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01-16-2015, 09:42 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
This is the area of Lightroom I really should start using. I typically arrange my photos in folders then process in lightroom. I know the tools exist, but don't use them in Lightroom. Perhaps this should be my resolution this year, to begin tagging etc.
Lightroom can put things in folders during the import if you set it that way. Or you can put things in folders and then 'add' instead of 'copy'. And even if you just add a couple of keywords during import, surely that is better than 5 years from now trying to find that picture of Uncle Bill with the big fish?

If you do start keywording take a little time to organize the keywords. Lightroom is capable of hierarchical keyword structures. So Uncle bill goes under 'family' or even under Family>Smith Family>Bill Smith. So if you enter 'Bill Smith' in the keywords Lightroom also adds 'Family' and 'Smith Family'. I shoot a lot of food photography and have worked hard to keep my keywords organized. A lot of frustrating work at first but paying off dividends now. If I add 'Navel Orange' I also add: orange,citrus,seedless,fruit,produce,food and so on automatically. Once you get your framework set up it really does not take all that much time. But the initial investment in setting it up is time consuming.

01-16-2015, 10:22 AM   #32
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Darktable is also very good for processing RAW files and is free, but it hasn't been written for Windows (and probably won't until a Windows enthusiast comes along and puts in all the work).

After four years of using it, I've found it to be quite powerful. I may switch to LR though, simply for integration into other Adobe programs.
01-16-2015, 11:49 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Re managed or referenced, do you mean Aperture keeps copies of managed files internally? In it's database or something? I assume referenced is the same as LR where all that is in the catalog is a pointer to the file location?
Yes, precisely. All managed files (the originals) are kept in the Aperture Library (i.e. database). You can dig in and get them manually if you like though without opening Aperture. Referenced files are external to it, possibly on an external file system (like LR), and can be organized how you like. I will be very interested to see just how much of this DNA is retained by Photos.
01-16-2015, 03:14 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Des Quote
DxO has improved greatly from v.8 to v.9 to v.10. The layout is better, and in particular the addition of PRIME noise reduction in v.9 was a revelation. I find it very easy to use, with key functions automated but lots of tweaking available if you want. That's just my experience. But I would say give it a miss as your main program if the camera + lens combinations you use most are not supported.
x2 on most of this... prime noise reduction is the reason that i went with dxo, it completely blows away any noise reduction capability that my old photoshop cs5 had... it supports my a7r camera body, but no adapted lenses of course, which is fine, because the noise reduction still works perfectly, regardless of what hardware is supported by the program.

coming from a photoshop background, i don't find it intuitive to use, but it does allow you to export a dng directly into photoshop, which is nice.

01-17-2015, 11:21 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paul the Sunman Quote
Yes, precisely. All managed files (the originals) are kept in the Aperture Library (i.e. database). You can dig in and get them manually if you like though without opening Aperture. Referenced files are external to it, possibly on an external file system (like LR), and can be organized how you like. I will be very interested to see just how much of this DNA is retained by Photos.
Thanks for the explanation! I can see how that would be useful, though personally I prefer 'referenced' as in LR so I know where the actual images are and can backup properly or keep them on external drives and not be beholden to any particular program. But nice that Aperture gave you the option.

Lightroom is remarkably easy to migrate from computer to computer at least partially because the actual images reside in the windows file structure. My images are all on a file server so changing to a new computer just takes copying the catalog and then pointing it to the file server. A lifesaver for me as I've changed PC's several times and still use the same catalog and file server.
01-18-2015, 06:39 AM   #36
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@jatrax: I haven't used Aperture, but if it is anything like iPhoto you can just right click on the Aperture icon and select... something and you see the database including all the photos etc. IIRC.
01-18-2015, 06:40 AM   #37
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as a new guy, take my experience with a grain of salt... but I've been using Lightzone for a while now and it seems to be stable, user-friendly and as powerful as I need.... I definitely recommend it as an option....
01-18-2015, 07:44 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Thanks for the explanation! I can see how that would be useful, though personally I prefer 'referenced' as in LR so I know where the actual images are and can backup properly or keep them on external drives and not be beholden to any particular program. But nice that Aperture gave you the option.

