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11-30-2020, 09:04 AM - 1 Like   #1
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Basic Photo Software

I am curious about using an editing software. Just basic really. I don't need or want to get into very complex things ala Photoshop. Just want to be able to crop or maybe use some filter effects mostly for outdoors type photography. I don't want a subscription deal either. I am just a rank amateur having fun. Some kind of cataloging feature possibly as well. Also a non destructive RAW capability. Not wanting to get into making advanced manipulations and want to keep as simple as possible without having to go to school to learn.

I see there are several choices. I would like to get something I can purchase once and get a couple years out of before having to buy again. I wish to keep under $100 US. Any thoughts? Thanks.

11-30-2020, 09:12 AM   #2
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I'd heartily recommend "digiKam", which is available for Windows, Linux and Mac. As an open source application, it won't cost you one red cent unless you choose to donate at some point (which, hopefully, you will if you find it useful). Its real power is in photo library management, but it includes a pretty decent, easy-to-use raw conversion and photo editing tool... certainly more than capable of handling the basic requirements you mention, and much more.

I use it for photo management alongside Darktable and RawTherapee for raw processing.

You can download it here:

digiKam - Download
11-30-2020, 09:14 AM - 1 Like   #3
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Affinity Photo.

Regular price $99.00 Black Friday specials all 30%off.
I stopped using Adobe (owned PS7 on up) and switched to Affinity.

Other cheaper options, I keep loving Affinity Photo


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11-30-2020, 09:28 AM   #4
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ON1 Photo Raw provides editing tools (sliders for exposure, shadows, highlights, sharpening, etc, etc) in its Develop tab/module. You can apply local filters in its Local tab/module. You can play around with preprogrammed filters and adjustments in its Effects tab/module if you get adventurous or curious. The edits are applied non-destructively to RAW files. Cropping is done in the Develop tab/module.

I switched this year from Lightroom to ON1 to avoid the subscription model. The program works well for me. Whatever you choose, be sure that you have more computer resources than are recommended by the particular program to ensure that it works smoothly.

11-30-2020, 09:32 AM - 1 Like   #5
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FastStone Image Viewer, also free (donations). Does what you want and then some more that comes in handy (like annotating images). LightZone (free, open source). Full disclosure: I run that website---it's a software rescue site we started in 2011.
11-30-2020, 11:16 AM   #6
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FastStone or Irfanview. Both free.
11-30-2020, 11:19 AM   #7
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For the more high-end applications, there are both Irfan and Gimp available for download. Both have similar features to PhotoShop. Available free or donation

As a "quick and dirty" there's PhotoLemur a <$50. It cites the use of AI technology and is great for enhancing (including photos shot in RAW) without destroying the master.
11-30-2020, 01:01 PM   #8
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While I have both Lightroom/photoshop and Affinity, I recently purchased($47.00) InPixio10 photo editor which is designed to be used with Windows10. Extremely easy to use, you get Cutter, Easer, and Editor applications which offers numerous pre-set filters and handles RAW easily. I find for everyday use, I click on this one. InPixio.com.

11-30-2020, 01:17 PM   #9
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You know, mobile apps provide the cheapest and best "basic" tools in my experience. Snapseed is really good, and free, on Android. VSCO provides some nice options as well.
11-30-2020, 01:28 PM   #10
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I recommend Faststone - it's free, does a lot. FastStone Image Viewer - Powerful and Intuitive Photo Viewer, Editor and Batch Converter
If you really need a catalog, PS Elements has that, and 3 levels of use - basic, guided, and expert (has a lot of sliders to adjust settings). I tried tagging, but it was too much time for little reward for me. Some photos used 8 tags. I just have them in specific folders.
11-30-2020, 02:44 PM   #11
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I use Picasa and Irfanview . Both were free. Their downloads are most likely still available. I also use Paint (Microsoft Paint that came with my computer).
11-30-2020, 03:21 PM   #12
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Thanks all for the recs. Many options I guess I will have to check out. I was looking at the Luminar 4. Anyone tried it? Thoughts?
11-30-2020, 03:51 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hawkfan Quote
I was looking at the Luminar 4. Anyone tried it? Thoughts?
Not at all what I would consider 'basic'................ But by all reports a good package. I looked at it briefly and it seemed fine but not any reason for me to change from Lightroom so I did not spend a lot of time with it.
11-30-2020, 08:50 PM - 1 Like   #14
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Photoshop Elements is nice. It can be as simple (all auto adjustments) or complex as you want it to be. As a side note, I've found the more I progress into photo editing the better I'm getting at actually taking a photograph thus having to process less.
12-01-2020, 05:55 AM   #15
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Just a thought here.

Adobe Bridge ....... Itís free(no subscription) works with most programs. I use it with Affinity.


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