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Author Topic: Really liking Photo Ninja  (Read 5377 times)
robgo2
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« on: November 28, 2012, 06:49:04 PM »
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I have been playing with this program for about two weeks, and the more I use it, the more I like it.  My standard raw convertor is Capture One 7, although I use RPP for selected images.  PN almost always produces more pleasing, natural looking images than C1.  Colors have long been C1's greatest strength, but I am getting better colors from PN, even though it does not have a specific profile for my camera, a Pentax K-5, and that should be fixed soon.  Detail and sharpness are excellent.  Exposure and brightness are handled very intelligently and flexibly.  I have read in other threads that some users feel that they can get equal or better results from ACR/LR, which is totally opposite from my own testing, and I don't think that it is even close.  (I will not be posting comparative samples, so just accept my opinion for what it is--my opinion).

To be sure, Photo Ninja has a quirky interface that requires more steps and clicks than one would desire.  Also, it is lacking in many features, including curves and levels, that are found in other programs   Nevertheless, the results are so good that one wonders if PN's designers have found ways to work without them.  It has no cataloging feature or local adjustments either, which will bother some, but not me, as I prefer to do local adjustments in Photoshop.  Picture Code has stated that the next upgrade (v1.1) will be available as a Photoshop plug-in, which will certainly improve the workflow.

In any event, Photo Ninja is worth a free trial.  Just understand that the trial version will not process images.  For that, you need to purchase a license.

Rob
www.rgoldsteinphotography.com

 
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tuthill
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« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2012, 08:36:55 PM »
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In any event, Photo Ninja is worth a free trial.  Just understand that the trial version will not process images.  For that, you need to purchase a license.

If anyone wants a full featured demo that will allow you to save images, email support and they will issue a 2 week activation code.
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DArmand
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« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2012, 08:00:37 AM »
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I've been playing with it for a few weeks now using it to process files from the Olympus EM-5. IMHO it seems to be one of the better raw converters around atm. Comparing results from PN with those from LR and DXo Pro v8 I can definitely see finer detail - espcially compared to those from LR that always seem to have a 'veil' or softness to them.

It has some problems - it can be a bit too agressive with its default highlight recovery which can give some strange effects like magenta, this is not CA, in highlighted areas but overall the results are very, very nice. It seems easier to get a good image straight out of PN than the other two  - especially LR which I often find requires quite a lot of tweaking to get even close.

I miss the automatic lens corrections that are available in both LR and DxO but its not really that big a deal to create your own in PN.

I liked it so much I bought myself a copy and am looking forward to the Photoshop plug-in that's been recently announced.
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Doug Armand
robgo2
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« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2012, 09:41:02 AM »
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I've been playing with it for a few weeks now using it to process files from the Olympus EM-5. IMHO it seems to be one of the better raw converters around atm. Comparing results from PN with those from LR and DXo Pro v8 I can definitely see finer detail - espcially compared to those from LR that always seem to have a 'veil' or softness to them.

It has some problems - it can be a bit too agressive with its default highlight recovery which can give some strange effects like magenta, this is not CA, in highlighted areas but overall the results are very, very nice. It seems easier to get a good image straight out of PN than the other two  - especially LR which I often find requires quite a lot of tweaking to get even close.

I miss the automatic lens corrections that are available in both LR and DxO but its not really that big a deal to create your own in PN.

I liked it so much I bought myself a copy and am looking forward to the Photoshop plug-in that's been recently announced.

I have not tried all of Photo Ninja's presets, but the basic Portrait preset is very good.  The Scenic presets are all too strong for my taste, so I have been using basic Scenic and then toning down Detail and Color Intensity.  I agree that PN is superior to LR/ACR, which I have never liked, but I am surprised that it also beats Capture One 7 in terms of results.  And the difference is not simply in fine detail, but also in color and tonal rendition.  Images have more presence.  

I think that many potential users will not consider PN, because it is not a full-featured image editor in the sense that Lightroom, Aperture and C1 are. This is unfortunate, as they will be missing out on an excellent program.  I understand that efficient workflow is a high priority for many photographers, especially professionals, and I would hope that the PS plug-in will address that issue, at least to some extent.

For me, the big question is whether I will still need Raw Photo Processor (RPP) for my best images.  The jury is out on that case.

Rob

« Last Edit: November 29, 2012, 01:55:21 PM by robgo2 » Logged
JackS
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« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2012, 09:56:04 AM »
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Did not see it mentioned elsewhere but you can use X Rite Colorchecker Passport with the Photo Ninja. Either global or linked to a directory of images, really gets the colors right with my Canon images. Seems pretty close to Canon DPP on color.
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DArmand
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« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2012, 05:21:45 AM »
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I think that many potential users will not consider PN, because it is not a full-featured image editor in the sense that Lightroom, Aperture and C1 are. This is unfortunate, as they will be missing out on an excellent program.  I understand that efficient workflow is a high priority for many photographers, especially professionals, and I would hope that the PS plug-in will address that issue, at least to some extent.

Well I stopped using LR as a DAM when it became dog slow on my system. I use Bridge for most of the DAM-like things I need and just see Photo Ninja as the way I hope it stays - a superb Raw Converter. I think this move to be-all-in-one programs will mean that LR will end up in a similar way that Photoshop is for most photographers - largely bloatware. Don't get me wrong - all my images go through Photoshop as it is a phenomenal image editor - but I probably use only a 3rd or less? of the functions it has.
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Doug Armand
robgo2
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« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2012, 10:05:57 AM »
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Well I stopped using LR as a DAM when it became dog slow on my system. I use Bridge for most of the DAM-like things I need and just see Photo Ninja as the way I hope it stays - a superb Raw Converter. I think this move to be-all-in-one programs will mean that LR will end up in a similar way that Photoshop is for most photographers - largely bloatware. Don't get me wrong - all my images go through Photoshop as it is a phenomenal image editor - but I probably use only a 3rd or less? of the functions it has.

