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 Post subject: Imaging Software 101
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 2:18 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2007 6:08 am
Posts: 201
Location: London, UK
Photomatrix, Photoshop, Capture NX, freeware programmes. And many other things. I'm a little confused by the extensive range of software out there, and the overlapping functions of each- from non-intrusive RAW editing, to image manipulation, to programmes that specify in HDR images and the best all round programmes for people who don't have hundreds of pounds to spend on software.

I was wondering if anyone could give a brief outline of the main players, and perhaps a sentence or two on each about their Pros and Cons. Obviously theres a lot of subjective opinion, but I'm sure some general outlines by forum regulars would be useful for me and others!

Cheers.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 10:10 am 
Here's a few of those that I've tried:

Photomatix - used to make HDRs, very simple, basic and focused on HDR imaging

Photoshop - very very powerful imaging program, steep learning curve(plenty of tutorials though).

Lightroom - very good image database program, good for minor adjustments to images, very basic lens correction

Capture NX* - very powerful, more specialised than Photoshop, very steep learning curve(to me)

Nikon View NX - very poor photo management software, faster than Lightroom.

PTLens - excellent for correcting distortion

PhaseOne Capture* - similar to Lightoom, doesn't feel as cohesive

DxO Optics Pro* - again, similar to Lightroom, more advanced, also does not feel as cohesive

IRIS - quite powerful, steep learning curve but good tutorials are available

* means that I only used it as a trial and don't have that much experience with it


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 7:14 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2007 6:08 am
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Location: London, UK
Thanks Graham, that's great! One question- is Photoshop good for working with RAW files? Or do Adobe have a separate programme that is best for RAW images- altering white balance etc etc.

Cheers!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 8:17 am 
Is Capture NX that advanced? i honeslty though it was like picture project :P

While typing this posted i whent to check out what NX can do and, WOW! pretty neat...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 12:37 pm 
stevesayskanpai wrote:
Thanks Graham, that's great! One question- is Photoshop good for working with RAW files? Or do Adobe have a separate programme that is best for RAW images- altering white balance etc etc.

Cheers!


You can edit RAW's in Photoshop but for all the brand new cameras hitting the shelves, you need Photoshop CS3 to make use of the RAW functionality. It's Adobe's less-than-subtle way to get people to upgrade their perfectly fine working edition of CS2.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 2:14 pm 
Steve,

I still use CS2 but in combination with Lightroom. So I import into Lightroom then from LR, export into CS2. Unfortunately, this involves LR converting the files to TIFF format first which takes up a lot of space but yea, it can be done.

My copy of CS2 doesn't support the D80's NEF files. Maybe an update will help but I'm happy to use the above method.

If altering white balance is all you're after, LR, or an equivalent program will suffice. I'm sure there are many more than just LR but thats what I'm familiar with.

Alex,

No! :D Capture NX is waaay more advanced than Picture Project in terms of image editing. Give the trial a go!


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