Photoninja 1.2.3b vs. Lighroom 5.4

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afragisk
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Photoninja 1.2.3b vs. Lighroom 5.4
5 months ago

Just downloaded both versions and decided to do a comparison. First time Photoninja user and I'm really amazed by its automatic highlight recovery feature. Below are some comparisons of Fuji XE-2 raw files the way they display on both softwares. Photoninja left, Lightroom right.

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Clayton1985
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Re: Photoninja 1.2.3b vs. Lighroom 5.4
In reply to afragisk, 5 months ago

Can you explain what you think the comparison shows?   The first set of images for example...  are you suggesting that PN has that kind of advantage recovering highlights vs LR or are you just saying that you like the automatic feature in PN vs the LR process for recovering highlights?

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afragisk
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Re: Photoninja 1.2.3b vs. Lighroom 5.4
In reply to Clayton1985, 5 months ago

Can you explain what you think the comparison shows?   The first set of images for example...  are you suggesting that PN has that kind of advantage recovering highlights vs LR or are you just saying that you like the automatic feature in PN vs the LR process for recovering highlights?

I love the automatic feature. I tried to do the same with Lightroom on a couple of photos and failed miserably. I'm not saying it can't be done though.
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Fuji XE-2, Canon FD 300 4L, Fuji 55-200, Fuji 56 1.2, Fuji 27 2.8, Fuji 23 1.4, Fuji 14 2.8, Bower 8 2.8

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Clayton1985
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Re: Photoninja 1.2.3b vs. Lighroom 5.4
In reply to afragisk, 5 months ago

afragisk wrote:

Can you explain what you think the comparison shows? The first set of images for example... are you suggesting that PN has that kind of advantage recovering highlights vs LR or are you just saying that you like the automatic feature in PN vs the LR process for recovering highlights?

I love the automatic feature. I tried to do the same with Lightroom on a couple of photos and failed miserably. I'm not saying it can't be done though.

Just by moving the highlight slider to the left you will be miles ahead of the LR example you posted.

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afragisk
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Re: Photoninja 1.2.3b vs. Lighroom 5.4
In reply to Clayton1985, 5 months ago

Clayton1985 wrote:

Just by moving the highlight slider to the left you will be miles ahead of the LR example you posted.

I wish it was that simple. Main and region highlights moved all the way to the left:

I'm sure we can get there if we distort the tone curve in ways that would probably require a lot of knowledge, experience or time. Again, not my main point here anyway.

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Al Valentino
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Re: Photoninja 1.2.3b vs. Lighroom 5.4
In reply to afragisk, 5 months ago

Tip about Highlight Recovery. In some cases the recovery in PN is not real as the software can determine the color of a completely blown area and apply that color giving the impression that PN pulls in more. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

Look at the settings in Color Correction under Color Recovery. You can set the defaults to Low, Med or High. High is 100% and for some extreme samples there can be a big difference between 99 and 100% where 99% does not add color to blown areas but 100% does. The flip side is that in some cases the color recovery of blown highlights are too saturated or just not natural. To that end a good starting point is 50% which is Low and then adjust as needed.

This is a very useful tool when combined with other Exposure settings, and in my tests I can often repair a totally blown area to look natural

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Clayton1985
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Re: Photoninja 1.2.3b vs. Lighroom 5.4
In reply to afragisk, 5 months ago

afragisk wrote:

Clayton1985 wrote:

Just by moving the highlight slider to the left you will be miles ahead of the LR example you posted.

I wish it was that simple. Main and region highlights moved all the way to the left:

I'm sure we can get there if we distort the tone curve in ways that would probably require a lot of knowledge, experience or time. Again, not my main point here anyway.

