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01-02-2012, 09:43 AM   #1
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Best Processing Program

Ok, I bought the K-5 and now I want to do some tweeking to my pictures. Now keep in mind, that I am NOT a professional, I am not able to run a complicated program, or spend hours fixing a single picture, I just want to tweek the coloring, brightness, crop a bit maybe turn my picture a little...you get the idea... what do you recommend for a program? I think my priority is ease of use and quality of finished product rather than price.

01-02-2012, 10:02 AM   #2
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Lightroom. It will grow with you.

You can start by just importing your RAW images, apply the lens profile, adjust exposure, fix white balance, add some sharpening, crop/rotate and you are done.

Once you feel the need for more controls, there are there waiting for you.
01-02-2012, 10:32 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by demp10 Quote
Lightroom. It will grow with you.

You can start by just importing your RAW images, apply the lens profile, adjust exposure, fix white balance, add some sharpening, crop/rotate and you are done.

Once you feel the need for more controls, there are there waiting for you.
I agree completely. While there is a learning curve to any software, Lightroom is one that you will be able to pick up quite quickly. It will allow you to shoot in RAW and quickly view and process your shots with minimum hassle. Probably the only downside is that it isn't cheap but there are deals out there. I got it for $99 on a special and I saw it recently at Newegg as one of their Shell Shocker deals for that price. It was $149 just about everywhere over the holidays.
01-02-2012, 10:33 AM   #4
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Easiest is Picasa, and its free. More powerful and free is Paint.net. I use Paint Shop Pro X4 by Corel. It has automatic fix features and also about 95 percent of Photoshop's tools when you're ready for more for a fraction of Photoshop's cost..

01-02-2012, 11:05 AM - 1 Like   #5
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FastStone......easy and fast, but you can do a lot with it, and it will open the PEF raw files without a plugin, also free. If you want to experiment and do more, get Paint.Net, also free, it is the poor man's Photoshop. It has hundreds of plugins you can add.
01-02-2012, 11:13 AM   #6
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If you are on a Mac, consider Aperture beside Lightroom. I cannot decide, and use both, with a slight preference for Aperture, which is better for cataloguing, faster on my MBA, and has a great "definition" adjustment and tone curve adjustment tool. Lightroom, though, has a slightly better RAW processor and noise filtering tool. So I tend to use Lightroom for my Pentax Q shots, Aperture for my K-5 shots.
Good luck.
01-02-2012, 11:45 AM   #7
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I have tried several of the above and found each have their good points. My suggestion would be to start on a free site like Freestone and get that feel of what you are aiming for. And then a little down the track venture into Lightroom for a much more professional approach.

My recommendation, too, is Lightroom above others.
01-02-2012, 12:02 PM   #8
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Picasa!

For what you need, Picasa will be perfect. I have Lightroom on my main PC, but in the field when I download photos, I use Picasa and it can do most adjustments I need quickly. The price is right too!

You can always upgrade to a more comprehensive program as you gain experience and feel the need for more control over your images.

Mike

01-02-2012, 12:12 PM   #9
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I like Photoshop CS5. It's a bit expensive though. GIMP is a nice free one, which you can do a search for it on google and find it pretty easily. I have Lightroom 3, but never used it.
01-02-2012, 12:18 PM   #10
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Perhaps you can benefit form this comparison that was just posted in another thread (and I moved your thread to the post-processing forum since your question isn't K-5 specific).

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/digital-processing-software-printing/1702...ing-tools.html
01-02-2012, 02:50 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Angie Wall Quote
Ok, I bought the K-5 and now I want to do some tweeking to my pictures. Now keep in mind, that I am NOT a professional, I am not able to run a complicated program, or spend hours fixing a single picture, I just want to tweek the coloring, brightness, crop a bit maybe turn my picture a little...you get the idea... what do you recommend for a program? I think my priority is ease of use and quality of finished product rather than price.
Here is my 2 p. : https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/digital-processing-software-printing/1702...ing-tools.html

Buy the way quality and easy of use is not neccessarily more expensive, the free Paint.net and Sagelight (costing mere 40 USD) are much easy to use (to do crop, play with levels and say do sharpening, and support real 48 bit editing).

Adobe is a brand and it is de facto standard and highly valued amongst professional photo processing community.

BTW k-5 is really good camera and it has a lot of processing settings and power available to you in the camera...based on that I do not see any reason not to shoot directly in jpeg and just avoid the hassle with raw thing, unless you like the post processing for the sake of it.

I really doubt a beginner shooting in raw mode and then applying post processing say for noise reduction can beat the integrated k-5 noise reduction hardware

IMHO with your advanced camera and integrated k-5 image processor you can achieve much better results by carefully studying and apllying the jpeg settings, rather than shooting in raw and then trying to fix it afterwards with some software, you save yourself a lot of converting hassle, not to mention if you shoot in raw you double your space needed - the space is important when you do your backups, because inevitable all hardware fails.

As you have said simple post processing is the key here, cropping and some colour/exposure fixes.

Last edited by Wolfie665; 01-03-2012 at 12:30 PM.
01-02-2012, 02:58 PM   #12
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+1 for Lightroom. I use it for about majority of my edits, and photoshop for anything else it can't handle (panoramas, HDR, layered work...). Lightroom also great for photo management.

You can download a free 30 day trial and try it for yourself.
01-02-2012, 08:49 PM   #13
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I just got Lightroom myself. Haven't used it yet as I just ordered it today, but if you are a student/educator or know someone that is it is a drastically reduced price on Amazon. I was able to get it for $88.95 on Amazon with the student discount. It's $300 retail without any kind of discounts, and through January 3rd there is a $100 off rebate.
01-02-2012, 09:29 PM   #14
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Elements is pretty easy and powerful. I've seen it for $49.99.

And this, among many other threads.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/digital-processing-software-printing/1685...-software.html
01-03-2012, 02:09 PM   #15
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Concerning raw, one thing to consider with the freebies like XnView, Irfanview. Picasa & FastStone is that they all use the dcraw raw engine and do default conversions. With a full fledged raw converter like RawTherapee (free - uses dcraw engine), ACR, SilkyPix, PDCU4, you get more control.

Paintshop Pro X4 now allows more control of the dcraw engine (previous versions provided little or no control of the raw conversion process).


Dan
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