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01-02-2020, 02:12 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by gatorguy Quote
LOL... I have all of those except the free Darktable.

I've been looking for awhile and still not found anything as a total replacement for LR. I'm not a heavy shooter, but not just occasional either, processing maybe 300-600 shots a month on average tho lately triple that. On 1 is too often too slow yet it's the only package I've come across that might potentially replace both Lightroom and Photoshop. For whatever reason each year the promised performance just never quite gets there even if the new features seem worthwhile. Still too slow for me but I wish them all the luck in figuring out how to speed things up. I'd love to be able to rely on it for the majority of my PP needs and ditch all the Adobe stuff. One can hope, right? IMHO they should use one update cycle just for addressing the efficiency of their package and making better use of available computer resources. Forget new features, just give me more speed and they'll have a winner IMO.

DxO lacks necessary features and is less adaptable. I really like their lens corrections and basic RAW processing is pretty darn good but it's not going to be an end-to-end workflow package for demanding photographers.

Capture One seems to like Sony and Canon owners and tailors the interface accordingly. They are certainly not Pentax fans. IMO the software is difficult to learn, and if not using daily probably impossible to master. It is NOT casual shooter friendly. Heck even some of my sony A7x friends who got the Sony-specific version tell me they use it for common tasks and adjustments but otherwise they don't truly understand the most efficient workflow or what some of the options and settings mean and how they operate. If you're not a pro or prosumer it's a spendy package that has little benefit over less expensive software.

I think I used both Darktable and RAWTherapee a few years back but obviously wasn't impressed enough to pursue them and have zero comment otherwise.

Luminar 4 is probably the most impressive of the lot considering bang-for-buck, but if you're trying to finish up a couple hundred images in an evening it probably ain't happening.... It can be dog-slow at times too if you use their AI features which is really it's calling card and makes them stand out from other relatively inexpensive software. For those needing a software package a few times a month I'd say it might be the best choice right now and deserves consideration. It's good for those who lack any real photo processing software and not sure how to start along with those who already have something but want to make things easier for certain tasks. For the minimal effort required on your part you can get some impressive results, and I have friends who absolutely love it. As with any PP software just resist the urge to overdo it. Some photos are just great as they came out of your camera and post-processing can ruin them.

Thanks for the reviews gatorguy.

I might give Luminar 4 a try one day.

01-02-2020, 02:52 PM - 1 Like   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Madaboutpix Quote
If you find the sharpness seriously lacking, I frankly doubt that any editing software on this planet will be able to satisfy you sustainably. Have you considered shooting MF with a PhaseOne?
Very nice pictures, and indeed perfectly sharp. I might been not clear, i did not want to say the output jpgs are not good in any way, but the 'appearance' of the image while editing differed depending on the zoom level. This might only be an issue with some screens/resolution combinations, but i could not asses sharpening when viewing the full image. When zooming, suddenly sharpening is applied. As i said, i firdt thought its an issue on my pc, but there are review s and threads around discussing it. Thats way i simply suggest to try programs first. I dont think MF would help here though
01-02-2020, 03:09 PM   #18
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ACDSee is my go too. It's a very powerful program that can do a lot for a good price.
01-02-2020, 03:35 PM - 1 Like   #19
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Wow. What a lot of input - thank you!

QuoteOriginally posted by Pelto Quote
I just found this artikel, maybe you already saw it but here it is : Best Lightroom Alternatives | UPDATED: Jan 2020
Great, thanks Pelto! Very helpful article, I will look into it.

QuoteOriginally posted by gatorguy Quote
DxO Photolab (2)? Yup that as well but it's not really positioned as a LR replacement anyway as it's not as full-featured and cataloging is weak. You'd almost certainly want other software to augment it.

For now I still rely on LR6 (like you no fan of subscription) for my initial RAW processing and cataloging. I use Topaz Studio for some special process looks as well as employing a couple of the Topaz AI plugins for special needs, and DxO for cleaning up noisy images and certain lens distortions.

Luminar 4 is also a very worthy and speedy addition for some particular tasks. Some of the processes are impressive for minimal effort. That's one you might consider, using it alongside LR via their plugin and it is not at all expensive for what it does.
Thanks gatorguy. Looks like your setup is close to my current one, but with the addition of DxO and Luminar. That would be a less scary transition that a complete software switch, I suppose.

