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DeepThought

Which Post Processing Software

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Hi

I know this gets asked often enough but the advice seems to vary from thread to thread.

I'm looking to move on from GIMP to a piece of paid software for my post processing and I'm torn between Photoshop Elements 12, Lightroom 5 and Photoshop CC. I know the current deal on Photoshop CC and Lightroom for £8 ish per month looks very attractive but I'm not certain I necessarily need that level of functionality as I won't be doing any graphic design.

I'll be working with both astro and regular images so I need the best all rounder.

I know a lot of you use CS6 but that's simply not an option on my budget. That's the sort of money I'd rather spend on hardware.

What would you recommend?

Thanks

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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I think only the "real" Photoshop has support for more than 8 bits of colour, so basically they are out of the equation. It is not so much about the features, more that you need layers and more than 8 bits of colour support.

/per

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You don't need CS6, you could use CS3 which comes up cheaply and legitimately on Amazon etc. It works fine on Win7. I don't know about 8 but someone will. CS3 is what I use. I know buying software hurts because you have nothing to hold in your hand, but astrophotography is massively about image processing and Photoshop is superb. When the hard line fundamentalists from of other software persuasions start hammering it you know it must be good!!! :grin:  It also has lots of good Actions sets and plug ins available. Noels' Actions, Annies' Actions, Gradient Xterminator, Hasta La Vista Green... You need some of these. Managing without certain of the tools they contain would be difficult and tedious (if you don't have Pixinsight and that is astronomy-only.) 

To have several thousand pounds invested in hardware would, in my view, be crazy if you don't have the software to process the data you've caught with so much trouble and expense. Also, for me, processing images is the primary pleasure in AP. Using good tools is bound to enhance that pleasure, so I use Pixinsight, Registar, Photoshop and AstroArt all the time.

Olly

Edited by ollypenrice

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Looks like i'm sticking with GIMP then.

As I said, creative suite is simply not an option on my budget. It's not that I won't pay for it, I actually can't.

Many Thanks

Edited by DeepThought

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mmmm PixInsight :D (it's getting layers too). Try the time limited demo.. www.pixinsight.com 

Also Nebulosity is great (I started on Neb2.. Neb 3 is faster and has more support).

Edited by NickK

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Thanks

Unfortunately I need something that can be turned to astro and non astro photography. At the moment at least the vast majority of my photos are taken in daylight.

Elements might well be sufficient for me. Have you seen my photos? I'm hardly Damian Peach and I don't presume that the marginal gains of increased colour depth will change that fact.

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I'll be working with both astro and regular images so I need the best all rounder.

I'm not sure that you'll find an "all rounder".

From what you say, your regular imaging needs more processing and flexibility than GIMP can provide. I can't think what that would be, unless you're looking for special FX.

However astro images have the common property that they are all under-exposed: massively under-exposed. Most of the features that astro image processing packages have are meant to deal with that, and are crafted especially to bring out detail and reduce noise. Those are not issues that you'd normally have with regular photos. But then, astro imaging doesn't need most of the effects that Photoshop and its ilk provide and are designed for.

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ImageJ - thinking about it too. There's quite a few university based processing tools too.

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You don't need CS6, you could use CS3 which comes up cheaply and legitimately on Amazon etc. It works fine on Win7. I don't know about 8 but someone will. CS3 is what I use. I know buying software hurts because you have nothing to hold in your hand, but astrophotography is massively about image processing and Photoshop is superb. When the hard line fundamentalists from of other software persuasions start hammering it you know it must be good!!! :grin:  It also has lots of good Actions sets and plug ins available. Noels' Actions, Annies' Actions, Gradient Xterminator, Hasta La Vista Green... You need some of these. Managing without certain of the tools they contain would be difficult and tedious (if you don't have Pixinsight and that is astronomy-only.) 

To have several thousand pounds invested in hardware would, in my view, be crazy if you don't have the software to process the data you've caught with so much trouble and expense. Also, for me, processing images is the primary pleasure in AP. Using good tools is bound to enhance that pleasure, so I use Pixinsight, Registar, Photoshop and AstroArt all the time.

Olly

I second that. It is not the version number of PS you should be concerned with, it is the fact that the Elements version doesn't support more than 8-bit colour depth. Not good enough for astro work, unfortunately. I think it is the same with GIMP; only 8-bit colour. That may change when they get version 3 out the door, though.

/per

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Im a firm Photoshop fan too but i do think that the Beta version of Gimp does now have some 16 Bit support.

Although not often recomended the tools in DSS do work quite well at post processing ive tried a few different options regarding apply settings as opposed to embedding them and I cant tell the difference in fact i prefer the applied settings with most of the images ive worked on.

Alan

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