What's your preferred post processing software?


Link Posted 10/04/2019 - 20:20
I've been a Lightroom user since it's first introduction and I'm confident in the use of the essential tools, and some of the obscure ones too. In recent years many other 'pretenders to the throne' have emerged and I've tried many of them. I'm referring to the paid options, not the freebies or bundled offerings like Gimp etc. I subscribe to Adobe's photographer package which includes Lightroom and Photoshop. I rarely use Photoshop.

Of the alternatives available I have used On1 PhotoRAW mostly, buying in to it's 2017, 2018, and 2019 versions. It promises to be a world class leader but it has it's issues on both Mac and Windows platforms with many users including myself reporting crashes, poor performance, colour rendition during export, and many more. On1's video demo's always appear flawless, but that's not us users experience.

I've had the Topaz suite for some years but have never used it much, until Topaz Studio was released. I like it, a lot. I'm still a novice user but getting to grips with masking and layering.

Then there is Afiinity Photo. I used Serif's software a very long time ago but got tired of their constant marketing phone calls and ditched them. Serif's photo editing suite, rebranded as Affinity Photo has really come of age and I'm warming to it, gradually.

Finally, for the simple reason that it was inexpensive, I bought Skylum's Luminar 3. Similar in operation to Affinity Photo but nowhere near as accomplished as the Serif offering.

However, none of these 'pretenders' includes a decent digital asset management (DAM) system that gets anywhere close to Lightroom's capabilities. I've looked at Photo Mechanic which appears to offer just about everything a DAM should have but the price is too high for me. Luminar doesn't even have keyword or search functions.

So, bottom line, I still use Lightroom to manage my photos and make the usual initial adjustments, cropping, colour balance etc. then use one or more of the other editors for finishing.

What software/hardware platform are you guys using to produce your images nowadays?
Peter E Smith

My flickr Photostream


Link Posted 10/04/2019 - 20:37
Was using Adobe Elements for quite a while but mostly DXO Photolab these days, not used lightroom for years.
. My Flickr


Link Posted 10/04/2019 - 21:28
I have the Adobe Photo package (LR + PS) and use LR mainly for cataloguing my images.

I have used Silkypix DS Pro for many years for raw processing and it is my converter of choice.

If I am going to do further work on an image in selective areas I will create a 16 bit TIFF from the raw file using Silkypix then work on it in Photoshop. Finally creating the end product jpeg from PS.

My Flickr page


Link Posted 10/04/2019 - 21:52
ACR and PSE-11.

Works for me!

Some people call me 'strange'.
I prefer 'unconventional'.
But I'm willing to compromise and accept 'eccentric'.


Link Posted 10/04/2019 - 22:08
For DAM I use ACDsee. Also it has dual editing modules. Develop simple adjustments akin to LR and Edit, layers etc like PS. I don't understand why, but it's Edit that has the Auto functions for exposure, white balance and so on rather than Develop. So I find it just as easy to use the basic tool in Edit.
So far I've held on to Affinity Photo for it's channel swapping function but it seems to take a long time for it to start and again to load an image. I've now discovered that Topaz Studio has a channel swapping and the rest of it seems to be good as well.
Too Old To Die Young



Link Posted 10/04/2019 - 22:22
Lightroom for developing pictures, and will occasionally head over to photoshop if I need to manipulate them (likes of serious cloning/masking etc).
I use Photomatix for HDR work, generating the merged image direct from Pentax DNG RAW files and then importing the single processed output file into Lightroom.

Lightroom is a bit bloated in terms of functionality, so there are many tabs I don't use. I don't GPS my photos so the map and photobook tabs aren't used.
I did use the slideshow tab once for a funeral slideshow, as it was quick for that basic sort of video thing. If you import your images as a 1:1 preview then it takes the load off the computer when you zoom in and out. Takes a bit longer to import initially, but little changes like that have helped a lot to keep it speedy. Newer versions of Lightroom will use a GPU (finally!) to help accelerate aspects. Premiere Pro (Adobe's video editor) has used GPU acceleration for quite some time now.

I'm not a fan of jumping between multiple programs to do different aspects, as I am concerned about image quality loss every time the file is saved at each step.
PC wise I'm running an older i7 machine, with 16Gb RAM and a GeForce GTX 650 GPU, the OS/Programs on an SSD and bulk photos stored on a separate data drive. Am in the process of investigating what a cost effective upgrade should be in 2019. Like digital camera tech, computer have got better, but we're not seeing the dramatic leaps forward each year like we did when the tech was in it's infancy.


Link Posted 10/04/2019 - 22:33
bforbes wrote:
For DAM I use ACDsee. Also it has dual editing modules. Develop simple adjustments akin to LR and Edit, layers etc like PS. ....

