Opinion sought on software for use w/Canon DSLR

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by 147798, Nov 20, 2008.

  1. 147798 Suspended

    Dec 29, 2007
    I've been using iPhoto for my point and shoots, and I really love it. Fast, light-weight, easy.

    I've got my first DSLR, and I'm thinking I might want to learn a new program to make the post of my shots. Maybe do RAW, save as Tiff. I still wouldn't mind organizing in iPhoto, plus then my wife has access to the photos, but I'm trying to decide what software to produce the pics in.

    I've had PSE6, and while I can do some basic things with it, I haven't sat down to really learn it. Canon's DPP, frankly, seems really nice and light and quick. I haven't used it much yet, but I like how quick it works. Then there's Ap/LR. I have a chance to purchase LR on the cheap, and like the localized brushing feature.

    But, I really only have time to learn one new program. If I shoot jpgs, should I just stay in iPhoto, and not bother with the rest? Or is there a benefit to working in one of these other programs?

    If I shoot in RAW, I'm assuming iPhoto will be pretty limited, in which case what's the program I should focus on instead -- PSE6, DPP, or Ap/LR? Can I get away with just DPP and iPhoto? If I went to LR, would I even need PSE6 anymore?

    Any thoughts from folks who use these tools would be greatly appreciated.
  2. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

    Apr 26, 2008
    My advise is to shoot RAW, and use PSE 6 to post process your RAW images. This is not hard at all to accomplish with PSE6. I set the Preferences in iPhoto to have PSE6 as the default image processing software.

    I have noticed that "Bridge," which is installed along PSE6, downloads photos from my camera a lot faster than iPhoto. I not longer use iPhoto to download photos, just Bridge, and as follows:

    When I connect the camera or card to the computer, iPhoto launches automatically, but I ignore it, and launch PSE. As PSE launches, a window shows on the screen giving me the options to download from the scanner, camera, etc. I select "Download From Camera." That's when Bridge launches automatically, and gives me the option to download the selected photos from my camera, or all photos. I also have chosen the options to download to dated folders on the Desktop, so Bridge automatically creates new folders , and date's them (titles them) using the dates used by the camera when taking the pictures. If the pictures were taken in a period of one day, then that's the only folder and date Bridge will create. If I used two different days to take the photos, then Bridge will create two folders, each with its matching date.

    Once the RAW photos have been downloaded, I process them using PSE, and save them to TIFF format, and in the same folders in the desktop. PSE leaves the original REAW file untouched. If I like the photo to display in iPhoto, I import it into iPhoto (iPhoto leaves the original post-processed) photo alone in the folder and makes a copy of it.

    Finally, when I have enough folders on the Desktop, specially ones with photos I want to save, I burn DVDs' with the photos, and also save the folders to an external hard drive.
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Why is iPhoto "retty limited"? Is there something you need to do that it can't do? What is it? Until you can name something specific I'd stick with it. Yes you can move to Aperture but unless it has something in it you would actually need and use all Aperture will do is make things more complex.

    PSE6 is a different beast and has a different purpose then Aperture/iPhoto/LR PSE is for making somewhat extensive changes to the photos. Thinks like removing a utility pole or wire, or adding a person to a group shot. iPhoto/Aperture is for managing a large library and making minor adjustments and crops. The two work well together.

    I would suggest sticking with iPhoto for now and learning PSE. Later when you can justify it maybe replace iPhoto with Aperture. One of the things I liked about Aperture is that it is a very fast workflow. I move the images from the camera to Aperture and I can begin editing in aperture as soon as the first image is there while the download is in-progress.

    With the new camera, shoot in jpg or raw as the subject requires
  4. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Nov 23, 2007
    I'm going to attend a free Aperture course (its intro I think) in 1 week :D, then I will know what's the different and what so special about Aperture ;)
  5. MacNoobie macrumors 6502a


    Mar 15, 2005
    Aperture is overrated, I love the book and card options but honestly the fact that in order to dodge/burn or do any spiffy edits outside of adjusting sliders that Aperture has to clutter my hard drive with a "copy" of my RAW image so for me that means my 8-10Mb+ image has now turned into 16-20Mb since the same image now takes up double the space as another file.

    Get Lightroom 2 its a lot better at handling raw files and any edit you make like dodge and burn is non destructive so if 6 months down the line u look at your photo and say I wanna touch this up or undo that you can and not have it make a "copy" of it for you.

  6. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Nov 23, 2007
    aah okay, thanks for the tip, but the Aperture thing is free anyway so its okay :D
  7. 147798 thread starter Suspended

    Dec 29, 2007
    I love iPhoto, but it doesn't do spot corrections well. I've been learning layers in PSE6, but they are cumbersome. LR brush works much better. In working w/RAW, there are more parameters for corrections in DPP than in iPhoto -- for instance, lens aberrations. And the levels adjustments are more sophisticated. A number of folks have also commented in other forums/threads that colors and output in DPP seems richer than other packages.

    When I was using point and shoots (and I tried RAW on my G9), I decided that the limitations of the sensor put a pretty hard ceiling on what you could do with the file. With RAW on my DSLR, I want to explore how high that ceiling can go.

    Also, with LR/Ap I can get NN as a plug-in. I tried NN as a stand-alone ap on my jpgs -- it was too cumbersome and working only on jpgs, it had it's limits. I'd like to try RAW to TIFF, and then work in NN, see how it goes.

    I'm looking to take my PP up another level, and am asking for recommendations on a good set of tools, because I'd like to avoid going from one to another. Frankly (at the risk of starting Ap/LR flame-wars) I am leaning towards LR because of the local brush application capabilities. If I go w/LR, though, does that make DPP and PSE6 redundant for picture developing (cont, sat, noise, levels, color, red-eye, spot correction, blur, etc.). I realize PSE6 is great for merging photos or removing a telephone pole, etc. so I'm not ditching it, but I THINK learning LR would be a better use of my time then continuing to drill into PSE6.

    If I go w/DPP to develop, then I'd go RAW-TIFF then into iPhoto. NN would have to be stand alone if I wanted to use it, and PSE6 would be the "external editor"

    If I go w/LR then I'd develop in LR and have NN as a plug-in. Again, PSE6 would be there for occasional use. But, I'd have to think about where I want to store images. Other family members access iPhoto, so I'd either need to plan on storage there (export jpgs from LR into iPhoto) or store them in folders, for both tools to access, but I'm not sure I'm crazy about that either.

    So, I see some strong benefits w/LR, but I think it makes it redundant/cumbersome to work w/iPhoto.

    Any rate -- enough rambling. Still would like to hear others' input.
  8. PCMacUser macrumors 68000


    Jan 13, 2005
    Lightroom 2 is a good program and simple to use, apparently. I haven't used it, but have seen photography students using it on iMacs with their RAW images and making all the right noises (ahhh, ooooo!)

    I use Photoshop CS4 Extended now, which does the trick for me. It's quite a step up from what I've used for the past 5-6 years - PS Elements 2.0. :)

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