Filterstorm Pro Unmasked

This is a preview of the future of mobile image editing.  On or around April 1st 2011, Filterstorm Pro is expected to hit the App store. At only a fraction of the cost of Photoshop, this $20 app will offer a sophisticated set of editing tools for the traveling photographer.

Here are some of the features I'm most excited about:

  • Supports RAW file formats
  • Changes can be applied with a mask
  • There is a clone tool for getting rid of dust spots
  • Automated batch processing
  • FTP and DropBox support

Watch the video below to see just how simple it can be to pinch, pull, tap and swipe your way through an edit.


For graphic designers or those who work with text, you may also be interested in this video.


How will I use this?

Since my camera uses CF cards instead of SD, I'll have to pick up the $30 camera connector kit. Alternatives include these CF readers, but I'm not sure how reliable these are just yet.

When traveling, I download all of my cards into two Memory Kick Si units every night.  I use two for the sake of redundancy. Once I know they've been safely copied to both devices, I usually format the cards and get ready for the next day's shoot.

With Filterstorm Pro, I'll add one more step to the workflow. Before formatting the cards, I'll selectively upload my favorites to the iPad. Using the larger display screen I can check for critical sharpness, and make any basic edits with the app.  These processed images can instantly be shared on the web or with a client on location.

It will not replace my current workflow which consists of Lightroom 2 and Photoshop CS5. First of all, it's not ergonomically comfortable to edit a ton of photos on a tablet. In addition, I believe editing will still be faster with a powerful processor like the one in my iMac. This is especially true when working with 60-100 MB TIFFS. Also, the app will not support 16 bit processing.

Having said that, it's clear that advanced editing is now possible on a lightweight mobile device. Moving forward, the laptop stays home while the iPad comes along for the journey. As you can see in the video, Filterstorm Pro goes well beyond the basic photo editing apps you may have tried. Some of the other features include:

  • Curves (Luminance, RGB, red, green, blue, cyan, yellow, magenta)
  • Brightness
  • Contrast
  • Color balance
  • White Point Picker
  • Saturation
  • Text tool
  • Black and white fine-tuning
  • Red-eye reduction
  • 30-step Visual History
  • Cropping, with the ability to specify aspect ratio
  • Scale
  • Scale to Fit
  • Rotation and Image Straightening
  • Vignetting
  • Sharpen
  • Tone map
  • Blur
  • Noise Reduction
  • Clone Tool
  • Multi-exposure Tool
  • Border Tool

At the time of this writing, the app has been submitted to Apple for approval. When it goes live, there will be a special introductory price of $15 for about one week, so try to jump on it ASAP. After that, it will be priced at $20. For the latest Filterstorm updates, check them out on Twitter.



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