Me also - very quick to keyword and categorise photos and a very quick tool for doing a sort of 'curves' type tweak as well.

Also use Affinity, but as you say very slow to start up. I also use DXO from time to time for the RAW conversion. And alesser known one for versatile editing; Picture Window Pro


Link Posted 10/04/2019 - 23:15
I use Photoshop CC for almost everything, but also Photomatix for when I feel like producing an HDR image. Photoshop gets the job done, so no need for me to be looking for an alternative. No doubt there are perfectly good alternatives, although I usually found there would be some critical tool missing and it was back to Photoshop.
Best regards, John


Link Posted 11/04/2019 - 19:32
DxO for RAW image processing, GIMP for general purpose image processing and PanaVue for stitching panoramic image.



Link Posted 13/04/2019 - 01:02
I simply can't understand the sheer complexity of these fancy toolkits - (I've got some of them) - and I go back to Faststone Image Viewer every time. Half of them, you can't understand the opening screen, never mind how to 'make it go'. I even bought the Affinity Workbook but to no avail. It must be my mental processing because I can't use MS Word either - too complicated, yet I'm a real wiz with MS Publisher!
Both the *istDS and the K5 are incurably addicted to old glass

My page on Photocrowd - link


Link Posted 13/04/2019 - 07:35
When I was working, for many years I used an old version of PaintShop Pro (4.15SE) given free on a magazine cover disk, for drawing diagrams on information sheets. When I restarted photography as my main pastime in 2011 and spotted the then latest version in PCWorld for half the price of PS Elements, it was an obvious choice for me. It does everything I need, and much, much more, for editing and adjusting to my taste the images I usually record as best quality JPEGs from the camera, for projecting (max 1600x1000) or printing at camera club size (max of about A3). So I have been using PSP ever since, and now with version 2019. I have no wish to pay rent to Adobe, however good their stuff might be - instead I take advantage of the Corel PSP version upgrade offers that occasionally arrive on screen in a pop-up window, at below 30. I also still use the free version of the Nik software, particularly Silver Efex Pro, as a PSP plug-in.

Last Edited by MrB on 13/04/2019 - 07:39


Link Posted 13/04/2019 - 08:26
I use Lightroom for almost everything. What i like best is its ability to organize all my pictures, in a way that i can find them later. By date, metadata, geotag, keyword, working on face recognition.... I can create a slide show... It will even stitch a pano nicely. No need to have copies of my images all over my hard drives.

I used to use Capture One. Imho, a better RAW developer, particularly for skin tones.

Pentax DCU (or SilkyPix) is best for pixel-shift images, the others still haven't figured out how to do that.

And finally, I use GIMP for the fancy stuff. I have Photoshop with my Adobe susbscription, but i haven't used it yet.

I don't like postprocessing - very boring. I'd much rather take pictures!


Link Posted 15/04/2019 - 16:52
I use Raw Therapee. A free download that does everything I need and a whole lot of stuff I don`t. Also works well on my steam powered, valve operated old lap-top!


Link Posted 15/04/2019 - 17:37
Affinity Photo, excellent. It has got better with updates. RAW studio called Develop integrated. Loads I haven't figured yet. Great Forums and short how to videos on their site.
Superb presets you can add to for such as vibrance, landscape haze, clarity etc. Basically it nicks all the best ideas from the Adobe subscription products. I paid 29.99 as an upgrade from much inferior Serif PhotoPlus. There is a Design program available too with a Publisher coming. I think an organiseer like Lightroom is in the works. R
All works very nicely on my recent LG brand 4K IPS screen and new Dell PC with 12 core i7 processor.

I have Google Nik Collection installed too from when it was still free.


Link Posted 15/04/2019 - 18:29
Mannesty wrote:
I used Serif's software a very long time ago but got tired of their constant marketing phone calls and ditched them.

My experience too. Took a loooong time before going near them again. Then had a look at Affinity Photo towards the end of last year and...
wvbarnes wrote:
Affinity Photo, excellent.

Agree 100%. The lack of an organiser isn't a problem for me but might be for some. For basic processing of K3 sized raw and jpg, it runs well on an Intel NUC with dual-core I7 3.5GHz processor and 8GB RAM (but I don't do pixel shift or focus stacking). There's a beta release of the next update that claims to do various thing faster as well as adding more/better bells and whistles, but haven't had time to try it out yet.

I still have, and occasionally use, various other free/cheap programs including Pentax/Ricoh DCU 5, GIMP and an ancient version of Photoshop Elements.

There's no 'right' answer to what software to use, it's just a matter of finding something that works for you, your computer and your wallet.

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