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Old Oct 26, 2004, 1:00 PM   #1
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Hi.

I am now past the point of getting a camera and accessories, and now I am looking into software that can post-process my digital pictures. I know that there are several different kinds of programs out there, ranging from the very targeted audience (noise ninja, etc.) to the more general programs, such as PhotoShop.

Given a limited budget, what would experienced photograhers recommend? A single "jack-of-all-trades" kind of program, or a combination of a few specialized programs. And which ones would they be?

Which program(s) would you consider to be absolutely essential?

I'm looking for software that can do the following: panaramic pictures, RAW format, intensity/color adjustment, merging (to emulate double exposure), noise reduction, and all the usual tools features found in most photograhy programs.

Thanks for any help you can give me.
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Old Oct 26, 2004, 1:44 PM   #2
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Paint Shop Pro virtually does everything that Photoshop can do for about a quarter of the price. You can download & try before you buy it here: http://www.jasc.com/products/paintshoppro/?
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Old Oct 27, 2004, 2:39 AM   #3
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What level of photographer are you, or do you want to be. Photoshop is THE standard, and Photoshop Elements is a stripped down version that's a little easier to use.

Also, what's your ability, there are very simple programs that guide you at every step, and others that throw you into the deep end.

Many editing programs have demo versions that you can download...maybe you should try some out and see what's best for YOU.
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Old Oct 27, 2004, 9:35 AM   #4
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I thought I'd throw out that I know of no image editing software that includes noise reduction. NeatImage and Noise ninja are separate programs (and both very good from what I've seen.)

Both have demos, so you can try them out too. But if you want the plugin for PhotoShop they are not cheap.

Eric
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Old Nov 2, 2004, 6:28 PM   #5
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Kalypso wrote:
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Paint Shop Pro virtually does everything that Photoshop can do for about a quarter of the price. You can download & try before you buy it here: http://www.jasc.com/products/paintshoppro/?
Here's another vote for Paint Shop Pro. I use it all the time and it does have a noise reduction filter on it as well. Plus there are great online tutorials for the program.
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Old Nov 6, 2004, 3:55 AM   #6
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Chances are that the camera you buy will come with a processing software package. Go with that at first, and download one of the free noise reduction programs. When you've wrung all the juice out of the free stuff, you'll be ready for Photoshop.
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Old Nov 6, 2004, 10:06 AM   #7
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I agree with Muskrat Sam: first use what you have, likely whatever comes with your camera. If you have not used any photo editing software, it will take you some time just to figure out what you want to do, never mind how to do it.

Second, get some freeware. In particular, get an EXIF reader so you can find out what settings (f/stop, shutter speed, ISO, ...) were used for any photo. That will help you learn how to use your camera. Ask in a forum for your specific camera which EXIF reader is best for you: each camera has its own quirks that specific EXIF readers are best for. Getting the exposure right is more important than anything else, though composition and timing are close.

Get IrfanView (freeware). Not an editor, but a usefull collection of photo utilities.

After you have learned those programs, download a trial version of a photo editor when you have a month or so of serious time to learn how to use it. You don't want to use up your timed trial by just leaving it on the shelf. *ANY* photo editor with real power is going to take a fair amount of time to learn.
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Old Nov 11, 2004, 12:17 AM   #8
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I don't think you'd be disappointed in any way with Paint Shop Pro, and you'd have several hundred dollars left over to put into your lense fund
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Old Nov 16, 2004, 7:32 PM   #9
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Hi

I recommend any of the following programs:

Adobe Photoshop Elements
Jasc Paint Shop Pro
Ulead PhotoImpact XL
Roxio PhotoSuite 5 Platinum
Microsoft Digital Image Suite

Gary
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Old Nov 20, 2004, 9:54 PM   #10
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Paint Shop Pro won't do RAW. But, if you have a camera that takes RAW pictures, you should get software to at least open and save it in J-Peg format in the camera software. I have been teaching Digital Photography for about 4 years and use all the major aps. I would not recommend Paint Shop Pro to a beginner. It is a very good program, but it has too many settings for a beginner and, there is a poor availability of books to learn from. Also, the ones available are quite poor. Photoshop Elements 3 will do RAW and has a RAW editor and a bunch of other improvements. You can read a review here
http://lonestardigital.com/links.htm Also, there a many books and many good books on Learning Photoshop Elements. Recently you could pick up a copy of Elements from Amazon.com for $49.00, with rebates. If you are a good self learner, but really on a budget, you can Download a full version of the Gimp here
http://www.gimp.org/downloads/ and here is an online book
http://gimp-savvy.com/ and there are free image programs
http://www.snapfiles.com/freeware/categories/6/
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