Luminous Landscape Forum

Raw & Post Processing, Printing => Other Raw Converters => Topic started by: jrp on April 13, 2019, 01:25:09 pm

Title: Is there life beyond Lightroom / Capture One?
Post by: jrp on April 13, 2019, 01:25:09 pm
I've mainly stuck with Lightroom because it supports the cameras / lenses that I use and is reasonably simple to use and generates reasonable results, even if I need to go into Photoshop to improve local contrast or edit things out, eg.

I have tried Capture One, on and off, over the years, but it's expensive, doesn't / didn't support the cameras that I was using (they had some petty spat with Leica, eg) and even now, it is not clear what cameras v12 supports.  Panasonic S1 series anyone?

I note that a few new products appeared after Adobe went subscription only.  Have any of these made it into viable products for advanced users?  I know that Apple and Microsoft are building more support for raw conversion into their OSs.  Given the resources and access to talent that these giants have, perhaps they and / or the likes of Google will obviate the need for additional processors at some point.

Can anyone offer a strengths / weaknesses assessment of the field?
Title: Re: Is there life beyond Lightroom / Capture One?
Post by: faberryman on April 13, 2019, 01:28:39 pm
You pays your money and takes your choice.
Title: Re: Is there life beyond Lightroom / Capture One?
Post by: jrp on April 13, 2019, 02:26:48 pm
Thank you for those words of wisdom.  The point of soliciting others' views is to be better informed before making my choice.
Title: Re: Is there life beyond Lightroom / Capture One?
Post by: faberryman on April 13, 2019, 02:33:48 pm
Thank you for those words of wisdom.  The point of soliciting others' views is to be better informed before making my choice.
Who knows which program is going to click with you? I use Lightroom and have tried Capture One. A lot of good that is going to do you in making a decision. You just have to try them out. I'd steer clear of Luminar. I hate their marketing approach.
Title: Re: Is there life beyond Lightroom / Capture One?
Post by: David Good on April 13, 2019, 06:26:00 pm
There are many out there now, whichever one you choose will have a learning curve. I went from LR to C1 to RawTherapee (currently). It can be a bit overwhelming at first glance but once you settle into the tools you wish to use it's conversions can rival the "big guys". It does not however have a DAM so is not a one-stop solution for high volume shooters. Check it out, it's free and due for a new release soon.
Dave
Title: Re: Is there life beyond Lightroom / Capture One?
Post by: jrp on April 14, 2019, 01:57:35 pm
Indeed there are, which is partly why I am asking.

I did try RawTherapee a year or two back, and while it was fun to have a lot of sliders to play with, they were a bit unresponsive, which made the app slow to use.

In the meantime, we have had the likes of OneOne and Luminar appear on the scene.  What are their characteristics relative to the incumbents?
Title: Re: Is there life beyond Lightroom / Capture One?
Post by: Alan Smallbone on April 14, 2019, 02:47:35 pm
I no longer use LR or PS. If I really need a PS type program I use Affinity Photo. It is inexpensive and quite powerful. For images that are really critical for color and detail I will use C1. For most images I use OnOne Photo Raw. On1 is not perfect but what is nice is the completely non destructive layered workflow. It has some quite good masking although can be a bit slow at times. Speed is nice but I can relax and take my time editing. Nothing is perfect, most software has a learning curve. I personally did not care that much for Luminar and still don't even with the cataloging.  Editing to me is relaxing and kind of therapeutic, I enjoy seeing the image "develop". I was originally a long time LR (since the beginning) and PS user since V3, but I have no regrets leaving the Adobe fold after LR 6 and PScs6.

Most software has trial periods. though hard to establish a workflow until you spend time with them. On1 has a lot of tutorial videos and they have their "plus" memberships which has a lot of courses available. Though there are far more tutorials available for Adobe products. Affinity Photo has a lot of quite tutorials online that are freely available. You need to find something that works for you. So the answer to your question there is definitely life beyond Adobe and Capture One.

