Best editing software?

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by JeramyJ, Feb 14, 2010.

  1. JeramyJ

    JeramyJ TPF Noob!

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    I realize the answer to this question may be very subjective. However, I am struggling between the broad array of options on the market right now. I need a good general photo editing tool. I shoot in both JPEG and RAW. More Jpeg than raw really. I have used Picaso, Gimp, and have just recently installed Lightroom 3 Beta.

    I would like a tool that does just about everything. I am not as concerned about file management as I am about the actual processing. I am seriously debating between Elements (Whatever Number is now available), and Photoshop CS4. I assume the CS4 will be way above my head in the ease of use department. Although, I have no real experience in that area. Any insight here?
     
  2. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Elements should give you the tools needed for photography, CS4 has a great deal more options, but your paying a great deal of money for software that is heavily weighted for graphic designer not photographers.
     
  3. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    I guess it depends how serious you are about your editing.

    Both GIMP and Elements are limited to an 8-bit color depth.

    CS4 has many tools that allow editing in a 16-bit color depth and has an expanded ACR capability for editing your RAW images. Additionally, CS4's tools have more options that do the same tools in Elements.

    An alternative to Photoshop is Corel's Paint Shop Pro (PSP).
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2010
  4. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    thanks Keith, i had forgotten about the bit depth which can be critical. At least for me it is :)
     
  5. JeramyJ

    JeramyJ TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the replies. CS4 it is then I suppose. Will try to find a deal on it.

    JJ
     
  6. matfoster

    matfoster TPF Noob!

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    there recently has been some new developments regarding this aspect of the GIMP. i currently use 2.6.7 which has GEGL ported and shown as a menu option.

    "GEGL (Generic Graphics Library) is a graph based image processing framework that will be used in all GIMP-3.0. With GEGL, the internal processing is being done in 32bit floating point linear light RGBA. By default the legacy 8bit code paths are still used, but a curious user can turn on the use of GEGL for the color operations with this option.

    In addition to porting color operations to GEGL, an experimental GEGL Operation tool has been added, found in the Tools menu. It enables applying GEGL operations to an image and it gives on-canvas previews of the results."

    8.5.*Use GEGL
     
  7. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    "there recently has been some new developments regarding this aspect of the GIMP."

    GEGL has nothing to do with image editing at the 16-bit color depth level.

    CS4 has the equivelent (OpenGL) and it's not "an experimental GEGL Operation tool", it's a fully functional element if a user has CS4 Extended.

    JJ,

    The only true discount on CS4 is the Student Edition. Any higher education student, having a valid student picture ID card, qualifies to buy in Adobe's Education Store: https://store1.adobe.com/cfusion/st..._us&view=ols_cat&catID=SPECIALS&store=OLS-EDU

    Qualified buyers get 70% off CS4 Extended, $999 retail - $299 for the Student Edition which is exactly like the retail version.
     
  8. JeramyJ

    JeramyJ TPF Noob!

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    Might be worth it to enroll in a local University course. :lol: Thanks.
     
  9. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    While CS4 is great, it sucks if you're not an educational buyer or seasoned pro. When your editing software costs as much as your camera you really need to question the direction in which you're spending your hard earned dollars, especially given the alternative solutions.

    Remember while editing in Elements does not give you 16bit support, firstly you admitted yourself you shoot mostly JPEG. Secondly in Adobe CameraRAW for elements you can do the most bit-depth intensive adjustments (white balance, contrast and exposure adjustment) in 16bit before you open the image in Elements which eliminates a lot of the need for 16bit support. It's better, but remember the differences are in terms of slight posterisation and not massively reduced editing functionality, most of which is lost if you shoot JPEG anyway.

    Also have a very detailed play with Lightroom. Photoshop as an editing platform is infinitely powerful, but I probably use it for 1 in every 1000 photos I take. Lightroom has all the common adjustment, several touchup, and a few effect tools to do the serious grunt of the work on most normal photos. These days I typically only open Photoshop when I need some very special effects like simulating soft focus, or extending depth of field, or some other very fancy effect that would make purists throw up in their mouths.

    Lightroom is incredibly capable but only if you take the time to get to know it, and it sure as heck is faster than editing 500 of the days images in Photoshop.
     
  10. matfoster

    matfoster TPF Noob!

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    what prompts them to state that GEGL is instrumental in achieving that specific capability?


    "Big Features, such as 16 Bit color support or native CMYK color space are not included in GIMP 2.6, however with the implementation of GEGL the road is now clear to develop such features in upcoming versions. Hopefully in 2009 with GIMP 2.8."

    Tutorial: What's new in GIMP 2.6? - gimpusers.com
     
  11. JeramyJ

    JeramyJ TPF Noob!

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    I have only just begun to get to know Lightroom 3 Beta. I have been very impressed with it thus far and will likely continue with it. Bit of a learning curve though. Thanks for the input there.
     
  12. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    well, I've tried few like PSCS# LR#, DXO, DXO, Bible Labs, ACDsee, gimp, Capture One, CaptureNX2. After few weeks of playing with each, I ended up with ACDsee for quick/dirty batch (rename, resize and/or just viewing images), LR for general non-raw, PS for detail non-raw files. CaptureNX2 for raw (Nikon).
     

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