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Author Topic: MAC photo editing software  (Read 8663 times)
Robert Roaldi
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« on: May 02, 2006, 07:32:45 AM »
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I am considering switching to MAC and need info re photo editing. I am NOT going to spend $1000 Cdn on PS; and Elements is too limiting (in its current functionality). I would like something with the fairly rich feature set of a Photo Windows Pro, for example. At $100, it's perfect for my needs. Likewise, Paint Shop Pro. But, neither is available in MAC versions.

Is there an equivalent product in price/featureset for MAC? I am indifferent to layer/nonlayer and can adapt to either workflow.

I realize that I could get an Intel MAC and run Windows apps when needed, but would prefer to avoid the fiddling, if at all possible.

Thanks.
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Robert
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JLK
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« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2006, 07:54:41 AM »
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I am considering switching to MAC and need info re photo editing. I am NOT going to spend $1000 Cdn on PS; and Elements is too limiting (in its current functionality). I would like something with the fairly rich feature set of a Photo Windows Pro, for example. At $100, it's perfect for my needs. Likewise, Paint Shop Pro. But, neither is available in MAC versions.

Is there an equivalent product in price/featureset for MAC? I am indifferent to layer/nonlayer and can adapt to either workflow.

I realize that I could get an Intel MAC and run Windows apps when needed, but would prefer to avoid the fiddling, if at all possible.

Thanks.
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Robert,

I'm interested in what feature sets you feel you need in PSP or PWP that you can't get in Elements...

For purely photographic editing and "darkroom" like manipulation, I would suggest that you download a copy of Lightzone (Lightcrafts.com) for Windows (it comes in both Mac and Windows) and spend some time with that editor. The interface is different than anything else you've used (I bet), but once you figure it out, I find it a more powerful editing environment than any of the other tools I've had (I've never been a huge photoshop fan). The software using non-destructive editing, it has a great contrast/curves adjuster called the Zonemapper, and it's masking features are outstanding and simple to use. What I love about it is that I can get to a finished picture in a few minutes with what used to take me 5-10x longer with other tools. As it stands now, the software does have some limitations---the sharpening isn't great, for example. But I tend to take a tiff out of my raw converter (Lightzone doens't handle my raw files---it does do many common ones, however), into Lightzone, and then into PSE for sharpening, as necessary.

Other editors that you might want to consider are Lightroom (Adobe---Mac only beta) and Aperture. Both those programs have nice workflow tools, and you can remain in the package for most (if not all) of your processing workflow. The only issue is that you'll need a Mac to try out Lightroom, and you can't try out Aperture without going to an Apple store.
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Robert Roaldi
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« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2006, 08:16:16 AM »
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Thanks JKL,

It's entirely possible (if not likely) that my Elements info is out of date. I like curves, want 16-bit, would like access to a few lens correction features without having to buy plug-ins, fairly extensive masking features, cloning, and probably other things that I can't think of right now. I use Neat Image and will be using RawShooter.

I don't need the extensive data base capabilities of Aperture/Lightroom, so far as I understand that they do. I don't have that extensive a collection of photos and probably won't for some time to come, only a few thousand. (An aside: being an ex old-time software developer I viscerally detest modern do-it-all bloatware.)

If current Elements does what I need, well then great, but I was under the impression that it didn't. The last version of it that I tried, about 2 years ago, was unacceptable. I have been using Microfax Picture Publisher, which is virtually unknown, fairly advanced and no longer supported.

I'll take a quick look at the package you suggested.
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Robert
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« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2006, 10:21:57 AM »
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Aperture/Lightroom won't do what you need, but thinking of them as simply database programs is a gross underestimate of what they are.

PSE 4 can do 16-bit and with plug-ins can do curves.

There are also free editors such as the GIMP and based off the GIMP, SeaShore. I haven't tried the latter, but the first has quite a bit of functionality if you can get past the awful UI.

By the sounds of it Photoshop will suit your needs best though. You get what you pay for.

If you have a DSLR that came with Elements, you can get CS2 for $300 from Adobe but I don't know if that offer is good in Canada. Do you currently have PS on the PC? If so, you can switch licenses to a Mac license for free from Adobe.
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Robert Roaldi
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« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2006, 11:21:16 AM »
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Aperture/Lightroom won't do what you need, but thinking of them as simply database programs is a gross underestimate of what they are

I didn't mean to imply that, only that I don't need large parts of what they do.



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PSE 4 can do 16-bit and with plug-ins can do curves.

I didn't know about the plug-in for PSE 4.



