Advice appreciated on RAW converter options

Started 1 month ago | Discussions thread
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Don Davis
Don Davis Contributing Member • Posts: 761
Advice appreciated on RAW converter options


I know this topic gets discussed a lot and I have read many threads here about it. I shoot Raw + jpeg, and 95% of the time I make minor tweaks to the jpegs only and archive Raw. I use an iMac (late 2009) and a MB Pro (late 2020). My common jpeg edits include shadow and highlight adjustment, brightness and contrast, color correction, and a bit of touch-up using the healing brush in an older version of PS Elements.

The few times I edit Raw is when I have really screwed up with color balance or exposure and I am trying to recover the best I can. This is purely a hobby, not a profession for me. Importantly, catalogs and other such features are not something I care to use, and in fact I find them a confusing distraction. I have my own filing system and I prefer for the image processing program to simply get in and get out, and I will specify where I want files stored.

I bought Capture One 20 for Fuji (not the express version) last year, and now they want me to pay more than twice that to upgrade, so I am not interested in that. I find the operation pretty intuitive except for the catalog "features" I mentioned, but I expect they will discontinue support so I probably need to move on. One thing I do like in Capture One is the ability to apply the actual film sims when I edit Raw to compare looks.

Affinity looks pretty good from a pricing standpoint and could replace both my aging PS Elements for jpeg and Capture One 20 for Raw, but I lose the film simulations unless there is an option there I am not familiar with.

Bottom line is that I am going back and forth between too many tools and not getting very comfortable with any of them now. I expect to remain a jpeg-editor most of the time, but need a good Raw option. Any advice from this group of experts would be most appreciated. Thanks in advance!


 Don Davis's gear list:Don Davis's gear list
Fujifilm X100F Fujifilm X100V Nikon D700 Fujifilm X-T2
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