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Author Topic: MacBook Pro : Best RAW Processing Software?  (Read 6343 times)

Fleetie

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MacBook Pro : Best RAW Processing Software?
« on: April 16, 2013, 12:00:25 PM »
Hi.

I've just upgraded my computer system to a 13" MacBook Pro Retina 3GHz and a 27" 2560x1440 monitor.

I haven't really done RAW processing before. Now my new computer is all set up, I've installed DPP onto it, and updated it to version 13.3.

But I have the impression that people here mainly use other software for their RAW processing.

I have heard people talk here about "Aperture" (I believe it is Apple software?), and Lightroom.

Which is best? I have a 5D3. How much do they cost?

I have had a quick play in DPP with sharpening a couple of pics, and I was impressed by the result. Much better than the SOOC jpg. I set sharpness to 0 on the 5D3, to get rid of those "black dot in the centre of small bright points" problem (IIRC). There was a nasty sharpening artefact problem with in-camera sharpening.

So. Which RAW software should I use? I have a feeling that the serious people seem to use "Lightroom"; is that so? If so, why?

Thanks.
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MacBook Pro : Best RAW Processing Software?
« on: April 16, 2013, 12:00:25 PM »

ksuweh

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Re: MacBook Pro : Best RAW Processing Software?
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2013, 12:07:34 PM »
I use Lightroom & I think probably the majority of others on this forum use it as well. That could be a new survey!! :) Lightroom has a very good workflow! It costs $150 for the full version (not an upgrade from an older version).
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SithTracy

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Re: MacBook Pro : Best RAW Processing Software?
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2013, 12:31:54 PM »
I use both a Mac and a PC... Lightroom for me.  I do have Aperture, but honestly never gave it a look once I got a copy of LR 3.6 and now on 4.4 and will likely look at the LR v5 beta before too long.  I really like the one-click lens corrections LR give and the "pop" power.  Can make the average image just look "wow" with a couple of sliders adjustments.

Drizzt321

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Re: MacBook Pro : Best RAW Processing Software?
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2013, 12:36:26 PM »
Well, there's RAW processing, and then there's assent management (e.g. keeping track of all those photos you're taking). DPP is pretty decent software for general RAW processing. Not fantastic, but for a free tool it's quite good. Then there are other standalone processors like Photoshop (really Adobe Camera RAW which imports into Photoshop). Finally, there's full image processing & catalog management such as Lightroom, Aperture, and Capture One. Most people choose Lightroom or Aperture, although having just checked Capture One actually isn't too expensive at $300, but from my understand it's definitely geared towards the working professional and tethered capture for photoshoots.

For myself, I use Lightroom with very occasional edits in Photoshop.
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bchernicoff

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Re: MacBook Pro : Best RAW Processing Software?
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2013, 12:38:44 PM »
Both Aperture and Lightroom are great, however, Apple is not very public about the release cycle for Aperture. Lightroom has caught up in terms of features and with what I've seen of the V5 Beta the performance is starting to get there too.
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DanThePhotoMan

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Re: MacBook Pro : Best RAW Processing Software?
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2013, 01:09:26 PM »
I have both LR4 and PS6, and I enjoy using ACR7 for PS much more. I know people who feel much differently, but I believe it gives better control over an image. Granted, that's probably because I have barely used LR at all, but ACR7 has never done me wrong and produced some fantastic results.

TrumpetPower!

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Re: MacBook Pro : Best RAW Processing Software?
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2013, 01:41:00 PM »
In addition to the asset management tools others have mentioned, it's worth noting that the different applications are often geared towards different goals, even in terms of rendering.

If your goal is colorimetric accuracy, I don't think you're going to beat Raw Photo Processor, especially if you know how to create ICC profiles. It's also probably the best at emulating various film stocks, though that's not something I do.

DPP probably produces the best image quality in terms of sharpness and noise reduction and lens defect correction and the like, but I've never cared for the user interface. If you're the type to drop your photos off at a lab, DPP is the best for you.

Camera Raw / Lightroom offers the best flexibility for creative manipulation, no question. When I'm looking to do that sort of thing, I generally develop the file with Raw Photo Processor and then open the TIFF in ACR for further manipulation.

Lately, though, I've been more and more paying attention to the light itself and doing less and less work that needs much post-processing. The attached photo, for example, is nothing more than two colorimetric developments of the same RAW file, with the one for the sky slightly underexposed and masked in to restore the detail. Shoot in great light (whether by painstakingly finding it or making it) and develop the photo such that what comes out of the camera is the same as what went into it and you won't have to do much, if anything, to it in post-production.

