Phase One, makers of medium format digital camera systems & Capture One software, have released an update to Media Pro (formerly Microsoft Expression Media, formerly iView Media Pro). The update rechristens the software to its original name and restarts the version counts to 1.0.
But that is not all.
A great deal of work has been done to improve the product over its previous incarnations. Having tried all three versions personally, I can report the following:
Camera and image support has been vastly improved — the original version was good but supported mainstream cameras. Images represented in the app were not that great, it depended heavily on embedded JPGs for RAW files. The Phase One version incorporates the Capture One RAW engine and supports every format it does. Phase will have to release Media Pro updates in tandem with Capture One updates they way Adobe does with Ligthroom and Camera RAW for Photoshop.
Speed, speed, speed — When Microsoft put their version out, they improved the camera support, but the product suffered from code bloat and did not perform very well with large numbers of images. Worse if the images were stored on a server and access over the LAN. I found the Phase version to be lighting fast, indexing/thumb-nailing this year’s work from my Nikon D700 (2500+ RAW files and TIFFs) in 2:10s on my vintage 2008 8-core Mac Pro.
I highly recommend this product. Digital Asset Management is a skill that all photographers of any skill level must learn to master very early on. I also recommend that you view the video tutorials provided by Phase One as they will help you maximize your benefit from using this great software.
Read the full press release after the jump.
Copenhagen, May 10, 2011 — Phase One, the world’s leading pro photography equipment provider, today released Media Pro. Originally created by iView Multimedia, this professional digital asset management software has recently been known as Microsoft Expression Media. In its first release since Phase One’s acquisition of the product from Microsoft last year, it has been re-christened Media Pro.
Media Pro is a professional photo manager built for photographic, video and multimedia collection management. Media Pro offers a flexible and intuitive way to catalog, organize, and utilize digital media assets.
Its strength is in organizing photo files, no matter where they are stored — on shared folders, CDs, hard drives, DVDs or other media. It’s an application comprising visual catalogs which can be easily and quickly browsed, searched, and annotated.
Images within these very large catalogs (Media Pro now supports more than 128,000 files per catalog) may be non-destructively edited with Capture One and other image editing applications. They may also be converted into other file formats. And all catalogs may be archived, backed up, published via slide shows, web galleries, and distributed via email, contact sheets, prints, and other custom options.
Seamless workflow with Capture One — Phase One’s Capture One raw image rendering engine is built into the new Media Pro. Photographers can instantly magnify and evaluate raw images with correct colors, in detail, including adjustments. Images and adjustments made in Capture One are updated in Media Pro and the two applications offer integrated exchange of the metadata that describe images, and convey ownership and licensing information. This increased compatibility is a major improvement in the workflow between the two applications.
Openness — Media Pro offers exchange of metadata information by way of XMP, the extensible metadata platform. Media Pro also provides options to permit Windows-based systems to use Windows Imaging Components and Mac-based systems to use Core Image processing as their image rendering engines. This means that Media Pro maintains its independence as a best-of-breed digital asset management solution supporting other popular image editing software.
More camera support — Raw files from more than 100 new camera models are supported, including raw image and video support for Canon, Nikon and other popular pro and semi-pro digital cameras.
Larger Catalogs — The limitation of 128.000 files per catalog and the maximum size of 2GB per catalog has been removed to allow for larger photo collections. Users can still create an unlimited number of visual catalogs.
Updated User Interface — Media Pro comes with a redesigned user interface to match the sleek look of Capture One.
While this version continues to provide support for audio, DTP, font, text and HTML files, Media Pro is primarily a photo manager for photo and video files.
For more information about Media Pro, please see: www.phaseone.com/media-pro
“Working with Phase One to develop the new Media Pro tutorials has been very exciting, “said Peter Krogh, leading DAM expert and professional photographer. “I’ve long considered Media Pro to be one of my favorite DAM resources, and it’s clear that its future is bright.”
“Phase One is committed to investing in professional photo management and image editing software,” said Carsten H. Olsen, Phase One Software Product Manager. “This Media Pro release is designed to deliver a combined photography software toolset that will satisfy the world’s most demanding professional photographers.”