Alan
Title: Re: Is there life beyond Lightroom / Capture One?
Post by: jrp on April 14, 2019, 06:18:15 pm
Thanks. V helpful.
Title: Re: Is there life beyond Lightroom / Capture One?
Post by: Robert Roaldi on April 16, 2019, 09:33:32 am
+1 on Affinity. I have never used Photoshop so I don't know what Affinity lacks compared to PS. I only know that Affinity does more than I'll probably need. But I'm not a professional and rarely do heavy pixel-level editing or compositing, so I don't really know how Affinity compares to PS for those things. Affinity has an extensive suite of video tutorials, so it's easy to get an overview of its capabilities. But it is a one-photo-at-a-time application.

If you need to process large numbers of photos the way that Aperture did, then you also need another tool. I use Corel's After Shot Pro 3 (formerly Bibble Pro), but it is (or was) Mac only. I occasionally shoot large numbers of photos at cycling races and it makes migrating edits to many photos very easy, on a par with Aperture. It also supports lots of editing tools, including layers, but not a full complement of pixel-level editing tools. There are many plug-ins available. Sorry, but I am not familiar enough with LR to make a comparison. You can download documentation about ASP3 and read what it can do, might give you an idea if it's suitable.
Title: Re: Is there life beyond Lightroom / Capture One?
Post by: luxborealis on April 23, 2019, 08:27:46 pm
You pose an interesting and difficult question that I will also need to visit at some point.

So far, LR6 is still working well for me. I know it intimately enough to be able to do 99% of all editing with it. The other 1% (stubborn transformations that may also require fills) is processed in LR then sent over to Affinity Photo.

I am also using Lr Mobile on an iPad Pro for raw and hdr-raw photos I shoot with my iPhone. It is an excellent product, but costing me CAD 6.49/month +HST Ė worth it for now. Iím hoping LrM evolves to the point where I can rely on it and an iPad for effectively managing imported raws from a future camera purchase that Lr6 does not support. While LrM does a superb job of editing, without Virtual copies and without a DAM, it still plays second fiddle next to LR6.
Title: Re: Is there life beyond Lightroom / Capture One?
Post by: kirkt on April 25, 2019, 10:16:44 pm
Do you work on a Mac?  I ask because there are a few terrific options, but they are Mac-only.

kirk
Title: Re: Is there life beyond Lightroom / Capture One?
Post by: jrp on May 04, 2019, 12:09:17 pm
I do. Perhaps things will get easier as apple and Microsoft include more of the raw processing pipeline into the OS and make AI analysis features available to developers.
Title: Re: Is there life beyond Lightroom / Capture One?
Post by: MichaelC on May 04, 2019, 04:23:59 pm
Which options for Mac are you thinking of Kirk?, I'd be interested as I am considering something other than the subscription model

Regards

Michael
Title: Re: Is there life beyond Lightroom / Capture One?
Post by: NigelC on May 07, 2019, 03:41:10 am
I have also been thinking about this - notwithstanding dislike of the subscription model if find the Lightroom catalogue model doesn't suit me. I like DXO Photo Lab but it doesn't have soft proofing; Affinity does so I was thinking of combining the two, mainly using affinity for printing presumably exporting Tiffs from DXO into Affinity. 
Title: Re: Is there life beyond Lightroom / Capture One?
Post by: IanSeward on May 07, 2019, 10:27:22 am
I've mainly stuck with Lightroom because it supports the cameras / lenses that I use and is reasonably simple to use and generates reasonable results, even if I need to go into Photoshop to improve local contrast or edit things out, eg.

I have tried Capture One, on and off, over the years, but it's expensive, doesn't / didn't support the cameras that I was using (they had some petty spat with Leica, eg) and even now, it is not clear what cameras v12 supports.  Panasonic S1 series anyone?

I note that a few new products appeared after Adobe went subscription only.  Have any of these made it into viable products for advanced users?  I know that Apple and Microsoft are building more support for raw conversion into their OSs.  Given the resources and access to talent that these giants have, perhaps they and / or the likes of Google will obviate the need for additional processors at some point.

