PC upgrade - what software upgrade?


mattie

Link Posted 24/06/2013 - 12:19
Hi all

A question, if I may.

My PC has reached that point where it takes longer to fire up and load up gmail than it would take for me to write a letter and the post office deliver it, so it's being upgraded. It'll have a solid state drive and hefty amounts of RAM, so should be good for some heavyweight photo editing.


I'm still a little unclear around photo software. At present I simply use a combo of UFRAW and GIMP, which I don't find that intuitive and which has little workflow support, and through which I do little more than 'tweak' images.

This is definitely the major weakness in my photography (not that other areas don't need work), so I'm keen to get a sensible suite of software and learn how to use it properly. As such, I'm after something reasonably intuitive that has all the key features but is firmly aimed at the keen amateur - in essence, a reasonably easy learning curve for sensible outlay.

The full-fat adobe CS is therefore out, so I'd appreciate recommendations for what else to try. I'm currently considering lightroom and the equivalent open-source (Darktable, which sadly has no Windows install so I'd need a Linux dual-boot) as these start with workflow and then drill into editing. Other than that, we can get a free version of PS Elements through my wife's purchase of a pen tablet, but I'm not that clued up on what the competitors to Adobe offer.

Is this personal preference or are there clear contenders I should be considering?

Cheers

Matt

bforbes

Link Posted 24/06/2013 - 12:27
I'd go for lightroom, which will cover most things, and if you have elements for free it will cover the rest. I find Lightroom particularly easy to use.
Barrie
Too Old To Die Young
.
Pentax K1 K5-IIS K-01 K20D A50/2 A50/1.7 DA10-17 DA18-250 DA18-135 DA18-55 DA300 DA40 DA50-135 DA50-200 DA55-300 DA70 F35-70 DFA150-450 FA20-35 FA100 FA135 FA35 FA28 FA43 FA50 FA77 K55/1.8 M135/3.5 M200/4 M28/3.5 M28/2.8 M40/2.8 Q 01 02 MX-1 I-10 Sigma 15 24 105 180 8-16 10-20 17-35 17-50/2.8 24-70 400/5.6MF Tamron 70-200/2.8 17/3.5MF 24/2.5MF 28/2.5MF 90/2.5MF


http://www.pentaxphotogallery.com/artists/barrieforbes

mattie

Link Posted 24/06/2013 - 12:42
Thanks Barrie - out of interest, have you found lightroom restricting in any way?

TonyM

Link Posted 24/06/2013 - 13:21
Best thing is to download and try. But if you can get a free PSE (which I assume is at least the latest or previous version) then why not use that for a few months, get to know it and understand what you like/don't like and then download the 30 day trials that all publishers provide. You might be happy just with PSE!

Personally I swear by lightroom and have PSE for the 5% of occasions when I want to do more involved manipulation.

Regards

Tony

bforbes

Link Posted 24/06/2013 - 14:05
mattie wrote:
Thanks Barrie - out of interest, have you found lightroom restricting in any way?

I've been using LR4 in which the clone/heal tools are not as versatile as those in Elements 11. But, as Tony is suggesting to you, I've downloaded the trial of LR5 and I'm playing with the "improved" versions.
Barrie
Too Old To Die Young
.
Pentax K1 K5-IIS K-01 K20D A50/2 A50/1.7 DA10-17 DA18-250 DA18-135 DA18-55 DA300 DA40 DA50-135 DA50-200 DA55-300 DA70 F35-70 DFA150-450 FA20-35 FA100 FA135 FA35 FA28 FA43 FA50 FA77 K55/1.8 M135/3.5 M200/4 M28/3.5 M28/2.8 M40/2.8 Q 01 02 MX-1 I-10 Sigma 15 24 105 180 8-16 10-20 17-35 17-50/2.8 24-70 400/5.6MF Tamron 70-200/2.8 17/3.5MF 24/2.5MF 28/2.5MF 90/2.5MF


http://www.pentaxphotogallery.com/artists/barrieforbes

mattie

Link Posted 24/06/2013 - 15:03
Ta both - I'll see if I can get a demo of Lightroom, I think I need something to help with the management and workflow above Elements. I'll give both a go, however.

Has anyone tried any open source equivalents, such as Darktable? I'd need to install linux which is a bit of a drag, so keen to hear if anyone has used it and what they thought.

Mannesty

Link Posted 24/06/2013 - 15:47
mattie wrote:
I'll see if I can get a demo of Lightroom, ...

Download a 30 day trial copy from here.
Peter E Smith

My flickr Photostream

Smeggypants

Link Posted 25/06/2013 - 05:56
mattie wrote:
Ta both - I'll see if I can get a demo of Lightroom, I think I need something to help with the management and workflow above Elements. I'll give both a go, however.

Has anyone tried any open source equivalents, such as Darktable? I'd need to install linux which is a bit of a drag, so keen to hear if anyone has used it and what they thought.

Then Lightroom is highly recommended. it's as much a Photo management and cataloguing application as it is an editing application
[i]Bodies: 1x K-5IIs, 2x K-5, Sony TX-5, Nokia 808
Lenses: Pentax DA 10-17mm ED(IF) Fish Eye, Pentax DA 14mm f/2.8, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8, Pentax-A 28mm f/2.8, Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.2, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-FA 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7, Pentax DA* 50-135mm f/2.8, Sigma 135-400mm APO DG, and more ..
Flash: AF-540FGZ, Vivitar 283

Jim-w

Link Posted 25/06/2013 - 08:36
mattie wrote:
Ta both - I'll see if I can get a demo of Lightroom, I think I need something to help with the management and workflow above Elements. I'll give both a go, however.

