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Canon. It’s official—within a month or so you’ll be able to add a PowerShot G1 X to your photo tool kit and have a fairly small but serious “go almost anywhere” camera with a sensor more than 6 times larger than the one in the G12.  Will it satisfy everyone?  Not likely, but it looks to have enough desirable features to do a pretty good job in many circumstances when it’s just not practical to lug a big camera.  I’ve used a G9 for some time and have made some nice images with it, but conditions had to be just right and technique close to perfect.  Features that are appealing to me in the G1 X are the much more capable sensor (Canon claims it will have better noise characteristics than the 7D or 60D), 4-stop image stabilization, an optical viewfinder (even if it isn’t as accurate or useful as many of the electronic or hybrid viewfinders in a number of other brands now), and the fact it will work with several other Canon accessories.  Every camera is a compromise, but I believe the G1 X hits enough essential priorities that it will be very popular as a serious compact.  Previews available here, here, and here.

Adobe. Software companies make money by selling you product.  When new versions improve your capability to create and produce you’re enticed to shell out for upgrades.  You know it’s going to happen, whether you’ve really learned to maximize the current version or not, and it’s one of those loop experiences we all go through.  So here comes Lightroom 4…in public beta, which means you can download it and use it for a while to experiment with new features even though the product has not been finalized and no doubt may have small bugs or other unusual ways of operating.  While it’s fun to get on the bandwagon ahead of time, a certain amount of caution is warranted.  For a rundown of what’s expected to be in the new version and for the download links see Adobe’s page here.  You can also view a 22 minute streaming video by Michael Reichmann describing the new features here.

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