Poll: What Processing Software do you use primarily? And...why?

Poll: What Processing Software do you use primarily? And...why?

  • Lightroom

    Votes: 23 51.1%
  • Capture One

    Votes: 8 17.8%
  • On1 RAW

    Votes: 4 8.9%
  • Luminar

    Votes: 1 2.2%
  • DxO

    Votes: 4 8.9%
  • Darktable

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Photoshop (Camera Raw, no cataloging)

    Votes: 10 22.2%
  • Affinity Photo (Internal RAW, no cataloging)

    Votes: 2 4.4%
  • Other?

    Votes: 10 22.2%

  • Total voters
    45
  • Poll closed .

cayenne

EOS R6
CR Pro
Mar 28, 2012
2,592
556
I use Photoshop for almost everything. Raw files are stored in folders, and I use Bridge to sort through them, usually and then open via ACR. The sidecar files wind up in the same folder as the Raw file, as do the .dng files from merging panoramas and HDR in ACR and the .psd files I create from them. Exported JPEGs may reside there and/or in places where they will be used, such as the website files.

Why do I do that? I've used Photoshop for about 25 years. There may be better or cheaper options, but I am not motivated to look for them.

All of my photography is for personal use and for non-profits for whom I do web sites as a volunteer.

I put together a photo book this spring from slides I took on an Eastern Europe trip in 2000. They have faded over the years, mainly the green layer. I ran tests with VueScan to see the best way to capture the images. I wound up with TIFFs that I edited in Photoshop and then exported JPEGs for the web. For the book project, I selected pictures and made a folder of copies of the PSD files and imported the folder into Lightroom Classic. I had watched Scott Kelby's series on using Lightroom to produce books, and found the process rather slick. I did some tweaking in Lightroom and got rid of a few more magenta casts and touched up some spots and reduced grain in the skies. I rather liked working in Lightroom, but don't think I'd go there for my regular work flow. If I were a pro shooting weddings every weekend or the like, I'd probably appreciate its database approach and use batch processing.

That's interesting.

I was surprised at the number of folks that voted they ONLY used PS for their RAW image workflow, and didn't use a DAM of any sort....

I started with LR and moved to On1...and am looking at Capture One now....mostly due to need for live view tethered shooting, but I can appreciate it's DAM functionality too.

Each system seems to have its pros/cons.....C1 has some great stuff, but seems much of it works in a pieced together fashion it seems to me starting to look at it....whereas On1 RAW and LR look like DAM's that were built from the ground up with that workflow in mind.

I use them a LOT when bringing my images....to rename, to give some key wording, and to send to my back up NAS.

When you use only PS or the like for your entire workflow....I take it you depend solely on your filesystem structure and naming to find images over time when you need to look for them, etc?

C
 

stevelee

FT-QL
CR Pro
Jul 6, 2017
1,990
743
Davidson, NC
When you use only PS or the like for your entire workflow....I take it you depend solely on your filesystem structure and naming to find images over time when you need to look for them, etc?

Yes. I've been using the Macintosh file system for 33 years, so even longer than Photoshop. I found iPhoto even more annoying than Lightroom. I didn't start using Bridge when it first came out. It became useful only after I was shooting Raw files, I guess with my first Rebel, and I became sure that it wasn't going to move my files around and hide them. Note that I said I'll use Lightroom only on copies of my PSD or Raw files.

I store the Raw files like my digital negatives, and eventually move them to an external disk with some backup. The cameras number the files sequentially and the file system retains their created dates. I put in folders named by trip or project. (Clever names like "Italy." There are over 3200 Raw files in that 100 GB folder, along with their associated PSD, DNG, and XMP files. If I decide to make a print of one of the ones I have a JPEG on my web site, I know where to find the Raw or PSD file to use to produce the printing version.) As I said, it works for me, and is based on 33 and 25 years of experience and habits.

I haven't shot a wedding in nearly 50 years, and hope to keep it that way. I last played for a wedding about 12 years ago, and have performed just one since I retired, for the grandson of a friend who I got to know at basketball games. With luck I can avoid them altogether from now on. But as I said above, those who are pros can really benefit from the organization and workflow in Lightroom and the like, I'm convinced, and wouldn't recommend them to do it any other way.

