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12-19-2010, 08:14 AM   #16
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This is all great info. Yes I do live in Kingston and I was planning on giving the photo club a try in the new year. As for the real versions of PS I'd have to take courses. Way too technical for me..that's why I was thinking about Lightroom. Supposed to be easier?
Is the auto white balance pretty true or does it need tweaking?
Thanks again.

12-19-2010, 09:29 AM   #17
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Check out this:

http://www.pentaxdslrs.blogspot.com

One of the best downloadable how too's out there and reasonably priced too!
12-19-2010, 10:12 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by GoldenRGuy Quote
As for the real versions of PS I'd have to take courses. Way too technical for me..that's why I was thinking about Lightroom. Supposed to be easier?
I'm an Aperture 3 guy, but that's because I own a Mac. However, it contains pretty much all the main photo tweaking/editing I need for my files, RAW and jpg. I believe Lightroom 3 has the same capabilities, so if you do go with Lightroom you probably won't need an external editor like Photoshop Elements any more. So I would definitely look more into Lightroom if I was you - you'd be pretty much killing two birds with one stone. And yes, pretty much anything is easier than Photoshop! (Well, Elements isn't too tricky.)

If you want to stick with Elements, it's on for a good price at amazon.ca for $80 CDN (seeing how you're a fellow Canuck). Elements 9 is the newest version, FYI.

You mentioned earlier that you're concerned about RAW files taking up too much storage space. I shot jpg for the first year or so of owning my K20D, and I must say that from an editing perspective, shooting RAW is the only way to go. If your jpg photo has too many dark areas and/or highlights, you won't be able to recover them in any program very well at all like you can with a RAW file. Unfortunately, I speak from a few hundred photos worth of experience. And external hard drives these days are getting pretty affordable even with a 1 TB capacity, and again it's well worth a large capacity drive for the huge flexibility that RAW files offer.

Hope my $0.025 is worthwhile.
12-19-2010, 10:31 AM - 1 Like   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by GoldenRGuy Quote
This is all great info. Yes I do live in Kingston and I was planning on giving the photo club a try in the new year. As for the real versions of PS I'd have to take courses. Way too technical for me..that's why I was thinking about Lightroom. Supposed to be easier?
Is the auto white balance pretty true or does it need tweaking?
Thanks again.
Glad you are going to give the photo club a go - the first evening next year looks very interesting.

If you are using Elements then you can switch to PS and it's fairly similar, plus there are lots of books and on-line tutorials. Yes, PS will do far, far more than Elements (and I found it far less confusing!) and there are usually several ways to do anything, but I treat it like my camera and also Word. All are big and complicated, but I use the bits I need - probably 5% of the feature set in each case. When I come across trying to do something I'm not sure about then I do a bit of RTFM. Hence, I always carry the camera manual with me.

PS and Lightroom are really aimed at different niches, and if you Google 'Lightroom vs Photoshop' you will find lots of slightly different takes on it. The consensus seems to be that LR is great at organising, and at batch processing, but it you want / need to do fine editing or manipulation that's what PS is good at. for example, I took a photo of snow on the teasels in my garden this afternoon. Either could have dealt with fixing the colour, either could have dealt with fixing the exposure, I believe Lifhtroom can crop, but AFAIK only PS can do cloning, and I needed to clone out a distracting bit of vegetation and then blur the area to hide my clone.

If I was only going to get one, for my sort of photography then it would be PS. I need (some of) the manipulation features it has that LR doesn't. Layers and masks are fantastic for allowing non-destructive editing, but they don't exist in LR.

I have a bit of a plan which is to take another Open University course so I can get some more student stuff - including a student licence for Lightroom, as it would be useful to do some basic organisation of my photos. However there are some 6,000 of them, and I still have nearly 40 35mm films to scan in! The difference between retail and student copies of LR just about pays for a short cheap course, and I'll get a student tablet as well. I have an old Wacom but 1) it's too small and 2) there aren't any W7 drivers for it. However a nice big tablet is expensive even with the discount, so it won't be tomorrow I sign up.

12-20-2010, 10:45 AM   #20
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Raw, P mode, and the green button

The "P" mode is a lot like the green auto-everything mode; the latter, however, closes off a lot of options so it's harder to get yourself into trouble (e.g. can't shoot RAW, IIRC can't change the ISO the program line gives you).

But as DPReview says, hidden in the humble "P" mode is -- ta-daa! -- HYPER-PROGRAM! Which is a thunderously pretentious name for a simple concept that's nonetheless lacking on many cameras. The camera sets aperture, shutter, and (if you've got it set to AUTO) ISO for you. But as soon as you touch the command dials for shutter or aperture, the other automatically compensates, as if you'd selected Av mode and changed the aperture, or Tv mode and changed the shutter speed. In fact if memory serves, the display even changes to "Av" or "Tv", depending on which command dial you wonk on.

I never even seem to bother with Tv or Av, because they're both accessible from "P" without having to take the camera away from my eye.

If you shoot and find the camera's idea of correct metering was off, you can just hit the +/- button and dial in some exposure compensation. Likewise, changing the ISO (to throttle down noise or, going the other way, enable higher shutter speed) is one button away.

If you start feeling lost among the settings wilderness and want to retreat to the camera's recommendation, just press the green button, and you're back. Likewise to put it back on auto-ISO, press and hold the ISO button and tap the green button.

Lastly, RAW images are analogous to film negatives. (Actually they're closer to the undeveloped latent image, but let's not pick nits.) In order to display or print the image, you have to "develop" it to a bitmap format, of which the most commonly used is our pal JPEG. So once you've got the image the way you want it, you can throw away the RAW and just keep the (much much smaller) JPEG.