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I didn't say it was that simple. I said that you would be miles ahead of the image you posted. My guess is that there are quite a few people on the forum here that would only need a couple of minutes with your original to show you several variations of your image that would be as good or perhaps better than the PN image. And I'm not saying that one program is better than the other... only that for those considering both programs, your attempt at a comparison might hurt more than it helps.  If you just wanted to show the results of the automatic feature in PN then it might have been better to show only the PN images instead of presenting it as some sort of comparison to LR.   But again, maybe I am misunderstanding your overall point here.   It came across to me that you were saying that PN can recover highlights better than LR and maybe that is not your point at all.

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afragisk
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Re: Photoninja 1.2.3b vs. Lighroom 5.4
In reply to Clayton1985, 5 months ago

Clayton1985 wrote:

I didn't say it was that simple. I said that you would be miles ahead of the image you posted. My guess is that there are quite a few people on the forum here that would only need a couple of minutes with your original to show you several variations of your image that would be as good or perhaps better than the PN image. And I'm not saying that one program is better than the other... only that for those considering both programs, your attempt at a comparison might hurt more than it helps. If you just wanted to show the results of the automatic feature in PN then it might have been better to show only the PN images instead of presenting it as some sort of comparison to LR. But again, maybe I am misunderstanding your overall point here. It came across to me that you were saying that PN can recover highlights better than LR and maybe that is not your point at all.

Sure but it turns out I'm not miles ahead by what you suggested. Also, that wasn't my point at all. My point was to show the straight RAW conversion, without any tweaks. I think the images speak for themselves as to who is doing a (much) better job there, nowhere did I mention PN is better or worse in my original post.

As I already mentioned, I agree that a comparison might not be useful (and at no point misleading) for the pro that has spent a significant amount of training & time editing pics in Lightroom. But for me and I'm sure many others, I believe it shows that you can get a (much) better pic right out of the box, at least in terms of highlight recovery - which consenquently affects contrast and other attributes. That's all!

I appreciate your intention to help though and if you have any other suggestion as part of this discussion I would be happy to try it out. I would also be interested in examples (not guesses) where you have worked with these two latest versions and can demonstrate that LR can match or surpass PN's highlight recovery consistently across a good sample of pics.

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afragisk
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Re: Photoninja 1.2.3b vs. Lighroom 5.4
In reply to Al Valentino, 5 months ago

Al Valentino wrote:

Tip about Highlight Recovery. In some cases the recovery in PN is not real as the software can determine the color of a completely blown area and apply that color giving the impression that PN pulls in more. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

Look at the settings in Color Correction under Color Recovery. You can set the defaults to Low, Med or High. High is 100% and for some extreme samples there can be a big difference between 99 and 100% where 99% does not add color to blown areas but 100% does. The flip side is that in some cases the color recovery of blown highlights are too saturated or just not natural. To that end a good starting point is 50% which is Low and then adjust as needed.

This is a very useful tool when combined with other Exposure settings, and in my tests I can often repair a totally blown area to look natural

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Fuji Silver XE1 w/14, 35, 18-55, 55-200, Rokinon 8mm Fisheye & Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Macro

As always, thanks Al, that's a great thing to take into account.

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1drey
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Re: Photoninja 1.2.3b vs. Lighroom 5.4
In reply to Al Valentino, 5 months ago

More than one time I was thinking about buying PN license, but after testing with some 'hard' files I gave up.

Like in this sample:

Just can't get rid of this pink color 'invented' by PN. Adobe RAW converter is free from this issue.

Can send you a link  to this RAW if you like to experiment with it.

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Al Valentino
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Re: Photoninja 1.2.3b vs. Lighroom 5.4
In reply to 1drey, 5 months ago

1drey wrote:

More than one time I was thinking about buying PN license, but after testing with some 'hard' files I gave up.

Like in this sample:

Just can't get rid of this pink color 'invented' by PN. Adobe RAW converter is free from this issue.

