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Gear Talk => Software & Accessories => Topic started by: DeadPixel on February 14, 2012, 02:35:39 PM

Title: Photo editing software for a new user...
Post by: DeadPixel on February 14, 2012, 02:35:39 PM
Hello all!

Im relatively new to taking dslr photos (hobbyist with a t3i) and have just started playing with RAW files.  At a coworkers advice I downloaded the free trial of paint shop pro and have been struggling to get very far.  Most of my images look worse post processing than if I just let the camera make the jpeg. Admittedly I have no formal training on editing photos and wouldn't rule out a class or two.

Is there a particular software that is easy to use and has a lot of online resources that would be a better choice?  Before I start really digging into paintshop pro I'd like to get some feedback as to whether it would be a good choice!  Part of my reason for checking out paint shop was the price, I'd like to stay under $300 if I can.

Thanks!

DeadPixel
Title: Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
Post by: theqspeaks on February 14, 2012, 03:32:33 PM
I agree that Lightroom is definitely a great choice.  Fairly easy to learn (especially compared to the more intensive programs like Photoshop or PSP).  Download a free trial here: https://www.adobe.com/cfusion/tdrc/index.cfm?product=photoshop_lightroom. (https://www.adobe.com/cfusion/tdrc/index.cfm?product=photoshop_lightroom.)
Title: Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
Post by: theqspeaks on February 14, 2012, 03:33:23 PM
And apparently Adorama has a great deal on LR3 for $80: http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php/topic,3394.0.html. (http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php/topic,3394.0.html.) 
Title: Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
Post by: Jim K on February 14, 2012, 04:27:53 PM
If you bought the T3i new you got a CD with Canon's DPP and other useful programs in the box. You could try DPP. After all nothing is better than free.
Title: Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
Post by: zim on February 14, 2012, 05:07:35 PM
Have to agree DPP is a great place to start and it’s included with your camera purchase. Going further you won't do better than Photoshop Elements, Lightroom is superb though if you have the dosh. If you have no experience of graphics software I honestly would stay clear of freeware, it’s free for a reason.

Happy editing!
Title: Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
Post by: Mt Spokane Photography on February 14, 2012, 05:14:20 PM
Hello all!

Im relatively new to taking dslr photos (hobbyist with a t3i) and have just started playing with RAW files.  At a coworkers advice I downloaded the free trial of paint shop pro and have been struggling to get very far.  Most of my images look worse post processing than if I just let the camera make the jpeg. Admittedly I have no formal training on editing photos and wouldn't rule out a class or two.

Is there a particular software that is easy to use and has a lot of online resources that would be a better choice?  Before I start really digging into paintshop pro I'd like to get some feedback as to whether it would be a good choice!  Part of my reason for checking out paint shop was the price, I'd like to stay under $300 if I can.

Thanks!

DeadPixel

Lightroom is the standard for Pro Photographers, there is also Aperture for Mac Users.  Its hard to go wrong on the today only $80 special at Adorama.  Also order a lightroom book, or borrow one from your library.  You are not going to learn it by experimenting.
Title: Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
Post by: bvukich on February 14, 2012, 05:35:08 PM
Few things are cheaper than free ;-) Try RawTherapee (for editing RAW) to do as much as possible, and then pass the JPG to the Gimp for the finishing touches (afaik Gimp still doesn't do 32bit). I use them in Linux (I need to use Linix as I am a computer geek, it's all about street cred really ;) but both have Windows versions. Less polished, more manual steps, less online help (yup, I'm not a great salesman), but perfectly adequate to get started on. And you get to put your 300 bucks into hardware.

Fellow linux geek here...

CinePaint is a GIMP fork with support for 8/16/32 bit channels.
Title: Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
Post by: briansquibb on February 15, 2012, 04:36:18 AM
DPP is the software that everyone seems to ignore. Free and good - the RAW file manipulator
Title: Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
Post by: dstppy on February 15, 2012, 05:29:00 AM
I used aperture for a few months and saw little use other than a place to make my photos use up more space.

I bought Lightroom on a deal at x-mas and it's been pretty good for nominally improving images with very little time involved.  The basics are to allow the profile to fix lens issues, then straighten and crop; an image takes under a second.

All editing is non-destructive and fairly straightforward; you can increase/decrease exposure with a slider bar, then undo if you want as an example.

