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What's the Best Photo Editing Software?
After much research I think I'm ready to buy my first dslr (an E-510.) What editing software should I buy? Are there any other accessories that I should consider purchasing? Thank you..

Jay..

Comments (25)

Photoshop and all of it's versions is the best editing softwear available..

But not for a newbie..

Save yourself some money and use the softwear that comes with the camera..

When you outgrow that, try some great freewear like irfanview (google it).

Then move up to the big time (and big memory hog) like Photoshop (CS3 is the current top version I think, I use CS2 and love it.).

Jim Bianchihttp://www.thephotoop.comDigital guru in the making...

Comment #1

How much memory does CS2 require? Will it slow down my machine?..

Comment #2

Do you need the best?.

Have a look at Paint Shop Pro (probably 95% of Photoshop at 1/6 the price) or Picture Window Pro (a very capable editor that will do everything in 16 bit as well). Photoshop is not the only answer if you are primarily a photographer and not a graphic artist..

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

Comment #3

Jaydubbs15 wrote:.

After much research I think I'm ready to buy my first dslr (anE-510.) What editing software should I buy? Are there any otheraccessories that I should consider purchasing? Thank you..

Jay.

That you can effectively use..

Photoshop has an extremely steep learning curve and does a zillion things that you don't need to do. Avoid it.Photoshop Elements is a better first choice..

Picture Window Pro http://www.dl-c.com offers a free trial of the uncrippled program. It's relatively intuitive..

Lightzone (google it) also has a trial version that you can download. Pretty nice..

And everyone should have a copy of either Irfanview or Faststone both are free and typically can do all the editing that you'll need right off the bat.Picasa from Google also does basic editing and is free as well.A member of the rabble in good standing..

Comment #4

I'm a beginner but although starting off with an advanced editing program may be daunting at first, I think I'd rather try that than continually switching over to more advanced programs as I advance as a photographer. I may borrow a friend's CS2 program. Is that a good one? Will it be WAY too advanced for me?..

Comment #5

The software that comes with the camera will be fine..

When you find something that you can't do with that try The Gimp ( http://www.gimp.org ) which is free and can do most things you could ever want..

The difference between these two is that your camera software is designed to manipulate the image as a whole. Gimp ( like good photo editors ) is designed to manipulate images in very complex ways and to allow manipulation of parts of images, mixing of different effects and, if all else fails, teh ability to actually draw an image pixel-by-pixel if you really want..

You almost certainly won't need it for some time, if at all..

Photoshop CS3 is a professional quite of applications that can more or less do anything conceivably possible to an image. It is very expensive and basically overkill for the vast majority of photographers ( including many pros )..

StephenG.

Pentax K100DFuji S5200Fuji E900PCLinuxOS..

Comment #6

Wow! So many free programs! Thank you all..

Jay..

Comment #7

Bite the Bullet, get Photoshop elements 5 and suffer the steep learning curve, it will be worth it, my guess is no matter what you start with you will eventually migrate to Photoshop in one form or other whether it be CS2, CS3, Lightroom.

Elements 5 has enough to keep you occupied for many years until you start shooting RAW..

Most software that comes with a Camera is very basic but still rquires a fairly steep learning curve for a complete novice, why waste time learning to ride a trike when you can start off with a bike with Training wheels...

Comment #8

Anyone used it? Looks very solid to me.....

And yes....I'm a Mac guy and always will be!  ryanrtxtx..

Comment #9

You and I are on the same page. I agree with you. I assume that Elements will have some of the same language/features as more advanced versions of Photoshop. I think I'd rather go up the mountain slowly than conquering a few hills before embarking on the mountain. I liked your metaphor better. Thanks.



Jay..

Comment #10

Did I understand that PS Elements does NOT allow RAW input/manipulation at all ???.

(JPEG only ???).

Jaydubbs15 wrote:.

You and I are on the same page. I agree with you. I assume thatElements will have some of the same language/features as moreadvanced versions of Photoshop. I think I'd rather go up themountain slowly than conquering a few hills before embarking on themountain. I liked your metaphor better. Thanks.



Jay.

Thanks for reading .... JoePhoto.

( Do You Ever STOP to THINK and FORGET to START Again ??? )..

Comment #11

Yes there is RAW for Elements 5.

See here for latest RAW plugin for Elements 5:-.

Http://www.adobeforums.com/webx?/products/dng/..

Comment #12

Solo1 wrote:.

