First of all I am still undecided on buying a new computer. My old Mac still works but nothing works with it now. Giving the problems I have read about working with Raw files in lightroom on the new Mac operating system I must wonder if windows are a better choice for working with raw files in lightroom. Now I do not have any software at this time to shoot raw so I don't. What I might ask is there better choices when working with raw Nikon files? Is Nikon Capture a good choice. I will simply ask, what software do you all use? Do you find at this time the PC works better than the Mac? If I have confused all of you It is because I am lost here.
I use a Dell PC, Photoshop CS and the Adobe RAW Converter (ARC) and I'm very happy with the results. I couldn't go back to not shooting RAW, there are just too many advantages.
Thanks Frans, I believe I will probably have to invest in CS3 when I change computers. The two reasons why I have not at this time is one my old computer and two the cost. I just need to figure this all out before I make a purchase. Monte
Going to a PC Windows is just going backwards. Adobe has just announced the first of its applications (Elements 6 for Mac) that fully support Intel Macs and Apple OS 10.5 Leopard. The rest of the Adobe applications will be upgraded quite soon.
Microsoft Vista still has a big flaw that interferes with color management on PC's and it has been months since the bug was discovered yet MS has yet to say when or if it will be fixed.
Philip Elmer-DeWitt (a computer industry analyst) reporting from CES just wrote, "Apple is a full year ahead of the competition".
Think about it, if you get a PC you have to install all kinds of protection against viruses and other attacks and then keep it all up to date, or don't go online!
Lightroom is designed to provide an efficient workflow for a busy working photographer. While it has some of the function of Photoshop, it compliments rather than replaces it. If you are in a busy shop with many shoots a week and thousands of images to deal with, Lightroom will be of great value to you in managing the flow of images. As well as RAW conversion, it has powerful sorting, cataloging, printing and presenting tools.
Photoshop on the other hand, has minimal file management capability through its Adobe Bridge, but is the industry standard digital darkroom. There is good reason for this. For veteran users, Photoshop is quick and easy to use, but daunting to a newcomer on day one. Its capabilities are so vast that they have generated a publishing industry about it. It helps to realize that Photoshop is a chest full of individual tools, and one only has to know the tools that fit the projects one does. I don't think anyone knows ALL of Photoshop. As time goes on, one realizes what a tool beyond the basic set does and it becomes added to your arsenal. On a tool-by-tool basis, learning is much easier.
In any case, there are 30 day trial versions of both, so you can try before you buy.
Thanks you got my attension here. Can Elements 6.0 open raw files from my D200 without any addition software? Is Nikon Capture a good investment? I have a friend who shoots racing events and uses Nikon Capture then tweaks his images in CS2. Now the problem is CS3 is a large investment for me but if elements 6.0 will work that is a good solution. Monte.
Thanks Larry that is helpful. When replacing my computer Trial software will alow me to see the benifits if any for my purpose. Monte
I have found with Adobe Elements 4 (Version 6 was just delivered today) that for photographic processing, editing and output, there is little you really need the full version of Photoshop CS3 for if you have Elements. Fortunately with the Apple Mac version of Elements you get Bridge (browser) that's the same for organization, showing files in thumbnail, batch processing etc., that is supplied with CS3. You also get Adobe Camera Raw just like CS3 for opening, converting and adjusting Raw digital camera format file, with tools very much like those in LightRoom, but with some of the more advanced and I suspect seldom needed or used features in CS3 missing. And in many respects Elements can be used more efficiently to get some adjustment actions done using the manual part of QuickFix compared to CS3. For $89 it is just about the only bargain Adobe sells.
As for Nikon Capture, I find the interface very awkward and inefficient to use and hard to control what you are doing with it, however Capture NX is a much friendlier and more intuitive software design, so if I had to buy a Nikon camera's software, I would choose it if necessary (of course I shoot Canon and all their software for their cameras is free) . However Adobe Elements will deal with Raw files just as well, so unless you need to use your camera tethered to a laptop, I see no need for the expense of either Capture or Capture NX.
