Which post production Software/App is good for Raw?

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kapil86
kapil86 Junior Member • Posts: 33
Which post production Software/App is good for Raw?

Hello All,

I tried both Lightroom and Photoshop for post production but both are paid.

Please suggest me any good platform or software which is free for Raw photo post production. ?

I am in photography so right now i am not willing to spend money untill I'll be pro.

Thanks

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Bob Janes
Bob Janes Veteran Member • Posts: 3,295
Re: Which post production Software/App is good for Raw?
1

kapil86 wrote:

Hello All,

I tried both Lightroom and Photoshop for post production but both are paid.

Please suggest me any good platform or software which is free for Raw photo post production. ?

I am in photography so right now i am not willing to spend money untill I'll be pro.

Thanks

Capture 1 (if you shoot Fujifilm or Sony). DXO have also given free versions of old software on occasions.

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sluggy_warrior Senior Member • Posts: 1,901
Re: Which post production Software/App is good for Raw?
1

kapil86 wrote:

Hello All,

I tried both Lightroom and Photoshop for post production but both are paid.

Please suggest me any good platform or software which is free for Raw photo post production. ?

I am in photography so right now i am not willing to spend money untill I'll be pro.

Thanks

darktable, free/open-source, very similar to Lightroom (and even better in term of utilizing GPU).

https://www.darktable.org/

with active development:
https://github.com/darktable-org/darktable/commits/master

and community:
https://discuss.pixls.us/

I've been using it the past 5 years for NEF from Nikon D5100/D5500 and RAF from Fuji X-T20 (no worms, guaranteed )

Guy Parsons
Guy Parsons Forum Pro • Posts: 32,993
Re: Which post production Software/App is good for Raw?
1

kapil86 wrote:

Hello All,

I tried both Lightroom and Photoshop for post production but both are paid.

Please suggest me any good platform or software which is free for Raw photo post production. ?

I am in photography so right now i am not willing to spend money untill I'll be pro.

Thanks

Which camera brand?

Depending on brand you can get some excellent raw converters for free, albeit sometimes in usually a slightly crippled form.

Sony has the truly excellent free Capture One Express for Sony, Fuji ditto Express for Fuji. Not full featured but still uses the base Capture One logic for conversion.

Canon I don't know about.

Nikon has their Nikon NX-D, made for them by the Silkypix people.

Panasonic has SilkypixSE, though that's at V8 and the current costly one is at V9. They periodically have very cheap deals on V9 for a Panasonic only version.

Olympus has its Workspace, sadly that is a slow beast but it duplicates what the camera does exactly, if needed.

Google for 'free raw converters' to find more, but usually you do get what you pay for.

Otherwise spend the money (when discount seasons roll around) and buy a full version of a raw converter that handles all brands of file. Capture One Pro and DxO Elite being the leaders in image quality with the rest following at times extremely closely behind in quality. Get used to using one converter instead of flipping from free one to free one.

All the paid ones have 30 day free trials so it doesn't take long to prove which ones work best or suit your style best.

Regards.... Guy

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Mark Scott Abeln
Mark Scott Abeln Forum Pro • Posts: 14,136
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Barry Twycross Senior Member • Posts: 1,704
Re: Which post production Software/App is good for Raw?
1

It's probably best to try whatever free one your camera maker supplies. For me that's Silkypix for Panasonic. A link to that is in the manual under "RAW".

Personally, I think the $60 I spent on Affinity Photo is well worth not faffing around with a bunch of flaky freeware (Silkypix is not flaky freeware btw). It does a very nice job of RAW processing and then feeds the result at high bit depth to the editor for you to work on it.

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Mark B. Forum Pro • Posts: 26,250
Re: Which post production Software/App is good for Raw?

kapil86 wrote:

Hello All,

I tried both Lightroom and Photoshop for post production but both are paid.

Please suggest me any good platform or software which is free for Raw photo post production. ?

I am in photography so right now i am not willing to spend money untill I'll be pro.