I think I saw it on sale for $80 recently
Title: Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
Post by: dstppy on February 15, 2012, 08:33:10 AM
A pretty important point is being missed here - as is usual when people get the opportunity to shout up their own favourites...

The fact is that PaintShop Pro is very, very good - certainly more than enough to get a beginner deeply into "experienced post-processor" territory (I used it myself for a good few years) and if the OP can't get good results from it, the software ain't the problem.

Recommending an alternative won't change that fundamental.

PP software needs to be learned - true whether we're talking about PSP, Photoshop, Lightroom, the Gimp - and in the situation DeadPixel describes, bouncing from program to program is the worst thing to suggest to him.

Hrm;  are we talking about spending time learning whatever program you currently have, or finding something that fits your needs the best? 

Gimp, Photoshop and PSP all have about the same (ridiculous) learning curve.  At the end of the day,  the only one in that list that has a reasonable number of people that you can ask for tips and tricks in the real world is Photoshop.  Even tutorials and books for Gimp and PS get grossly out of date with the incrementing of a version due to the development fetish of moving and renaming stuff.

Lightroom, Aperture and one of the ACDSee products (pro I think?) are designed for photo management and moderate (but powerful) editing . . . definitely geared more towards photographers.  I don't particularly LIKE Lightroom, but it had the quickest learning curve and I spend less time at the computer.  Some people just become graphics designers and don't worry about the photography . . .

In the end, I guess, I only disagree on two points:
1) Not wanting to spend the time to master PSP, Photoshop or GIMP isn't a cardinal sin or personality flaw
2) The best time to try and switch is when you haven't gotten too used to one program or another

I do understand that the *real* Photoshop fanboys are the reason that PSP gets so little respect.  Of course, those those fanboys are also he aforementioned people that we occasionally have to consult for help. ;)
Title: Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
Post by: theqspeaks on February 15, 2012, 09:30:23 AM
Now LR3 is just $70 on B&H for today only.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/720705-REG/Adobe_65081059_Photoshop_Lightroom_3_Software.html (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/720705-REG/Adobe_65081059_Photoshop_Lightroom_3_Software.html)

And the Photoshop Elements/Premiere Elements 10 combo is just $70 too.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/822135-REG/Adobe_65136565_Photoshop_Elements_10.html (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/822135-REG/Adobe_65136565_Photoshop_Elements_10.html)

Here's a good example of how powerful LR3 can be:
SOOC -- http://flickr.com/gp/theqspeaks/a87q5q (http://flickr.com/gp/theqspeaks/a87q5q)
Final after LR3 -- http://www.flickr.com/photos/theqspeaks/6665009107/# (http://www.flickr.com/photos/theqspeaks/6665009107/#)

I agree with KeithR that the last thing you want to do is bounce around from program to program.  He's right, post processing programs need to be learned.  The key thing, however, is that some programs have longer learning curves than others.  dstppy is right, Photoshop, PSP, and GIMP all are much harder to master than LR and Aperture.  These last two programs also provide a much more streamlined workflow and better photo management tools than the more power graphics programs.
Title: Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
Post by: acoll123 on February 15, 2012, 10:04:21 AM
I have used aperture 3.0 since it came out about a year and a half ago. If you are using a Mac, you should check it out. In addition to pretty good editing tools, it keeps your photos organized. Don't under-estimate the importance of that. What good is a picture you can't find?
If I need to do significant editing (changing a background for example), Aperture has a direct link to photoshop elements that works great.
I think the most important point made so far is that you should just pick one tool and take the time to learn it.
Title: Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
Post by: stabmasterasron on February 15, 2012, 10:24:42 AM
Canon's DPP is where I started.  It is good.  Then I tried lightroom and never looked back. 
Title: Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
Post by: PixelReaper on February 15, 2012, 11:07:33 AM
Unless I missed it, I am surprised no one mentioned DxO. I recently downloaded the trial for both DxO and LR4 beta. They are both very powerful.

IMHO for photos that only need "darkroom" adjustments I find DxO to be quicker and more efficient/effective. LR is more robust when you need to adjust more than just color, exposure, curves etc. also the adjustment brush is a huge LR feature missing from DxO and DxO has very little DAM.  But DxO has great NR and highlight recovery. Plus the geometric adjustment I think are more robust in DxO.

