Digital camera owners will have a powerful new way to manage their picture collections starting next month. Adobe Systems' digital photo technology is going mass-market. The company's graphics software has been the industry standard for professional photographers and graphic designers for years. Now the new Photoshop Album gives high-powered tools to the average digital camera owner for only about $50.
Adobe Chief Executive Bruce Chizen calls Photoshop Album a "digital shoe box" that lets people easily organize, store, and browse through their collection of snapshots. Users can find pictures by date and keyword, burn them to CD or DVD, compile slide shows, make virtual photo albums, and fix flaws. The program can collate pictures off a user's camera, scanner, discs, and hard drive.
Photoshop Album comes out as more and more consumers snap up digital cameras at ever-more-reasonable prices. It competes with a Microsoft product called Picture It, which is already in stores. An estimated 17 percent of U.S. households owned a digital camera at the end of 2002, according to Gartner Dataquest. The research firm projects that half of all U.S. households will have digital cameras by 2006.