Take a look at this review as well: http://photo-editing-software-review.toptenreviews.com/
pixelatorcw: Having tried out DXO Optics Pro and Corel AfterShot Pro over the past few hours, it was somewhat 'interesting' to find out that neither of these RAW converters would support DNG files. So much for the 'open' DNG format!
Effective immediately, I have stopped converting from proprietary RAW files into the DNG format during Lightroom imports - just in case Adobe changes its business model for Lightroom as well.
Another comment: Technically Corel Paint Shop Pro seems to be able to open DNG files as well as Canon CR2 and Sony ARW RAW files. But skin colors are HORRIBLE for all these formats, including for Canon CR2 files (unless you start PaintShop Pro as an external editor from within AfterShot Pro).
Corel AfterShot Pro actually looks quite promising. I have tested it with RAW files from the cameras I have at hand - Canon 7D, 500D and S90, Sony RX100 and NEX-6. I does not support the Nex-6 ARW format, but it seems to support the RX100 although without lens calibration.I have not tried out-of-camera DNG, but at least it does not seem to support "converted" DNG. The CR2 Canon RAW files were handed OK for all 3 cameras.
In itself, I have no problem with Aftershot Pro DXO Optics Pro not supporting DNG - as long as the required proprietary RAW formats are supported. But this lack of support will make me avoid DNG alltogether, as I do not want to end up with (another) unplanned lock-in regarding Lightroom. But a certain level of lock-in will be created no matter what RAW converter you use, as metadata from the conversion process is NOT standardized (no matter whether sidecar files are used or not).
Having tried out DXO Optics Pro and Corel AfterShot Pro over the past few hours, it was somewhat 'interesting' to find out that neither of these RAW converters would support DNG files. So much for the 'open' DNG format!
EvanRavitz: This says Gimp has "even a modified version that looks and acts more like Photoshop, if you get homesick." but this merely links to the gimpshop.com homepage, where there's no mention of "modified" or "alternate" versions. Where is this mysterious modification??
Gimpshop IS the modified version of GIMP.
Having spent nearly 30 years in the IT industry, one of the key lessons learned is that you never should FORCE customers to do anything. Customers DO like to be in control. They generally HATE to be forced. They DISLIKE being 'locked in', even in situations with great benefits of this 'marriage'. But if the options are open, benefits are great and CUSTOMERS ARE IN CONTROL, them the resulting relationships will be much more long-term than anything created by some kind of 'physical' lock-in.
Adobe has really screwed up on this one! From a business point of view it is only one possible (re)action to a situation like this: a complete WITHDRAW with a CEO admitting 'Yes, we screwed up. Sorry!'. Then Adobe can start planning what they should have done in the first place: To create a cloud offering that is so UNIQUE that customers really WANT to migrate to the cloud offering without being forced to do that. A carrot always works better than a stick when it comes to customer motivation.
pixelatorcw: I am very satisfied with the Speedbooster I bought for the Sony E mount system. Using a Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 lens on my Sony Nex-6 given an effective aperture of f/1.0. Great!
It's interesting how this conversation was turned around into a discussion of the term 'speed' in photography.
As an engineer I agree with the comments about the meaningless term 'speed' when it comes to lenses. A lens has no 'speed' and cannot have a speed. But as a (devoted!) hobby photographer I have got used to how the term 'speed' is (mis)used in the photographer communities. So regarding lenses, a 'fast' lens really means a lens with a large aperture.
How important is the aperture when it comes to the exposure of an image? What is REALLY important is how much of the light hits the sensor. When you use a 'full frame lens' (which is also a somewhat meaningless term) on an APS-C camera, a lot of the light hits outside the sensor. What the Speedbooster does, is actually to concentrate this light so that more light hits the sensor.
So an EF 50mm f/1.4 on my Nex-6 really gives the equivalent of a f/1.0 aperture. But 'Lightbooster' would have been a more correct name.
I am very satisfied with the Speedbooster I bought for the Sony E mount system. Using a Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 lens on my Sony Nex-6 given an effective aperture of f/1.0. Great!
wakaba: It has less than 50% capabilites of a Nikkor Nikon 35mm f/1.8G DX AF-S Nikkor, is 50% more expensive and goes on a camera that cannot keep up with a 8 year old Nikon D50.
Who buys this crap?
Funny comparison with the D50!http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Cameras/Compare-Camera-Sensors/Compare-cameras-side-by-side/%28appareil1%29/832|0/%28brand%29/Sony/%28appareil2%29/195|0/%28brand2%29/Nikon
But yes - the lens is too expensive and too slow.
