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01-15-2016, 07:37 PM   #1
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Alternative to Photoshop and Lightroom ?

I realize that Photoshop and Lightroom are becoming the industry standards for post processing of digital photos. However, I do not like the direction Adobe is moving toward cloud based software, and renting the programs monthly. I am not currently committed to any software package. I would appreciate your advice about alternatives that will run on a regular desktop windows 10 based PC. I am okay with not having the latest and greatest gismo for image modification. I am looking for a capable program that has all the basics, and I can learn to use at my own pace, which is quite intermittent and slow. I have a budget of $200 or less.
I don't like spending lots of time on the computer. I much prefer taking pictures with my K-3 and attempting to get things right the first time.

Thanks for you help.

Pentax Bob

01-15-2016, 08:11 PM   #2
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What exactly are you trying to do? Photoshop is an image editing program. Lightroom (despite having a lot of editing options) is primarily an image managing program.

For editing, you have lots and lots of options, GIMP being one. I'm sure others will add their favorites.

For image management you have not so many choices. Capture One Pro and Aftershot Pro. There is also Darktable but that is Linux and Mac only I think.

Before you jump into anything I would suggest you think about what you really need to do, maybe a free program like GIMP or Faststone is all you need.
01-15-2016, 08:13 PM   #3
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You can replace Photoshop with Gimp, and lightroom with RawTherapee, both are free so you can try them and see if they cover your needs.
01-15-2016, 08:48 PM   #4
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Bob, it really depends on your needs. My preferred raw converter is Capture one, but it cannot do all the things photo shop can do. It is a far better raw converter than LR or ACR, and can take most of my images as far as they need to go, but for things like digital blending and luminosity masking I still need the facility of PS. Of course, being the industry default, there are also countless apps and plugins that work as adjuncts to PS and LR, but are not available for other platforms. I totally dislike the LR catalogue system.

On1 have a couple of nice products, the file browser in their photo10 app is blazingly fast once the files have been rendered. ACDsee is a pretty good all round product which includes a nice raw converter, and a different approach to editing. DXO have a very good raw converter and a couple of unique features including arguably the best raw file noise reduction available.

I have tried gimp, and it is worth more than you pay for it, but I didn't like it ( cant recall exactly why now, it was a few years ago.)

I think all of these with the exception of PS can be had for under $200. I would recommend you download them one at a time and use the free 30 day trial period to see which suits you best.

Good luck

01-15-2016, 08:55 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by wizofoz Quote
I think all of these with the exception of PS can be had for under $200. I would recommend you download them one at a time and use the free 30 day trial period to see which suits you best.
Not Capture One...
01-15-2016, 09:04 PM   #6
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capture one is nice, but so pricey. I keep saying I will make the switch, but at $300, it is a big jump

adobe has said they will continue to make a stand alone version of lightroom, they do have it availabe on the website

I havent researched enough but I have seen digikam for mac and linux and aftershot pro, lightzone is free and has some neat features
01-15-2016, 10:17 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
Not Capture One...
Correct, I forgot, I keep buying updates which cost me less.The whole package is more... apologies for the misinformation
01-15-2016, 10:21 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentax Bob Quote
I would appreciate your advice about alternatives that will run on a regular desktop windows 10 based PC.

I'm currently using a PaintShop Pro X7 Ultimate. The PSP versions routinely get pretty good results in pro reviews, though the consumer group has both likes and dislikes (like all the programs, it seems) for the product. I've been relatively happy with it, and it was cheap when I bought it last, about $50 or so. Can be used for light to heavy photo editing and has some file managing tools. Lots of tutorials, etc. A free 30-day trial can be downloaded from Corel. You may Google on "best photo editing software 2015" to get some other choices. Hope this helps - good luck with your search.

Extra edit: I'm on a relatively new Lenovo laptop running Windows 8.1. I keep getting ticklers to upgrade to Windows 10, but I've not done so. I presume that if I upgrade, it will not adversely affect my PSP program, but one never knows.

Last edited by GlennG; 01-15-2016 at 10:26 PM. Reason: More info
01-16-2016, 02:52 AM   #9
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I received a free copy of Silkypix with my K30. While it isn't as user friendly as Lightroom it is very capable of producing nice results from RAW files. Sometimes I actually find it easier to get the colour rendering I want in SIlkypix. I think they are up to version 6 now.

Gimp is well worth getting to know as a Photoshop replacement, and it's free.
01-16-2016, 05:33 AM   #10
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Take a look at Gimphoto. Free.
Features ~ Gimphoto - Free Photoshop Alternative Download Photo Editor
01-16-2016, 06:27 AM   #11
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It depends on your OS (Linux user here).

darktable is a serious contender for Lightroom. You will need Linux.
You could use darktable in a virtual machine, but I would not recommend it.

digiKam would be another possibility. There is even a Windows version.

Re Gimphoto:
I never used it, but as it is based on the relatively old GIMP 2.4.3, I would not try.
There were a bunch of new features introduced with GIMP 2.8 (increased color depth to name one important feature) and I would recommend to use the newer revisions.
New features on the website were last added in spring 2015, last comments late summer last year - is this still alive?
01-16-2016, 06:54 AM   #12
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I know others will not agree with this but your camera came with a capable software, Digital Camera Utility 5, that's free and calibrated for processing your cameras raw or jpeg files. So if you don't want to spend a lot of time on your photo processing it has a lot of automated features designed to match Pentax camera output for quick processing.
01-16-2016, 07:01 AM   #13
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I had been working with RawTherapee for about two years until i changed to Adobe Lightroom.
I can recommend it. It may not be as intuitiv as Lightroom, but it is a decent, capable, stable and open source (free) Programm.

RawTherapee Blog
01-16-2016, 07:39 AM   #14
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I have ben using ACDSee Pro since many years, currently running the ACDSee Ultimate 9 version.
Similar like Lightroom it is combining an excellent RAW converter with all the editing options I need (though not at a Photoshop level).
Before buying ACDSee Pro years ago I did a number of comparisons with different RAW converters and I liked the ACDSee Pro results best
It is also an excellent image managing. And it is within your budget.
There is a trial version availble for free to test it out, I believe.
01-16-2016, 07:52 AM   #15
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I use Corel Aftershot 2 pro for the raw files, and Paint shop pro for .jpgs and multilayer stuff. The latest version of 'paint shop pro x8 ultimate 'addition comes with Aftershot for $80.

Both After Shot and Paint Shop have a good photo management system.

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