I just sent an email to the History channel, complaining about the first episode in “The Cars That Made America.” It wasn’t about the cars, it was about the cameras.

In one scene in particular, the actor playing Henry Ford is shown talking with members of the press, including several photographers. This was supposed to be somewhere around 1914-1918. Here’s a screencap of the scene:

The guy on the far right has a camera that is somewhat like a camera of that era, but I would suggest it’s actually several decades younger, a Speed Graphic circa 1950s, perhaps.

As for the other two photographers you can see, those sure look like 1950s or 1960s Kodak snapshot cameras, but let’s give them the benefit of the doubt and peg them in the ’30s. But even that’s iffy, because the cameras are sporting flashbulb reflectors. Flashbulbs didn’t make an appearance until the early ’30s, and the bulbs were big, not the small consumer-type flashbulbs you see used here, from the 1950s-60s. So I’m sticking with late ’50s/early ’60s cameras and flashes.

So, wrong. Just plain wrong.

Here’s what photographers of the era would have been using, taken near the White House in 1918:

If they were needing extra light, they used flash powder.

It ticks me off when art directors get such details wrong. It’s like watching TV and movie scenes of current times, and the news photographers are using one camera, with built-in flash. Okay, they’re making the movie on the cheap, but still, it’s wrong, and that brings the entire production into question.

Rant over.

Corel upgrades PaintShop Pro

Corel has introduced PaintShop Pro 2018, described as “the complete photo editing and graphic design suite,” offering more speed, flexibility, and creativity. There’s a redesigned and customizable user interface said to be friendlier with high-resolution displays and pen and touch devices.

The software’s performance is claimed to be faster, and there are more than 125 pieces of new content including brushes, gradients, textures, and patterns.

Here’s what the software offers:

  • Dual workspace environment: Two new workspaces – Essentials and Complete.
  • Simplified, touch & pen-friendly interface.
  • Faster launch time & performance: PaintShop Pro 2018 is said to launch more than 50 percent faster than the previous version, while the software’s most popular tools now respond with near-instant results. Text wrapping is faster and depth of field adjustments can be achieved four times quicker than before.
  • Customizable toolbars.
  • Colour palettes, brushes & more creative content: Choose from a selection of complementary hues with 10 new Colour Palettes, apply artistic strokes with 30 new Brushes, and get creative with 30 new Gradients, 30 new Textures, and 15 new Patterns.

PaintShop Pro 2018 Ultimate, the comprehensive editing kit for photographers, delivers:

  • Painter Essentials 5: Photo-painting tools transform pictures into art. Or start sketching, drawing, and painting from scratch using Natural-Media brushes.
  • Perfectly Clear 3 SE: Restore details, colour, and other elements lost by your camera. Create a custom look with robust, time-saving presets that let you control multiple adjustments with just one click.
  • AfterShot 3: Corel says this rivals Adobe’s Creative Cloud photography subscription, only without the monthly fee — including, digital asset management, RAW conversion, and adjustment.

Also introduced is the Photo Video Bundle. This brings together PaintShop Pro 2018 and VideoStudio Pro X10 for a complete photo, design, and video editing package.

PaintShop Pro 2018 and PaintShop Pro 2018 Ultimate are available in English, German, French, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Traditional Chinese, and Japanese. Suggested retail pricing (SRP) for PaintShop Pro 2018 is $79.99. SRP for PaintShop Pro 2018 Ultimate is $99.99. SRP for PaintShop Pro 2018 and Video Studio X10 bundle is $159.99. Upgrade pricing is available to registered users of all previous versions of PaintShop Pro.

Next Nikon DSLR will be D850

Nikon has confirmed it is working on the “next generation in full-frame, high-resolution, high-speed digital SLR cameras.” The company has also given it a name: D850. So, yes, it is an FX model – full-frame.

The D850, says the company, will be “a formidable tool” as successor to the D810.

No release date has been announced.

Free Luminar beta available for Windows

Macphun, a Mac software developer, has unveiled a free public beta version of its photo editor Luminar for Windows. To download the beta, click on this link.

Luminar takes on the giants with a photo editor designed to tackle anything from correcting challenging image problems to artful stylizing. Users can choose between levels of image processing complexity based on their experience, and adapt the workspace controls to their skill level, moving up to more advanced modes as they learn. Luminar works in non-destructive fashion.

The public beta is free, although several features from the Mac version of Luminar remain in development for the Windows platform, says the company, among them workspaces, plug-in integration, object removal, and noise reduction. Apparently, as these are completed, the public beta will be updated, leading to a full cross-platform release late in 2017.

If there’s any catch, it’s the recommended system requirements: Windows 10, Core i5 2.2 or better, 8GB RAM, 1GB GPU RAM, SSD with 20+GB free space. Mind you, we have loaded it on an older Dell PC with less RAM than recommended, but an i7 chipset, and it does run, although we have not yet put the software through its paces as yet.

Nikon battery recalled

Nikon has advised of problems occurring with certain EN-EL15 rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. To find out if your DSLR or Nikon 1 V1 camera battery is affected, you’ll need to look at the lot number on the label affixed to your battery.

If the 9th character of the lot number is E or F, your battery is among those being recalled.

And it’s only the battery that’s being recalled, not the camera, too.

If you think you’ve got one of the recalled batteries, go here.