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Old May 20, 2006, 8:19 AM   #1
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I know I seen some postings for software for photo editing in the past but having a difficult time finding them again. The only one I could find posted was Panda.

Would like to hear some suggestions and what everyone thinks is best.

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Old May 20, 2006, 8:27 AM   #2
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It's hard to beat Photoshop elements 4. It has most of Photoshops key features, works with many plug ins and is a bit easier to use than its big, more complete brother photoshop cs. It's also under $100 and thereare alot of good books and tutorials out there to help you learn.

Microsoft Digital Image Suite is also very good and easy to use. It's not as robust as PSE4, but it is simpler to use.

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Old May 20, 2006, 10:43 AM   #3
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rjseeney is right, PSE4 is probably the best all-around for under $100 (~$80).

I've been looking around lately, especially for something I can use for NEF conversion. What I foundout is if you have an old PC make sure to check the software requirements. I have a relative old PC (CPU is AMD 1800+ @ 1.4Ghz) and the CPU does not have SSE Instruction set that some softwares require (Like RAWShooter, NikonCapture, etc). This is the reason why I'm holding off paying for an editor one until I get a new PC.

I have the old PSE2 with Curves Plug-in, and I also use Picasa2, and just last night downloaded GIMP with UFRaw. There's also Paint.NET, but I haven't try that one yet. Another one I downloaded recently is FastStone Image Viewer.

Good Luck.

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Old May 20, 2006, 1:22 PM   #4
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Also have a look at Paint Shop Pro. It has some vector graphics capability that is missing in even the full Photoshop.

Adobe doesn't put vector capability in Photoshop because they want you to buy Illustrator. PSP isn't anywhere near the level of Illustrator for vector graphics, but you can still work with vector files. Elements is also hobbled some so it doesn't compete with the full Photoshop. PSP is the best it can be because Jasc wasn't trying to sell you other programs. Now that Corel has bought the program it might lose some capability in future versions. But I think the latest version of PSP was developed by Jasc before it was bought by Corel.

This is the latest version: http://cgi.ebay.com/Corel-Paint-Shop...QQcmdZViewItem

There are also a good number of tutorials online for PSP. There aren't as many as for Photoshop and you can adapt some Photoshop tutorials to work for Elements. There are also plenty of tutorials just for Elements. Elements also has the advantage of an easier transition if you ever decide to move up to the full Photoshop.

Gimp for Windows is probably as good as Elements or PSP and it is free. But it isn't easy to learn and there aren't as many good tutorials.

I use the full Photoshop and have for years, so I'm not prejudiced against Adobe. I just think PSP is a better buy than Elements.

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Old May 21, 2006, 2:44 PM   #5
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That really depends on the camera and whether you will be working with raw NEF files.

DxO Optics has a nice program that automatically compensates for barrel distortion etc. as a feature, along with advanced user-controlled features. It's definitely high-end, matching camera bodies and lens' profiles.


Photoshop still rules, but you need the CS2 version and all the plugins (for NEF/raw.)

Nikon Capture NX is due out in July, I believe.

Adobe has a beta version of a new program called "Lightroom" but it's only for MAC at the moment (Windows XP version coming 'soon...') This looks very cool and runs nicely on my Mac...you can sign up for the Windows version here...


The list goes on and on. There's a look at some of the latest.

Adobe has a "Photo Album" program that is free and has auto correction. Google has Picassa2, which is also free.

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Old May 21, 2006, 5:44 PM   #6
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Adobe Lightroom does look very cool!

Almost makes me want to switch to Mac.

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Old May 23, 2006, 3:21 PM   #7
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There will be a Windows version. Perhaps even in the beta phase. But right now it's MAC only.

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Old Jun 3, 2006, 2:42 PM   #8
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Jumping in..re software. Am on fence between D50 and D70. Is it true Nikon gives a lesser version of their software with the D50 and you have to buy it for $50? I use and am proficient in Photoshop, have CS2 on a Mac . Plus have my old pC sitting iddle. Just wondering if using Raw would cost more buying D50?PS I found this forum and impressed with the knowledge about the D50 which is swaying me back to it.The lower noise than D70. I am tired of fixing my crops due to noise. Although this will go away with a new SLR.If the
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Old Jun 3, 2006, 3:24 PM   #9
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rhetarae wrote:
Jumping in..re software. Am on fence between D50 and D70. Is it true Nikon gives a lesser version of their software with the D50 and you have to buy it for $50?
Nikon includes Picture Project with the D50, D70 and D70s. They also include a 30 day trial of their optional Nikon Capture Software with these models.

Only it's not $50, it lists for $99.95:


If you read the cameras' reviews here, you'll see the differences in them shown in the software sections of the reviews.

Basically, if you want more control then you get in Picture Project, and wanted to use Nikon's software for the raw conversion, you'd need the optional $99.95 Nikon Capture software with these models.

But, if you already have PSCS2, you can use Adobe Camera Raw instead. You can download the latest version (3.4) from Adobe.. Scroll down on this page until you see the download link for the Camera Raw 3.4 update (with separate links for Windows and Mac).


Follow the instructions you'll see after selecting a download link for copying it the plugin folder used by PSCS2.

There are also a number of third party raw converters on the market that support these cameras (and some of them are free).

One difference in the raw files is that Nikon encrypts metadata related to White Balance from raw files generated by the D50. This metadata is not encrypted in raw files from the D70 and D70s. But, it's not that big of a deal to most users.

Personally, I don't like encryption. If Nikon thinks they've got a better product in Nikon Capture, they should let it stand on it's own merits versus throwing up road blocks like encryption.

But, Nikon isn't the only manufacturer that's been guilty of using this tactic in the past.

When Nikon started the practice of encrypting some metadata in raw files (beginning with the D2x), Adobe refused to support the as shot white balance during raw conversion (most likely over concerns about violating the Digital Millenium Copyright Act if they decrypted it).

But, Nikon and Adobe eventually reached a compromise, with Nikon providing Adobe an SDK (Software Developers Kit) that lets them decrypt the as shot white balance, while still using their own demosaic algorithms for the raw conversion.

Some of the third party developers decided to crack the encryption. Eric Hyman (founder of Bibble Labs) was the first developer to break it. So, Bibble supports the as shot white balance from Nikon models encrypting it (D50, D2x, D200, D2Hs).


David Coffin (author of dcraw.c ) also cracked the encryption, and David publishes his c source code (free for all to use).

As a result, some of the third party raw converters that use David's code also support the as shot White Balance from newer Nikon DSLR models.

So, it shouldn't be a big concern (and the encryption only impacts the as shot white balance anyway) This can be useful so that raw converters can use it as a starting point for white balance if you want to set it in advance (versus trying to tweak in in post processing).

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