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11-28-2013, 12:48 PM   #1
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Post Processing Software Suggestions

Happy Thanksgiving All!

I bought my K-30 in September. It is my first DSLR and I am still learning. This forum has been great! I know this subject has been discussed in many threads but it gets very overwhelming for me. I am very computer and software literate and know the technical aspect of photography. But I despise working with graphics and I include post processing in the general term of "graphics". It has been said in many threads that you must post process and I do agree with that; I have been able to save several shots since I am shooting RAW+. I have been using Fastone and I'm not sure it's the right program for me. I don't mind spending money for a decent program. What is the most user-friendly pp program for someone who does not like pp? I know everyone will have their own opinions, so please, if you can, include your reasons why you feel it is the most user-friendly. Thanks!

Lenore

11-28-2013, 12:52 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by lenorehig Quote
Happy Thanksgiving All!

I bought my K-30 in September. It is my first DSLR and I am still learning. This forum has been great! I know this subject has been discussed in many threads but it gets very overwhelming for me. I am very computer and software literate and know the technical aspect of photography. But I despise working with graphics and I include post processing in the general term of "graphics". It has been said in many threads that you must post process and I do agree with that; I have been able to save several shots since I am shooting RAW+. I have been using Fastone and I'm not sure it's the right program for me. I don't mind spending money for a decent program. What is the most user-friendly pp program for someone who does not like pp? I know everyone will have their own opinions, so please, if you can, include your reasons why you feel it is the most user-friendly. Thanks!

Lenore
Lightroom is a great start if you need something for workflow and everyday editing. There's even a great deal on it right now:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/94-pentax-price-watch/243912-lightroom-5-109-download.html

Topaz Labs has some amazing plugins for noise reduction and quick touch-ups. Also highly recommended (and it works with lightroom):
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/94-pentax-price-watch/243900-topaz-save-1...-software.html

I have both of the above but I mainly use photoshop cs6, as it gives you the greatest amount of control at the expense of slowing down your workflow just by a bit.

Adam
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11-28-2013, 12:53 PM   #3
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I would suggest starting off using the software that came with the camera...Those are usually the most user friendly for it with the least amount of processing work.. Then later on as you progress and want to get more creative then you can decide what and how much you want to invest for better and more creative post processing.

Like Adam I too use CS6 and Topaz plugins as well as Alien Skin and Portrait Professional.

Last edited by Oldbayrunner; 11-28-2013 at 01:00 PM.
11-28-2013, 01:10 PM   #4
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I would urge you to try Lightroom. There's a reason it's so popular. You can download the trial version (complete, but for 30 days only) for free to see if it suits you.

11-28-2013, 01:29 PM - 1 Like   #5
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Post processing means many things to many people. Nowadays products can fulfill a niche function or serve as a whole workflow management and asset management tool. Lightroom and Aperture serve as the latter; Adobe Elements is more editing oriented.

Contrary to an opinion above, the software that comes with Pentax cameras is among the most unfriendly that I've used in 25 years of digital darkroom work.

What are your requirements for post processing?

M
11-28-2013, 01:41 PM   #6
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FastStone is a good viewer program, I use it myself. The adjustment tools included will let you do some basic edits but are pretty much a sledge hammer approach. I'll use them to touch up a Jpeg now and then but not for full editing.

Everybody will urge Lightroom as the greatest thing since the invention of digital cameras. I am sure it is fine. A lot of pros swear by it. I tried it and hated it so I am back to using FastStone for viewing and sorting and Photoshop Elements 11 for Raw conversion and image editing. That said, there is a learning curve for Elements (or full-bore Photoshop) that can be daunting if you don't want to be doing it. The unfortunate reality is that this is true for most programs you might use.

The software that came with the camera should get you started but for simplicity, I see references all over to Irfanview (free) and Paintshop Pro. You might want to d/l some trial versions of them and Lightroom and test drive them.
11-28-2013, 01:47 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Miguel Quote
Post processing means many things to many people. Nowadays products can fulfill a niche function or serve as a whole workflow management and asset management tool. Lightroom and Aperture serve as the latter; Adobe Elements is more editing oriented.

Contrary to an opinion above, the software that comes with Pentax cameras is among the most unfriendly that I've used in 25 years of digital darkroom work.

What are your requirements for post processing?

M
I have read that the Pentax supplied Silky Pix is very difficult to use, so I have not even loaded it. I tend to not delete photos, even the bad ones, so a management feature is fine with me. My needs right now are not much. I have read that all photos should have some pp to include sharpening and wb at a minimum. I have Photoshop at work, and have used it on some photos, but I start moving sliders and adding layers, get totally lost, and then scrap the whole edit. One of the features that I like about Fastone, which maybe other programs have as well, is the ability to see the un-processed file to compare to what you have done. Makes it helpful. But I feel like I am missing something using Fastone. A free program versus a paid-for program cannot be as useful. I am mostly photographing landscape here in NH.
11-28-2013, 01:53 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by abmj Quote
FastStone is a good viewer program, I use it myself. The adjustment tools included will let you do some basic edits but are pretty much a sledge hammer approach. I'll use them to touch up a Jpeg now and then but not for full editing.