Maybe you'd say some of us don't give a DAM.
 

Durf

Picture Taker - Image Maker
That's interesting.

I was surprised at the number of folks that voted they ONLY used PS for their RAW image workflow, and didn't use a DAM of any sort....

I started with LR and moved to On1...and am looking at Capture One now....mostly due to need for live view tethered shooting, but I can appreciate it's DAM functionality too.

Each system seems to have its pros/cons.....C1 has some great stuff, but seems much of it works in a pieced together fashion it seems to me starting to look at it....whereas On1 RAW and LR look like DAM's that were built from the ground up with that workflow in mind.

I use them a LOT when bringing my images....to rename, to give some key wording, and to send to my back up NAS.

When you use only PS or the like for your entire workflow....I take it you depend solely on your filesystem structure and naming to find images over time when you need to look for them, etc?

C

When I quit Adobe in early 2018 and started using ON1 PR 2018 as my only processing software, I ended up having to create a whole new file structure for all my photos. I had so many problems with ON1's cataloging system it was ridiculous. It took me several weeks and numerous hours creating a new file structure but the system I have now is pretty decent. I am now using ON1's cataloging system and it seems to work well now with the 2020 version. If ON1's cataloging fails now I can still import and organize with my new filing system and all is good. I just need to make sure I move files with ON1.
I'll never get caught up in a system like lightrooms cataloging ever again. I spent hours and hours exporting all my lightroom edits into jpegs before deleting those catalogs, I now do the same with all my ON1 edits, all my edits/jpegs go to a separate filing system; my RAWs are all in another.
As stevelee mentioned, all my RAWs are kept in a completely separate "negative type" filing system structure so to speak, all my edited finished images are in a whole different structure and is my go to system for viewing, sharing, printing, etc.
 
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Durf

Picture Taker - Image Maker
I started with LR and moved to On1...and am looking at Capture One now....mostly due to need for live view tethered shooting, but I can appreciate it's DAM functionality too.

C

If you shoot Canon have you tried their Utility app for tethered shooting?
I've used it several times for stills, some macro etc and it works pretty good for what I need.
I just target the RAW image to download in a certain folder and I usually just leave ON1 open on my desktop so I can just quickly open the file to inspect right away if needed.
ON1 is suppose to be able to do tethered shooting but I can't get it to work with any of my camera's!
 
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cayenne

EOS R6
CR Pro
Mar 28, 2012
2,592
556
When I quit Adobe in early 2018 and started using ON1 PR 2018 as my only processing software, I ended up having to create a whole new file structure for all my photos. I had so many problems with ON1's cataloging system it was ridiculous. It took me several weeks and numerous hours creating a new file structure but the system I have now is pretty decent. I am now using ON1's cataloging system and it seems to work well now with the 2020 version. If ON1's cataloging fails now I can still import and organize with my new filing system and all is good. I just need to make sure I move files with ON1.
I'll never get caught up in a system like lightrooms cataloging ever again. I spent hours and hours exporting all my lightroom edits into jpegs before deleting those catalogs, I now do the same with all my ON1 edits, all my edits/jpegs go to a separate filing system; my RAWs are all in another.
As stevelee mentioned, all my RAWs are kept in a completely separate "negative type" filing system structure so to speak, all my edited finished images are in a whole different structure and is my go to system for viewing, sharing, printing, etc.


Interesting.

I found with On1 that I didn't have any problem with the cataloging, since it pretty much seems to just monitor the OS filesystem when you point it at one directory (and its sub directories) you tell it to monitor.

I just name my directories with data and title....and tell On1 to monitor that one....but in case I have to change DAM's....it shouldn't be that big a deal I just point the new one at the same directories....there's still a lot to do, but with my naming structure, I always know what is where by looking at the names on the directory structure and the image files themselves.

