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Author Topic: Which RAW software?  (Read 9710 times)
gododdin
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« on: March 01, 2006, 07:33:03 AM »
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Hi all

Now that I've decided to switch completely to digital (yeah, I always was a bit slow to catch on   ) and the camera has been ordered (Nikon D200 and 18-200 VR lens), I'm researching which is the best software to suit my purposes (RAW image processing).  I have an iMac G5 and I'm currently looking at Photoshop Elements and Bibble, and have also installed Adobe Lightroom.  The thing is, having spent what to me at least is a fortune on the camera & lens I certainly can't afford Photoshop CS.  Having said that my needs are relatively limited - I 'only' need to be able to process the image to produce the best possible finished photograph for print and web (I don't need a lot of the advanced features of CS).

I'm used to working with levels and curves (Photoshop 5.5 running under XP at work).

Bibble seems pretty good, although as far as I've been able to see I would miss the 'clone' and 'healing' facilities.

Photoshop Elements does not have 'curves'

Adobe Lightroom is likely to have it all, but is also likely to cost more than I can afford.

Any advice would be much appreciated.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2006, 07:42:32 AM »
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Not that much is known on Capture NX yet, but it could be what you are looking for.

In the mean time, you could probably settle for the free Raw Shooter Essential together with Photoshop Element 4.0?

I personnally use a mix of RSP 1.02, DxO 3.5 and Capture 4.4 follows by PS CS.

Regards,
Bernard
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A few images online here!
gododdin
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« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2006, 01:06:31 PM »
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Not that much is known on Capture NX yet, but it could be what you are looking for.

In the mean time, you could probably settle for the free Raw Shooter Essential together with Photoshop Element 4.0?

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=59291\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Hi Bernard, and thanks

Capture NX looks interesting - I'll await developments.

I tried downloading RSE, but for the life of me couldn't find out from the pixmantec website whether it is windows, mac or both.  Certainly the download button points to an .exe file (I have an iMac G5).  In searching for RSE I also found another product Silkypix, and I'm downloading a trial version to review.
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Stephen Best
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« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2006, 06:36:24 PM »
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« Last Edit: March 01, 2006, 06:38:29 PM by Stephen Best » Logged
David White
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« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2006, 07:51:00 PM »
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Take a look at Alain Briot's site.  He just posted some movies comparing DxO, ACR, RawShooter and Capture One.

Beautiful Landscape

--------------
David White
« Last Edit: March 01, 2006, 07:51:34 PM by gvdavewh » Logged

David White
Mark D Segal
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« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2006, 05:18:04 PM »
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Once you are putting all that money into good camera equipment, it could make sense to up-grade from Photoshop 5.5 to Photoshop CS2 if you plan to print in a colour managed workflow starting the process from Raw files, and if you think you will be interested in learning advanced image editing techniques. The program includes the latest version of Camera Raw, which will allow you to process your raw files with ease and transfer them seemlessly into Photoshop for further work.

I don't know whether or not Adobe would give you an up-grade price moving from 5.5 to CS2, but even they don't, once you make the plunge for the new program, you are on their "bandwagon" eligible for all future releases at very attractive up-grade prices (such as $150).

We don't know what Lightroom will cost yet, but when the Windows Beta version is released you can download it for free and see whether it will do all the image processing tasks you need for the time being (it is not a substitute for Photoshop, but from I've seen so far will do all the image editing many people would need). The thinking is that the commercial version will not cost more than about 250, but again, we don't know.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
Gary Ferguson
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« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2006, 09:59:03 AM »
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You say that you're interested in the best possible final print. I'm more familiar with Canon lenses than Nikon but my guess is that with an 18-200mm optic DxO is probably your best bet for RAW conversion and noise suppression.

The reason I say this is because there's no such thing as a free lunch, and quality generally declines as the range of a zoom lens increases. The range 18-200mm is absolutely huge, so I wouldn't be expecting outstanding quality. But here's the good news, DxO delivers more obvious image benefits as lens quality falls. So it's a good RAW converter if you shoot maily zooms, and a great RAW converter if you shoot with wide range and/or wide angle zooms.

In any event be cautious as you balance sharpness with noise reduction, too much of one without a compensating reduction in the other produces a very artificial result, akin to running the image through one of those horrible filters that replicate a painting.
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61Dynamic
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« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2006, 11:12:24 AM »
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Take a look at Alain Briot's site.  He just posted some movies comparing DxO, ACR, RawShooter and Capture One.

Beautiful Landscape

--------------
David White
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I knew Mr Briot is originally from France but didn't expect his accent to be that thick. It's always odd hearing someone talk when you've only read text from them.

gododdin,

You can get a plug-in for PS Elements [a href=\"http://www.hiddenelements.com/powertoolsinfo.html]here[/url] which will give you curves functionality. Also, you can get PS CS2 at a discounted price of $300 since you have a Nikon Camera.

