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Which PP software (Light Room vs. Silkypix vs. ACDSee)?

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by New Daddy, Sep 20, 2011.

  1. New Daddy

    New Daddy Mu-43 Regular

    193
    Jan 24, 2011
    I currently use ACDSee Photo Manager 12 and Silkypix Developer Studio 3.1 SE for my PP. But each has shortcomings, so I end up using both. (Edit: Come to think of it, I also use Picasa for cutting video files from time to time.)

    As to Silkypix, it has no tiered exposure adjustment tool (a la the "lighting" tool of ACDSee). It only has the "contrast" tool, which doesn't let me bring only the shadows up or only highlights down.

    As to ACDSee Photo Manager, it doesn't let me adjust the white balance by choosing a specific color temperature like Silkypix. In addition, it doesn't process Panny's RAW format.

    So, in order to streamline my PP workflow, I think I'll buy a "pro"-version PP software. And since I'm going to invest, I'll also look into Adobe Lightroom. In my new PP software, I need the following criteria.

    • RAW development for micro four thirds and canon (I have an S95)
    • white balance adjustment by choosing a numerical color temperature
    • "tiered" contrast adjustment (i.e., bring up/down only shadows, midtones, highlight)
    • file name filtering (e.g., show only JPEG files, RAW files, etc. Picasa is really good at this.)
    • very basic video editing tools (e.g., move start/end points. Picasa does this well.)

    Do any or all of Light Room, Silkypix Pro and ACDSee Pro fit the bill? If so, which one would you recommend and why?
     
  2. s0nus

    s0nus Mu-43 Veteran

    424
    Dec 13, 2010
    Chicago
    Lightroom does all of that and then some. It also supports local adjustments, precise color adjustments, sharpening and noise reduction filters, lens corrections (distortions, aberrations), and more.

    By the way, have you heard of Bibble? It has much of the same functionality as LR, but at a lower cost.
     
  3. New Daddy

    New Daddy Mu-43 Regular

    193
    Jan 24, 2011
    Lightroom actually recognizes the lens used and makes corrections accordingly? That's incredible. Does it have database on thousands of lenses? I thought you'd need a camera manufacturer-provided PP software (like Silkypix) to do that.

    I haven't heard of Bibble. I'll look into it. But I can buy Light Room at a steep discount through my institution, so price-wise actually the otherwise-expensive Light Room has an edge over other softwares.
     
  4. mzd

    mzd Mu-43 Veteran

    241
    Nov 30, 2010
    Wisconsin
    Lightroom is quite nice to work with. It initially won me over because it is cross platform (I have a Mac, wife a PC). Lightroom does have built in profiles for a number of lenses, but I wouldn't say "thousands." It has a lot of Canon and Nikon, but none from Panasonic or Olympus. But Panasonic actually builds these profiles into the RAW images anyway so your software doesn't need additional lens profiles - they are automatically applied.
    Adobe does offer a utility to "map" out your lens and build your own profile if you so choose, but again, not needed with :43: lenses.
    You can always take it for a test drive first (that is what I did). Try out the 30 day demo; see if you like it.
     
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  5. s0nus

    s0nus Mu-43 Veteran

    424
    Dec 13, 2010
    Chicago
    I echo MZD. I didn't mean to be misleading. I was referring to manual adjustments of distortion and aberration. There is also, as MZD mentioned, the ability to store and apply profiles, and also some automatic application of those profiles.

    As far as I can tell, my EPL1 also stores correction information in the RAW file - I know the Panny 20mm has some significant distortion before software correction, for example.
     
  6. New Daddy

    New Daddy Mu-43 Regular

    193
    Jan 24, 2011
    Thanks for the explanation.

    Does Light Room also have basic video editing tools, like setting new start and end points? I currently have to use Picasa to do this. I'm not looking for complex video editing tools. Just the very basic ones before uploading the video on Youtube or Vimeo. (I've since edited my OP to reflect these criteria.)
     
  7. mzd

    mzd Mu-43 Veteran

    241
    Nov 30, 2010
    Wisconsin
    to my knowledge, Lightroom does not offer any video capability.
    I use iMovie, but a Windows user should be able to use Windows Movie Maker.
     
  8. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    I'm pretty new to both Lightroom and Silkypix, and have worked in both over the last month or so. I have to say I'm more and more impressed with Lightroom. Silkypix is probably capable of doing the same edits as is LR, but LR gives you tremendous control over the process, as well as integrating a powerful (though somewhat quirky and unintuitive) cataloging and image management tool.

    But LR is NOT something you'll figure out just trying it out on your own. People complain about Silkypix' interface, perhaps deservedly, but LR is just as unintuitive. I'm working my way through Scott Kelby's book, and find it immensely helpful:

    Amazon.com: The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 Book for Digital Photographers (Voices That Matter) (9780321700919): Scott Kelby: Books