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Re: MacBook Pro : Best RAW Processing Software?
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2013, 01:41:00 PM »

pierceography

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Re: MacBook Pro : Best RAW Processing Software?
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2013, 01:43:50 PM »
I like to keep things relatively simple workflow wise: Photoshop.  But for my entire process I have a home grown solution for photo storage/management (NAS over samba on a linux box with software RAID) and a custom web application which allows me to view/catalog my photos.

Software side, I like photoshop quite a bit.  The problem with NAS and some of the workflow/catalog software (Aperture, Lightroom, etc) is that it can get really s-l-o-w, especially if you're over wifi (I often am).  So using a web app to quickly access thumbnails in a gallery style layout is very useful.  If I want to open an photo for further editing, I have a link which opens it in Photoshop.  I've also recently started using the Nik plugin suite after Google put it on sale.  Huge thumbs up for Nik, especially Silver Efex.  But that's not necessarily a RAW processing platform.

Plus the added benefit (for me) of using NAS and a custom web app for cataloging is I can access my catalog anywhere over a browser or even an iOS app I wrote.  </nerd>

But if you're looking for super simple and inexpensive, Lightroom is the way to go.
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Tov

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Re: MacBook Pro : Best RAW Processing Software?
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2013, 01:45:12 PM »
Aperture through the Appstore is probably half the price ( 70 euro's) of Lightroom. At the moment the best raw engine is from Apple=Aperture.
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scottkinfw

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Re: MacBook Pro : Best RAW Processing Software?
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2013, 01:47:46 PM »
I am a Mac person and I like LR better than Aperture.  It is much easier to use, and does a great job.
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Botts

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Re: MacBook Pro : Best RAW Processing Software?
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2013, 03:25:41 PM »
I use Aperture to convert my RAW files about 90-95% of the time.  Images that need extra work get processed with DxO and reimported to Aperture as TIFF files.

DxO's perspective, and distortion/vignetting correction is second to none.

I'm an Apple Aperture Certified Pro, so I have more background than most with Aperture, and love teaching it.  Once you learn how to master keywords, and smart albums, I find its asset management second to none.

I can't wait for a new version of Aperture, or ideally, for Apple to acquire DxO, but even still, I really like it for normal use.  If you decide to go Aperture, I'd definitely recommend Peachpit Press' Aperture book.
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Harry Muff

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Re: MacBook Pro : Best RAW Processing Software?
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2013, 03:46:15 PM »
Lightroom and PS6 here.


I'm struggling to like Dx0, but the only good (great) feature is the camera/lens modules and general distortion correction. And I've just bought a 16-35...


I've nothing against Aperture, it just doesn't excite me like LR does.


I swear, whoever buys up Dx0 will clean up.
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Fleetie

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Re: MacBook Pro : Best RAW Processing Software?
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2013, 07:19:53 PM »
I've been running LR4 on 30 day trial this evening.

Here's the result of the photo I've been working on.
Canon 5D3  ,  70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II ,  24-105mm f/4 L IS  ,  50mm f/1.4  ,  85mm f/1.8 ,  EF 2x III
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Re: MacBook Pro : Best RAW Processing Software?
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2013, 07:19:53 PM »

Fleetie

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Re: MacBook Pro : Best RAW Processing Software?
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2013, 07:20:40 PM »
And here's the SOOC jpg.
Canon 5D3  ,  70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II ,  24-105mm f/4 L IS  ,  50mm f/1.4  ,  85mm f/1.8 ,  EF 2x III
Olympus OM2-SP , 50mm f/1.2 , 55mm f/1.2 , 50mm f/1.4 Silvernose , 135mm f/2.8 , 28mm f/2.8

Fleetie

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Re: MacBook Pro : Best RAW Processing Software?
« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2013, 07:24:52 PM »
Sorry, I don't know how to post the pictures full-size on here, because the site only allows up to 4MB files, and the full-size jpgs are much bigger than that.

You can't see much difference between the above 2 pictures, because they've been reduced in size so much, but on the big computer monitor, the RAW-converted images is sharper and I've played with the levels a bit to make the image have more "pop", to me, anyway.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2013, 07:49:21 PM by Fleetie »
Canon 5D3  ,  70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II ,  24-105mm f/4 L IS  ,  50mm f/1.4  ,  85mm f/1.8 ,  EF 2x III
Olympus OM2-SP , 50mm f/1.2 , 55mm f/1.2 , 50mm f/1.4 Silvernose , 135mm f/2.8 , 28mm f/2.8

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Re: MacBook Pro : Best RAW Processing Software?
« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2013, 07:24:52 PM »