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08-08-2011, 10:10 AM   #1
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Software Recommendations

Hello all, so I am new to DSLR photography, and I need a software upgrade for editing. I've had a P&S for awhile, and have been using Paint Shop Pro for a number of years, but I don't think it is going to be able to do everything I want it to, or be able to scale up with me as I learn more. So, what programs do you recommend for processing? I've gleaned the following so far from various posts around the forums:

Lightroom 3
Adobe Photoshop
Adobe Camera Raw
GIMP
Also "AutoHDR" or something like that, I can't remember the exact name

Any opinions on which are the best? Any I am missing?

Thanks!

08-08-2011, 10:20 AM   #2
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Your camera should have come with some software which you might find acceptable.

Lightroom and Photoshop are not really equivalents, Adobe Camera Raw isn't available separately but is how both LR and PS process RAW images. GIMP is a free alternative to Photoshop, and AutoHDR is for HDR processing which you won't be wanting to do all the time - it's an add-on to normal processing.

You have PaintShopPro which is quite good in many ways and may well be good enough for now especially with RawTherapee to 'develop' RAW images. I switched from PSP to Photoshop as 1) I wanted 16-bit processing, 2) colour-managed workflow is hard in PSP and 3) there were some new features in CS4 I wanted. I was able to quality for a student licence which saved .

If you think PSP can't do everything you want, how about you tell us what those things are?
08-08-2011, 11:10 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by cats_five Quote
Your camera should have come with some software which you might find acceptable.

Lightroom and Photoshop are not really equivalents, Adobe Camera Raw isn't available separately but is how both LR and PS process RAW images. GIMP is a free alternative to Photoshop, and AutoHDR is for HDR processing which you won't be wanting to do all the time - it's an add-on to normal processing.

You have PaintShopPro which is quite good in many ways and may well be good enough for now especially with RawTherapee to 'develop' RAW images. I switched from PSP to Photoshop as 1) I wanted 16-bit processing, 2) colour-managed workflow is hard in PSP and 3) there were some new features in CS4 I wanted. I was able to quality for a student licence which saved .

If you think PSP can't do everything you want, how about you tell us what those things are?
I suppose I may have written it off a bit prematurely

I will check out RawTherapee, thanks for the tip!
08-08-2011, 04:55 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by pdxfive Quote
...I've had a P&S for awhile, and have been using Paint Shop Pro for a number of years, but I don't think it is going to be able to do everything ...
What do you feel other software will offer you that Paint Shop Pro does not? PSP is a relatively decent software, I see its only drawback, not available for a Mac, but you must not be using a Mac if you already have PSP. I am not 100% thrilled at how it handles RAW files, but after you get past this point, it offers very nice options. And I'm almost sure it can do some version of HDR...

I think GIMP is very good to excellent but it comes with a high learning curve, however it's free and has some great plugins available...

Squeeze as much as you can from Paint Shop Pro, if it can't deliver what your looking for, I would go with GIMP just be prepared to do a lot of learning...

08-08-2011, 05:07 PM   #5
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The non-distructive editting of RAW files, and the extensive cataloging capabilities of Lightroom & Aperture are hard to beat. Aperutre also has a pretty killer feature in it's ability to easily create fantastic photo books.
08-11-2011, 09:08 AM   #6
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If you browse the Software forum here, you'll find a number of threads where people discuss the various options. FWIW, my choice is ACDSee Pro - it has all the non-destructive processing and organizational capabilities of LR or Aperture, but a simpler (to me) use model and lower price.
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