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Nova Invicta
29th February 2008, 11:13 PM
Firstly I have been a photographer for many years but in the analogue domain used very good labs to process & print my pictures. With digital I have always stumbled a bit with digital softaware for picture manipulation (frankly I dont like altering originally shot photos too much their either correctly exposed & framed etc or not) I normally only play around with contrast, sometimes sharpness, colour correction, and re-sizing.
I have recently down loaded trial versions of Adobe Elements 6 and Olympus Studio 2 and played around with both on B&W shots which are Jpegs. My qeustion is what are other peoples views on manipulation software previously I was using Ulead PhotoIpact 12 which has more functions but frankly is over my head.

OlyPaul
1st March 2008, 08:27 AM
Personally I think PSE6 is head and shoulder above studio and just as good as the full blown Photoshop if you are just a photographer and not into graphics.

All the images in my gallery were processed from raw to the finished image in
Elements including the scanned film images.

theMusicMan
1st March 2008, 08:36 AM
Hi

I'd have to suggest taking a look at downloading the trial version of Adobe Lightroom, it really is a first class Post Processing tool, as well as master librarian application. I do have Photoshop too, which, going forward, I tend to use less and less - with Lightroom being used more and more.

There are things Photoshop does that Lightroom doesn't, but in terms of Post Processing... Lightroom is the bees knees.

I haven't tried using Olympus Studio as a RAW processor so can't really comment on its functionality. As you seem to be looking and evaluating this type of software application, I really suggest you take a look at Lightroom. I know Elements is very good and most people here swear by it too.


Here's the link to Lightroom for you (http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshoplightroom/).

DTD
1st March 2008, 09:17 AM
For straight processing I also think Lightroom might be worth looking at.
I use Aperture – Apple's equivalent – and the full version of PhotoShop.
Aperture (which is Mac only, hence why I've not suggested it) is used for about 80% of my stuff.
I'd also suggest whatever software you plump for you invest in a book or some video training. I like the Adobe Classroom in a Book series or lynda.com video tutorials.

theMusicMan
1st March 2008, 09:31 AM
Indeed, Aperture is also an excellent application (from what I have seen and read), but remember it does not yet support RAW files from the E-3.

snaarman
1st March 2008, 09:54 AM
I have used Elements 5 for about a year. I import with Adobe Raw and use that to micro-correct for exposure and white balance. I might use PT lens to correct for distortion, and then PSE5 to clone small unwanted objects, clean up and crop if needed, otherwise minimum image manipulation. So far so good.

However my complaint is that PSE5 is so slow compared with my old copy of Photoshop 5.5 (on the same computer with the same resources). What did Adobe know in 2000 that they lost on the way to 2008??

:-)

Pete

Ian
1st March 2008, 09:59 AM
Studio is actually designed to be complementary to a program like Photoshop. It is capable of producing very good results from RAW and has powerful batch processing capabilities for processing a lot of RAW files. Photoshop Elements 6 actually now has very good RAW processing support, but only for one image at a time. Elements is a layer-based editing program so you can do lots of effects and detail changes. If you can stretch to it, use Studio and Elements, but one doesn't really replace the other. Lightroom is arguably better than Studio as a workflow processing tool. One thing in favour of Studio is that it can model the processing functions of the camera more closely.

Ian

Scapula Memory
1st March 2008, 10:33 AM
I do use SV2 for RAW PP and whilst it is slow and a bit clunky the results are very good and the batch option is very useful. The software tallies up nicely with what is going on in the camera so it feels familiar without being too complex. I do not have Elements 6 but do use Elements 3.1 for any extra trickery needed that SV2 cannot do. Ian makes a good point about having both, and I often flick between the two.

Another one to consider is Capture One 4 http://www.phaseone.com/ which is a RAW workflow solution only and I have found that this can produce great results where SV2 really struggled. There was a free licence kicking about with the purchase of San Disk cards but am not sure if still available.

I know LR is really popular but I could not get on with it and it needs mountains of memory.

Like you I try and keep the whole workflow thing to a minimum, but you are on the right road trialling all this software. Good luck.

Ian
1st March 2008, 12:22 PM
I do use SV2 for RAW PP and whilst it is slow and a bit clunky the results are very good and the batch option is very useful. The software tallies up nicely with what is going on in the camera so it feels familiar without being too complex. I do not have Elements 6 but do use Elements 3.1 for any extra trickery needed that SV2 cannot do. Ian makes a good point about having both, and I often flick between the two.

