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01-17-2012, 05:20 PM   #1
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How do you tweak yours?

I am not new to photography but I am new to the world of DSLRs and especially to shooting in RAW. This business of RAW has given me problems and this leads me to the point of this thread, what do you use to view, edit and tweak your RAW images?

The setup i have at the moment is viewing them with Windows Live Photo Gallery (with the appropriate add on and Pentax PEF codec) to view them and to edit them i use the free, open source software GIMP with the UFRaw add on. I find the bundled software with my K-r clunky and badly designed and just can't seem to get on with it at all - even to view images. That said my current set up, while functional, isn't exactly great.

I don't want to shoot in JPEG as one of the benefits of a DSLR is the ability to shoot in RAW. Any suggestions which can help improve my RAW experience (preferably for very few $$$ or free) is much appreciated.

I know there is a Digital Processing section but I thought since this may well be an issue effecting many beginners that this was a slightly more appropriate section choice. Hopefully people agree :S

Thanks

01-17-2012, 05:31 PM   #2
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The bundled Pentax software may look clunky, but it's rather powerful. I generally use it when I don't have much color correction to do, as it lets me crop, rotate, sharpen, adjust light levels, and reduce noise without too much effort.

Lightroom 3, however, will do everything the bundled software can do but better and with more features, while actually being more user friendly. So that can be an option.

Full out Photoshop (CS5 for me) is for some serious editing.

So for not too much money, I would honestly suggest Lightroom 3.
01-17-2012, 05:37 PM   #3
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You have other choice also
ACDsee Pro
PhotoDirector
Photo Element
I have the 2 programs and Lightroom. Lightroom is better but harder to learn

PS Beta version exist now free to try of the PhotoDirector and Lightroom 4
01-17-2012, 05:42 PM   #4
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Element does all I've needed for editing and has layer masks if I ever unlikely want to go there. Does tags, and organizational/sharing functions I never use.

Most importantly, it has the easy horizon-leveling tool I use on almost every shot, and the spot-healing/clone tool. Both tools were absent on the Pentax v3+ software, a major reason I went to Elements v6 (now on v9).

I still use PDCU for all the file handling.

01-19-2012, 08:01 AM   #5
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Photoshop Elements (I'm still on v8) is a relatively easy-to-use program for importing, raw conversion, edits, and sharing. Considering all that it does, the $100 retail price isn't bad, and you can find it on sale occasionally.

The real benefits of shooting RAW for me are fixing exposure problems, correcting white balance, and managing highlights and shadows in very contrasty situations. It isn't a cure-all, but I can consistently make a more pleasing image than the JPG output of my camera.

You may consider shooting RAW+JPEG and toying with the in-camera JPG settings to see whether you are really helping, or hindering, the process.
01-19-2012, 08:57 AM   #6
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Corel Paint Shop Pro has all of the tools (Layers, masking, cloning, color balance, sharpening, and thousands more) that Photoshop does and is very cheap at the moment. PSP X4 is available for $41 and PSP X3 for $11 at Amazon. I'm using PSP X and it still does everything I need (It doesn't do HDR but X4 does I believe). PSP can use 99% of the plug-ins designed for Photoshop

Amazon.com: paint shop pro

You can download a free trial at the Corel website for 30 days.

Photo Editing & Digital Imaging

Here is a recent thread discussing PSP X3 vs PSP X4 --> https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/digital-processing-software-printing/1708...se-psp-x4.html

Paint Shop Pro is to Adobe Photoshop as Pentax is to Canon & Nikon. Need I say more?

Tim

Last edited by atupdate; 01-19-2012 at 09:15 AM.
01-19-2012, 01:13 PM   #7
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I use PS Elements and have added the NIK software filters to it. Works great. I also use Portrait Professional for my portrait touch ups. I really like it for portraits. It is very easy to learn, and I have done some nice touchup on portraits.
01-19-2012, 04:22 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by hawaza Quote
I am not new to photography but I am new to the world of DSLRs and especially to shooting in RAW. This business of RAW has given me problems and this leads me to the point of this thread, what do you use to view, edit and tweak your RAW images?

The setup i have at the moment is viewing them with Windows Live Photo Gallery (with the appropriate add on and Pentax PEF codec) to view them and to edit them i use the free, open source software GIMP with the UFRaw add on. I find the bundled software with my K-r clunky and badly designed and just can't seem to get on with it at all - even to view images. That said my current set up, while functional, isn't exactly great.

I don't want to shoot in JPEG as one of the benefits of a DSLR is the ability to shoot in RAW. Any suggestions which can help improve my RAW experience (preferably for very few $$$ or free) is much appreciated.

I know there is a Digital Processing section but I thought since this may well be an issue effecting many beginners that this was a slightly more appropriate section choice. Hopefully people agree :S

Thanks
I know it's not a free setup but no matter how hard I try, I can't seem to find anything to come close to Photoshop which comes with Adobe Camera RAW and bridge(as a set). However I prefer Raw Therapee for my development files since it outpaces Camera Raw in a number of areas.

In any case, my process usually ends-up along the lines of ACDSee(for RAW viewing), Bridge and ACR for selection and development. And finally Photoshop for final composites.

As for image processing and direction, I usually take things on a case by case basis. That is to say, I look for and pick my candidates from my stash and develop them to see where things go from there. Sometimes, I end-up with hits, while others I end-up with alot of poking and prodding for nothing. Though in the end. it all works-out as experience.

Hope this helps.

PS. I also make use of alot of plugins which I believe to be indepsensible: Topaz Denoise, Pictocolor EditLab Pro, Focal Blade, Topaz Adjust, Niksoft Silver and HDR and color FX, Alien Skin Exposure and finally Imagenomic Portraiture.

JohnBee

01-20-2012, 12:55 PM   #9
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I use Photoshop. If you can't afford that get GIMP. It's free, cross platform, and it's the closest you're going to get to Photoshop in freeware. You'll need a raw plug to use it, but it's worth the download if you can't afford the Photoshop.
01-20-2012, 02:58 PM   #10
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A couple more good, lower cost options are Sagelight ($39), and Bibble ($100 I think, seems they're hiding their prices til after you download/signup). Bibble may now longer be a viable option, as it appears they have sold out to Corel. Disappointing, to say the least.

Sagelight seems really good. The PS plugins I've tested work just fine with it. From a cost to features perspective, I think it may be the best option available right now.
01-20-2012, 04:23 PM   #11
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Bibble under Corel has become Aftershot. I'm working with it for a week now. Very good software.
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