Why it's time to move away from Lightroom

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

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Sat Feb 15, 2020 12:08 am

Exposure looks pretty good, I'll probably give it a try at some point.
Appreciate DT is open source and relies on people doing the work, but surely it must have hit someone it just isn't intuitive to use. I stuck with it, got better results, just can't deal with the extra time it takes for working on images. For someone tweaking a handful of shots it might work, as a workflow tool it's a disaster being blunt about it. I don't see any change in direction from the devs. There are good modules mixed in with pointless nerdy ones.

A good UI should have the most important obvious things people use right at hand. DT doesn't do that, so I've give up using it. Maybe in the future they'll take a hard look at how it's structured.
RT isn't great but even that is way faster to use! Lightzone is a defunct project now, another shame as it had a fairly good layout - it's evidently one guy doing no real updates for years. Kinda defeats the point of having an open source type project. Well it was open source at one time, now it's not another wasted opportunity to make decent software really great

I will try Exposure see how that holds up, from what I've seen it does have most of what I might be looking for
Of course I'm not a developer and surely it does take time and work, it blows my mind how people get so geeky with this stuff. True you don't want ultra simple either - there is a way to get a comfortable medium ground, ie simple enough to use, yet flexible when needed.

I did get a free copy of Luminar 3, to review - but I wasn't impressed with the speed it ran like a dog. I canned the review as version 4 came out, I could if I wanted to email them and ask for a review copy. But when I do reviews I like to be honest!

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

Unread postby bakubo » Mon Feb 24, 2020 10:34 am

You can read this recent long post by one of the main developers who personally keeps making the use of darktable more complicated and complex than it was even before. And naming things using obscure mathematical names, etc. He sounds defensive and tries with great effort to justify him making things so obscure, cryptic, complex, and hard to use. I have thoughts, but it isn't worth even writing them down here. Oh well, it is what it is. The people who volunteer to do the free work without someone in charge like a product manager who is focused on making something people really want enough they will pay money for means that the unsupervised engineers can, and sometimes do, go insane focusing on their own belly buttons. :lol: I still say that having an expert mode and another mode for everyone else would satisfy everyone and get past this problem.

https://discuss.pixls.us/t/is-darktable-or-any-photo-soft-ever-too-complicated/16275

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

Unread postby bakubo » Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:32 am

bakubo wrote:You can read this recent long post by one of the main developers who personally keeps making the use of darktable more complicated and complex than it was even before. And naming things using obscure mathematical names, etc. He sounds defensive and tries with great effort to justify him making things so obscure, cryptic, complex, and hard to use. I have thoughts, but it isn't worth even writing them down here. Oh well, it is what it is. The people who volunteer to do the free work without someone in charge like a product manager who is focused on making something people really want enough they will pay money for means that the unsupervised engineers can, and sometimes do, go insane focusing on their own belly buttons. :lol: I still say that having an expert mode and another mode for everyone else would satisfy everyone and get past this problem.

https://discuss.pixls.us/t/is-darktable-or-any-photo-soft-ever-too-complicated/16275


I decided to reply to that post. I will probably get lots of hate and abuse, but I decided it was worth saying to see, just in case, if any of the developers might have a light bulb moment. :lol: This is what I wrote:

I think there should be an Expert or Advanced Mode (or whatever name) so that everyone who wants to make use of the wonderful power, complexity, cryptic naming, etc. can continue to do that and have access to everything. Then a Photographer or Normal Person Mode (or whatever name) that has a refined set of controls with usage and naming that conforms more closely to what almost all other successful photo editing software has evolved to after many years of careful thought and design and feedback from millions (tens of millions? hundreds of millions?) of users over many years. They all have product managers and others who help give direction and priority to the developers. Lightroom, ACDSee Pro, On1 Photo Raw, Exposure X5, Corel (Bibble) Aftershot Pro, DxO Photolab, C1 Pro, Aperture, and others. That is my opinion.
Last edited by bakubo on Wed Feb 26, 2020 11:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Tue Feb 25, 2020 4:23 pm

Very interesting and his response signals that IMO DT is never going to be very user friendly.
His reply was a simple UI is a "scam", which is baffling to say the least why he would say that. He compares photography software to learning the piano or music and keeps calling it art. Well for me it's software, and the art is sometimes the photo and result. As a user I don't want to have to spend years learning software.
One of the reasons I gave up on DT was something pretty simple. Highlight recovery is one very obvious one. DT has many ways to attempt HL recovery, none of which are as good as LR. Where you just pull the slider back and see how it goes. Other software does have options about how you can recover (ie colour etc), nothing wrong with that. But DT has about 5 modules which can deal with HL recovery, with tons of settings - many of which are not particularly useful.

