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Colin Woods

Can anyone recommend a quick RAW converter?

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49 minutes ago, MDM said:


How do you locate your images when you need to find something? That is where Lightroom excels and it does not need to be connected to the external drives. It is extremely fast as a database.  I keep all my images on fast external drives which are only connected as I need them. The integration with Photoshop is what makes it outstanding. 
 

I am not trying to persuade anyone to use it by the way, just clarifying.  Each to their own. 

 

 

I don't lose them in the first place. 

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3 hours ago, vpics said:

 

I don't want to import a library onto my hard drive - I keep all images I process on external drives. ACR does the edit for me and then I import into PS and save. What can be more simple?

 

 

Everyone should probably just stick to what they're used to.

 

LR imports the image metadata into a database catalogue - "import" is a bit of a misnomer. You can store the images wherever you like.

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45 minutes ago, Steve F said:

 

Everyone should probably just stick to what they're used to.

 

LR imports the image metadata into a database catalogue - "import" is a bit of a misnomer. You can store the images wherever you like.


Applying that as a general philosophy, we would all be sitting around comparing our cave art. Ochre nah. Too gaudy. Blood is better. Nah it doesn’t last. Bla bla 😀

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14 minutes ago, MDM said:


Applying that as a general philosophy, we would all be sitting around comparing our cave art. Ochre nah. Too gaudy. Blood is better. Nah it doesn’t last. Bla bla 😀

 

True, but employing another great philosophical saying, "If it aint broke, then...." Plus, once someone has made a public declaration about something, they tend to double down on it, regardless of whether there is contrary evidence to their position. But I don't think this is serious enough to worry about, people do whatever works for them. I know I personally don't have the most efficient workflow, maybe I'll get out of the cave one day....

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4 minutes ago, Steve F said:

 

True, but employing another great philosophical saying, "If it aint broke, then...." Plus, once someone has made a public declaration about something, they tend to double down on it, regardless of whether there is contrary evidence to their position. But I don't think this is serious enough to worry about, people do whatever works for them. I know I personally don't have the most efficient workflow, maybe I'll get out of the cave one day....

 

You said you live on the 8th floor so that must be some cave 😀

 

The trouble with the if it ain't broke philosophy in relation to digital imaging is that the whole thing has been in a state of rapid flux for the last 20 years or so. It moves gradually and sometimes it moves in quantum leaps so if you don't move with it there is a risk of getting left behind. There is also the risk with that philosophy that you don't even know it is actually broke or that better ways have been developed to do something (relevant here as a former ACR/Bridge user). But I was not pushing anything on anyone just clarifying the same thing as you in relation to importing images,. 

 

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Capture One Express for free if it is available for your system.  Thing with Lightroom is you can put the image files wherever you want them, and keep the catalogues on your fastest drive (my Windows machine has a SSD that I installed).  You can easily have external drives, and even with a catalogue or catalogues on the main drive, use various drives that are not on line if you use Smart Previews.

 

Importing through Adobe Camera Raw is fine, too. 

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For Mac users Picktorial is becoming quite slick. Clean UI and fast. It uses Apple's own RAW conversion engine which does a pretty good job. But, unfortunately to get the RAW conversion option you need to subscribe at $4.99/month. It still appears to be missing a few crucial tools (distortion correction, no CA removal adjustment (it's auto only). Adobe's competition is getting stronger.

 

Mark

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I use the standalone version of LR and agree that it is far from being intuitive, after years of use I still find myself having to retrieve a situation brought about by an inadvertent key press - the screen goes dark, or I find myself opening up some new can of unwanted worms etc. Then there is the weird phenomenon, where your photos appear unsharp and you are about to press the delete key when you think, hold on this is may be LR's doing. Close and re-open the program and all is well. It seems to occur occasionally when I use the compare command. Could be that my version of LR isn't too keen on my particular graphics card, but everything else works fine.

 

Having said that, the basic image editing features are not difficult to use once you have mastered the less than obvious commands required, and I do like the keyword editor and the ability to import strings of appropriate keywords etc. It saves a load of time.  However I often find that LR's interpretations can often be improved by a trip into my old friend (standalone and ancient) PS. 

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13 hours ago, MDM said:


How do you locate your images when you need to find something? 

 

By renaming the folders: YY(YY)MMDD_Location_Keyword

And if I'm really lost - which doesn't happen too often - I search for the picture in the Alamy Image Manager. Alamy tells me the date the image was taken and then I can go back to the folder.  

