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02-20-2013, 09:51 PM   #1
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Any highly recommended photo editing software?

Hi all. Can anyone recommend a photo editing software package? I read a lot of good things about Lightroom, and I'm OK with its price range (~$120).

I'm a newbie with a new K-5 IIs and a Windows 7 PC.



02-20-2013, 10:35 PM   #2
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Browse many of the similar threads in this section. This gets asked about every 2 weeks :-)
02-20-2013, 10:48 PM   #3
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Highly recommended, I guess Photoshop but at over $600.00, not really practical for most of us.

The most commonly recommended software is undoubtedly Lightroom 4. Once you get past the learning curve, it is pretty powerful.

I stumble along with Photoshop Elements (cheap) and FastStone (free.)
02-20-2013, 11:15 PM - 1 Like   #4
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I have Lightroom 4... love it.

02-20-2013, 11:31 PM   #5
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Depends entirely on what you mean by editing. How many images are you working with? How much editing do you do? And what kind? Do you use a lot of layers, do a lot of composites? Or just fix exposure and cropping? Do you need keywording and DAM software?

Lightroom is DAM software that does most editing photographers need, Photoshop is editing software that has limited DAM abilities. Are you concerned about archiving and finding images years from now? If so Lightroom is the better choice. If you are a graphic artist and need the power then Photoshop is better.
02-21-2013, 12:36 AM   #6
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Lightroom + photoshop for me aswell, you can get photshop CS2 for free now at adobe. With that setup you can use the latest RAW converter from Adobe and have support for the latest camera but also have powerful editing program for when you need it.

Capture one and DXO are also worth looking at.
02-21-2013, 12:57 AM   #7
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Darktable - love it. But you will need to dual boot Linux (or switch to it entirely). (You can run it in a VirtualBox but it won't be fast unless you have heaps of RAM.)
02-21-2013, 02:42 AM   #8

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I use lightroom and paintshop pro. And it depends what you are going to do with it.
Lightroom is fantastic for the basic editing of photo's which you would also do in the darkroom. Paintshop pro (and phtotshop) for more complex editing. adding back-grounds, layers, masks etc.( and it has a HDR module build in) And also only cost around $100.

02-21-2013, 03:38 AM   #9
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GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed program for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. It has many capabilities. It can be used as a simple paint program, an expert quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system, a mass production image renderer, an image format converter. Loving it
02-21-2013, 07:16 AM   #10
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If you're interested in trying gimp, check out Partha's latest build here... It includes a lot of gimp scripts and plugins (my fave being g'mic) and most notably in this 2.8.4 release from Partha, includes a port of v.19 of ufraw... (ufraw was broken with 64-bit Windows for a while but it's back with this...) So if you drag a raw file into gimp, it will open in ufraw first for 16-bit adjustments and then export into gimp for 8-bit edits from there.. (Just also note that there is a known bug where if you resize the ufraw window after opening the file, it will crash, so just maximize the window and leave it alone after that).. If you have a beefy system and want/need to do 16-bit editing, I also recommend Partha's 2.9 build of gimp. (Use the portable compile so it's self contained..) 2.9 allows you to edit straight in 16-bit using gimp..

Also... if you're into working in LAB, Delaboratory is available on Partha's site, and it's awesome too... 16-bit editor and exports into gimp

Rawtherapee is great and free too, and from what I saw with darktable from the link above, is very similar... I use it quite a bit and it exports to gimp too..
02-21-2013, 08:17 AM   #11
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Lightroom 4 is amazing. And there are lots of free presets available for download if you are into that kind of thing. Sometimes presets are great to get you a certain look you like and then you can tweak them just the way you want.

There are lots of great plug-ins for Lightroom as well. Nik Silver Efex and Color Efex are amazing tools that work in conjunction with Lightroom and Aperture. Unfortunately, Nik was just bought by Google and I'm not sure what the future of the software is. However, you can still buy it through their website. I love what Color Efex can do.
02-21-2013, 06:16 PM - 2 Likes   #12
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If you decide to buy LR4 then check out " " for $77-Full Version. They will e-mail your Adobe Lic key. Download Adobe LR4 trial and then put in your Adobe lic key when you get it from DealerDealsDirect.

Last edited by jcp5; 02-21-2013 at 06:39 PM.
02-21-2013, 08:00 PM   #13
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Great tips. Thanks all!
02-21-2013, 08:16 PM   #14
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I would go with lightroom 4 to start then if you need to power move up to photoshop. Adobe has some of the best programs out there and you can get great plugins for them.
02-22-2013, 04:44 AM   #15
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I highly recommend DxO Optics Pro, especially if your equipment includes any of their lens modules. Optics Pro satisfies 99% of my editing requirements. I'm not a big fan of their white balance settings, though, so I usually finish off any color correcting needs in PSE. I also use PSE if I need to do anything with layers, such as any masking or my method of b&w conversion.

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