Unlike other editing programs that offer
one-click-fixes, Photolemur doesn’t apply a
hard-coded (i.e. inflexible) set of adjustments
to your image. Instead, it uses machine vision
algorithms to explore the contents of an image
first before it can hone in on specific tweaks.
Once it knows what it’s looking at,
Photolemur applies 12 different algorithms to
improve the photo. These algorithms include
color recovery, sky enhancement, exposure
compensation, natural light correction,
foliage enhancement, noise reduction, facial
retouching, horizon straightening, smart
dehaze, tint perfect, RAW processing and
JPEG corrections. These fixes are targeted
at just the areas that are appropriate and
need them (at least, in the software’s view).
Where other editing programs offer a
one-click-fix as a jumping off point for your
own edits, Photolemur offers only an opacity
slider, which essentially lets you dial back
the edits Photolemur has made globally,
across the entire image. Beyond that, your
only other option is to export your corrected
image as a JPEG to a local disk, Flickr, email,
Facebook, Twitter or Snapheal.
Photolemur works on both JPEG and
RAW files. It can process images individually
or in batches. In fact, there’s no limit to
the batch size. You can drag in hundreds of
images. After it has made its correction, the
program offers up a before/after view with
a slider down the middle that you can shift
left or right to preview the corrections.
Photolemur is available as a standalone
application, an external editor for Apple
Photos and a plugin for Lightroom. It’s both
Windows and Mac compatible (Mac users
will need to have updated to High Sierra).
For all of its AI-powered smarts, Photolemur
is about as visually austere a program
as you can imagine. It’s a tiny gray box.
You’ll look in vain for columns of sliders,
histograms or any other conventional
tools of the editing trade.
This design has one overwhelming
virtue—it’s idiot-proof. If you know how to
drag and drop a photo, you’re set. If you’re
used to spending hours in Photoshop,
Capture One or other sophisticated editors,
you may find yourself twitching.
While it’s visually Spartan, Photolemur
does deliver a few pleasing audible cues to let
you know it’s done processing and exporting.
Photolemur runs locally on your computer, not
in the cloud. Despite our initial fears of a GPU-induced house fire when it began to crank,
it doesn’t seem all that taxing, even when
processing batches of images. (We tested it on
a Mac with a 2.6GHz Intel Core i7 processor,
Intel Graphics 4000 card and 16GB of RAM.)
Single images process in seconds while
batches can take several minutes. We dumped
86 RAW files into Photolemur (around 16MB
each in size) and it took the program about
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area lock-on mode. Sometimes the AF system
would shift off our desired subject but on
balance it was extremely reliable. Face and eye
tracking were similarly impressive. In scenes
with very little contrast, though, we found that
the aR III had more difficulty focusing reliably.
Sony has done an excellent job in delivering
extensive AF tools—similar to Canon and
Nikon—that allow you to customize autofocusing
performance to your liking. Where Sony still
trails a bit (particularly vis-à-vis Canon) is in
giving you a clear explanation in the menu
about what its AF settings accomplish. Given
the number of choices you have, be prepared to
devote some time to experimenting with them.
The battery life is also markedly improved.
Where the a7R II had a CIPA-certified lifespan
of 290 shots, the a7R III delivers 530—and in
our time with the camera, we easily exceeded
that. This is still a far cry from competitors
like Nikon’s D850, which boasts an incredible
battery life of 1,850 shots, but it’s a big and
encouraging step in the right direction.
Sony blazed a trail in the professional camera
market with its a7 series and the a7R III is an
affirmation of Sony’s commitment to keeping
the pressure on its rivals. It’s faster than any
comparable DSLR in its class with more AF
points and more sophisticated video features
(to say nothing of its smaller, lighter design).
Even though the camera lags its DSLR rivals
in battery life, Sony has made significant
strides on this front as well.
In terms of speed and resolution, only
Nikon’s D850 comes close to matching the
a7R III’s performance—and then, only if you
tack on hundreds more for a battery grip and
D5 battery, which not only makes the camera
more expensive than the a7R III, but makes the
already heavier body that much more bulky.
Simply put, the a7R III sets a new standard—not
just for mirrorless cameras, but for pro bodies
more generally. It’s a tough act to beat.
sony a7r III
Pros: Excellent still and video quality;
top-of-its-class speed and resolution
performance; solid AF tracking; vastly
improved battery life; multi-function joystick.
cons: Screen doesn’t fully articulate;
low-contrast autofocusing can be
inconsistent; only one UHS-II memory
card slot; lacks intervalometer for
PhotoLemur 2. 2
Those who work with artificial intelligence typically prefer to take
a sunny view of its potential. In the optimistic take, AI liberates
humanity from its unimaginative grunt work, freeing us to focus on
more creative and engaging pursuits. (In the pessimistic take, AI gains
consciousness and super intelligence, and destroys all of human civilization, but let’s
not worry about that right now.)
Photolemur is definitely built around the first promise. Trained on over 1 million images,
this AI-powered software promises to improve your images instantly with zero intervention
on the user’s part beyond a drag and a drop. Has our AI liberation moment arrived?