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How many raw converters?

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Wētāpunga View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Wētāpunga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: How many raw converters?
    Posted: 04 November 2021 at 19:27
So, I was idly thinking about the number of raw converters I've used in earnest over the years I've been doing digital photography.

Not counting the Sony Imaging Edge Suite, because I never really relied on that, I've gone through three.

I started with Silkypix, which at the time did a much better job with the colours of Sony raw files than Adobe. But it didn't have much of a library/cataloguing function.

So the next iteration was Lightroom. I started with ver 4 and kept at it until 5.7. The colours had been improved, the cataloguing function was excellent, and it had some useful editing capabilities.

Then with the switch to the E-mount, it was decision time. Either go with LR in subscription mode or try something different. And that has lead to the third raw converter. This time Capture One. Very nice colours, lets you import LR catalogs, and adds some useful layer tools.

So, I'm on three converters. What is your count? Did you stick with say, Lightroom the whole time? Were you always giving new programs a try?
a7riii, a9- Voigtländer 15/4.5, 110/2.5 M; Zeiss Loxia- 21/2.8, 35/2, 50/2 & 85/2.4, Zeiss Batis- 85/1.8 & 135/2.8; Sony 24-105/4 G; Sigma 70/2.8 M; Tamron 150-500 f5-6.7; Sony SAL 135/2.8 STF
 



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Idleidolidyll View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Idleidolidyll Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 November 2021 at 19:32
OK, there are some differences between RAW editors but those are not as important as learning how to use the software properly.
I've used ACDSee since the 1990's and DxO since it was first released. Now all I have to do is learn the changes between each iteration.

I should note also that I was formally taught the use of Adobe's Graphics package at MIT (NZ) in my Graphic Design course in 2005. I thought it had far too much in it for far too much $ when all I really wanted was a photo editor.
Even Photoshop has 70% more than I need.

Edited by Idleidolidyll - 04 November 2021 at 20:30
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Post Options Post Options   Quote QuietOC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 November 2021 at 20:00
I used Adobe software professionally for many years (not Lightroom) and disliked it. Even switching back in forth from Windows to Mac OS a few times in hopes of better performance. Luckily I am out of that whole field now. I only have to produce PDFs occasionally.

I've used Photoshop since about 1995ish. I've used the Adobe Camera Raw thing a few times with Photoshop CS6. I still use Photoshop for JPEG editing, and by quantity I mostly shoot JPEGs. I am not going to even attempt to convert thousands of raw photos. Just culling jpegs is too much work.

I have the Lightroom mobile app installed on my iPhone 8 Plus, but I don't have a use for it.

Other than that, I use Capture One. The free Express for Sony version drew me in when I got the Sony A58. I've been upgrading to the Pro for Sony version every other version, but the free version does about everything.

Edited by QuietOC - 04 November 2021 at 22:35
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 November 2021 at 20:28
Being Dutch I opted for the cheapest option: RAWTherapee.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote minolta_mutley Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 November 2021 at 21:08
Darktable, RAWTherapee both under linux and C1 (sony ed. to save a few €'s) on my windows-machine (i use it to create my yearly postcards and for batch edits). For the quick&dirty stuff Darktable does a fine enough job - still having an old photoshop license and an old copy of Lightroom - but stopped using it after all. I don't like it to be pushed into a renting scenario of software... So it stays on the machine but is rarely used.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Wētāpunga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 November 2021 at 22:11
Originally posted by minolta_mutley minolta_mutley wrote:

... still having an old photoshop license and an old copy of Lightroom - but stopped using it after all. I don't like it to be pushed into a renting scenario of software...


It's interesting the reasons people have for switching. One of the factors behind my move from LR was its switch to a subscription model. C1 gave the option of buying the licence or subscribing.
a7riii, a9- Voigtländer 15/4.5, 110/2.5 M; Zeiss Loxia- 21/2.8, 35/2, 50/2 & 85/2.4, Zeiss Batis- 85/1.8 & 135/2.8; Sony 24-105/4 G; Sigma 70/2.8 M; Tamron 150-500 f5-6.7; Sony SAL 135/2.8 STF
 



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Post Options Post Options   Quote Kilkry Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 November 2021 at 06:08
I used DXO for a while when I still used Windows as a primary OS at home. I quite liked it, didn't miss a DAM because my photo file structure has always been pretty rudimentary. Have tested the free C1 a few times, it's speedy and a bit too aggressive on sharpening and denoising by default but that can be changed.

Since I mostly use Linux at home I've been using Darktable for a few years. It has its quirks but I've gotten the hang of bits of it and I quite like the interface.

Have never tried Lightroom or Photoshop, am not interested in subscriptions. Have never been very interested in them either, frankly mostly because the people I have known who enjoy photography have to a man defaulted to Canon and Adobe and ..well, some personalities like to do what everyone else does, some like to do the opposite, but mostly now that I'm older and a bit more rational it's about the money and not wanting to use a proprietary DAM structure(maybe it can be exported to some standard format and picked up by other DAMs?). DT has okay denoise functionality but unless one likes to create lens correction profiles for lensfun one needs to correct newer lenses manually. That might be more of an issue with architecture and such.

