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What program do you Recommend for editing? 
 

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I use Adobe Photoshop Elements 2018 but I am under the impression that most people on this site are using Adobe Lightroom.  I have been using Elements for a very long time and don't want to give up 'spot healing' or relearn a new system so have never changed to Lightroom.  I think some people use Lightroom and then use full Photoshop if they need additional items but the full Photoshop is expensive and I don't use any of the full Photoshop/Lightroom photo storage/management options.

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Hi P.N.N

Yeah, as ewe suggests, a lot of the Wetpixel crowd use Lightroom (me included) - although there are a few that object to the cost and prefer other things.

For some years now I have been using the Adobe package which bundles Lightroom (LR) and Photoshop (PS) for about £10 a month. You automatically get upgrades included. For about £120 a year I think it's pretty good. I use LR for about 95% of all the importing, indexing, cataloguing and editing - and only occasionally use PS for the serious removal of unwanted elements of an image. Generally LR can do most things - and do it well. For indexing and cataloguing I think it's terrific. I've got about 46,000 images on LR.

I reckon I have been using LR since its first inception and have found the investment in time and effort to learn it well worthwhile. Compared to PS it is highly intuitive.

 

 

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In addition to cost, my objection to Lightroom is being tied in with proprietary formats.  The catalogue and your edits are stored in a way that only Lightroom can access them and if you stop paying you can't get to them.  You don't lose your images - the Raw images remain but you lose your edits unless you have exported it as a tiff file or similar format.

There are many alternatives to PS emerging these days - affinity photo is one that gets good reviews and is reasonably priced.  I use PS CS6 have not gone to CC and Capture One Pro.   Capture One pro has many of the capabilities of lightroom in catalogueing images though the learning curve is a little steeper and these days it has many but not all the functions of PS.

Whatever you choose be sure it allows 16 bit editing of at the very minimum the raw file.  8 Bit editing is quite prone to banding and posterisation - most common in UW images in similar tone blue water that gradually brightens towards the surface like a gradient.  All the options discussed so far allow 16 bit except maybe PS elements which among other things will not allow layers in 16 bit - you can work around it by setting your levels as the first step then converting but it's not ideal.  Elements does RAW conversions in 16 bit so you are OK there.

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(I've moved this thread to the editing forum!)

Actually Chris, if you stop paying your subscription, you retain everything except the edit module in Lightroom. You will still have a fully functional image browser indefinitely (or as long a your OS supports it).

Any edits you have made up until the subscription lapses are available indefinitely via this browser and can still be exported as JPEGs. TIFFs etc. Obviously, you will no longer be able to access the edit pane to do any more...

There are lots of ways of extracting Lightroom catalogs into other programs if required (Capture One have just refined theirs).

Economically, the Adobe photography subscription plan at just under $10/month compares favorably with other options. Capture One is $299, so about 30 months of Lightroom + Photoshop. Its monthly plan is $20/month..

Adam

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I have a mixed approach

I use Lightroom 6.14 non subscription (probably will die when I change camera again) together with DxO PhotoLab 3 and a bunch of other programs I bought for land photos.

Now that I know better I found that at least for MFT format the RAW engine of Adobe is average and the colour rendition quite average too. So I use lightroom as a catalog and then when there is an image I really like I do the RAW processing in PhotoLab this creates a TIFF that I can further process in Lightroom or other plug-ins.

One things that I particularly like of other plug ins is the ability to change the colour rendering of the camera or to overlay an xrite calibrate rendering that eliminates what the manufacturer or adobe think is correct from the mix

In terms of catalog management and metadata edit lightroom is unbeatable so it will stay there for sure for a long time

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I use Adobe Bridge + Camera Raw + Photoshop.

I never was a big fan of Lightroom centralised catalogue approach. Bridge is slower as a catalogue, search engine for photos. What I like is that Bridge follows how pictures are organised on disk. All the information is saved on side cart files, and to copy the full library you just need to copy the directory. I find that simpler, and I don't have to worry about what is stored in Lightroom central database which might be lost.

I'm testing regularly alternative to Adobe, but so far Adobe Camera Raw (or Lightroom are they are using the same Raw engine) is way better when it comes to adjusting white balance of underwater photos, which is for me a critical feature. Other solutions that I have tested are really far behind Adobe when it comes to retrieving natural colours from ambient light underwater raw files (Nikon).

 

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