One last thing. Although I am now an Apple Mac advocate for photographic and graphics computing, having 10 years with PC's and then Windows under my belt beginning in '89, I find most who favor Windows have never had substantial full-time working experience on a Mac. Most people I know who work on both platforms prefer the Apple Mac in terms of being easy to use and providing better color photographic performance. Most of the friends and fellow professional photographers I know well and personally all use Apple Macs for their photography work, and the one exception is a fine art photographer who shoots and prints only B&W.
Today, I find to get a good performing PC Windows workstation computer, even from Dell (Precision T5400 starts at $1,600) is more costly than the Mac Mini I use daily. Of course 10 years ago Macs were very pricey and one reason I stayed so long with PC's, I could build my own PC machines at a very reasonable cost.
Oh! By the way I use neither LightRoom or Apple Aperture for digital camera Raw processing. I prefer Lasersoft SilverFast DC. One reason is I have 100's of hours using the same software interface to do scanning, and SilverFast DC has all of the same tools, some of which no other Raw processor application has, like the ability to identify and remove color casts in images by degree (the only way to assure very clean color, as well as some others like a very flexible and powerful way to adjust color selectively applied to a narrow band of the spectrum, etc., etc.
Thanks that helps me see things much clearer which in turn helps me plan the upgrades I need. I love my mac even though it is old it never failed me. It is just time to move on as soon as I can. It appears Elements 6.0 will be a welcomed version for Mac. I think I may be back on track. Monte.
EFX, I wanted to ask you what monitor are you using with your Mac? Monte
The LCD displays currently on the market that may be used with computers are mostly designed for home/office environments and to display text and web graphics as brilliantly as possible, even when the room light is relatively bright. Few of these LCD display have the adjustment controls that will allow reproducing a photographic image as effectively as needed to make perceptual editing and adjustments in Photoshop that will reproduce in an ideal print.
Over the last couple, three years I have tested a number of LCD brands and models that are designed and made for pro graphics applications, and most of these reports are in the Shutterbug web site archives under Equipment Reviews.
Of the several makes and models I tested I purchased two that I use with the two Macs I work with. One is a 20 inch LG Electronics Flatron L2000C, and the other is a LaCie 320, which is the same as the NEC 2090UXi model. The NEC is a bit better than the LG in color but not so much the higher price of the NEC is really justified. There are even better Eizo ColorEdge displays available but they are on the pricey side. The Apple 20 inch Cinema Display is pretty good too, and is currently at a more competitive price with the rest of the market.
The LaCie 320 was one I looked at. But thought the LG 2000 was a better deal for my budget which is priced less than the Apple 20. If the Apple and the LG are comparable then I may just do the Apple. I have gotten buy with my 17 on my Imac for years but when I upgrade I plan to get the Mac Mini so I have the option for other screens. The 320 would be my pick if I have the money. Thanks Monte.
The LaCie 320 is a very nice display with great color and also very sharp detail. However in your shopping look for the NEC 2090UXi, which is the same identical display, you might find it some places at a more favorable price
EFX I am not in a hurry but know the time has come. I find working on my old computer is getting frustrating because of low memory and limited software available. Monte.
EFX, will the NEC monitor work ok on the Mac. I like what I have read about them. Little more expensive than the LG2000 but it is nice.
Just about all LCD displays today use a universal DVI interface connection so can be used with any computer platform, Unix, Aple, Windows or Linux.
That was probably a silly question but I was not sure. I feel much better about things here now. I have narrowed my choices down now. You wouldn't think all this would be a big deal for anyone, but since I seem to use the same computer for five years or so I better choose wisely. Last night I loaded picture project 1.6 that came with he camera. Pretty worthless but did allow me to view a raw image in PS. Just the difference in information of the file impressed me. I have always known being able to process raw files would be a benifit on control and output of quality I just need to get up to speed on my equipment. Monte
Designed in forced obsolescence seems to get worse the farther we go into doing all things digital, cell phones and iPods are probably the shortest lived gadgets these days. The only thing that makes it palatable is the new stuff works so much better.
I remember not long ago I thought film was a format I would never replace but time, quality and ease of use along with so much control over the final output film faded from my life. Now it keeps getting better. The imagination can really go wild in many direction. The best thing is we all get to learn together. That just might be what really makes it worth while. Monte.
Even after doing photography for 55 years mostly full-time what keeps me interested and entertained is that I am still learning and growing as a photographer. To me it is the essence of life which I find all there is to is the experience of living it, and photography adds another dimension to experiencing life and the world. If each day were not a new day and new world to engage life would be too boring to continue.