My 2 cents anyway. I am definitely not a pro using this stuff all day every day
Title: Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
Post by: 7enderbender on February 15, 2012, 02:39:52 PM
Nothing earth-shattering to add but here is my view:

First off, I wouldn't run out and buy anything just because somebody said that somebody said that XY and z are the "standard tools that professionals use". That is not to say that there isn't a lot to be said for software that is widely used and, hence, comes with a lot of good information in books and on the web. This is one of the things where the Adobe products for instance are really great.

But the first thing should be to figure out what your use and expectations are. Or rather what your philosophy around photography is. A good friend of mine (and a very talented photographer with years of experience), for instance, has zero interest in any post processing (or lab work back in the days). His ideal is to come up with a shot straight from the camera that captures his vision. I on the other hand have no issue with manipulation after that fact. That ca be mild exposure and white balance corrections or taking a photo and turning into something completely different.  The other thing to consider may be if you are looking to emulate any lab experience or if you're thinking straight digital. And lastly, do you have any established work flow, backup strategy and/or naming convention already?

I'd say there are generally two categories of programs: those that are mostly for viewing and organizing with limited (but sometimes really cool) editing options, often with really good batch operation control - and those that are strictly photo editing tools, traditionally used for painstakingly editing one picture at a time, using layers and having more or less unlimited options. And obviously the lines are getting more blurry lately. But the first category is great for organizing and batch editing or quickly editing larger numbers of pictures. It's like having a photo database with your own mini lab attached to it. The second category is like having a complete darkroom at home that comes with a free and personal technician.

The common Adobe programs for these two are Photoshop and Lightroom. Both have many advantages and disadvantages. And a lot depends on taste and how you answer the other questions above.

And then there are other suits and open source programs that kind of do similar things - though I don't think there is really a Lightroom alternative - but that being said: yes, a lot of people use and love LR - others just can't stand it. I like some aspects of it and find others revolting. I use it for quick edits of larger quantities. For everything else I stick to Photoshop, partially because I know it better, partially because the "non destructive" database approach of LR doesn't fit my established workflow. In any case, my recommendation would be to figure out your goals and expectations and then start with some of the cheap or free tools to see what kind of software works best for you. For example, if GIMP works for you then it may be worth investing in Photoshop one day. If you're happy with just a RAW converter the Canon software and a cheap or free organizing tool may just be it. And there are probably lots of others far and in between.

If the Adobe stuff becomes a serious consideration I recommend downloading their free full version trials and give them a good spin before putting down serious cash. And yes, the current LR3 offers for a hundred bucks or less are great bargains - and frankly that's about how much worth it really is if you ask me. But again, others just love it and it's all they need. Also watch out for Adobe's unfortunate policy in PC vs Mac versions. Switching is close to impossible if you ever considered working on both platforms.

Title: Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
Post by: Mt Spokane Photography on February 15, 2012, 02:50:58 PM
LR 3 is $69.95 today at B&H (2/15).  Its backordered for a couple of weeks, so place a order, and download the trial.  View the online tutorials before you start using it. 

Then, if you do not like the demo, you can still cancel the B&H order before it ships, or take delivery and resell it for $100.
Title: Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
Post by: RC on February 15, 2012, 02:51:26 PM
I am not so interested in creating great photos from my computer and software but instead my goal is to make great photos from camera, lens, light, technique and skill.  With that being said, I still do some editing with software to make corrections and adjustments such as WB, lens correction, noise, minor exposure, and maybe some perspective correction (since I don't have a TS lens).  Therefore Lightroom seems to be the ideal software for me.  In fact I have never been so wow'd with a piece of software until I downloaded LR3 trial and watch some online tutorials.  I also use DPP and an alternate editor.

(I have also dabbled with PSP, ACDSee Pro, and Elements)

I still consider myself a beginner at photo editing and maybe someday I'll change my tune some and do more extreme editing.

My suggestions are:
- Install DPP from your CD which came with your T3i. 
- Download a trial version of LR.  I see that you can get a smoking deal on LR3 right now but keep in LR4 is right around the corner.
-  Watch these Adobe LR tutorials for starters:

What is LR
Be Organized
Lens Correction and Perspective Correction
Create Stunning Images

[/http://tv.adobe.com/product/lightroom/ (http://tv.adobe.com/product/lightroom/)
Title: Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
Post by: zim on February 15, 2012, 03:47:49 PM
Zim, that hurts. Free software is free for many reasons. There are many developers and corporate sponsors out there giving up their free time and knowledge to bring us great software like Gimp, Firefox, Open Office, Linux, Apache... Please don't disrespect them. True, there is a lost of nasty free software, but there is also very good stuff. Even Mac OS is based on free software (BSD), as is Android. Probably even some of the firmware in Canon's cameras.


