Down and dirty editor and catalog software. Picasa, LR, DPP, PS,PSE??????

Started Jun 2, 2013 | Discussions
1003mikey
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Down and dirty editor and catalog software. Picasa, LR, DPP, PS,PSE??????
Jun 2, 2013

I have found nothing since this 2010 thread  http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/2751956

Picasa seems to do a good job with quick edits and cataloging. I keep it on my laptop when on the road.

I just lost a hard drive on my PC and  am in the process of reinstalling software.

Obviously, I will reinstall all Canon software, as well as everything else I have (I know that if I don't install it, I will need something in a pinch and have to install it anyway)

I find myself using PS less and less, and PSE and Picasa more and more (I am not a pro and have always struggled wit PS)

I do not have Lightroom.

With that long lead in (sounds like an old song:) ) Who here uses Picasa most of the time? Who is using what most of the time?

tonyjr
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Re: Down and dirty editor and catalog software. Picasa, LR, DPP, PS,PSE??????
In reply to 1003mikey, Jun 2, 2013

I am on a mac . I have folders - plants , flowers , pictures , churches , family for my shots .

They get sub folders  like -

Family - person [ like Bruce 1-12-13 ] birthdays , weddings , parties , grads , hospital [ I am older / retired  and when someone gets sick , we go ] , Black and White .

A lot of shots overlap , so same shots could be in different folders .

I am on smugmug and my system works there too .

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MisterPootieCat
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DPP, Faststone, PSE (in that order)
In reply to 1003mikey, Jun 2, 2013

I use DPP for processing RAW files for export, Faststone for sharpening and lighting adjustments, and PSE for the few occasions when the first two don't work.

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miked58
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Re: DPP, Faststone, PSE (in that order)
In reply to MisterPootieCat, Jun 2, 2013

MisterPootieCat wrote:

I use DPP for processing RAW files for export, Faststone for sharpening and lighting adjustments, and PSE for the few occasions when the first two don't work.

I am the same..Faststone keeps getting better and better and I now use it more than PS.

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Dmadson
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Re: Down and dirty editor and catalog software. Picasa, LR, DPP, PS,PSE??????
In reply to 1003mikey, Jun 3, 2013

I've used 5 or 6 versions of PSE, I tried LR, and have settled on Corel's Paint Shop Pro X4.  I process hundreds of shots at each session (Cycling competitions/Bike Races), and can't spend LOTS of time getting everything perfect.

Various versions of PSE were OK, but as I got better at what I was doing, it seemed a bit limited.  LR has a great look about it, but I thought it was far from intuitive, therefore, somewhat slow.

After reading some comparative reviews, I decided to try the Paint Shop X4, and am very happy with the results.  The editing and adjustment interface is easy to understand, and the results are quite good, IMO.

How you shoot will determine what you finally use, but, for me, PSPx4 does a great job.

Regards!

Don

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MisterPootieCat
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Re: DPP, Faststone, PSE (in that order)
In reply to miked58, Jun 3, 2013

miked58 wrote:

MisterPootieCat wrote:

I use DPP for processing RAW files for export, Faststone for sharpening and lighting adjustments, and PSE for the few occasions when the first two don't work.

I am the same..Faststone keeps getting better and better and I now use it more than PS.

Yeah, I bought the license quite awhile ago for Faststone, thought the developer certainly has earned his keep.

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Sailor Blue
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Re: Down and dirty editor and catalog software. Picasa, LR, DPP, PS,PSE??????
In reply to 1003mikey, Jun 3, 2013

Of the software you list Lightroom is by far the best cataloging data base program.  It started out as a database and at heart is still a database with all the appropriate features you need for tagging, locating, and collecting images into groups.

It takes pre-planning of a file storage system and a cataloging scheme if you are going to use LR.  Learning how to efficiently import images, tag them with keywords, and sort them into catalogs takes time simply because of the power of LR as a database.

For editing you need to break down the users into those who are happy as JPG shooters and those who shoot RAW for the greater flexibility.

If you are happy shooting only JPGs then FastStone is the image editor for you.  DPP and others are good, but FastStone is simple to use and FREE!  This is the only editor I would call "down and dirty" since it is so simple that it requires little effort to learn how to use it.

If you shoot RAW then I recommend Lightroom for its Develop module since it has features not found in DPP.  Of course if you have Photoshop CS6 then you have the exact same functionality in Adobe Camera Raw but ACR has a less user friendly interface.  The ACR version that comes with Photoshop Elements lacks some of the features that come with LR and CS6 ACR but may be sufficient.