As an end user I don't want to spend 10 minutes trying to recover highlights, when I can do it in 5 seconds of less. Or digging in modules to try to make easy adjustments which should be right there.

So reading his "rant" on this, and if he's one of the devs - I would say there is 0 chance of things changing. He doesn't seem even a bit receptive to feedback or developing end user experience. Thing that some devs forget is, you are making software for other people to use, I'm sure a dev could do most of the complaints I have far quicker. But I am not a dev, nor are most users!

Oh well we'll put this one down to a bit of obscure software determined to get even more complex, and ignoring the needs of those who are looking for something similar to LR. He seems to blow up even at the mention DT should be more LR like! One doesn't have to copy the design exactly!

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

Unread postby bakubo » Tue Feb 25, 2020 11:53 pm

I have seen responses to my post on the darktable forum and it is exactly what I expected. The main developer dismisses it all and the others pile on. Oh well. Typical head up their ass geeks. They can't see the forest for the trees. :lol:

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

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Wed Feb 26, 2020 2:29 pm

Seems to sum up what's going on. Shame isn't it. Still I don't think I'll bother to try DT again. Seems the devs are ignoring sensible suggestions. Maybe something else will turn up

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

Unread postby bakubo » Wed Feb 26, 2020 11:43 pm

I will check the darktable news from time to time to see if anything significant has changed, but I doubt it will. It has so much potential, but it is not to be. A few years ago there were not too many choices, but now there are some pretty good ones:

Integrated raw processor, non-destructive editor, DAM:

Lightroom (Windows, Mac)
ACDSee Pro (includes integrated bitmapped editor and can use 64-bit Photoshop plugins) (Windows)
ACDSee Ultimate (includes integrated bitmapped editor with layers and can use 64-bit Photoshop plugins) (Windows)
On1 Photo Raw (Windows, Mac)
Exposure X5 (Windows, Mac)
Corel (Bibble) Aftershot Pro (Windows, Mac, Linux)

It is looking like On1 Photo Raw and Exposure X5 have become quite good. I do read sometimes from some users complaining that On1 is slow on their computer and then others say that it runs very well on theirs. Note that this is exactly what you hear from Lightroom users. From what I hear though it does seem that it has gotten into pretty good shape now. I should download the trial and try it out. Exposure X5 also really looks good and later I will probably download the trial. I bought ACDSee Pro 9 in 2016 to try out and I liked a whole lot about it too. I also bought Aftershot Pro 1 in 2011 and found a lot to like with it too. I should download the ASP 3 trial too to see what has changed in the last 9 years.

If I had no processed photos in my Lightroom catalog (probably 50k or more have been processed out of 110k) I would probably go with ACDSee Pro, Exposure X5, or On1 Photo Raw. As it is, I still have about 10 months on this year's Lightroom/Photoshop subscription so I won't do anything yet.

Integrated raw processor, non-destructive editor, very basic DAM:

DxO Photolab
C1 Pro
Luminar

Integrated raw processor, non-destructive editor:

Rawtherapee
UFRaw
Photivo
Individual camera specific programs from Canon, Olympus, Panasonic, Sony, Fuji, Nikon, etc.

I probably missed a few. :)

There was a great window of opportunity for darktable, but they squandered it and seem to be determined to remain irrelevant. Fortunately, in 2020 we are getting some great choices.

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

Unread postby bakubo » Sun Mar 01, 2020 5:23 am

Barry, I read about the ART version of Rawtherapee today. You mentioned that you are using Rawtherapee so you may be interested in this alternative version:

https://bitbucket.org/agriggio/art/wiki/Home

At a first glance, ART appears very similar to RawTherapee. The Getting Started page of RawPedia can be used to get a first idea of how the program works.

Compared to RawTherapee, ART differs in the following main aspects:

- The user interface and the underlying processing pipeline have been significantly restructured, with many tools removed, some new tools added, and several tools rewritten and/or refactored.
- Various new tools for performing local edits have been added, with support for various masking modes (both drawn and parametric).
- A new automatic perspective correction tool (taken from darktable) has been added.
- Better metadata handling (thanks to the exiv2 and exiftool libraries), with (optional) support for reading and writing XMP sidecar files.
- Full support for Canon CR3 raw files, thanks to LibRaw (for decoding) and exiftool (for metadata handling).
- Star ratings and colour labels can be loaded and stored from/to XMP sidecar files.
- Snapshots are now permanent, saved in the processing profiles.
- Processing profiles have .arp extension instead of .pp3, to avoid conflicts with RawTherapee.
- The "inspector mode" tool of the file browser has been significantly enhanced.