sposh I find it hard to believe I’ve hurt anyone but in case I really have I apologise.
I disrespect gimp (actually I think I dismiss it) and open office (you mentioned it) for that matter as it’s my opinion and I’m allowed an opinion as I believe that offerings will always remain underdeveloped compared to the offerings from Adobe, Corel, Serif, DxO. Please don’t put words in my mouth by lumping this opinion in with client/server software like Linux and Apache the original OP was asking about editing software and it was in that context that I made my comment.
I’ve been in IT for more years than I’m prepared to admit, I’ve run an adult training department I know the difference between learner friendly and user friendly. I know how much help and resource there is out there for mainstream. I’d also recommend getting a few copies of the likes of PhotoPlus magazine which exclusively deals with Canon gear and is great for the less experienced, but unsurprisingly doesn’t have many articles on Gimp.
In my opinion it’s wrong to recommend Gimp, go main stream is what I say, your opinion is different nothing wrong with that I certainly wouldn’t smite you or anyone else for it.
Title: Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
Post by: AUGS on February 15, 2012, 05:06:58 PM
One thing that may not have been mentioned, but I consider very important - the software should be a non-destructive editer.  Basically, it means it creates a virtual workflow on the image that is only applied when you export the image, leaving the original image untouched.  So many novice PPs over-ride their original with changes that cannot be undone.  For this reason I use Lightroom.
Title: Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
Post by: DeadPixel on February 15, 2012, 08:50:30 PM
Wow, great feedback!  I really appreciate everyone’s information here and the diverse opinions. 

Firstly to KeithR’s point – I agree that the software here isn’t the problem, I admit I don’t know how to use it.  I’m sure each program is perfectly capable of producing stunning images – just not by my hand yet!

7enderbender – no I don’t really have a workflow established yet.  My organization has been quite literally the was the Canon EOS utility downloaded my photos, sorted in folders by day. 

I am not planning on being a “heavy editor” in terms of magically erasing individuals from photos or going crazy with a lot of those type features – my main intent is to improve a photo that looks okay, but could be better with a few changes like white balance, hue/saturation, etc, and some noise reduction efforts on high iso stuff.

In the attachments, see my example of what I'm looking to do mostly.  Recently I took this photo of a mink on a pond (really wish I had a zoom lens with more reach!) – the white blance was off (looked blueish) and the mink wasn't nearly as brown as he looked.  I used Lightroom for this example (beacuse I had the trial open) and added lens correction for the 55-250 lens, what balance adjustment - and poof, its better (not great, but better).  The bluish one is right out of the cameras JPEG (I shoot jpeg + RAW) and the whiter one I edited. 

So while I know nearly all the programs out there can do this - I am especially interested in the one that requires minimal effort to learn so I can spend more time out there taking pictures, that hopefully don't need editing!

A few notes on the programs I gather from the comments:

I am a Windows user so Aperture is out.

I did checkout DPP a little bit, though didn’t really do a whole lot with it yet and wasn’t sure if it was a friendly program to learn and use.

Paintshop Pro just didn’t feel intuitive to me, that’s mainly why I wondered if I was just out of the loop and needed to spend more time on it or not.  I hadn’t looked at AfterShot Pro, but I think I’ll look into it too. 
There are a few Photoshop elements classes at my local art institute, however it seems like a bit more options than I really need.

I was honestly unaware of the freeware out there for RAW files, I understand both points being made by the posters at odds with the software – however for the immediate I think I’ll stick with something I can get a book on or learn from tutorials/classes.

There seems to be a lot of people indicating Lightroom is fairly easy to use. I did download Lightroom and it does seem reasonably intuitive – there are a few books out there I see and ghosh9691, that link for SLRLounge was very informative.  Mt. Spokane, you make a very good point about making a purchase and being able to cancel before it ships…. I do like the lens correction profile options here (is this in a lot of other packages too?)

Thanks for everyones comments!
Title: Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
Post by: dstppy on February 15, 2012, 09:01:36 PM
Thanks for everyones comments!

Is that a Ferret or a Llama? :)

I'd adjust exposure (lighter) -- the lens correction is pretty much a MUST.

