MacOS RAW processing options?

LeslieJR

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Advice please:

Some brief background:
I have an iMac 4K 2019 with 16Gb memory currently running Mojave but getting around to upgrade to Catalina (real soon now) and have quite a few Olympus RAW images from travels which I want to start doing some post-processing on in a more serious fashion (been relying on Aperture 3.6 in a half-hearted fashion up until now).

I've had a somewhat brief look at Olympus Viewer 3 and Olympus Workspace but they didn't grab me all that much to be honest. Recommendations regarding starting out into this foray would be most welcome (budget is no problem without getting into stratospheric regions).

As an example, here is a shot (.jpeg SOOC Olympus E-M5ii + 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO lens) I took in Zion National Park a couple of years ago on a trip from Australia to the U.S. and I quite like the composition but realise it needs a fair bit of work to bring it up to scratch (RHS is underexposed, sky is over-exposed etc.)

P5300192.jpg
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Thanks in advance.

Cheers.

P.S. I should add that I always shoot in LSF and RAW
 
Last edited:

hias

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Advice please:
This may be a bit the wrong thread, but anyway... So, if you don't need a DAM (like Lightroom or similar), you may take a look at Affinity Photo. Not expensive, but a very serious tool I can recommend. Trial is available. You can find lots of guides online.
 
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Hold off on upgrading to Catalina ... some real issues with photos, including Apples pwn Photo app and Adobe apps as well...

Long time Mac user and I never upgrade immediately to the “newest and greatest “ system software. They already have several updates to Catalina but I generally wait 3 - 4 months or more before updating... lol... still on high Sierra here.

Catalina will cripple all of your 32 bit apps.... beware.

having said that, I have tried at least 7 of the Raw editors for Mac... I started a thread here somewhere comparing a few... and a few years ago decided to go with Exposure... I updated to Exposure X5 yesterday and it was smooth and seamless.

it offers full Raw processing, a tidy system for keeping your photos organized without embedding them into the app itself, and a plethora of photographic filters that emulate old style film emulsions... and more... much much more. Very easy to use with a complimentary series of video tutorials on their website to help you get started.

and for anything I can’t do in Exposure, I use the very powerful Affinity Photo. Really don’t need anything else besides these two imo.

oh yeah... Exposure, like some others, has a free, full working, 30 day trial... extendable if you need a little more time and ask them nicely!
 

Gillymaru

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I have upgraded my 2 main Macs to Catalina. Migrated my old (pre 2015) Aperture library to the Photos app. These files are stored on a seperate external drive and I have been happy with the transition. I keep all my post 2015 files in Lightroom.
My editing is done with a combination of Lightroom and DXO photolab. I do think I get better results from using the raw editor in DXO but Lightroom is fine for most of my work.
Before you upgrade make sure you don’t have any old 32 bit apps that you rely on for important work as Catalina will not support them.
Overall my upgrade went smoother than I expected and although I miss Aperture I am happy enough having all my old files in Photos where I can still access them and have the benefit of using Photos much better system wide sharing tools.
 

mcasan

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I shoot E-M1II bodies and Pro lenses. I use On1 Photo Raw 2020 on my iMac running Catalina. Yesterday PR2020 went from beta to public release.
 

PakkyT

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I've had a somewhat brief look at Olympus Viewer 3 and Olympus Workspace but they didn't grab me all that much to be honest. Recommendations regarding starting out into this foray would be most welcome (budget is no problem without getting into stratospheric regions).
I generally go the easy and cheap route and use Apple's own Photos program for my Oly RAW files. For most stuff I find its editing tools to be great for general "whole photo" editing (things that don't require layers, masking, etc.). I DON'T let Photos manage my library though. I do my own organizing into folders and when I add my photos to Photos it is as "reference" and not copying them into the Photos' own system. This allows me to very easy open the same raw files in any other application I want to try or use.