LR/ACR images start out looking pretty flat, not at all good.  This is intentional.  Things like camera picture styles aren't applied since it is assumed that you want to be in charge and not depend upon some programmer's idea of what looks good.  This means that part of using LR is that you will be adjusting all your images.  This can be done manually for each image, in batches, or even automatically using presets.  Learning how to make changes in LR takes time but the results show that it is worth spending the time.

LR/ACR are best at making global changes, i.e. changes to the entire image, but they do allow some local area changes.  LR as a single program is sufficient for many photographers who shoot RAW.  If you are more advanced and need to do lots of pixel level retouching or work with layers & masks then you should combine LR with Photoshop CSx or Photoshop Elements.

As an image editor the best is Photoshop.  The problem is that it takes years to really learn how to edit properly in PS.  PS is so flexible and has so many features that even the professional trainers are still learning new ways to do things.  Unfortunately this complexity makes PS a poor choice for the occasional user.

Photoshop Elements is a great pixel editing and layer/masking tool for all but the very most advanced amateur or professional photographer, especially when combined with Lightroom. The biggest drawback of Elements is that the "database" portion relies on the OS file explorer and isn't very good.

The combination I recommend for most amateurs who shoot RAW is LR and Elements.  This way you get a great database, a great RAW editor, pixel level editing, and layers & masks.

Note that both LR and Elements are outside the Adobe Creative Cloud so you simply buy them outright.  Now is a good time to buy LR4 since it is on sale before LR5 is officially released.  Check out the new features in LR5 and if you have Elements you really won't see any reason to wait for LR5.

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skanter
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Re: Down and dirty editor and catalog software. Picasa, LR, DPP, PS,PSE??????
In reply to 1003mikey, Jun 3, 2013

1003mikey wrote:

I have found nothing since this 2010 thread  http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/2751956

Picasa seems to do a good job with quick edits and cataloging. I keep it on my laptop when on the road.

I just lost a hard drive on my PC and  am in the process of reinstalling software.

Obviously, I will reinstall all Canon software, as well as everything else I have (I know that if I don't install it, I will need something in a pinch and have to install it anyway)

I find myself using PS less and less, and PSE and Picasa more and more (I am not a pro and have always struggled wit PS)

I do not have Lightroom.

With that long lead in (sounds like an old song:) ) Who here uses Picasa most of the time? Who is using what most of the time?

Get rid of Picasa and start sing LR. Miles ahead, and your photos will improve more than if you bought a 5D3 And all L lenses.

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Sam K., NYC

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HarryLally
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Re: Down and dirty editor and catalog software. Picasa, LR, DPP, PS,PSE??????
In reply to Sailor Blue, Jun 3, 2013

Sailor Blue wrote:

Photoshop Elements is a great pixel editing and layer/masking tool for all but the very most advanced amateur or professional photographer, especially when combined with Lightroom. The biggest drawback of Elements is that the "database" portion relies on the OS file explorer and isn't very good.

The combination I recommend for most amateurs who shoot RAW is LR and Elements.  This way you get a great database, a great RAW editor, pixel level editing, and layers & masks.

Does Elements contain a tool for erasing bits like TV aerials from a landscape shot or tree branches from wildlife shots? I've been using Canon's DPP until now and the only thing it lacks for me is such a tool. I think it's called a cloning tool.

Michael

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meland
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Re: Down and dirty editor and catalog software. Picasa, LR, DPP, PS,PSE??????
In reply to HarryLally, Jun 3, 2013

HarryLally wrote:

Sailor Blue wrote:

Photoshop Elements is a great pixel editing and layer/masking tool for all but the very most advanced amateur or professional photographer, especially when combined with Lightroom. The biggest drawback of Elements is that the "database" portion relies on the OS file explorer and isn't very good.

The combination I recommend for most amateurs who shoot RAW is LR and Elements.  This way you get a great database, a great RAW editor, pixel level editing, and layers & masks.

Does Elements contain a tool for erasing bits like TV aerials from a landscape shot or tree branches from wildlife shots? I've been using Canon's DPP until now and the only thing it lacks for me is such a tool. I think it's called a cloning tool.

Michael

DPP (later versions) do have a cloning tool - it's called 'Stamp Tool' and you'll find it under the Tools Menu.  If yours doesn't have this it would be worth downloading the free update from Canon.

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meland
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Re: Down and dirty editor and catalog software. Picasa, LR, DPP, PS,PSE??????
In reply to Sailor Blue, Jun 3, 2013

Sailor Blue wrote:

Of the software you list Lightroom is by far the best cataloging data base program.  It started out as a database and at heart is still a database with all the appropriate features you need for tagging, locating, and collecting images into groups.

It takes pre-planning of a file storage system and a cataloging scheme if you are going to use LR.  Learning how to efficiently import images, tag them with keywords, and sort them into catalogs takes time simply because of the power of LR as a database.