I think John said DxO had profiles as well.  Honestly, from neuro using it, alone, I'd consider it . . . of course if he told me to sell all my belongings and follow him and 11 other guys doing good deeds I'd probably do that too. (he's one smart guy) ;D  Well, maybe.

(EDIT)

Seriously, what *IS* that?  I can't stop staring at it, like the giant rabbit from Donnie Darko.
Title: Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
Post by: DeadPixel on February 15, 2012, 09:15:19 PM
dstppy,

Its a wild Mink - uncommon to see in the day since they are nocturnal, but this time of year its mating season so they are a bit more wild.  He's sitting in the drain of a medium sized pond, which I believe is a modified 5-gallon bucket!  I saw him run across the ice and dive in, but I camped out till he popped his head up.  I would have killed for a 400 or 500mm zoom lens, that image is heavily cropped.

The white tuft of fur under his chin is what gives away his identity as a mink.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_mink (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_mink)

Thanks for the advice - I'll play with exposure next!

DeadPixel
Title: Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
Post by: Vaz on February 15, 2012, 09:30:40 PM
I'm curious about this deal for lightroom. I would like to get a legit copy, but I am not about to buy right before the next version comes out. It seems like it might be about a $30 discount for lr3 and then another 100 to get lr4. This means I pay $130 for lr4. What am I missing?

The full version of LR 4 will cost you $299 when it comes out, but a upgrade from LR3 will cost $99.

The current retail price of LR3 had dropped over time, but LR4 will go to full list price.

This means that it will cost $169 with the upgrade to LR 4 versus $299.  And, if B&H delays shipping too long, you might just fall into the free upgrade period for LR4.  Not likely though, I think that has been figured out carefully by Adobe.
Title: Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
Post by: dstppy on February 16, 2012, 06:39:40 AM
dstppy,

Its a wild Mink - uncommon to see in the day since they are nocturnal, but this time of year its mating season so they are a bit more wild.  He's sitting in the drain of a medium sized pond, which I believe is a modified 5-gallon bucket!  I saw him run across the ice and dive in, but I camped out till he popped his head up.  I would have killed for a 400 or 500mm zoom lens, that image is heavily cropped.

The white tuft of fur under his chin is what gives away his identity as a mink.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_mink (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_mink)

Thanks for the advice - I'll play with exposure next!

DeadPixel
Hehe I figured something like that.  I used to live up near Canada for the first 20 years of my life.  We pretty much call everything a weasel (and shoot at it, not with a camera) whether it be fisher, weasel, mink or someone's pet ferret.

Oddly enough, we all seemed to be able to tell the difference between those and otters. :)
Title: Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
Post by: Mt Spokane Photography on February 16, 2012, 12:17:56 PM
DxO Optics Pro (DxO) is by far the best option for a beginner. In Lightroom (LR) one needs to work a lot for a decent result, while in DxO the photo comes out AUTOMATICALLY very realistic and nice. That's thanks to the modules which optimize the postprocessing for the camera-lens combination. I personally prefer to use DxO first, and then convert the very nice result to TIFF to work on it with Photoshop, if I deem it necessary. Since I started using DxO postprocessing time has decreased to a small fraction of what I needed with LR, and the result is much better.

Its true that DXO produces better looking images right out of the box.  However, if you want to edit them, its difficult, and has limited capabilities, so you need to move them to other software if significant editing is needed. 

One of the things that lightroom does, for those who learn to use it is let you preset the import adjustments by camera model and ISO setting so that each image is adjusted as its imported, and you get just the image you like, not a pre-cooked one size fits all.  This can really speed up the process of editing. 
Title: Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
Post by: briansquibb on February 16, 2012, 01:45:01 PM
DxO Optics Pro (DxO) is by far the best option for a beginner. In Lightroom (LR) one needs to work a lot for a decent result, while in DxO the photo comes out AUTOMATICALLY very realistic and nice. That's thanks to the modules which optimize the postprocessing for the camera-lens combination. I personally prefer to use DxO first, and then convert the very nice result to TIFF to work on it with Photoshop, if I deem it necessary. Since I started using DxO postprocessing time has decreased to a small fraction of what I needed with LR, and the result is much better.

Its true that DXO produces better looking images right out of the box.  However, if you want to edit them, its difficult, and has limited capabilities, so you need to move them to other software if significant editing is needed. 