Edit. Darktable can use OpenCL compute if the environment incl the graphics card and driver supports it. I'm using a nvidia card now with the proprietary nvidia driver which is a boogeyman in Linux but it works well in Darktable. Am planning on replacing it with an instance of Intel's upcoming discrete graphics cards, it shall be very interesting to see how they do in Linux, incl OpenCL. (AMD cards have a good opensource driver that is part of the linux kernel but not with openCL last I checked, that needed some tinkering)

Edited by Kilkry - 05 November 2021 at 06:25
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jonas A-R Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 November 2021 at 06:17
I am using LR/PS. I had an interim using LR with Affinity as external editor when they changed to the subscription plan, but quickly realised that I wanted the regular updates in LR. The recent update seems like a major one with very powerful masking options. I find the subscription price reasonable.

I did try Capture One which I purchased when there was a Sony specific deal some years ago. I soon reverted to LR.

I have used RawTherapee in the past for specific tasks where I didn't want anything going on under the hood.

I did install the Sony converter in 2008 or thereabouts, but quickly gave up

I have RawDigger and FastRawViewer as additional tools


Edited by Jonas A-R - 05 November 2021 at 08:10
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Post Options Post Options   Quote owenn01 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 November 2021 at 09:59
I dallied with the Sony RAW converter for a very short while but decided it wasn't up to what I was used to with PS derivatives.

I have been a long time user of the combined LR/PS subscriber packages and find them reasonably intuitive but, more importantly now, I am used to knowing how and where I need to make even the slightest adjustments to get what I want from my RAW image.

I could look for other packages, but then there is a potentially significant learning curve which, if I'm honest, I don't have the time for currently!

Best regards, Neil.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pegelli Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 November 2021 at 10:24
I've been a lightroom user since the beta version but stopped upgrading when I had to go to the subscription model. So I'm still using 6.14 as the last "perpetual licence" for as long as it still works.

It's not so much the cost of the subscription, compared to buying an upgrade package every 18 month it's a wash, but I don't like the end play. In case you stop the subscription the develop module becomes disabled but you can still use the library and add more photo's. I think it would be fairer if the end play was you could still use the develop module for images imported during your subscription period but adding new photo's gets disabled.

I also use C1 (the Sony version 10) since sometimes bright reds/yellows are easier to tame than in Lightroom. I also have Luminar but hardly use it. For me the fun of the "sky replacement" wore off quickly.

I also use Photoshop (CS3) for some finishing touches, more accurate cloning and healing and advanced sharpening as well as adding a border for the photo's I show here and on other fora.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Bob J Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 November 2021 at 15:52
I started out using RAW conversion in Paint Shop Pro, but then supplemented that with DXO OpticsPrime. At the time the full-frame version was twice the price, so when I got the a99, I was forced to use something else - I went for Lightroom 5.0.
When the licencing for DXO was revised, I got the full version of Optic Prime again, I also picked up Aftershot Pro as part of an upgrade of my PSP licence.
I eventually got fed up with LR falling over, plus it didn't support the full range of RAW files from the a7ii. I splashed out on the Sony version of Capture 1.
The option of a cheap-ish upgrade to DXO PL tempted me again and then I switched to the 'Express' version of C1, because it stays up to date.
I've not upgraded to the last two versions of PL, because my PC can't take it, but will upgrade when I get a new motherboard/processor combo.

I tend to use the catalogue from C1 21 Express for Sony and mainly process in DXO PL2, but I also have:

PSP 2022 (which I use as a bitmap and layers editor)
Aftershot Pro 3 (probably should un-install)
Lightroom 5 (still there, still good for 'quick and dirty' conversions)
C1 Pro Sony 11 (useful options for horribly dirty sensors)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote skm.sa100 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 November 2021 at 19:26
I'm not much of a RAW developer. I started with UFRaw initially.
Then switched to RawTherapee for a number of years and it works quite well for me. I also use DarkTable a good bit.
Never used Sony's raw converter.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Harm vb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 November 2021 at 20:59
I tried a lot RAW-converters/developers, but after purchasing both LR and PS I do stick to them. I tried Capture One (free Sony version), but I can't get used to them. So, stuck with LR and PS.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Wētāpunga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 November 2021 at 08:36
Originally posted by Idleidolidyll Idleidolidyll wrote:

OK, there are some differences between RAW editors but those are not as important as learning how to use the software properly…

Even Photoshop has 70% more than I need.


It’s a good point about learning how to use the software you have.
And agree on Photoshop, it is way more features than I would need for my photo editing also. It’s why I’ve never got it. Dabbled with PS Elements long ago, and for years have been using Paint Shop Pro.

Originally posted by addy landzaat addy landzaat wrote:

Being Dutch I opted for the cheapest option: RAWTherapee.


Ah, a very elegant solution

Originally posted by owenn01 owenn01 wrote:

I dallied with the Sony RAW converter for a very short while but decided it wasn't up to what I was used to with PS derivatives.



I could look for other packages, but then there is a potentially significant learning curve which, if I'm honest, I don't have the time for currently!

Best regards, Neil.


Again, a good point about the learning curve. I am finding the switch to C1 to be a bit of a challenge. I mean, I like it and the tools it has, and the way I can work the colours. But I’m spending a lot of time looking up the manual at this point.
a7riii, a9- Voigtländer 15/4.5, 110/2.5 M; Zeiss Loxia- 21/2.8, 35/2, 50/2 & 85/2.4, Zeiss Batis- 85/1.8 & 135/2.8; Sony 24-105/4 G; Sigma 70/2.8 M; Tamron 150-500 f5-6.7; Sony SAL 135/2.8 STF
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