I've used previous versions of Photoshop, GIMP, and a couple of others with all my past point-and-shoot cameras, but now that I've stepped up to a system camera, and am learning to really use it, I want my image editing and PP to step up as well. I am more than likely going with LR4, unless something in the DxO trial amazes me. I run Windows, so Aperture is out. I know the learning curve on LR is a little steep, but I'm wondering if I should buy the Nik software and use it from the beginning as well. My understanding is that the Nik software is more in the way of "presets" for lack of a better term. Can you get the same effects in LR without Nik, although it would take quite a bit longer? Or am I better off just starting with Nik because of the sheer amount of time and work it saves? Thanks for any advice and input you can offer.