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03-09-2015, 08:35 AM   #1
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Is there a SIMPLE RAW processing program?

I'm a lifetime photographer of over 60 years, but apparently have always been lazy. Never wanted to do my own developing and never had much interest in RAW processing,.....until now.

I really, really like my Pentax K50 and K3. They are the most fun cameras I've ever used. If the video was decent, I'd sell everything else I own. But, to the point, based on recommendations of forum members, I began shooting RAW when I found that was the only way I could get a really good sunrise shot. I got great results processing in camera and good results with Faststone, not only on sunrises but almost everything. . Faststone, however, won't allow changing AWB, at least as far as I can tell.

I'd like to find another RAW processor. It certainly doesn't have to be free, but it has to be fast and allow batch processing. Anything complicated will not hold my interest very long. Suggestions?

Thanks for the helpful input that I know I'll get.

Jack

03-09-2015, 08:40 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Lightroom is probably the most user-friendly, and more so because it is the most popular by far so it is easy to find tutorials, answers, books, etc about it. But first, you might want to just play around with the Pentax-provided software that came with your camera...
03-09-2015, 08:44 AM - 1 Like   #3
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What are you using for archiving and cataloging? I would say Lightroom would be the best choice but if you only need RAW processing and not all the other functions there might be other options.

Lightroom is a full workflow program, not just RAW processing. But it is arguably one of the best at RAW processing and simple to use. Although, there is a lot under the hood that you can keep learning if you want.

I'm close to 50,000 images cataloged in LR at this point and really have no idea how I would work without it.
03-09-2015, 08:56 AM - 1 Like   #4
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If you want to do them individually Photoshop is best, if you want to batch process then Lightroom.

03-09-2015, 08:59 AM   #5
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The utility that came with the camera? If you can get good results with the in camera processing of RAWs, I assume that you can get good result with that as well. I don't know which one comes with your cameras, the K5 came with PDCU4 which actually feels quite similar to the in-camera options.

Note: I only played once with the in-camera processing.
03-09-2015, 09:01 AM   #6
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I think Lightroom is the simplest RAW developer. It has a lot of capabilities, although, of course, you don't have to use them if you don't want to.
03-09-2015, 09:03 AM   #7
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1+ for Adobe Lightroom. It uses Adobe Camera Raw and the cost is quite reasonable considering the feature set. There are other options, of course, and each has its quirks. There are a number of Open Source (free) products out there, most (all?) of which use a DCRaw (or an extension of such) as the RAW converter. DCRaw may be used as a standalone from the command line and generally should be compiled from source, though pre-compiled executables are available. The Unix manpage may be viewed HERE. That would be about as simple as gets though you will still require some other program for curve/color manipulation.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 03-09-2015 at 09:11 AM.
03-09-2015, 09:04 AM   #8
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Microsoft Photo Gallery with a codec or Photoscape. They don't offer raw editing though, just conversion.

03-09-2015, 09:34 AM   #9
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I use Photo Ninja as my main RAW developer. The package doesn't include many features for workflow management or cataloguing, nor is it a general-purpose post processer. But it develops RAW files very well and its presets help to speed up the work. It includes batch processing. The interface is relatively simple and easy to work with. It allows easy and effective white balance adjustment.

Personally, I prefer it to several other programs I have tried or have used, including Raw Therapee, Lightroom, and the Pentax Digital Camera Utility (PDCU).

Website: PictureCode home page: Photo Ninja

Hope this helps, and gives you another option to consider.

- Craig
03-09-2015, 09:37 AM   #10
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Here is the thing. There are some standalone programs, like RawTherapee, where you just open the raw file, adjust it, and then export to jpeg. Then there are programs that work as a catalog, which you can search, and you can develop individual photos, or a whole series, and so on. These might sound complicated, but they are actually a quite good solution once you get the hang of it.
FastStone is a free raw developer that a lot of people like. Lightroom is not free, but it is quite good and relatively simple. I found SilkyPix to be really good, but quite complicated (the whole process was too slow for me). You can use RawTherapee and Photoshop if you want to do individual photos or batch processing, without catalog.

