RAW Advice

From RAW conversion to image editing and printing
a900_dw73
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RAW Advice

Unread postby a900_dw73 » Thu May 27, 2010 3:54 am

Hi David,

I have to admit that I'm guilty of using my A900 and CZ 24-70 primarily in jpeg mode...

I heard Sony's own RAW software is sub-par compared to what other software companies are providing these days. I have read about the other software such as DXO, Bibble, Lightroom, etc. I also see that people like to use two different programs in their workflow.

Is it possible if you could recommend just one RAW software program for me to try? One which would cover the whole workflow - I'm just a hobbyist... I have a PC with Windows 7. I primarily like to shoot landscapes.

Dave

a900_dw73
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Re: RAW Advice

Unread postby a900_dw73 » Thu May 27, 2010 6:10 am

Actually, I just took a look at your article here:

http://www.photoclubalpha.com/2008/02/2 ... rocessors/

And, I've been reading Gary Friedman's book (workflow of Raw Therapee and Neatimage).

My "laziness" probably stems from the fact that having 24mp packed into a FF sensor using a CZ 24-70 lens - the jpegs are the best I've ever had from any camera I've ever owned... I basically use agorabasta's settings even at ISO 200, and I never use DRO. This is to reduce noise in the jpegs.

Please let me know if I'm doing anything to really undermine my overall IQ output...

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Re: RAW Advice

Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Thu May 27, 2010 12:36 pm

That article does need updating. My current advice would be, money for money, Lightroom and start off by using the entirely free Lightroom 3 Beta 2 version which can be downloaded and run without any outlay until they launch the full version.

You may like to see this, which was done this morning in response to an Alamy forum discussion - I get annoyed when people there say stupid things like 'I don't much like Sony' when an Alpha owner is asking for advice upgrading or changing camera.

Image

This is an in-camera JPEG from the A900 using the 13 megapixel output size, Extra Fine JPEG, at 6400 ISO with high NR turned on (no agorabasta settings used). In midtones and highlights, there really is zero noise and the sharpness is fully maintained.

David

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Winston
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Re: RAW Advice

Unread postby Winston » Thu May 27, 2010 2:32 pm

Hmmm...

I am an avid Lightroom user. I use LR3B2 for experimental work only. Why? Because when Adobe launched LR3 they made it very clear that there was no guarantee that LR3 Beta catalogs would be supported by the released version. There is a guarantee that LR2 catalogs would be supported.

It is possible that I missed an announcement that changes this situation.

David, Did I miss something?
Winston Mitchell
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roysmith
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Re: RAW Advice

Unread postby roysmith » Thu May 27, 2010 8:45 pm

I use DxO Optics. It's quite slow and needs a good computer but I find it gives me the flexibility I want. It has automatic CA, lens softness and distorsion correction (with supported lenses of course). It's specially good for landscape shots, you can manage to create HDR-like results just by playing with sliders and using only one raw file.
You can download a trial and see if you like it.

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Re: RAW Advice

Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Thu May 27, 2010 8:52 pm

Winston wrote:Hmmm...

I am an avid Lightroom user. I use LR3B2 for experimental work only. Why? Because when Adobe launched LR3 they made it very clear that there was no guarantee that LR3 Beta catalogs would be supported by the released version. There is a guarantee that LR2 catalogs would be supported.

It is possible that I missed an announcement that changes this situation.

David, Did I miss something?


No, I just don't care for this catalogue stuff - I delete those anyway. I tend to organise my own files, and use raw developers just for developing, not for filing/organising.

David

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pakodominguez
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Re: RAW Advice

Unread postby pakodominguez » Thu May 27, 2010 8:55 pm

David Kilpatrick wrote:
Winston wrote:Hmmm...

I am an avid Lightroom user. I use LR3B2 for experimental work only. Why? Because when Adobe launched LR3 they made it very clear that there was no guarantee that LR3 Beta catalogs would be supported by the released version. There is a guarantee that LR2 catalogs would be supported.

It is possible that I missed an announcement that changes this situation.

David, Did I miss something?


No, I just don't care for this catalogue stuff - I delete those anyway. I tend to organise my own files, and use raw developers just for developing, not for filing/organising.

David


Totally agree.
what software do you use for keywording?
I think one day I'll finish with my first bunch of pics to upload to Alamy. Now they have a "vintage" category that open widely the possibilities of my archives.
regards
Pako
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pakodominguez
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Re: RAW Advice

Unread postby pakodominguez » Thu May 27, 2010 9:04 pm

a900_dw73 wrote:Hi David,

I have to admit that I'm guilty of using my A900 and CZ 24-70 primarily in jpeg mode...

