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Old 27-09-2007, 19:12   #1 (permalink)
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Which editing package?

Hi All,

Just signed up to Pixalo as I have decided to rekindle an old hobby. See new member intros.

Did a bit of research and decided to buy a Nikon D40X as my 30 year service award with my employers. I'm now looking for some advice on which editing package to purchase. I presently have Photoshop Elements on a 30 day trial from Adobe, but feel sure that in 30 days I am not going to be able to even scratch the surface of its functionality. As per my intro it's like being back at college learning auto cad again.

Not being completely au fait with digital photography, I am unsure of how to use the RAW setting to its best effect (I understand this is the best image capture mode) and cannot seem to open up any images in RAW format in elements.

Bearing in mind budgetry constraints and that this is to be a hobby and not an obsession, what would be a good starting editing package to suit my camera?

Any all help would be very much appreciated.

Thanks,

Steve.
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Old 27-09-2007, 19:45   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Which editing package?

Photoshop elements is a good start, I've just purchased it for my office and am teaching staff to use it for property shots, to crop, lighten etc. (I use CS2 at home) I'm not sure if it supports RAW files, but you may have something in the software that came with the camera.
If you want to teach yourself photoshop, I can recommend the Scott Kelby photoshop for photographers books, they are very easy to learn from.
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Old 27-09-2007, 20:00   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Which editing package?

Hi mate, you probably just need to download & install a raw update for your particular camera model. As for raw settings....if you mean in camera, don't bother adjusting anything. I'm not even sure that adjusting them makes any difference to the raw data. You probably know more about photography than me so I won't try to teach you to suck eggs..It is my understanding that the raw data file is similar to that of a film negative (never used film) and as such needs to be processed to get the best out of it...That's the tricky part!
Not sure on basic packages or prices, I jumped in at the deep end with Photoshop....rather than the expense of buying one after the other until finally getting Photoshop.
HTH.
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Old 27-09-2007, 20:42   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Which editing package?

The main alternative to Photoshop Elements is Corel Paint Shop Pro - a new version has just been released.

Now to be brutally honest I'm not an Adobe fan and I've always used and liked PSP, but since Corel took over it has not progressed as I'd hoped. I haven't yet looked at the latest version but I suspect it will be good but rather gimmicky.

Even so, it is worth looking at because it has some features which (I believe) are missing from Elements - it's half way between Elements and CS3 which is horrendously expensive.

If you shoot in RAW you'll also need a RAW converter unless you're happy with the software supplied with the camera. Adobe ACR (with Elements and CS3) is pretty good but the RAW conversion within Paint Shop Pro leaves a lot to be desired.

For what it's worth, I use Bibble Pro for RAW processing and most editing, and PSP for second-stage editing if necessary. Another popular RAW converter is Adobe Lightroom which is also a 'Digital Asset Management' program - i.e. a database that allows you to tag and index your image files. Beware of upgrade prices though, before locking yourself into a proprietary system like that.
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Old 27-09-2007, 20:57   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Which editing package?

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Now to be brutally honest I'm not an Adobe fan
I wonder where I've heard that before As a dyed in the wool Adobe man I use Lightroom and CS3 but it definitely isn't cheap. So....on a budget, I'd certainly have to side with Silkstone and you wil do OK with PaintShop Pro. It is a good package but I prefer the interface and extended features of CS3.
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Old 27-09-2007, 21:04   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Which editing package?

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I wonder where I've heard that before
Aye, and I'm still using the same old soapbox but the audience figures are declining.
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Old 28-09-2007, 02:32   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Which editing package?

Hi there and welcome, I to have only last year come over to a Nikon D50, its a good start, and with a budget to its a great little number, I have Cs3 2, etc, but I have just started using Adobe Lightroom, And also started using Raw, I have found using Raw this weekend a godsend, last weekend I did a Wedding shoot, and the post wedding shots was a nightmare in jpeg, now last night I was asked to Photograph 2 of the worlds best guitarist, John Williams & John etheridge, I decided to use raw, I attached my camera to Lightroom when I got in at 12.00 pm, not fully understanding the program yet, and all my post processing was finished for aprox 2;30am, now thats what I call fast, and I had a folder with e-mailable images for the customer this morning, and the job was finished, got a wedding on sat, so I cracked on with last nights job, to et it out of the way, the program also as a flash prog for web upload, as I say I'm not an expert on this program, never used it before, and I know there is a lot more things it can do, but overall it as done me well last night, P.s I have a book by john Beardsworth, Adobe Lightroom Essentials, its a very good read, just not had time to read it though, been to busy, so my first attempt in Lightroom with out having any prior knowledge as turned out pretty good.

And as far as John Williams ( Classical Guitarist & John Etheridge ) it was a great performance, John Etheridge is very funny, all caught using the D50. I,m happy at the shoot, low light no flash, went pretty cool considering I was using Kit lens.

good luck with your choice, Im sure there will be pdf docs on google all about Lightroom.

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Old 28-09-2007, 05:59   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Which editing package?

Why dont you try Gimp ITS FREE, and download the UFRAW plug-in for Raw Images. for now it only supports 8 bit but Gimp V3.0 will support 16-bit and 32-bit color information.
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Old 28-09-2007, 08:40   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Which editing package?

The GIMP is exceedingly good value and I do use it occasionally under Linux as it is bundled with Ubuntu, but the interface is a little odd - you end up with palettes all over the place - and it does have some limitations compared with the others. For example, PSP's HSL feature lets you select any range of colours and alter the hue, saturation or luminance of that range, with feathering out at each end so you don't get a sudden transition or 'blocking'. The GIMP only lets you select R,G,B,C,M or Y, and there is no feathering, which makes it much less useful.

Still worth a try though. There's also a version called GimpShop which has a GUI similar to Photoshop.
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Old 28-09-2007, 21:23   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Which editing package?

Hi and welcome.
Editing package:- if you have Elements 5 on trial then you have a prog that has some 'Bits' that CS3 does not have. It will do all & more than you need to get you up to speed again Scott Kelby's Book for El/5' is excellent. I use Cs3 but also Have 5 for quick work. I find the sending of photos via e-mail in '5' very good indeed it also makes web pages quickly.
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