    Yair,
    Thanks for the comments. I have not used iViewMedia/Expression Media, since I tested it quite a while back. The idea of being able to launch a processing app, like C1 or something else with a right-click does not seem unreasonable. However, it will only be able to launch if the cataloged file is also reachable on the network. That is fine, and that is how Aperture and I guess LR also works. So if your file storage is connected and reachable, I can understand being able to access. But my impressions of EM is that it just catalogs things, including files you may have stored on CD/DVD, so if you were able to see the image in the catalog, you could only launch it if the full file is accessible. EM is only a catalog with great sorting and metadata management. Does not store the actual image files, but only thumbnails, or maybe smaller screen resolution images at best. No issue there, but I think it important for folks to understand the differences between it and something like Aperture or Lightroom, where the files may be stored for direct access PLUS the catalog searching, ranking, etc., that goes into the metadata part.

    The second part is much, much more complicated, I think. If one has the RAW file presently in LR or Aperture, and has several versions, such as B/W, sepia, high contrast, etc., associated with the RAW file (saved only as instruction sets for the tweaks), how would those be found outside of LR or Aperture with EM? Unless they are exported as a tiff, PSD, JPEG or something else as a completed file and placed in the EM catalog as a separate entry, it would require EM to be able to enter the LR or Aperture library structure and "read" not just metadata, but processing data information strings also, or at least the thumbnail created for the preview image. That part seems a bit more difficult to me....doable, but not at this point.

    So, if one did have a lot of images processed in LR or Aperture, for example, they would need to output all of those (including variations or versions) as at least thumbnail versions to be ingested into EM for cataloging, no? Right now, that is a lot of work, requires creating and exporting a lot more larger files to someplace so they can be cataloged in EM. So, if the "right-click" was used on an image in the EM catalog to say launch that image in C1 to process or tweak, for example, EM would have to be capable of launching the other app where the original may be located also. Not trying to make this too complicated, but this sort of underscores the differences between just a catalog, and an integrated asset management/processing/out tool.

    Right now, EM may be the most powerful cataloging tool, that can point to stuff stored over many places....something LR and Aperture do not do quite as elegantly or powerfully right now. But LR and Aperture have the ability to use RAW files as is, allowing users to make a lot of adjustments and tweaks to many versions, but not having to create completely finished files for each, which can start to take up huge amounts of storage. C1 does not have that capability yet, so every iteration of a file has to be output as a separate file of significant size in most cases if they are tiff or PSD files. And that kind of file handling works well for EM as its catalog. They are two different ways of doing things, and I am not seeing an easy way to possibly integrate them at this point, even though some of us do use multiple tools, or have fairly large collections of stuff done in other tools (LR or Aperture), that would need some easy way to be pulled into EM for use of EM as the powerful catalog, maybe with some future option to shell out to other apps for processing or output.

    Just would like to see some sort of roadmap for how things may work, as committing to this is not a trivial task. If EM would be able to read all the metadata and files now associated with say my Aperture Libraries, WITHOUT my having to export each version as a separate file just to be cataloged in EM, I could get a lot more interested.

    LJ

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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: Phase One acquires Expression Media from Microsoft

    Quote Originally Posted by LJL View Post
    This may be very good news, and if Phase is able to get the app back into a mainstream, it will be useful. I still have a couple of questions about how integration and cataloging may work. I had looked at iView Media Pro when it was first released, and thought it a very powerful DAM...still is, despite some of the Microsoft neglect ;-) To me it is great to be able to have a single large catalog that allows one to view and sort across all of their stored locations. What is unclear is how, if at all, it could work with something like LR or Aperture, where a single RAW file is cataloged, and all the subsequent versions of processing are just instruction sets. It seems like each of these iterations would have to be output as a completed file (even a small version would do), in order to be entered into the Expressions Media catalog for future sorting and locating and stuff. In other words, if folks are using other apps to process and store multiple version instruction sets, there is no way to really link to stuff in LR or Aperture, other than final outputs entered into the Expressions Media catalog.

