Why it's time to move away from Lightroom

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bakubo
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Re: Why it's time to move away from Lightroom

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Version 4 of the filmic module was introduced in darktable 3.2.1. As I said, I don't use darktable, but I sort of follow it because I would love for it get to the point where I could use it with the ease that we can use programs such as Lightroom Classic, ACDSee, On1, etc. It seems that the internal technology is in many cases quite good, but the user experience needs serious work. IMO, to ease the stubborn resistance to that from the geeks who use it and the developers it would make sense to have 2 modes of operation. The names of the modes aren't important. Calling them Geek and Photographer, while accurate, might not be met with accolades by many of the current people so maybe Expert and Photographer or something like that. :lol:

There is an Australian guy named Bruce Williams who does a very good job trying to explain and make sense of darktable. Because of the ridiculous complexity of so many of the darktable development modules you can't blame him that his explanations and demonstrations are long, complex, and tedious. He does a better job than many others. Anyway, here is a new one on the filmic 4 module. I have it cued up to the 13:30 mark where he starts talking about the new, improved highlight reconstruction (which definitely needed improvement):

darktable ep 067 - Filmic v4

https://youtu.be/qVnuqbR7Z-M?t=810

Watch for the next 9 minutes or so as he explains the mind-boggling complexity of how to do highlight reconstruction. It takes your breath away that Aurélien Pierre and the others released this as it is without any simpler, more automatic way with a simple slider such as Highlights in Lightroom. Again, I understand that using the crazy number of controls that interact with each other in this highlight reconstruction module that you have to set manually you can probably get the best of the best results if you have hours to play with it for each image and know what you are doing, but why not have a simpler way that does as well or close to as well with a simple automatic control? Many of the things Bruce describes are things that darktable already knows internally and it is what computers are good at. As just one example, he describes a long, convoluted process to create a mask to target the blown pixels before you move to the next step and it is clear that darktable could/should have created that mask automatically since the process to create it involves what darktable already knows.

I was a software engineer for a few decades. I know that this is stuff that they could do and the fact that they don't is probably because of a serious lack of vision. Mental blinders. Obvious stuff. :(

And the whole filmic module, I gather from comments I have read and heard in videos, is meant as a replacement for the base curve module and some of the other modules. They say it is the recommended module to use now. A different way of processing images. They say some of the other modules are not meant to be used with the filmic module and vice versa. Yet all the modules appear and nothing prevents you from using them together. It is up to you to know which of the dozens and dozens of modules should or should not be used together. A total clusterf*k -- as we used to say in the USMC. :lol: This is also something that is blindingly obvious, but not obvious to the developers. The whole filmic module is an extremely complex thing. A solution in search of a problem.

Oh well, I wish it would get better, but I don't care enough to spend years of my life learning the internals of the code, studying color science, etc. to fix it myself. I have Lightroom, ACDSee Pro, and other programs that are quite good.
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bakubo
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Re: Why it's time to move away from Lightroom

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bfitzgerald wrote:Just a shame that lacks basic tools like spot healing etc.
Here is another of his video tutorials. I haven't watched it, but I wonder if it talks about what you want?

darktable ep 027 - The Retouch module

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWCLRYiNPn8
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Re: Why it's time to move away from Lightroom

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darktable 3.4.0 released:

https://github.com/darktable-org/darktable/releases

Looks like a major update. Also there is a new manual.
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Re: Why it's time to move away from Lightroom

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He gives it a good review.

Exposure X6 software review: Faster than ever and even more capable

https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/exposu ... are-review
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bfitzgerald
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Re: Why it's time to move away from Lightroom

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I may have a look, however I don't see MRW format support. I have converted some to DNG, though not all
I've given up entirely on Darktable it for me is king of un intuitive software. I'd rather use RawTherapee for conversion if I needed to, way easier to get to grips with and superior results IMO. There is a vague hope that one of them eventually will be good enough to use 100% for workflow. It might take time to get there, I'll check out exposure and report back
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Re: Why it's time to move away from Lightroom

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I haven't looked at it, but if you like Rawtherapee then you might also look at ART. I saw this written about it today:

ART is a fork of RawTherapee, and contains all the power of RT, without the complexity. The author continues to be very aggressive in refactoring the tools in RT to be more user friendly, and more logical. He has done a great job. It's amazing how much one, obviously skilled, coder can do.

A cursory review (i've spent about as much time in ART as I have in writing this message) shows a face that, to me, makes a lot more sense. The browser is just that, a browser. You navigate to the folder desired, pick a photo and edit. That simple. The editing tools include masking and such so are on par with darktable.


https://bitbucket.org/agriggio/art/wiki/Home
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bfitzgerald
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Re: Why it's time to move away from Lightroom

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Thanks for that, it is quite good they slimmed down some the vast options of RT. RT was never perfect, but it was a lot easier to get simple stuff done fairly quickly, and IMO the results are a league above what Darktable has to offer I was never happy with the highlight recovery or the noise reduction in DT - but it was so overly complex I lost interest. I'm trying it out now, they have added local adjustments, which is useful once I get the chance to play with it more. I see DT now has options for picking modules to slim it down. However I am still not a fan of the processing or the UI, ART does seem better overall IMO. Both could do with a make over, but it is easier to get stuff done in ART from what I am seeing.
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Re: Why it's time to move away from Lightroom

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Re: Why it's time to move away from Lightroom

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darktable 3.4.1 bug fix release has been made:

https://github.com/darktable-org/darkta ... ease-3.4.1
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Re: Why it's time to move away from Lightroom

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bakubo wrote: Sat Feb 06, 2021 11:33 pm darktable 3.4.1 bug fix release has been made:

https://github.com/darktable-org/darkta ... ease-3.4.1
Note that the Windows version is now 3.4.1.1 because a serious regression bug was found in the Windows version of 3.4.1. 3.4.1.1 is now available at the link above.
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Re: Why it's time to move away from Lightroom

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I have so much work in Lightroom that it would be very painful to leave it behind for something different. I have about 113k OOC photos imported and about half of them have edits. I often go back and tweak an edit and don't have to start over since it is a non-destructive, parametric editor. I also have many collections and many virtual copies. Plus I have star ratings, many keywords, some have color labels, many have the metadata comment section with text, I have about a dozen Blurb books I have made, and so on. Lightroom in the last couple of years has gotten faster and has added some nice features that I use a lot.

I still don't like the rental model, of course. Stop renting and much of your work is inaccessible, especially long term. I also am annoyed somewhat that I have to pay for Lightroom and Photoshop, but I never use Photoshop. Before the rental model, my recollection is that Lightroom was $150 (although often discounted to $100) and Photoshop was $700. Including tax I pay about $11/month for both. As long as the price stays that way then it isn't a bad deal, but I would be happier if I could get only Lightroom for $3-4/month. :lol:

Last year without warning Adobe raised the price to $20/month, but got so much blowback that they changed it back to $10/month. It was clearly a trial balloon to see if people would accept $20 though. I think it wasn't just bad comments from people that got them to go back to $10. Clearly so many people canceled that Adobe decided $20 would lose them money rather than make them money. But, we all know that one of these days the price will go up.

I am very happy that there is some competition from ACDSee, On1, Exposure X6, darktable, and Aftershot Pro. Then there are also raw processors that do not include a DAM (or a very limited one) such as DXO, C1, Rawtherapee, ART, etc. I hope the competition will be enough to keep Adobe from raising the price. Also, competition for Photoshop from Affinity, Paint Shop Pro, Gimp, etc. Sure, Adobe still has the biggest market share, but maybe they don't have so much that they can easily raise prices.
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