Thanks

What camera?  Canon's own DPP is free, and is always updated for use with the newest version of Canon raw.  It's not necessarily the easiest or best, but it will work and is no additional cost.

Mark

fferreres Veteran Member • Posts: 3,020
Re: Which post production Software/App is good for Raw?
1

kapil86 wrote:

Hello All,

I tried both Lightroom and Photoshop for post production but both are paid.

Please suggest me any good platform or software which is free for Raw photo post production. ?

I am in photography so right now i am not willing to spend money untill I'll be pro.

Thanks

For pure bare metal deep to the bone very advanced ideas of raw processing, there isn't anything even at all semi close to RawTherapee. It has certain limitations, but it's basically a huge pipeline of the best open source algorithms and while it's not foolproof at all, nor easy to pick up, it is very advanced as a RAW processor. There's very little not there.

It's a shame there's no RAW editing encapsulation that would allow one to continue to use RAW in other programs after modifications, forcing you to save as other formats for example, and not be able then to go pack...ie. as if everything was a plugin of everything else of sorts. A universal modification format.

So that's about the only thing I miss, that it doesn't have local editing and cannot be further integrated for example with Gimp. RawTherapee has a great online manual, it's somewhat buggy (the builds) and it's a very small team doing a lot also.

Would be nice if it could also be used for video (of course, extremely slow).

sluggy_warrior Senior Member • Posts: 1,901
Re: Which post production Software/App is good for Raw?

fferreres wrote:

It's a shame there's no RAW editing encapsulation that would allow one to continue to use RAW in other programs after modifications, forcing you to save as other formats for example, and not be able then to go pack...ie. as if everything was a plugin of everything else of sorts. A universal modification format.

Most programs are non-destructive (LR, darktable, ...). They save the operations and parameters applied to the RAW/JPG in a database and/or XMP sidecar files. There's no shared standard of how the operations are implemented (and they change constantly as the software improve), so it's hard to continue to edit the image in a different program.

darktable does import the sidecar files from LR, obviously only basic operations:
https://www.darktable.org/2013/02/importing-lightroom-development/

If you stay within a single program/software, you can do whatever you want with the history stack, including copying it to other images (that's how I can batch process photos of an event quickly)

https://www.darktable.org/usermanual/en/history.html

fferreres Veteran Member • Posts: 3,020
Re: Which post production Software/App is good for Raw?

sluggy_warrior wrote:

fferreres wrote:

It's a shame there's no RAW editing encapsulation that would allow one to continue to use RAW in other programs after modifications, forcing you to save as other formats for example, and not be able then to go pack...ie. as if everything was a plugin of everything else of sorts. A universal modification format.

Most programs are non-destructive (LR, darktable, ...). They save the operations and parameters applied to the RAW/JPG in a database and/or XMP sidecar files. There's no shared standard of how the operations are implemented (and they change constantly as the software improve), so it's hard to continue to edit the image in a different program.

darktable does import the sidecar files from LR, obviously only basic operations:
https://www.darktable.org/2013/02/importing-lightroom-development/

If you stay within a single program/software, you can do whatever you want with the history stack, including copying it to other images (that's how I can batch process photos of an event quickly)

https://www.darktable.org/usermanual/en/history.html

Very good clarification, as my post maybe it wasn't clear. My point is that, for example, Rawtherapee doesn't have layers or local adjustments. For that, you need to get into Photoshop or Gimp. This is not PP, but more photo retouching. And to get there, well, you need a flat PNG, TIFF etc. and after making any modifications, you cannot go back to RT (or any other) and now say...I want to adjust exposure a bit. You need to run the entire workflow of changes forward again.

RT is nondestructive as well, and for developing RAW it can be said to be overkill...it has a bestiality and zoo of options. Once you know it, there's little you can't do.

