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Is Light Room 4 huge improvement from bundled Silkypix?

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by New Daddy, May 31, 2012.

  1. New Daddy

    New Daddy Mu-43 Regular

    193
    Jan 24, 2011
    I only shoot RAW occasionally, when it's really needed - like in a mixed-light situation. So my RAW workflow is not really efficient, and I'm attributing part of that inefficiency to the bundled Silkypix that I use.

    Now I'm wondering if I should employ Light Room in my RAW workflow, which like I said doesn't happen often.

    The obvious downside will be the flat learning curve, as people say Light Room does not have the most intuitive user interface.

    What are the upsides? I'm sure Light Room is a far better software than the bundled Silkypix Studio 3.1 SE that I have, which is not even the most recent Silkypix nor their Pro version. If I shoot RAW occasionally, would switching to Light Room still be worth it considering the initial flat learning curve?
     
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  2. tanngrisnir3

    tanngrisnir3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    594
    Oct 18, 2011
    Having used LR extensively, and only tried Silkypix once or twice when I got my LX5 some time back, I can't readily directly compare them other than:

    A. I got them both at the same time, and I'm still using LR.
    B. The intuitiveness of the controls, where they are, what they do, etc... was/is simply better in LR, to my way of looking at it.
    C. The learning curve is not nearly as hard in LR as some people make it out to be, and it's a LOT easier than, say, Photoshop.
    D. Doing what I thought to be the same thing to the same file in both programs, often the results in SP often times were hard to stop from being, for lack of a better word, cartoonish.

    Finally, if you go w/LR, you have MASSIVE amounts of online groups, support and free videos that can help you along, AND you've got plug-ins from fine folks at places like NIK and Topaz if you decide to really get serious.

    Do yourself a favor and give it an honest try. It may be that it's not for you, but becoming more fluent in digital post-processing of any kind is far more than half the battle in getting your good shots to be great ones.

    People often overlook that this is digital photography, and the competency in the darkroom, although virtual, has never been more important.
     
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  3. hanzo

    hanzo Mu-43 Veteran

    341
    Jan 22, 2010
    Chan
    Yes.. its huge.. once you know your way around LR...
     
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  4. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    Once you start using LR, you will most likely continue to do so from now on whether you shoot jpg or raw. It's not difficult to use at all... If you invest a bit of time to get to know it, you will be rewarded every day you use it. Superb photo mgmt and editing software that is very fast and efficient to use once you get the hang of it.
     
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  5. crsnydertx

    crsnydertx Mu-43 Top Veteran

    995
    Dec 31, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Chuck
    I use Lightroom 4, Photoshop Elements 10, and Photoshop CS5 in my "digital darkroom. If I were told I could only use one, it would be Lightroom - no question about it. Organizing, raw conversion, editing, batch processing - it's all in there.
     
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  6. runner girl

    runner girl Mu-43 Regular

    192
    Nov 26, 2011
    I am really struggling with this. I have Elements 10 but I find it awkward to use for organizing and editing, particularly it doesn't work to import directly from my camera (taking advantage of the customized naming conventions) because it keeps searching for the duds that I immediately delete. In what ways would Lightroom be more efficient/effective for organizing and editing? I have also read, I think, that the Elements Organizer doesn't work for files moved to an external hard drive. Does Lightroom support this function?
     
  7. tanngrisnir3

    tanngrisnir3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    594
    Oct 18, 2011
    Photoshop Elements and Lightroom are two completely different animals.

    The 'library' function of LR is not difficult to learn, and it's default (I think) is that as soon as you plug your camera in, BAM, it asks you if you want to import them into LR.

    You can easily do what you're asking about in LR.
     
  8. Henk

    Henk Mu-43 Regular

    194
    Aug 18, 2010
    the Netherlands
    Lightroom 4 offers more control but IMHO Silkypix has the edge in rendering the best in color and sharpness/detail with the default settings. Silkypix worked with Panasonic for getting the best out of the raw files.
    Lightroom uses a generic color profile for all cameras, you can of course make one specifically for your camera to use with LR4.


    Yes, I have all te files and libraries on an external hard drive which I use with a windows 7 machine and a Mac alternately.
     
  9. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    I love LR and there's a free demo for 30 days so you can always just give it shot and see if it's for you.
     
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  10. MizOre

    MizOre Mu-43 Veteran

    201
    Dec 26, 2011
    Basically, you use Lightroom to move things (or move them and have Lightroom import them the first time). I have an external hard drive set up for storing photos and do all my work from it. Lightroom has always been able to do this. You can even set Lightroom to copy everything it imports to a second location. You can also make different catalogues for things on different removable media.
     
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  11. Livnius

    Livnius Super Moderator

    Jul 7, 2011
    Melbourne. Australia
    Joe
    G'day Chuck.