I have my top directory for a shoot, something like:

2020_06_Lakefront
And under that I have sub directories:
capture
selects
external (this is for when I send files out to Affinity Photo for compositing, focus stacking, etc)
output

That's kind of a general approach I have for each shoot. I pull everything in to the capture directory, do my culling and rating. I move the ones I will work with to the selects and develop them....I round trip files that need heavier work like compositing to the external directory....and I export my jpegs, etc for printing to the output directory for that shoot.

Do you use something similar?

This is pretty much what I did for LR when I used it.

C
 

Durf

Picture Taker - Image Maker
Interesting.

I found with On1 that I didn't have any problem with the cataloging, since it pretty much seems to just monitor the OS filesystem when you point it at one directory (and its sub directories) you tell it to monitor.

I just name my directories with data and title....and tell On1 to monitor that one....but in case I have to change DAM's....it shouldn't be that big a deal I just point the new one at the same directories....there's still a lot to do, but with my naming structure, I always know what is where by looking at the names on the directory structure and the image files themselves.

I have my top directory for a shoot, something like:

2020_06_Lakefront
And under that I have sub directories:
capture
selects
external (this is for when I send files out to Affinity Photo for compositing, focus stacking, etc)
output

That's kind of a general approach I have for each shoot. I pull everything in to the capture directory, do my culling and rating. I move the ones I will work with to the selects and develop them....I round trip files that need heavier work like compositing to the external directory....and I export my jpegs, etc for printing to the output directory for that shoot.

Do you use something similar?

This is pretty much what I did for LR when I used it.

C

I had some bad files that ON1 just got stuck with and caused a bunch of issues with the cataloging feature. I also got a better computer which made a huge difference in ON1's performance. Cataloging is a great feature now that its working correctly.

I actually have 3 file structures, one is for importing and processing only, the 2nd is my RAW Image file collection, and the 3rd is my finished JPEG image collection.

My import/processing structure has about 7 folders;
1. IMPORT/REVIEW: all my images are imported to this folder and culled/rated.
2. 2ND REVIEW: when I import a large number of images I often go through a 2nd review. Most often kept images from folder one usually just get moved to folder 3.
3. NEED TO PROCESS: all images in this folder are processed. Once processed the image is exported as a JPEG to my finished jpeg file structure and the RAW file is move to folder #5.
4. PROJECTS TO PROCESS: I will make sub folders in this folder when I have large number of images of one event etc to process just to keep things separated in my work flow.
5. FINISHED-HOLDING: This is where I keep all my finished/processed RAW files. I usually let these files sit in this folder for a few weeks and then move them to my RAW FILE main structure collection.
6. NEED TO PRINT: RAW files are put in this folder if I want to order prints for them. They are exported differently than the images sent to my jpeg file structure.
7: SANDBOX: This is where I keep all images I'm not sure if I want to delete or not. I will revisit this folder eventually and do a final culling.

This work flow file structure has been working quite well for me.

My RAW and JPEG file structures are pretty much built the same; with about 10 main folders titled like; Landscapes, Stills, People, Places, Events, Wildlife, Insects, Flowers, Plants, etc., with several sub-folders within those to help me easily find things.
 

cayenne

EOS R6
CR Pro
Mar 28, 2012
2,592
556
If you shoot Canon have you tried their Utility app for tethered shooting?
I've used it several times for stills, some macro etc and it works pretty good for what I need.
I just target the RAW image to download in a certain folder and I usually just leave ON1 open on my desktop so I can just quickly open the file to inspect right away if needed.
ON1 is suppose to be able to do tethered shooting but I can't get it to work with any of my camera's!


Yes, for my Canon, I did use their utility app for tethering and it worked out pretty great with my 5D3....I have an older MBP that I bring in the studio (used to be my dining room)...and I shoot hooked to it there....The utility gives me live view, and I can trip the shutter either from that, or I have one of the hand held Pixel wireless remotes hooked to the camera.

I usually use that. latter remote when I'm holding a strobe and moving around changing the lighting for composite shots.

I then can either bring the laptop back and plug into ethernet and move the files over with On1 to my work drive and back them up...OR, I can do the memory card from the camera.

This works great for Canon

However, I recently acquired a Fuji. GFX100....and On1 doesn't tether to it at all.
The fuji computer utility doesn't do live view.