For editing you need to break down the users into those who are happy as JPG shooters and those who shoot RAW for the greater flexibility.

If you are happy shooting only JPGs then FastStone is the image editor for you.  DPP and others are good, but FastStone is simple to use and FREE!  This is the only editor I would call "down and dirty" since it is so simple that it requires little effort to learn how to use it.

If you shoot RAW then I recommend Lightroom for its Develop module since it has features not found in DPP.  Of course if you have Photoshop CS6 then you have the exact same functionality in Adobe Camera Raw but ACR has a less user friendly interface.  The ACR version that comes with Photoshop Elements lacks some of the features that come with LR and CS6 ACR but may be sufficient.

LR/ACR images start out looking pretty flat, not at all good.  This is intentional.  Things like camera picture styles aren't applied since it is assumed that you want to be in charge and not depend upon some programmer's idea of what looks good.  This means that part of using LR is that you will be adjusting all your images.  This can be done manually for each image, in batches, or even automatically using presets.  Learning how to make changes in LR takes time but the results show that it is worth spending the time.

LR/ACR are best at making global changes, i.e. changes to the entire image, but they do allow some local area changes.  LR as a single program is sufficient for many photographers who shoot RAW.  If you are more advanced and need to do lots of pixel level retouching or work with layers & masks then you should combine LR with Photoshop CSx or Photoshop Elements.

As an image editor the best is Photoshop.  The problem is that it takes years to really learn how to edit properly in PS.  PS is so flexible and has so many features that even the professional trainers are still learning new ways to do things.  Unfortunately this complexity makes PS a poor choice for the occasional user.

Photoshop Elements is a great pixel editing and layer/masking tool for all but the very most advanced amateur or professional photographer, especially when combined with Lightroom. The biggest drawback of Elements is that the "database" portion relies on the OS file explorer and isn't very good.

The combination I recommend for most amateurs who shoot RAW is LR and Elements.  This way you get a great database, a great RAW editor, pixel level editing, and layers & masks.

Note that both LR and Elements are outside the Adobe Creative Cloud so you simply buy them outright.  Now is a good time to buy LR4 since it is on sale before LR5 is officially released.  Check out the new features in LR5 and if you have Elements you really won't see any reason to wait for LR5.

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Actually the best RAW converter is probably DPP in terms of colour accuracy and for access to the Digital Lens Optimizer (DLO) feature.  See this link for more info on DLO - but none of the other programmes can approach DPP for getting the best out of your Canon lenses in this respect.

http://web.canon.jp/imaging/dlo/index.html

However Lightroom's highlight / shadow compensation offer a greater amount of adjustment and as it is a database so its cataloguing is superior.

There is nothing to stop you using DPP as your RAW converter and using its DLO if you wish and then exporting a Tiff file from DPP to something like Lightroom.  Each programme will have its pros and cons and so it's whatever suits you best really.

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HarryLally
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Re: Down and dirty editor and catalog software. Picasa, LR, DPP, PS,PSE??????
In reply to meland, Jun 3, 2013

Thanks Melan. I have an older version - haven't updated it for years.

M

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Jeff Peterman
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Re: Down and dirty editor and catalog software. Picasa, LR, DPP, PS,PSE??????
In reply to tonyjr, Jun 3, 2013

As you've said, the problem with your system is the overlap. What if you have a shot of a flower taken on a trip to a zoo? Does that go in a folder based on the year/month? One based on the location (zoo) or on the subject (flower)? What if there is a lizard crawling on the flower (date, zoo, flower, lizard?). Cataloging applications like Lightroom make this easy: I have a folder for each year, then event subfolders (e.g., 20130510 Zoo), and use Lightroom to assign the key words to the image/group of images (e.g. zoo, flower, lizard). I can then search my catalog for keywords, so I could find all shots that have lizards AND flowers easily.

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1003mikey
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Re: Down and dirty editor and catalog software. Picasa, LR, DPP, PS,PSE??????
In reply to skanter, Jun 3, 2013

skanter wrote:

Get rid of Picasa and start sing LR. Miles ahead, and your photos will improve more than if you bought a 5D3 And all L lenses.

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Sam K., NYC

I did buy a 5DMlll and all L lenses

I shoot a lot of racing and sports and A LOT of landscapes. Mrs M and I LOVE The National Parks of the West

I just don't have the time to spend hours in the digital darkroom.

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ok55
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Re: Down and dirty editor and catalog software. Picasa, LR, DPP, PS,PSE??????
In reply to 1003mikey, Jun 4, 2013

Lightroom & Photoshop...
Brgds

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JohnJ851
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LOL
In reply to 1003mikey, Jun 4, 2013
No text.
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1003mikey
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Re: Down and dirty editor and catalog software. Picasa, LR, DPP, PS,PSE??????
In reply to 1003mikey, Jun 4, 2013

1003mikey wrote:

I did buy a 5DMlll and all L lenses

I shoot a lot of racing and sports and A LOT of landscapes. Mrs M and I LOVE The National Parks of the West

I just don't have the time to spend hours in the digital darkroom.

