A little confused about Post Processing SW


TPF Noob!
Dec 25, 2007
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Rockwall, TX
Can others edit my Photos
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What is the difference between, Photoshop Elements, Lightroom, & DXO optics?

I am looking at buying PP software, but am not sure what direction to go.

Dunno what DXO optics is.

But basically:

Elements is a beginner's approach to photoshop, although it still has all the basic features necessary. I used Elements 5.0 for awhile, works great + it's very affordable.

Lightroom is like an extension, I guess it gives you more options/ different options. I don't think you need to jump right into that.

The CS2 and CS3 are the new, professional versions of photoshop. Tons of abilities you'll probably never use, but it's still cool to have. You probably shouldn't use all your money on this if it's your first photoshop experience though.
Here is a way to look at the Photoshop line:

Elements = Starter package of software, but still pretty full-featured, especially for those starting out who don't want to get overwhelmed with option-overload.

Lightroom = Professional-grade software that controls your entire workflow. Imports the pictures, organizes them, edits them. Really sharp product.

Photoshop CS2 / CS3 = Full-blown do anything you want software. Manipulate pictures pretty much any way you want and unlimited resources online to get plugins for it to expand it almost without limit.

As far as DXO Optics, I have no experience with that one but I am sure someone on here has used it so they can offer insight on it.
I haven't used DXO, but I've looked into it.

It's an editing program that does a lot of the standard things but it's 'claim to fame' is (or used to be) that it could load specific profiles for your lenses...and then automatically correct for things (barrel distortion etc) based on that profile.
I have CS2 and love it, If you are beginner. There are TONS of online tutorials.
You can do a 14 day free trial of the dXO, just google it. I love it, I am going to really miss it. But I dont have $300 just now to buy it. I am going to try elements next. I have paint shop pro XI and it isnt that great, but I do use it for some applications that I cant do with DXO.
You might give some thought to what you enjoy doing. Is the picture you take a starting point or the goal. I use my software to change the white balance, which used to be done with film selection or filers, or adjust the exposure a bit, or tweak the contrast a bit, or up the saturation a little.

A gentleman posted a picture he had created in Photoshop by taking three photographs and combining elements of all of them. He spent eight hours doing it. I'd rather be out taking pictures. So, I lean towards software that doesn't require tons of on-line tutorials.
Also consider your volume of images and your workflow.

As mentioned, Lightroom is a software that is made to control your workflow, especially when you have a lot of images to deal with.
Lightroom is also a 'non-destructive' workflow...meaning that when you make changes or edits...it doesn't actually change the image, it just records the changes. It only applies the edits when you output the files. This is good because it means that you can edit them to your heart's content, without damaging the integrity of the image.
Just to follow up on this post. I recently got a 400d and with it came a CD for uploading pics to comp. You can PP with this software although im guessing its not up to much. How would it compare with Elements for instance?
I use DxO for all of my post processing and it's great. It has modules that are calibrated to your specific camera body and lens and will correct distortion, vignetting, and adds just the right amount of sharpening, and it has that for all focal lengths and apertures on all of the common lenses. It also lets you do almost all of the stuff that you might do in Photoshop, only it makes it very easy to process a whole ton of photos in batch mode. For heavy duty tweaking on a single or a few images you'll still probably want Photoshop since it lets you apply something and then undo. DxO is pretty much a batch mode processor and sorter only and isn't designed for huge tweaking on smaller numbers of images like photoshop is. Just try the demo and see if you like it. :)
You can do a 14 day free trial of the dXO, just google it. I love it, I am going to really miss it. But I dont have $300 just now to buy it. I am going to try elements next. I have paint shop pro XI and it isnt that great, but I do use it for some applications that I cant do with DXO.
You only need the Standard version which is $169, or less if you have one of the coupon codes that are floating around. $300 is for the Elite version which you only need if you have a professional body like a 1DM3 or a Nikon D2x/D3.
Oh great to know...I think for $169 I might get it next month :) it really makes a difference and that with paint shop pro and sorting with picasa, I can do anything
PaintShop Pro has more Photoshop features than Elements so why would anyone even consider Elements? DXO has the advantage of being able to bulk process photos to automatically and selectively correct for lenses: wide angle distortion, barrel distortion, vignetting, purple fringing, pin cushion, improving dynamic range, picture noise, sharpening, etc.

GIMP at least gives you a taste and it costs a grand total of NOTHING.
GIMP! :thumbup:

Great program, except there's not really any support for Photoshop plug-ins. Elements and Paint Shop Pro all support those.

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