I just bought a new Mac Mini, and want advice on photography software

Started Dec 8, 2012 | Discussions
kendrab
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I just bought a new Mac Mini, and want advice on photography software
Dec 8, 2012

I just got a new 2012 mac Mini with Quad Core processor. I will be doing quite a bit of photography processing on it, and am wondering which photography software to use.

The programs I am considering are:

Apple Aperture 3

Adobe Lightroom 4

Phase One Capture One 7

DxO Optics Pro 8

My camera is an Olympus E-620, and I shoot mostly in RAW (.orf) file format. I want to be able to use Nik Software Plug-ins with it.

What should I choose, and why do you feel this is the best choice? Note: Money is not a big concern, I just want to get the most from my images.

Kendra

Olympus E-620
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grcolts
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Re: I just bought a new Mac Mini, and want advice on photography software
In reply to kendrab, Dec 8, 2012

The only program I am really familiar with on your list is Aperture.

Aperture can do all the things you are looking to do. I tried a trial of LR and although I enjoyed some of what it can do, I just felt more familiar with Aperture. Others prefer LR. Another program you might want to look at would be Corel's AfterShot Pro. I use this program too and like it a lot. Right now you can purchase it for around $40.

My suggestion is to try some trials of the programs you are considering (if available) and see which format suits your workflow the best. It is a tough choice. Good luck.

GR

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BobVell
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Re: I just bought a new Mac Mini, and want advice on photography software
In reply to grcolts, Dec 8, 2012
My suggestion is to try some trials of the programs you are considering (if available) and see which format suits your workflow the best. It is a tough choice. Good luck.

Excellent advice.

I would add further: Make sure you use the software sufficiently during the trial period. At first, I didn't like LR4 because I was misunderstanding the workflow. Once I corrected my misunderstanding, I found this fit my needs best. So, don't give up on any of them until you've really worked through the logic underlying their workflow.

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webfrasse
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Re: I just bought a new Mac Mini, and want advice on photography software
In reply to BobVell, Dec 8, 2012

BobVell wrote:

My suggestion is to try some trials of the programs you are considering (if available) and see which format suits your workflow the best. It is a tough choice. Good luck.

Excellent advice.

I would add further: Make sure you use the software sufficiently during the trial period. At first, I didn't like LR4 because I was misunderstanding the workflow. Once I corrected my misunderstanding, I found this fit my needs best. So, don't give up on any of them until you've really worked through the logic underlying their workflow.

No trials anymore of Aperture. It is in my mind the best one out there when it comes to organizing. Editing is more or less on par with LR. I think most people that work a lot with either AP or LR will get 3rd part plugins that will enhance editing a lot.

I use these, http://www.niksoftware.com/index/usa/entry.php

Here is another one, http://www.ononesoftware.com/products/suite7/

Both these tools ships with both AP & LR versions of their plugins for the same license.

I think at $80 Aperture is a no-brainer on a mac. I saw LR for the same price on Black Friday. I have both and they shine in different areas. Aperture is the center of my workflow.

My favorite raw processor is DxO 8 though. Most serious raw processing is done there and then I move the output into Aperture. One area that has improved vastly in Aperture recently is white balance. It is really good.

Corel Aftershot Pro seems to be a dying product. I've used it since it's Bibble Pro days but rumor has it that the original developer team has left and development is now moved to asia and has grinded to a halt.

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kendrab
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Re: I just bought a new Mac Mini, and want advice on photography software
In reply to webfrasse, Dec 8, 2012

A friend of mine swears by Aperture 3. If I can combine the RAW conversion and lens profile corrections from DxO 8 with Aperture 3, I will consider going that route, but I have a few questions?

1) How hard is it to export the converted files from DxO 8 to Aperture 3?

2) Will this combination still work with the Nik Software Suite Bundle?

Kendra

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photoman157
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Re: I just bought a new Mac Mini, and want advice on photography software
In reply to kendrab, Dec 9, 2012

Suggest you check the websites of the software programs you're interested in to see if they're compatible with Nik, onOne etc.

Nik is definitely compatible with Aperture, http://www.niksoftware.com/support/usa/entry.php?view=system_requirements_compatibility

and with Lightroom 4. See if DXO has a trial period and try them and also see if your system has the resources to run them. Just because forum members recommend them, use them etc. ONLY you can determine if they will run fine on your machine and if you're happy with them!

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webfrasse
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Re: I just bought a new Mac Mini, and want advice on photography software
In reply to kendrab, Dec 9, 2012

kendrab wrote:

A friend of mine swears by Aperture 3. If I can combine the RAW conversion and lens profile corrections from DxO 8 with Aperture 3, I will consider going that route, but I have a few questions?

1) How hard is it to export the converted files from DxO 8 to Aperture 3?

I always start with Aperture. I import and organize my images in projects. I then rate them and the ones I deem worthy some more work (Processing in DxO) I then export outside Aperture. Export the Originals as these are the raw files you want to work on.

I then start DxO and starts working on the images in that folder outside Aperture. I've setup DxO to put the processed image in the same folder and add a suffix (_dxo) to the file name.