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By the sounds of it Photoshop will suit your needs best though. You get what you pay for.
Of course, but I hate spending more than I need to. Which is what is attractive about Photo Windows Pro.

That Lightzone product is interesting, a different approach, but seems to be targeted at raw workflow, only. Am I interpreting this incorrectly? Sometimes, I just have a jpg that needs a small fix.


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If you have a DSLR that came with Elements, you can get CS2 for $300 from Adobe but I don't know if that offer is good in Canada. Do you currently have PS on the PC? If so, you can switch licenses to a Mac license for free from Adobe.

It's possible that I have an Elements CD somewhere. But even if the $300 upgrade is available in Canada, the price and learning curve are too steep for my needs. It's overkill. I still buy small 4-cylinder cars.  

Thanks for the suggestion. I'll take a better look at PSE and its plug-ins. It may be all I need/want, after all.
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francois
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« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2006, 11:41:37 AM »
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I didn't mean to imply that, only that I don't need large parts of what they do.
I didn't know about the plug-in for PSE 4.
Of course, but I hate spending more than I need to. Which is what is attractive about Photo Windows Pro.

That Lightzone product is interesting, a different approach, but seems to be targeted at raw workflow, only. Am I interpreting this incorrectly? Sometimes, I just have a jpg that needs a small fix.
It's possible that I have an Elements CD somewhere. But even if the $300 upgrade is available in Canada, the price and learning curve are too steep for my needs. It's overkill. I still buy small 4-cylinder cars. 

Thanks for the suggestion. I'll take a better look at PSE and its plug-ins. It may be all I need/want, after all.
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Robert,
Try to Google for PS Elements and curves (for ex: [a href=\"http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&client=safari&rls=en&q=photoshop+elements+4+curves&btnG=Search]Photoshop Elements 4 curves[/url]). You may find some free and non free goodies.
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Francois
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« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2006, 12:12:24 PM »
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That Lightzone product is interesting, a different approach, but seems to be targeted at raw workflow, only. Am I interpreting this incorrectly? Sometimes, I just have a jpg that needs a small fix.
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Robert,

Lightzone will work with (most) raw, tiff, and jpg files. It's not limited there, although you can benefit by a deeper bit depth of raw or 16-bit tiff.

Hidden Elements is one of the add-on tool sets that is terrific---Richard Lynch is the author of the book, and I believe that you can buy the toolset without the book now. I used Hidden with PSE2 for a long time.
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Serge Cashman
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« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2006, 07:58:38 PM »
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You can try one of the Gimps. They are not too bad and some are 16 bits compatible.

Like, Cinepaint and some others
http://www.cinepaint.org/

I can't imagine how someone can survive without adjustment layers though... But hey - it's robust, it's used in many professional studios (movie studios that is), it's cross-platform, open-source  

and free
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iordanov
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« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2006, 04:53:08 PM »
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Hi Robert,

I am in the same situation as you - looking for image editor with full 16 Bit support for PPC Mac. PS CS2, priced obcenely at 8 times the price of PSE 4 is a NO NO for me.

In my experience PSE 4 has very limited usability in 16-Bit mode: no use of layers and no selections. For any of these you need to convert the file (irreversibly!) in 8-Bit. With this in mind I consider the "16-Bit feature" as a pure marketing trick.

GIMP, as far as I am aware, is only 8-Bit.

CinePaint can operate even in 32-Bit mode but I am not technically adept enough to run a X11 application.

I just came accross Compositor and according to the features it's 16-Bit. There is a 35 day free trial mode and the price after that is USD 35.

Regards
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Robert Roaldi
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« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2006, 07:27:53 AM »
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Just wanted to thank everyone.

My switch to MAC is going to be delayed for a few months, it seems. I'll revisit the situation then and have made note of the suggestions below. At the speed of things nowadays, the whole world may have changed by then.
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Robert
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jani
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« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2006, 07:37:39 AM »
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Just wanted to thank everyone.

My switch to MAC is going to be delayed for a few months, it seems. I'll revisit the situation then and have made note of the suggestions below. At the speed of things nowadays, the whole world may have changed by then.
I wouldn't purchase any of the first or second generation Intel-based Macs anyway, just like I try to avoid first or second generation of most other products.

What we'll see in the coming months, is better support software for virtualization and cross-platform solutions (on the Intel-based Macs), such as improved versions of Parallels, easier dual-booting etc.

If Parallels allows e.g. Photoshop to do its color management thing properly, this seems like a decent solution for those who don't want to pay Adobe twice.
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