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09-06-2010, 02:38 PM   #1
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Image Editing/Processing software for beginners

As a very new DSLR owner, my research seems to suggest Photoshop Elements in terms of value for money and ease of use - would you agree?

Also, is it necessary to install the Pentax software that came with my KX or will Photoshop do the job on it's own?

Thanks in advance for your help,

Fizzbomb

09-06-2010, 04:23 PM   #2
Ira
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You should install the Pentax Utility software just to have it. It's not a huge install.

And Elements will do a lot for you, but I never heard of anyone actually paying for the thing:

It used to come free with 90% of scanners being sold.
09-06-2010, 04:25 PM   #3
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Hi Fizzbomb.
I'm pretty new too, but I use irfanview and gimp mainly (when I bother) The best results I've had tho have been by simply using the Base and custom filter effects on board the K-x.

Lke I say tho... I'm new at this too.
09-06-2010, 04:50 PM   #4
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I got started with PSP when it was published by JASC

It is now published by Corel (5 revisions later) and can do everything that photoshop can, for about $100


it has raw support, batch processing etc, but is also very intuitive, and easy to use.

09-06-2010, 04:58 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote

It used to come free with 90% of scanners being sold.
Yep, I got version 2 that way, though it was already up to v5 or something by then.

I did buy v6 to replace the older version of Pentax Photo Browser/Photo Lab that I had used for almost 18 months. Some people say that Elements interface went down a little with v7 and v8, but new users won't notice...

Elements is light years ahead of the older Pentax software, but I'm not familiar enough with the newer PDCU, having only used that for, I think, 3 minutes to check something out, to make a comparison.

However, I still use the older Pentax software to rename files (copy and paste does not wipe out the extension), to create an exif database, and to extract the jpgs from PEF files so I can compare them in another viewer.

Elements has a one-button "auto" correction and a bunch of sliders under that for manual adjustment, many tools including a "healing brush" that PPL doesn't have that can blot out dust blobs, and a simple way to fix the Pentax tilting horizon by drawing a line that you want horizontal across the image. It also does tags (I don't), catalogs, and slideshows.

I was using just the basics for about a year and only recently got the "...for Dummies" book because there are other simple things I probably should use if only I knew how...

Other free software that gets some recommendations are FastStone Image Viewer, Screen Capture, Photo Resizer ... which I use as a viewer only on my netbook, and the Gimp.
09-06-2010, 05:20 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I got started with PSP when it was published by JASC

It is now published by Corel (5 revisions later) and can do everything that photoshop can, for about $100


it has raw support, batch processing etc, but is also very intuitive, and easy to use.
Did they add PEF support for K7 and Kx in vXIII? My vXII (that came preinstalled on my laptop) does not. It will do DNG but doesn't specifically support those two cameras. It doesn't really matter to me at this point, CS4 does a beautiful job.

09-06-2010, 05:28 PM   #7
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Do you have a Mac?

I just use iPhoto, but that's because I don't bother much with post and never expect or try to get truly professional results anyway. I shoot and raw and use iPhoto to add saturation and sharpen a little, it's "just fine" for what I do and really simple to use, and when I say really simple I mean it

I currently have the trial of the full Photoshop CS5 Extended, it's really complex, the same with Aperture 1 and GIMP, I honestly prefer to use iPhoto because it's stupid simple, and I'm no tech dummy either, I know my way around a computer just fine, ten fold more than anyone else I know, but I just really hate learning new programs and iPhoto is as straight forward as I could ask for
09-06-2010, 05:44 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I got started with PSP when it was published by JASC

It is now published by Corel (5 revisions later) and can do everything that photoshop can, for about $100


it has raw support, batch processing etc, but is also very intuitive, and easy to use.
I've use this program for several years and and now up the the latest version 13. The only issue I have is that it is kind of unstable, especially if you have any kind of a virus infecting your computer, such as a Root kit virus, which I've had. It tends to make the program very unstable and crash prone. It's fairly economically priced, it has a lot of features, but not the best written program out there.

09-06-2010, 06:14 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I got started with PSP when it was published by JASC

It is now published by Corel (5 revisions later) and can do everything that photoshop can, for about $100


it has raw support, batch processing etc, but is also very intuitive, and easy to use.
Ditto, started with PSP7. Now have X3 and would also recommend it as easy to learn and good value for the money. It does pretty much all I need, and is compatible with most Photoshop plug-ins.

My only misgivings are that some of the features still only work for 8-bit, and my computer is getting a little long in the tooth to run it.

Last edited by klh; 09-07-2010 at 01:38 PM.
09-06-2010, 06:22 PM   #10
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Always check to insure that your pics are level. Tilted horizons are not your friend.

Make sure the white balance is accurate or close. Close is better than totally wrong.
09-06-2010, 06:59 PM   #11
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and here I payed for Photoshop Elements. ha ha.

If you do get PSE go ebay route. I got mine for 48$

you can try gimp. its a free download and does most of what photoshop does. nice to play with

Its worth getting PSE as a beginner though. there is lots of help and tutorials out there for PSE, unlike the others (I also have corel and free gimp)

also, there are a lot of "actions" free and for sale for PSE. I dont like a lot of them but there are a few that are worth installing. they pull up your layers and cut out some time and effort... then you just tweek the layers, change opacities, delete or hide unwanted layers and done in no time

one of my fav spots to grab free actions: coffeeshop:

CoffeeShop Free PS/PSE Actions!: CoffeeShop Actions and Presets!
09-06-2010, 07:06 PM   #12
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also, keep in mind that PSE 7 does not work in windows 7. If you have windows 7 you are forced to buy the newest version PSE 8

have you tried the free 30 day trial?? If not, google it and try it for free. you can even install actions on the free trial. best of all if you decide to buy it all you have to do is enter in the serial number, no need to reinstall
09-06-2010, 08:41 PM   #13
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If I wanted a decent package for free, I'd get Picasa.

If I wanted a decent package for editing one picture at a time in depth, I'd get Elements. If I wanted more power and lower price (free) and didn't mind a complex UI, I'd use the GIMP.

If I wanted a good package for dealing with large groups of pictures - including editing them and organizing them - I'd get ACDSee Pro or Lightroom.

But there are tons of other options - consider searching this forum and the PP forum for previous threads discussing the topic.
09-07-2010, 12:19 AM   #14
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I think if you are going to spend money then you should go for Photoshop CS5 right off the bat. This way when you get better you will already have pro level software and you will be familiar with the program.
09-07-2010, 09:42 AM   #15
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That's a ton to spend, though, and realistically, very few photographers actually have any need for most of what it can do over the cheaper options. For the few photographers who do need those features, then of course it's the obvious choice, but I really do believe most don't and would be wasting their money. Plus, even if you get CS5, you're still without any sort of decent image management system.

But of course, it's next to impossible for the typical beginner to know if they are going to end up being one of the majority who doesn't need to spend that kind of money on image processing software, or one of the minority who will and will ultimately regret having spent money on anything else first.

Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 09-07-2010 at 08:37 PM.
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