Best photo editing software?

Started Mar 4, 2014 | Discussions thread
NZ Scott
NZ Scott Veteran Member • Posts: 4,695
Lightroom 5 versus CS6

dbelling wrote:

I have never purchase photo editing software, but I would like to try it rather than using whatever comes free with a camera. I have a Mac computer, so what would work best with a Mac? I have read pros and cons for Apple's Aperture, Adobe's Lightroom 5 and Elements, but what works best with a Mac? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.

David B

Do you have an aperture display?

I recently moved from an old Dell laptop (i5, 2GB ram) to a fully-specced MacBook Pro with separate graphics card, 16GB of RAM, 1TB of flash memory and a 15.4 inch Retina display.

With the Dell, I did my processing in Photoshop CS5. It took me several months of intensive study to figure out how to use it, but I'm glad I did.

Moving to the Apple, one of my biggest concerns was the fact that my copy of CS5 wouldn't work on Apple and could not be upgraded to high definition (Retina).

I ended up getting Photoshop CS6 for Mac, which has Retina capability, and also Photoshop Lightroom 5.

A lot of people recommend Lightroom 5 and I'm sure it's great, but in my case I just can't wrap my head around it. I find CS to be really powerful.

A typical workflow in CS is to open your Raw file in Camera Raw (which is part of CS) and do some basic processing there (colour management, spot removal, contrast, exposure, recovering highlights, lifting shadows, sharpening, noise reduction, correcting lens aberrations), and open it from there into the main Photoshop programme, where you can use plugins (I use Silver Efex Pro II for black and white, and sometimes Perfectly Clear for landscapes) as well as cool stuff like clone stamping distracting elements out of the photo, HDR processing, panorama processing, etc.

Lightroom 5 does all of the things that Camera Raw does, and it also allows for plugins, but is quite a bit weaker at advanced stuff like clone stamping, etc. It does have one advantage in that it is better for file management and it is also a lot cheaper.

In my case, I take a lot of photos but don't process all of them. I only process about 25 per cent of my photos and only keep the "keepers". Because of this, Lightroom's file management capabilities are kind of redundant for me and I much prefer the more powerful processing capabilities of CS6.

Good luck.


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