This is not meant to flame or put down any of you who love to spend time manipulating your images.

After spending two weeks in the field, I need to get back to my job that pays for my time in the field. I dont have the time. When I retire, maybe.

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Sailor Blue
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Re: Down and dirty editor and catalog software. Picasa, LR, DPP, PS,PSE??????
In reply to HarryLally, Jun 4, 2013

HarryLally wrote:

Sailor Blue wrote:

Photoshop Elements is a great pixel editing and layer/masking tool for all but the very most advanced amateur or professional photographer, especially when combined with Lightroom. The biggest drawback of Elements is that the "database" portion relies on the OS file explorer and isn't very good.

The combination I recommend for most amateurs who shoot RAW is LR and Elements.  This way you get a great database, a great RAW editor, pixel level editing, and layers & masks.

Does Elements contain a tool for erasing bits like TV aerials from a landscape shot or tree branches from wildlife shots? I've been using Canon's DPP until now and the only thing it lacks for me is such a tool. I think it's called a cloning tool.

Michael

Yes it does.

The Clone tool will copy a an area you select over the offending area.

The Healing Brush can do a Proximity Match to cover up the offending area and try to make it look like the surroundings - pretty much an automatic clone tool.  When the Content away option is chosen the Healing Brush becomes intelligent and most times can do a better job of replacing the offending area than you can when you select the replacement area.

Simply put, the Elements 11 Clone Tool and Healing Brush are much better tools than the Clone tool in DPP.

The new Lightroom 5 has a Proximity Match clone tool for healing that can heal spots, stripes, or even small areas as long as there is a near by area that is suitable as a replacement.

DPP uses the camera settings, including camera styles like Portrait or Vivid, to reproduce the JPG the camera would have output.  You can then do global adjustments and even do some limited area adjustments before saving the RAW file.  You can also save a PSD, TIFF, or JPG.

Images first opened in LR will look dull and flat.  This is because Adobe assumes you will want to do your own image optimization rather than rely on those some unknown software engineer made.  The dull flat image offers you the greatest latitude for making changes.

Adobe has made available in LR image styles found in your camera so you can try these out if you want to see what the out of camera JPG would have looked like but I find that I can do a better job so I never bother with these.

Whether or not the RAW conversion of DPP is better than the one in LR is open to debate since what is important is the final product, not just the first image that opens up.  It is true that the first image that opens in DPP will look better than the first image that opens in LR but I contend that you will probably find the final image from LR to be better than that from DPP because LR is a better editor that offers you more options to enhance your images.

Lightroom works seamlessly with Photoshop Elements 11 or Photoshop CS6, allowing you to use a simple keyboard shortcut, Ctrl +E, to export a TIFF or PSD image with all you LR adjustments to Elements 11 or CS6 for pixel level editing or for work with layers & masks.  Once finished  in Elements 11 or CS6 the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + S will save the finished TIFF or PSD and return a thumbnail to LR so that you can keep track of it.  You can then do further editing on the TIFF or PSD in LR or even reopen in in Elements 11 or CS6 from LR.

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skanter
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Re: Down and dirty editor and catalog software. Picasa, LR, DPP, PS,PSE??????
In reply to 1003mikey, Jun 4, 2013

1003mikey wrote:

skanter wrote:

Get rid of Picasa and start sing LR. Miles ahead, and your photos will improve more than if you bought a 5D3 And all L lenses.

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Sam K., NYC

I did buy a 5DMlll and all L lenses

I shoot a lot of racing and sports and A LOT of landscapes. Mrs M and I LOVE The National Parks of the West

I just don't have the time to spend hours in the digital darkroom.

IMO, shooting with top equipment without understanding the importance of PP is a waste. The capture is about half the process, the digital darkroom is the other half.  Do you shoot JPEGs and give the card to the corner drug store for 3x5 prints?

Believe me, "spending time in the digital" darkroom is half of what modern photography is about, and where the creativity and fun is!. Buy Lightroom, spend some time learning it, your photography will never be the same. Later, if you need to go further, buy PS.

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happysnapper64
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Re: Down and dirty editor and catalog software. Picasa, LR, DPP, PS,PSE??????
In reply to 1003mikey, Jun 4, 2013

I am using Picasa, but am having dificulty loading the images onto my DPR gallery. It keeps telling me to make an account with Google, then won't accept my password, so I can't make an account. Never had this problem with Windows Live Photo Gallery, but Picasa is better for re-touching.

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