Lee Jay: Things I like about my compact (Elph 500 HS) over my smartphone (Samsung Galaxy S3):
Wider angle lens (24mm versus 29mm equivalent) Telephoto lens (105mm versus 29mm equivalent) Faster lens (f/2 versus f/2.6) Xenon flash versus LED flash (brighter, better color, freezes motion) Better handling and controls including a shutter release and tripod mount Bigger sensor Better processing
Canon has managed to get rid of four of those seven items in attempting to produce a smartphone supplement. Amazing.
Great summary! I feel the same, using my pocketable S100 or RX100 instead of my smartphone as often as I can, ideally in combination with an EyeFi card to simplify upload.
From Canon I would have wanted a new S110 (S120?) with dramatically improved (simplified!!) wifi and mobile connectivity rather that getting rid of a significant portion of the key features on your list (which are the same that have made S90/S95/S100/S110 such a great camera). But the Powershot N is obviously not targeted at me...
Kuturgan: What a great camera!!! Samsung well done. But why it is not built on Android OS? It would be a terrific and most demanding camera if it was built on Android.
@TimmTimmbits: People are social animals who generally love simplicity and convenience. It is that simple! Mobile phones were never preferred over compact cameras for snapshots due to their fantastic image quality. But the user-perceived simplicity of shoot-and-share has been a driving force.
What then about the professionals and enhusiasts? Well, they are social creatures as well. So they will want to share images. Maybe not on Facebook or Instagram, and at least maybe not before post-processing. But what about image exchanges with customers? Colleagues? Print shops? Retouching providers? What about direct communication between camera and smartphone for exchanging GPS info or letting the phone or iPad act as a remote control?
Look at today's lackluster implementation of in-camera wifi implementations (e.g., Nex-6 and S110) and just imagine how this may have been implemented using a well-proven platform like Android...
I view Android and wireless + mobile communication as major trends also for cameras, and Samsung as one of the players than can really leverage upon these trends. But it's just a bit early. Boot time is one of the issues that needs to be resolved.
Most cameras do not need 'silly' apps, but all modern cameras need a lot of software. And future cameras will need a lot of software for communication with other devices and with social media. Building this software on Android and similar standard platforms instead of proprietary ones is just common sense. Even the 'big guys' will figure this out, sooner or later.
Bryan Costin: LR has a fair number of annoying flaws and omissions (support for catalogs on network drives) but I don't understand the angst about the LR catalog. If you prefer to work with folders you can pretty much ignore the catalog and just think of it as Lightroom's way of caching thumbnail images.
I have years of archived images now on a NAS, sorted into a complex folder hierarchy which I have no intention of changing. I just pointed LR to the folder tree and told it to Add the contents to the catalog, leaving them images exactly where they are. It indexes the existing EXIF and keyword data and I can easily navigate the directory tree in LR. Or out of LR.
For new images, I usually allow LR to directly import and copy the files from my CF/SD card into a date-stamped folder on my NAS. Or, if I feel like it, I can copy files manually to an existing branch of my hierarchy, and tell LR to sync that folder. Either way the photos are right where I put them.
That pretty much summarizes how I use LR myself. IMO it's an excellent tool for editing, so I can live with the weaknesses.
RPJG: If I am travelling, and cataloguing and editing on my laptop, what do I need to do when exporting the laptop-catalog and images to my main home PC (which has the "main" LR catalog)?
Do I need to have the same folder structure on both devices? If not, what steps do I need to follow?
Have a look at:http:/cazillo.com/articles/37-photography/124-multiple-catalogs-in-adobe-lightroom.html
mick232: How does the catalog handle the following situations:
1. Backup/restore of a subset of images including the settings? 2. Moving or deleting a subset of images outside of LR?3. Preview of raw files on SD card without actually editing them yet?
mick232: One more comment: Using this setup you do not need to worry to much about the integrity vs. possible corruption of the LR catalog. The LR database can be rebuilt (also on a different computer) from the information captured in the image files themselves.
There are (as far as I know) only two LR features that will not be supported by this setup:
- Virtual copies (i.e. differently edited 'versions' of the same underlying image without physically creating a copy).- LR collections that cross file catalog boundaries for the underlying image storage.
To me, this is quite OK. LR collections can be created 'on the fly' through selecting combination of metadata, and you can always avoid the virtual copy issue by creating physical copies instead.
