Lightroom and Photoshop Alternatives


johnjbloomfield

Link Posted 02/02/2016 - 21:00
Hi Guys,

Hoping to pick your brains on something.

Because of a business I am involved in I have the full Adobe CS5 installed on my PC and have used for many years Adobe Bridge and Photoshop for processing my photos.

A pro friend has told me for years I should look at lightroom to better manage my photos and the processing of them. So I downloaded the trial and had a little play, and with 20,000 photos on my hard drive I can certainly see the benefits of the speed of how lightroom works and the non-destructive simple 'develop' options which are clearly just Adobe Camera Raw but nicely handled with inbuilt presets etc. It is all very nice. The speed of cataloging is great BUT and it is a big BUT I don't like the Creative Cloud licencing.

I don't mind subscription services per se, I use loads of them and the benefit of constant updating is great, but in virtually all of them if I stop my subscription you're usually left with a 'frozen' i.e. no updates version of the software so you can still edit your old files just as you would with standard non-subscription software if you didn't buy the next upgrade. With Creative cloud this is not the case, you can still use lightroom but none of the editing facilities just the database functions and photoshop is entirely inaccessible so you have to subscribe forever!!!!! just to be able to edit your own files!

So can anyone recommend an alternative to Lightroom i.e. a database system with RAW developing and photo-retouching facilities. I don't mind whether it is one off payment or subscription just as long as if I cancel I am left with a working copy of the software (that doesn't get updates) so I can still access my own work.

Affinity Photo looks good but it's MAC only and I run windows and have no intention of ever buying an apple product.

richandfleur

Link Posted 02/02/2016 - 21:21
You can still buy the stand alone lightroom version from memory. Surely that would address your concerns?

If your business will religiously update constantly, then the cloud version works out quite competitively against purchasing ever stand alone version.

johnjbloomfield

Link Posted 02/02/2016 - 21:34
richandfleur wrote:
You can still buy the stand alone lightroom version from memory. Surely that would address your concerns?

If your business will religiously update constantly, then the cloud version works out quite competitively against purchasing ever stand alone version.

I think you're missing my point to be honest. The cloud version wouldn't matter if it was free the inability to exit and still have access to tools to edit my files saved in their proprietary formats means I can't and won't touch it and I can't see why anyone else would. If it had a an exit option that left you able to still open your proprietary files like .psd and edit them in the future even if it is on old software. I am not committing to subscribing for life.

We have CS5 and you can't buy CS6 anymore without jumping through lots of hoops. We will continue to run CS5 for as long as hardware allows but there will be compatibility issues in the long term so we are looking to exit the Adobe eco-system when we can.

I am aware of the Lightroom standalone version still being available but as it is just about the only standalone software left available how long does it have, and without a standalone version of photoshop (CS5 will link for now) to go with it in the long term I see no feasible future in the software.

johnriley

Link Posted 02/02/2016 - 23:42
I just went for the CC version. I paid upfront for a year and it works out at around £8.50 per month. Frankly as it constantly updates and gives me PS, LR and Bridge it's well worth it for me.

If I want to I can still use CS5, or even CS2 or 7.
Best regards, John

McBrian

Link Posted 03/02/2016 - 06:49
A standalone version of LR6 will work just fine with CS5. all you have to do is set up the editor to call CS5.

You need to set up the external editor to call CS5 in either PSD, Tiff or JPG format, LR6 handles the camera raw files no matter what editing software you use.
Cheers
Brian.
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johnjbloomfield

Link Posted 03/02/2016 - 07:58
OK guys you are all missing the point I am making so I will make it once more.

You create something today in Photoshop cc and save it as a PSD - already CS5 can not work with that file unless you save it in compatibility mode and lose some of the features and things you did to your work. You cancel CC and you have no choice but to revert to whatever version of photoshop etc. you have previously owned a licence for in the traditional way, if you remembered to save your work in 'compatibility mode' then you might be able to do something with your old software if you did not you are locked out of your own work. As there is no option to buy a one off licence you either have to let it go or subscribe for life. With the traditional model of software you didn't have to upgrade unless you wanted to but if there was ever a backward compatability issue or software issue you could just do a one off upgrade to bring yourself up to date. This is no longer feasible.

I am aware the standalone LR6 will play fine with my CS5 but, I believe it is only a matter of time before they stop developing a stand alone version of lightroom so there will come a time where as with the CS versions of photoshop etc. there is no longer an upgrade option that does not require taking on a never ending subscription. CS5 is now 5 years old and there will come a time when it wont install on a version of windows or it has a conflict with something else and as Adobe no longer support it or produce a non cc upgrade version then I will be stuck.

