If you were going to have one software program...

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by mattwe, Nov 26, 2007.

  1. mattwe macrumors member

    Nov 9, 2007
    What would it be?

    I just got my MBP, and am going to buy one piece of photography software. I am going to be taking a lot of 'art' photos (landscape, streetscene, etc.) and snapshots of family and friends.

    Assume that the price difference doesn't matter (I get an educators discount on the software) and I am looking at Aperture/Lightroom or Photoshop. I will do a trial of both Aperture and Lightroom to see which I like best, but am wondering if it would be better to purchase Photoshop? I don't really know the full extent of what can be done in Photoshop, as I have never used it, but it seems to be a standard. Is it worth it for a hobbyist to own it?

    I ask this knowing full well that I will likely buy Photoshop eventually, but am wondering if I should buy it first and get Aperture/Lightroom later?
  2. redrabbit macrumors 6502

    Aug 8, 2006
    Only one? Photoshop, no question. It is more powerful than Aperture/LR for photo editing, and you will get Bridge, I believe.
  3. mattwe thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 9, 2007
    Bridge? I am not planning on buying the CS, just Photoshop by itself.
  4. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Photoshop CS3 comes with Bridge. If I were limited to one package, this would be it.
  5. Kamera RAWr macrumors 65816

    Kamera RAWr

    May 15, 2007
    I'm where I need to be
    PS comes with Bridge ;)

    Edit: Cave Man beat me to it
  6. redrabbit macrumors 6502

    Aug 8, 2006
    Yes, some people find that PS + Bridge is plenty fine for their workflow and needs, especially hobbyists. Lightroom/Aperture are great programs, but if you don't NEED them, then don't spend the money on them. (That said, I use LR :) )
  7. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    It really depends on how you shoot and how you post-process your photos. I rarely need Photoshop for my photo work. For adjusting color, fixing exposure, cropping, sharpening - I do all that in Aperture. But if you want to do HDR work, blend photos together, or do anything involving layers... you need Photoshop.

    Actually, for a photographer Photoshop Elements probably does everything you'll likely want to do.
  8. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    If you can only buy one. Make that Photoshop.

    Aperture is nice but iPhoto comes with the Mac and can do the same job as Aperture.
    So for organizing and making small adjustments to the images iPhoto will do fine. For more extensive work neither lightroom or Aperture will work

    Another way to look at it is that PS can do anything the others cam but the others can't do what PS can. So if you are limited to one program you'd want PS.
  9. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    I say splurge and buy Lightroom and Adobe Elements. Elements is what......$99 in the US? It may even be less than that at full retail. With an educational discount, you may be paying much less. It's like Photoshop, but without some of the "pro" features that you would probably never use. Use LR in combination with Elements, and you have quite a good pair of tools.
  10. SpookTheHamster macrumors 65816


    Nov 7, 2004
    I use a combination of iPhoto and Photoshop. I tried the Aperture demo and never really got into it. It just seemed like iPhoto with useless editing software attached.
  11. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    Bibble + plugins provide a lot of tools, and if you buy v4.9 now you get v5 when it's ready.

    I'm thinking of Photoshop for just one tool to manually retouch a bit of weirdness from my Kodak 14n. I think that if I were using a normal camera I wouldn't be looking at it.

    But if my camera were supported I would go for DxO instead of Bibble. And DxO 5 integrates with Lightroom.
  12. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

    Jan 1, 2007
    Don't waste time and money, get Photoshop ....... :eek:
  13. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    This is untrue.

    This is also untrue.

    And this is also untrue.

    I'm not sure where you're getting your info. Have you used Aperture and PSCS3? There are some overlaps, but there are many things that Aperture can do that neither iPhoto nor Photoshop can do. Likewise, there are many things that Photoshop can do that neither iPhoto nor Aperture can do.

    What the OP needs to do is make a list of what things s/he needs and see which app offers the most. It's also important to consider the free apps that are available when making this decision (e.g., software that came with the camera, the GIMP, etc.).
  14. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    You won't necessarily get the best RAW processing results with Adobe's engine. The other tools don't need to be a waste of time and money (and they cost a lot less).
  15. seany916 macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2006
    Southern California
    Bridge for organization

    Aperture for sorting/comparing/small tweaks

    PS for when I screwed up the shot and have to work on it in post

    That said, I'd suggest Aperture for your "do-it-all".

    PS IS more powerful and allows you do to MORE. But unless I really need it, I usually just stick with Aperture utilizing PS less & less.

    If you're not already familiar with PS, then it'll be a somewhat steep learning curve. Aperture is a much easier program to learn/work with.

    I would suggest you start with Aperture and decide down the line if your workflow requires PS. If it doesn't require it now, why will it later?

    Or start with Aperture and pick up PS down the line and take the time to work with the program as it takes a while to understand the program well enough to really utilize its tools well. (Keep in mind I'm a really slow learner)
  16. marclapierre13 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 7, 2005
    To accompany my iPhoto software, which I love to use as a library for my photos, I also use Photoshop CS3. CS2 works as well.
    I tried aperture and iPhoto with RAW for my Samsung GX-1S, and it doesnt support it, but CS3 does.
    Also, its great to make HDR photos, though I rarely do it.
    I also use Fireworks for basic basic things like resizing.
  17. redrabbit macrumors 6502

    Aug 8, 2006
  18. mcarnes macrumors 68000


    Mar 14, 2004
    USA! USA!

    Why? Because good editing *is* photography.
  19. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Oct 9, 2005
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    I have CS3 but really don't use it all that much; I definitely prefer Aperture for my post-processing. I'm frustrated right now because Apple needs to send out an update supporting RAW conversion from the Nikon D3 and D300 cameras. As I fumbled around in Bridge and CS3 last night, I keenly missed the speed and convenience with which I can post-process images in Aperture.

    If I could have only ONE program it would be Aperture.
    Two programs: Aperture and if money were an issue, PS Elements rather than the full-blown CS3 Photoshop.
  20. mattwe thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 9, 2007
    IIRC, the GIMP can - I have actually used the GIMP before (I am coming to Mac's from Linux) and simply was unaware that it had been made OSX and Windows compatible until I read that (although I do find the GIMP to be somewhat counterintuitive at times, and it isn't as streamlined as, for example, Apple's products are).

    Using the GIMP and LR/Aperture might be what I end up doing - Photoshop has a 'scare factor' and what little layered editing I would do could be accomplished on the GIMP, I think.
  21. marclapierre13 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 7, 2005
    I wish aperture supported my RAW, then I might use it. But since it doesnt, i barely use it at all.
  22. JeffTL macrumors 6502a

    Dec 18, 2003
    I've found that I can do 99% of my work in Lightroom.
  23. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    What's your camera? Didn't it come with raw processing software? I know all Canon DSLRs do. That might be the route you want to go - the GIMP on OS X seems to be limited in its raw support.

    Keep in mind that the GIMP only does 8-bit TIFFs (unless a newer version has included 16-bit).
  24. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    Yes, don't use regular GIMP as it is 8-bit. Use CinePaint a.k.a. Film GIMP which goes up to 32 bits per component.
  25. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    I have lots of "one programs"

    For raw conversion: Capture NX
    For lens correction: Bibble Pro
    For organization: Aperture
    For editing: Photoshop CS3

    Aperture is the only "optional" one to me.

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