•Always wait to upgrade your computer OS! For Macintosh computers read The MacObserver.com site, (or listen to “The Mac Geek Gab” podcast) for Mac upgrading info. For Windows computers check The WindowsObserver.com site to know when to upgrade. Never upgrade your OS until at least the “x.2” version, giving Apple/Microsoft time to squash the usual bugs.
•For Lightroom/Photoshop wait until the “all clear” from Jeff Harmon’s Photo Taco Podcast, or Victoria Bampton (lightroomqueen.com) that it’s OK to upgrade Lightroom Classic/Photoshop!
•Finally, NEVER use the Creative Cloud Auto-update function, turn it off in Creative Cloud, screenshot below (Creative Cloud/Account/Preferences/Apps).
•Adobe’s new “Super Resolution” feature works (mostly)! It can increase low megapixel images by 4X (2X Length & 2X Width)! It’s not a Lightroom Classic feature yet, so use Bridge/Photoshop: Navigate to the image you want to enhance, say “Open in Camera Raw”. Right-click on the image and select “Enhance”, check the “Super Resolution” box, hit “Enhance”. It will save right where the original was, so if you opened it from a Lightroom photos folder, go to that folder in LrC and hit Library/Synchronize to get it into LrC. BTW, LrC ignored all my ACR edits, so don’t bother editing in ACR, just enhance it, and finish in LrC as usual. Tony Northrup’s testing shows it doesn’t improve the sharpness any more than you could do yourself manually, but could save all those old, 3 megapixel shots we took in the 90s! Seems to work best with the X-trans sensor (Fujifilm).
It is usually a good idea to update your camera firmware and photo processing software on a regular basis. If you don’t know how, ask someone in the club who has experience doing it for help. We try to refresh this list of the most popular software programs on a regular basis. Updates can usually be obtained from within your current version by clicking on “check for updates”, or you may obtain them from the support section of the vendor. If you do it this way and you are downloading Canon software, you may need to input your camera’s serial number for some apps.
If you use the (excellent!) free FastStone Image Viewer, the current version is 7.4. You can download it from their website. This is much more than a “viewer”. Among other things, it is great for resizing images and adding borders for DPI competitions. Ask Edgar Reihl for a walk-through at one of the club meetings if interested.
The latest version of Adobe DNG Converter is 2021. This is a free download from Adobe.
If you use Canon Digital Photo Professional, the latest version is 22.214.171.124
The latest version of Canon Picture Style Editor is 126.96.36.199
If you use Nikon Capture NX-D, the current version is 1.6.0. If you use View NX-i, the current version is 1.4.0.
Photomatix HDR software was recently updated for the first time in more than a year. The current version is 6.1.3. This is a great app for helping your photos look more realistic. It is especially useful for prepping photos for printing.
The current version of Aurora HDR software is 188.8.131.529
The current version of Luminar is 184.108.40.20691
The current version of On1 Photo Raw 2020 is 220.127.116.1105
The current version of DXO Photo Lab 2 is v2.3.2 Build 265
Topaz Studio 2 is currently at version 2.2.0.
For most of these, you can get the updates from within the app by clicking on “Check for Updates” (or similar). This way, you don’t have to search for them on the developer’s website.
Nikon Z6 and Z7 (mirrorless) cameras all had firmware updates in December, 2019. Other Nikon models were updated earlier. Launch Nikon Message Center to check for the latest versions and download them.
Various Canon models have had firmware updates during the past year. The Canon EOS R is the latest; v1.6 on 12/05/19). Canon does not have an app like the Nikon Message Center that tells you which ones have been updated at a glance. The easiest way to find them is to go to Canon USA Support at this page and type in your model number. This will bring you to the support page for your model where you can check for software and firmware updates and download them.