Recommendations for editors

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by donald_miller|5, Aug 18, 2017.

  1. I wanted to buy an upscale photo editor app. It appears that Adobe only has subscription services which is an option I just do not like the idea of. Any good apps that I can just purchase?

    Thanx for your help
  2. You can still purchase Adobe Lightroom as a standalone app. Highly recommended. Haven't needed photoshop in many years.
  3. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    Might want to look into Affinity Photo. No, it's not Photoshop, but it doesn't suck and it's dirt cheap and can amazingly, read Photoshop layered files!
  4. There's the absolutely free GNU Image Manipulation Program, GIMP.

    About as close to PhotoShop as you're likely to get.

    It has its little foibles, but it's a very capable image editor with all the tools you're likely to need.
  5. For free, on Windows, Paint.NET is a nice alternative, otherwise the GIMP. Both in my view are lacking quite a lot in ease of use. Better to spend some money, and Affinity Photo makes in my view the best choice by a mile, and it certainly runs closer to Photoshop than any other package that is not Photoshop.
  6. Adobe products have a very long life cycle, and frequent updates. It's frustrating to use a "me too" product only to have it discontinued or rendered obsolete for lack of updates. Adobe has excellent consumer service and an active forum. So many people use it, it's easy to find help on line too.

    A set of Photoshop, Lightroom and Bridge "rents" for $10 per month (payable up front). That's less than the cost of periodic upgrades for stand alone Lightroom.

    I use Lightroom as my main editor, but find Photoshop useful to put finishing touches on an image. Among other features, there are plugins for Photoshop not available for Lightroom.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2017
    Stephen_Prunier likes this.
  7. Another vote for Affinity Photo, although I still prefer using Photoshop CS5 because I am more used to it. You might look for an older version of Photoshop, although the prices that I see on eBay seem rather excessive. Another approach is to look for a used computer with Photoshop installed, but be sure that it is a legitimate installation.
  8. Thanx everyone. I have PS elements but was under the impression that Photoshop was a little better but i want the app without subscription. I just downloaded GIMP and will do the same with Affinity. GIMP seems very nice
  9. The stand-alone version of Lightroom 6 is selling for $142 at B&H. Lightroom will do 90% of typical editing needs, without altering the original file, regardless of format. Lightroom is also an invaluable tool for organizing and archiving your images. Like all Adobe creative products, Lightroom is fully color-managed.

    At one time I needed Photoshop for better control over printing, cropping and resizing. However Lightroom continues to grow, adding new features regularly. I still use Photoshop for precision cropping, resizing and sharpening, and when I want to edit the original for publication, without the need to export copies. I often start with Photoshop for cleaning up rough scanned images.

    The most attractive feature of GIMP is the price - zero. Among other things, GIMP has been slow to adopt features regarding color management and high bit depth images. GIMP is evolving, but through the efforts of volunteers.
  10. The Creative Cloud deal is very reasonable when you consider the prior installed versions of PS and LR would put you back more than two-years of monthly payments for CC. If you're a heavy user, it's a no-brainer. For the occasional user, either LR or one of those free softwares is the way to go.

    Consider the interface with your RAW converter. Most of the time you'll only need levels, contrast, cropping and highlight/shadows fine tuning. All of that can be done in RAW conversion, with LR, DxO or a number of other alternatives.
  11. Another vote for Affinity - nice, modern interface (some things are faster than PS) and very reasonably priced. For me it's a complete PS replacement, but I use other raw converters (Affinity is weak at this).
  12. Yes, Affinity is weak as a raw converter. I just purchased a new Canon 5D IV, and although Affinity can convert the raw files, the results look mediocre compared with Canon's Digital Photo Professional 4 software that comes with the camera. My procedure, so far, is to convert raw files to tiff in DPP, and then use either Photoshop CS5 or Affinity for editing. I may reluctantly spring for a subscription to Photoshop CC and Lightroom in order to make my editing process more streamlined.
  13. Agree with Ed. Most photographers here spend $$$ on equipment, and pay a lot of attention to sensor and lens quality. To then post-process with anything but the best makes no sense at all to me. And, you want parameterized (a.k.a. non-destructive) editing, not just the original and the results (TIFF or PSD). $10/month for Lightroom + Photoshop + all updates is ridiculously cheap. ESPECIALLY if you invest thousands in cameras and lenses, as I have done.
  14. The time you invest in learning how to use a product is often lost in these arguments. Time is the one thing that can't be refunded.

    I adopted Photoshop (v2?) in the mid 1990's. About the same time I was producing documents, from cassette tape covers to news letters and training documents. To this end, I purchased a product called "Page Plus," which purported to be "as good as" Pagemaker. After several updates, none of which was compatible, forward or backward, with documents, Page Plus was rendered brain dead, even less useful than MS Publisher. I shook out my wallet and bought Pagemaker (by then, Adobe). Things I struggled with in the cheap version were suddenly easy, more importantly, stable, saving a lot of time and make-overs. When Adobe introduced InDesign, phasing out Pagemaker, I bought in, with no regrets (and no "window shade" frames). Now on version 12, InDesign is still compatible with previous documents, and has the same look and feel in spite of many new features. IMO, that learning process (steep at first) was time well invested.

    That pretty well describes my experience with Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, and Lightroom, to name a few.
    AJG likes this.

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