At the moment PN has a beta release which specifically addresses highlight recovery for X-trans with a new highlight recovery engine . I wonder if your turned down the "Color Highlight Recovery" slider to 0, as I mentioned above, if the pink would disappear. I haven't purchased but I suspect i will go that way. I have Aperture and Capture One and CS6. I love Aperture but in general do not like catalogue systems and prefer folder structure. I have been using Bridge but adobe raw are just okay. PN and ACR, as needed, might work out better for me. Photo Mechanic is also on my list as a browser. I used it long ago for years with Nikon Capture and Capture NX before moving to adobe for Nikon raw files.

http://www.picturecode.com/news.php#pn1_2_3bPre

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afragisk
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Re: Photoninja 1.2.3b vs. Lighroom 5.4
In reply to 1drey, 5 months ago

It would also be great if you could send a link to this or other "problematic" raw files to try tonight what Al proposed or anything else. I have downloaded the latest beta version.

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1drey
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Re: Photoninja 1.2.3b vs. Lighroom 5.4
In reply to Al Valentino, 5 months ago

Al Valentino wrote:

1drey wrote:

More than one time I was thinking about buying PN license, but after testing with some 'hard' files I gave up.

Like in this sample:

Just can't get rid of this pink color 'invented' by PN. Adobe RAW converter is free from this issue.

At the moment PN has a beta release which specifically addresses highlight recovery for X-trans with a new highlight recovery engine . I wonder if your turned down the "Color Highlight Recovery" slider to 0, as I mentioned above, if the pink would disappear. I haven't purchased but I suspect i will go that way. I have Aperture and Capture One and CS6. I love Aperture but in general do not like catalogue systems and prefer folder structure. I have been using Bridge but adobe raw are just okay. PN and ACR, as needed, might work out better for me. Photo Mechanic is also on my list as a browser. I used it long ago for years with Nikon Capture and Capture NX before moving to adobe for Nikon raw files.

http://www.picturecode.com/news.php#pn1_2_3bPre

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Yes, I was playing with recovery slider in wide range - from 0 to 100 - with no avail. 
It is a pity because in many areas PN just shines and allows to produce superb result in very short time comparing to ACR.

BTW, the price of PN is close to the price of PS CC ownership. It is a bit embarrassing. Yes, your outdated PN will continue to work even without upgrade but it won't support your new shiny X-T3

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Al Valentino
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Re: Photoninja 1.2.3b vs. Lighroom 5.4
In reply to 1drey, 5 months ago

1drey wrote:

BTW, the price of PN is close to the price of PS CC ownership. It is a bit embarrassing. Yes, your outdated PN will continue to work even without upgrade but it won't support your new shiny X-T3

Photoshop was that way. You may not feel the need to update to CSx every 18 months but if you purchased a new camera you would need the latest for RAW support of that camera.

I agree there are times when PN is best and times when it is not. Having two RAW converters may be the ideal way to compliment each others strengths and weaknesses.

I do wish PN would have a sale. Last one was late Nov Black Friday - the only day of the year when Apple has a sale, but apple sales are a sad joke

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Sal Baker
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Re: Photoninja 1.2.3b vs. Lighroom 5.4
In reply to Al Valentino, 5 months ago

Al Valentino wrote:

1drey wrote:

BTW, the price of PN is close to the price of PS CC ownership. It is a bit embarrassing. Yes, your outdated PN will continue to work even without upgrade but it won't support your new shiny X-T3

Photoshop was that way. You may not feel the need to update to CSx every 18 months but if you purchased a new camera you would need the latest for RAW support of that camera.

I agree there are times when PN is best and times when it is not. Having two RAW converters may be the ideal way to compliment each others strengths and weaknesses.

I agree completely.  As of now I own most of the major converters: LR5, Aperture (already owned), Iridient, Capture One Pro 7, and PhotoNinja.   Each of them does something better for certain types of images.  I'm finding this true not only for my X-Trans but also my Canon CR2 RAW files.  Until I started using all of these, I had no idea how different each mathematical approach can be with any brand of RAW files.

Compared to the rest of my gear/computers/software, RAW software is actually pretty cheap.  Just like with lenses, it's nice to have a specialized variety of choices for every situation.  

