1. first is lightzone, with a "Z". i've found that what it enables you to do with raw images far exceeds what i've been able to do with other programs, and I think it is much more straightforward. free trials, windows or mac. if you trial it, email me direct for some easy pointers. goes way beyond a simple raw canverterwill do most of your editing also and if you get the full version there's a DAM included that's acceptable for enthusiasts [there are better DAM's for pros, at this time, imo.].
2. next would be lightroom, with an "R". very capable, better DAM. but not as easy to use as the abovei think much more complex and has much more limited editing options. it's also part of the evil empire, graphics division..
3. paint shop pro x2. I have previous versions of this program, and will get this one as an upgrade [have seen it demo'd]. an excellent value, does almost everything cs2 does for 1/6 the cost..
4. raw therapee. free. haven't used it, but many like it. seems to have taken the place of the wonderful old RSE/RSP [ snif].
Finally, there's ACRadobe camera raw, also free. I guess it can be used with PS7, you'll have to check on that. then there's your own camera companiy's options, but my opinion is that camera companies should stick to manufacturing cameras, not software. but lots think i'm wrong..
Ultimately, there are a lot of good options out there. i'm sold on lightzone because it seamlessly goes from raw conversion into other editing, and the raw conversion is manipulatable/reversible at all stages of the process...
What platform are you on? How proficient are you at PP? What't your hardware like?Myself, have so far tried PSE, Aperture, Bibble, LightZone, Capture1, DPP..
Photoshop, as a beginner in PP has never come easy for me. I can however work with levels a lot easier than curves. Currently my Canon CR2's go directly to Aperture (mac) and the LZ trial. Unfortunatly it is crashing heaps atm but it seems a great program once up and running.......very interface friendly and easy to work out..
Personally, have tried DPP time and time again but just don't get along with it. CE1 has an absolute brilliant conversion and is priced very reasonably. People are reporting being very satisfied with Lightroom but I am just not an Abobe fan.Free trials for all of them, try them out for yourself maybe.Cheers Suby..
It is ALL subjective. Ask 100 photographers and you'll get 120 opinions..
Try three or four out and buy the one you like best.STOP Global Stasis! Change is good!.
Now that you've judged the quality of my typing, take a look at my photos..http://www.photo.net/photos/GlenBarrington..
Oh boy, this is a loaded question. You will get tons of answers, but here's where I stand:.
Adobe Camera Raw - this is one of the best RAW converters in my opinion. It's small, super fast, just very easy to learn. It also integrates into Photoshop and Bridge naturally, which is great because I love Bridge!.
Lightroom - I think this is an overrated product. So far, I find the interface less intuitive than Bridge, and it also seems slower and something just feels off about it..
DxO - I tried version 4.5 but found it has way too many options and sliders - totally over the top. If version 5 is more user-friendly, I might just start using it again. It is LOADED with features. Everything you can think of they can and WILL put into it at some point. It's also calibrated to a huge variety of bodies and lenses, it really should blow the competition away. Version 5 is just around the corner..
Bibble - Tried the pro version and found it to be like a lite version of DxO. Filled with features, cheaper, and very good image quality, but a bit slow on my machine. I think the price is very resonable though and it would be my Lightroom alternative. It also a Photoshop plugin which is key since the newest ACR versions only work CS3...
Want to start shooting in raw and need help in selecting thesoftware. I have a canon 40d and photoshop 7..
I have Canon Digital Photo Professional (DPP), Bibble, Lightroom, and Silkypix. Canon's DPP is the simplest, and it's pretty easy to get good results with it, as long as your images don't require advanced tweaking. I would suggest giving Bibble a try. You don't need Bibble Pro, just Bibble Lite. Bibble has a great auto-correct algorithm called Perfectly Clear designed by a company called Athentech. Perfectly clear actually does a pretty amazing job of adjusting images.
And if you don't like what Perfectly Clear did to your image, you can fine tune it to your taste. But I find that, with a lot of images, I just keep what Perfectly Clear produced, with little or no other adjustments. You could say it's the lazy-man's adjustment, but frankly, as long as the results are good, who cares? Of course, there are times when I don't use it at all, or decide that another software might handle a particular image better, so that's why I have the other RAW softwares. But I would say that the other RAW softwares are less "easy". Bibble can run a bit slow at times, which can be a bit frustrating, but I find Perfectly Clear valuable and effective enough to keep using Bibble.
All in all, Bibble is a very easy software to use, and delivers very good results without much effort. Anyways, give Bibble a try, let Perfectly Clear do it's job on a few of your images, and see if you like it. You might be amazed at what it does for your images...
Given where you're starting from, you could well start by trying Canon's Digital Photo Professional (DPP) which should have come on a CD along with your 40D (but do download and install version 18.104.22.168 and it's instructions file if that's not the one you've got!)..
With PS7, you'll have a choice of ways of working - you can convert a RAW file and transfer it's contents into PS7 for editing (via a saved 16bit TIFF file that - I believe - DPP creates automatically as part of the process), or convert one or a batch of files and save it/them as either JPGs or TIFFs, doing the rest of your editing in PS7 whenever you want to..
If you don't like DPP, the logical step, as you're presumably familiar with PS7, might be to move on to one of Adobe's newer products that's capable of handling the RAWs from your camera..
You could either update to PS Elements (V6 is out now), which has many useful features but not necessarily everything you'll need or want - or to one of Adobe's more advanced (and more expensive) products, several of which have already been mentioned in the thread..
Depends on how much you want to spend - and how keen you are to stick with your existing PS7 !.
Peter - on the green island of Ischiahttp://www.pbase.com/isolaverde..
I'll go along with the others and wonder why you didn't mention whatever came with the Canon. As has been said, there are dozens out there and by the time I've finished typing this a few more will be available..
So start with Canon's, then try some of the free ones and stick to whatever _suits_ you. Or (more sensible) stick with whatever produces the best pictures for you. I'm sorry I can't say more than that but it's based on experience..
As someone starting out, I would suggest any software Canon has included with your camera first..
Lightroom - very over rated and not at all intuitive. My opinion - don't bother..
Lightzone - I have 'looked' at this, but not yet formed an opinion..
Bibble - seems like a good option. Has lots of control and seems fairly easy to use. Definately worth a look..
ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) - current version (wich you will need for your camera) only works with CS3. CS3/ACR is excellent, but pricey..
Photoshop Elements - an excellent entry level program. I think it will also work with ACR (someone correct me if I am wrong)..
Before buying anything, download a free trial and give the program a good tryout. Also check to be sure what you are going to download supports your camera. It can take a while sometimes before support for the newest cameras becomes available..
The greatest of mankind's criminals are those who delude themselves into thinking they have done 'the right thing.'- Rayna Butler..