Can anyone offer a strengths / weaknesses assessment of the field?

How important is LR DAM to you?  If you are totally dependent on the DAM then this rules out many programs like DXO-PhotoLab.  Best alternative with a good DAM is probably ACDSee Ultimate which is at $89 (for the next 24hrs) instead of $150. 
https://www.acdsee.com/en/products/photo-studio-ultimate

DXO-Photolab 2 is very good for smaller sensor cameras as it has class leading noise reduction and lens corrections.  The lens corrections can be far superior to LR in that with wide angle lenses designed with computer correction in mind DXO-PL 2 allows you to access the true focal length of the lens which is often wider than the quoted focal length.  The quoted focal length is that which is obtained after the jpg lens correction.  LR uses the embedded jpg correction in the raw file for some cameras/lenses particularly mft.  Now that DXO-PL 2 has good local editing via the NIK U-Point technology it is a competent raw converter, you can now also use DCP colour profiles in DXO-PL 2.  Note: no Fuji support from DXO.  There is a thread on tips for DXO here: https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4347396

On1 Photo Raw is an excellent and improving package, personally not so keen on the UI but that has improved greatly and a new version is out this month.  ON1 Photo Raw can import your LR catalogue and as well as ratings and keywords it can attempt to replicate the LR edits.  See this video by Sean Mccormack a LR expert: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rOGmE2HZdk&t=1s

ON1 Photo Raw 2019: https://www.on1.com/products/photo-raw/?t=2&gclid=CjwKCAjw2cTmBRAVEiwA8YMgzRqqMx1_FHDcf9vAq42aRliILiFgqxsM4SpsIHJQrH5WonA-JXmWchoCJy8QAvD_BwE

ON1 Photo Raw also has all of the old ON1 pixel editing filters plus layers etc.

Affinity Photo is a pixel editor and for me is the weakest for raw conversion but they have re-written the raw engine which is available in the V1.7 Beta.  AP is a very complete pixel editor and the price $35-50 means that it is a no-brainer simply for individual tools like object removal, focus stacking, hdr, Pano etc.

Hope this gives you food for thought :-)

Ian
Title: Re: Is there life beyond Lightroom / Capture One?
Post by: kirkt on May 07, 2019, 12:39:37 pm
I do. Perhaps things will get easier as apple and Microsoft include more of the raw processing pipeline into the OS and make AI analysis features available to developers.

Which options for Mac are you thinking of Kirk?, I'd be interested as I am considering something other than the subscription model

Regards

Michael

I use both Raw Photo Processor and Iridient Developer as part of my raw conversion workflow.  Both applications have strengths and weaknesses, but their common strength is the quality and control of the output.  Both provide trials (in fact, RPP is free to use, but additional features are unlocked with a donation of your choosing).  Neither provide DAM, which the OS (or OS-level tools) provides, frankly, so I have no need for a DAM.

Raw Photo Processor: https://www.raw-photo-processor.com/RPP/Overview.html
Iridient Developer: https://www.iridientdigital.com/products/iridientdeveloper.html

I will note that ID does give you a more extensive GUI with controls and features that are more akin to the Lightroom/C1 experience.  No local editing.  RPP is a lean, mean raw conversion machine with a GUI built for efficiency.  Maybe both, maybe one, maybe neither will work for you, but give them a try.  Stick with RPP's interface and workflow (refreshing/rerendering the preview after making changes to the controls) - you will get used to it and then you will wonder why other applications insist on clunkier interfaces.  Provide a donation and you will unlock camera profiling and some other interface shortcuts.

Both of these are raw converters that will give you a great image with which to start working in a pixel editor, for example (Affinity Photo, Photoline, Photoshop, etc.).  These are not a one-stop, do-it-all editing environments, but both support batch processing and give the user extensive control of output.

