Editing software questions


TPF Noob!
Nov 29, 2011
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I know that cs5 is probably the best and most used editing software, but it is also quite expensive.

Does anyone have any experience w/ Aperture 3?
From what I understand it is basically a cataloguing program w/ some better than basic editing functions. If I am correct, would it be wrong to assume that it would serve pretty much the same function as Lightroom 3?

I am leaving for a dive trip on the 20 Jan 12 and would like to have a program for doing lite editing on some of my photos while down there.
Aperture 3 is only $79 through the app store where as Lightroom 3 is $299. Obviously Lightroom will work more smoothly w/ cs5, but is the difference worth the $229?

I have done the 30 day trial w/ Lightroom 3, but honestly didn't use it enough to get a very good feel for it.

There is one other way to go, and that would be to get the trial of cs5 and then buy the full version of it at a later date. But if I was to go this route is bridge a good enough cataloguing program or would Aperture or Lightroom still be advised?

Thanks in advance for your advice!
As far as I'm aware, Aperture is doing it's best to be similar to Lightroom...but Lightroom is a much better program.

Lightroom isn't really designed as an 'image editor'. It's more of a workflow software, but it can do most of the things that a typical photographer would want. And yes, it can be great for organizing and cataloging your files, but there are many free programs that can do that.

If you want an image editing program, I'd suggest Photoshop Elements. It's sort of 'Photoshop Lite'...and it has a much lower price.
You can also use Gimp for free or DxO Optics Pro for $99. I used to recommend Bibble as well but with Adobe buying them out I don't do that any longer.
If Aperture and Lightroom are essentially the same thing, with Lightroom being superior, would it not be a decent idea for me to use Aperture as a cataloguing/workflow program and then use an editing program for more in depth edits? If I'm not understanding something, please feel free to correct me.

I will check out GIMP, I have heard it mentioned here a few times.

I'm looking for something right now that will allow me to quickly download and organise my images, and make quick corrections. Something easy to learn would be ideal.

Thanks again for your time and advice.
I have both and I have used both and I am very comfortable with LR. I don't use CS5 very often and it took me a while to buy it. I bought LR with the future plan to purchase CS5. The two are so well integrated.
if you happen to be a student, of any sort, you can get CS5 and LR3 for a fraction of the price. I think i paid 300 total for both programs. and all i did was sign up to a school and give them my student id...
I did use the 30day trail of LR and did find it fairly easy to navigate and to use. Just not sure if I'm ready to dedicate the $$ to buying it, haha.

Unfortunately I'm not a student, but I do know someone that is though.....
From your profile -
Canon EOS D60

FWIW. Nikon made a D60. Canon makes the 60D.

IMO, Photoshop CS5 is every bit as worthwhile, cost wise, as a tool for finishing and managing your photographs, as your 60D is as the photo capture device.

In that light, Adobe Photoshop CS5 ($700) is less expensive than your 60D ($1000).

Note that Adobe Photoshop CS5 (Photoshop 12) includes Bridge 4, an image browser and management tool, and Adobe Camera Raw 6 (ACR 6), the best parametric Raw converter on the planet. In fact the first version of Lightroom inherited ACR 4 from CS3.

GIMP can only do 8-bit depth edits, and does not include an image mangement tool, nor a Raw converter. Frankly, you get what you pay for. There are free Raw converters available.

Adobe Photoshop Elements 10, the de-featured consumer version of CS5, is also pretty much limited to 8-bit depth edits and costs about $75. Elements 10 includes an image organizer ,and a de-featured version of ACR 6.
From your profile -
Canon EOS D60

FWIW. Nikon made a D60. Canon makes the 60D.

Thanks for finding that, lol. That's what you get for trying to type faster than you brain goes. I fixed that in my profile now.

I was sure that buying CS5 would be the way to go. I just keep hearing all this talk of LR and image management, seems like Bridge 4 will suit my needs just fine in that regard. I know there are a ton of tutorials on CS5 so I imagine that learning shouldn't be all that painful. I do like the idea of being able to do the highest possible RAW image processing.

Thanks again for the advice!
If your focus is editing images and not doing any sort of graphic work, Lightroom it what I suggest. There is a lot of control you will have, but of course, not to the extent of any CS version of Photoshop.
LR is almost 1/2 the price of CS5. I'd hate to buy LR and wish I had the extra power of CS5.
Canuk, if you have the $$$ and you have the time and a natural advanced learning curve, then CS is a good choice because if you were to stick with photography and it becomes a passion, then sure, you will be glad you have it. If not, then CS is like having a fighter jet just to go on a sightseeing airplane ride.

If photography is a pick up, put down hobby, then CS is not necessary to just edit a few photos.
I sure hope its not a pick up/put down hobby or I'm in trouble, haha.

Photography truly is a passion, an addicting one at that. To think it all started so innocently w/ that one boxing day sale just over a year ago.......
I have both LR3 and CS5 and I can say that for 90% of my photos, they never go to CS5. However, for certain things, CS is indispensable. So... my suggestion would be both. I use LR to organize, catalog and it also makes it really easy to publish your photos to various websites, as well as getting them ready to be sent to a lab to print. It integrates with facebook, flickr, smugmug, etc. etc. all so easily. I don't have any experience with Aperture, so I can't tell you how the two might relate.

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