But people seem to like the comprehensive programs, and they dominate the market amongst serious shooters.  As for myself, I use Media Pro for DAM.  My needs are not great, and it serves my purposes.  Media Pro is reasonably well integrated with Capture One (which now has its own catalog feature). C1 has been my main raw convertor until now.  I expect that Media Pro will work with Photo Ninja, although I doubt that it will display images with their PN adjustments.  That is not a big deal.  A catalog is just a catalog.  I don't really need it for image display.  That said, I do prefer a catalog to a browser, such as Bridge. 

Rob
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JackS
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« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2012, 10:45:35 PM »
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I have been using Photo Mechanic for some time, it works great with Photo Ninja. The star rating and color labels from Photo Mechanic show correctly in Photo Ninja, and you can open an image directly in PN from PM.

I guess Photo Mechanic will be coming out with there own catalog program in the near future, but for now I find that Photo Mechanic is a nice way to organize and get images into Photo Ninja.

« Last Edit: November 30, 2012, 10:53:25 PM by JackS » Logged
gmargo
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« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2012, 01:35:04 PM »
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I have been using Photo Mechanic for some time, it works great with Photo Ninja. The star rating and color labels from Photo Mechanic show correctly in Photo Ninja, and you can open an image directly in PN from PM.


I am finding this discussion interesting if for no reason other than understanding what alternatives are out there and how they are received by experienced users. Can someone help with perhaps an obvious question. I can see how a combination of PN and PM, as noted by JackS, can be a good alternative to LR or Aperture for ingestion, cataloging, RAW conversions and editing; how does one complete the workflow with printing the final image using these 2 tools, or is something else needed?
Geof
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JackS
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« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2012, 06:47:20 PM »
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I always finish up in Photoshop, Print, save for the web, etc. Seems that there is most times something more that needs to be done to an image and Photoshop works for me. I also do all my printing from Photoshop or ImagePrint.

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robgo2
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« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2012, 11:59:53 AM »
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I have been using Photo Mechanic for some time, it works great with Photo Ninja. The star rating and color labels from Photo Mechanic show correctly in Photo Ninja, and you can open an image directly in PN from PM.

I guess Photo Mechanic will be coming out with there own catalog program in the near future, but for now I find that Photo Mechanic is a nice way to organize and get images into Photo Ninja.



Jack,

Thanks for the tip about Photo Mechanic.  I have tried it and really like it.  It is much faster and more stable than Media Pro.  I also tested ACDsee and IDimager, but neither seemed to have the power of Photo Mechanic.  PM's catalog feature has not yet been released, but I think that I can get along fine without it for the time being.  When it is finally released, it will be icing on the cake.

Rob
« Last Edit: December 09, 2012, 12:31:08 AM by robgo2 » Logged
robgo2
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« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2012, 12:04:40 PM »
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It has some problems - it can be a bit too agressive with its default highlight recovery which can give some strange effects like magenta, this is not CA, in highlighted areas but overall the results are very, very nice. It seems easier to get a good image straight out of PN than the other two  - especially LR which I often find requires quite a lot of tweaking to get even close.


Doug,

I'm sure that you are aware that the false colors in highlighted areas are due to incompletely recovered highlights, i.e. one of the color channels is not fully recovered.  Photo Ninja has a Color Recovery tool in the Color Correction module.  Just move the slider to the left in small increments, and the false color disappears.  At least it has every time that I have tried it.

Rob
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kers
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« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2012, 11:57:21 AM »
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I got an email from PhotoNinja about the Highlight recovery problem.. they are working on it ...

about photo mechanic..  it works really fast indeed because they are so smart to use the embedded jpeg as quick as they can..
for nikon ViewNX ( free-software) works equally fast..
I use microsoft expression media2 for cataloging and viewing ( also known as iView media and media pro1- but like this version best)- it is slower indeed but very much like the little (and big) catalogs you can make on the fly and save them for later with some remarks and labels...
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Pieter Kers
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robgo2
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« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2012, 03:38:28 PM »
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I got an email from PhotoNinja about the Highlight recovery problem.. they are working on it ...

about photo mechanic..  it works really fast indeed because they are so smart to use the embedded jpeg as quick as they can..
for nikon ViewNX ( free-software) works equally fast..
I use microsoft expression media2 for cataloging and viewing ( also known as iView media and media pro1- but like this version best)- it is slower indeed but very much like the little (and big) catalogs you can make on the fly and save them for later with some remarks and labels...


The false highlight colors in Photo Ninja are generally little more than a nuisance that can readily be eliminated.  On those few occasions when they cannot be, I try other programs.  Overall, PN has extremely powerful highlight recovery capabilities--probably the best that I have yet encountered.

The Photo Mechanic developers are working on a catalog feature, but it is taking more time than they anticipated.

I used Expression Media, which is now owned by Phase One, for over a year.  I liked it, but it is clunky and unstable and takes forever to render a large preview.  PM is much more user friendly, and when the catalog is ready, it should be an ideal DAM tool.

Rob  
« Last Edit: December 25, 2012, 10:21:36 AM by robgo2 » Logged
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