Alternatives to Lightroom for someone who isn't locked in to it yet?

BeenThere

EOS R
CR Pro
Sep 4, 2012
1,243
671
Eastern Shore
I'm in the subscription mode for LR, not sure you get new lens/camera updates with LR6? I've used LR since it first came out and it keeps getting better with each release. It satisfies 95%+ of my editing and file management needs. Easy to get started and learn more about it as you go.
 

RGF

How you relate to the issue, is the issue.
Jul 13, 2012
2,820
38
Labdoc said:
Been processing photos since computers were invented and the first digital cameras were sold. Tried just about every type of software and have to say the LR/PS combo is hard to beat.

Have you tried Phase One? From afar it looks good.
 

LDS

EOS 5D Mark IV
Sep 14, 2012
1,719
248
BeenThere said:
I'm in the subscription mode for LR, not sure you get new lens/camera updates with LR6?

The perpetual license gets camera/lens updates as long as it is supported. It doesn't get any new feature.
 

SteveM

EOS 90D
Jun 29, 2016
138
0
If you want to go the perpetual licence route, after a quick bit of research and my own experience, this is the route I would take:
Lightroom as a Raw converter - Elements has too much missing in its Raw converter
Elements for further post - Elements has good layer making facilities and good selection tools which you can use for accurate aircraft selection

Although I own and use Capture One (as well as CS6), I would suggest it is a huge investment in time to fully understand its operation, and I find it slower to edit in - mainly why I mostly use CS6 for editing

I doubt you'll miss much of everyday value if you buy Lightroom now as opposed to waiting for Lightroom 7 - which may or may not come. April is a sensible deadline for its release.
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Mar 25, 2011
16,737
1,703
Valvebounce said:
Hi Mt Spokane.
Unfortunately this is that 'vicious cycle' that we can all end up in, do I wait for the new version/model or do I just get what will do the job now and take it on the chin if the new version arrives shortly after I purchase. (Some software vendors are kind enough to update you to the new version if you bought within a certain time frame!)
I realised that you were not privy to insider info, but I have taken almost no interest in the LR life cycle, whilst you mentioned that you are using it routinely so I thought you might be in a better position to hypothesise! :)
You say 'every spring' there are rumours, how many springs, is it possible LR6 is the last stand perpetual version?

I had mentioned in the past that I am on the list of "Adobe Advisors" so it was possible that someone had thought I had inside information. All I do is take periodic surveys about how I use existing products, and if adding certain features would make any difference. Things like adding a stock photo service (No longer a secret).
 

Valvebounce

EOS R5
CR Pro
Apr 3, 2013
4,556
444
54
Isle of Wight
Hi Folks.
Thanks for all the responses, since my last reply here I have been playing with ACDSee Pro 10 (doesn't do layers), and then Ultimate 10, I have watched a load of the tutorials and played like mad. So far ACDSee having layers seems to be big benefit over Light Room, yes I know I could get photoshop elements, but then I have 2 bits of software, and my understanding is that elements is 8 bit software (I think this matters?).

Cheers, Graham.
 

AlanF

Stay at home
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
9,088
12,760
Graham
I am an amateur and I seek simple solutions and don't like software that is anti-intuitive. Most of the post processing packages require quite a bit of work to learn as they are idiosyncratic. Unless I have missed something, I find noise reduction on PS pathetic, which is why people buy additional noise reduction software. The commercial noise reduction software is also hard work to get good results - the standard routine soften cropped birds too much. The NIK free noise reduction software is quite good and simple to use and works as a plugin with older PS but not the latest cloud offering. So, I use as raw converter DxO optics Pro, whose PRIME is the best noise package I have come across. Basic processing is also done in DxO. If I want to use layers I export to jpeg or tif and open in PS CS6, which I purchased a couple of years ago. Also, when DxO hasn't updated to the latest Canon release I export from DPP to jpeg or tif and use CS6 with the NIK plugins.
 

unfocused

EOS-1D X Mark III
Jul 20, 2010
6,534
4,297
68
Springfield, IL
www.mgordoncommunications.com
AlanF said:
...The NIK free noise reduction software is quite good and simple to use and works as a plugin with older PS but not the latest cloud offering...