QuoteOriginally posted by Madaboutpix Quote
Bottom line: Couldn't be happier, but as with so many things in life and certainly photography, your mileage may vary. Whatever decision you take, make it entirely your own, not one you "have been talked into". Hence the benefit of trial versions.
Very true - and your photos make a strong argument for DxO too. I guess I need to pull myself together and download some free trials.

QuoteOriginally posted by chochichaeschtli Quote
It takes time, but Id say try at least two tools before you buy and make sure important features and results are pleasing. C1 seems to aim for professionals I just felt thats the safest bet to not have to change again soon; and i bit the bullet regarding price.
Yes, I had the same thought: If they aim for a professional user group, they are likely to keep updating and stay around for a while. The link in my original post was one out of a bunch of tutorials, blogs and webinars, so I get the impression that there is good support around as well, but... it requires effort. Well, maybe I just need to make that effort!

Thanks all of you. I certainly got lots of food for thought.

01-02-2020, 03:40 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Roadboat24 Quote
Affinity Photo.....
I definitely recommend it, easy to use, plus not expensive.
01-02-2020, 03:43 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by chochichaeschtli Quote
Very nice pictures, and indeed perfectly sharp. I might been not clear, i did not want to say the output jpgs are not good in any way, but the 'appearance' of the image while editing differed depending on the zoom level. This might only be an issue with some screens/resolution combinations, but i could not asses sharpening when viewing the full image. When zooming, suddenly sharpening is applied. As i said, i firdt thought its an issue on my pc, but there are review s and threads around discussing it. Thats way i simply suggest to try programs first. I dont think MF would help here though

Oh, thanks for your praise and the clarification. I guess I was a little slow, but I think I begin to dig what you are driving at. Actually, you may have a point there. I recall being a little irritated when I made the switch about the "judgability" (is that a word?) of the display image in OpticsPro/PhotoLab in the standard display, and to some extent even in the fullscreen view, the latter being the view I use when culling images and establishing critical sharpness. However, when fully zooming into the fullscreen view, I have never had a problem to tell whether an image is tack-sharp or not. While there is certainly room for improvement with the standard and possibly the fullscreen views they offer, this hasn't been a deal-breaker for me, given the hands-down excellent output quality I've been getting with DxO. To avoid misleading impressions, I would also add that for any edits you apply to the image in OpticsPro/PhotoLab, I have found the display quality more than adequate, with no issue at all.
01-02-2020, 03:43 PM   #22
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Interesting. I moved to a Lightroom/Photoshop Subscription a little while ago after using the standalone versions for several years. I like it although as I am moving into pension phase shortly the $$$ might pose a problem. The things that would bother me about switching are: A new learning curve, loss of the LR Catalog system, and how well do the alternate systems take the previous LR edit information that is carried in the .xmp sidecar files.
01-02-2020, 03:49 PM   #23
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I did some research; to make sure i dont tell too much bs

I tryied dxo version 2, a year ago, so maybe version 3 is optimized.
The feature i criticised is called "lens sharpness" and theres a hint "the effect of this correction can only be previewed at zoom levels higher than 75%". Which was a major issue on my tablet.
Do you know, does this still apply @madaboutpix?
Anyway, most (incl. me) seem to agree dxo is well worth a try, just watch out

Edit @madaboupix: yes, exactly what you describe by "judgability".


Last edited by chochichaeschtli; 01-02-2020 at 03:58 PM.
01-02-2020, 04:01 PM - 4 Likes   #24
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I'm not a pro, in the sense that I don't live from photography, but I attend some events during the year, and in such events I have to process 400+ pics, so I need to import, do basic cataloging or organization, basic editing, final editing, and exporting. I need good results in a week, but I can spend only 2-3 hours a day (maybe more if I decide not to sleep a lot). So I need a software that helps me to get good results spending as few time as possible.

I've been a LR user maybe... 8... 10 years? I never upgraded to LR5 or LR6, LR5 was slow for me, I just tested it to see the better clone/heal feature, but it was too slow. I bought LR6 but had to claim my money back, same problem, slower than my LR4.5 version. Maybe my PC is not up to the task (I have a quad core, not too old), but I didn't want to buy a new PC just to get a couple of extra features.
I tested several editors before finding the LR susbtitute.