For my infrared photos I use GIMP as it has features and tools either not present in Photos that I need or other tools that seem to simply work better on IR shots than Photos does. For the latest version of GIMP, I am using darktable as the front end to open, initially process, and pass on the image to GIMP (GIMP doesn't have built in support to handle raw files directly). But darktable can be used standalone and is completely free, so you might want to check it out.
 

Bristolero

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This may be a bit the wrong thread, but anyway... So, if you don't need a DAM (like Lightroom or similar), you may take a look at Affinity Photo. Not expensive, but a very serious tool I can recommend. Trial is available. You can find lots of guides online.
I agree that Affinity is a spectacular program for the money, but I will caution that it might not be the best for someone who hasn't a lot of experience with processing. I'm slowly churning through the workbook and have viewed the tutorials, and while I'm impressed with the results, Affinity has a lengthy learning curve, IMHO. I'll keep working with it, but at present it's way better than I am. For an easier time, I'd suggest DXO PhotoLab, in conjunction with Lightroom.
 

ralf-11

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I am avoiding Catalina like the plague - it is full of bugs just like other recent "upgrades" from Snapple.

Last big upgrade broke Finder search on my machines
 
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What issues? I have had no issues with either of those Programs?
My brother in law is a long time Apple guy... both of us go back to 1980 with apple products. He also was a reseller of Apple products through medical software and is one of the more astute Apple guys I know. (That was for background only). However, he knows what he is doing with regards to system updates.

He was also an advocate of and user of Aperture until it was killed off. He then switched to Photos in its infancy and has been a user of that ever since, with additional work done in Affinity Photo. In the last four years he has culled his photos down to around 17,000 photos.

When he updated to Catalina the other day of his 17,000 photos barely only 1,000 showed up as images. The rest are black boxes. Of course he has a backup of these images, but this is the first time he has experienced this type of issue with any Apple update.

if you search the internet there are numerous posts of similar issues. Most relate to users who did not heed the warnings about ensuring their legacy (32 bit) programs could be updated so they would work within Catalina. In many cases they were too eager to get on with it, ignoring the move to 64 bit apps Apple has made. In other cases it was a matter of leaving auto-update on. I turn that “feature” off on all of my devices.

As stated earlier, I am not one to be the first on the block with any system updates. You want to be a guinea pig, that’s up to you, but personally it is mho that it is best to wait until several updates have already been made. No beta testing in the world can be enough to ensure a seamless transition for all users from one major system upgrade to another. Again, jmho.
 

Hendrik

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Nice shot from the Kayenta trail. btw. Taking it as an example, if there is no (or very minimal) clipping, then just about any software package should get you close to where you want to go. This is judging by my own images taken in Zion in 2015 with an E-M5 and E-M5 II. Picking a program with local adjustment tools would get you closer. Judging from all the threads similar to this one, the major determinant for usefulness for any individual is whether they "click" with the program they're using. Different strokes for different folks. It doesn't matter the reason or lack thereof, it will come down to what you find yourself feeling about the particular package. 30-day trials are your friend, here. FWIW, I have been using Lightroom since it came out of beta and see no reason to change. Little by little, Apple's Photos has been getting more and more usable and perhaps would be a good place to start your search.
 
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Hold off on upgrading to Catalina ... some real issues with photos, including Apples pwn Photo app and Adobe apps as well...

Long time Mac user and I never upgrade immediately to the “newest and greatest “ system software. They already have several updates to Catalina but I generally wait 3 - 4 months or more before updating... lol... still on high Sierra here.

Catalina will cripple all of your 32 bit apps.... beware.

having said that, I have tried at least 7 of the Raw editors for Mac... I started a thread here somewhere comparing a few... and a few years ago decided to go with Exposure... I updated to Exposure X5 yesterday and it was smooth and seamless.

it offers full Raw processing, a tidy system for keeping your photos organized without embedding them into the app itself, and a plethora of photographic filters that emulate old style film emulsions... and more... much much more. Very easy to use with a complimentary series of video tutorials on their website to help you get started.

and for anything I can’t do in Exposure, I use the very powerful Affinity Photo. Really don’t need anything else besides these two imo.

oh yeah... Exposure, like some others, has a free, full working, 30 day trial... extendable if you need a little more time and ask them nicely!
Totally agree. There's no good reason to "upgrade" to Catalina now; it's still betaware, buggy, and has been demonstrated to lose data. Look through macintouch.com and you'll see. Mojave will be supported by Apple with security updates until late 2021. Just say no to Catalina. (I'm a Mac consultant with 30 years in the field.)
 