Bite the Bullet, get Photoshop elements 5 and suffer the steeplearning curve, it will be worth it, my guess is no matter what youstart with you will eventually migrate to Photoshop in one form orother whether it be CS2, CS3, LightroomElements 5 has enough to keep you occupied for many years until youstart shooting RAW.Most software that comes with a Camera is very basic but stillrquires a fairly steep learning curve for a complete novice, whywaste time learning to ride a trike when you can start off with abike with Training wheels..

It's a very sweeping statement to make to say that everyone will eventually migrate to Photoshop. If they do it's only because of constant brainwashing that it is the only thing to use if you are serious. Even buying Elements is unneccessary, there is lots of free or cheaper software that is just as good..

Check out (http://www.photo-freeware.net/) for a huge collection of free Windows photo software, try Picasa (http://picasa.google.com/) a great photo manager as well as a basic photo processor, Paint.net (http://www.getpaint.net/), Serif Photoplus 6 (http://www.freeserifsoftware.com/), gimp (http://www.filehippo.com/download_the_gimp/), Raw Therapee (http://www.rawtherapee.com) - meant for raw files but excellent for adjusting normal jpegs too..

There is also lots of good but cheap shareware such as Photofiltre studio (http://www.photofiltre-studio.com/) which also has a free version and Pixel (http://www.kanzelsberger.com/)..

The best thing to do before parting with any money or being told what you must use is to try out as many photo processing apps as possible, freeware, shareware and commercial trials so you find something that works for you..

Malcy.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Http://www.flickr.com/photos/malcy/setshttp://picasaweb.google.com/lumachrome..

Comment #13

IKB wrote:.

Solo1 wrote:.

Bite the Bullet, get Photoshop elements 5 and suffer the steeplearning curve, it will be worth it, my guess is no matter what youstart with you will eventually migrate to Photoshop in one form orother whether it be CS2, CS3, LightroomElements 5 has enough to keep you occupied for many years until youstart shooting RAW.Most software that comes with a Camera is very basic but stillrquires a fairly steep learning curve for a complete novice, whywaste time learning to ride a trike when you can start off with abike with Training wheels..

It's a very sweeping statement to make to say that everyone willeventually migrate to Photoshop. If they do it's only because ofconstant brainwashing that it is the only thing to use if you areserious. Even buying Elements is unneccessary, there is lots of freeor cheaper software that is just as good..

Check out (http://www.photo-freeware.net/) for a huge collection offree Windows photo software,.

Do you know what is the best (safest viri wise) equivalent site for MAC software ???.

Try Picasa (http://picasa.google.com/) agreat photo manager as well as a basic photo processor, Paint.net(http://www.getpaint.net/), Serif Photoplus 6(http://www.freeserifsoftware.com/), gimp(http://www.filehippo.com/download_the_gimp/), Raw Therapee(http://www.rawtherapee.com) - meant for raw files but excellent foradjusting normal jpegs too..

There is also lots of good but cheap shareware such as Photofiltrestudio (http://www.photofiltre-studio.com/) which also has a freeversion and Pixel (http://www.kanzelsberger.com/)..

The best thing to do before parting with any money or being told whatyou must use is to try out as many photo processing apps as possible,freeware, shareware and commercial trials so you find something thatworks for you..

Malcy.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Http://www.flickr.com/photos/malcy/setshttp://picasaweb.google.com/lumachrome.

Thanks for reading .... JoePhoto.

( Do You Ever STOP to THINK and FORGET to START Again ??? )..

Comment #14

Re> I think I'd rather try that than continually switching over to more advanced programs <.

Waste of money and a dumb idea, but it's your money and your idea..

Why bother asking the question here? Just go to the store and buy whatever costs the most, instead of arguing with people who go to the trouble of giving you wise counsel?.

BAK..

Comment #15

JoePhoto wrote:.

Do you know what is the best (safest viri wise) equivalent site forMAC software ???.

Joe,.

I don't know of a site listing Mac sortware, but a very inexpensive shareware GraphicConverter, http://www.lemkesoft.com/, is my favorite..

David..

Comment #16

Sorry, I use Linux and Windows but I only come across macs occasionally..

Malcy.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Http://www.flickr.com/photos/malcy/setshttp://picasaweb.google.com/lumachrome..

Comment #17

I'm sorry you were offended. I do value all of the sage advice I've received on this board. I've given some more thought to it and will examine the software that comes with the kit and then the free online software first before plunking down money on more advanced software. The kicker here was that I have a friend who would provide me with CS2 for free, but if it is too advanced for my needs that I would probably be wasting my time. Thank you for your time and advice...

Comment #18

Sjgcit wrote:..

Photoshop CS3 is a professional quite of applications that can moreor less do anything conceivably possible to an image. It is veryexpensive and basically overkill for the vast majority ofphotographers ( including many pros )..