On1: I bought the v9 (Perfect Picture Suite). I just used the Browser and the Effects module, also the export/resize feature 'linked' from LR, that crashed a lot of times and was slow, but got better exported pics compared to LR. I also tested ON1 Photo 10 (I have a free version), PhotoRaw 2018 & 2019. I really wanted this software to work for me but It was slow, RAW rendering were subpar, and other basic features were really too primitive for me, for example a good WB picker, histogram or level/curves editor. I know that several Pentax users are happy with this software, but this is just my experience. I use the browser and the effects module, that are free. RAW module doesn't work for me. I need a lot of time to get sub-par results.

DxO. I like the quality I get with this sw, but it's way slower that LR. I didn't tested a lot, I don't remember exactly how many versions I tested, I found few or no cataloging features and difficult/slower to work/edit in batches like LR. Maybe it's just not for me.

Alien exposure
. Currentversion is X5. This is a serious software for me, that have all the features LR has, and more; you get good results with Pentax cameras, it has layer support (superior to CO in my opinion), and it comes with a lot of 'styles' (that gives you film looks, B/W and so...). A good piece of software. Didn't get it finally, still a bit slow, and didn't get used to it, still not to comformable for me, but I keep an eye at it from time to time.

Capture One. I was testing this software from version 9. I finally bought version 12, used it on an event last year and I was really happy with it. CO gives me really good results just after importing a pic, I just add a few touches and I have a decent edition, ready to export and sell. I spent less time importing, organizing, editing and exporting (way faster compared to LR). Yes, it's not really similar to LR and you need time to learn it, but I got better resuls in less time compared to LR, I can't go back now. I still have LR4 for my family catalog (more than 10k pics) but I have now two CO catalogs for events and other 'pro' pics. Important advantages compared to LR (for me):

* RAW rendering: I have K5 and K3-II pics, K5 rendering is not so superior, but K3-II is really better (I use K3-II Huelight profiles in LR, default Adobe rendering for my K3-II in LR is really bad). My feeling is that in CO I have a good result just after importing, usually I just need to touch exposure a bit or touch the shadows and that's all. CO12 have some HDR controls with highlight & shadow recovery that are really great, but CO20 added white and black control and now are superb.
* faster batch operations: I find that importing and exporting are faster compared to LR. Exported files have better quality, also export is super easy with CO, and you can make different exports with the same pic, for example a TIFF exporting + JPEG 1400px side + ... This means that, if you need to work with a high volume of photographs, CO saves you time; at least, it saves me time.
* levels, curves and tone control: CO have a really great level and curves editor. Also it can read LAB values. For me it's very important to know the tones in a pic. For example, 'correct' light side of a face is in the range 65-75 in LAB, similar in %luminosity. With CO you can see visually where are your tones on the histogram, you just move the mouse over your pic and immediately see a line on the graph; also you can see the LAB values. Quickly you can see if shadows, lights, medium tones are correct. It helps me with final print. I know that tones under 5 will be just black on paper or tones above 96 will be pure white. LR have a tone tool that gives you %luminosity and can help you too, but CO is way superior and easier. This is a critical point for me.
* catalog/session/browser: CO can work in catalog mode, so you need to import pics similar to LR. Also you can work in session mode, just to develop a small set of pics from a session or event, but you can just use the browser and forget about importing anything; just put your pics in your disk and just navigate with the CO browser, you can do your editing, and CO creates a folder where editing values are stored. I miss this feature in LR, I have a folder on my disk that I call 'PendingEdit' that have dozens of subfolders with hundreds of pics waiting to import on a LR catalog. What I do now is to use the CO browser and edit my pics. When I have edited a good amount, I move the pics to a special folder called 'selecteds folder' (you can do it with a keystroke) and later I can import such folder on a catalog. Really you have several ways to handle with your pics in CO, with LR you always need to import first before editing.

I use CO with Affinity Photo if I need more sophisticated editing. I export a TIFF file from CO, edit in AfPhoto and export the TIFF with layers from Affinity. This way I can use all the features of Affinity, all the layers and settings are kept, and I can catalog and see final rendering of the TIFF file from CO.