When DxO is done I just bring up Aperture and select the Project where I still have the images and then I just select the processed dxo images (not the originals, just the jpg, tiffs or whatever you have DxO generate) and just drag and drop them on the Aperture project. I then sort by filename and stack the original and the dxo processed version. I then delete all images from the folder outside Aperture. Just leaving the .dop files that DxO leaves behind as they contain the settings used to process the images.

2) Will this combination still work with the Nik Software Suite Bundle?

Sure, you can work with the NIK tools later on on either the original or on the processed DxO images.

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kendrab
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Re: I just bought a new Mac Mini, and want advice on photography software
In reply to photoman157, Dec 9, 2012

photoman157 wrote:

Suggest you check the websites of the software programs you're interested in to see if they're compatible with Nik, onOne etc.

Nik is definitely compatible with Aperture, http://www.niksoftware.com/support/usa/entry.php?view=system_requirements_compatibility

and with Lightroom 4. See if DXO has a trial period and try them and also see if your system has the resources to run them. Just because forum members recommend them, use them etc. ONLY you can determine if they will run fine on your machine and if you're happy with them!

I don't think my computer spec will be an issue, as my new Mac Mini has a i7 Quad Core 2.3 GHz "Ivy League" processor and 16 GB of RAM. I had a bit of experience playing with DxO Optics Pro 6 on a friends computer, and liked it.

I just need to learn good workflow habits, and then I will be okay. I have decided to run Aperture 3 with DxO 7 for now, as it is on sale. After the New Year, I will buy the latest Nik Software bundle. Then I will spend the next couple months going over my old RAW photos. By the time spring arrives, I should have a pretty good handle on everything.

Kendra

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kendrab
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Re: I just bought a new Mac Mini, and want advice on photography software
In reply to webfrasse, Dec 9, 2012

webfrasse wrote:

kendrab wrote:

A friend of mine swears by Aperture 3. If I can combine the RAW conversion and lens profile corrections from DxO 8 with Aperture 3, I will consider going that route, but I have a few questions?

1) How hard is it to export the converted files from DxO 8 to Aperture 3?

I always start with Aperture. I import and organize my images in projects. I then rate them and the ones I deem worthy some more work (Processing in DxO) I then export outside Aperture. Export the Originals as these are the raw files you want to work on.

I then start DxO and starts working on the images in that folder outside Aperture. I've setup DxO to put the processed image in the same folder and add a suffix (_dxo) to the file name.

When DxO is done I just bring up Aperture and select the Project where I still have the images and then I just select the processed dxo images (not the originals, just the jpg, tiffs or whatever you have DxO generate) and just drag and drop them on the Aperture project. I then sort by filename and stack the original and the dxo processed version. I then delete all images from the folder outside Aperture. Just leaving the .dop files that DxO leaves behind as they contain the settings used to process the images.

2) Will this combination still work with the Nik Software Suite Bundle?

Sure, you can work with the NIK tools later on on either the original or on the processed DxO images.

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Mikael

I really appreciate the feedback on all these products. I have decided to get Aperture 3, as it is fairly low cost and was designed for the Mac OS X system. I will use it with DxO Optics Pro 7, as it is on at a ddiscount. I have played with this a bit, so know it will meet my needs.

Later, I will probably get the latest Nik Software bundle. For now, i will learn to work with Aperture 3 and DxO and create good workflow habits.

Kendra

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f8BeThereToo
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Re: I just bought a new Mac Mini, and want advice on photography software
In reply to kendrab, Dec 9, 2012

Check out Topaz plugins before you spend the money on Nik software. You can save a considerable amount of money if you buy during a sale. (Topaz plugins were recently available at a 50% discount.)

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ir Bob
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Re: I just bought a new Mac Mini, and want advice on photography software
In reply to webfrasse, Dec 11, 2012

webfrasse wrote:

BobVell wrote:

My suggestion is to try some trials of the programs you are considering (if available) and see which format suits your workflow the best. It is a tough choice. Good luck.

Excellent advice.

I would add further: Make sure you use the software sufficiently during the trial period. At first, I didn't like LR4 because I was misunderstanding the workflow. Once I corrected my misunderstanding, I found this fit my needs best. So, don't give up on any of them until you've really worked through the logic underlying their workflow.

No trials anymore of Aperture. It is in my mind the best one out there when it comes to organizing. Editing is more or less on par with LR. I think most people that work a lot with either AP or LR will get 3rd part plugins that will enhance editing a lot.

Actually there is still a trial available for Aperture 3.1 (not the latest version). There is  a link in this knowledge base article: http://support.apple.com/kb/TS4412?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US

(direct link: Aperture 3.1 Trial)

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Drogba88
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Re: I just bought a new Mac Mini, and want advice on photography software
In reply to kendrab, Dec 11, 2012

I have Optics Pro 8.  It's a great program and its preference is for RAW files, which should suit you. I use Elements as my main program, with a set of Topaz plug-ins (highly recommended).

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