Two other Mac-only raw converters that I use less frequently are Raw Power (built by a former software engineer for Aperture) and Picktorial.  Picktorial offers tools similar to LR and C1, including local edits.  Raw Power gives you the develop controls of Aperture in a supported, updated application and integrates tightly with Photos, if you want to use Photos for DAM.  Take a look at these tools as well:

Raw Power: https://gentlemencoders.com/raw-power-for-macos/
Picktorial: https://www.picktorial.com

All of these applications are under $100 (Iridient Developer is $99), so you can purchase them to delve into their full capabilities and not break the bank.

Kirk
Title: Re: Is there life beyond Lightroom / Capture One?
Post by: MichaelC on May 07, 2019, 05:15:38 pm
Thanks  Kirk.  I have tried Iridient but hadn't heard of the other 3 you mentioned so will have a look at those. Also I have been trialling Photoline, however I admit that I am at a total loss with it for even the most basic of operations as I have not used Photoshop before so will be watching Photoshop tutorials with the hope that they give an insight on how to use Photoline. Affinity may be a better option after having looked at it briefly. I seem to be spending more time getting the software sorted than photographing at the moment
Title: Re: Is there life beyond Lightroom / Capture One?
Post by: kirkt on May 07, 2019, 06:14:47 pm
Thanks  Kirk.  I have tried Iridient but hadn't heard of the other 3 you mentioned so will have a look at those. Also I have been trialling Photoline, however I admit that I am at a total loss with it for even the most basic of operations as I have not used Photoshop before so will be watching Photoshop tutorials with the hope that they give an insight on how to use Photoline. Affinity may be a better option after having looked at it briefly. I seem to be spending more time getting the software sorted than photographing at the moment

I suggest you try affinity photo and also peruse their forum. There are a couple hundred bite-sized video tutorials, listed on the forum. Very thorough presentation of the various features and functions of the software.

https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/10119-official-affinity-photo-desktop-video-tutorials-200/

Kirk
Title: Re: Is there life beyond Lightroom / Capture One?
Post by: DP on May 07, 2019, 10:18:28 pm
Which options for Mac are you thinking of Kirk?, I'd be interested as I am considering something other than the subscription model

Regards

Michael

rawtherapee is free... and Corel still exists - AfterShotPro... both do Win, OSX, Linux... SilkyPix runs on OSX

PS: there is free Phocus from Hasselblad that uses OSX embedded raw conversion
Title: Re: Is there life beyond Lightroom / Capture One?
Post by: BernardLanguillier on May 08, 2019, 03:31:06 am
Besides C1 Pro (Nikon files) and LR (H6D-100c files), I also use DxO Photolab 2 and Iridient developper.

It's probably the Iridient conversions that I like best (especially the sharpening/noise reduction compromise) but it does still lack a bit compared to C1 Pro/LR in terms of pop mgt (vibrance,..) and color tuning. The the files have a great "real" feel to them.

DxO is great for noise reduction and to correct non typical lens distorsions (close range,...). The local edits with U-Points are great too. I pretty much only use DxO for "small sensors" conversions.

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: Is there life beyond Lightroom / Capture One?
Post by: MichaelC on May 08, 2019, 07:40:49 am
All the input is greatly appreciated, thanks everyone. I've got the trial of Affinity installed so that is next on the list to try out. Fairly happy with DxO although I miss the Split Toning for highlights and shadows as found in LR and the local adjustments I find are a bit easier also, so hopefully Affinity will bridge any gaps. I didn't have much success with Raw Therapee, as I couldn't get the results I was after. Seems to be a consensus about the quality of Iridient though.

Thanks again for the suggestions

Michael
Title: Re: Is there life beyond Lightroom / Capture One?
Post by: IanSeward on May 08, 2019, 09:54:41 am
All the input is greatly appreciated, thanks everyone. I've got the trial of Affinity installed so that is next on the list to try out. Fairly happy with DxO although I miss the Split Toning for highlights and shadows as found in LR and the local adjustments I find are a bit easier also, so hopefully Affinity will bridge any gaps. I didn't have much success with Raw Therapee, as I couldn't get the results I was after. Seems to be a consensus about the quality of Iridient though.