From LR's export function I create the 'final' JPEGs that are stored in the other main directory. I use these 'final' JPEGs for web upload and exchange with other applications. E.g. Picasa for upload to Google+/Picasa web album.
mick232: Answering each of those questions require a blog post each. I'll respond to question 1 with the way I handle it myself:
- I keep full backup of my complete image collections (around 50.000 'final' high-resolution JPEGs, around 10.000 'original' RAW files) in no less than 5 physically separate places.
- I use two top level directories (one for originals, one for final JPEGs) and under this file directories on the form YYYY_MM_DD_description_of_event.
- I copy RAW images from the memory cards using LR import functions, and at the same time rename the files and convert the proprietary RAW files to DNG format.
- I use the "automatically write changes into XMP" setting for the LR catalog, meaning all editing will also be added as XMP metadata to the DNG files (in addition to being stored in the LR catalog).
Using this setup, copy/restore of complete subdirectories (i.e., all images from a photoshoot/event) across computers works extremely well.
EssexAsh: can you put a catalog on a network drive yet so that multiple devices can connect in to it?
The short answer: No, you can't.
The longer answer: Technically you can put the catalog on a network drive by fooling Lightroom to 'think' it is on a local drive. But Lightroom is based on a single-user, single-application database system (SQLite), which is fully 'embedded' into its host application (LR). If you attempt to update this database (i.e., the .lrcat file) from two workstations simultaneously, you will very likely corrupt the database, possibly in a way where it cannot be recovered. Even a networked based access from a single workstation with a single application (LR) may corrupt the database, as SQLite does not support the right locking mechanisms for network file systems.
Think of the Lightroom catalog as the internal and proprietary storage structure for the Lightroom application. It was never designed to work as a multi-user, muliti-application digital asset management system. But it's an excellent editing tool for handling multiple (RAW) images in a single operation!
I have been a long term user of Canon Powershot S90, and 'upgraded' to Canon S100 just before the Sony RX100 was introduced.
The Canon cameras S90/S100 (and probably also S95 and S110) are excellent ones and still have an edge being more pocketable than the rest of the bunch (including RX100). But when it comes to image quality, the Sony RX100 clearly beats the very good Canon S100. And while it's bigger, it's still pocketable.
So my wife got herself a (nearly) brand new Canon S100, while the main photographer in the family just HAD to get hold of a Sony RX100... :-)
Timmbits: Following all the commentary, I've done a little checking around. DOES ANYONE ELSE HAVE EXPERIENCE WITH THE FOLLOWING IMAGE EDITING SOFTWARES? (please share)
CHASYS DRAW IES http://download.cnet.com/Chasys-Draw-IES/3000-2192_4-10909426.html
PIXBUILDER STUDIO http://download.cnet.com/PixBuilder-Studio/3000-2192_4-74096.html
PIXIA http://download.cnet.com/Pixia/3000-2192_4-10112912.html (this one's for our kids)
Before you say anything about Paint.net, it's not mentioned because it doesn't have RAW support.
bobbarber: I fully agree to your comments about 16 bit color channels. By mid/late 2013 this will most probably be solved.
Regarding RAW file support, this is much more elegantly integrated in Lightroom than in the combined Photoshop + Camera Raw. In my view, Gimp + UFRaw is similar to the latter combination. Whether this is "well enough" integrated is of course a matter of taste.
pixelatorcw: A lot of the user-perceived complexity of Lightroom isn't actually caused by the database approach, but comes with the way Lightroom handles editing. A Photoshop user may think of the Lightroom approach in the following logical way:'
- The original image is handled as the 'background' in Photoshop, provided that you follow a PS practice of always starting the editing process with creating a 'background copy'. This corresponds to the LR approach of never touching the original image (i.e., the 'background').
- Each editing statement in Lightroom corresponds to creating a new (adjustment) layer in Photoshop. E.g., if you increase exposure +0,75, crop the image and apply noise reduction, there will be 3 separate statements corresponding to 3 new 'layers'.
This approach could very well be followed without using a database, just by introducing a new LR file format. But in LR the editing commands reside (only) in the LR catalog until you "save metadata to files" .
From a TECHNICAL point of view, Lightroom does not add new type of image files when you "save metadata to files". Provided that the underlying file type can handle XMP metadata (true for JPEG, DNG and TIFF; false for proprietary RAW files), the editing commands are added to the existing files as XMP metadata. From a LOGICAL point of view, a JPEG file with LR specific XMP metadata is very much like a new and Lightroom specific file format: Other applications can read the 'image portion' of the JPEG file (i.e., the original image before editing), but they cannot see the edited image (which will require reading the original image, and then applying the Lightroom editing commands captured in XMP metadata).