Another one to consider is Capture One 4 http://www.phaseone.com/ which is a RAW workflow solution only and I have found that this can produce great results where SV2 really struggled. There was a free licence kicking about with the purchase of San Disk cards but am not sure if still available.

I know LR is really popular but I could not get on with it and it needs mountains of memory.

Like you I try and keep the whole workflow thing to a minimum, but you are on the right road trialling all this software. Good luck.

I have lately spent a lot of time getting used to Lightroom and I think I have cracked it. Time permitting, I want to set up a Lightroom tips and tricks section on DPNow.

One thing that I find very useful with Adobe's RAW processing in the Lightroom and the latest versions of Photoshop (including Elements 6) is the black level adjustment. I hate wishy washy blacks and I find this unique control as useful as the fill light and highlight retrieval tools.

Ian

emirpprime
1st March 2008, 01:57 PM
Another good lightroom tool, though I do not know whether or nor Elements has it, is Clarity. It is similar to an old USM based localised contrast adjustment "trick", but much easier and quicker. It can add a bit of punch to images without effecting the overall contrast of the image too greatly.
Phil

OlyPaul
1st March 2008, 03:54 PM
Photoshop Elements 6 actually now has very good RAW processing support, but only for one image at a time. Elements is a layer-based editing program so you can do lots of effects and detail changes.
Ian

Not quite strictly true Ian, in Elements 6 you can now import as many raw images into ARC as you want and then convert them applying the same settings to all of them or altering them one at a time and then open them all in the editor, or just press done to apply your raw changes without opening them :)

By the way the OP did say photo impact was way above his head so suggestions of Lightroom at nearly four times the price may just end up wasting his money that might have been better spent on a new lens. :)

http://www.pbase.com/paulsilkphotography/image/93602488.jpg

250swb
3rd March 2008, 10:38 PM
It isn't quite true to say Photoshop Elements is better for photographers compared to Photoshop CS3, implying CS3 has lots of other useless features that a photographer wouldn't need.

True it does have many features beyond what many photographers will ever need, but so does the average camera, I mean, who uses all of your cameras functions? But what CS3 does have are much more sophisticated and accurate image processing functions that can be used every day for every image. But in either case the RAW converter is ACR 4.3.1, and this is the best available and massively powerful compared to the rest, even though it will need subtle tweaking to get the most out of Olympus files. Elements or CS3 are also backed up with a plethora of articles in magazines, on the internet, or in books, about getting the most from them.

So, while the slow and clunky Olympus Master 2 or Studio can both produce an excellent RAW image or do basic post processing, the language of photo editing is Adobe, and the sooner you can get on that track the better. I'm not a big fan of Lightroom, but even so nothing can touch the Adobe trio. I would recommend Elements 6 and if you feel later you want to jump with an upgrade license to CS3 the price won't seem so bad. And once on the CS3 bandwagon future product upgrades are pretty painless cost wise if product history is looked at.

Nova Invicta
4th March 2008, 08:09 PM
Thanks for all the advice over the last few days I have be trying both as stated above and my preference is certainly Adobe Elements 6 and I certainly agree with the last posting that as my confidence grows I will more than likely move to one of the more superior packages whether that is Lightroom or CS3 is yet to be seen anyway thanks to you all I guess we all have to start somewhere when we explore something new. ;)

B.P.S Studios
4th March 2008, 08:29 PM
I downloaded a trial of Olympus Studio and frankly its just too slow, it takes forever for the images to render on your monitor and the adjustment sliders also take forever to reflect the change you have made. I would agree with everybody else that Lightroom is the business, its got a good set of tools most of which are usable. For post shoot development you won't do much better. As for Elements yes its a fantastic piece of software if your into working with layers, swapping bits of photos with others and Graphics in General, but it is limited in its colour management and aimed mainly at the consumer market. if you are going to go the photoshop way you should only consider the Full Pro Version CS3 you will get everything that is in Lightroom and a lot more besides. I use CS3 and Lightroom together and would'nt be without either of them. Its hard to see what CS3 can do without trying it out, you can download both Lightroom and Photoshop CS3 as a trial from Adobe. Check it out and have fun.

Nivek
6th March 2008, 05:56 AM
I have used elements 6 but prefer to use CS3 for obvious reasons. Olympus studio2 is not up to it yet. I used it for about 30 mins and uninstalled it. It needs a few years to develop I think. As for Lightroom, well lightroom is a brilliant peice of kit that every photograper should have. most of my photography doesn't even touch any other program and its a perfect library for all my finished images. I personally think its the best program Adobe have ever made.