"Comparison Chart for Post Processing Softwares?" Wed 09-Oct-13 01:27 PM by buffumjr
Has anyone done or published a chart on these things? When I was looking to buy my camera, the chart on the reviews forum, here, and on dpreview were SOOO helpful. Is there any such side-by-side charting for post processing software suites?
Adobe? -CS6 -Lightroom -Elements Fuji X? Corel? -Paintshop Pro the proprietaries? (Canon, Nikon) Aperture? Portait Professional? Gimp? CaptureOne? and the list goes on, and on, and on. Once you get into one package as your standard, you get used to it and the workflow it seems to enforce. That's why making an intelligent choice up front would be a good thing.
And so much money.
And it woiuld be a BIG help if the chart mentioned software/hardware requirements, E.G. Unix, or 64 bit OS.
#2. "RE: Comparison Chart for Post Processing Softwares?" In response to Reply # 1 Wed 09-Oct-13 08:02 PM by buffumjr
I am seriously overwhelmed! I thought there were, maybe, 20 apps.
How does one choose?!?!?
I WAS looking at Elements 12, Photomatix, and GiMP.
INFINITELY more research than for my d5100. (LOVE my d5100!!)
OK, here's what I want post do do:
HDR for landscape and external building shots. Portraits Some elementary creative work.
Somewhere, in that GIGANTIC list are one to three apps I'd need. Though image quality is always an issue, it may be that I just have to take a deep breath, choose one, and move on. I've heard tons about CSS, so I'll start on GiMP, reading on this forum.
#4. "RE: Comparison Chart for Post Processing Softwares?" In response to Reply # 2
Sorry John, didn't mean to overwhelm you. If you are just starting to post process your images it can be a bit intimidating to pick a starting point.
To tell you the truth, I have never heard of many of the products in that chart. If I was just starting, I'd probably stay with something popular. More help via books, DVDs, youtube, webinars, Nikonian users, etc., will be available to assist you. That will eliminate many products right away.
Also, look at initial cost, how often a product gets updated, learning curve, raw processing capabilities (if you shoot raw), time available to learn, etc. No product is so easy that you will be an expert right out of the box.
I love the reviews at Amazon. While all reviews have to be taken with a grain of salt, they are a good way to find out what users like as well as hate for the products Amazon sells like PS Elements, Lightroom and Corel PaintShop Pro.
In my case I am pretty happy with Capture NX2 and Photoshop Elements 9 for most of my PP and fun stuff. I also bought Lightroom 4 last year on a whim, not realizing Windows XP was not supported. I still plan on using it at least to help me catalog my thousands of images. The price was right at Amazon during a Black Friday special.
On the creative side, PS Elements is a great start for learning layers and as a base product for products such as what Topaz Labs offers.
As far as HDR, I have no experience here and don't want to recommend anything. Portraits can be done in just about any editor like Elements or Lightroom although the specialty software might make it a little easier. If you are making money at it, go for the best tools. For occasional portraits, how many products do you want to purchase and invest the time to learn?
#5. "RE: Comparison Chart for Post Processing Softwares?" In response to Reply # 0
I think the decision is a little easier if you narrow the field based on some primary requirements.
How important is price? There are free programs, a good group of under $100 programs, a few more in the $100-200 range, and a smaller group of over $200 programs. The low cost programs either have less functionality, or they require more learning on your own to develop specialized expertise. The high cost programs are typically for specific needs.
What kind of hardware are you using - or do you plan to use? Aperture is an option for Macs but not PC's. Most other options work on both PC and Mac, but new versions and updates can get a little buggy at times.
What are you planning to do with the program? Some of these programs are basic editors. Others are advanced editors. And others are graphic design tools that to varying degrees allow you to move objects between images, add text, etc.
What kind of investment do you plan to make in training / learning? Some of these programs have limited training available - so it is largely a do it yourself effort. If you stick with commonly used programs, there are lots of resources available. Some programs have limited functionality, so you can master the functions pretty quickly. The more advanced programs have a great deal more capability - so you will likely spend over 100 hours on learning, training, and developing the skills to effectively use the tool.
How long do you plan to spend editing an image? There is no point in getting tools for advanced editing if you want to spend 5 minutes editing or less. If your goal is minimal editing in just a few minutes, a more basic editing program makes sense.
What is your workflow going to look like? Many of the editing programs need to fit into a specific workflow, or effective use requires a specific workflow. How does the program handle multiple versions of the same image? What does it take to change/remove an edit step made earl;y in the editing process? Does the editor lead you to create multiple versions of your files - and if so, how do you keep them organized?
Are you planning to use plugins - like Color Efex and many others. Most plugins are developed first for Adobe products and then provided to others.
If in doubt, stick with the most popular options. Adobe is the leader for a reason.
If you are going to head down the Adobe path, your choices are Lightroom or Elements. Lightroom is the photo editor and organizer, while Elements is a simplified graphic design and project tool. For photography, start with Lightroom.
Aperture is very similar to Lightroom if you prefer an Apple/iOS path. It is an organizer and editor.
The alternative is to head down the Nikon path. Early on, I used Nikon View (free) for downloading, rating, and quick edits. The functionality aligns nicely with your camera menus and allows you to adjust some menu settings after the fact. I still use Nikon View NX2 for events and volume images where good quality is good enough.
I use Capture NX2 for advanced editing. This only applies to 2-3% of my images, so I can spend more time and take longer per edit. The key feature in Capture is it provides extensive selective editing tools - tools I can very quickly and easily use to apply an edit to a small portion of an image. It also integrates with some plugins. Like View, Capture uses the actual camera settings. It is also very effective with file management in that edits to NEF files are always reversible, and the program supports multiple versions of the same image without creating full copies.
I use Photo Mechanic for some functions because it supports my workflow. I use it for ingest, rating, captions and titles, Watermarking, resizing, and keywording. Photo Mechanic is very good for quickly handling a large volume of files.
You have a long list of other products - and there are many good products on the list. But I'd need a very good reason to choose something other than Lightroom, Aperture or Nikon View+Capture.
There are plenty of options to try out software. I don't think you can develop expertise during a trial, but you can get an idea of how intuitive the program is. YouTube has a remarkably large number of videos to show how to use each tool.