SilverFast DC Pro Studio: A Better Aperture for Photoshop Users
SilverFast DC Pro Studio is a Photoshop plug-in and a stand-alone application. It resembles SilverFast's scanning software in that it has an almost identical interface. But it is a tool to process digital camera files and hand them over to Photoshop easily.
When I first saw SilverFast DC Pro Studio, I must admit I found it lacked the smooth interface of Aperture and even Adobe's Lightroom beta. But SilverFast DC Pro Studio is cleverly implemented as a plug-in for Photoshop, and that is where most of us will spend most of their time tweaking their digital images.
SilverFast DC Pro Studio recognizes Camera RAW files from most of the professional cameras, including Sinar and Hasselblad models. Starting SilverFast DC Pro Studio from within Photoshop is done from the Photoshop File > Import menu.
The SilverFast module will open in Virtual Light Table mode. In the upper left corner of the window are two tabes, a Navigator and an Albums tab. The Navigator tab is used for finding the folder on the hard disk or other storage medium that contains the images you would like to work with.
Just as with Aperture, you can organise images in Albums. An import iPhoto album button allows you to import iPhoto albums directly in SilverFast DC Pro Studio.
Editing with SilverFast DC Pro Studio
When you've selected the images you want to work with from the light table, you can open them in SilverFast's editing window. Here, you will find almost identical commands and features as those available in SilverFast Ai, LaserSoft Imaging's scanning software.
Some features are different. There's a red eye remover, and a dust and scratches removing algorithm. If you want to edit several photos at once, the Job Manager is available just as in the Ai version.
The interface will allow you to correct colours globally and selectively, and do all the editing that will prepare the image for further editing in Photoshop. This is ultimately what sets SilverFast DC Pro Studio apart from an application like Aperture: it was designed from the ground up to integrate well with Photoshop.
Working with SilverFast DC Pro Studio therefore is very much a no-brainer. You handle the application as if it were a scanner program, and can edit your photographs in Photoshop just like you've always done before. The only thing that's less in SilverFast DC Pro Studio is its interface, but LaserSoft Imaging is working on that too.