Stick to your soft­ware

NPhoto - - Nik Pedia -

There are about two dozen ap­pli­ca­tions for pro­cess­ing RAW im­age files, but I’ll stick to the ma­jor play­ers to avoid get­ting bogged down in tech re­views. Do by all means stay with what you like. The worst ap­proach is to chop and change, or to use one soft­ware some­times and another one the rest of the time. They’re all tool­kits for do­ing the same ba­sic things to your im­age, and you’ll be­come more pro­fi­cient if you stick to one. Oth­er­wise, it would be like us­ing Nikon on week­days and Canon at the week­ends. They all do things in slightly dif­fer­ent ways. The key, of course, is their RAW pro­cess­ing en­gine, and here is where some pho­tog­ra­phers get par­ti­san and evan­gel­i­cal about their cho­sen favourite. Each of th­ese be­low is ex­cel­lent.

Adobe Light­room: de­signed for pho­tog­ra­phers, Light­room blends an im­age database – so that you can sort and cat­a­logue your im­ages – with a large chunk of Pho­to­shop’s ca­pa­bil­i­ties. They both use the iden­ti­cal RAW pro­cess­ing en­gine Adobe Cam­era Raw (ACR).

Adobe Pho­to­shop: the orig­i­nal, in­cred­i­bly pow­er­ful im­age-edit­ing soft­ware goes way be­yond pho­tog­ra­phy to all other kinds of imag­ing. It does this job bril­liantly, and leaves or­gan­is­ing and data­bases to oth­ers.

Phase One Cap ture One

Pro: ad­her­ents love the RAW pro­cess­ing al­go­rithms that pull out ex­cep­tional de­tail, and it also has im­age or­gan­i­sa­tion features, though they’re not as com­pre­hen­sive as Light­room’s.

DXO Op tics Pro: ex­cels at noise re­duc­tion and lens ge­om­e­try cor­rec­tions, but is weak at work­flow or­gan­i­sa­tion.

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