Has anyone tried any open source equivalents, such as Darktable? I'd need to install linux which is a bit of a drag, so keen to hear if anyone has used it and what they thought.

I can recommend elements as it has elements organiser, and as such is a very good photo management and cataloguing application and editing program.

Jim.

Smeggypants

Link Posted 25/06/2013 - 22:56
Jim-w wrote:
mattie wrote:
Ta both - I'll see if I can get a demo of Lightroom, I think I need something to help with the management and workflow above Elements. I'll give both a go, however.

Has anyone tried any open source equivalents, such as Darktable? I'd need to install linux which is a bit of a drag, so keen to hear if anyone has used it and what they thought.

I can recommend elements as it has elements organiser, and as such is a very good photo management and cataloguing application and editing program.

Jim.

Can you select, for example, a hundred shots and apply the same edits to them simultaneously with one slider movement?
[i]Bodies: 1x K-5IIs, 2x K-5, Sony TX-5, Nokia 808
Lenses: Pentax DA 10-17mm ED(IF) Fish Eye, Pentax DA 14mm f/2.8, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8, Pentax-A 28mm f/2.8, Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.2, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-FA 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7, Pentax DA* 50-135mm f/2.8, Sigma 135-400mm APO DG, and more ..
Flash: AF-540FGZ, Vivitar 283

McGregNi

Link Posted 26/06/2013 - 06:37
You're referring to batch processing using parametric edits. LR would record the settings as metadata and store them in the database, to be applied to the shots as required when they came to be output. The catalogue thumbnails would update to reflect the changes I'm guessing ??

No, Elements would not offer this, at least not my slightly older version. AFAIK in Elements, whilst you can have open multiple images in the workspace, only one is active at any one time, so any edits are only applied to that one active image.

Multiple images selected in the 'organiser' are simply opened into the editor 'project bin', but I don't believe this offers any batch processing features.
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver

Jim-w

Link Posted 26/06/2013 - 07:39
Smeggy say.......
Can you select, for example, a hundred shots and apply the same edits to them simultaneously with one slider movement?

As Nigel says probably not. Although I have to say I personally have yet to come across a situation where I would want to.
I am not gonna get into a debate about what Lightroom can do that elements can't and vice versa as they are both very different yet very capable program's , all I was pointing out is that elements is capable of organising and cataloguing images just as Lightroom does.


All the best ..... Jim.

Hardgravity

Link Posted 26/06/2013 - 07:55
Cat amongst pigeons time!

Have you tried any of the free programs, Photoscape (CLICKY LINK)is easy to use, if you want to catalogue then check out Piccassa, sorry no link but it will come up on Google.

If you want serious editing power then ignore my thoughts, I use Photoscape because it's simple easy and free.

I've tried the Adobe range and found them far to complex and powerful for my meagre needs
Cheers, HG

K110+DA40, K200+DA35, K5+Tammy 18-250, a bag of lenses, bodies and other bits.

Mustn't forget the Zenits, or folders, or...

I've some gallerieshere CLICKY LINK! and my PPG entries.

johnriley

Link Posted 26/06/2013 - 08:22
Be aware that these other programs do things we don't necessarily expect. For example, I read yesterday that Picasa strips out some of the EXIF data, so one photographer found he couldn't do what he wanted to as a result. In this case he wanted to put modified images back on his SD card, at which point the camera would no longer recognise them because of the changes Picasa had made. I'm not sure why he wanted to do this, but he did.

Photoshop doesn't strip out anything, but of course that may or may not be an issue for individuals.
Best regards, John

Smeggypants

Link Posted 26/06/2013 - 09:21
Jim-w wrote:
Smeggy say.......
Can you select, for example, a hundred shots and apply the same edits to them simultaneously with one slider movement?

As Nigel says probably not. Although I have to say I personally have yet to come across a situation where I would want to.
I am not gonna get into a debate about what Lightroom can do that elements can't and vice versa as they are both very different yet very capable program's , all I was pointing out is that elements is capable of organising and cataloguing images just as Lightroom does.


All the best ..... Jim.

OTOH I find this ability invaluable. I come back from a shoot and have multiple images of what is a similar scene.

I like to do the basic tweaking on all those images, i.e colour balance, exposure adjustments, contrast, etc, before deciding which one's to spend some time tweaking further to ( hopefully ) perfection.

I find that applying basic processing to all the pics taken for a particular scene helps me decide which are the "keepers" - I don't delete the rest, as I keep them for archive purposes.

I wasn't asking the question in order to denigrate Elements, as I genuinely don't know, but was just trying to learn what each software package can, or cannot, do..

Quote:
As Nigel says probably not.

So you're not sure. That's OK. Can someone clarify if this is possible or not?
[i]Bodies: 1x K-5IIs, 2x K-5, Sony TX-5, Nokia 808
Lenses: Pentax DA 10-17mm ED(IF) Fish Eye, Pentax DA 14mm f/2.8, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8, Pentax-A 28mm f/2.8, Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.2, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-FA 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7, Pentax DA* 50-135mm f/2.8, Sigma 135-400mm APO DG, and more ..
Flash: AF-540FGZ, Vivitar 283
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