Sal

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Ulfric M Douglas
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Re: Photoninja 1.2.3b vs. Lighroom 5.4
In reply to Al Valentino, 5 months ago

Al Valentino wrote:

Tip about Highlight Recovery. In some cases the recovery in PN is not real as the software can determine the color of a completely blown area and apply that color giving the impression that PN pulls in more. Not that there is anything wrong with that....

Yes, this is the thing.

If you like automatic creation of missing highlight detail ... PhotoNinja is excellent.

It really suits files from older cameras with limited DR

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Al Valentino
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Re: Photoninja 1.2.3b vs. Lighroom 5.4
In reply to Ulfric M Douglas, 5 months ago

Ulfric M Douglas wrote:

Al Valentino wrote:

Tip about Highlight Recovery. In some cases the recovery in PN is not real as the software can determine the color of a completely blown area and apply that color giving the impression that PN pulls in more. Not that there is anything wrong with that....

Yes, this is the thing.

If you like automatic creation of missing highlight detail ... PhotoNinja is excellent.

It really suits files from older cameras with limited DR.

Exactly. Especially those files where the blown highlights, when pulled back, show a grey, (like a bad HDR), this tool can turn that synthetic grey into white (also by combining that tool with pulling highlight slider back.

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Clayton1985
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Re: Photoninja 1.2.3b vs. Lighroom 5.4
In reply to afragisk, 5 months ago

Sure but it turns out I'm not miles ahead by what you suggested. Also, that wasn't my point at all. My point was to show the straight RAW conversion, without any tweaks. I think the images speak for themselves as to who is doing a (much) better job there, nowhere did I mention PN is better or worse in my original post.

You aren't showing straight raw conversion without any tweaks (whatever that is).  You are only showing that you prefer presets with an automated process.  This does not show that PN recovers highlights better than LR.

As I already mentioned, I agree that a comparison might not be useful (and at no point misleading) for the pro that has spent a significant amount of training & time editing pics in Lightroom. But for me and I'm sure many others, I believe it shows that you can get a (much) better pic right out of the box, at least in terms of highlight recovery - which consenquently affects contrast and other attributes. That's all!

Certainly and as I said in the previous post, if you are just trying to make the point that you like PN's presets and automated process then great.   But you aren't showing "straight raw conversion without any tweaks" and you aren't showing PN's ability to recover highlights better than LR.

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afragisk
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Re: Photoninja 1.2.3b vs. Lighroom 5.4
In reply to 1drey, 5 months ago

1drey, thanks for sending over the photo. And congrats on the nice street shots.

I did notice a color cast when viewed in PN, with its default preset (better be exact!), which I was able to completely remove following Al's suggestion, by turning the color slider all the way to the left - even to the middle was ok though. I also turned the highlight slider in LR all the way to the left. Below is a zoomed in version of the two softwares. To my eyes, PN is still doing a better job here in highlight recovery, even in this "problematic" picture, although by a smaller margin than in my pics. There is a bigger margin in terms of details - which is covered by many other threads.

What is interesting though is that LR does apply a color cast. Below are the processed images in full size.

Finally, below are both images unprocessed, using each software's default settings. The color cast is obvious on both, much more on the PN.

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Al Valentino
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Re: Photoninja 1.2.3b vs. Lighroom 5.4
In reply to afragisk, 5 months ago

afragisk wrote:

Finally, below are both images unprocessed, using each software's default settings. The color cast is obvious on both, much more on the PN.

Yes, but you can change the default settings. The Default for Color Recovery is High. Change that to Low, which is 50%. Then all the opened RAWs will have that setting applied and color casts in blown areas will be much less of a problem. You can always go in and use the slider to adjust as needed.

Changing the Default to Lum Noise On slows things down a bit but makes for a cleaner image if the starting point was high ISO, clean skies, and shadow lifting - where the noise is most obvious

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