As many other have said, it's difficult to say if a software is better or worse, it can fit your needs better or worse. Also, you need your time to learn how the new software works. At the beggining it was hard for me to use CO trying to emulate LR, they are different products, different ways of doing things. Now that I'm used to work with CO, I don't miss LR.

Regards.
01-02-2020, 04:06 PM - 2 Likes   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by chochichaeschtli Quote
I tryied dxo version 2, a year ago, so maybe version 3 is optimized.
The feature i criticised is called "lens sharpness" and theres a hint "the effect of this correction can only be previewed at zoom levels higher than 75%". Which was a major issue on my tablet.
Do you know, does this still apply @madaboutpix?

Lens sharpness is a pretty unique DxO feature, based on individual camera-lens correction profiles, it seems, to counter weaker border and edge performance of lenses. I find it hard to judge its effect in the standard view, but there is a discernable difference on zooming in. My personal K-3 preset has the following values: General at 1.00, Details and Bokeh both at 0.60. I'm under the impression that, if I try to apply higher values, it tends to hurt the image rather than help it, so I usually go with my preset values. They do make the border and edge performance look nicer than what I used to see from LR though, and I'm glad that DxO offers this feature. All I'm writing here is based on my experience working with the Elite Windows version on a PC coupled with a BenQ SW2700PT image editing monitor.

Last edited by Madaboutpix; 01-02-2020 at 04:16 PM. Reason: Precision
01-02-2020, 05:32 PM - 2 Likes   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by MetteHHH Quote
So, I have been using Lightroom for years, but I stopped updating my version back when they went cloud based.

Recently, people around the forums have been promoting various newer software for RAW editing. I see a lot of you seem to be happy with CaptureOne and DxO Photolab.

Maybe I'm just getting old, but I hate having to rebuild my entire workflow: Right now I use LR for importing RAW files and basic editing, and I add adjustments in Topaz Clarity and Topaz Adjust. My catalogue has more than 100,000 photos.

I read the thread here about the new version of CaptureOne, googled around and found some very reassuring pages about switching from LR to CaptureOne (this one for instance: Photo Editing Tutorials, Tips & Tricks Capture One Blog Blog Archive 11 Killer Tips for Switching from Lightroom to Capture One)

But I REALLY only want to switch once! I know I can download free trial versions, etc, but the more I could qualify my choice before making the effort of getting to know new software the better! So - I turn to you, my trusted external pentaxforumbrain, for advice:

Assuming I gather the courage to switch, which will give me the most of an upgrade in post processing? And will one of them be less painful than the other? (OK, that last one is hard to answer, I know!)
Maybe it's not the right time to switch yet. Every switch comes with pain, loss and a learning curve. All nondestructive edits will be gone and you'll need to archive them as jpeg/tif or re-edit them in the new software. Unless you keep the old catalog alive. So you'll need a strong motivation if you want to be happy with the switch.

Imho best workflow and results is offered by Capture One. I do not share the opinion that it is difficult to use, in contrary, to me it makes more sense than others and I find it much easier to use. But what I have noticed is that LR users tend to not get along well with the Capture One UI. Idk why. I came from Aperture which wasn't too different in it's workflow. So I guess it's how we are used to work over the years.

When I made my decision about which software to go with, i had a list of my top priorities. #1 was a UI that made sense to me so I had less mental friction and could get around easily. #2 was workflow to be efficient to not get annoyed by wasting time or doing extra work. Individual features came after that. Capture one still lacks features that Aperture had, but the results weren't worse because CO had other features instead. Every converter has different features but you'll get to good results with every one of them. There is no crap among those discussed here. They're just doing it differently and you'll need to be open to doing it their way. Expecting other apps to work like the previous one won't work out well.

The challenge is to find the one that is closest to your way of thinking and desired way of working. You have narrowed it down to two already. Try them each for a few days and explore their strengths. Perhaps make little projects with test photos so you don't have the pressure to get perfect results in the same time you are used to. Revisit them after some time and think about the pros and cons.
01-02-2020, 05:38 PM - 1 Like   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by sbh Quote
Maybe it's not the right time to switch yet. Every switch comes with pain, loss and a learning curve. All nondestructive edits will be gone and you'll need to archive them as jpeg/tif or re-edit them in the new software. Unless you keep the old catalog alive. So you'll need a strong motivation if you want to be happy with the switch.

