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LightZone 2.2.1 released  
Wednesday, March 7, 2007 | by Mike Sturk
Light Crafts has released LightZone 2.2.1, the latest iteration of the frequently-updated image editing and RAW conversion software for Mac and Windows. The release notes list the following changes in v2.2.1, which follows quickly on the heels of v2.2:

Changes for 2.2.1
  • Fixed a bug that prevented saving or exporting images to disks other than the system/boot disk.
Changes for 2.2
New requirements (Mac OS X only)
  • Java 1.5 Release 5 is now required. If you have not already updated to it, get it by selecting Software Update from the Apple menu.
New features
  • You can now rate your photos.
  • Raw conversion has been improved.
  • Orientation changes (and ratings) are now stored in sidecar XMP files for interoperability with other applications.

    In previous versions of LightZone, orientation information was stored in a LightZone database. To preserve the orientation of photos you've already rotated, the first time your browse a folder with LightZone 2.2, it will create a new sidecar XMP file for every photo in that folder that's been rotated using LightZone's browser. If the folder is read-only, no XMP files can be created so orientation information will be lost for photos in that folder.
  • Printer settings are now saved with your work so you can easily reproduce prints.
  • The user interface has a darker and all-gray appearance to reduce color distractions.
Camera support
  • Nikon D40 raw files are now supported.
  • All known printing problems have been fixed.
  • Fixed a problem where rotating a photo would also rotate all saved versions derived from that photo.
  • Fixed a compatibility problem between sidecar TIFF files created by LightZone and opening them in other applications.
  • Fixed a crash with some display color profiles.
  • Fixed artifacts with the noise reduction and Tone Mapper tools.
Other changes
  • Performance on computers having Intel (or compatible) processors has been improved.
  • The way preview images are generated has changed. The first time you click on a thumbnail, it may take several seconds for the preview to appear.
  • XMP metadata embedded inside JPEG files is now read.
  • The browser menu previously available only via right/control click has been given its own menu in the menu bar.
  • You can now edit a photo simply by clicking on its preview image.
  • The behavior of the "eye" button that shows the before and after versions of your photo has changed: you now need to click and hold the button to see the before version.
  • Support for PNG images has been removed.

Licensed users of an older version of LightZone can download the trial version of LightZone 2.2.1 to obtain the update. LightZone can be purchased for US$249.95, while the feature-reduced LightZone Basic Edition is US$149.95, direct from Light Crafts' online store.
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