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What software for me

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by Dangermouse1968, Aug 21, 2012.

  1. Dangermouse1968

    Dangermouse1968 Mu-43 Regular

    169
    May 26, 2011
    Hi,

    I have a gf1 and the P14, P20 and O45. I'm loving my photography at the mo and just want to grab nice pictures. Now I have a good set of primes I want to think about post-production, storage and then maybe filters.

    So, I have a version of Elements that came with the camera (7, I think) abut I'm not sure if I need to learn how to use it or need something different.

    At this moment in time I want to be able to easily:-

    - do a little post production. Maybe tweak levels, colour staruation and biasing but nothing too major.
    - be able to file my photos so I can search for them by date, keyword, camera or lens.
    - maybe do a little HDR at some point?

    I am thinknig about investing in Lightroom 3 - a good move? I understand that to do decent HDR I probably also need to invest in Photomatix so that can come a little later.

    Thanks,

    DM
     
  2. Neon

    Neon Mu-43 Regular

    132
    Mar 12, 2012
    North Wales,UK.
    I would learn Elements and get Lightroom 4 with this combination you should be ok.
     
  3. newbert

    newbert Mu-43 Veteran

    292
    Jul 22, 2012
    Glens Falls, NY
    Agreed. If you already have Elements, why not start with that? Lightroom 4 will allow you to organize and search for your photos and works seamlessly with Elements.

    When you start with HDR, I agree that Photomatix is the way to go. FWIW - Photomatix can be set up as an external editor to use from Lightroom.

    Regarding Lightroom and Photomatix - Both offer free downloadable trials. So, you can try before you buy.
     
  4. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Bob
    +1 - Unless you want to seriously work with masking, blending, etc. Elements will do all that you need. Light room 3.6 should be available at a discount with version 4 out now and 3.6 will likely serve you well.
     
  5. newbert

    newbert Mu-43 Veteran

    292
    Jul 22, 2012
    Glens Falls, NY
    If you go for Lightroom 3.6, just make sure that it reads your camera's Raw files first. Since it's not the latest version, it may not. (I truly don't know....)

    Just a caution to be aware of....
     
  6. Dangermouse1968

    Dangermouse1968 Mu-43 Regular

    169
    May 26, 2011

    Thanks. How would I do that without buying the software first?
     
  7. Dangermouse1968

    Dangermouse1968 Mu-43 Regular

    169
    May 26, 2011
    I should add that I am crap at reading instructionns and especially learning how to use new software so if LR3.6 or 4 does everything then I think I'd prefer to splash the cash and just learn how to use a single product. Is that the case?
     
  8. newbert

    newbert Mu-43 Veteran

    292
    Jul 22, 2012
    Glens Falls, NY
    If what's quoted above from your first post is what you mean by "everything", I would say that Lightroom will cover those bases with no problem.

    The remaining question is Version 3.6 or 4? While Version 3.6 would save you some money (if you can still find it), Versions 4 will a) definitely read your files, and b) is a bit easier to use as the sliders have been more logically named and arranged. In addition, you can download a free trial version of Lightroom 4 from Adobe. I doubt that you'd find a free trial for Version 3.6 anymore.

    Also, if you don't like reading manuals/instructions (I don't either...) there are TONs of instructional videos on Lightroom available (Youtube/Adobe/etc). Just do a Google search for "Free Lightroom Tutorial".

    Hope this helps.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Bob
    I use 3.6 with my E-P3, no problem with raw files. Don't know about Panasonic, though.
     
  10. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Ad
    This probably can be found somewhere on the Adobe website. However, I'd suggest to go for LR4 straight-away. I never warmed to LR3 and stayed with Bridge/Photoshop, but LR4 won me over. I now do almost all processing in LR4, with Photoshop only for work involving layers and other special stuff.
     
  11. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    Adobe has a free 30 day trial of LR4 available for download from their web site. However:

    Lightroom is anything but intuitive. I believe I'm pretty good at learning to use new software, but LR had me frustrated right out of the box. It's a powerful tool that should do everything you need, but trying to learn it by just poking around is likely to be an exercise in frustration. Once you understand how it's organized and what the workflow is, it's actually quite easy to use.

    I would strongly suggest the book Lightroom 4 For Photographers, buy Scott Kelby as an essential part of the program. It will walk you through using the program, step by step, in a logical and orderly way. You can even download most of the images he uses in the book in order to follow along. After a few hours you'll know enough to make good use of the software.
     
  12. flojoto

    flojoto Mu-43 Rookie

    11
    Aug 16, 2012
    Aperture

    If you are on a Mac Aperture is a very good option too, it is significantly cheaper and the organization of images is very nice. The editing features are pretty much the same as Lightroom. I have been using both and prefer Aperture for clarity of Interface, though Lightroom has a slightly better Sharpening and Denoising tool, but for that I'm using NikSoft, which is far more superior then anything else I've ever used (the Black and White Software and Viveza are amazing too).
     
  13. OldRadioGuy

    OldRadioGuy Enthusiast Amateur

    56
    Nov 11, 2012
    Austin, Texas USA
    Bob
    Actually, PS Elements will do some serious lifting with layers, masking and blending.

    Bob