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Old 20th April 2019
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Re: Recommended reading

I'd suggest that you do not start with Photoshop or other "destructive" general purpose image editors. These all directly manipulate the image and the raw processing part is limited to import and basic image manipulation. They are really aimed at graphic artists rather than photographers. They do a lot, but they are also complicated and not intuitive for photographers.

Instead, you need a specific raw image processing tool like Lightroom. These are "non destructive" - they work directly off the raw file and build changes as a separate set of instructions that are applied to the file for viewing or ultimately for export as a jpeg or for printing. They usually also offer some form of catalogue management. Their features are targeted at photographers. They do less than the Photoshop type tools, but they are much easier to use.

I use Lightroom, which these days is subscription at just under 10 a month. Ok, it's over 100 a year, but otoh, I get all the updates which I'd need to pay for as new versions if I bought a perpetual licence version. If I were to choose a paid- for alternative to Lightroom, I'd go for DxO.

If you want free though, I'd recommend RawTherapee - the latest version is very good. Its only downside is that the UI is a bit challenging to new users.
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