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03-20-2019, 08:46 AM   #1
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Upgrade editing software, but to what?

Now that I have taken the FF plunge with my K-1 I realized that I haven't upgraded my PP software since 2015

Honestly, I do not find PP'ing enjoyable or intuitive. I've just never utilized Photoshop to its fullest as much of it seems counter-intuitive to me. I use LR a good bit but find it somewhat limiting. In looking at options I see a lot of positive comments on DxO Photolab.

My question is this - is DxO more intuitive than PS and is it powerful enough to help stretch my PP'ing skills without making me give up in frustration?

03-20-2019, 09:26 AM   #2
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Define "intuitive". I believe it means "without reading the manual" :-)

I use Elements v15 (since v6) which has a lot of capability and 3 modes of operating complexity. Much of the details I never get into. I tried making a catalog but abandoned that after about 30K images as tagging took more time than just hunting down an image. I'm not sure why/when/how to use "layers". FastStone has some handy utilities - batch operations and making contact sheets, etc.
03-20-2019, 09:56 AM   #3
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Give darktable a shot, it's free and well featured in my experience. The only major thing it is missing is "context aware" deletion, but it has basic cloning. Oherwise it's had advanced features such as parametric masks for all modules for a long time. About intuition, that depends on what you're used to, but I found the interface easy to learn and efficient in use.
03-20-2019, 10:06 AM   #4
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What do you find limiting in LR?
For me, it works great - designed with a photographers workflow in mind - especially in their later updates.
Maybe give LR another shot?

03-20-2019, 10:17 AM - 1 Like   #5
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I find On1 Photo RAW very good. But obviously not 'intuitive'...you need to learn how to use it, like any software.
03-20-2019, 10:55 AM   #6
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This is a personal preference thing, but something I found a deal breaker with a lot of packages other than LR was a lack of history e.g. in LR, you can go click on any of the points in time of the changes you made, and go back to that specific point in the history, or go forward. Darktable and RawTherapee do this, but not sure ON1 or DxO do, so if there are features like that which are important to you, scope them out as part of your free trial before you buy.
03-20-2019, 10:58 AM - 2 Likes   #7
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I am a bit of a pp software junkie and currently am using Apple Photos, ON1, Affinity, and Luminar. I also still have LR/PS still installed. In the past, I have tried some others such as Darktable and RawTherapee.

No doubt the U.I. and workflow can be driving forces. But coupled with them have to be some other considerations, among them might be how much post-processing you tend to do and how you like your images finished.

For me, I tend to use layers and masks a lot. This means I want these to be very convenient. I have found Luminar to be wonderful in terms of an interface in this regard. Unfortunately, Luminar 3 (the latest version which includes asset management) is still a bit wonky so I continue to work with Luminar 2018.

If you are on a Mac Photos has more capabilities than most people realize, and it can also host everything else as a plug-in. It is dead easy to open an image in Photos, do the basic processing and then move from one editor to another using each for specific editing tasks.

One exercise that might help you with your decision is processing the same photo in a variety of programs – almost all of them are available for a trial period. Use a photo that needs a bit of work (most of mine) and attempt to achieve the same end product using the various programs. This will give you some pretty good clues about what you might like or not like with each program's user interface and workflow.

Having said all of this, please know I am still "messing around" with the programs. But then for me, that's part of the fun.
03-20-2019, 11:07 AM - 1 Like   #8
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Capture One Version12 in combination with Affinity Photo is a very good

03-20-2019, 11:18 AM   #9
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I think AggieDad has a point. There are usually trial versions, pick some and check if they suit your needs.


I've been using DxO for many years and in my opinion it does a fantastic job. It's straightforward to use (at least for me), the noise reduction algorithm is very good, and you can fine tune almost every part of the digital darkroom process. In addition, the default settings are a very good starting point.


As always, your mileage may vary. A digital darkroom program is a very personal choice.
03-20-2019, 11:23 AM   #10
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I really like CaptureOne + Photoshop combo, i want to try Affinity if i could replace PS (in the extent i use Photoshop) to avoid the monthly fee of Adobe
03-20-2019, 11:50 AM - 1 Like   #11
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Switched from LR5 to DxO OpticsPro 11 Elite in 2015 and have never looked back. Have readily upgraded to any new version - currently PhotoLab 2 Elite - because I've always felt the results are worth it, especially if you like clean, crisp, and natural looks. Easy and intuitive to learn and use too, IMHO.
03-20-2019, 01:33 PM   #12
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If you want something easy to use but with the capability to do more, have a look at Photoshop Elements. It can be used in different modes depending on your ability and desires. It is downloadable as a trial version. I would avoid ON1
03-20-2019, 01:42 PM   #13
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PS Elements will only do layer masking on 8 bit files. Not good. So, I would not recommend PS Elements if you use layers a lot.
03-20-2019, 02:14 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
Honestly, I do not find PP'ing enjoyable or intuitive. I've just never utilized Photoshop to its fullest as much of it seems counter-intuitive to me.
Some of us thought the same about printing in a darkroom, but you've got to do the legwork and learn it if you want to edit your images. Any well-featured image editor is a monster these days with a large learning curve. I spent several years learning another immensely capable software package (nothing to do with photography...) for a different, more obscure hobby. Many complain it's as user-friendly as a rabid grizzly and as intuitive as Klingon, but once you really learn it it's a big pussycat. The big photo editors are the same, but there are tons of helpful YouTube videos to help you with them.
03-20-2019, 04:16 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by virusn3t Quote
I really like CaptureOne + Photoshop combo, i want to try Affinity if i could replace PS (in the extent i use Photoshop) to avoid the monthly fee of Adobe
The Capture One <=> Affinity Photo is the route I have taken. I only use Affinity Photo when adding text and doing panoramas. I do wish that Affinity Photo would allow the saving of files as DNG, it has a habit of stripping out Metadata which bums me out. I have a old version of LR (v6.14) and when it does panoramas they are created as DNG files with Metadata. However, the panorama function of Affinity Photo does give you the ability to fix stitching issues that LR just blows over.
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