Charles2
Charles2 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,949
Re: Which post production Software/App is good for Raw?

fferreres wrote:

For pure bare metal deep to the bone very advanced ideas of raw processing, there isn't anything even at all semi close to RawTherapee. It has certain limitations, but it's basically a huge pipeline of the best open source algorithms and while it's not foolproof at all, nor easy to pick up, it is very advanced as a RAW processor. There's very little not there.

Absolutely. However, RT has evolved so that you can start out with a reasonable approximation of the camera JPG. It is in the Auto-Adjust feature.

For local selections and something with near the power of Photoshop (for photographers not graphic designers), but not the bloat, see Picture Window Pro 8 from Digital Light & Color. It is donation-only, too.

fferreres Veteran Member • Posts: 3,020
Re: Which post production Software/App is good for Raw?

Charles2 wrote:

fferreres wrote:

For pure bare metal deep to the bone very advanced ideas of raw processing, there isn't anything even at all semi close to RawTherapee. It has certain limitations, but it's basically a huge pipeline of the best open source algorithms and while it's not foolproof at all, nor easy to pick up, it is very advanced as a RAW processor. There's very little not there.

Absolutely. However, RT has evolved so that you can start out with a reasonable approximation of the camera JPG. It is in the Auto-Adjust feature.

For local selections and something with near the power of Photoshop (for photographers not graphic designers), but not the bloat, see Picture Window Pro 8 from Digital Light & Color. It is donation-only, too.

I'll check it out, especially if layers are simpler and some local tools, that's all I need now, like hiding some object or selective highlighting. Thanks for the suggestion.

Pontoneer Veteran Member • Posts: 3,064
Re: Which post production Software/App is good for Raw?

kapil86 wrote:

Hello All,

I tried both Lightroom and Photoshop for post production but both are paid.

Please suggest me any good platform or software which is free for Raw photo post production. ?

I am in photography so right now i am not willing to spend money untill I'll be pro.

Thanks

Which platform?

Mac users have the Photos app which comes as part of OSX .

I don’t use Windows, but I know there’s loads of free stuff out there .

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sluggy_warrior Senior Member • Posts: 1,901
Re: Which post production Software/App is good for Raw?

fferreres wrote:
Very good clarification, as my post maybe it wasn't clear. My point is that, for example, Rawtherapee doesn't have layers or local adjustments. For that, you need to get into Photoshop or Gimp. This is not PP, but more photo retouching. And to get there, well, you need a flat PNG, TIFF etc. and after making any modifications, you cannot go back to RT (or any other) and now say...I want to adjust exposure a bit. You need to run the entire workflow of changes forward again.

RT is nondestructive as well, and for developing RAW it can be said to be overkill...it has a bestiality and zoo of options. Once you know it, there's little you can't do.

darktable doesn't have layer, but you can have multiple instances of a module, thus kinda equivalent to layers.

You can have both parametric and draw masks, with edge detection as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WY1wdgQk-M

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nAbND9N5R4U

fferreres Veteran Member • Posts: 3,020
Re: Which post production Software/App is good for Raw?

sluggy_warrior wrote:

fferreres wrote:
Very good clarification, as my post maybe it wasn't clear. My point is that, for example, Rawtherapee doesn't have layers or local adjustments. For that, you need to get into Photoshop or Gimp. This is not PP, but more photo retouching. And to get there, well, you need a flat PNG, TIFF etc. and after making any modifications, you cannot go back to RT (or any other) and now say...I want to adjust exposure a bit. You need to run the entire workflow of changes forward again.

RT is nondestructive as well, and for developing RAW it can be said to be overkill...it has a bestiality and zoo of options. Once you know it, there's little you can't do.

darktable doesn't have layer, but you can have multiple instances of a module, thus kinda equivalent to layers.

You can have both parametric and draw masks, with edge detection as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WY1wdgQk-M

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nAbND9N5R4U

It seems very good. WIsh they'd merge with RT. Darktable has a lot more including photo management. RT is just pure RAW workhorse with like 9 RAW demoisaics and over 2000 settings all to a really fine grade. It's akin to having a Caterpilar instead of a Ford Pickup. I will have to try Darktable one day.

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