Lightroom is remarkably easy to migrate from computer to computer at least partially because the actual images reside in the windows file structure. My images are all on a file server so changing to a new computer just takes copying the catalog and then pointing it to the file server. A lifesaver for me as I've changed PC's several times and still use the same catalog and file server.
QuoteOriginally posted by kadajawi Quote
@jatrax: I haven't used Aperture, but if it is anything like iPhoto you can just right click on the Aperture icon and select... something and you see the database including all the photos etc. IIRC.
Since the Aperture Library already exists, and iPhoto uses the same library, I find it hard to believe that Apple will spend much time reinventing the wheel...

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Aperture and iPhoto are just front ends to services provided in the OS. Photos won't be much different. The reason we don't have Photos yet is because its main feature, iCloud Photos, isn't ready.


Last edited by boriscleto; 01-18-2015 at 07:52 AM.
01-30-2015, 08:36 PM   #39
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My daughter needed Elements for a high school class. I guess I should just learn to use it, since I paid for it. Is it worth upgrading from 11 to 13? The upgrade is as much as the cost of the original version.
01-30-2015, 11:23 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by 35wailin Quote
My daughter needed Elements for a high school class. I guess I should just learn to use it, since I paid for it. Is it worth upgrading from 11 to 13? The upgrade is as much as the cost of the original version.
I am still using version 6. I just found out that anything past version 9 or 10 does layering, which is something that I have been wanting to do. So, perhaps I am going to need to update my version.

01-31-2015, 07:08 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by Shakey Quote
I just used Faststone, the free version 5.3. Worked with if for about 4 nights on a project. It is basic and not very user friendly in my humble opinion but it was a good first time experience to learn.
Can anyone recommend a better software for a newbie? I don't mind paying for it so I'm not looking for something free. Photoshop is too much for me at this stage of the game...need more experience.
As several other posters have pointed out, there are different aspects to photo processing:

1) Browsing/viewing your images
2) Cataloguing/tagging
3) Simple adjustments
4) More complex editing/layers
5) Raw development

Some programs are better than others at these different "steps" in the process. In an ideal world, there'd be a single program that does all of them well. Maybe there is one, but opinions will differ. Different photographers have different objectives, and prefer different workflows.

Your post isn't clear as to what sort of work your project involved, and why FastStone was inadequate. Perhaps you were trying to use it for something that it isn't really intended to do. The interface is a bit unusual, but I find it VERY user friendly. It's strength is that for doing simple adjustment/editing, it is very quick and nimble. The basic capabilities are right there - you don't have to search for them amid long drop down menus. Most of the frequently used functions are accessible via intuitive keyboard shortcuts. But you are correct - it is a basic program and there are limits to what it will do.

To be fair to FastStone, it's really a photo browser/viewer, and it includes some basic adjustment functions ( it has one of the best one-button "auto correct" functions I've ever used ). For what it is, it is an excellent program IMHO, especially if you're running it on a computer that's a bit lacking in processing power or memory. I found it was very snappy on my old computer, whereas Elements was much slower.

I use Faststone as my default browser - it's what I use to look at, compare, and cull my photos after I copy them onto my computer. If all I need is a quick crop/resize of a photo, with minor adjustments, it's fantastic. Being able to work in full screen mode is very helpful - once you know the keyboard shortcuts to your most frequently used editing tools, it's a snap. And if you need to make use of the more sophisticated capabilities of some other program, you can launch that program from FastStone ( doesn't work well for some programs - but I regard that as a fault of the other program, not FastStone ). I would suggest that since you have FastStone installed, you should try getting a bit more familiar with the interface. Like me, you may find that once you're familiar with the interface, it's a very useful tool - within the limits of it's capabilities.**

For RAW development, I wouldn't necessarily discount the PDCU that came with your camera. I only have experience using the version that came with my K200. The interface is clunky, but I prefer the output I get from it to that of any other RAW converter I've tried. I only wish I could use PDCU for the output of my K30. I like the interface of the Silkypix 3.0 I got with the K30 ( it took some getting used to ), but I'm not that impressed by the output - generally, the out-of-camera JPG is of superior quality ( same goes for the output of ACR via Elements ).