EFX, I noticed not much is said about the Apple HD monitors? Are they not worth the investment when comparing them to othes like the LG and NEC. The NEC 2090UXI is in the range of the Apple 23HD. I have read where a colorvision spider was used to calibrate them and the color was good. I looked at the Imacs which my old mac is but read some bad things about the glossy screens. Monte.
Although there is no really hard evidence some "macophiles" say the Apple Cinema Displays are made by LG Electronics, for what that is worth. I tested them awhile back and they were good but not great, and as you mention the 23" Cinema display costs about the same as the NEC 2090UXi, which is 20.1 inches= you get the quality you pay for - its a very competitive market.
Yes some people, experts in color management and some who have pro graphics shops using Apple products have been very reserved about the thick glass , glossy display front window cover on the current, new iMac models. Most of the concern is the thick glass will promote lateral light bleed. Probably Apple chose the strategy because many iMacs are used in homes where there are children, so to protect the screen from damage.
I do happen to use the Spyder3, the latest version of DataColor's (formerly ColorVision) display sensor and software. I find it more refined and accurate than any others that are in an affordable price range.
I believe there is really not short cuts when it comes to quality. You do pay for what you get. We all try to find a deal. The NEC 2090UXI is probably the way to go. I have looked also at Viewsonic and others but when you read the reviews this one shines. It appears 800 to 1000 buys a good monitor for my purpose. I would like to get buy for 400 to 500 which I can but I will just have to decide at the time. We have a new Acer Monitor at work and the guys think it is great. I am not impressed. We also use Dell monitors but not the ultra sharp ones. If it was just me here at home I would not waver at all but not the case so I have to juggle a lot. I know the Mac is the way to go for me and it will be the Mac mini. Glad Elements 6.0 is out for that will be a live saver. I am so glad and greatfull EFX that you and others are here to help sort this out for me. Monte
If you can find one, possibly Amazon.com, the LG Electronics Flatron L2000C ( $487) is very close to the NEC in performance, and should be a lot less costly. Another option I would consider, also if currently available is the Samsung Syncmaster 214T, the 244T is available but larger 24" HD width) it is selling for $772. The 20" Apple Cinema Display is $599, but I'd personally rather have the LG L2000C, and its cheaper.
EFX, I think I am going to try to get the NEC 2090UXI when I buy one. A little more now will be worth it later. Now I just need to figure out how to do it. I only replace my computer every four to five years so the money would be worth it. Also the Mac Mini will continue to be upgraded along the way so if the monitor last it will be a good investment. Monte
I use Bridge that comes with Photoshop CS2. I purchased lightroom, but am still habitually going back to Bridge because I tend to work faster in it. I am hoping to use Lightroom 100% by my spring weddings.
My guess is in reality lightroom is directed more towards the kind of work you do because of large workflow. Not the case with me, but I might enjoy learning about it. Monte.
I tried a trial version of Lightroom yesterday. I can see it has a place and find it interesting for those who have demanding work flows but for me I believe PS is what works. Monte.
I think your assessment is right on target. Although the image organization and databse in LightRoom is very powerful, it does take a lot of time and effort to utilize it fully and advantage what it offers. Interestingly in Photoshop Elements , a somewhat simplified version of the LightRoom functions are available in the Mac version because it employs Bridge (a combined browser thumbnail generator that access Raw directly and organizer), as well as a similar easy to use correction and image adjustment dialogue (QuickFix Mode) very much like LightRoom's Developer, making both organization and workflow as efficient and even a bit easier. If available you should explore what is in and how the latest Mac version of Elements works and compare it to LightRoom.
EFX, I plan to if I get time at work because my home computer is too old. There is a trial of the 6.0. Really need to get this computer replaces as soon as possible. It does appear that Elements 6.0 for Mac will not be out until March. Monte.
Adobe is taking pre-orders on Photoshop Elements 6 for Mac now so you can have it delivered on the release date they have posted on their web site.
I am not in any hurry yet because I still do not have the new computer. March is probably when I will upgrade. I am looking forward to getting a new computer and software for the coming year. It is long over due, but until I have it here i count on nothing. At least I know what I want for a monitor and computer now.