You will discover a new lens the day you process the RAW files from this combo. Alpha's JPG kill some of the wonderful detail and micro contrast that this lens achieve.
a900_dw73 wrote:I heard Sony's own RAW software is sub-par compared to what other software companies are providing these days. I have read about the other software such as DXO, Bibble, Lightroom, etc. I also see that people like to use two different programs in their workflow.

The Sony software is not bad regarding quality, but the workflow is awful.

As others already told you, Lightroom is the /best/ software, workflow wise, and the free beta available is the most Alpha-friendly version.

Regards
Pako
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Winston
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Re: RAW Advice

Unread postby Winston » Thu May 27, 2010 9:34 pm

David Kilpatrick wrote:
Winston wrote:Hmmm...

I am an avid Lightroom user. I use LR3B2 for experimental work only. Why? Because when Adobe launched LR3 they made it very clear that there was no guarantee that LR3 Beta catalogs would be supported by the released version. There is a guarantee that LR2 catalogs would be supported.

It is possible that I missed an announcement that changes this situation.

David, Did I miss something?


No, I just don't care for this catalogue stuff - I delete those anyway. I tend to organise my own files, and use raw developers just for developing, not for filing/organising.

David

You don't think the OP deserves a warning?
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Re: RAW Advice

Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Thu May 27, 2010 11:14 pm

Sure, be cautious with any beta software - but to experiment free of charge is no bad deal.

Pako, for keywording I use Microsoft Expression Media Pro. The good news is that this DAM/keywording software has just been bought out by Phase One - it was a great program, developed in the UK by iView. They got bought out by Microsoft who got some updates done, then let it rot. Now Phase One has it, it will go places.

And it is only 35 euros / 49 dollars if bought before June 4th.

See:

http://www.anp.se/newsletterweb/709861/ ... 7942425C43

David

a900_dw73
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Re: RAW Advice

Unread postby a900_dw73 » Fri May 28, 2010 4:20 am

Hi David,

Thanks for posting the example.

I'm very satisfied with the A900's overall output!

Dave

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Dusty
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Re: RAW Advice

Unread postby Dusty » Fri May 28, 2010 5:02 pm

a900_dw73 wrote:Hi David,

I have to admit that I'm guilty of using my A900 and CZ 24-70 primarily in jpeg mode...

I heard Sony's own RAW software is sub-par compared to what other software companies are providing these days. I have read about the other software such as DXO, Bibble, Lightroom, etc. I also see that people like to use two different programs in their workflow.

Is it possible if you could recommend just one RAW software program for me to try? One which would cover the whole workflow - I'm just a hobbyist... I have a PC with Windows 7. I primarily like to shoot landscapes.

Dave


Dave, Being cheap (because I'm poor!) and new to digital - I still have MD mount Minoltas for film - and perhaps a bit lazy, I shoot RAW + JPEG and only develop the RAW file when I feel the JPEG is lacking a bit, is not the best exposure-wise, or if I have some special use for it.

I D/L the trial and liked DXO and Bibble. I liked DXO for it's interface and ease of use. Bibble gave good results, but it felt klunky to me. I've got the Lightroom Beta but have really only used it to import my files - I've had no time to figure it out. So when I do tweak a RAW file, it's in Sony IDC. I get good results. I'm not (yet) into key-wording or any such things yet, however I know I'll eventually get there.

Try the various trial software and find one YOU like best.

Dusty

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Re: RAW Advice

Unread postby stewartjs » Sat May 29, 2010 8:14 pm

I have a problem accessing RAWs from my new a550 in Photoshop Elements 6, despite downloading Camera Raw 5.5. Is OK with my a100 files, and my wife's a200 ones. Any ideas?

Stewart

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bakubo
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Re: RAW Advice

Unread postby bakubo » Sat May 29, 2010 9:38 pm

stewartjs wrote:I have a problem accessing RAWs from my new a550 in Photoshop Elements 6, despite downloading Camera Raw 5.5. Is OK with my a100 files, and my wife's a200 ones. Any ideas?


I got PSE 6 so I could open my A700 raw files since PS CS2/ACR didn't support it. Are you sure ACR 5.5 supports the A550? I bet you will have to upgrade to the current PSE in order to get a later version of ACR. You should check into that though before spending the money.

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Re: RAW Advice

Unread postby stewartjs » Sun May 30, 2010 2:11 am

Thanks. According to the Adobe website the A550 is supported by 5.5. Installation appears OK. I may just buy PSE 8 as there are plenty of half-price offers at the moment.

Stewart


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