preference for editing software?
I'm brand new to the site (completely green), and a beginner to SLR photography. I loved my Canon PowerShot S40 and maxed out on what I was able to do with it, so I've stepped up to a Nikon D40x. It's a whole new world. I'm still learning the terminology (like a second, technical language)..

My question to you seasoned veterans - what editing software do you use/prefer/recommend? As you know, Nikon doesn't include one with their cameras. I have a full client license for Photoshop, but haven't used it enough to be knowledgable in it's capibilities. Is it sufficient for photo editing/fine-tuning? I'm playing with a full-feature demo of Tiffen's DFX software, but the full client license is well over $800..

Do you still use old-school filters, or let the software do the dirty work? Do you shoot in RAW, or is it even necessary/useful? I'll mostly be shooting landscape and architecture, and I love B/W photography..

Any information and/or suggestions are greatly appreciated..


Comments (6)

Shoot RAW often, I recommend Photoshop Elements..



Comment #1

I shoot in raw, and find Capture NX from Nikon to be the best at bringing out what I want from my pictures..

All Photoshop products use Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) which is also very good for raw editing. Shooting raw is a personal preference..

I like how the jpegs come out straight out of the D40x, but I prefer to do the final processing myself so I shoot raw only now and haven't looked back. Raw editing is also able to bring out more of the "lost" highlights or underexposed parts of a picture when needed..

I also use Corel Paint Shop Pro X2 (mostly) for cloning or other enhancements of the resulting jpegs after editing the raw images. Elements (which I also have) is also very good at this, but I like PSPX2 better, is more powerful, and easier IMO..

Lightroom, I really like as an organizer and can also use for raw editing as it comes with ACR included, but I still like Capture NX more for raw editing..

As far as filters are concerned, there is a lot you can do with digital editing, but Circular Polarizering filters are still essential, as well as Neutral Density filters..

Others who are more experienced will chime in with more info as well..

Welcome to the Digital world, and to the Nikon family!.

Check out my site link below for some D40x pics..

Albert-OColoradoPlease visit me at

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Comment #2

I shoot Canon so I use Digital Photo Pro and Lightroom to process Raw files. Lightroom will work for you too..

I use Paint Shop Pro X2 for most of the image editing after the Raw conversions. It is as powerful as anyone needs for much less than Photoshop..

For specialized 16 bit editing I use Picture Window Pro because there are some function sin PSP that can't be done in 16 bit..

Nothing is enough for the man to whom nothing is enough...

Comment #3

Photo filters. I still use my filters. My goal is to get it right in camera and do as little photoshop as I can. I always shoot in color even if I entend on converting to black and white-don't rule out options that way..

I would say shoot RAW. But with digital there is a big learning curve so be prepared to spend a lot of time at the computer monitor and behind the camera. It will take time to learn your camera and all the post processing that goes with it. I shoot both large jpg and RAW at the same time..

I went from Photoshop Elements 3 to Photoshop CS2. Again a big curve to learn. I would suggest CS2 or CS3 as it would be helpful in correcting buildings if that is your main goal. If you start with Elements you can upgrade to CS? later if you are on a budget..

CkbBe kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.visit my sites at http://www.photographybychris.netand at

Comment #4

I'd say, start with Photoshop Elements.1. It's cheap2. It is so widely used, and there are resources and support everywhere..

3. It includes the full range of features - including raw processing - that most photographers would want..

You can upgrade to CS later if you want. But you may find you never want to. it'd be a pity to fork out all that money and then realise you've never used more than the Elements feature set..

Plus there's a stack of custom, and free, plugins. I use Virtual Photographer from OptikVerve Labs a lot. By the time you've loaded up with the free plugins, you might just about have a CS equivalent!.

As for raw; well there's a whole different debate!.

I've found raw most useful for correcting exposure and white balance. That's the biggest advantage for most photographers, I think..

Many people wll tell you raw is just the only answer if you're serious, the image quality is so much better than jpg, etc - a lot of that is just theoretical advantage that you may never see. If you're not taking great, sharp, etc photos in the first place raw can't help you. And a perfectly exposed jpg can't be improved on by using the raw source..

One disadvantage of raw, IMHO, is that raw images can be noisier than jpgs. My D80 produces very good jpgs, and it's anoying to have to do nise reduction on the raw if the jpg falls short in exposure or white balance. I know people will say you can just use a Noise Ninja or whatever, I just think it's annoying that the first step in processing a raw file so often has to be removing noise that's not there in the supposedly inferior jpg..

I'd say - if you're going to shoot raw, shoot raw + the highest quality jpg. Then look at both of them, if the jpg is good enough or close enough, that's fine and you don't have to do any raw processing..

If you don't want the raw file, you can ditch it (or archive it) to save space. If you end up using the raw file, then ditch the jpg. Or keep them both, whatever..

Over time you will learn how much raw and how much jpg you are using, and adjust your habits to suit..

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Comment #5

Moxi, AustraliaHi there,Welcome to the club! I am sure you will have a great time here..

As you are a beginner I would suggest to try the free Picasa first - they also have an ecellent help forum where you can ask all sort of questions. Then if you don't feel satisfied try the also excellent and free Faststone..

I would recommend not to use RAW in the beginning and try to get used to the new camera first. It mainly depends what type of pictures you will make. If they are mainly small and under A4 size I personally think RAW is overkill as your in-camera pocessor does usually a great job in delivering good pictures. For further information on RAW versus JEPEG try also the much loved and even mucher hated Ken Rockwell .com - he shows examples of both..

Anyway back to the editing software, once you have exhausted the possibilities of either Picasa or Faststone then look into Elements (I had Elements but as an old fashioned faddydaddy I rather try to make the picture right the first go instead sitting hours behind the computer trying to fix what I should have done in the first place)Hope this helps somewhatCheers Moxi..

Comment #6

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