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01-28-2009, 09:33 PM   #1
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Photo editing software?

I was curious about photo editing software. I hear people talk about Photo Shop all the time, but I've never used it. I ordered a K20D and it's supposed to be here tomorrow. I don't know if it comes with any software or not. Anyways, what's a good program to use? I don't mind taking the time to read about and learn how to use it, but I don't want to have to take a college class to learn how to use it. I also see that at B&H has different versions of Photo Shop. Some are less than $100 and some are more than $700. I don't get it. What's the best program for a noob like me to use? Thanks!

01-28-2009, 09:55 PM   #2
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you could do a Google search for 'Free Photo Editors' or you could download GIMP (which I've heard is very simiar, has many features in common and is easy to use). Best of all it's Free!!!

EDIT: Your avatar is scary
01-28-2009, 09:56 PM   #3
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If you don't have any experience with post processing, I'd recommend trying the Pentax software (Photobrowser and Photolab). I used them regularly for a couple of years (and still do on occasion). The most difficult part of it for me was that the interface was different from most other processing programs. Since you don't have any biases you should give it a try.
01-28-2009, 10:47 PM   #4
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Another option is Google's Picasa. It is free and is pretty good at cataloging your photos too. Don't worry too much about post processing programs until you've got a handle on your new k20d. You'll have plenty to keep you busy there before worrying about a post processing program.

01-28-2009, 11:05 PM   #5
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I'm in a boat not far from you. Your camera will come with software. I personally wasn't impressed with it when I got my K10d a few weeks ago, seemed really crude making it hard to figure out the interface. I didn't have any REAL experience with editing software other than messing around with the Olympus software that came with my p&s.

I had issues with with my computer so I wiped out the hard drive last night and did some research on old threads to see what other options there are out there without breaking the bank. I'm going to give FastStone a shot. The basic version is free and from what I remember seeing on their site, you can do the usual basic stuff such as wb adjustments, cropping, etc. I'm sure there's some other people that have more experience to shed more insight on the subject.
01-28-2009, 11:05 PM   #6
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I second picasa for organization, it also has a decent array of basic editing functions.
01-28-2009, 11:07 PM   #7
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Oh yes, I forgot Faststone and IrfanView. Both excellent free programs. I actually have both on my machine and use them for quickie stuff when I don't want to load Lightroom.
01-29-2009, 12:15 AM   #8
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Picasa for catalogueing (real quick image loading after your photo had been buffer, processes RAW, loads of junk google added since version 1: face detection, colour search, some filter effects, batch edit, version constantly upgraded. improved by google people, quick to download......and BEST of all, its FREE!!! I can't see anythiny second to that)

........and PS for effects and editing

01-29-2009, 07:47 AM   #9
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Hi Matt,
I would highly recommend Adobe's Lightroom. It is much more intuitive than Photoshop (even Photoshop Elements). Lightroom is designed for photographers. Photoshop (and even programs like GIMP) are designed for graphic artists.
01-29-2009, 07:54 AM   #10
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I second both Picasa and Lightroom.

They differ in complexity and use. Both will help you postprocess and organize your photos. The more you hit the release button the more you will need the organize stuff.
Stay away from Photoshop and GIMP untill you realy need that capability.

- Bert
01-29-2009, 08:13 AM   #11
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Lightroom (and Aperture if you are a Mac user) both make working with RAW files as easy as working with jpeg files and both do a wonderful job of keeping things organized. iPhoto is also a very capable program if, once again, you are a Mac user.
01-29-2009, 09:01 AM   #12
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Picasa does indeed do a lot for the (no) money. So do the applications that probably came with your computer (Windows Photo Gallery for PC, iphoto for mac). Irfanview is also a great free editing application. These by themselves might handle many peopl's needs for quite a while. The Pentax software, if I'm not mistaken, has no editing capability at all - just browsing and RAW conversion.

If you do outgrow any of the free utilities, then you can start to think about what makes sense next, depending on what you see your needs to be. The various options - Lightroom, Photoshop Elements, Photoshop CS, Aperture, Paint Shop Pro, ACDSee, the GIMP, etc - all have different strengths and weaknesses.
01-29-2009, 09:17 AM   #13
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I've used the Pentax software, PaintShopPro x2, and lightroom so far and really all 3 were pretty easy to figure out. The important thing with these 3 is that there is a RAW converter for Pentax files (on Paintshoppro, you have to get the x2 Ultimate version to get K20 compatibility - something that was going to cost me extra so I have opted to use Lightroom for my Raw conversions and basic exposure controls).

Personally, I think PSPx2 has a few more tools (or maybe these tools are just easier to get to...I'm still pretty new using lightroom) so I plan to keep using it after converting my RAW files to a TIFF file in Lightroom if further work is required. As a beginner when I first started using PSP, one of the main draws was cost... if you're patient, you can often get PSPx2 for free after rebates from Fry's. But again, you'll have to upgrade to Ultimate to get k20d support which currently costs $50. Really, a pretty good price for a powerful program. BUT... there are not as many users of PSP, so books and other help may be a bit more difficult to find.

As far as the learning curve goes... if you're not familiar w/ graphics programs, there can be a lot to know. But if you start with just the basics (ie: cropping, straightening, exposure compensation, white balance and maybe some touch-ups), it'll be very easy to learn. It's just moving a slider back and forth and seeing if you like the result; if not, just undo what you did and try something else. From there, most other things are easy to play around with and grow as you become comfortable or learn of new techniques. Whatever you choose, look on sites like flickr for special groups dedicated to specific photo programs.

Good luck!
01-29-2009, 09:22 AM   #14
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Look at Corel's Paint Shop Pro

In terms of photo software there are literally a ton of programs, as the op mentioned from inexpensive <$100 to very expensive.

The default industry standard is Adobe Photo Shop but it is expensive.

I have used Paint Shop Pro from Corel since version 8, it is now at X2 (version 12)

It has served me well, and the real issue is the time to re-learn another set of command names and interface.

There is very little it can't do, and in the UK there is now a publication on image processing (like the several for Photo Shop) specifically devoted to Paint SHop Pro.

the only complaint I have ever had, is that Corel is slow to deliver updates, and generally does not offer patches to add new cameras. I waited almost a year for them to resolve the issue of importing K10D raw files, and in the end, it was done during a program update, so essentually I had to pay extra to read the K10D raw files. But having griped about this, my updates plus origonal purchase have still left me with a ton of money for the camera and lenses I want, as opposed to the image editor.
02-18-2009, 08:28 PM   #15
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I just came across this as I'm having trouble with PPB doing what I want and then keeping the changes and storing the edited photo where I want on my Mac, and was looking to find out what else is available. I do like the fact that I can see the camera information next to the picture in PPB. Does anyone know if Picasa and/or Aperture also show the info?

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