The current version is 1.1. It was released on February 15th 2020.

Development is very active and the developer is open to ideas about optimizing various aspects and features of the program.

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

Unread postby bakubo » Wed Mar 25, 2020 5:49 am

Interesting posts about highlight recovery in On1 Photo Raw 2020. The method of doing it is different than in Lightroom and once you understand that this guy says it is better than Lightroom.

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/63775411

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/63774800

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

Unread postby bakubo » Mon Apr 27, 2020 1:30 am

Here is a new review of Exposure X5:

Exposure X5 software review: blazing fast and subscription-free

https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/exposure-x5-software-review

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

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Wed Apr 29, 2020 11:57 am

I did try Exposure X5, performance good, layout is pretty decent (bit overkill on the filters)
It does support lossy DNG, but the highlight recovery is trash it just can't recover colour information. NR is also sub par and no support for GPS in metadata (doesn't even read the GPS info in files)
Might work for some, it's not good enough IMO to warrant a buy. If they fixed those things it might be. Maybe X6 is going to be better
It is fast, in a way LR never really is - end results matter though IMO. Another one that has potential but the actual processing just isn't there

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

Unread postby bakubo » Tue Aug 11, 2020 3:12 am

Looks like some pretty significant changes and updates.

darktable 3.2.1 released

https://www.darktable.org/2020/08/darktable-321-released/

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

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Thu Aug 13, 2020 4:53 pm

I might dare to try it. After reading the nonsense that Aurélien Pierre posted about processing being an "art" (ie trying to make it as complicated as possible), the only hope I have for DT is if they've kicked him off the development team! We shall see anyway lol

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

Unread postby bakubo » Fri Aug 14, 2020 4:55 am

I have an extra older computer that I don't use much and that is the one I will sometimes download software to just try out. At the moment I have it packed away so maybe later I will get it out. The last time I downloaded darktable I put it on that one. It also has about 100 photos from various cameras that I can use to play around with using the software. Maybe later I will download this latest darktable version just to play a bit.

Although it is no doubt getting better I do not expect the super geek aspects to have changed much. :lol: I realize that Aurélien Pierre is a very technical kind of person -- I think he said he is a color scientist -- and wants to have the maximum number of controls and flexibility so that every complex algorithm when implemented exposes all the possible ways it can be tweaked. And also he has his own ideas about what the best way to work with imaging software is and he disagrees with what pretty much every other imaging program does. :( As I said some time back, I tried to respectfully suggest that there was value in that view, but that it would be really great if there was an "expert" mode for him and others who like that, but another, simpler mode for most of us photographers. That didn't go over well at all with him or the other geeks on the forum so I dropped it. Having said all that, I went back to the forum a few months later and I saw that he had started a thread discussing ways to make darktable easier to use for non-geeks. :) Maybe what I had written made more sense to him once he stopped being defensive about it. :) So, who knows, maybe this 3.2.1 is the start of an attempt to do that. I don't get my hopes up though. :lol:

As the years go by I am more and more dependent on Lightroom for things that cannot be moved out or done with any other software. Since 2014 I sometimes make a photo book using the Book module and printed by Blurb. My feeling is that Blurb printers have improved with regards to B&W compared to 2014 and the color never was a big problem. So far I have 10 photo books I have done and I am getting close to finishing #11. It is all inside Lightroom though.

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

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Mon Aug 24, 2020 12:23 pm

Maybe the message got through, at the time he seemed quite dismissive of it. Perhaps there is hope
DT has a ton of potential, if only it's software that I would want to use.
95% of the time it's minor tweaks and I want to do this quickly, not wade through tons of micro adjustment options and spend time on simple adjustments. Despite some changes at the moment I'm not seeing a reason to look at it.

It's not necessary to clone/copy Lightroom - however learn some lessons about the UI and commons settings people want to get to them quickly, nothing wrong with more extensive settings for those who want them. Not at the cost of user interface or experience that's the point. I just found it quite frustrating with DT and simple things like highlight recovery were not handled well

If they take on board the need to change the UI drastically IMO, it might be worth looking at again. At this stage even Raw Therapee which isn't that user friendly is easier to use and IMO delivers better conversion (esp highlights). Just a shame that lacks basic tools like spot healing etc.


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