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Photo

Editing Software that keeps intregity


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17 replies to this topic

#1
Steve M

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Ok first I am a newbie.  Did do a search on my issue here but still confused.

 

As some here know I purchased a Nikon 80 to 400 mm lens that has the Nikon glass on it.   Most of my wild life pictures are out there but I have good luck with cropping the picture or basically enlarging the object and still have a crisp photo.   The lens was a recommendation from others here.

 

My problem is after I crop it the file drops from 11 meg down to 575KB.  Still looks good but when I want to make a print I get this warning the picture may not turn out very well and be distorted.     Is there software out there that will keep the intregity?    Should I be looking at using the Raw file to edit from?  Will LR allow you to edit the Raw file and save a a .jpg?

 

 

Thank you in advance



#2
ScottinPollock

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You should always edit/convert from the raw file if you have one. But note that you can't really edit a raw file. You display it, make changes, and convert it to a standardized image format.

 

The changes you made to the raw file are not saved to it (it never changes). Instead the conversion software keeps a history of the applied changes somewhere else on disk, and reapplies them the next time you visit that raw file again.

 

Something is wrong if you are editing a 11MB jpeg and end up with only 575KB after a crop... unless that is one hell of a substantial crop. Perhaps if you better describe the details of the workflow you are using now we can offer more help.



#3
Jerry_

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Cropping can sometimes heavily reduce the number of megapixels as it applies in square (having half the width and half the height, will be one fourth of the megepixels), but having a refuction as described by about 20 times is likely ro have also other reasons.

As Scott mentioned, if you have a RAW file, that is the format to start with for editing, don't start on a JPEG (as it has already undergone some compression), if possible.

Starting from whatever format (but preferably RAW), LR (f.i., but also DxO, Aperture, etc.) will store only the changes and require you to OUTPUT the file again. If you output as JPG pay attention to the (extra) compression that you will want to apply (a compression of 80-85% is most common to a fine format) -- usually you have the choice to choose the compression rate.

#4
Steve M

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Here is my original and after I cropped it. 10.8 meg and then 488 KB. Maybe I am cropping too much. And I do have the raw as I take both.

Will Light a Room allow me to edit the raw and save in jpg?

Attached Thumbnails

  • SJM_0371.JPG


#5
ScottinPollock

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It's best not to crop jpegs as they've already had much information discarded. But yes Lightroom will allow you to crop from raw and convert to jpeg (if you have no reservations about renting software, and having it take over your computer to phone home to dozens of servers including facebook and other ad trackers).

Any software capable of raw editing and conversion (including Nikon Capture - which does a better job on raw conversions than Adobe) is able to do the same editing/conversion workflow without the intrusive behavior of Adobe products. While I admit Lightroom is convenient, it comes at way too high a cost for me.

Of course, YMMV. (c;

#6
fallout666

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from what i got from all over place and mainly here if doing any editing do it in raw file. 



#7
TBonz

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I rarely dump my JPG images off that card.  I strictly work with my RAW images and, once I am happy with the edit, I will save as a JPG.  You will get your best quality that way.  But, you have cropped out a large amount of that image so you are not going to get too big a JPG either way.  There are definitely some images that I have cropped that tight...and even blown them up to a reasonably good size.  I tested enlarging a similarly tightly cropped image (RAW saved as JPG) to 11x14 just to see what I got.  The site whined about the size and how the quality would be degraded, but I went for it anyway...Over the years I have had many compliments on that image.  

 

That said, I think the image itself has quite a bit to do with it...you are pushing extremes and sometimes those extremes will bite you and sometimes you can sneak by.  The reality - the more of the original image you have, the less degradation you will get...the question is whether or not you will see the difference in a printed image.



#8
ScottinPollock

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One thing to remember is that if you crop a jpeg, you are blowing up the artifacts that exist in that lossy format. If you crop in raw and convert to jpeg, you are starting with the cleanest image possible at that size.

#9
Steve M

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Well I downloaded Nikon Capture.  My head is spinning.   :) :)    Not the easiest program to work through but with time it will be easy I am sure.  Right now I am just a tad bit nervous.    lol



#10
ScottinPollock

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Another GREAT indie app to look at is Affinity Photo. While not quite as good as Capture for raw conversions and lens corrections, it offers excellent tools for stacking (hdr, focus, exposure, etc.) and compositing, with nondestructive filters and layer adjustments.

They also have an immense library of very good "how to" videos.

Awesome app that us getting better by leaps and bounds. The devs are talented and hungry.

#11
Ron

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After the glowing review Scott gave, I had reservations about commenting here. I really don't want to start an argument... mainly because, over the years, I've shared some of the same concerns before deciding to go with the Adobe Photography Plan. But, truth is, it's just about the best software out there for post production. The gold standard, if you will.

 

You get Lightroom (which is still available as a stand alone program) and Photoshop for $US10 a month. Call it renting if you want but if you upgrade on any kind of regular basis, you're going to pay the same or more money every time you upgrade. With the plan, your software is always up to date.

