Which Image Program

bobbill

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I have ancient Photoshop program I tend to use but cannot handle RAW.

I recently acquired GIMP, and something called Therapee...?

Had a program called Nix Collection (Silver E) which seemed decent enough and was free also but old and needs some updating.

I tried to download the Nix thing but seems not free. Thought Google bought and re released...?

Any comments on the three programs, and the Nix situation?

FWIW: I took some advice and tried to download Capture One, paid, and could not download. The download vendor uses "circular" fix, so nothing changed. Decided Capture One could not care less about us, so do not use or recommend.
 

bobbill

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ziggy +1. Likely why I stick with old PS version. Fastone...will look...so NIK is a core with lots of add-ons? GIMP (really an acronym) looking better every second.

Thought there was a free legal way to use NIK...I have Silver and do like...but need more....will fiddle more.
 

WNG

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The old Nik Collection was free from google. But that train left the station. It can't handle RAWs on its own as a stand alone.
Your free options for Sony RAWs are Gimp with an external RAW processing engine (they make several recommendations, ie. LibRAW), and RAWTherapee. RAWTherapee can open Sony ARW files but they won't look as nice as Capture One by default. You'll have to work a little more to get near similar results.
Faststone Viewer is a capable and well-featured JPEG editor and viewer. I love it! But to access RAW files, it uses plug-ins and they can be quite slow to open a RAW file.

I think you've been down this road before. You can always download Capture One for Sony Express. It's free, most of the tools are there for sufficient editing of ARWs. Once finished, export out a TIFF or JPEG(2000) to Silver Efex Pro for B&W conversion.
 

bdbits

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In addition to RAW Therapee and GIMP, there is Dark Table. I tried it some time ago; it was still a bit rough around the edges but may have cleaned up by now. And there is Pixlr, Paint.NET, digiKam, and other free editors, the list seems endless and it could take quite some time just trying the free ones. Like all software these have good and not-so-good features and the interfaces can be quite different, so it is hard to say what is "best" for any one person.

I suppose one should mention Sony's own Imaging Edge software. Not the greatest editor, but you can get some things done with it and its free.

I am not sure what camera body the OP is using, but I have seen some seriously good photographers on more recent bodies (iii+ versions) saying they are shooting JPEG now, which I took to mean they are not really doing post-processing either. Sony has reportedly done a lot of work on the in-camera JPEG software. I am skeptical and have an older body anyway, but I find this interesting.
 

Ziggy99

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In case anyone wanders down this alley ...

Faststone Viewer can convert an ARW at full or half size when you display it or use the encoded JPEG. That means very different operating speeds. And you want the conversion if you intend to edit.

I like it for canvas extension, Q & D batch resizing, and am playing with it for batch renaming.
 

johnson4096

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I'm using DxO Photolab 3 after using DxO Optics Pro 10.5 for the past three years. I also use the NIK 2 collection for quick tweaking as it's simple and is accessible fro PL3.
 

Ziggy99

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Same here.
In V 2 I had to export to LR to get decent cloning repair but that's now been added to V3.
It's strength is local adjustments for me and its repair tools are getting up to par.
But it still drives me nuts that you can't do batch renaming in the Library - if you're going to offer a CMS, which they added in V2, then for heaven's sake make it work. And you still can't rename an export file.
And a major gap is decent tutorials. With the biggies there's plenty of quality 3rd party instructional materials and forums.
 

bobbill

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WNG, you are great helper as is bdbits. Messing is slow going here. How you have time to be so familiar is appreciated.

Will look into NIK again, Johnson and ziggy pointed out, and thanks...
Still, "time" is the factor as was pointed out...and, obviously, why some outfits bend to get people started using their products...I figure "free" is more do for its own sake...if that makes sense.
 
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