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Best Finds & discoveries for 2007

... this month's winners share their ideas

During November and December we invited readers of the Design Cafe list and Design Cafe Forums to write in and share their most important or favorite discoveries during 2007. here's a look...

Imaging Resource site helps pick Camera

John writes:
      "I was looking for the best dSLR camera in $400-$700 price range, basing my decision on which produced the best (clearest, sharpest, closest-to-true color, and especially noise-free) images even at more extreme ISOs. The Imaging Resource website provided exactly what I was looking for--side by side comparisons of images from any of the cameras I was considering.

cover Based on my comparisons, the Nikon D40x was the clear winner, against several other popular brands. And based on early test shots, real world results proved it out.

It proved itself even when I improperly used wrong presets before I glanced at the manual. One image, taken from my high-rise window (glass open) of a Chicago lakefront marina about 4-6 blocks away (when height was figured in). The preview of the image was basically black, and I figured there was very little possibility I could salvage enough of the image. But I transferred it to my Mac, opened it using Photoshop CS3 Camera Raw, made a few quick adjustments-- and I had a perfect, bright daylight image! Even the closest zoom showed an unbelievably sharp image, one I doubted I could capture even with exacting camera settings and a tripod (which I didn't use). Had the cars in the image been positioned at a different angle, I probably could have read the license plates. An amazing camera, and great software to salvage apparently even some of the worst possible shots.

I highly recommend both the website that sealed my decision, and the camera itself.
      [Mac user, Adobe CS3 Design Premium. (onOne plugin suite recommended for Photoshop also.)]"
[END QUOTE] John is a design professional from Chicago IL

BEST and WORST for Mac users?

Sandra writes:
      "2007's best Shareware: Pixelmator - it's LITERALLY Photoshop at 10% of the price! Of course, Pixelmator is a layer-based image editor. You can quickly create layers from your photos, other pictures, from selections or even your iSight. Yes, Pixelmator can add a layer to your composition directly from your Mac's little camera. Not only can you link and arrange added layers, but Pixelmator allows you to blend layers, change their opacity, create clipping masks or even add layer masks to hide some portions of layer.
NOTE: 2007's best Software: Adobe CS3 and Mac OS X Leopard 10.5
NOTE: 2007's best Hardware or Gizmo: The Apple iPhone, hands down.
NOTE: 2007's best Web Site: MacZOT
MacZOT is a website that offers great Mac apps at great prices. They work with independent Mac developers to bring you special ZOT discounts on some of the best Mac applications available today. They have a new offer just about every day.
NOTE: 2007's best Stock Photography:

How about the WORST?
NOTE: Disco - Disc burning app consistently makes coasters ESPECIALLY when spanning discs which was the MAIN reason people wanted to buy this app.

Mac OS X and I would love OS X 10.5 but my current favorite is Photoshop CS2 (currently own student ed)"
[END QUOTE] Sandra is a self employed freelancer from Oaklyn, NJ

Another VectorMagic fan

Moureen writes:
      "I love the VectorMagic site at Stanford University. When you put a photo or piece of art on the site it changes it to a piece of vector art. I have used photos, Photoshop art and even text to be sure I could scale it up and it has worked very well each time. And one of the best things is it's FREE!
Mac, Photoshop and buZZ"
[END QUOTE] Moureen is a printing industry professional from Port Orchard, WA
See last month's listings for more about Vector Magic!

Adobe Creative Suite 3

Anthony writes:
      "What I know is that many clients today already have a clear vision of what they want, they just don't know how to articulate that vision into tangible results. What I know is that my job is not to go off and use great software like Adobe Creative Suite 3 to produce wonderful graphics, marketing and print materials for them, my job is to use this software to creatively produce what they are seeing. What I know is that I must somehow get out of them that which is needful for me in order for me to do the very best I can do.
      When I help the client articulate what they want to happen, what they are seeing in their head, that great mind space up above, about their product, or pitch, or marketing plan...then I take the very best software, Adobe Creative Suite 3 and put it to good use. I put it to work, the software, and put the creative touches of their vision to life. Whether its web, illustration, page layout, brochures, newsletters, magazine ads, stationary...whatever it is that they envision for their business, I put to work the best software for my business, Adobe Creative Suite 3.

When you need to know...when you need to earn, YOU should learn Adobe CS3.
By the way...I work on the PC platform."
[END QUOTE] Anthony is a desktop publishing professional from Ellisville, MO


Continues on the next page...

And, that about wraps it up for this month. See'ya next month.

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