Thanks again for the suggestions

Michael

Here is a thread on tips for DXO-PL 2 which might help make the local adjustments tab easier to understand, particularly control points.

Ian
Title: Re: Is there life beyond Lightroom / Capture One?
Post by: kirkt on May 08, 2019, 12:20:22 pm
rawtherapee is free... and Corel still exists - AfterShotPro... both do Win, OSX, Linux... SilkyPix runs on OSX

PS: there is free Phocus from Hasselblad that uses OSX embedded raw conversion

I have used Alien Skin Exposure 4 and SilkyPix Pro 9 - Exposure offers an all-in-one editing environment.  SilkyPix is quirky and, while it provides terrific conversion for my Fuijfilm X-H1 raw files, it is slow and creates massive color changes when the raw files are underexposed by more than two stops.  Now, with CaptureOne including fujifilm film sims, SilkyPix is not necessary in my experience except in very specific circumstances.

The various all-in-one apps like Luminar, OnOne and Topaz Studio offer a varied and wide-ranging set of tools but generally do not produce as high-quality output as a quality dedicated raw converter.  The workflow and editing experience ranges from okay to terrible, in my opinion, and transitioning from one module (OnOne, for example) to another can be painfully awkward and slow.  The emphasis of these applications appears to be "do everything," including the quest to generate the de facto DAM alternative to Lightroom, instead of mastering the essentials.  They all have trials, but trying everything can be exhausting!

I used to use DxO extensively but stopped when I switched from Canon equipment to Fujifilm, as DxO does not support X-Trans sensors.  I beta tested PhotoLab v1 as they introduced local adjustments with the Nik U-Point technology, and it is impressive when it works.  I think they are getting the UI under control and are making using the U-Point and other local adjustments easier and more efficient.

Kirk
Title: Re: Is there life beyond Lightroom / Capture One?
Post by: Alan Smallbone on May 08, 2019, 01:37:12 pm
In on1 photo raw there is no going between modules anymore. It is all layers and effects are added as layers, masks per layer etc. No more switching modules.

Alan
Title: Re: Is there life beyond Lightroom / Capture One?
Post by: IanSeward on May 09, 2019, 04:56:18 am
I have used Alien Skin Exposure 4 and SilkyPix Pro 9 - Exposure offers an all-in-one editing environment.  SilkyPix is quirky and, while it provides terrific conversion for my Fuijfilm X-H1 raw files, it is slow and creates massive color changes when the raw files are underexposed by more than two stops.  Now, with CaptureOne including fujifilm film sims, SilkyPix is not necessary in my experience except in very specific circumstances.

The various all-in-one apps like Luminar, OnOne and Topaz Studio offer a varied and wide-ranging set of tools but generally do not produce as high-quality output as a quality dedicated raw converter.  The workflow and editing experience ranges from okay to terrible, in my opinion, and transitioning from one module (OnOne, for example) to another can be painfully awkward and slow.  The emphasis of these applications appears to be "do everything," including the quest to generate the de facto DAM alternative to Lightroom, instead of mastering the essentials.  They all have trials, but trying everything can be exhausting!

I used to use DxO extensively but stopped when I switched from Canon equipment to Fujifilm, as DxO does not support X-Trans sensors.  I beta tested PhotoLab v1 as they introduced local adjustments with the Nik U-Point technology, and it is impressive when it works.  I think they are getting the UI under control and are making using the U-Point and other local adjustments easier and more efficient.

Kirk

With ON1 Photo Raw you just go from "Browse" Images to "Edit" now.  The UI is so much better than it used to be.

