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Old Mar 17, 2009, 6:46 AM   #1
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OK guys..

i have just installed the pentax freebie software and after a very quick look it looks very clunky and the photo lab software seems incredibly slow!

what software do you use for

1, raw processing

2, noise reduction (if at all) im guessing neatimage is popular

3, general editing (i use cs2, and picasa for viewing / manipulating)


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Old Mar 17, 2009, 7:52 AM   #2
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I have found the Pentax supplied software to be cumbersome and therefore quit using it years ago. At the present time I use the following:

1. Raw editing: Photshop Elements 5

2. General editing: Photoshop Elements 5 and MS Digital Image Suite. I also have PSP which I have installed and plan to use for HDR processing. I also use Picasa for a quick fix.

3. Noise: Noiseware (freeware). it seems to work better (for me) than PSE. The only limitation that impacts me with the freeware is that when processed, it strips the EXIF information. The licensed version preserves the EXIF.

I also use Fastone for browsing my photos and also doing some quick edits like resizing, etc. It has convenient windows for viewing EXIF, comparing up to 4 images side x side, perform batch edits and a slide show among other neat feautres. And it is freeware as well.

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Old Mar 17, 2009, 8:51 AM   #3
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like Jelpee,I use Photoshop Elements, though I use version 6. It has a stripped-down version of ACR, which I use for raw conversion. When I need it (which is not often) I use neat image for noise reduction.

I agree that pentax photo lab is very klunky. I tried it a couple of yerars ago when my camera was new. After a few very unproductive hours I gave up in frustration, and have not tried it since.
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Old Mar 17, 2009, 12:17 PM   #4
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Hi Steve,

I don't shoot RAW too often, but I usually process it in ACDSee Pro, which I also use for cataloging and rating. I also use ACDSee 3.1 for quick browsing and culling the throwaways. I have 3.1 set to not save the thumbnails, so there's less clutter building up on my hard drives.

I've been using Paint Shop Pro for PP since it was shareware and have never found the Adobe products nearly as fast or intuitive, though I kept on trying up to CS2. I do use third party PS plugins tho -- my most used are Focus Magic, PowerRetouche Pro, ColorWasher 2, and Virtual Photographer. Alien Skin Image Doctor is a plugin that is sometimes useful as a starting point if I have to remove a significant object from the image.

Another program that I've found fascinating is Portrait Professional Max. It subtly changes proportions in the facial features to more closely conform to some traditional concepts of "beauty". Pretty amazing stuff. I also use Qimage Pro for upsizing (it includes some impressive interpolation algorithms) and printing.

I don't find too much need for NR with the K20, but for very high ISO (over 1250) or when I really blow the exposure, Neat Image works pretty well.

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Old Mar 17, 2009, 1:54 PM   #5
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When I have my own computer, I usually use Lightroom 2 and CS4 for both raw conversion and photo manipulation/review etc.

When my computer was in the shop the first time, I downloaded the trial version of Aperture and liked it very much. If I didn't already own LR2, I'd have a tough time deciding which to use.

Now that my computer is in the shop again, I've been using DXO Optics as a raw converter. It does an incredible job with lens/camera combinations it's calibrated for (I have two lenses in this category). However, you have to more or less oversharpen them to have it resize the picture down to screen size (figured that out last night). I may end up buying it because it can work as a plug-in for LR2 (do those pictures that it supports in DXO and all the rest in LR/CS4).

I always used Neat Image and really liked it. However, I kept hearing how wonderful Noise Ninja was, all the reviews seem to give it better marks so I bought it when I switched to Mac(without having tried it with their trial version - dumb!). I haven't gotten along half as well with it as I did with Neat Image, so if you are comfortable with Neat Image, stick with it. If I buy DXO, I'll probably use it for noise reduction - I've been very impressed with its capability, seems to work better for me than Noise Ninja.
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Old Mar 17, 2009, 7:50 PM   #6
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Hi Steve

While i rarely Shoot RAW. I use either Silky Pix or PSE 7. I have access To Photo Shop CS-4 once i Learn to use it. However i have used PSE Since the First Version So i am most Comfortable with it.

For General Image Work PSE 7 or PSP X2

For noise reduction i use NeatImage.

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Old Mar 18, 2009, 12:42 AM   #7
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I use Aperture for RAW processing instead of ACR

I use Photoshop CS2 for normal processing

I use Noise Ninja and Define for noise processing

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Old Mar 18, 2009, 12:47 AM   #8
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I use Bibble for RAW processing and basic exposure and cropping adjustments. It has a built in Noise Ninja module so it does simple noise reduction as well.

For final tweaking and sharpening I then go to Photoshop CS2.

The pentax silkypix software is slow and cumbersome, but it does tell me more about the image shooting data, so occasionally I fire it up to see what the settings were.

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Old Mar 18, 2009, 3:14 AM   #9
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i use photoshop for manipulating and ACDSee pro for minor stuff like croping and resizing and catalouging.
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Old Mar 18, 2009, 9:34 PM   #10
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I've played with Silky Pix over the years. About the only thing I like about it is I can see the camera settings right there without having to right click on image, go to properties and look there.

I tend to use Picasa 3 to view my images quickly and determine which to work on. I put a copy in a different gallery so I can do them over time.

I use PSE7 to make pretty much all adjustments and do RAW conversions. I recently found a plug-in for getting back curves and channel mixer. For $12 it's a winner. I can't remember the name right now. But, if anyone's interested I can post here. I've used PSE since it was version 1 as the business something or other.

For NR I was using Neat Image. Now that I think of it, I never reinstalled it on our new computer. Might be it doesn't work as a plug-in in PSE7. I'll have to look into that.

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