    Just wondering.....how do Photoshop Elements / CS5 differ ?

    I was considering getting a copy of Photoshop to have a bit of a play with layers and the like.

    Cheers.
    Joe.
     
  12. crsnydertx

    crsnydertx Mu-43 Top Veteran

    995
    Dec 31, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Chuck
    Joe, hi. Elements is a scaled-back cousin of full Photoshop, at a fraction of the cost ( ~$100 US for Elements vs. ~$700 for CS5). Elements is feature-laden, though, and has most of the basic features needed for advanced editing, including layers, filters, masks, etc. Here's a list of features for the latest version:

    Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 | Features

    Truth be told, I've wasted a lot of money on keeping Photoshop CSx up to date. Lightroom with occasional use of PS Elements has been more than adequate for my needs. As always, YMMV!

    To answer your question of what's in CS5 that's not in Elements, here's another article:

    http://photo-editing-software-revie...op-elements-and-photoshop-cs3-comparison.html

    Hope this helps.
     
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  13. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    Joe... to add some more input on this... I lived in Photoshop daily, editing commercial and portrait work since well before the first digital cameras even hit the market... from PS version 2.5 (that was around 1992 or so) until Lightroom came out. I still use CS5 when necessary... but unless I'm retouching portrait complexions... I generally don't even need it anymore.

    Once I started working in Lightroom, my PS needs plummeted.. dramatically so. Now I only use PS when I need to do pixel level editing or work which requires layer blending, portrait retouching, etc. The bulk of what I shoot for personal purposes never needs Photoshop.

    I'm confident that Elements would more than meet your photo editing needs that aren't covered by Lightroom. My suggestion is, if you aren't already using LR, to get the free download and use it. I believe you can also get a trial version of Elements to check out for editing that you can't accomplish with LR. Typically, I'd say you would not use Elements very much... if you have LR.
     
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  14. Livnius

    Livnius Super Moderator

    Jul 7, 2011
    Melbourne. Australia
    Joe
    Thanks mate.

    That's what I needed to know....Elements looks to cover what I'm curious to try out.

    My primary interest is layers and masks as I've often wanted to 'blend' various LR and Nik Software effects at opacity levels where I have more direct control. Sometimes it's a whole image I want to layer/blend....other times it's just a certain selection of the image that I want to do that to. Elements sounds perfect.

    Thanks again.
     
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  15. Jimboh

    Jimboh Mu-43 Regular

    75
    Sep 17, 2010
    Florida
    Do the demo

    LR has bigger learning curve, but ability to clone and edit clone plus other features makes it worthwhile. As others said, do the demo. You may find it far more than you need, esp if you are inclined to shoot non-raw. I would also recommend you try out PSE. I started with pSE and frankly both initially were confusing. But I stuck with it and found some video tutorials and got on the right track pretty quickly.

    Incidentally, I love the raw-dng conversion on intake of new material. Anyone who archives any camera raw format may be disappointed 10-15 years from now. Use DNG. Even if you dont get LR, adobe has dng converter on their site for free. DNG is the new tiff and unlike tiff can store metadata in the file.
     
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  16. crsnydertx

    crsnydertx Mu-43 Top Veteran

    995
    Dec 31, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Chuck
    Joe, Elements supports Nik and Topaz plug-ins as does Lightroom. You should be good to go!
     
  17. Livnius

    Livnius Super Moderator

    Jul 7, 2011
    Melbourne. Australia
    Joe
    Thanks guys.

    Don.... I LOVE lightroom, I'm one of those guys who quite enjoys putting on some tunes and post processing my images, I rarely if ever don't post process in LR in some way....loved LR3.x but now have LR4 in the mail :)

    Chuck.
    Great to know about the plugin support because I have the NIK full suite and much like Lightroom....I use the various plugins quite a lot...especially Dfine, ColorFX and SilverFX.

    Thanks again.
    Joe.
     
  18. tanngrisnir3

    tanngrisnir3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    594
    Oct 18, 2011
    Wait! You haven't got it yet?

    LR4 KILLS LR3.6, if for nothing else than the incorporation of much of the Tone Curve into more specific controls and that 'Clarity' now makes a huge difference.

    Way better NR in all kinds of ways.

    You're in for a treat.
     
  19. Livnius

    Livnius Super Moderator

    Jul 7, 2011
    Melbourne. Australia
    Joe

    Lol.....that's what I've gathered.
    Based on samples ive seen, I've been really impressed with improvements in shadow and highlight recovery.....for me that alone is worth the admission fee.
     
  20. New Daddy

    New Daddy Mu-43 Regular

    193
    Jan 24, 2011
    I've since downloaded the trial version and had a few runs with it. My initial impression is, LR is superb! Especially its noise reduction is far, far better than Silkypix. It is a feature-laden software, so it will take some learning too.