One of the things that lightroom does, for those who learn to use it is let you preset the import adjustments by camera model and ISO setting so that each image is adjusted as its imported, and you get just the image you like, not a pre-cooked one size fits all.  This can really speed up the process of editing.

DxO is so slow when givig it 500+ images to process
Title: Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
Post by: 7enderbender on February 16, 2012, 02:34:50 PM
I'm curious about this deal for lightroom. I would like to get a legit copy, but I am not about to buy right before the next version comes out. It seems like it might be about a $30 discount for lr3 and then another 100 to get lr4. This means I pay $130 for lr4. What am I missing?

The full version of LR 4 will cost you $299 when it comes out, but a upgrade from LR3 will cost $99.

The current retail price of LR3 had dropped over time, but LR4 will go to full list price.

This means that it will cost $169 with the upgrade to LR 4 versus $299.  And, if B&H delays shipping too long, you might just fall into the free upgrade period for LR4.  Not likely though, I think that has been figured out carefully by Adobe.


Yep, I'm pretty sure Adobe and the vendors have this figured out carefully. My guess is that they are trying to get new customers while maybe selling off old stock that is sitting there. They got me. I figured for less than a hundred bucks I'll buy it even though I'm not a big fan of LR. If it sticks they know I may upgrade one day - and if not they still got my hundred buck at pretty much no cost to them at this point.

I'm not sure though about the incentive to upgrade. I don't see anything major in the new version that would be worth any additional money. Haven't tried it yet so this is just from looking at the specs.
Title: Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
Post by: dstppy on February 16, 2012, 02:53:54 PM
I'm curious about this deal for lightroom. I would like to get a legit copy, but I am not about to buy right before the next version comes out. It seems like it might be about a $30 discount for lr3 and then another 100 to get lr4. This means I pay $130 for lr4. What am I missing?

The full version of LR 4 will cost you $299 when it comes out, but a upgrade from LR3 will cost $99.

The current retail price of LR3 had dropped over time, but LR4 will go to full list price.

This means that it will cost $169 with the upgrade to LR 4 versus $299.  And, if B&H delays shipping too long, you might just fall into the free upgrade period for LR4.  Not likely though, I think that has been figured out carefully by Adobe.


Yep, I'm pretty sure Adobe and the vendors have this figured out carefully. My guess is that they are trying to get new customers while maybe selling off old stock that is sitting there. They got me. I figured for less than a hundred bucks I'll buy it even though I'm not a big fan of LR. If it sticks they know I may upgrade one day - and if not they still got my hundred buck at pretty much no cost to them at this point.

I'm not sure though about the incentive to upgrade. I don't see anything major in the new version that would be worth any additional money. Haven't tried it yet so this is just from looking at the specs.

Don't remember where the thread was on here, but someone mentioned that 5DmkII shots above ISO 3200 got better noise reduction in the v4 beta . . . if it's true, that will definitely be a selling point.
Title: Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
Post by: DeadPixel on February 16, 2012, 08:13:28 PM
KeithR - Just to be clear, I was referring to editing RAW images (CR2 files). 

When shooting in RAW+JPEG I had been using what the camera was producing in JPEG form as my benchmark to try and replicate (or improve on) for initial training.  I quickly found that (and was told by many) that you can go much farther starting with a RAW file than JPEGs.

I think I have enough options to play with now - by the time these trials run out I'll have made a choice.

A serious note of thanks to the CR community, this place is an amazing resource with great members!

DeadPixel
Title: Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
Post by: Mt Spokane Photography on February 16, 2012, 10:03:40 PM
I'm not sure though about the incentive to upgrade. I don't see anything major in the new version that would be worth any additional money. Haven't tried it yet so this is just from looking at the specs.

The incentive to upgrade is that the older version will stop being supported, and raw images from a new camera model issued after that will not be recognized unless you convert them to DNG or Tiff.

I've been using the LR4 beta, and high ISO images look cleaner, but it might not be a big deal to some.
Title: Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
Post by: scottkinfw on February 16, 2012, 11:57:06 PM
Take a look at Nik software.  You may not have heard of it like LR, but it is very polished, and is a bit different in the way it works its magic.  I use it as a plug in with LR.

I am not so interested in creating great photos from my computer and software but instead my goal is to make great photos from camera, lens, light, technique and skill.  With that being said, I still do some editing with software to make corrections and adjustments such as WB, lens correction, noise, minor exposure, and maybe some perspective correction (since I don't have a TS lens).  Therefore Lightroom seems to be the ideal software for me.  In fact I have never been so wow'd with a piece of software until I downloaded LR3 trial and watch some online tutorials.  I also use DPP and an alternate editor.

