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01-05-2014, 01:23 PM   #1
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Do I need more software? If so which?

Hi folks

I've been shooting with my K30 for about a year now. Had lots of fun, expeciallly after adding a fast 50mm to the kit lens.

I have been finishing off jpegs on my iMac using the controls on iPhoto. Its easy to straighten, re-touch and adjust various parameters. Very user-friendly and does greatly improve many shots.

I am now looking to shoot more in RAW.

I am not sure if my bundled iPhoto software is up to that. Any thoughts?

Photoshop Elements 11 is currently less than 50 on Amazon here in the UK, so I'm thinking about that.

Be useful to know what that might do for me, beyond what my Mac already delivers?

And any thoughts on the alternatives such as Aperture?

Many thanks.

01-05-2014, 01:29 PM   #2
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I've also had my K-30 for about a year and also just recently started shooting in RAW format! For me, personally, I don't think I really have a use for JPEG anymore. The possibilities to really take control of your image with post-processing is just beyond what I ever thought possible. I have PSE 11, as well and it does have a limited version of "Adobe Camera RAW" (ACR), which does basic RAW editing. I guess Adobe Lightroom has a full version of ACR, but others will have to weigh in on that.

I used to have a Mac and did use iPhoto to do basic image editing. You will find a whole new world once you get PSE or Lightroom on your RAW images. You're gonna like it!

Last I looked, you could download a trial version from Adobe's website.
01-05-2014, 01:32 PM   #3
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If you look in the longer previous threads in this section. it has all been covered with no conclusive answer :-)
01-05-2014, 01:39 PM   #4
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Thanks.

I suppose what it boils down to is I need RAW editing capability. I would kinda like to be able to output as Jpegs though. Reading a review of Elements that says it won't do that. Is that true?

01-05-2014, 01:41 PM - 1 Like   #5
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Aperture, Gimp, FastStone, Corel AfterShot Pro, DxO Optics Pro, Lightroom, Silkypix, RawTherapee, (and possibly Google's Piacasa).. This is a quick list of the raw editors I see mentioned most often on these forums. Underlined are the ones I find to be most popular, but I havent tried them all. Right now Im sticking with Lightroom because its pretty comfortable to use in terms of cataloging and such. Some users say Silkypix is the best for Pentax cameras, but I found it difficult to use. DxO has some great lens profiles, apparently. FastStone and Gimp and RawTherapee are free, I think. Many of these also allow a free trial version.

Raw editor software will open your raw files, interpret them, and allow you to edit them in many different ways (including colours, noise reduction, white balance, sharpening, etc.). Most of them edit raw files non-destructively, so the raw data remains untouched and you can always "reset." They should also all allow you to export the photo as jpeg (and choose its size and compression, even add a watermark. Most also allow you to export to other formats like png, pdf, tiff). If you start shooting raw, you will keep the raw files and will only export a jpeg when you want to use it. For example, you will export a jpeg of 300x200 and put it on facebook, then delete it from your computer since you no longer need it there. You have the raw. The raw data is the raw film, the jpeg is a printed out little photo. Since you will now keep the raw film, you can print out as many little jpegs as you want.
The advantages of raw is that they contain a lot more data and editing does not degrade them. Every time you edit and save a jpeg, you introduce new artefacts and inflate its file size. With raw, the software only exports a jpeg when you are done with all the modifications, so it will look much cleaner.

Last edited by Na Horuk; 01-05-2014 at 01:48 PM.
01-05-2014, 01:46 PM   #6
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Lightroom

When I started post processing I briefly thought of Photoshop but soon found it far too complex for me. I then tried elements, which was easier than Photoshop but lacked a good organizer and was still difficult. Finally, I started using lightroom, which is found truly aimed for use by advanced amateur photographers like me. It will still take some time to learn, but it is a program designed for photographers. It won't do everything Photoshop does--masking for instance--but it will probably serve your needs best.
01-05-2014, 02:26 PM   #7
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Lightroom is fantastic. It can do about 90% of the things you would want it to do (depending on what you shoot, of course), and it's relatively cheap. It regularly goes on sale for under $100.

There is also specialty software out there to do specific things that Lightroom can't do. I use Microsoft ICE for stitching together panoramas. It's free and it works great.

Microsoft Research Image Composite Editor (ICE)
01-05-2014, 02:35 PM   #8
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Lightroom would be the way to go I'd say. It's the best value and gives you a lot of raw development tools.


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01-05-2014, 02:45 PM   #9
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I would recommend Lightroom too.
01-05-2014, 02:49 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Doublegone Dod Quote
Be useful to know what that might do for me, beyond what my Mac already delivers?
Well you have two paths to choose from. The functional approach is similar to what you are doing now. You process the image and then you are on your own for managing its cataloging and storage and organization. Elements would fit in fine here.

The other way involves the whole process of processing and then managing your digital workflow. This includes catalog organization, dealing with metadata, and backing up your images in a programmed approach. Lightroom and Aperture are both modern tools that work this way. Usually the workflow management approach benefits folks who generate a fair number of images--many hundreds per month at a minimum--and want to store them according to flexible criteria. It takes a while to "get it" but the tools are satisfying to most, as you can see from the above responses.

Lightroom allows a free 30-day trial; Aperture used to, don't know if Apple still does. Both are really good products worthy of being compared in trials.

If you don't want a big workflow approach, there are some really cool and cheap Mac processing programs like Pixelmator and Acorn that are easier than Photoshop Elements and do about the same stuff. You can also configure Lightroom to work with these if you need to apply more detailed processing to your images (and you will with time; Lightroom handles about 92% of all post-processing capabilities, so it's good to have the rest covered with other tools).

Hope this helps.

M
01-05-2014, 02:50 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Doublegone Dod Quote
Thanks.

I suppose what it boils down to is I need RAW editing capability. I would kinda like to be able to output as Jpegs though. Reading a review of Elements that says it won't do that. Is that true?
After you make your raw adjustments you transfer the file to Elements as a jpg where you can do any of the normal stuff including save. Elements 9 and I can't believe they removed the function from later versions.

Here is the Ricoh monster that I just did from RAW.
Attached Images
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PENTAX K-30  Photo 
01-05-2014, 02:51 PM   #12
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lightroom works.
01-05-2014, 02:55 PM - 1 Like   #13
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Raw Photo Processor (RPP)
A bit of a learning curve, but it's powerful and possible to get excellent results.
And, it's free.

Here's a tutorial:
http://pavelkosenko.wordpress.com/2012/05/24/rpp-for-begginers/

Last edited by johnyates; 01-05-2014 at 03:04 PM. Reason: added link
01-05-2014, 03:58 PM   #14
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For a new hobbyist like me, Lightroom with the Google/Nik plugins works really well, with Micro$oft ICE for panoramas and Photomatix for HDR. All low priced or free, too.
01-05-2014, 04:41 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Doublegone Dod Quote
... I would kinda like to be able to output as Jpegs though. Reading a review of Elements that says it won't do that. Is that true?
That is completely untrue. The standard "Save" in PSE is to *.PSD for a complete save which includes layers. You can always "Save As" instead and use the drop-down box to set it to save as .JPG. PSE will do the conversion automatically to whatever quality JPG you want.

I know that most here have followed the Lightroom sheep but I disliked it. PSE + the NIK plug-in suite and Faststone Viewer do everything I want to do.
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