1. Reminder: Please use our affiliate links for holiday shopping!

PP software question

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by 369, Jul 1, 2011.

  1. 369

    369 Mu-43 Regular

    84
    Feb 10, 2010
    I am not good with PP, right now I just use picasa for some quick editing. I recently got to know about Nik silver efex pro 2 which is supposed to be very good for black and white, and have a few questions.

    How easy will it be for me to use SEP2? I don't have any softwares to edit except for iphoto and picasa. What will I need to use SEP2?

    I can't install the trail because my macbook is old and needs replacement. It says on their website 4 gb or more recommended, so when I buy a new macbook, should I go for 8 gb ram.

    I also read somewhere on fredmiranda forum the the SEP2 was very slow, what has been your experience.

    How is the color efex? the combo is cheaper.. so may be I can buy both.

    This is not for professional work, just for personal use.

    Kindly suggest?
     
  2. The Nik software operates as plugins, not stand alone programs. You will need either Photoshop, Lightroom, or Aperture to launch the plugins. I am running a soon-to-be-replaced four year old notebook with Pentium Dual Core 1.7GHz and 1Gb RAM. Silver Efex can be very slow depending on file size and the complexity of the image but Color Efex still runs quite quickly.

    Color Efex, BTW, is freakin' awesome.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Alanroseman

    Alanroseman Super Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2010
    New England
  4. 369

    369 Mu-43 Regular

    84
    Feb 10, 2010
    I think I also need to mention that I need something that is cost effective for home use editing.
    @- luckypenguin - thanks for clarifying that... I am planning on a macbook pro probably with 4gb.

    @Alan - I see that these Photoshop, Lightroom, or Aperture are the most popular with the members around here. Also like you said "and perhaps more importantly, who can help you with your current setup" is very important else I will be lost.

    Any volunteers.......haha
     
  5. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    Luke
    There's TONS of help available whichever you choose.....on this forum or in online tutorial walkthroughs and videos on the internet. All of these programs have free trial periods. Try 'em out and see which interface seems easiest to you. Of course, they will all have learning curves, but don't feel overwhelmed. It's a lot to take in all at once, but stick with it.
     
  6. Alanroseman

    Alanroseman Super Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2010
    New England
    Hi 369,

    You'll have no shortage of help if you choose Aperture or Lightroom. If you're planning on a Mac, and budgeting, you can not beat Aperture 3 for $80. as a Mac OS 10.6.xx APP store download.. It'll run just fine in that configuration as well.

    Cheers, Alan
     
  7. 369

    369 Mu-43 Regular

    84
    Feb 10, 2010
    Alan - I am have a mac and planning to get another new one soon. yes with $80 that is a good price for Aperture 3. I was reading some of the reviews on the App store and there were some reviews which did not sound very positive.

    I assume you have this software, what has been your personal experience it terms of running smooth and fast.

    Sid
     
  8. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    I agree with the above. at the moment the deal on Aperture is hard to beat. As good as SFEX2 is you can do some great black and white work with Aperture as well as a lot more besides. Don't fret about the ram. It can be upgraded later if necessary. While 8GB is nicer in the long run you'll be fine with 4GB. I'd also recommend you buy Aperture and get really comfortable with it before you buy anything elase. Getting too much at once can cause more confusion than its worth.

    Gordon
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. squeegee

    squeegee Mu-43 Veteran

    403
    Jan 26, 2010

    GIMP!

    it's free and it's very powerful and versatile.

    It might be a little over complex for some people but the price point is right.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Alanroseman

    Alanroseman Super Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2010
    New England
    I'm currently using Aperture 3 quite happily. It's very easily augmented with the NIK plugins as your funding becomes available.

    Lightroom is a cross platform application, and as such, it will continue to have more users due to that fact alone, not taking anything at all away from it.

    I'm not suggesting Aperture based solely on your budget constraints. I use it every day, and I'm very happy with it. Lots of power, nice UI, and a great bargain.

    Alan
     
  11. sevenil

    sevenil Mu-43 Regular

    52
    Jun 22, 2011
    Everyone will have their own preferences, but I started with Lightroom because at the start it's hardware requirements were lower. Never regretted it, LR is fantastic, always being improved plus there's an extensive number of third party add-ons available. (free and otherwise). If you really like the Nik products they can be addictive - imho they're all excellent.
    But only you can tell what fits, download a demo of LR and some of the Nik stuff - see if you like it. Trying costs nothing before they shut down on you after a couple of weeks.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  12. 369

    369 Mu-43 Regular

    84
    Feb 10, 2010
    I decided to go with Aperture 3 as I like apple stuff. So what now? Where do I start? I don't have much space on my MacBook so I have all my pics in external drive. Can I bring them to aperture and edit without the pics being on my MacBook hard drive.
     
  13. Alanroseman

    Alanroseman Super Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2010
    New England
    Yes you can. you can continue to keep your projects on an external drive, or several of them. Not a problem.
     
  14. 369

    369 Mu-43 Regular

    84
    Feb 10, 2010
    I had a quick question, if I import pictures and make changes will it change automatically in the original folder where it was created or will I have to export that?
     
  15. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    You will have to export your changes.... One of the key things about Aperture and Lightroom is that they never change your original files - its called non-destructive editing

    K
     
  16. 369

    369 Mu-43 Regular

    84
    Feb 10, 2010
    thanks Kevin.

    Sid