(I have also dabbled with PSP, ACDSee Pro, and Elements)

I still consider myself a beginner at photo editing and maybe someday I'll change my tune some and do more extreme editing.

My suggestions are:
- Install DPP from your CD which came with your T3i. 
- Download a trial version of LR.  I see that you can get a smoking deal on LR3 right now but keep in LR4 is right around the corner.
-  Watch these Adobe LR tutorials for starters:

What is LR
Be Organized
Lens Correction and Perspective Correction
Create Stunning Images

[/http://tv.adobe.com/product/lightroom/ (http://tv.adobe.com/product/lightroom/)
Title: Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
Post by: 7enderbender on February 17, 2012, 09:42:13 AM
I'm not sure though about the incentive to upgrade. I don't see anything major in the new version that would be worth any additional money. Haven't tried it yet so this is just from looking at the specs.

The incentive to upgrade is that the older version will stop being supported, and raw images from a new camera model issued after that will not be recognized unless you convert them to DNG or Tiff.

I've been using the LR4 beta, and high ISO images look cleaner, but it might not be a big deal to some.


That's what I mean. I don't see myself buying any new camera model anytime soon and "high ISO" is of little to no interest to me. And even then I find that LR/CS5/CameraRaw does a pretty impressive job as it is yet I still often prefer adding film grain instead of flattening things out with NR.

What I had hoped for in an upgrade was better sync functions and network capabilities for those of us who edit their pictures on more than one computer. Instead we're getting GPS maps and scrap booking and a few renamed sliders. Big whoop.
Title: Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
Post by: erakepio on February 20, 2012, 10:04:36 AM
Dead Pixel,

was in the same boat as you last year, and for a while was using DPP from canon to do some minor tweaks.  Got myself a copy of Lightroom and I've not looked back to be honest.

I still use DPP for my IR images, but as for all my other photography Lightroom does the business.  I've never tried Aperture FWIW, so it probably has a similar sort of feature set, however, All the guys in our creative department at work recommended Lightroom so I went with it.

Since then I've added Photoshop CS5 and photomatix to my collection of software, and to be fair, despite the initial expense, I'm having a lot of fun learning and trying new techniques out.

Lightroom has a 30 day trial as does Aperture I believe, no cost in downloading and giving them a go and see how you get on.
Title: Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
Post by: Grigbar on February 20, 2012, 05:30:57 PM
http://www.amazon.com/Photoshop-Lightroom-Digital-Photographers-Voices/dp/0321700910/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1329776956&sr=8-1 (http://www.amazon.com/Photoshop-Lightroom-Digital-Photographers-Voices/dp/0321700910/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1329776956&sr=8-1)

Walk into a local community college or university book store and get some kid to buy LR for you for 60$ and maybe tip him 10 if you cant find it for that price on line. BUY THAT BOOK. Buy it from Amazon, a school here wanted something like 80$ for the book last fall and it was 40$ on amazon at the time. But the program is cheaper with the student discounts schools give.
Title: Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
Post by: rstyle17 on February 20, 2012, 06:41:12 PM
Question:

Im thinking of buying LR3.. then install it to my laptop, also planning to build a pc by summer, can i still install the LR3 on the new pc im going to build?

Thanks
Title: Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
Post by: HurtinMinorKey on February 27, 2012, 06:29:00 PM
Anyone getting started right now should use GIMP.  It's only real draw-back is bit-depth, but that should be gone in year or two.
Title: Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
Post by: Del on February 27, 2012, 07:37:40 PM
I started last year with Canon's DPP, hated it, so got LR3 instead cos' I thought Photoshop was too complicated, but then I switched to PS and never looked back.

LR3 is brilliant for processing lots of RAW files if that is all you wish to do. However, PS5.1 Extended 64-bit on my PC is so powerful, great for editing and saving different file types quickly for web, print etc.

Finally, there are so many free tutorials & guides for Photoshop that it is quite easy to learn (especially on YouTube) as well as a huge range of PlugIns.  You can pick-up CS2, CS3, CS4 books for practically nothing and they're just as relevant with CS5. Adobe also have a learning center, plus there is a wealth of pdfs online for PS.

