Stick to your software
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.