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Subject: "Difficult Choosing after Long Pondering" Previous topic | Next topic
Bravozulu Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Jun 2012Sat 09-Mar-13 06:49 PM
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"Difficult Choosing after Long Pondering"


Los Angeles, US
          

Since this post is dredging up old news, I'll simplify my dilemma. My final workflow choices are (with +/- considerations)

PhotoMechanic > Capture NX - seems too long to lean and complex/few benefits

Aperture > free instruction at nearby Apple store +, $79, won't work with DxO to eliminate noise, recover shadow detail and {most important} has no perspective distortion fixing -

Lightroom + works with DxO, + works with DxO, - pricey, - must pay for instruction,

Two seasoned pro photographers said this --- buy Aperture
buy Lightroom
I'm at a tipping point and would welcome thoughts of others.

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Replies to this topic
Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: Difficult Choosing after Long Pondering
luckyphoto Silver Member
09th Mar 2013
1
Reply message RE: Difficult Choosing after Long Pondering
Chris Platt Silver Member
09th Mar 2013
2
Reply message RE: Difficult Choosing after Long Pondering
Bravozulu Silver Member
11th Mar 2013
3
     Reply message RE: Difficult Choosing after Long Pondering
Chris Platt Silver Member
11th Mar 2013
4
          Reply message RE: Difficult Choosing after Long Pondering
Bravozulu Silver Member
11th Mar 2013
5
               Reply message RE: Difficult Choosing after Long Pondering
Chris Platt Silver Member
11th Mar 2013
6

luckyphoto Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Dec 2010Sat 09-Mar-13 07:31 PM
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#1. "RE: Difficult Choosing after Long Pondering"
In response to Reply # 0


Port Charlotte, US
          

Both would serve you well so you could flip a coin and come up with a winner.

*Aperture 3 came out in 2010 and has only released minor updates since that time. No word on when or if an Aperture 4 will be available.
*Many comments about Aperture 3 being a bit easier to learn.
*Both are compatible with great 3rd-party plug-ins for additional features.
*Aperture has limited integration with iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, Final Cut X and other Apple products on the Mac.
*Lightroom is more closely integrated with Photoshop than Aperture.

I wouldn't look for an overwhelming reason to go one way or the other. The products are too close in capability.

Larry

"Red is gray and yellow white, but we decide which is right
....and which is an illusion"

Moody Blues - Nights in White Satin

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Chris Platt Silver Member Nikonian since 30th Sep 2012Sat 09-Mar-13 07:45 PM
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#2. "RE: Difficult Choosing after Long Pondering"
In response to Reply # 0
Sat 09-Mar-13 07:48 PM by Chris Platt

Newburg, US
          

Aperture does a good job recovering shadow detail. You can get plugins to correct distortion. PTLens works great. There are other plugins for just about anything you want to do. The concerns about updates and future support are well founded though.

You may want to look at Photo Ninja (see the ad at the top of this page). It corrects distortion, does a great job recovering shadow and highlight details. Super noise reduction.

I have Capture NX, Aperture, Lightroom, and Photo Ninja (which is now also nicely integrated with PhotoShop). It is my goto raw converter now.

My preference from first to last is Photo Ninja, Lightroom, Aperture, CaptureNX

I just didn't want your decision to be too easy

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Bravozulu Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Jun 2012Mon 11-Mar-13 02:54 PM
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#3. "RE: Difficult Choosing after Long Pondering"
In response to Reply # 2


Los Angeles, US
          

I just did some cruising around on the PhotoNinja website. Now this comes as a surprise.

As I learn more the parameters and especially the terminology, I discover more threads to pull on and investigate.

On the subject of workflow, PhotoNinja explains how the program dovetails with PhotoMechanic, Aperture and others. This brings up two questions:


What do these programs add that PhotoNinja doesn't already have?

What sort of filing or cataloging does PN provide?

I've recently learned about the concept of filing according to meta-data instead of hierarchy of folders. This info is first explained in the DAM Book. Does the average man (photo amateur) want or need these elaborate schemes? And back to my question, how does PN file things, or doesn't it?

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Chris Platt Silver Member Nikonian since 30th Sep 2012Mon 11-Mar-13 06:43 PM
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#4. "RE: Difficult Choosing after Long Pondering"
In response to Reply # 3


Newburg, US
          

It is best to think of PhotoNinja a raw converter/image editor - just that and nothing more for right now. It has a file browser built into it, but it just allows you to browse through a file structure you've already created to locate images for editing. PhotoNinja won't import your files and automatically arrange them with the numerous cataloging schemes available in the other tools.

The other programs, in addition to their editing capabilities are very powerful file management/cataloging programs. If you have a very large number of files that you want to keep organized automatically as you import new images they are a better way to go. Without one of those programs, you would probably want to rely on ViewNX as your import and file management tool.

I wouldn't say that PhotoNinja "dovetails" with Aperture, Lightroom, or PhotoMechanic. You can call it as an external editor from those programs and they will export a TIFF file to PhotoNinja. PhotoNinja will ignore the TIFF, go fetch the raw file work on it and save the edits to the TIFF file that was exported to it. The trouble with this scheme is that it will proliferate very large TIFF files for each new version of an edit.

One of the attractive features of the other programs is that the non-destructive edits create "versions" of the original raw file, but those versions are not actual images, just edits that are saved in the database and applied to create the previews. That is much more efficient than creating multiple TIFF files.

