Photo Editing Program Advice/Recomendations...

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by rymack, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. rymack macrumors regular

    rymack

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    Apr 27, 2010
    Location:
    Thunder Bay, Ontario
    #1
    Hey everyone!
    So here's the deal: I am pretty much decided on a 27" iMac i5, and am just trying to figure out which route I should go as far as photo-editing. I have just gotten into DSLR photography about two years ago, and shoot primarily in RAW, but I have not had a reliable computer so any editing and post-processing has been done on my friend's Mac Pro using PSE 8.

    I am just trying to figure out what type of program(s) I should include with my iMac purchase for the best of both worlds in workflow and editing and artistic capabilitites.

    These are the choices I have: (I will be taking advantage of my educators discount wherever possible, and I am in Canada if that helps....)
    -Aperture 3 for $199 pre-installed
    -Photoshop Elements 8 for $79.99
    -Lightroom 3 for $89
    -CS5 Design Standard for $219.95
    -CS5 Photoshop Extended for $189.95

    I want to be able to do RAW editing, as well as some more creative-type editing and artistic stuff. What should I go with, and what should my workflow be? I would also like to use iPhoto for photo management, at least for snapshot-type stuff.

    Thanks in advance!!
     
  2. Cheffy Dave macrumors 68030

    Cheffy Dave

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  3. rymack thread starter macrumors regular

    rymack

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    Apr 27, 2010
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    #3
    Honestly, I am leaning toward Aperture 3 right now, and maybe complementing it with Elements 8 for everything else that Aperture doesn't do. Is that a logical approach?? Thanks for the reply, sir!
     
  4. NoNameBrand macrumors 6502

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    Nov 17, 2005
    Location:
    Halifax, Canada
    #4
    FYI, Aperture does everything that iPhoto does (except making calendars...) and then some.

    I would get either Lightroom or Aperture. Try both, the former is widely held to be faster on the same hardware, but I have a fast enough Mac and much prefer Aperture.

    Personally, I wouldn't get PSE— I hate the UI. If you can cope with it, well, power to you. If not the full bore Photoshop, I would look at some of the shareware Mac pixel editors ahead of PSE: Pixelmator, Acorn, etc. I would even consider the GIMP— it's as bad as PSE but it's free.

    FWIW, 99% of my keeper shots don't see Photoshop. I use Aperture for nearly everything, and Silver Efex Pro for B/W conversion.
     
  5. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #5
    I really think that what is "best" is subjective. You should run the trials of both and decide.
     
  6. rymack thread starter macrumors regular

    rymack

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    Apr 27, 2010
    Location:
    Thunder Bay, Ontario
    #6
    Thanks for the input. Have you used Aperture to 'make' / order photobooks? And if I were using the i5 quad, is that enough to handle Aperture 3 or would the i7 be better?
     
  7. rymack thread starter macrumors regular

    rymack

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    Apr 27, 2010
    Location:
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    #7
    I know that's what I should do. I just wanted to be able to work with RAW right out of the box, but I think iPhoto has limited RAW capabilities? Obviously what's 'best' for me might not be for others, but I do appreciate all of you helping out! Thanks!
     
  8. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #8
    First of all, there is a distinction between image editing apps such as Photoshop CS5 and Photoshop Elements on the one hand and apps like Aperture and Lightroom on the other.

    The latter are not photo editing applications, they manage your photos and allow you to do 90+ % of your most common edits. If you are shooting RAW, then getting Aperture or Lightroom is a no brainer. Which one to get is a matter of personal preference. I don't like Lightroom's user interface, but you may be of a different opinion. Try them both. But beware: they are pro apps, learning them takes time!

    BTW, if you are looking for a photo manipulation program, I highly recommend Pixelmator which is not only cheaper than Photoshop Elements, but has a much, much nicer and more Mac-like interface.
     
  9. mynewromantica macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2009
    #9
    My recommendation is get trials of aperture 3, lightroom 3. Se what works best for you. Some people swear by lightroom but i hate the layout and the feel. I much prefer Aperture.

    If you plan on doing a lot of B/W conversion, you may want to look into Silver Efex Pro. It will work with Aperture or Lightroom.

    And on top of that you will want photoshop. Aperture and lightroom are not intended to be all inclusive programs for photos. Photoshop should be in all photographers workflow.
     
  10. rymack thread starter macrumors regular

    rymack

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  11. jbg232 macrumors 65816

    jbg232

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    #11
    Just one comment:
    If you ever plan on doing professional photo printing you will need CS5 to change your color profiles reliably from RGB -> CMYK.

    As others have stated, lightroom and aperture are photo organizers that do the most common edits, pse will do most basic manipulation edits, but cs5 will do anything you can think of. Plus, content aware fill is just plain heaven in terms of results and ease of use (wait till you try it).
     