The DO have an app for iPhone / iPad that you can do live view with...I may experiment with that, but I dunno how that will work with sending the files through the tether cord to the laptop and to the onboard memory card.

So, I was looking at Capture One as that it does have some tethering functionality, and a sort of Live View, but it isn't super functional, you can auto focus from it, etc.

I"m guessing I need to delve into the interface a bit better, between being new to C1 and very new to the Fuji interface...it is proving to be VERY complex in the different configurations and lots of menus.

Anyway...I"m in the middle of figuring it out.

So, my canon stuff I have the tethering workflow figured out....I may just buy C1 for Fuji only...I can always update to the full version from there.

I wish I and a unified DAM that did full function tethering too...but looks like for now, it will have to be a bit of a hodge podge.

cayenne
 
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Hector1970

EOS R
CR Pro
Mar 22, 2012
1,275
470
After many years I've given up on Lightroom. Its a good tool but in the end I never used the catalog. I use it for printing because I have the templates set up. The catalogs just got too big and lightroom seemed to slow down until I created a new one. Just all too clunky then. All the functionality for adjustments are in Photoshop Camera Raw so I now mainly use Photoshop. I've used or have most of the other ones. In the end you should probably only invest time in one of them as there is so much to learn. For me that's Photoshop. Its the best but with a steep learning curve (but the best supported in terms of available training). Would be nice to Adobe improving it more but every update seems minor. Photoshop 2020 has only minimal improvements (improved masking - but seems to work mainly on simple extractions, more lightroom type set up in raw - not terribly exciting), but the have a captive audience.
 

cayenne

EOS R6
CR Pro
Mar 28, 2012
2,592
556
After many years I've given up on Lightroom. Its a good tool but in the end I never used the catalog. I use it for printing because I have the templates set up. The catalogs just got too big and lightroom seemed to slow down until I created a new one. Just all too clunky then. All the functionality for adjustments are in Photoshop Camera Raw so I now mainly use Photoshop. I've used or have most of the other ones. In the end you should probably only invest time in one of them as there is so much to learn. For me that's Photoshop. Its the best but with a steep learning curve (but the best supported in terms of available training). Would be nice to Adobe improving it more but every update seems minor. Photoshop 2020 has only minimal improvements (improved masking - but seems to work mainly on simple extractions, more lightroom type set up in raw - not terribly exciting), but the have a captive audience.

You might look into the offerings such as ON1 RAW and Capture One.....one thing I like with those, is, they have the ability to do layers of RAW data..where you can do a LOT of adjustments, with layers, luminosity masks, etc...while fully still in a RAW work flow.

I dunno if the latest version of LR also has this, but if not, might be worth your while to look. I find the cataloging of both of these to be quite snappy and never notice it slowing my system down.

I like to stay in RAW for as much and as long as I can....I find that I don't have to hit PS (I actually use Affinity Photo instead) unless I"m doing something that requires heavier lifting like compositing, HDR, focus stacking...or really heavy clean up (like removing people, phone lines, etc).....

They both have free 30 day trials, and the price is for a perpetual license...so, you don't pay monthly....

Anyway, you might give them a look.

HTH,

cayenne
 

cayenne

EOS R6
CR Pro
Mar 28, 2012
2,592
556
Hi Alan.
I think that is possibly because you can select more than one choice?

Cheers, Graham.

Yeah...I did that just in case there were some that maybe used > 1 of them for their work.....

For instance, I've been using On1 RAW for all my work to date....Canon 5D3...and film scans.

I recently got a GFX100, and at that same time I found I needed tethering for it and Capture One looks to be the best option for that, in addition it appears C1 has potentially superior RAW translation for Fuji....so, for now at least, it appears I may be doing C1 for my Fuji work, and stay with On1 for everything else....so, I checked off 2 boxes on the poll.

HTH,

cayenne
 

FamilyGuy

EOS 90D
Feb 5, 2020
186
312
Another for DPP4. I don't do anything fancy. Just lift shadows, reduce highlights. I shoot in auto white balance and auto image profile, then change those in post if needed (to daylight, shade, etc. or landscape, fine detail, etc.). Maybe I'll tweak a couple specific colors here and there (saturate the blues or whatever).

