Photo Editing Advice Sought

Started Apr 10, 2013 | Discussions
larrewl
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Photo Editing Advice Sought
Apr 10, 2013

I'm trying Silkypix Developer Studio Pro 5 (SP Pro 5) to see if it can be simply used to make better jpegs of birds.  I've attached three common types of my FZ200 images to see what recommendations or opinions any one might have to make better jpegs (or better FZ200 settings like ISO 800/1600 instead of lower iSO).  I currently crop the original 4000x3000 size to 2000x1500 to help focus on the bird(s) then use SP Pro 5 for One scene development (s) then save it to a jpeg or tiff file.  Then I photoshop for my final photo for family/frineds to see on flickr.  I don't know enough about SP Pro 5 (or RAW/RW2 for that matter) to see any improvement over simply editing the original jpeg over RAW. Any advice is greatly appreciated!

American Goldfinch in back yard.

 larrewl's gear list:larrewl's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS4 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 Nikon D5300 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D ED-IF +2 more
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200
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Tom Axford
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Re: Photo Editing Advice Sought
In reply to larrewl, Apr 10, 2013

Those images are all underexposed. There are a number of options open to you to correct them.

Take the first image, for example, which is at 1/500s, f/2.8, ISO 400. There are several options:

  1. Use a slower shutter speed, say 1/250s or possibly even less. However, this will only work if you have a steady hand (but it should be possible if you concentrate), or use a tripod. Also, it will work only if the birds are not moving very much.
  2. Increase the ISO - but you will also increase the noise, which is already quite noticeable.
  3. Compensate for the underexposure when you process from RAW in SP. Use the slider at the top of the panel on the left-hand side of the SP window.

The first option is best in that it minimises the noise. The lower the ISO the better as far as noise goes. The third option may appear to be as good at first sight, but it also has the effect of increasing the noise, unfortunately.

Just a general observation: you are pushing the FZ200 to its limit by using it at max focal length, full aperture and increased ISO. You will get better images if you can pick a time when the light is better so you can use the base ISO and still expose correctly using an adequately fast shutter speed. Also the images will be better if you can get closer to the birds so you don't need to crop the image.

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larrewl
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Re: Photo Editing Advice Sought
In reply to Tom Axford, Apr 10, 2013

I sincerely appreciate your helpful advice.  I'll follow your options in order.  I'm wondering if EZ or iZoom is better than cropping my 12MP image when I can't get closer.

 larrewl's gear list:larrewl's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS4 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 Nikon D5300 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D ED-IF +2 more
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Jon_Doh
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Re: Photo Editing Advice Sought
In reply to larrewl, Apr 10, 2013

larrewl wrote:

I sincerely appreciate your helpful advice.  I'll follow your options in order.  I'm wondering if EZ or iZoom is better than cropping my 12MP image when I can't get closer.

izoom introduces a lot of noise into the photo.  Either Lightroom or Photo Ninja will give you great results in processing your images.  Crop after you've done your processing in one of these programs.

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larrewl
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Re: Photo Editing Advice Sought
In reply to Jon_Doh, Apr 10, 2013

I know my attached photos are underexposed.  In extremely underexposed cases, is Lightroom 4 just as good as Silkypix Developer Studio Pro 5 for creating improved jpegs or tiffs for further photo editing?  SP Pro 5 is difficult for me to use so I'm considering buying LR instead if LR4 processes severely over/underexposed FZ200 RAW images as well.  I'm not familiar with LR4 either. Any opinions are appreciated!

 larrewl's gear list:larrewl's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS4 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 Nikon D5300 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D ED-IF +2 more
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ADSinger
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Re: Photo Editing Advice Sought
In reply to larrewl, Apr 10, 2013

larrewl wrote:

I know my attached photos are underexposed.  In extremely underexposed cases, is Lightroom 4 just as good as Silkypix Developer Studio Pro 5 for creating improved jpegs or tiffs for further photo editing?  SP Pro 5 is difficult for me to use so I'm considering buying LR instead if LR4 processes severely over/underexposed FZ200 RAW images as well.  I'm not familiar with LR4 either. Any opinions are appreciated!

I don't know about Silkypix as I have not used it for several years. I can tell you that LR4 will do a great job on exposure issues as it utilizes a very user friendly slider system that allows for individual adjustments for whites, blacks, highlights, shadows, as well as overall exposure. This one of the strengths of the product.

Looking at your first shot, it is underexposed, the image is flat, the birds are dull. In LR4 you can selectively brighten the birds, add clarity and vibrance, while separately adjusting the background to suit your taste.

I believe that Adobe still offers free trial downloads of LR4. One other point, shot in RAW your images will be far more flexible and easier to post process to yield the photo you want. LR4 will work with both jpg and RAW, there is really no difference in the workflow.

Alan.

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Erik Ohlson
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Re: Photo Editing Advice Sought
In reply to larrewl, Apr 10, 2013

These are some seriously underexposed photos. Take all the advise about ISO & such you can get.

That being said, the Jpeg has a good deal of information, and a bit of massaging in PSE8 makes it acceptable. The amount of noise required a 90% Topaz DeNoise treatment !

-Erik

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larrewl
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Re: Photo Editing Advice Sought
In reply to Erik Ohlson, Apr 10, 2013

Your PSE8 edit looks much better than my original.  I've got photos of the same birds under better lighting and exposure but it's nice to see what can be done with an underexposed jpeg.  For seriously underexposed photos, I plan to create images from FZ200 RW2 files using LR4 or SP Pro 5 as RAW has more info than jpeg.  I don't know if LR4 image process order (e.g., noise then sharpness, or sharpness then noise, etc.) makes a difference or which RAW info is generally lacking (or needs the most tuning) in severely underexposed images either. I still want more info!

 larrewl's gear list:larrewl's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS4 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 Nikon D5300 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D ED-IF +2 more
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Erik Ohlson
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Re: Photo Editing Advice Sought
In reply to larrewl, Apr 10, 2013

larrewl wrote:

Your PSE8 edit looks much better than my original.  I've got photos of the same birds under better lighting and exposure but it's nice to see what can be done with an underexposed jpeg.  For seriously underexposed photos, I plan to create images from FZ200 RW2 files using LR4 or SP Pro 5 as RAW has more info than jpeg.  I don't know if LR4 image process order (e.g., noise then sharpness, or sharpness then noise, etc.) makes a difference or which RAW info is generally lacking (or needs the most tuning) in severely underexposed images either. I still want more info!

Hope you get it worked out.

I actually find very little need for raw, but some feel it's better. I canusually do aswell or better from camera-generated jpegs, but it's not worth prolonged discussion, its one of those "YMMV" things.

-Erik

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