 

There are lots of alternatives. Some are better than others. You get what you pay for. Personally, I've been using Photoshop since version 2.0 and Lightroom since version 4. I use Lightroom for the bulk of my post production work. It serves as my photo library database and also my go to RAW image manipulator. I can do 99% of my work in Lightroom. That includes cropping and resizing among hundreds of other editing possibilities.

 

So, if I were going to make a suggestion here, it would be to try Lightroom... either the boxed version or the Photography Plan.

 

--Ron



#12
ScottinPollock

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@RON I think we can share differing opinions without considering it argumentative. Although there are not a lot of users here, this is great forum with great folks (frankly one of the best Nikon related groups I've experienced). So I suppose this is as good a time as any to better define my rather negative bias with Adobe products. It isn't all that different than my feelings about Microsoft. These dinosaurs make decisions with regard to profits first, and users second (or maybe even last).
 
On Rant{
I have used Lightroom, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and After Effects for many years. I, in fact, worked for Adobe for a short stint during their acquisition of Aldus (one of their direct competitors - whose products they quickly killed - not unlike after their acquisition of GoLive Systems, Inc. a few years later). It was messy as Bruce Chizen came on board from Apple with promises not to dismantle Aldus, but with a hardisk full of documents that clearly indicated otherwise (that some brave sole sent to every printer in the building due to Bruce not being savvy enough to share anything but everything from his Mac. And after the acquisition which he orchestrated, became the new CEO of Adobe (someone who required his assistant to set up file sharing on his Mac - guess he should've called IT).
 
The software is fat, bloated, and held together with mostly spit and chewing gum. At least that was the way it was back then as they chose the shortcut route of porting to Carbon to migrate their obsolete code base to OS X. But, for grins and giggles, I actually gave the current version another try last week...
 
The first thing I noticed was that the installer had no method for indicating what files would be installed and where (something that all install packages provide by their very nature). That should have told me nothing had changed but I decided to venture on. Using a network filter during installation, I discovered no less than 27 servers the installer touched base with (including FaceBook and DoubleClick). Why does Adobe's installer need to phone home to those entities?
 
IIRC the install used more than 25GB on my system drive, yet the apps occupied much less than half of that. After a quick look at the apps and continuing to see massive amounts of outbound traffic, I decided to cut bait, using the uninstallers Adobe so thoughtfully provided. Unfortunately, after completing the uninstalls, there was still about 18GB still AWOL on my system. It took me the better part of an hour to find and delete all of the cruft it deposited on my drive, with most of it littered in places inaccessible to the casual user.
 
I simply have no wish to support a company with my hard earned dollars that does business this way, much preferring to support indie developers who aren't afraid to write a better codebase from scratch, leveraging Apple's most up to date dev environment and frameworks (something that Adobe has never done - instead leveraging an ancient codebase with workaround after workaround). Lightroom is still impaired, unable to use Apple's most performance-centric frameworks.
 
I suppose if you use Windows it may be better, if you don't mind it sending your data to FB and a dozen+ other entities. I am sure Microsoft and Adobe get along famously in that regard.
 
BTW, did you know that the rental model was born out of piracy due to most of their individual users hating the exorbitant 1980's pricing policies and clockwork like $100-200 upgrades with minor feature additions and mostly compatibility issue fixes for newer systems due to the aging and brittle codebase? In the last year I have seen more development progress in Affinity Photo than in any similar Adobe dev cycle ever, and they have so far not charged me a penny more over my original $50 investment. I am actually looking forward to the day when I can send them more money!
End Rant}
 
So while it may seem like I have a chip on my shoulder, it is just very important for me to support entities that spend the majority of their resources writing innovative new software instead of marketing, competition killing acquisition, data mining, and soaking corporate accounts. I have made some sacrifices to do this in the past, but Affinity Photo isn't one of them... I love it!


#13
Ron

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Well, I am on Windows.... not that I'm enjoying it all that much but... well, it is what it is.

 

Obviously my association with Adobe hasn't been as bad as yours, Scott. And, I've been using them about as long. First on my heavily tricked out Mac IIci and Power Mac 8600s. Then later on Windows running on various types of hardware.

 

If I understand you correctly, you did an install of some (or all?) of the creative cloud software and then just as quickly uninstalled it. Pardon me but that isn't much of a test, even if just for giggles. But I do understand how you might have been freaked out by all the port traffic. I'm not crazy about it either. But for me... and, I am only speaking for myself, it hasn't been much of a problem. There are occasional blips but so far at least, nothing major (knock on wood). I admit that currently I only use the Photography Plan. I don't have the other Creative Cloud stuff installed simply because I no longer need it... although, there are times when I could probably find a use for Illustrator.

 

And, yes, I know that Adobe went to it's subscription model mainly to thwart piracy. Interesting side note there. I know a number of people who loved Photoshop, etc.... until they implemented the subscription model. After that, the software suddenly became crap. Turns out some of these people were using pirated copies.  

 

So, yeah. We can agree to disagree. 