Everybody will urge Lightroom as the greatest thing since the invention of digital cameras. I am sure it is fine. A lot of pros swear by it. I tried it and hated it so I am back to using FastStone for viewing and sorting and Photoshop Elements 11 for Raw conversion and image editing. That said, there is a learning curve for Elements (or full-bore Photoshop) that can be daunting if you don't want to be doing it. The unfortunate reality is that this is true for most programs you might use.

The software that came with the camera should get you started but for simplicity, I see references all over to Irfanview (free) and Paintshop Pro. You might want to d/l some trial versions of them and Lightroom and test drive them.
I have an older version of Photoshop which I know how to use; just don't like to! I have been leaning towards Elements. Thanks for your input.

11-28-2013, 01:55 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by DogLover Quote
I would urge you to try Lightroom. There's a reason it's so popular. You can download the trial version (complete, but for 30 days only) for free to see if it suits you.
DogLover, Good point on the popularity. I did look at the free trial this week. Nothing to lose so I will try it.
11-28-2013, 02:00 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Lightroom is a great start if you need something for workflow and everyday editing. There's even a great deal on it right now:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/94-pentax-price-watch/243912-lightroom-5-109-download.html

Topaz Labs has some amazing plugins for noise reduction and quick touch-ups. Also highly recommended (and it works with lightroom):
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/94-pentax-price-watch/243900-topaz-save-1...-software.html

I have both of the above but I mainly use photoshop cs6, as it gives you the greatest amount of control at the expense of slowing down your workflow just by a bit.
Thanks Adam for your input. Do the Topaz plug-ins run with other programs? i have not heard of them before and will give it a look.
11-28-2013, 02:09 PM   #11
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If you work a bit on Lightroom, you can automate the processing of RAW files so you almost don't have to do anything. Also, you can use a lot of other programs, but if you ask here how to do something in say Paint Shop Pro, you are almost guaranteed to get someone telling you how to do it in Lightroom. LR has more users and more people who have figured it out before.

I broke down and bought a Lightroom book. In theory the program is simple to use, but the book is 700 pages.
11-28-2013, 02:15 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by lenorehig Quote
I have read that the Pentax supplied Silky Pix is very difficult to use, so I have not even loaded it. I tend to not delete photos, even the bad ones, so a management feature is fine with me. My needs right now are not much. I have read that all photos should have some pp to include sharpening and wb at a minimum. I have Photoshop at work, and have used it on some photos, but I start moving sliders and adding layers, get totally lost, and then scrap the whole edit. One of the features that I like about Fastone, which maybe other programs have as well, is the ability to see the un-processed file to compare to what you have done. Makes it helpful. But I feel like I am missing something using Fastone. A free program versus a paid-for program cannot be as useful. I am mostly photographing landscape here in NH.
QuoteOriginally posted by lenorehig Quote
A free program versus a paid-for program cannot be as useful
I would not recommend evaluating a software's value based on its price; Gimp users would strongly disagree, plus there are plenty of paid apps of all kinds that are worthless.

QuoteOriginally posted by lenorehig Quote
I have read that all photos should have some pp to include sharpening and wb at a minimum.
I'd suggest you study a lot about post processing so you can make an informed choice re: what your requirements are and what tool fulfills them best. In the interim, I'd recommend a free app, Picassa which will give you a taste of possibility and let you start learning basic functions that are common across all tools. You are using Windows, no?

M
11-28-2013, 02:38 PM   #13
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Just get Lightroom. Very powerful and once you get to know it, very efficient at processing many files very quickly.
11-28-2013, 02:49 PM   #14
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I'd second Lightroom. I've found it better than a competitor like ACDCPro. Rawtherapee was a good freeware one when I lasted used it. Some folks like Gimp but it has poor support for tiff files, IMHO. And photoshop elements has lots of fans and can sometimes be found on sale very cheaply. You need to calibrate your monitor to get the best from any of these packages. In meantime, Picassa is fine as a way to start, a bit limited but very easy and convenient
11-28-2013, 03:00 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Miguel Quote
Post processing means many things to many people. Nowadays products can fulfill a niche function or serve as a whole workflow management and asset management tool. Lightroom and Aperture serve as the latter; Adobe Elements is more editing oriented.

Contrary to an opinion above, the software that comes with Pentax cameras is among the most unfriendly that I've used in 25 years of digital darkroom work.

What are your requirements for post processing?

M
Sir.. I have over 50+ years of film developing, post processing and photo sales through galleries so I too have a bit of knowledge, I do take exception to the choice of verbiage in your post directed at mine. Given this type of posted attitude towards another posters suggestions, as a newer member I do not know if I care to continue to be a part of this online Pentaxian community. I would expect this from a canikon not a pentaxian.

Adios
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