So unless adobe change their exit policy from CC to allow you to keep a functioning but no longer update-able version of the software as is at the point you cancel your subscription then I have no intention of using any versions of their software.

So whether you agree with me or not there is no point in trying to convince me to use Lightroom and my old PSP CS5 because you do - I am simply asking anyone who uses alternatives to lightroom with photoshop what they use and what they think of it?

I've been looking at the following if anyone has tried recent versions of them I would be grateful for their feedback;

ACDsee Ultimate 9
Aftershot Pro 2
Paintshop Pro
PhotoImpact X3
Capture One Pro

Any other suggestions gratefully received.
Last Edited by johnjbloomfield on 03/02/2016 - 07:59

womble

Link Posted 03/02/2016 - 07:59
Darktable.
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johnjbloomfield

Link Posted 03/02/2016 - 08:00
womble wrote:
Darktable.

I thought Darktable was MAc and Linux only - is there a windows version?

Algernon

Link Posted 03/02/2016 - 08:08
johnjbloomfield wrote:
womble wrote:
Darktable.

I thought Darktable was MAc and Linux only - is there a windows version?

Try here for Windows 64bit .......

http://www.partha.com/

--
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johnjbloomfield

Link Posted 03/02/2016 - 08:56
Do you use it yourself Algernon? Or have you in the past what do you think it's strengths and weakness's are?

Algernon wrote:
johnjbloomfield wrote:
Quote:
Darktable.

I thought Darktable was MAc and Linux only - is there a windows version?

Try here for Windows 64bit .......

http://www.partha.com/

--

Lingevres

Link Posted 03/02/2016 - 09:14
I see what your'e getting at John but all those free editing software require you to save to a standard file (JPEG, TIFF) for further use, Adobe allows you to save to a PSD for further uses in Adobe software, but you can also save to any standard format for future use/editing. I use Lightroom 4 to edit my RAW files but save a copy to TIFF/JPEG (depending on importance) to make my files futureproof.

John

johnriley

Link Posted 03/02/2016 - 09:17
I understand the original problem, but who can predict what will happen to all the alternative versions to Photoshop etc? Who could have predicted the subscription model when we all using Photoshop 6 or 7?

Nothing in the IT world is certain, but the algorithms that Adobe uses are usually superior to the alternatives. This may or may not matter, but I resisted for a while until I needed the upgrades and therefore had to go with the subscription. IMHO there isn't an alternative that is as good.
Best regards, John

Darkmunk

Link Posted 03/02/2016 - 09:25
This is interesting; I haven't considered this issue.
As a graphics/photography/multimedia guy, the CC route is essential for ongoing compatibility with other people, but the idea that I'm stuck in perpetuity and unable to edit my own photos is a bit scary. Luckily, I routinely save as TIFF, so I'll probably be fine and simply have to revert to using a normal file browser to organise my files. Lightroom is a batch productivity tool more than anything. For individual files, any version of PS is just fine. So I guess I'll just have to work slower one day, when I bail out of the rat-race.
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johnjbloomfield

Link Posted 03/02/2016 - 09:36
It doesn't have to be free software in fact I would prefer commercial for the support

Lingevres wrote:
I see what your'e getting at John but all those free editing software require you to save to a standard file (JPEG, TIFF) for further use, Adobe allows you to save to a PSD for further uses in Adobe software, but you can also save to any standard format for future use/editing. I use Lightroom 4 to edit my RAW files but save a copy to TIFF/JPEG (depending on importance) to make my files futureproof.

John

johnjbloomfield

Link Posted 03/02/2016 - 09:41
johnriley wrote:
I understand the original problem, but who can predict what will happen to all the alternative versions to Photoshop etc? Who could have predicted the subscription model when we all using Photoshop 6 or 7?

Nothing in the IT world is certain, but the algorithms that Adobe uses are usually superior to the alternatives. This may or may not matter, but I resisted for a while until I needed the upgrades and therefore had to go with the subscription. IMHO there isn't an alternative that is as good.

This is possibly true John it is certainly the best I won't argue that, but i think they have set their course and made their business model clear so it is not for me. We are slowly getting the design business off their ship and on a personal level (photography) it is easier and more sensible for me not to get on board at all. Obviously other software could go the same way but it seems less likely, than adobe stuff which is already on that route and they may have a better exit policy from subscription models , but either way at least I will still have a perpetual licence to fall back on for a while.
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