DSLR Photography Forum

Full Version: Interesting or good post-processing software, plug-ins
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My own take:
Photoshop - very complex but very powerful program to edit photos, with some photo managment capabilities. Devote your life learning it and you will be rewarded in the next life. Expect the next life and the one after that to learn the use of the plug-ins which extend or refine the features of Photoshop. Experience with photoshop - weeks.
Highly Recommend if you are serious, well off or really commited and wish to produce a few great photos rather than many OK photos.

Lightroom - simple, intuitive and quite powerful given its simplicity. Used by many as a photo storage manager as well as a fairly powerful photo editor. Will produce decent photos on the first day. Do not like the indexing feature for organizing photos. My indexes often crash with loss of all changes, unless edited photos are exported. All editing features duplicated in Camera Raw component of Photoshop. Current version allows edits only on the photo as a whole. New edition to be released shortly contains capability to edit only parts of an image, a major advance over the current version. Experience with it - months to a year.
Highly recommendfor somebody not wishing to spend a lot of time postprocessing, not wishing to spend a long time learning the software,somebody on a tighter budget not wishing to invest in Photoshop (alkthough Lightroom is not cheap either), those that wish to process a lot of photos quickly, those that wish to dip their finger and learn basic stuff before learning Photoshop.

Autopano Pro Excellent panorama program, very fast in stiching large number of photos together, intuitive interface, default settings yield good results, there are no obvious signs of stiching on the finshed photos. Feature rich, if you wish to learn more. I have limitedexperience -stiched only a few photos. Recommended to me by a very experienced photographer and one of the administrators on PhotoSIG.
Highly recommended based on my limited experience.

I will post more if you guys contribute as well. Feel free to express your agreement or not. We could cut and paste individual comments and paste them as an article when everybody had a chance to contribute. Pavel
Irfanview........Good for resizing, straightening horizons (+ or - in .01 deg.) Simple editing, Speed.
Easy to use......... FREE........Smile
About the only software I use now is Lightroom, and I'm really looking forward to LR2.0's superior integration with Photoshop, because CS3 is the only other program that I use. I used to use a handy little freeware program called ExifRenamer to move my photos onto my hard drive, but Lightroom makes it seamless.
Matthew do you have problems with LR crashes?
Faststone Image Viewer is an excellent viewer and one of the few that supports DNG file format. It looks a lot like Windows Explorer, it is fast and has all the features you expect from a filing images into directory. It is free, although support is welcome.
Highly recommended

Faststone MaxView A simple viewer of individual images. Supports DNG fromat, among others. Loads fast convenienet and fast zoom in. Fairly bare bones, but good in doing what ist does. I use Adobe products for editing images, so a quick viewer that supports all the formats is all I want. It is free, although support is welcome.
Highly recommended
Dreamingpixels Wrote:Matthew do you have problems with LR crashes?
No, it never "crashes" on me - if I try to launch it with a card in the reader it will freeze, at which point I can force-quit it and relaunch without issue. I've had a catalog get corrupted once in the entire time I've been using it, which is pretty much daily since PB3. But I've never had it quit unexpectedly.

I think the key is that I do a nightly backup of my hard drive, which includes the catalog file, and keep my library on a mirrored raid drive. Since my setup is hard to hurt, it's stable. Big Grin

I'm using an iMac with 2GB of ram, and running LR 1.4.1. Since I know I'll be getting LR2 as soon as it's released I haven't been tempted to try the new public betas.
I read a detailed review of SilkyPix Developer Studio 3.0 In Rangerfinder, a magazine for photo professionals. It compared well with Lightroom, with a purchase price less than half, at US$149

I use Faststone occasionally as a viewer. It has some very basic post processing abilities and can convert from RAW in batches. And it's free.