If the files are just called from the PhotoNinja browser and edited there, PhotoNinja will save the edits in XMP sidecar files. That is also a non-destructive approach that prevents creating multiple TIFF files. So you only render a TIFF or JPG when you need to save the file for some other purpose - like web posting or sending off to a print lab.

The latest version does dovetail nicely with Photoshop though.

What sort of cataloging scheme does an amateur need? That's up to the amateur and how many files he or she is managing. I still use a hierarchical file structure because I like being able to find my files outside of my cataloging program and it keeps the catalog structure consistent among multiple programs. They are imported in a date sequence file structure and I may later, create specific folders depending on the subject matter or occasion. But that's me.

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Bravozulu Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Jun 2012Mon 11-Mar-13 08:57 PM
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#5. "RE: Difficult Choosing after Long Pondering"
In response to Reply # 4
Mon 11-Mar-13 08:59 PM by Bravozulu

Los Angeles, US
          

Well, what you've set brings up more questions.

Are the database strengths of programs such as LR unnecessary for a hobbyest? Folder in folder tree adequate?

If PhotoNinja is so powerful, why would you then send output to PhotoShop? Why not just
Aperture with its brushes?

And what is an XMP sidecar file?

You've brought up filesize and saving specs. I'm well aware already that RAW files eat up the real estate quickly. I've heard that sending output to Tiff files makes them more universal. How does this play out in day-to-day usage? Best to just get rid of the RAW after doctoring?

Remember, I am not archiving the wet plates left behind by Mathew Brady. It's just little 'ol me with my D7000.

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Chris Platt Silver Member Nikonian since 30th Sep 2012Mon 11-Mar-13 10:38 PM
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#6. "RE: Difficult Choosing after Long Pondering"
In response to Reply # 5
Tue 12-Mar-13 05:16 PM by Chris Platt

Newburg, US
          

>Well, what you've set brings up more questions.
>
>Are the database strengths of programs such as LR unnecessary
>for a hobbyest? Folder in folder tree adequate?

Necessary? No, not for a professional either. Convenient, easy to work with, easy to sort, easy to review, easy to cull, easy to try many versions, save disk space, and more..., yes, even for an amateur. Many amateurs can quickly build collections of thousands of files. That's what digital does to you. I was astounded to find that I had over 18,000 image files on my computer. I'm now down to 12,000.

>If PhotoNinja is so powerful, why would you then send output
>to PhotoShop? Why not just
>Aperture with its brushes?

In most cases I don't send files to either one. PhotoNinja is very new and I still haven't settled on a new work flow. The only thing I really miss in PhotoNinja at this point for basic editing is a spot healing brush (think dust on sensor). If I need any editing beyond PhotoNinja's capabilities, I'm probably beyond Lightroom or Aperture capabilities also - maybe I want to work in layers, maybe I want to work in PortraitProfessional, maybe I want to do pano or HDR stuff. In any of those cases, I can go straight to PhotoShop to use it's capabilities or one of the plugins I have for it. If I want to save a jpg in a very specific size and quality instead of one of PhotoNinja's presets, I can do it in any of those other programs, but now it is integrated with PhotoShop, so it is easy. I expect future updates with PhotoNinja will integrate it smoothly into those cataloging programs. It's a program still very much in development, but from a pure image quality perspective, better than Aperture or Lightroom already IMO.

>And what is an XMP sidecar file?

An XMP sidecar file is a file that contains the edits that you have made to the raw file. Recall that all these programs edit raw files in a non-destructive manner. That means the edits don't actually change the original raw file. All of these programs capture the editing instructions in a separate file or database record and apply them to the raw image each time you call it up in the program to present you with a view with the edits applied. In PhotoNinja those edits are contained in an XMP file that PhotoNinja files in the same folder with the NEF file. It has the same file name, but with an XMP suffix. An NEF file might be 20 mb, but the associated xmp file will only be about 8kb. PhotoShop (Adobe Camera Raw) does the same thing. Of course if you export or render a jpg or tiff, those edits are captured in the exported jpg or tiff.
>
>You've brought up filesize and saving specs. I'm well aware
>already that RAW files eat up the real estate quickly. I've
>heard that sending output to Tiff files makes them more
>universal. How does this play out in day-to-day usage? Best to
>just get rid of the RAW after doctoring?

I would never, ever, delete a raw file (assuming the image itself is worth keeping). Tiff files are universal, but they are generally huge and eat up a lot more space than raw files, and edits to Tiff files can be destructive if you are not careful how you edit, i.e. you may not be able to get back to where you was before you got to where you is - and you always want to be able to do that.

Another option for saving raw files that is supposedly universal is the digital negative (DNG) format. That is supposed to be an open industry standard that will preserve your editing capability. I'm not particularly concerned about the viability of my NEF files. If I'm ever concerned about that, I will probably convert them to DNGs, but I don't have a lot of confidence in future support for that standard either.
>
>Remember, I am not archiving the wet plates left behind by
>Mathew Brady. It's just little 'ol me with my D7000.

It took me awhile before I started shooting in raw and keeping the raw versions. With my D70, I shot a lot of jpgs. There are some good ones that I now wish I had saved in raw to go back and edit again - both my skills and the programs I use have improved.

And how do you know you aren't archiving wet plates left behind by Mathew Brady? There was probably a time when Mathew Brady considered himself an amateur too (though there probably wan't an amateur class in his day - but you get my point).

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