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Thread: Advice on Software

  1. #1
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    Advice on Software

    Hello All
    I would like some advice on image processing software please. I currently only use the free processor with canon and have nothing else. I'm not looking at investing 600 in photoshop but would like the thoughts of everyone. There seem to be alot out there eg elements, coral, lightroom etc
    Thanks in advance
    Edd

  2. #2
    Junior Member kingscurate's Avatar
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    Lightroom, with a book to guide is IMO easiest programme i have learned.
    I aint a pro

  3. #3
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    Re: Advice on Software

    Photoshop is overkill if your new to the game. The free program that comes with the camera will do enough until you figure out what you need. Having said that, I do like Lightroom with a few plugins.
    Words get in the way of what I meant to say.

  4. #4
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    I agree, the program that comes with your camera is great until you figure out what you find as its shortcomings for what you want to do with your photos.

    I would suggest trying a few free trials to see what will work best for you. Many people love and swear by Lightroom as being the best for them. I purchased Lightroom 3 but could never quite get the hang of it and didn't move on to Lightroom 4. I mostly use photoshop and camera RAW with a number of plug-ins (OnOne, NIK). I don't do any major batch processing and it works great for my style of processing.

    A couple of free trials that I would suggest that are inexpensive if you decide to purchase is DxO Optics Pro 8 which is on sale right now until the end of the month. I only have version 7 but it looks like they made some very nice improvements with the newer version.

    Also, OnOne has a fantastic Suite 7 that I use and their customer support is fantastic! It comes as a standalone program or as a plugin.

    Again, work with DPP for awhile, find out what your style and workflow of processing is and try a few freebies that are out there before purchasing.

    Good Luck!

    Denise

  5. #5
    Administrator Sean Setters's Avatar
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    Gimp is a great free alternative to Photoshop for advanced photo editing. It doesn't have some of the capabilities of the newest PS versions, and it isn't quite as user friendly, but it certainly isn't bad.

  6. #6
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    Advice on Software

    Hi, as already suggested - Lightroom. It's capable of most editing I do and it's also great for organizing your photos. And since the introduction of version 4 it's also attractively priced. I simply can't see any reason not to get it.

  7. #7
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    I picked up Elements 10 for $49, on sale, back when Lightroom was $300. It made sense considering the pricing back then. But now, Lightroom makes much more sense.

    The Elements RAW converter is intentionally limited.
    Elements itself is intentionally limited.
    Elements Camera RAW support lasts 6 months (so no new lenses or camera supported without shelling out more).
    That brings us to Elements has no upgrade path, only yearly re-purchases at full price.
    Also, product quality. The latest RAW converter for Elements 10 is horribly broken, and will never be fixed. That wouldn't fly in Lightroom.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Another vote for lightroom. But I like Denise's advice to use a couple of different free trial periods to evaluate different software. I compared lightroom 3 to dxo 7 about a year ago using that method, selected lightroom and have sinced moved to lightroom 4. The free DPP that canon gives you is very good, but the money for lightroom is worth it to me.

  9. #9
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    I have been using Lightroom for a few years now and have recently upgraded to Lightroom 4. I found it easy to learn - I did buy a book. I also use Photoshop Elements for the rare occasions when I want some further retouching. For 95% of what I have wanted to do Lightroom fits my needs.
    Canon XSi, Canon 40D, EF 28-135 IS, EF-S 18-55 IS, EF 50 1.8, EF-S 10-22, EF 24-70 2.8L, EF 70-200 2.8L II IS, G12

  10. #10
    Apple Aperture 3 ($79.99 from Apple), if you own a Mac, or Adobe Lightroom 4 ($119.31 from Amazon) if you own a PC. These are primarily advanced image management programs that allow you to manage a large libraries of photos. They also have fairly powerful retouching tools, so with them you won't have to spend very much time in dedicated photo editing programs. Both Aperture and Lightroom are fully compatible with external photo editors such as Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, GIMP, etc.

    I use Aperture for virtually all image selection, white balance and color correction, noise reduction, sharpening, and light retouching. Only if a photo requires more than a little clone stamping, building composts, etc. do I ever open a dedicated photo editing program.

    I believe Photoshop Elements 11 ($71.37 from Amazon) is king among the low cost photo editing software. There's surprisingly little that you can do with the full version of Photoshop that you can't do with Elements. Elements is perfect for someone on a budget or someone just dipping their toe in the deep end of the pool.

    Alternative to Elements, if you are a techie and a masochist, you might want to use GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) a try. GIMP (which is free) is powerful, rivaling full Photoshop in capability, although about a generation behind in features. It is an Open Source project and the interface sucks despite recent improvements. (Regarding interfaces of photo editing software: Apple = good, Adobe Photoshop and Elements = middling to crap, GIMP = really bad.)

    Aperture + Elements: $151.36
    Lightroom + Elements: $190.68

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