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Canon wants to ease pain of culling photos in Lightroom with this A.I. plug-in

This story is part of our continuing coverage of CES 2020, including tech and gadgets from the showroom floor.

Hours spent taking photos is usually followed by additionalhours spent picking out the best photos — but what if the computer could do it for you? That’s the concept behind Canon’s upcoming Photo Culling Plugin, a Lightroom add-on that uses the Canon Computer Vision A.I. Engine to sort through all those photos.

The plug-in smartly doesn’t attempt to judge a photograph’s artistic merits, but instead looks at an image’s technical aspects, assisting photographers with choosing the best shot out of a series of similar images. The algorithm will compare sharpness — something that’s difficult to judge in the tiny previews in the Lightroom library — as well as aspects like noise, exposure, and contrast. The plug-in will also not recommend photos with closed eyes or red eyes.

Once the A.I. has looked through all the photos, the plug-in will recommend images using Lightroom’s colored flags.

Canon says that photographers will be able to control the settings before culling to customize the results. The app will be available in the Adobe Exchange App Marketplace and will require a monthly subscription, but Canon hasn’t yet shared the price.

The culling plug-in was announced along with the beta of Image Connect, a service that aims to connect photographers with clients. Potential clients provide details about the shoot, than the system matches the job with potential photographers, who can bid on the work directly on the platform. Image Connect will also deliver the digital files to the client. Canon says the service is designed to give professional photographers more opportunities, while also increasing productivity.

The beta is launching first in Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas, and is open to photographers using any brand of gear. At launch, the service is expected to focus on family events, Canon says, such as family and newborn portraits, engagements, birthday parties, and religious events.

Both the Canon Photo Culling Plugin and Image Connect were announced during CES 2020 in Las Vegas. Both options are expected to launch in the first quarter of 2020.

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