    Secondly, it does not appear to have the feature, though this could be added at some point....maybe, to launch the processing app once you have found the image you want to work on again. So you go to your catalog, sort through things (assuming you have invested the time to enter more an more metadata), then have to see where that file is stored in your archives in order to go get it with the processing app if you wanted to do added work. Then, if you did some revisions and created yet another new version, you have to recatalog that new file in the DAM so you could find it later.

    Not throwing cold water on this, as I think it is good that Phase One is trying to create a more completed software workflow tool, and they should do much better than MS. It still is unclear how it will integrate with C1 itself, other than just being a catalog, which in itself is very, very useful, and how it may integrate with any other tools easily, if at all. A lot of folks that use LR or Aperture may find Expression Media to be just another step, but only for cataloging. If you use only C1, it can be a very useful and needed way to help organize and find things, but it still does not have integration, from what I see. It is simply a very powerful and practical cataloging tool, which as I said, is great, and what many folks need. But it does not appear to be a practical, nor easy tool for folks to use with other integrated DAM tools, like Lightroom and Aperture.

    Anybody see a way to make this more practical beyond just a powerful catalog?

    LJ
    There is some work involved but certainly nothing mindblowing. I never liked EM/iView as a user experience but there is definitely some good cross-platform core technology there. P1 can plug in its rendering engine, it wouldn't take much work to do that. The user experience needs some tweaking.
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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: Phase One acquires Expression Media from Microsoft

    Quote Originally Posted by LJL View Post
    The second part is much, much more complicated, I think. If one has the RAW file presently in LR or Aperture, and has several versions, such as B/W, sepia, high contrast, etc., associated with the RAW file (saved only as instruction sets for the tweaks), how would those be found outside of LR or Aperture with EM? Unless they are exported as a tiff, PSD, JPEG or something else as a completed file and placed in the EM catalog as a separate entry, it would require EM to be able to enter the LR or Aperture library structure and "read" not just metadata, but processing data information strings also, or at least the thumbnail created for the preview image. That part seems a bit more difficult to me....doable, but not at this point.
    Yep that's a tricky one. Only LR can make an accurate interpretation of LR edits, and it's certainly not in Adobe's interest to help with that process. So as you point out you'd have to export the versions you want to work with outside LR/Aperture.

    My guess is that with this acquisition P1 sees the possibility of competing with LR/Aperture rather than complementing. As you point out, there are a number of issues, some of which might not be solved without the cooperation of Apple and Adobe.
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    Re: Phase One acquires Expression Media from Microsoft

    That is what I am thinking also, Lars. So this really becomes important for folks to think about and choose, as trying to use both systems is a huge amount of work and extra storage space. This was one of the reasons I did not go with iView/EM back then....I saw what Aperture and Lightroom were doing, and could see that one needed to commit to one or the other (LR/Aperture v iView), unless they were prepared for more storage and management tasks. I still think EM is a much more powerful and useful catalog than LR/Aperture at this point, and may be more useful for folks that use ACR/PS, C1, RAW Developer, and other tools as their main processing tools, as it creates the DAM part those lack. However, if one's workflow preference is to just keep RAW files and instructions sets for handling things, EM is not going to work easily. It requires a completed file of some sort for cataloging. One can catalog just the RAW file, and maybe then launch some app to process it and go from there, but if you already have a library or libraries of processed images that have not been stored as final output tiff, PSD, JPEG, etc., files, like you would have inside LR or Aperture, EM is not going to be fun to work with.

    LJ

    P.S. The one way around things, maybe, is if EM could just access the created thumbnail or preview file from LR or Aperture, not having to "read" the entire processing instruction set. Then one could at least see what the version looked like, know where it was stored, and go from there. That is the power of the cross-platform/cross-app cataloging capabilities of EM. It cannot do that at this point, as far as I am aware. If it can get to that stage, as a minimum, it will become a lot more useful to folks using other DAM tools now.
    Last edited by LJL; 26th May 2010 at 07:52.