Ian
Title: Re: Is there life beyond Lightroom / Capture One?
Post by: kirkt on May 09, 2019, 02:19:02 pm
Good to know about OnOne - I gave up on them after I kept having to pay money for each "new" version for the honor of beta testing their software (and I used OnOne 10, etc. before the current Photo Raw incarnation).  Glad they are getting their act together.  They have a marketing juggernaut with their ambassadors, and I hope the folks to whom they appeal get their money's worth, but i finally gave up on their software after deciding I was done giving them my money for their inferior product. 

Kirk
Title: Re: Is there life beyond Lightroom / Capture One?
Post by: NigelC on May 16, 2019, 05:33:41 am
Now I have DXO Photo Lab I only need Lightroom (6.14) for the print module (not that I find that a good experience with Mac/Epson compared to Win/photoshop). What other programmes might combine with DXO for effective colour management/soft proofing? I donít need all the layout options ofLR.
Affinity seems the only possibility and offers other things DXO doesnít do.
Title: Re: Is there life beyond Lightroom / Capture One?
Post by: kirkt on May 17, 2019, 11:37:59 am
Now I have DXO Photo Lab I only need Lightroom (6.14) for the print module (not that I find that a good experience with Mac/Epson compared to Win/photoshop). What other programmes might combine with DXO for effective colour management/soft proofing? I donít need all the layout options ofLR.
Affinity seems the only possibility and offers other things DXO doesnít do.

For printing and proofing on the Mac, have you tried Print-Tool?

https://www.quadtonerip.com/html/QTRprinttool.html

It is a printing and proofing application, not an image editor, but it sounds like that is really what you are looking for to complement DxO.  Otherwise, Affinity Photo is a good choice.

kirk
Title: Re: Is there life beyond Lightroom / Capture One?
Post by: NigelC on May 18, 2019, 03:27:32 am
For printing and proofing on the Mac, have you tried Print-Tool?

https://www.quadtonerip.com/html/QTRprinttool.html

It is a printing and proofing application, not an image editor, but it sounds like that is really what you are looking for to complement DxO.  Otherwise, Affinity Photo is a good choice.

kirk
That looks promising  thanks although not updated for High  Sierra or Mojave
Title: Re: Is there life beyond Lightroom / Capture One?
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on May 18, 2019, 06:51:08 am
That looks promising  thanks although not updated for High  Sierra or Mojave

For printing, it's hard to beat Qimage.
https://www.binartem.com/qimageone/

And if you're on a Windows Platform, you could also consider Qimage Ultimate which has lots of additional image editing options, and more.
http://www.ddisoftware.com/qimage-u/

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: Is there life beyond Lightroom / Capture One?
Post by: Jeremy Roussak on May 18, 2019, 11:40:06 am
That looks promising  thanks although not updated for High  Sierra or Mojave

That's a potentially serious issue. It's 32-bit software, so although it will run (probably; I've not tested it) under Mojave, it won't run under any future Mac OS.

Jeremy
Title: Re: Is there life beyond Lightroom / Capture One?
Post by: NigelC on May 18, 2019, 05:14:19 pm
For printing, it's hard to beat Qimage.
https://www.binartem.com/qimageone/

And if you're on a Windows Platform, you could also consider Qimage Ultimate which has lots of additional image editing options, and more.
http://www.ddisoftware.com/qimage-u/

Cheers,
Bart

I like the unclog facility!
Title: Re: Is there life beyond Lightroom / Capture One?
Post by: NigelC on May 19, 2019, 04:56:10 am
That's a potentially serious issue. It's 32-bit software, so although it will run (probably; I've not tested it) under Mojave, it won't run under any future Mac OS.

Jeremy
Actually I emailed Roy Harrington and he said Print Toll is now 64 bit although Quimage is a much more attractive price than I thought.
Title: Re: Is there life beyond Lightroom / Capture One?
Post by: David Good on May 19, 2019, 04:15:46 pm
For printing, it's hard to beat Qimage.

And if you're on a Windows Platform, you could also consider Qimage Ultimate which has lots of additional image editing options, and more.

Cheers,
Bart

Most definitely.I am a longtime user/fan of Qimage Ultimate for it's excellent printing capabilities.

Dave