Best app for handling RAW files?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by OldCorpse, Jan 12, 2008.

  1. OldCorpse macrumors 65816

    OldCorpse

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    #1
    I'm looking for an app that'll handle RAW files from my DSLR. I'd like something that has an easy learning curve - I don't need a ton of esoteric functionality. Ideas? TIA!
     
  2. onomatopoeia macrumors 6502

    onomatopoeia

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    #2
    Check the software that came with your DSLR. It ought to handle your RAW files perfecty and you don't have to pay anything.

    Managing RAW files isn't difficult. They have this aura about them as something complex.
     
  3. MurphyM macrumors 6502

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    #3
    I find Lightroom to be pretty straight-forward. But the main reason I recommend it: If you can somehow qualify for education pricing you can get it for $99. At least that's what it used to be.

    If you provided a little more information about what your requirements are people can probably make other suggestions as well.
     
  4. OldCorpse thread starter macrumors 65816

    OldCorpse

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    #4
    Thanks. I was just looking for basic cropping, cc and such.
     
  5. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/3A109a Safari/419.3)

    there is lightroom and aperture. But my camera came with something that handles raw files, capture nx. You may find that you have something already but in my opinion it is best to have something like capture and photoshop whether it is the full app or even elements. I find elements to be a very capable program and rather easy to learn.
     
  6. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #6
    You don't say what dSLR you are using - but iPhoto, which likely came for free with your Mac, should do exactly what you're looking for.
     
  7. OldCorpse thread starter macrumors 65816

    OldCorpse

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    Pentax K10D.

    And sorry, but iPhoto is just the pits. I've actually eviscerated it from my computer. I hate it.
     
  8. zdobson macrumors 6502

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    #8
    I use Photoshop CS3. I've never tried Aperture or Lightroom, though. To people who use those two: What type of advantages do those programs offer?
     
  9. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #9
    That's cool - but that's the sort of information you might want to mention from the first. :) The way your question was phrased, I didn't think you knew what apps could handle RAW.
     
  10. OldCorpse thread starter macrumors 65816

    OldCorpse

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    Sorry, I didn't mean to offend. I guess it's a matter of taste or personality or whatever, but to me iPhoto is utterly baffling and unintuitive. Not only do I find it opaque, but I can't find anything. Sure, someone could point out to me where it is that one can for example easily re-size photos, but you know what? I spent several minutes on my own looking through all the menus and couldn't find it - if I need someone to actually sit and instruct me on such extremely basic things, then I don't even want to know anything else about the software - it is way too unintuitive to ME and my way of thinking. I have no such problems in other software even in windows (say, Irfan). I don't understand the concepts in iPhoto - I try to change something in a photo and suddenly I can't find it anymore because there are multiple databases/libraries/copies whatever the unholy mess. I can't deal with it. The hell with it - it just doesn't work with MY brain. I'm sure for others it's the opposite, it makes 100% sense, and software which I find intuitive, makes no sense to them in turn. In addition, I find iPhoto clumsy, slow, turgid, and buggy when you're dealing with a ton of photos. I just HATE it, HATE it, HATE it. So there, I hope I explained it :)
     
  11. JeffTL macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    I also couldn't stand iPhoto any more, and switched to Lightroom. I haven't looked back. It's really easy to learn, handles my thousands of images with ease, has great web gallery functionality, and lets me turn my Nikon D50 NEFs into something great.
     
  12. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #12
    No offense was taken, don't worry about it. I just didn't realize where the starting line was. :D
     
  13. Mechcozmo macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

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    #13
    Set your K10D to shoot RAW files in the DNG format.

    Now, any software worth a damn (or maybe a couple bucks) can read it. Preview might even qualify depending on how intensive you want to get– it handles images very well.
     
  14. qtpie36963 macrumors member

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    #14
    This goes for all cameras and scanners as well.... Always use the software that comes with the product. For example.. My Nikon software that came with my D40 specializes in handling Nikon RAW files.. so it's the best!

    Although the software is limited.. you can only do a certain amount of simple editing. (i.e. Color Balance, Size, Hue/Saturation, etc..)

    iPhoto '08 handles the files nicely (for storing and managing...)

    PS CS3 edits the images nicely for more advanced situations (i.e. dust spots, or manipulation) but again you loose a little bit of the quality since it's not designed especially for your specific RAW files.
     
  15. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #15
    Why not use iPhoto?

    If that is all you need then why not use iPhoto? It handles raw files just fine.

    The next step up would be to buy Adobe PS Elements and use "camera raw". But if you do decide to try this you might want to wait for iPhoto 6 to come out.

    After that you can deside to go with either Lightroom or Aperture. But you said
    "basic cropping, cc" and iPhoto will do both of those functions on raw file
     
  16. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #16
    Why is it PS CS3 "not designed especially for your specific RAW files" It is. What you should have said was "not designed exclusivly for your specific RAW files." Adobe did a lot of work writing many, many raw converters. The problem with Nikon's software is that the user interface is horrible, it is dead slow and is not even universal binary yet.
     
  17. 66217 Guest

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    #17
    The problem with iPhoto is that it would convert to JPEG when editing a RAW file. And it does not have non-destructive editing. It instead create duplicates of each photo when you edit them.


    I greatly recommend Aperture.
     
  18. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #18
    Yes but the OP lists his desired feature set as just "basic crop and cc". if "non-destructive edit" were in his feature set then tell him about Aperture.


    Not just iPhoto but any other workflow will also create a JPG from his NEF files. Even with Aperture he will have to create a JPG if he ever wants to look at the image outside of Aperture. Aperture will create the duplcate image file when you do the export for print, email or iLife apps. It's not that bad really. the JPG is small nd adding JPG to RAW only increases the total size by (what?) 15% I paid $0.20 per gigabyte for my last disk. So a typical 6MB JPG costs me 12 hundreds of a cent to store.

    Peole here should tailor their recommendations for the other person's needs not everyone needs Aperture and not everyone hands to invest to time in it's learning curve, same applies to Photoshop CS3. But many (most?) users will never need more than iPhoto and trhose that do pretty much know what they need and why.
     
  19. 66217 Guest

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    #19
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Well, after those posts it was clear to me that iPhoto is not even a possible candidate.:)

    And iPhoto as a RAW manager lacks many things. At least that is what I think.
     
  20. MurphyM macrumors 6502

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    #20
    I agree with a lot of the comments here. Every time I try to use iPhoto keywords I have to look up in the help how they work. I'm getting old...

    I want to use iPhoto, but every time I try to use it I realize it's targeted at VERY casual users. Which is fine.

    It's good for books, calendars, and prints. But I'll stick with Lightroom for storage and tweaks.
     
  21. qtpie36963 macrumors member

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    #21
    I said what I meant... I am an avid Photoshop user and have been for about 5 years.. This post isn't about whether or not Adobe worked to incorporate all the RAW converters... It's about what software is best. If all the that is needed is color correction and cropping, that software is perfectly fine. And its comes with the camera at no extra cost. And an aside... I personally think that the interface is fine and works perfectly for me. It all depends on the user.
     
  22. Mechcozmo macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

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    #22
    Linkety to Xee, an image browser that is quite handy.
    I don't think it does image editing... but not sure on that. You can always use Preview like I said earlier.
     
  23. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

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    #23
    Just don't use the software that came with the K10D, silkypix is garbage IMO. I like lightroom and I Liked Aperture before that. Great thing about the K10D is it can capture in the .DNG format for RAW images, so you could use just about anything. Elements is a good alternative too!

    SLC
     

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