  12. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

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    Alaska
    #12
    If you decide on Aperture, and before you buy it, tale a look a "niksoftware." A friend of mine bought LightRoom and a set of Nik filters as a bundle, all for $199.00. However, I have no idea which version of LightRoom he bought. The filter bundle is quite nice.

    Edited: I visited Nik Software, and could not find what i mentioned above, so maybe the deal is over.
     
  13. rymack thread starter macrumors regular

    rymack

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    #13
    Thanks for the headsup. I colleague of mine purchased a Nik software package that came with SilverFX, ColourFX, Viveza, and Dfine. Very cool plugins...
     
  14. NoNameBrand macrumors 6502

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    Halifax, Canada
    #14

    I've been meaning to. Have used iPhoto to make calendars for my mother-in-law for the past three Christmases, and that's worked very well. Am waiting on a delivery of prints that I ordered from within Aperture. They've apparently shipped, so I suspect the delay/problem is that Apple is using DHL.

    Typically it's RAM and GPU speed that matter the most for Aperture, followed by disk I/O and CPU speed. Except for the amount of RAM and disk I/O speed (multiple disks!), my Mac Pro is probably slower than that iMac, and I have no complaints.

    I love Photoshop, but I hate it in my photography workflow. I don't use it unless I'm adding a mermaid's tail to my friend's kid or deleting my sister's ex- (or similar, obviously). I think one could go quite far without it if one wasn't doing that kind of thing.
     
  15. Nostromo macrumors 65816

    Nostromo

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    Deep Space
    #15
    If you shoot Canon, use the free RAW converter DPP. Not very user friendly, but superb quality processing. Includes curves and good noise reduction.

    For Nikon, check out their RAW converter.

    Check out Capture One/Capture One Pro trials.

    There's also Bibble.

    Lightroom 3 for $89? Do you mean the upgrade from Lightroom 2? Stay away from weird low-price offers a la craigslist or at certain internet sites run by crooks.

    Same goes for Photoshop CS5 extended. It's price is $999, the upgrade $299. Everything else is a pirated copy.
     
  16. NoNameBrand macrumors 6502

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    #16
    They have two (a free and non-free one). One produces great results. Using either is less pleasant than catching syphilis from an angry walrus. That's on fire.

     
  17. rymack thread starter macrumors regular

    rymack

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    #17
    Yeah I will not be buying anything pirated, that's for sure! (I'm that guy that doesn't download anything unless I've paid for it legitimately, and even then, I think iTunes sounds worse than buying the actual studio-mastered disc from the store...lol)

    Seriously though, the Adobe prices are from the apple.ca education store and are full versions:
    http://store.apple.com/ca_edu_70799/browse/campaigns/adobe/guide?mco=MTM3NDgwNjM

    And the Lightroom price is from the Adobe.com education store:
    https://store1.adobe.com/cfusion/st...E&store=OLS-EDU&loc=en_us&categoryOid=4755036
     
  18. Edge100 macrumors 68000

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    #18
    Get the Aperture and Lightroom trial versions and decide which one works better for you.

    For me, it's LR3. For others, it's Aperture.
     
  19. Nostromo macrumors 65816

    Nostromo

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    #19
    Educational pricing! I forgot about that. Graduated from university quite a while ago...

    You're fine then. Enjoy the great pricing as long as you can get it.

    Get the trial versions, though. Sometimes it doesn't take long to feel that software A isn't that great for you as software B, even though they might both be great.

    Yes, Canon's RAW converter isn't as cute as others, but once you got the hang of it you're actually faster with it than with Capture One or LR.

    PS: Don't kiss walruses, no matter in what mood. I heard they can headbutt so nicely that Syphilis feels like the cure to the headbutt.
     
  20. Nostromo macrumors 65816

    Nostromo

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  21. advres Guest

    advres

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    Oct 3, 2003
    Location:
    Boston
    #21
    Because professional photo printing was never done prior to this year.. :rolleyes:
     
  22. jbg232 macrumors 65816

    jbg232

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    #22
    Why post such a trollish comment? The OP had his choices listed and I made the point based off of his own post. The bottom line is that you need photoshop, not photoshop elements, to do that conversion, CS5 just happens to be the one available right now.
     
  23. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #23
    Why do you need Photoshop for the conversion?
    I've printed photos successfully from Preview, Aperture, Pixelmator and Photoshop with no problems whatsoever.
     
  24. NoNameBrand macrumors 6502

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    Location:
    Halifax, Canada
    #24
    Er, I was complaining about Nikon's software, actually. I haven't used Canon's (not having a Canon).
     
  25. rymack thread starter macrumors regular

    rymack

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    Location:
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    #25
    I shoot with a Nikon D60, and the trial versions of their software (when it worked on my current 9 year old PC, that is...) was not that impressive to me. Then again, I'm relatively new at the photography game. I want to be able to print eventually, but right now a decent photoprinter is not in the budget.
     

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