Starting fresh with software, but want something to last...

Started Sep 9, 2012 | Discussions thread
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trespassing
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Starting fresh with software, but want something to last...
Sep 9, 2012

Hello, everyone, I've asked a software question before, a little while back in another forum but would like your help too in this slightly more dedicated forum.

Myself and photography…

Photography is an obsessive hobby for me and I am a very picky and critical photographer. I shoot RAW, but I don't batch process my images. I'll review the hundreds I may take in a day, maybe processing 5% of what I take, and viewing two or three of those as keepers.

Up until now…

I'm a student. I had a very old slow laptop. I decided to give it up for a year, not for financial reasons, I just wanted to try life without a dedicated computer. I still had my iPad, so learned some image editing with that, but its not the most practical device on any level for that, especially as I was still shooting RAW. I did however fall in love with the Snapseed application. It covered my basic editing needs back then, and I fell in love with the control points. To be able to expose for the highlights, and then in processing brighten specifically selected sections of the image (the shadows I chose) was fantastic. The only difficulty, all my images lacked the quality of proper RAW processing.

Currently…

I have now once again invested in a laptop, set to last me a very long time, and now in software terms I am back to square one. View NX2 and iPhoto is the extent of what I have.

What I'm looking for…

I want quality RAW adjustments, and I want powerful and efficient software to do so. However I do not require the batch processing power that some software specialises in, or the image management that software such as Lightroom is often purchased for; I want to be able to personalise specific images, and then display them. As I already explained, I loved the specific control points of Snapseed, but also want something that will let me use plugins such as Topaz Denoise with ease, but most of all will leave me with the highest quality of images as the finished product.

I'd therefore greatly appreciate any answers detailing what you think'd be best for me. For example, is CS6 going to be overkill? Are Capture NX2's control points as intuitive? What works well together? And at what price range?

What would you recommend for:
Less than £100 ($150)
£100-200 ($150-300)
£200+ ($300+)

I would be incredibly grateful for your responses, and even if you don't have anything to add, I'm equally as grateful for you taking the time to read my marathon of a post!
--
Matt

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