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Oh no. Is this Apple's "Windows Vista" ?
Not really... it’s just that it’s such a major overhaul that is a big leap forward... the move within a 32 bit system was really only a tiny step forward. The leap from a 32 bit to 64 bit system means that many apps get left behind in the move to take that giant step into the potential of the future.

so in this case, if someone has an old machine, or some old apps that they absolutely feel they can’t do without then it’s a no brainer... leave Catalina alone.

truly, the issue is mostly with the app developers. They have had access to the beta system for some time and have been given the opportunity to update their software to 64 bit. Not apples fault for a developers shortcoming.
 
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Not really... it’s just that it’s such a major overhaul that is a big leap forward... the move within a 32 bit system was really only a tiny step forward. The leap from a 32 bit to 64 bit system means that many apps get left behind in the move to take that giant step into the potential of the future.

so in this case, if someone has an old machine, or some old apps that they absolutely feel they can’t do without then it’s a no brainer... leave Catalina alone.

truly, the issue is mostly with the app developers. They have had access to the beta system for some time and have been given the opportunity to update their software to 64 bit. Not apples fault for a developers shortcoming.
- Apple Mail losing data.
- Unreliable Bluetooth connectivity (have to connect via USB first).
- Entitlement file is 32-bit but Catalina prevents access. Apple says you need a new logic board. Users who have posted the simple fix get banned from the Apple Support Communities.
- iTunes is gone and the new apps replacing it have trouble dealing with libraries stored on external media. Thanks, Apple, for turning my Mac into an iPhone.

Is this Apple's "Vista" Yes. So was Lion; fixed with Mountain Lion. So was High Sierra; fixed with Mojave (after a number of "point" updates). Catalina is so very different than anything that came before that Apple still doesn't really know what they're doing. Yes; APFS is there but, in the name of "security", Apple has added a read-only system volume. Now all apps have to be redirected to the new System and Library locations through a 2-way "wormhole" in order to access needed system resources. And updates to anything in those two folders will fail (currently - we hope this will be fixed by 10.15.1) because the volume is read-only and the method to permit writing isn't actually implemented yet. Can you say "betaware"? I know you can.

If you can't articulate a reason why you need to upgrade to Catalina, then to do so doesn't make you a fool; it just confirms it. I've already told my clients to be afraid, turn off automatic updates, and make sure they have good backups in case Apple shoves Catalina into their Macs in spite of precautions.
 

bjurasz

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iTunes is gone and the new apps replacing it have trouble dealing with libraries stored on external media
Egads. My iMac has only a 256GB internal SSD, meaning only the OS and my applications are there. Data, like my songs, movies, TV shows, and photo library, exist on large external drives. So looks like I'm holding off on Catalina for some time now....
 
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I've done the upgrade to Catalina. I use Lightroom and have close to 65,000 images on an external thunderbolt drive. I'm experiencing no problems, at all. So far, Catalina has been just fine. I've only used Photoshop one time, but it worked fine. All my Adobe Creative Cloud apps are the latest version. I realize that there are reported issues, some are even from Adobe, but that seems to be more for legacy products that have 32 bit installers, etc.

As to the original question, I've been using Lightroom Classic for quite a while, and while I like what it does as far as working with RAW, I've noticed the last few upgrades seem to be memory hogs. I have 32GB on my i7 iMac, and I often find that it's chewing up 20GB of that RAM. I'm thinking about ON1, but haven't pulled the trigger.
 
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