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07-09-2010, 06:04 PM   #1
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LR3 or Elements with Topaz?

Which would you recommend and why?

07-09-2010, 06:21 PM   #2
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Do you often need the use of noise reduction? (super results in LR3)
Do you need to organize lots of photos? (better workflow in LR3 for me than what I've seen in Elements)

Both of these are better in LightRoom3 than with Elements, IMHO.

If you're merely looking to do light edits on your images, Elements if likely sufficient for a lot less $$$.
07-09-2010, 08:50 PM   #3
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Noone can answer this exactly because we don't know what you are trying to do with this software, e.g. start a wedding photography business, process 3 photographs a month, etc. photograph in night clubs, you are just starting out, etc.

I have to admit that i started with Paintshop Pro, hated it, and switched to Lightroom Version 1, and loved it. Seemed very intuitive to me without the forest of menus and submenus i found in PSP. LR made pp fun for me. To get around some of the shortcomings of LR, i later bought Elements on sale. Actually, i'm not sure that anyone should start out with LR unless you're pretty serious about photography; if unsure how far you want to purse photography, elements makes more sense.

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07-10-2010, 07:38 AM   #4
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How about LR3 with Topaz?

You can d/l Topaz Fusion Express which allows access to all of the Topaz plugins with LR2/3.

07-10-2010, 10:54 AM   #5
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I personally prefer Lightroom's workflow. I can jump around from image to image without having to make any decisions on the retouching/editing until I'm ready too, and all the changes are there for me to jump back to without actually saving anything. Ideal for the schizo/ADD photographer.
07-11-2010, 02:35 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by amoringello Quote
Do you often need the use of noise reduction? (super results in LR3)

If you're merely looking to do light edits on your images, Elements if likely sufficient for a lot less $$$.
Noise reduction is what I'm really after and Topaz Denoise 4 is supposed to be the best of the best by a wide margin. I was under the impression that it only worked as an Adobe plug in, but I just found out it will work with what I currently have. Apart from being able to adjust the exposure and noise reduction, I'm not sure if there is anything else I'd want to do as far as image processing goes. Having said that, I am new to post processing and I'm only now starting to shoot in RAW.
07-14-2010, 02:56 PM   #7
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If you want to do as much editing as possible within your raw converter, then I think that LR3 is a good way to go, because it is so rich with features. On the other hand, I believe that you can do much more in PS with a few well chosen plug-ins. My favorites are in the Nik Suite, especially, Viveza 2, but I suppose that Topaz will serve the same purpose. Personally, I am not obsessed with raw editing. I just want to get the best conversion possible and then perfect the image in PS. I see it as taking image editing to a higher level than can be accomplished with any raw converter, even those with lots of neat features.

Rob
07-16-2010, 10:36 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by robgo2 Quote
If you want to do as much editing as possible within your raw converter, then I think that LR3 is a good way to go, because it is so rich with features. On the other hand, I believe that you can do much more in PS with a few well chosen plug-ins. My favorites are in the Nik Suite, especially, Viveza 2, but I suppose that Topaz will serve the same purpose. Personally, I am not obsessed with raw editing. I just want to get the best conversion possible and then perfect the image in PS. I see it as taking image editing to a higher level than can be accomplished with any raw converter, even those with lots of neat features.

Rob
The common misconceptions is that Lightroom has editing features that Elements lacks. Except for the new noise reduction feature in Lightroom, that's just not so. (that will change with the next release of Elements which will get the upgraded ACR engine) Lightroom puts a nice face on Adobe Camera Raw. That's the source of Lightroom's editor. If you set Elements to open images in ACR, then the same features are available. They will be in different places in the editor than they are in Lightroom, but they're still there.

That all applies to individual images. If you use Lightroom's excellent image database features and its automation, then Lightroom is worth it. If you only edit individual photos and don't get around to keywording all your images, applying star ratings or presets, then Lightroom won't give you any advantage over Elements. And it lacks the layer based editing that you can do in Elements. Most of the plugins for Lightroom also have a Photoshop version that will probably work in Elements.

07-16-2010, 10:45 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by JHD Quote
Noise reduction is what I'm really after and Topaz Denoise 4 is supposed to be the best of the best by a wide margin. I was under the impression that it only worked as an Adobe plug in, but I just found out it will work with what I currently have. Apart from being able to adjust the exposure and noise reduction, I'm not sure if there is anything else I'd want to do as far as image processing goes. Having said that, I am new to post processing and I'm only now starting to shoot in RAW.
Topaz adjust does an excellent job with noise reduction. So do other programs like NeatImage and Noise Ninja. They all offer free trials so you can see which one you like best. The biggest advantage in using Lightroom or (Adobe Camera Raw (ACR 6) in Photoshop CS5 - same tool) is speed. The external plugins or separate programs are much, much slower than the Adobe Camera Raw noise tools. They do provide a small degree of extra oomph that ACR/Lightroom doesn't have.

I don't use Lightroom for all my projects yet, but I do use CS5, which includes the latest ACR. (Same same engine as Lightroom) I find that the noise tools are so well integrated into the ACR conversion that I can work with noise and initial sharpening instantly.
07-18-2010, 05:28 PM   #10
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Well I've tried the latest version of Topaz Denoise with an old version of Elements (2.0) and I'm very... very impressed. The NR and retention to detail is second to none.
07-19-2010, 03:40 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by mysticcowboy Quote
Topaz adjust does an excellent job with noise reduction. So do other programs like NeatImage and Noise Ninja. They all offer free trials so you can see which one you like best. The biggest advantage in using Lightroom or (Adobe Camera Raw (ACR 6) in Photoshop CS5 - same tool) is speed. The external plugins or separate programs are much, much slower than the Adobe Camera Raw noise tools. They do provide a small degree of extra oomph that ACR/Lightroom doesn't have.

I don't use Lightroom for all my projects yet, but I do use CS5, which includes the latest ACR. (Same same engine as Lightroom) I find that the noise tools are so well integrated into the ACR conversion that I can work with noise and initial sharpening instantly.
Everything that I have read and seen with my own eyes leads me to believe that Topaz Denoise 4 is the current leader of the NR pack. Its only drawback is slow operating speed. If you only occasionally need it for a noisy image, speed is not much of an issue. If you frequently need it for noisy images, you had best invest in a D700.

Rob
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