  22. #22
    Ken Tanaka
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    Re: Phase One acquires Expression Media from Microsoft

    If PhaseOne wants to build its C1 presence it absolutely needed to add a cataloging/DAM facility to have any hope of staying in the game. Raw-conversion-only products have little hope of market expansion, regardless of claims to greatness.

    I also see quite an expensive and time-consuming development process to merge the iView and C1 products into the required seamless environment that will need to be created to compete with the big guys.

    But time's also a'wastin'. Once someone commits to Aperture of Lightroom it's going to take some extraordinary reasons to get them out. The digital photo craze is also starting to cool.

    Personally, I cannot imagine changing DAM platforms any time soon or without extreme provocation. I was an iView MediaPro user until sometime in 2006, at which time I moved into Lightroom and absolutely love it. I use CaptureOne 5 to pre-process my PhaseOne back files, which I then place in my LR catalog. (I plan to eliminate the gawky C1 step when/if Lightroom is better able to more subtly handle the Phase files. It's a pain.)

    Good luck on this project, PhaseOne.

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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: Phase One acquires Expression Media from Microsoft

    Quote Originally Posted by LJL View Post
    P.S. The one way around things, maybe, is if EM could just access the created thumbnail or preview file from LR or Aperture, not having to "read" the entire processing instruction set. Then one could at least see what the version looked like, know where it was stored, and go from there. That is the power of the cross-platform/cross-app cataloging capabilities of EM. It cannot do that at this point, as far as I am aware. If it can get to that stage, as a minimum, it will become a lot more useful to folks using other DAM tools now.
    Yep agreed. The key is to get to the previews. Have to say pretty please to Apple and Adobe. I took a quick look at Adobe's Lightroom SDK, didn't see any obvious way to access the preview database without launching LR.
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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: Phase One acquires Expression Media from Microsoft

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Tanaka View Post
    I also see quite an expensive and time-consuming development process to merge the iView and C1 products into the required seamless environment that will need to be created to compete with the big guys.
    It's a few man-years - it can certainly be done.
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    Re: Phase One acquires Expression Media from Microsoft

    I notice the downloads are for XP and Vista. Has anyone tried them on Win 7?

    Thanks, steve

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    Re: Phase One acquires Expression Media from Microsoft

    If it's the same as MS Expression Media 2 then I have tried it on Windows 7 64-bit. No extensive testing though.
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    Re: Phase One acquires Expression Media from Microsoft

    No extensive testing here either, but I do have it running on Windows 7 64-bit also.

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    Senior Member Steve Hendrix's Avatar
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    Re: Phase One acquires Expression Media from Microsoft

    I've confirmed that anyone who is a Capture One Pro owner can download Expressions Media for free ($199 value) until June 30. You'll have to go through a check-out process as some have already noticed (just make sure to add to cart the version that costs $0). You will have to enter a credit card number, but your total will be $0 charged. An activation email will then find its way to you.

    According to Vieri, your activation may already show up in the browser, but an emailed activation should still be on its way.

    I can't think of any reason to not do this (unless you just have no interest). I have my copy.

    My hope is that it improves, remains open, and offers particular benefits to Capture One users via some integrated workflows.


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    Re: Phase One acquires Expression Media from Microsoft

    I'm downloading my copy of Expression Media 2 as I start to write this post. I purchased and happily used iView Media Pro and then Expression Media when Microsoft took over. Even though, as soon as the Microsoft purchase was announced, I accepted that the program probably had no future given Microsoft's long history of buying niche companies then letting the software languish and die. Certainly there seemed no point in upgrading to Microsoft's (buggy) Expression Media 2. Not because they wouldn't fix the bugs -- Microsoft has probably more experience in fixing bugs than any other software company in the world -- but rather because there was pretty much a zero chance of a Microsoft Expression Media 3 which actually added some useful functionality.

    I was so happy to read Steve Hendrix's post announcing that iView / Expression Media had been rescued from the Evil Empire and even more surprised that Phase One were providing a free upgrade path for original iView users. Despite the enthusiasm that so many GetDPI users have for Capture One, I've been reluctant to purchase yet another RAW converter. But, as a consequence of this favorable experience, I'll give Capture One a try.

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