Imho best workflow and results is offered by Capture One. I do not share the opinion that it is difficult to use, in contrary, to me it makes more sense than others and I find it much easier to use. But what I have noticed is that LR users tend to not get along well with the Capture One UI. Idk why. I came from Aperture which wasn't too different in it's workflow. So I guess it's how we are used to work over the years.

When I made my decision about which software to go with, i had a list of my top priorities. #1 was a UI that made sense to me so I had less mental friction and could get around easily. #2 was workflow to be efficient to not get annoyed by wasting time or doing extra work. Individual features came after that. Capture one still lacks features that Aperture had, but the results weren't worse because CO had other features instead. Every converter has different features but you'll get to good results with every one of them. There is no crap among those discussed here. They're just doing it differently and you'll need to be open to doing it their way. Expecting other apps to work like the previous one won't work out well.

The challenge is to find the one that is closest to your way of thinking and desired way of working. You have narrowed it down to two already. Try them each for a few days and explore their strengths. Perhaps make little projects with test photos so you don't have the pressure to get perfect results in the same time you are used to. Revisit them after some time and think about the pros and cons.
Very sage advice. There are no one-size-fits-all processing packages.
01-02-2020, 06:00 PM   #28
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I dropped LR and Photoshop a couple years ago and switched to DXO and Corel Paintshop Pro and I'm very happy with this setup. Yes, DXO has not the extended catalog feature but I was not using it extensive anyway. I use my own structure on windows with QNAP QSYNC to my NAS server. In DXO I use the "Projects" feature to group, catalog images together if needed. The Export feature to Paintshop Pro works well in DXO. The real benefit for me is the lens correcion and Prime Noise Handling in DXO and also the Copy Virtual Image. The Elite version of DXO, you can install it on 3 machines.
01-02-2020, 06:25 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by MetteHHH Quote
Assuming I gather the courage to switch, which will give me the most of an upgrade in post processing? And will one of them be less painful than the other? (OK, that last one is hard to answer, I know!)
The big question might be what features of LR do you regularly use that might be missing or less mature in alternative products? Examples might include:
  • Content management
  • Print integration
  • Integration with raster (pixel) editors (e.g. "Edit In" support for Photoshop, Affinity Photo, PaintShop Pro, etc.)
  • Frequently-used presets
  • Camera/lens profiles
  • Custom color import (ICC) profiles
  • Provision for virtual copies including virtual "soft-proof" copies
  • Support for Adobe-generated DNG (should you use import as DNG, DNG Convertor, or export to DNG for archive)

Also of concern might be smoothness of migration. Example might include:
  • Plug-in support
  • Translation of LR "Develop" module directives from the LR catalog or side-car files into the new tools equivalent. Note that one tool's concept of +1 lightness may not translate directly or accurately.
  • Migration wizards?
  • Easy path to change mind?

Several of the above are what kept me with the Adobe product despite grinding of teeth regarding their business model.


Steve

(FWIW...own Affinity Photo and have zero interest in using it for production RAW processing...great raster editor, however )
01-02-2020, 06:26 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
The big question might be what features of LR do you regularly use that might be missing or less mature in alternative products? Examples might include:
  • Content management
  • Print integration
  • Integration with raster (pixel) editors (e.g. "Edit In" support for Photoshop, Affinity Photo, PaintShop Pro, etc.)
  • Frequently-used presets
  • Camera/lens profiles
  • Custom color import (ICC) profiles
  • Provision for virtual copies including virtual "soft-proof" copies
  • Support for Adobe-generated DNG (should you use import as DNG, DNG Convertor, or export to DNG for archive)

Also of concern might be smoothness of migration. Example might include:
  • Plug-in support
  • Translation of LR "Develop" module directives from the LR catalog or side-car files into the new tools equivalent. Note that one tool's concept of +1 lightness may not translate directly or accurately.
  • Migration wizards?
  • Easy path to change mind?

Several of the above are what kept me with the Adobe product despite grinding of teeth regarding their business model.


Steve
I'm right there with ya.
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