What follows is a MINORITY REPORT:.

CS3 may be an over-kill and does have a steep learning curve. BUT in case of a not so tight budget, it may just be a part of the fun to be enjoyed. It lets you exploit the inherent possibilities of digitatally recorded captures and adapt them.

To your liking and capabilities. One can use RAW format even with AUTO or on the other hand one can adapt hues with 8 separate slliders, even separately in saturation and/or luminosity..

Savouring all this and more may require to study some literature but it pays. As to the high price, one can see that from different viewpoints: CS3 price may be considerably less expensive than some Canon L-class lenses to be used in SOME circumstances, whereas CS3 is used (or is useable) for ALL pictures.With excuses to the MAJORITY and regards to all Jara1...

Comment #19

Athegn wrote:.

Yes there is RAW for Elements 5.

See here for latest RAW plugin for Elements 5:-.

Http://www.adobeforums.com/webx?13@@.3bbd164e.

Or just buy Photoshop Elements 6.0 if you don't already 5.0. The latest version comes with the RAW editing software. I found it for $70 at Costco (I think there was a $10 instant rebate, so the price may be slightly higher if that went away). The full Photoshop is for serious professional Graphic Artists and is overkill for most people. Save your money, get Elements, and by the time you have explored all that is has to offer, there will probably be a new version of Photoshop, and quite likely you'll never need it...

Comment #20

Since it will cost you nothing to try PS (?), try it. There is no such thing as too advanced for you. You can use 5-6 functions only in the beginning, then you will learn some more, etc. Start with Levels, Curves, Shadow/Higlight, Lens correction, Sharpening, and Crop. I might be missing something. You do not need to know everything about PS to start...

Comment #21

LM2 wrote:.

Jaydubbs15 wrote:.

After much research I think I'm ready to buy my first dslr (anE-510.) What editing software should I buy? Are there any otheraccessories that I should consider purchasing? Thank you..

Jay.

That you can effectively use.Photoshop has an extremely steep learning curve and does a zillionthings that you don't need to do. Avoid it.Photoshop Elements is a better first choice..

Picture Window Pro http://www.dl-c.com offers a free trial of theuncrippled program. It's relatively intuitive.Lightzone (google it) also has a trial version that you can download.Pretty nice.And everyone should have a copy of either Irfanview or Faststone bothare free and typically can do all the editing that you'll need rightoff the bat.Picasa from Google also does basic editing and is free as well..

Conventional wisdom (and long experience) say that Photoshop is the best image processing software. I agree. My wife has used Photoshop since it first came out (on a Mac IIci, if I remember correctly) and has taught it in colleges. Photoshop will do everything, and in at least 7 different ways..

This is a big monster program. I don't know how people who haven't grown with it for 20 years can handle it. I'm somewhat familiar with a few of it's functions, and I use it because it's on my computer, but it's too too much..

Photo editing is not all that complex and there are a lot of programs that provide all the tools you need..

Leonard Migliore..

Comment #22

The truth is that I tend to favor images that are softer and probably more like film anyway. Some images I've seen recently posted on this site seem too processed, as if someone superimposed an overly sharp image of a person on a fake background. I suppose that's the art of image processing to improve the image without it appearing like it was altered...

Comment #23

Jaydubbs15 wrote:.

The truth is that I tend to favor images that are softer and probablymore like film anyway. Some images I've seen recently posted on thissite seem too processed, as if someone superimposed an overly sharpimage of a person on a fake background. I suppose that's the art ofimage processing to improve the image without it appearing likeit was altered..

Hmm... It is true that many people overprocess their images too much but unless you use optical only labs (Dale Labs, for example), film images are digitally processed as well. If they appear softer, it maybe that the scanning and the printing were not that good. I had a darkroom in the old days. My images were softer, indeed, because my equipment was not that good. When I switched to digital, I was suprised to find out how good some old (prime) lenses were, and how bad some other lenses were...

Comment #24

They are two of the best on this forum! To summarize:.

1. Get all the free photoeditors you can (Irfanview, Faststone, Picassa, etc)..

2. Try them and see if they do enough to satisfy you..

3. When you are ready to move up, buy the latest version of PhotoShop Elements. PSE6 is on sale at Costco for $50 at the moment..

4. Get a few necessary addins, like4a. A NR program (NoiseWare, NeatImage, or NoiseNinja)4b. A lens correction program (PTlens).

5. When you are prolific and drowning in pix, get Lightroom..

6. If you turn pro, get the full-blown PS package..

Charlie DavisNikon 5700, Sony R1, Nikon D300HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/..

Comment #25

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