PS Elements may be an option if you're looking for "one stop shopping". I've never tried to use its cataloging capabilities, but it will do RAW conversion ( via a dumbed down version of ACR ). It will do basic editing as well as more complex editing ( layers, HDR, Panorama stitching ). It might not be the best at any particular operation, but as an inexpensive program that covers most of the bases, it may be a reasonable compromise.

Personally, I like having a simple, lightweight program to do my basic browsing/editing, and then calling up the big guns only when I need them. So I use FastStone for that. I have several RAW converters that I can invoke when I feel I need to work from the RAW file - I'm not particularly happy with any of them and am still hoping to find an inexpensive alternative. I have no interest in cataloging, and I hate having to "import" images into a program, so I steer clear of any programs that require that kind of operation, but I'm weird that way.

If I feel I need to do something more complicated with Layers, etc., then I'll use Elements. I've used Gimp, but I mostly use that if I'm 'making' something involving multiple photos and graphics - I don't find it so friendly for working on individual photos.

I'm assuming you're using a K3. I've never used one, but with my K30, I've found that most of the time, the quality of the JPG produced by the camera is hard to surpass using the other RAW converters at my disposal ( maybe with a minor tweak or two ). So I shoot RAW+. This way, I still have the RAW file available for those cases where the camera JPG isn't good enough, or should I find a better RAW converter at some point in the future.

** - NB. By default, for RAW files, FastStone displays the embedded JPG. This allows Faststone to display the contents of a folder fairly quickly ( compared to rendering every RAW file ). For some cameras, this embedded JPG can be of fairly high quality, and you can work with it if all you need is a low res version for reference purposes. Faststone can be configured to render RAW images, but this slows it down, and since you can't adjust any of the parameters for the rendering ( AFAIK ), it seems pointless.
02-15-2015, 12:21 PM   #42
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Prime Noise Reduction (DXO v.9 and v.10) has been mentioned multiple times here as a powerful NR tool. Can anyone comment on how its capabilities compare to Topaz DeNoise?
02-15-2015, 05:11 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by bpv_UW Quote
Prime Noise Reduction (DXO v.9 and v.10) has been mentioned multiple times here as a powerful NR tool. Can anyone comment on how its capabilities compare to Topaz DeNoise?
I haven't used Topaz so I can't compare.

There are some threads on PF and elsewhere which make the comparison (and/or with others like Nik, NoiseNinja, etc) e.g.
- https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/172-pentax-k-3/247556-what-noise-reductio...e-your-k3.html
- Noise Reduction Tested - DXO Optics Clear winner - PistonHeads
- https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/32-digital-processing-software-printing/2...n-plugins.html

But this information is not necessarily referring to the current versions. Noise reduction software is improving all the time - e.g. DxO's PRIME processing was slow in v.9, but much faster in v.10 and DxO says it has been further refined.

The best way to compare is to download a trial version of each, take some high-ISO RAW shots and do a comparison. (Unless someone here has already done that recently.)

Last edited by Des; 02-15-2015 at 05:17 PM.
02-15-2015, 05:19 PM   #44
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Topaz DeNoise is clearly the best I've tried.
03-01-2015, 10:43 AM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by kjg48359 Quote
I'll throw my 2 cents in, but if you've already purchased Lightroom, then keep it. Otherwise, there is an interesting open source (free, no trial, no ad bloatware) called "LightZone."
I'll second the LightZone suggestion. Downloaded it and have played with it for a couple of hours. It really does make editing raw pictures quick and easy. Much better than the Silkypix program that came with my K50. For special photos, like creating sepia, I can do better using a more advanced editor, although not nearly as easily. However since I've just started with the program I'm probably missing a bit. For basic photographs, it works great.

While it doesn't have cataloging I don't really need that and definitely can't complain about the price. Perhaps a bit slow but then I've had little experience editing 16mp images so don't have a comparison.

Thanks for the mention. This was the first I've heard of it and saved me the price of Lightroom.
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