I shuddered as I wrote that, as I'm the type who can't abide throwing ANYTHING away. (Just ask my wife.) But really, once you've got the image you want, the RAW file is completely extraneous. It's just that I'm obsessive about the idea of going back and re-developing the RAW a different way for a new result...someday. Probably the day after I going to read the 100 technical books on the shelves, desk, and floor-piles in my office.
12-20-2010, 03:54 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
I use PE6 and RAW so I know it works. I don't think I did anything special to get them to work together. The only thing that doesn't work are some editing functions. I start with a RAW image, do basic processing, then convert to 8 bit when I need to fix a lot. RAW files are at least twice as big as the K100D ones. Hard drives are pretty cheap. It can be annoying to move large numbers of RAW images from one place to the other. Adobe Camera RAW for the K-7 does a lot of sharpening by default - I just turned that off.
Found the problem! Turns out the default RAW setting is PEF.. When I changed it to DNG, Elements 6 imported the images and when I went to "Edit" a RAW box popped up!I guess Adobe software only sees Adobe settings-DNG-.. Now back to the Elements manual to see how to make changes and save as JPEG's.

Also have to figure out how to "link" an external hard drive to Elements so everything can work seamlessly....
12-20-2010, 04:22 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by fewayne Quote
The "P" mode is a lot like the green auto-everything mode; the latter, however, closes off a lot of options so it's harder to get yourself into trouble (e.g. can't shoot RAW, IIRC can't change the ISO the program line gives you).

But as DPReview says, hidden in the humble "P" mode is -- ta-daa! -- HYPER-PROGRAM! Which is a thunderously pretentious name for a simple concept that's nonetheless lacking on many cameras. The camera sets aperture, shutter, and (if you've got it set to AUTO) ISO for you. But as soon as you touch the command dials for shutter or aperture, the other automatically compensates, as if you'd selected Av mode and changed the aperture, or Tv mode and changed the shutter speed. In fact if memory serves, the display even changes to "Av" or "Tv", depending on which command dial you wonk on.

I never even seem to bother with Tv or Av, because they're both accessible from "P" without having to take the camera away from my eye.

If you shoot and find the camera's idea of correct metering was off, you can just hit the +/- button and dial in some exposure compensation. Likewise, changing the ISO (to throttle down noise or, going the other way, enable higher shutter speed) is one button away.

If you start feeling lost among the settings wilderness and want to retreat to the camera's recommendation, just press the green button, and you're back. Likewise to put it back on auto-ISO, press and hold the ISO button and tap the green button.

Lastly, RAW images are analogous to film negatives. (Actually they're closer to the undeveloped latent image, but let's not pick nits.) In order to display or print the image, you have to "develop" it to a bitmap format, of which the most commonly used is our pal JPEG. So once you've got the image the way you want it, you can throw away the RAW and just keep the (much much smaller) JPEG.

I shuddered as I wrote that, as I'm the type who can't abide throwing ANYTHING away. (Just ask my wife.) But really, once you've got the image you want, the RAW file is completely extraneous. It's just that I'm obsessive about the idea of going back and re-developing the RAW a different way for a new result...someday. Probably the day after I going to read the 100 technical books on the shelves, desk, and floor-piles in my office.
Thank you! Now that's a tutorial!! That's always my concern about changing anything.. Sometimes things happen fast and you just can't remember things like ISO. Tapping Green button is genius!! And the part about throwing away the Raw after playing with it and making the JPEG. Good stuff!!!
12-20-2010, 04:24 PM   #23
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Thanks Cats Five, but PS is $800 over here in Canada. Quite an investment!

12-21-2010, 12:47 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by GoldenRGuy Quote
Found the problem! Turns out the default RAW setting is PEF.. When I changed it to DNG, Elements 6 imported the images and when I went to "Edit" a RAW box popped up!I guess Adobe software only sees Adobe settings-DNG-.. Now back to the Elements manual to see how to make changes and save as JPEG's.

Also have to figure out how to "link" an external hard drive to Elements so everything can work seamlessly....
No, as posted earlier I think the problem is you need the latest version of CameraRaw your version of Elements can use. But if you are happy with DNG that's fine.
12-21-2010, 12:49 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by GoldenRGuy Quote
Thanks Cats Five, but PS is $800 over here in Canada. Quite an investment!
A retail copy here is the same sort of price, but when I got CS4 I qualified for a student licence - 1/3 or less of the retail price. I had signed up for a course with the Open University, in part with the intention of buying some student software.
01-03-2011, 04:01 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by K(s)evin Quote
I honestly have not touched the manual that came with my K-7 since I aquired the Magic Lantern guide for it. It is the same as the manual, only written from an actual users experience. Invaluable for me.
What a great suggestion! Got the book on Friday and it has helped SOOOO much! Thanks again!
01-03-2011, 07:31 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by GoldenRGuy Quote
As for the real versions of PS I'd have to take courses. Way too technical for me..that's why I was thinking about Lightroom. Supposed to be easier?
Processing images in Lightroom is really user friendly once you get used to how it wants to sort your workflow... I find PS horrendous to use... Gimp makes more sense!! My other half however loves PS and gets fantastic results...
01-03-2011, 07:51 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by DaveHolmes Quote
Processing images in Lightroom is really user friendly once you get used to how it wants to sort your workflow... I find PS horrendous to use... Gimp makes more sense!! My other half however loves PS and gets fantastic results...
How do you ever get used to the work flow?
01-03-2011, 08:00 PM   #29
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I open files in irfanview (just to view)... rename them... then organise/group file/named as 'batch' folders (So the stuff I shot together stays together)... then import to Lightroom... Process the batch... Tweek individually as required

Probably a long way of doing it but works for now
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