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01-28-2010, 01:43 PM   #1
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Beginner PP Question

Got the Kx recently and haven't bought many accessories yet. What can the Silky Pics cd that came with the cameral do, and what are the limitations of this free program when compared with some of the inexpensive pp software out there? Is the free program a good place for a complete pp beginner to start and then maybe look at paying for a more complete app? Thanks.

01-28-2010, 02:10 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gregor Quote
Got the Kx recently and haven't bought many accessories yet. What can the Silky Pics cd that came with the cameral do, and what are the limitations of this free program when compared with some of the inexpensive pp software out there? Is the free program a good place for a complete pp beginner to start and then maybe look at paying for a more complete app? Thanks.
Gregor,

I can't really say anything about the software that came on your cd. I used it once just to see what it was, but I haven't used it since.

But your question almost answers itself. You should absolutely feel free to use the software that came with your camera. If you don't want to spend money, you don't have to. Check out what you've got and see if you like it. Or look at other free programs, like Google's Picasa.


And if you decide that you don't care very much for what you've got, well, then you can start looking at alternatives. Here are the main ones:
  1. Adobe Photoshop Creative Studio (CS)
  2. Adobe Lightroom
  3. Apple Aperture
  4. Silkypix Pro
  5. LightCrafts' LightZone
  6. ACDSee Pro
  7. Bibble Pro
  8. SilkyPix non-pro (less expensive, nearly identical)
  9. Adobe Photoshop Elements
  10. Corel PaintShop Pro
  11. LightCrafts' Aurora

I've arranged that list roughly in order of cost, with Photoshop CS at the top (mucho dinero) and LightCrafts' Aurora at the bottom ($20). I can't remember what the full version of Photoshop costs but you don't want it or need it. Lightroom, Aperture and SilkyPix Pro all cost close to $300.

Every program on the list above has a free download that you can try, usually for 30 days. When you feel the urge, download something. I've used all of the programs on the list myself and everyone of them has something going for it. (Well, I'm pretty down on the new version of Bibble Pro, so perhaps I should say nearly every version on the list has something going for it.)

Will

Last edited by WMBP; 01-28-2010 at 03:12 PM. Reason: removed recommendation of SilkyPix which was an incomplete sentence.
01-28-2010, 02:23 PM   #3
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Wow! Thanks for the info and especially that list!
01-28-2010, 11:28 PM   #4
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Will did such a great job answering you that I will not even add to it. But I will provide a link to another free software, which is excellent and easy to use. Compare it with Picasa and the Silky Pix you have.

FastStone Image Viewer, Screen Capture, Photo Resizer ...

01-29-2010, 05:05 AM   #5
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The one thing I would mention is that you can often get a little older version of a program that still does a great job. For example, Photoshop elements is currently on version 8, but you can find copies of version 7 for 50 dollars now. I would also say that it is worth getting a companion book to whatever program you choose. Postprocessing is not completely intuitive and there are things you can learn from a book that you wouldn't figure out on your own.
01-29-2010, 09:17 PM   #6
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Well, you did already get some nice answers, only you forgot to ask the right question

The right software always depends on what you cant to do with it. This applies to the free ones too. Even Picasa does imaging processing and its free. One of the best bang-for-the-buck for PP is Photoshop Elements but it won't manage your images and is overkill is all you want to do is crop.

Remember the best processing is no processing and means more time spent doing photography. Learn photography skills so that you don't have to process anything.

- Itai
Neoluminance | Fine Art Photography
01-29-2010, 09:31 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Itai Quote
The right software always depends on what you cant to do with it. This applies to the free ones too. Even Picasa does imaging processing and its free. One of the best bang-for-the-buck for PP is Photoshop Elements but it won't manage your images and is overkill is all you want to do is crop.
Actually, Photoshop Elements does have a file management app. I only use the "Edit" module, these days, but I used the "Organize" module in the past for a while, and found it very capable.

I certainly agree that PE is overkill if all you want to do is crop. But nearly every app has features you won't use. I'm partial to Lightroom rather than Elements; but I don't use Lightroom's print or web features AT ALL. Elements really does have a pretty good mix of basic and advanced features. It might surprise some who don't know the programs, but I use Lightroom (which was really designed from the ground up for pros) for most of my work, and I use Elements only for really advanced stuff requiring layers or cut-and-paste that I can't do in Lightroom. The surprise is that I turn to Elements for its advanced features, even though Elements is marked really as a home/consumer app. The big difference, for me anyway, between Elements and Lightroom is that Elements is not an ideal program to use if you have 700 images to process and you're in a hurry; Lightroom on the other hand is designed for just that.


QuoteQuote:
Remember the best processing is no processing and means more time spent doing photography. Learn photography skills so that you don't have to process anything.
Well, I have two responses to this.

First if you shoot raw, you more or less force yourself into doing some post-processing. Exposing to the right, as you must with raw capture, means that you will often need to bring your exposures down a bit. I think raw files usually need a little added clarity (mid-tone contrast enhancement) and often just a tiny increase at the black (left) end of the histogram.

Second, while I generally agree with Itai's statement here - I am not crazy about working on the computer and would rather be shooting - this is something of a matter of preference. Some people really LIKE playing around with their pictures in Photoshop or whatever. Seems kind of a waste of time to me personally but I don't knock it. Keeps people off the streets. :-)

Will
01-30-2010, 03:19 PM   #8
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I find the free Picasa to be the quickest and easiest PP program for most basic editing and cropping. I like the way it organizes photos also and the program makes it very quick and simple to resize for uploading. I also use Elements, which will do probably 98% of anything you will need to do. If you shoot RAW, then consider Lightroom. There seems to be some issues with the Kx's PEF and Picasa.

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