Purchased Affinity Photo - but found their RAW processing to be too confusing for me and I don't have the time or inclination to learn it. The main reason I bought it was to stitch panoramas (which DPP4 doesn't do). $25 all in. We vacation in the National Parks. Took a couple in the Smokies that I'm happy about. I know about Microsoft ICE - but shockingly - doesn't work for Mac. Workflow is to process the RAW's in DPP4, batch process to JPEG's, then stitch the JPEG's in Affinity.
 

cayenne

EOS R6
CR Pro
Mar 28, 2012
2,592
556
Another for DPP4. I don't do anything fancy. Just lift shadows, reduce highlights. I shoot in auto white balance and auto image profile, then change those in post if needed (to daylight, shade, etc. or landscape, fine detail, etc.). Maybe I'll tweak a couple specific colors here and there (saturate the blues or whatever).

Purchased Affinity Photo - but found their RAW processing to be too confusing for me and I don't have the time or inclination to learn it. The main reason I bought it was to stitch panoramas (which DPP4 doesn't do). $25 all in. We vacation in the National Parks. Took a couple in the Smokies that I'm happy about. I know about Microsoft ICE - but shockingly - doesn't work for Mac. Workflow is to process the RAW's in DPP4, batch process to JPEG's, then stitch the JPEG's in Affinity.

I tend to send TIFFs out to things like Affinity Photo for stitching...as that I was of the thought (someone please correct me if I'm wrong) that TIFF was less lossy than JPEGs......I don't output to JPEG until the very last step of anything I do, in order to preserve as much detail till the very end when I"m ready to send out for people to look at or have printed.

HTH,
C
 

Keith_Reeder

I really don't mind offending trolls.
Feb 8, 2014
957
469
60
Blyth, NE England
Photo Ninja for Raw conversion, ACDSee Photo Editor 11 (don't knock it until you've tried it) for pixel editing.

And I'll put my results up against anyone else's.
 

FamilyGuy

EOS 90D
Feb 5, 2020
186
312
I tend to send TIFFs out to things like Affinity Photo for stitching...as that I was of the thought (someone please correct me if I'm wrong) that TIFF was less lossy than JPEGs......I don't output to JPEG until the very last step of anything I do, in order to preserve as much detail till the very end when I"m ready to send out for people to look at or have printed.

HTH,
C

Do TIFF’s retain your color settings from RAW processing?
 

TominNJ

EOS M6 Mark II
Mar 14, 2015
72
62
I’ve been using Lightroom 6 but I guess that will be over when i get my R5. I refuse to pay Adobe every month. I‘ll give DPP a More serious try. I’m not a big photo processing guy and it will probably meet my needs.

my workflow right now is use DPP to delete the photos that don’t pass muster then import the keepers into Lightroom and put them on my hard drives. I don’t do much of anything with them after that. I want to spend my photo time taking pictures. I hate the processing part of it so I don’t do it unless I need an image for something.

My SO wonders why I take pictures when I never show them to anyone.
 
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koenkooi

EOS 5D Mark IV
CR Pro
Feb 25, 2015
1,609
1,461
I tend to send TIFFs out to things like Affinity Photo for stitching...as that I was of the thought (someone please correct me if I'm wrong) that TIFF was less lossy than JPEGs[..]

TIFF is lossless and is used as the base for DNG as well. Adobe has some metadata trickery to allow whitebalance adjustment on DNGs, which it won't do on TIFFs.
 

snappy604

EOS RP
CR Pro
Jan 25, 2017
552
412
using On1.. it does most things I want, but still seems to have weird issues with default values on the colour profiles for my 80D for daylight/landscape. I seem to have to adjust differently too frequently, doesn't seem consistent even with template and it bugs me.. plus some gaps in noise reduction.. but othewise a decent product. I also have Affinity but rarely use due to the complexity, too steep a learning curve for me, but it has a key photoshop feature on merging many files which allows star trails and noise reduction on multiple still objects. I keep hearing about CaptureOne.. holy cow.. price 400 for the standalone perpetual.. egads. Is it really worth it?
 
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