And one more thing. Raw files don't look as good as jpegs until you process them. These days, I often switch to jpeg if I know that I won't have the time/motivation to develop the photos.

Last edited by Na Horuk; 03-09-2015 at 09:44 AM.
03-09-2015, 09:39 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Setter Dog Quote
I'm a lifetime photographer of over 60 years, but apparently have always been lazy. Never wanted to do my own developing and never had much interest in RAW processing,.....until now.

I really, really like my Pentax K50 and K3. They are the most fun cameras I've ever used. If the video was decent, I'd sell everything else I own. But, to the point, based on recommendations of forum members, I began shooting RAW when I found that was the only way I could get a really good sunrise shot. I got great results processing in camera and good results with Faststone, not only on sunrises but almost everything. . Faststone, however, won't allow changing AWB, at least as far as I can tell.

I'd like to find another RAW processor. It certainly doesn't have to be free, but it has to be fast and allow batch processing. Anything complicated will not hold my interest very long. Suggestions?

Thanks for the helpful input that I know I'll get.

Jack
If you didn't like developing or printing from film, I wonder why you would want to step into the Raw side of the digital realm. Raw images almost always require some sort of adjustment. I would think that judiciously applied in-camera adjustments of JPEG captures might suit you better.
However, as has been noted by others, LR does permit batch adjustments. You could apply Auto Tone to every image imported and see if they are satisfactory. That would satisfy your desire for lack of complication. And, since all LR adjustments are non-destructive, if you don't like the results, they are easily removed.
03-09-2015, 09:57 AM   #12
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Phase One's Capture One is easier and more intuitive in some ways than Lightroom, but most people use Lightroom and you will find more free videos on YouTube & elsewhere on using Lightroom. Besides, at $9.99 per month you can get Lightroom and Photoshop...a really good deal. I think it is called, the Creative Cloud Photography Plan.

Some images will look a whole lot better with just basic RAW processing. One you start seeing how to make the images better, using software becomes addicting. Start out the right way with many of the free tutorials floating around to avoid frustration and bad habits.

Last edited by quant2325; 03-09-2015 at 10:02 AM.
03-09-2015, 09:59 AM   #13
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I have to say LR, I have been using it for so many years that it becomes second nature, just as it has been for most who use I am sure.


What is great about it, and as you said simple Raw processing, is to use the camera profiles that you have for your specific camera in LR. You can Google profiles and add into LR and it will give you options on how your pic will look at the touch of the button. You can also, of course, change the profiles yourself and get the exact look that you are going for and you can save it for future processing.
03-09-2015, 10:11 AM   #14
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Photoshop CS2 is apparently now free. And if you simply use the part that process the raw file (Bridge) it is very easy and very powerful. Actually as you use it more and more the program is really excellent and will not limit you.

As a help/guide I suggest Bruce Fraser, "Camera Raw with Adobe Photoshop CS2" (2005)
03-09-2015, 10:32 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
Here is the thing. There are some standalone programs, like RawTherapee, where you just open the raw file, adjust it, and then export to jpeg. Then there are programs that work as a catalog, which you can search, and you can develop individual photos, or a whole series, and so on.
Very good point. It depends on whether you use Lightroom as your full workflow or just need a RAW processor as part of a stand alone workflow. The best workflow (IMHO) with Lightroom is to work completely in RAW and never export to a finished file, until you need to print or send an actual file. I see no reason to clutter up the computer with Tiffs and jpegs of various sizes when you can just export what you need as needed. Lightroom makes it effortless to find any file you want (provided you titled and keyworded properly)

I realize that many use a completely different workflow, and I know some folks that process the RAWs into jpeg and then delete the RAWs. So there are many different ways to do this. Take a good look at what you want to achieve and step back and consider what the best and most efficient workflow is for your particular situation.
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