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06-21-2013, 05:48 AM   #1
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Which RAW program to use?

I'm not really a beginner in terms of using my K-30 (K-x previously)...I'm a beginner in terms of developing RAW files. I tried Silkypix and GIMP, but they seemed a bit not user friendly to just jump in. I'm in no ways a techno-phobe, hell I'm pretty computer savvy and have played video games since pong. Anyhoo...can anyone recommend a RAW development program that is noob friendly? Photoshop? Serif? Coral? Help please...I want a program that is noob friendly and yet powerful enough to grow into...much like the K-x and K-30....
Thanks in advance....

06-21-2013, 06:02 AM   #2
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I really like Lightroom, maybe with Nik Software's modules. This will take care of 99 percent of editing needs.
06-21-2013, 06:11 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I really like Lightroom, maybe with Nik Software's modules. This will take care of 99 percent of editing needs.
Noob friendly? I've read good/bad stuff in regards to Photoshop Lightroom...I almost bought it recently....
Thanks for your reply.
06-21-2013, 06:13 AM   #4
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I have Corel PSP X and X4. Paint Shop Pro is a great post processing program. I'm not sure if the latest version (X5) can convert the K-30 raws directly but it can handle DNG files.

PSP is sort of the Pentax of post processing software. Even though there are fewer tutorials for PSP online then Photoshop, many of the Photoshop tutorials can be adapted for PSP.

You may want to use the free 30 download to give it a try before you buy.

Tim

06-21-2013, 06:17 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nerdlinger Quote
Noob friendly? I've read good/bad stuff in regards to Photoshop Lightroom...I almost bought it recently....
Thanks for your reply.
I use lightroom 4 and I feel like it is pretty intuitive. Easy to down load presets off the internet and just click to apply. If you want to get deeper, then I recommended getting the book by Matt Klosowski/Scott Kelby. I never felt the same learning curve as with, say, Photoshop. And it has a great organizer function as well.
06-21-2013, 06:19 AM   #6
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Many threads on this topic in the digital software/processing subforum. You should spend some time there looking at threads with many replies.

Elements 9 here.
06-21-2013, 06:35 AM   #7
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I really like Lightroom's editor, but I don't care for its workflow where I have to load an image into its catalog before I can do anything with it. I can't afford Photoshop - and doubly so as all future versions are subscription based. However, Photoshop Elements uses the same Adobe Camera RAW (ACR) tool as both Lightroom and full-blown Photoshop. Other PSE tools have capabilities similar to Lightroom. And while PSE encourages users to adopt a workflow like Lightroom's, it doesn't insist on it. I can open any random DNG file directly in the PSE editor (and it first passes through ACR).

I've played with Pentax's software, Picassa and Fastsone. They all work, but most of my post processing now happens in PSE.

If you like Lightroom's workflow - I would highly recommend it. If you don't like that constraint, I would recommend PSE.
06-21-2013, 06:37 AM   #8
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I tried the default Pentax Silkypix, which renders great but it seemed really complicated. But I read somewhere that the thing you get with the camera isn't the whole program and that the actual program is much better.
Lightroom is capable and very easy to use, I think that's why its so popular. I think quite a few members here also like to use FastStone. And that thing Corel has. Used to be Bibble.. now its After shot? Some reviews gave it good grades some time ago.

Either way, you can try some of the free ones and trial versions. Then just stick with one.

06-21-2013, 06:45 AM   #9
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Thanks everyone! I didn't see a subforum...I am a Pentax Forums noob...
06-21-2013, 06:55 AM   #10
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I've tried Gimp. It was slow on my Mac.

I came from Aperture, blazing fast, but the lack of plug-ins did it.

I tried Lightroom4. It's better. I'm sticking with it. Its as fast as the Aperture. I also have PS Elements installed for pixel editing.

I've tried LR4 on my Win7 machine with almost the same spec as my MB, the Mac version definitely runs faster, by a mile.
06-21-2013, 07:14 AM   #11
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I've found lightroom the best, but also one of the slowest and processing hungry platforms.
06-21-2013, 07:20 AM   #12
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You shouldn't be chosing your software based on new-user friendliness.. because you won't be a new user for long.

I think you want to look at features and the output ability (how well it processes your images) over 'noob' friendliness.

Adobe Lightroom is really nice in my book
I also have Photoshop Elements and the Nik Collection plugins too.

I use both for different reasons.. most images loaded into Lightroom (cataloging and most 'work' done to photos) and then use PS Elements if I need layering and/or a final process through the Nik plugins (which really do add more than Lightroom alone can do).
06-21-2013, 07:21 AM - 2 Likes   #13
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Noob friendly RAW processor? That may not exist If you mean just make good jpegs from RAW without really learning anything about the process,anyway. IMHO if you are not prepared to learn quite a bit about processing RAWs and graphics in general you are better off just shooting jpegs. I have several friends that shoot professionally and could not be bothered with RAW they feel it wastes too much time for little gain. Not saying I agree but they make a living at it.

If you do want to shoot RAW and learn how then get Lightroom and be done with it.

I started with Silkypix and had a terrible time, just could never figure out the darn thing. Moved to GIMP and then Elements and while those both certainly work it always felt as if the workflow was stilted.

I finally bought Lightroom and though the learning curve is steep it was designed from the ground up to process a card of RAW images into jpegs. The biggest trick to LR is to use presets or templates, once you have something the way you like just make a preset for it. My import preset moves the RAWs to my server into the proper directories and creates new ones as needed, makes a backup on an external drive, adds my copyright info, renames the file according to the convention I use, adds basic develop settings such as contrast, clarity, vibrance, and sharpening, creates the thumbnail views and if I want adds basic keywords. All in one step. Then I process or tweak individual files as needed, caption and keyword. Delete anything I don't want and done.

You need to determine what you want to do with your images. If you want to add layers and make composites and do general graphic artist stuff then Photoshop (or GIMP or Elements ) is the way to go. If you want to process a lot of images quickly, keyword them and be able to sort and find them again, then Lightroom is where you go.
06-21-2013, 07:29 AM   #14
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I'd also recommend Lightroom. I bought Lightroom 3 when I was using PSE 8 or 9; I've since upgraded to Lightroom 4 and have barely touched PSE since; admittedly I don't do heavy duty image manipulation. I like the fact that Lightroom makes no changes to the basic file, you can always go back and redo. Whatever program you may decide upon, be aware that while Lightroom and PSE furnish a help function, it can be a pain to access while you're working. I've bought books for both programs so that I can pore over the printed page while following its instructions on the screen.

BTW, Adobe lets you install Lightroom on 2 machines, handy for taking a laptop on a trip.
06-21-2013, 12:36 PM   #15
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There is nothing more complete (for a reasonable price) than Lightroom, Now you can get LR4 for ~$79
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