I'm curious what problem you are encountering. I use the Nik Plug-ins, including the noise reduction plug-in almost daily with the latest Adobe CC (2017) with no problems.
 

privatebydesign

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Jan 29, 2011
10,631
5,981
AlanF and unfocused, I'd be very interested in comparisons you have that made yu choose Nik over PS for noise reduction.

I'd love to get something 'better' than PS but never seem to find it, please could you post some comparisons? I must say the LR combined 'Detail' panel with NR and sharpening combined is probably the worst area of the program for the most persnickety of users, and I always print from PS because I just don't care for the auto sharpening/resampling LR does.
 

RGF

How you relate to the issue, is the issue.
Jul 13, 2012
2,820
38
LDS said:
BeenThere said:
I'm in the subscription mode for LR, not sure you get new lens/camera updates with LR6?

The perpetual license gets camera/lens updates as long as it is supported. It doesn't get any new feature.

In regards to new cameras, no but you can convert to DNG and that will allow you an end around. Not ideal but workable
 

Valvebounce

EOS R5
CR Pro
Apr 3, 2013
4,556
444
54
Isle of Wight
Hi Alan.
Like you I'm an amateur and I use DxO for most shots, this quest all came about from revisiting some of the images from this series,
SE0A7119_DxO by Graham Stretch, on Flickr
but with much worse drab grey background and running out of scope with DxO to darken the sky to retrieve some detail without darkening the plane. I know the detail is there as DxO can show it but only to the detriment of the plane, I am having reasonable success with the ACDSee Ultimate (pro didn't do too bad but seeing the benefit of layers had me shift focus to the Ultimate version) the problem I'm having is the selection tool only seems to want to detect the plane at the first attempt, trying to add different effect layers ends up with the whole image selected, probably something I'm not getting right but I'm darned if I can crack this problem, I had to stop and watch some NCIS as I was starting to get frustrated with this. Back to watching the tutorials and practicing tomorrow.
Funny thing is Adobe has probably lost my investment in their software because of the short trial period. But then they are probably not worried about my insignificant payment not swelling their coffers if some here are to be believed. :D

Cheers, Graham.

AlanF said:
Graham
I am an amateur and I seek simple solutions and don't like software that is anti-intuitive. Most of the post processing packages require quite a bit of work to learn as they are idiosyncratic. Unless I have missed something, I find noise reduction on PS pathetic, which is why people buy additional noise reduction software. The commercial noise reduction software is also hard work to get good results - the standard routine soften cropped birds too much. The NIK free noise reduction software is quite good and simple to use and works as a plugin with older PS but not the latest cloud offering. So, I use as raw converter DxO optics Pro, whose PRIME is the best noise package I have come across. Basic processing is also done in DxO. If I want to use layers I export to jpeg or tif and open in PS CS6, which I purchased a couple of years ago. Also, when DxO hasn't updated to the latest Canon release I export from DPP to jpeg or tif and use CS6 with the NIK plugins.
 

unfocused

EOS-1D X Mark III
Jul 20, 2010
6,534
4,297
68
Springfield, IL
www.mgordoncommunications.com
privatebydesign said:
AlanF and unfocused, I'd be very interested in comparisons you have that made yu choose Nik over PS for noise reduction.

That's an interesting request. Candidly, I had never made any comparisons. I don't like to apply noise reduction during raw processing. I'd rather wait until the end. I also like simplicity. I'm usually under time constraints and the one-click and your done features of Nik fit my working style.

So, I just now decided to try some comparisons. Keep in mind that I've never used the noise reduction filter in Photoshop, so this is a first attempt.

First, the original image, which was processed, straightened and cropped slightly, with no noise reduction. (Shot with a 1DX II at 6400 ISO)

Next, is a crop from the original with no noise reduction applied.

Then, we have the Photoshop default noise reduction filter

The Define 2 default filter

The Photoshop filter with strength of 10, preserve detail of 7, Reduce color noise of 72% and sharpen details at 0%. In this case, I was trying to match the noise level of the background in the Define image as closely as possible.

The differences are subtle and when printed or posted, I'm not sure it would make all that much difference. I use Define 2 because it's quick and fits my workflow because I need to process photos from games pretty quickly.
 

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AlanF

Stay at home
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
9,088
12,760
unfocused said:
AlanF said:
...The NIK free noise reduction software is quite good and simple to use and works as a plugin with older PS but not the latest cloud offering...

