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Author Topic: Advice on fastest vs best post-processing software.  (Read 1159 times)

c-law

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Advice on fastest vs best post-processing software.
« on: May 22, 2012, 06:29:51 AM »
I am starting a new job in Sept where I will be working for an organisation that puts on a lot of conferences and events throughout the year. Lots of dark environments with bright lights so tons of contrast and high ISOs are going to be the theme of my next year. I will be training a team of volunteer shooters to capture the events and I (and maybe another small team) will be editing the photos as the events happen to get each days photos online as the events happen and up for sure by the end of the day.

They used to just let the shooting team take their images home, edit them and return them when they were done editing but this usually took them a couple of weeks and because of many different styles and levels of skill the results were varied. So we are looking for faster and more consistent results.

At the moment I edit in Aperture 3 and Photoshop CS3 on my mid-2008 Macbook Pro running Lion. While I love the workflow in Aperture 3 and am very used to using it, right now it runs like a dog on my hardware. Luckily I am getting a brand new Macbook Pro with the job and I'll get to specify which software comes along with it.

I am wondering if now might be a good time to learn some new software if both speed and results will improve or whether I'll be able to trust using Aperture on the new and cleaner hardware.

I did try the Lightroom 4 beta recently and while I loved some of the features and quality, I found it was so different that I didn't enjoy using it.

Finally, I'm also going to be looking at maybe getting some professional / stand alone noise solutions, something like Nik or Noise Ninja. So if anyone has any recommendations on those that would be great (that hopefully integrates for fast workflow).


So, to wrap-up for those who just saw a big block of text:

- Fast, reliable, good editing software / workflow for a Mac editing thousands of high ISO photos a day.
- Noise reduction software that integrates into a quick workflow and works well.


Many thanks,

Chris
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Advice on fastest vs best post-processing software.
« on: May 22, 2012, 06:29:51 AM »

JerryKnight

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Re: Advice on fastest vs best post-processing software.
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2012, 02:52:33 PM »
I only have a partial comment about "fastest".. I'm a big fan of PhotoMechanic. It's for image ingest, browsing, and organization only, so it won't do any of your editing, but for culling lots of big RAW files, I don't think there's anything nearly as fast as PhotoMechanic. It's also really good at applying IPTC metadata to a big group of image files, and it has decent web publishing tools (resizing and uploading to Flickr, FTP, etc.).

Of course, if you're not planning on culling a lot of the images you receive, PM might not be as useful to you, but if you're getting many thousands of images and only using the best ones, I think it might be worth it to try out, because if you cut down the number of images you have to process, the faster the rest of your post-processing will be. :)

wickidwombat

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Re: Advice on fastest vs best post-processing software.
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2012, 07:01:17 PM »
Personally i like lightroom the best
i do a quick precull in bridge first though before bringing anything into light room cuts down the number of files coming in, you know ones that are blatantly bad, oof really bad exposure motion blur that sort of thing

also for Noise reduction i like to use topaz denoise which has a plugin that can run in lightroom

only problem i am having is when i open the plugin the colours in the topaz pane go all out of whack
trying to get to the bottom of it with their tech support
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DB

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Re: Advice on fastest vs best post-processing software.
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2012, 08:17:43 PM »
Get Photoshop CS6, it gives you a lot more options than LR4, plus for 'batch' processing or using scripts it is incredibly useful. You can record and save your actions as a new action set (e.g. process one photo) then use a script to perform similar actions on a large number of other pictures taken at the same time and place.

I use Nik Software Suite, especially the Sharpener Pro 3.0 and it is very good for fixing localized areas (e.g. peoples faces or specific objects in frame), but it can be time consuming i.e. setting multiple control points etc., but on the plus side it is very quick to process, menu intuitive, user friendly and so on. It is a great tool for adjusting either contrast, focus, or sharpness in a designated part of the composition. Have never used the RAW Pre-Sharpener, but I imagine it is just as good. Quite extraordinary, some of the results - really makes faces pop-out.

c-law

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Re: Advice on fastest vs best post-processing software.
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2012, 11:04:57 AM »
JerryKnight, Thanks. I'll look into PhotoMechanic. If I can cull the images before having to ingest them into Aperture or whatever I use that will cut down a lot of processing time. If I import thousands of files into Aperture it can takes a while for it to process before I can even go through and make selects.

wickedwombat, I've not ever explored Bridge so I might look into using that if I go with Lightroom, thanks for reminding me about it.

DB, while I am familiar with Photoshop and use it regularly, more options and more powerful isn't really what I am after. Speed is what I am looking for. I do use batch processes and actions in CS3 so I'm familiar with how they work but I don't believe that they will allow me to work fast enough with the right level of tailoring for each photo compared to LR4 or A3. Thanks for the suggestion though.

Any more suggestions?

Chris
Canon 5D MkII, EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM, EF 70-200m f/2.8L IS USM, EF 50mm f/1.8 II, 580EX, LP160, a couple of home made macro & pinhole lenses.

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Re: Advice on fastest vs best post-processing software.
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2012, 11:04:57 AM »