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On 30/08/2020 at 15:56, Colin Woods said:

I use, and like, DXO PhotoLab for my RAW conversions. There is one thing that I don't like though and that is the fact that it is long to load and a bit slow to use. When I am doing a batch I don't mind. Just this morning though, I had an image that had a rock in the middle of the image on which the highlights were blown. It was a bit long to go into DxO PL and re-process the image just for the rock. So, does anyone have experience of a RAW converter that is quick to load. It could be a basic one, I don't need all the bells and whistles, just a simple coverter for a small part of an image. I just need it to load quickly, reprocess a RAW for the errant pixels and export to be blended in PS with the DxO

 

It just strikes me that the problem you describe doesn't even exist if you use Lightroom. Once your RAW file has been brought into Lightroom (from wherever you want to actually keep it) then you just go back to it and tweak some of the sliders or maybe do some localised treatment to the rock area and export a new improved version, it takes no time at all. That's the beauty of non-destructive editing, if you want to keep the original version then you just create a virtual copy and work on that. No need to clutter up your hard drive with lots of different versions of the original file that have been exported in ACR and then worked on in Photoshop.

 

I can understand that perhaps you might not want to subscribe to Lightroom/Photoshop but it is very good value and if I wasn't happy with my Perpetual 6.14 version I would do so.

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We have moved away from RAW conversion. For what it is worth this is how I file images on Photoshelter.

 

All the JPEGs ( except a few indicated ) are searchable.

 

RAW Archive back to 2006

 

I0000SGJyWQMGCAA.jpg

 

 

JPEGS

 

 

I0000fUFMVDk66Ww.jpg

 

 

Edited by geogphotos

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4 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

For what it is worth this is how I file images on Photoshelter

That's interesting, and Photoshelter is a good system for archiving, but clearly not everyone has Photoshelter and Lightroom serves as an excellent database, quite apart from everything else it does. The structure you describe there is just basic workflow for Lightroom.

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On 30/08/2020 at 15:56, Colin Woods said:

I use, and like, DXO PhotoLab for my RAW conversions. There is one thing that I don't like though and that is the fact that it is long to load and a bit slow to use. When I am doing a batch I don't mind. Just this morning though, I had an image that had a rock in the middle of the image on which the highlights were blown. It was a bit long to go into DxO PL and re-process the image just for the rock. So, does anyone have experience of a RAW converter that is quick to load. It could be a basic one, I don't need all the bells and whistles, just a simple coverter for a small part of an image. I just need it to load quickly, reprocess a RAW for the errant pixels and export to be blended in PS with the DxO image.

 

Colin , to answer the original question, I don't think you are going to find anything as good as and faster than DxO PhotoLab to do a quick edit. I bought it a few years ago on a Black Friday deal to see if it is really as good as its fans say and it is very very good. It has just most of the features of ACR/Lightroom and is very fast at converting raw images. I have just had a look at it for converting some large NEFs and it is extremely good. It is no slug on my machine either.

 

I don't think you are going to speed anything up by using a separate converter in the manner you say. m  What DxO PhotoLab does not have is a DAM (database as in the Lightroom catalog) and of course it does not have Photoshop. But for what it's worth, my advice is to stick with  DxO PhotoLab. To benefit from Lightroom you would need to go the whole hog and use it as your primary program which I am guessing you don't want to do. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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For anyone else in Colin's position but using Fuji it's worth pointing out that DXO Photolab doesn't support Fuji cameras with the XTrans sensor. Shame.

Edited by Harry Harrison

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1 hour ago, vpics said:

 

By renaming the folders: YY(YY)MMDD_Location_Keyword

And if I'm really lost - which doesn't happen too often - I search for the picture in the Alamy Image Manager. Alamy tells me the date the image was taken and then I can go back to the folder.  

 

OK so given the size of your image collection you must keep some sort of text, spreadsheet or database catalog so you can locate the images on the disconnected drives.

 

The huge advantage of Lightroom is its database  - you can search the metadata (camera and user) directly on single or multiple criteria and it will bring up a set of thumbnail images that match the search at lightening speed. Importantly the drives on which the images reside do not have to be connected. You can view them at larger sizes, modify the metadata and so on or, if you want, you can edit the images in the Lightroom develop module which is essentially almost identical now to ACR. The other enormous advantage is the direct integration with Photoshop of course.

 

Anyway I am not trying to tell you what you should be doing. The last thing I want to do is pester anyone to do things my way. I am simply clarifying what is possible. But if you ever do decide to give it a go then feel free to ask for advice. I am more than happy to help.  

