What photo editing software do you use

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Reef Maniac, 19 Jan 2010.

  1. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    I have been spending some time doing research on the various photo editing software available (both commercial and free), and would appreciate your comments and advise on this topic.

    I'm currently using the software which were bundled with my camera, that being Canon's Zoom Browser, and (mainly) DPP. I also have a copy of Adobe Photoshop Elements 2, which was bundled with a scanner that I bought many years ago, as well as the free Picasa 3, which I use for photo filing and sorting.

    So far, I have been getting along pretty well with this software, doing all the post-processing in DPP, except for file cropping and resizing, and the infrequent cloning/painting out of dust marks, etc which is done in the old Elements 2. I've recently started to convince myself that I need a software upgrade, but I'm not totally convinced that paying R9 000.00 for the latest Adobe CS4 is the answer either :whistling:

    I have just downloaded the latest version of Gimp, the GNU freeware graphics program, and after playing around with it for the last hours or so I'm rather impressed with it. I've also downloaded a very nifty little program called BorderMaker (another freeware program), which makes resizing photos (and adding borders, if wanted) a breeze :thumbup:

    The biggest weakness of these freeware programs (from my limited research) is that they are not supported with many tutorials, whereas there are numerous books on the various versions of Photoshop, and I'm pretty sure that CS4 can do a hell of a lot more than Gimp (but do I need it...).

    So, please, let rip with your opinions and advise...

    Hennie
     
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  3. Johan van Aardt

    Johan van Aardt I love marines [R.I.P.]

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    Well first of all i dont use any at the moment.

    why not get cs3? Its older so should be cheaper. Ive used cs4 and if u know whats going on in cs3 the diffrence aint so much.

    get photoshop for dummies and also photoshop cs3.

    m2c
     
  4. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Photoshop 7 was basically given away for free on cover CD's/DVDs with PC magazines. We do most of our photo editing (my wife uses this extensively for her part time graphics design and photo editing) with Photoshop 7 and The GIMP.....
     
  5. poiromaniax

    poiromaniax MASA Contributor

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    I use Nikon capture NX2.

    Not that I do huge editing jobs, mainly touch up - but its easy to use and understand whats going on...
     
  6. seank

    seank

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    I still use Photoshop CS2. Reason?- I understand it and there is a world of stuff to do on it if you start reading the tutorials that comes with it, or search for answers on the web.
     
  7. FransSny

    FransSny

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    CS4 ....bit more difficult to use but more functionality (also download the CS4 Bible...LOADS of tips)
     
  8. Nsteyn

    Nsteyn

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    Photoshop and CS3 - Rather go for Cs3 than 4 if money is an issue - there is not such a big diff between the 2. My 2c
     
  9. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman MASA Contributor

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    I use CS2 and a drawing tablet, would love CS3 however!!!!

    Photo editing is one thing, and one can get away with Photoshop 7 or CS2 to do that, but there are many functions I find not available when you REALLY start firing her up a bit to do Photo manipulation or actual digital painting etc. etc.
     
  10. Slummies

    Slummies

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    best post production software is Lightroom 2.1. easy to use and professionally laid out. nothing can beat it!!!

    check out digital photography school.com. they have tips on GIMP

    leka
     
  11. Pads

    Pads

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    CS4, Its gibberish without a little bit of reading and a lot of practicing. Good fun though.
     
  12. gaboon

    gaboon

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    I use CS4 (The joys of being in advertising ie. free). The warp function is great to correct distortion. Most importantly, can edit RAW files.
     
  13. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Oh... I was under the impression that it's main use is for sorting & filing your photos, and that it has only a limited photo-editing capability. I have never used this program, though, and I could be totally wrong about this.

    Could you please elaborate in some detail what photo manipulation/editing functions this program has, and what limitations have you found. At a quarter of the price of CS4 I would be very interested, IF it is capable enough.

    Having spent half the mint on my cameras and lenses, I certainly would be willing to pay for CS4 IF the difference between it and (say) CS3 or Gimp is substantial, and if this difference would result in much easier post processing and/or substantially better quality photos. I am not, at this point in time, 100% convinced that this would be the case, though... that's why I'm asking for input from people who has experience with these programs.

    Hennie
     
  14. gaboon

    gaboon

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    I don't think you can edit RAW files in CS3, I was going to get Aperture for that reason but then CS4 came out. Heard great things about Aperture though.
     
  15. jean19

    jean19

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    i use the GIMP , it works on windows . it's free (linux) and take raw.
     
  16. SynysterGates

    SynysterGates

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    Put that 9k towards a mac and use the software it comes with :)
     
  17. Rory

    Rory Admin MASA Contributor

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    I'm used to photoshop and have tried gimp. Absolutely hated gimp and the little windows floating all over the place but maybe if you're not used to ps it would be better. That was also a long time ago and I hear it's more like ps now.

    At the moment I mainly use lightroom. I haven't actually started using it properly for organising photos but I import a batch of photos into it and use the "develop" screen for making the usual sort of changes (crop, brightness/contrast, exposure, vibrance etc, sharpening sometimes). I really haven't had time to properly get to grips with it though.
     
  18. gaboon

    gaboon

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    Software sold seperately.
     
  19. Ross

    Ross

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    I have used Photoshop for years, the last being CS4.
    Recently I decided t go legal so I purchased Photoshop Elements 8.
    For everyday photo editing, I am very happy with Elements.
    You need to understand that I used Photoshop for years to create web layouts and art work so it was not just for editing. For editing the only thing I miss is Action / Automation from CS4.

    For just under a grand, it is not even worth thinking about. You can also download a free trail version and see what you think. (Even my dad can use Elements so it really is simple)

    Gaboon is right, Adobe stop working on the RAW codecs as soon as they bring out a new version, so all the latest cameras will not be supported in CS3 or CS2.
     
  20. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Well, that's not really a problem for me, as I'm currently using Canon's own DPP program to "develop" the raw files, and to convert them into jpeg. There are also quite a few freeware RAW converters out there - I have just downloaded the Rawtherapee 3.0a1, and UFRaw 0.16, but I have not installed either yet - will comment here after I've played around with them for a while.

    You see, THAT's my problem - why buy a R9000.00 program to do just that - in fact, why buy a R2000.00 program either. Picasa can sort out the images very nicely, and one can just create new folders using Windows, if need be. The photo-editing you mention is easily done in DPP, and Gimp can do a heck of a lot of arty things...

    I would like to do things such as unsharp mask, layer merging, photo stitching, etc which I believe can only be done using "layers" - as far as I know, both CS3 and 4, as well as Gimp, makes extensive use of layers, but I have never had the opportunity to learn how to use them (until now...). I will spend a month or two trying to masted the Gimp, and see how it goes.

    I will rather put that money towards the 24-70mm f/2.8 L lens :whistling:

    Hennie
     
  21. seank

    seank

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    I use a lot of layer works Hennie, but like I mentioned, I still use CS2 (And there is still a lot I need to learn) because I am comfortable with it and do not want to start learning another program from start.
    Example: If I want to sharpen the eyes of a subject, I duplicate a layer,change the blending options under layer style,go to high pass filter and change it to 2.5,Change my colour picker's hue sat etc, and the paint around the eye, basically leaving the eyes sharp and the rest of the "face" normal. This is just one of the examples
     
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