Recently, I picked up a 35mm Slide/Negative scanner and have been scanning 40 to 60-year old family photos directly into PS for processing and colour balancing. Making changes e.g. RGB Curves, Exposure, fixing blown-out flash pics by using additional layers + multiple blending etc. is so easy and so fast!

The key word here is 'extensibility' and PS will be around for years, will be regularly updated, has so many useful features etc., it is worth the investment now that will pay dividends in the future.

Just my 2 cents worth
Title: Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
Post by: Mt Spokane Photography on February 27, 2012, 07:44:11 PM
Question:

Im thinking of buying LR3.. then install it to my laptop, also planning to build a pc by summer, can i still install the LR3 on the new pc im going to build?

Thanks

Yes.  You are allowed to install it on one desktop plus a laptop as long as only one is used at a time.  If you move it to a different pc, first go thru the deactivation process or you may end up calling Adobe to deactivate it so it can be reinstalled.  I had to do that, its a bit of a hassle, but at least, it was a person in the USA that spoke english.
Title: Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
Post by: RC on February 27, 2012, 09:34:44 PM
Lightroom 3 for $75.00 at Buy.com tonight (7:30 PM AZ time).  This is the student teacher edition  ???  which to me is very odd.

http://www.buy.com/prod/adobe-photoshop-lightroom-3-mac-win-student-and-teacher-edition/220969029.html (http://www.buy.com/prod/adobe-photoshop-lightroom-3-mac-win-student-and-teacher-edition/220969029.html)
Title: Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
Post by: briansquibb on February 27, 2012, 11:41:24 PM
I do most of my work in DPP with a little detailing in PSE9
Title: Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
Post by: archangelrichard on February 28, 2012, 01:41:55 AM
Deadpixel

(somehow, in my mind, I see some cartoon character named "pixel" laid out dead on the floor ...... )

Each program is designed by someone for THEIR reasons. What you have to do is try them and find which one works for YOUR reasons. Some will seem "left handed" (commands seemingly hidden or not where you expect them, etc.); some seem overly complicated; they were not designed with you in mind.

What you are getting for advice is more of the "I use ...." rather than why the use, people try for validation rather than information.

This also depends on VERSION; Paint Shop Pro is at version 14 (X4) and if you were looking at version X2 or earlier things have changed somewhat; Lightroom 4 will be different from lightroom 3; Elements 10 is selling for about $50 in some places as 11 is expected soon, and I haven't heard anyone here mention Serif Photo Plus X5; serif free starter edition here http://www.softpedia.com/progDownload/AfterShot-Pro-Download-204435.html (http://www.softpedia.com/progDownload/AfterShot-Pro-Download-204435.html) (it's English, not American),  PSP Ultimate includes Nik Color Efex Pro 3, picture tubes, etc)

I use an OLD PSP version 7 for simple stuff and for organizing because it is so incredibly simple to use; Elements 10 or PSP X3 for heavy duty work (PSP uses Adobe plug ins, filters, etc.) -- they fill my needs (I am not heavy on editing, 90% of what I do is cropping, sharpening and simple brightness / contrast and Red - green - blue adjustments and repair, mostly for other people's pics; and I rarely see the need for anything with the high powered tools; but that is my style of photography,

I do the work in the camera, (we used to call this "available light" - set up everything to be right when you take the shot). Some people will take 1,000's of shots at full auto and then do the choosing and editing at home, that is their style; some people play with a shot until it is unrecognizable from the original scene; that is their style

You have to find what works for YOU so do download the free trials (PSP X4 ultimate v. 14.0.0.332has a 30 day free trial here http://www.softpedia.com/progDownload/AfterShot-Pro-Download-204435.html (http://www.softpedia.com/progDownload/AfterShot-Pro-Download-204435.html) as does Corel Aftershot Pro the workflow organizer  1.0.0.39 here http://www.softpedia.com/progDownload/AfterShot-Pro-Download-204435.html; (http://www.softpedia.com/progDownload/AfterShot-Pro-Download-204435.html;) Adobe lightroom 4.o beta expires March 12 (will not run after that date) you need to see if they are announcing on that date or will have a newer Beta released

You have seen GIMP referred to, it;s FREE
Title: Re: Photo editing software for a new user...
Post by: diane21 on February 21, 2013, 12:25:36 PM
My favorite is ReaConverter photo editing software. I have just downloaded that it contains anything a digital camera owner might need to correct or enhance their photos