 

 

 

Edited by MDM
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26 minutes ago, MDM said:

Importantly the drives on which the images reside do not have to be connected.

Thankyou for that, the penny has finally dropped- so only the catalogue and the preview cache have to be on the main drive? I've only been wasting a few seconds plugging in the usb drives, but it's handy to know for next time.

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13 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

Thankyou for that, the penny has finally dropped- so only the catalogue and the preview cache have to be on the main drive? I've only been wasting a few seconds plugging in the usb drives, but it's handy to know for next time.

 

Don't mention it. You can actually use smart previews as well (not sure if this works in older versions though as I can't remember when the were introduced) which allow you to edit offline even on a different computer if required. I don't use these myself but it is useful to know they exist. 

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9 hours ago, MizBrown said:

Capture One Express for free if it is available for your system.  Thing with Lightroom is you can put the image files wherever you want them, and keep the catalogues on your fastest drive (my Windows machine has a SSD that I installed).  You can easily have external drives, and even with a catalogue or catalogues on the main drive, use various drives that are not on line if you use Smart Previews.

 

Importing through Adobe Camera Raw is fine, too. 

 

I got COE free for Sony but not used it yet.  Went into it yesterday to see what I was missing and noted there was an update for it.

 

Went through the motions to get the update which comes up as subscription or pay for.  (£9.99/mth or around £124.00 perpetual.)

 

Allan

 

Edited by Allan Bell

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3 minutes ago, MDM said:

 

Don't mention it. You can actually use smart previews as well (not sure if this works in older versions though as I can't remember when the were introduced) which allow you to edit offline even on a different computer if required. I don't use these myself but it is useful to know they exist. 

Yes, I have those on 5.7 but the fact that I can't quite work out what they are for probably means I don't need them;)

"Different computer"? Eh? I only get another when the current one goes ping.

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5 hours ago, geogphotos said:

 

RAW Archive back to 2006

 

I0000SGJyWQMGCAA.jpg

 

 

 

 

What if you're looking for a particular image or type of image but don't remember when you took it?

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1 hour ago, Bill Kuta said:

 

What if you're looking for a particular image or type of image but don't remember when you took it?

 

Like today when I wanted to print a picture of Orford Ness lighthouse for a birthday card.

 

I simply search my JPEG  images on Photoshelter - and then choose the one I want to use.

 

By the way the lighthouse is now no more - demolished.

 

Try it

 

www.geographyphotos.com

 

But I can just search my Archive rather than website.

Edited by geogphotos

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8 hours ago, MDM said:

But for what it's worth, my advice is to stick with  DxO PhotoLab.

Yes, it was just my innate idleness coming through. Better to get it right first time than start mucking about with other bits of software.

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10 hours ago, Bryan said:

Then there is the weird phenomenon, where your photos appear unsharp and you are about to press the delete key when you think, hold on this is may be LR's doing. Close and re-open the program and all is well. It seems to occur occasionally when I use the compare command.

That's the only thing I dislike about LR.  I've deleted so many good images unnecessarily for exactly that reason.

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8 hours ago, MDM said:

 

OK so given the size of your image collection you must keep some sort of text, spreadsheet or database catalog so you can locate the images on the disconnected drives.

 

The huge advantage of Lightroom is its database  - you can search the metadata (camera and user) directly on single or multiple criteria and it will bring up a set of thumbnail images that match the search at lightening speed. Importantly the drives on which the images reside do not have to be connected. You can view them at larger sizes, modify the metadata and so on or, if you want, you can edit the images in the Lightroom develop module which is essentially almost identical now to ACR. The other enormous advantage is the direct integration with Photoshop of course.

 

Anyway I am not trying to tell you what you should be doing. The last thing I want to do is pester anyone to do things my way. I am simply clarifying what is possible. But if you ever do decide to give it a go then feel free to ask for advice. I am more than happy to help.  

 

 

 

Reading this it would seem I've a lot to learn about LR.  YouTube here I come!

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12 hours ago, Bryan said:

Then there is the weird phenomenon, where your photos appear unsharp and you are about to press the delete key when you think, hold on this is may be LR's doing. Close and re-open the program and all is well. It seems to occur occasionally when I use the compare command.

 

2 hours ago, Colblimp said:

That's the only thing I dislike about LR.  I've deleted so many good images unnecessarily for exactly that reason.

 

It's always best to check images at full size in the Develop module to be sure of sharpness or unsharpness. Even if you generate 100% previews they can get deleted in due course depending on the settings. 

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