There is also RAW Developer to take a look at too.
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jani
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« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2006, 06:20:33 PM »
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Also, you can get PS CS2 at a discounted price of $300 since you have a Nikon Camera.
Well, Canon or Konica owners shouldn't feel left out, either (same offer).
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Jan
paullantz
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« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2006, 10:21:46 AM »
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up to now I have just used ACR with Photoshop CS2.
My main complaint was with noise along the borders of highlights (e.g. lights reflected in eyes), this I have had to handle in PS with the reduce noise function.

I bought DxO, it is slow, clumsy interface (or just not the kind of interface to which I am accustomed). The results are ok but not spectacular.

I downloaded trial of Bibble but have not played with it much.

I downloaded trial of Capture One. I am getting the hang of it and it certainly seems convenient, e.g. outputting different sized versions of images in single operation. But it is not cheap and I am.

Playing with these programs makes me realize that nobody has any magic but they can certainly speed up handling large groups of photos where there is not a lot of editing going on.
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gododdin
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« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2006, 02:55:39 PM »
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Thanks everyone for the really useful info.  I will do some exploration and 'report back'.  I realise that I'm probably not going to get superb image quality all the way through the range with the 18 - 200 but I needed the most versatile lens first.  I suspect that for landscape work, I'll be saving for either a wide angle zoom or a prime wide once I get the camera!

I had no idea that getting the new Nikon meant I could get a discount on PS CS2 - thanks for that one - I may take the plunge... (at the risk of upsetting my bank manager)  
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keithpound
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« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2006, 03:53:15 PM »
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Well, Canon or Konica owners shouldn't feel left out, either (same offer).
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=59578\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

But as usual, not if you are outside of the USA or Canada.

Regards

Keith (feeling ripped off in the UK)
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jani
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« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2006, 10:47:35 AM »
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But as usual, not if you are outside of the USA or Canada.

Regards

Keith (feeling ripped off in the UK)
Maybe there is a rebate in the UK, Norway or other places, too, but you just have to know where to look.
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Jan
jdyke
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« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2006, 10:57:35 AM »
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So this now begs the question do you spend your wedge on CS2  (which is pretty expensive) or go for something like RSP (at a fraction of the price) to tied you over and wait for Lightroom (or you may find RSP is all you need if you do not currently need a DAM (Iview,Portfolio ect.)  

I currenlty use RSP with Iview media pro as my DAM (I do own CS2 but only use the 'photoshop features' and not the Raw Converter)  

The liklehood is that I will end up with Lightroom for the simple face that it does all
in one app.    

If you can get CS2 cheap though then go for it.

Best Regards,

Jon
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jdyke
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« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2006, 11:00:49 AM »
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Sorry missed the bit about the mac.  Ignore the RSP/RSE bit.  I don't think lighroom will be that expensive - I have a good feeling they may supprise us with its price  
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benInMA
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« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2006, 11:09:15 AM »
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Well, Canon or Konica owners shouldn't feel left out, either (same offer).
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=59578\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Anyone know where you figure out if you have one of these Elements licenses that enables you to buy CS2 for only $300?

E.x. I have a 5D, would Elements have been on the CD that came with the camera?  I guess I'll have to look for it?   I installed DPP off the CD but I don't remember seeing Elements on there.

I'd love to get CS2 with the appropriate stuff to handle 5D raw files as I'm really not crazy about DPP.
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2006, 11:12:31 AM »
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Sorry missed the bit about the mac.  Ignore the RSP/RSE bit.  I don't think lighroom will be that expensive - I have a good feeling they may supprise us with its price 
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=59695\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I'm betting on $400.
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KSH
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« Reply #17 on: March 07, 2006, 11:55:09 AM »
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I am using Raw Magick Lite as a converter (www.rawmagick.com). It is still in beta phase, it still has some bugs, documentation is yet sparse, but it gives me the best conversion results. I have been using Nikon Capture, ACR and RSE intermittently, but couldn't get the same results with them in terms of image detail and, by now, colour accuracy.

Regards,

Karsten
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61Dynamic
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« Reply #18 on: March 07, 2006, 12:35:32 PM »
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Anyone know where you figure out if you have one of these Elements licenses that enables you to buy CS2 for only $300?

E.x. I have a 5D, would Elements have been on the CD that came with the camera?  I guess I'll have to look for it?   I installed DPP off the CD but I don't remember seeing Elements on there.

I'd love to get CS2 with the appropriate stuff to handle 5D raw files as I'm really not crazy about DPP.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=59697\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
The Adobe site has your answers. Enter your serial number into the box on the site and it will tell you if you qualify.
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bob mccarthy
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« Reply #19 on: March 07, 2006, 12:43:08 PM »
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If you registered Elements, Adobe will contact you with the discount deal.

Bob
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