 

Oh, btw... don't know if anyone has mentioned it already but apparently Topaz has jumped into the full on photoshop/lightroom competition with Topaz Studio photo editor. The download is free and includes a bunch of plugs. If you want the full set, they're on sale for half off.  Might be worth a look see.

 

--Ron



#14
ScottinPollock

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Hi Ron,
 
We used Adobe back in the day because there wasn't really anything else (BTW, if you're looking at an Illustrator replacement check out Affinity Designer). But back then so much focus was on print media, and Adobe was and still is king there.
 
Regarding my "[not] much of a test", I know what Photoshop and Lightroom are and do. It was primarily a test to see if they cleaned up the bloated mess that it had become, which it failed miserably. 25GB for two apps... C'mon!? All the phoning home was just icing on that cake. As a software dev myself, the only time paid software should phone home is license verification and update checking. Anything else is abusive.
 
TBH, it has been crap for a long, long time. I certainly had no issue with it's capabilities, but never cared for the bloated mess and disjointed and constantly changing UI. I never used it for simple graphics manipulation (cropping, simple filters, jpeg compression, etc.), only when I needed more advanced filters and compositing. For the most part it was like firing up the old steam powered sawmill to trim a 2x4. Even today most of my workflow is Capture NX-D, with something like Acorn for web site file compression. I still feel I get the best raw conversions from Nikon's software (hideous as it is). It's only when shots (too many sometimes) need more tweaking or I need stacks or other compositing that I pull out Affinity Photo. 
 
Kudos to Topaz, although it appears their MSR are wanting for more GPU than my old MBP. But it is nice to see more indie devs going after Adobe.
 
But I don't think we really disagree. Obviously you don't align with what are my mostly political reasons for steering clear of Adobe, but that doesn't mean we disagree about the capabilities of the software. I admit that Lightroom (now that Aperture is toast) is possibly the most convenient workflow for photographers... I just refuse to support or endorse it because Adobe is evil.


#15
sunshine

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... I just refuse to support or endorse it because Adobe is evil.

 

I, too, have been in the software business for over 20 years.  Currently as a technical sales rep.  I have never understood how the "evil" label gets applied.  Apple is one of, if not the largest technology company in the world.  Their products are built by slave labor in China and other countries.  Yet they never get labeled as "evil".  Google rivals Apple in corporate size and company valuation.  They record more electronic communication activity than the NSA and they use that data to further their corporate empire, but it's OK - Google is "cool".  Oracle, on the other hand, is a similar sized corporation that provides the foundation for the majority of the world's data storage and processing needs, but they're "evil".  This has nothing to do with the original question of this post, of course, just philosophizing a little...  :)  Oh, and be careful saying you don't/won't support company "x" if you have a 401k or IRA retirement savings account.  There's a very good chance that you may own some of their stock.

 

To address the original question, I use Lightroom because it does what I need, is very well supported, and allows me to spend more time with the camera and less in front of the computer.  I spend my entire work day in front of one, and too much of my personal time, as well.  Photography is supposed to get me away from that.  I was able to quickly learn enough Lightroom to make my photos look more like how I remember the scene without having to dedicate a lot of time to the task.  If I need to do something and can't remember or figure out how, there's most likely at least 10 videos on YouTube that will show me.  Of course, that means more computer time...  and I just noticed that it's going on midnight and I'm in front of a keyboard again...



#16
TBonz

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Very interesting discussion...I try to avoid the "evil" label on various companies...and I have heard many say evil about both Apple and Google before...I try to look for what I consider important in a tool and go with that tool.  I use Windows for my work PC and my personal Mac is sitting next to it.  There are features of both that I like...and features of both that I dislike...I believe my Mac is now about 6 years old or so and its age is definitely starting to show...but then I have Windows systems that are younger and show their age more...

 

I will give this Topaz Studio a try - have had great luck with their plug-ins.  It would be hard for me to give up my LR experience right now but I'd certainly do it if I find something better...just haven't found anything better yet...



#17
morticiaskeeper

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I edit my RAW files in Photogenie on the iPad or Darktable on a Linux PC, although I believe it is available for Windows.

In both, I produce my final output in jpg


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
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#18
Ron

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I also have a problem with the "evil" label. Not because I disagree with it necessarily but because, depending on your preferences, it can be applied pretty much across the board. That includes Apple and, of course, Microsoft... as well a Google, etc.

 

Since I don't have a current Macintosh sitting nearby, I can't do any checking, but I wouldn't be surprised if it didn't phone home to the mothership (and perhaps other entities as well). I know that my iPhone seems to be constantly checking up on me.... I'm right here, iPhone! Ditto for my (soon to be replaced) Android tablet.

 

And, of course, my all of my Windows PC's are constantly phoning home... and goodness knows where else. But yeah, Adobe has pretty much become the 800 pound gorilla in the room. They do what the want because they can. Their arrogance can be staggering. So, believe it or not, I'm really glad to see other companies give them a run for their money. Hopefully, it will do some good. 

 

I'm also planning to try Topaz Studio when I get some time to mess with it. I've never used any of the Topaz plugs but I know other photographers who swear by them. Especially DeNoise.

 

--Ron