I'm curious what problem you are encountering. I use the Nik Plug-ins, including the noise reduction plug-in almost daily with the latest Adobe CC (2017) with no problems.

We tried over Christmas to install it on my grandson's new MacBook Pro with the latest CC of PS but the plugins didn't work and it says on the NIK home page it is compatible with up to CC2015. Are you using the NIK on a PC or Mac? If it's a Mac and others get NIK to work on Macs then we must try to install again.
 

SteveM

EOS 90D
Jun 29, 2016
138
0
I can't beat Photoshop for noise reduction either. About 12 months ago I spent a week comparing various plug ins with each other and Photoshop for noise reduction. Some of the plug ins took quite a while to get the best result, Photoshop was much quicker and none bettered the Photoshop result - I tried very hard to beat it.
The best results are achieved in Photoshop by painting in the noise reduction only in the areas that need it thus retaining detail in brighter areas that don't need noise reduction - doesn't take long. Can be done in the Raw Converter or in Photoshop. Unless you are seriously strapped for time, global noise reduction isn't great.
 

LDS

EOS 5D Mark IV
Sep 14, 2012
1,719
248
SteveM said:
Unless you are seriously strapped for time, global noise reduction isn't great.

Are you using masks while applying noise reduction? They are useful to concentrate the effect only when it is more needed.
 

LDS

EOS 5D Mark IV
Sep 14, 2012
1,719
248
privatebydesign said:
I must say the LR combined 'Detail' panel with NR and sharpening combined is probably the worst area of the program for the most persnickety of users, and I always print from PS because I just don't care for the auto sharpening/resampling LR does.

LR sharpening/NR workflow is a lot based on Fraser/Schewe "theory" of sharpening and noise reduction (see their book "Real World Image Sharpening With Adobe Photoshop, Camera Raw, and Lightroom") that advocates for managing both capture sharpening and noise at the same input stage.

The print module too uses PixelGenius (a company where Fraser and Schewe were among the founders) PhotoKit Sharpener algorithms for screen/inkjet output (the full product supports other devices like continuos tone and halftone ones). Again their "theory" is based on the idea that output sharpening is deterministic for a given paper, output device and output resolution.

Of course you may like it or not, and use a different workflow, just LR is quite designed around it and doesn't leave much space to change it but using PS and/or plugins.
 

SteveM

EOS 90D
Jun 29, 2016
138
0
Hi AlanF
Didn't test it against DXo prime I'm afraid. I think it was four I tested it against, all of which were dedicated noise reduction programs. All of them, as you would expect I suppose, have a lot of sliders which take quite a while to hit the sweet spot. And, as I said none bettered CS6, which is also very fast to do.
 

SteveM

EOS 90D
Jun 29, 2016
138
0
Hi LDS
Were I using Photoshop I would use masks coupled with the opacity setting, but no, I do the noise reduction in the Raw Converter. I use the Adjustment Brush and reduce the 'flow' setting to build up the effect. Density I leave at 100%. This allows me to use different strengths of noise reduction in different areas.
 

unfocused

EOS-1D X Mark III
Jul 20, 2010
6,534
4,297
68
Springfield, IL
www.mgordoncommunications.com
AlanF said:
unfocused said:
AlanF said:
...The NIK free noise reduction software is quite good and simple to use and works as a plugin with older PS but not the latest cloud offering...

I'm curious what problem you are encountering. I use the Nik Plug-ins, including the noise reduction plug-in almost daily with the latest Adobe CC (2017) with no problems.

We tried over Christmas to install it on my grandson's new MacBook Pro with the latest CC of PS but the plugins didn't work and it says on the NIK home page it is compatible with up to CC2015. Are you using the NIK on a PC or Mac? If it's a Mac and others get NIK to work on Macs then we must try to install again.

I am using a PC, so that may be the difference. On the other hand, I do know that sometimes the Nik tool box doesn't show up after a fresh install of CC and you have to go looking for it. Look in the Filter's menu and see if you have a "Nik Collection" option in the filters. Also, I know that with Windows, you sometimes have to reinstall Nik into the current CC folder because some versions of CC create entirely new folders for the program and don't transfer over all the plug-ins.