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Images, Graphic Design, and Digital Photography Discussion of all things graphics.

What photo program do you recommend


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1014510

 
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I will be purchasing an iMac 27" today. I have been using Photoshop Elements (version 6) on my pc. I will be transferring all my photographs (3,000+) to the iMac, however, I would be interested in hearing what you recommend I use as a photo program.

I have been happy with Elements as I typically perform basic photo editing and occasionally like to try some of the more advanced editing features, although that doesn't happen that often. I also like Elements' ability to organize photos based on the topic/event.

I would be more than willing to use iPhoto 11 as my primary photo program, however, I am not sure of its capabilities for editing and organization...does it compare at all to Elements?

Any feedback would be helpful. I would prefer to start the whole transfer process of photographs into the program that I would plan to use indefinitely, and not switch down the road.
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Deckyon

 
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If you are used to Elements, give the Mac version a try.

Depending on the cost, Apple's Aperture at $80 in the App Store is a great bargain considering the cd version in stores is $200. A
So, check out Adobe Lightroom.

I use Photoshop CS3 for heavy editing, but Aperture for quick edits. Aperture will do more than enough for photos and much more than iPhoto.

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EvenStranger

 
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Strong advocate of Pixelmator. The features per $ are better than anything else I've used. I'd estimate it's got about 80-85% of the features Photoshop has (full blown, not Elements), at less than half the price of Elements. Currently available on the App Store for $29.99.
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Also a huge fan of Pixelmator. 2.0 will be coming out soon after Lion, great program.

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1014510

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvenStranger View Post
Strong advocate of Pixelmator. The features per $ are better than anything else I've used. I'd estimate it's got about 80-85% of the features Photoshop has (full blown, not Elements), at less than half the price of Elements. Currently available on the App Store for $29.99.

Is Pixelmator intended to be used in conjunction with iPhoto (or another program, for that matter)? In other words, is iPhoto simply a picture organization program (with maybe some basic editing options) while Pixelmator is used to do fairly full-blown picture edits?
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That is correct. Another possibility might be Aperture - it has the organizational tools iPhoto has, along with more powerful photo editing features. It used to be a couple hundred dollars for the box edition, but it's available on the App Store for $79.99 now.
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Aperture or Lightroom are workflow and editing apps. If you plan on needing a full featured workflow, editing, and photo management application, those are your best bet.

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iPhoto is different to Elements (superior in some ways, inferior in others). For organizing and managing photos it's pretty tough to beat.

PS Elements for the Mac is a nice program too -- well worth the money -- but I never warmed up to Bridge, which it uses for organization.

Aperture is aimed at pro photographers, despite the low price, and is probably more than most consumers would need unless they are fairly serious about their photography IMO.

Pixelmator is nice, and cheap, but does no organization whatsoever. As mentioned above, iPhoto can let you choose a default third-party editor and Pixelmator would fit the bill nicely for most people.
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acannistra

 
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I am a huge fan of Adobe Lightroom.

As a passionate photographer who knows and loves photoshop and has for years, I can say that Lightroom has significantly helped out with the speed and efficiency of my workflow.

Sure there are things Lightroom cannot do, such as layer. However, the ease of use, both organizationally and editorially, is superb. I use photoshop far less now.

Besides, photoshop is not a program that is easy to just pick up and be an expert with; it takes a lot of practice. It's an amazingly powerful program, but I feel that for organization and most direct photo editing, including RAW file processing, Lightroom is definitely the way to go.
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I would strongly suggest Lightroom. I'm a graphic designer/photographer - I've been using the Adobe Creative Suite for years and always used Photoshop to edit my photography. About a year ago I gave the Aperture + Lightroom 30-day trials a go and Lightroom blew me away. I now do all my photo processing (importing, organizing, editing) in Lightroom, only going to Photoshop if I need to do some heavy editing.

Most of the paid programs mentioned by others would have a 30 day trial as well, I would recommend giving a bunch of them a go - that'll give you a few months worth of playing around to get settled into a program and you'll have a much clearer idea of what program is going to suit your needs.

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With your new mid 2011 iMac you will have the processing and video power to use Aperture 3, as long as you got it with about 8+ gigs of ram. At $79 on line, its a Steal! But also remember that for them to reduce the price to $79, the upgrade to Aperture 4 is in the works. Probably you will need to upgrade your RAM to the full 16gigs to make us of the not yet offered Aperture 4 properly, if history is any judge.

Remember that Aperture 3 needs a good video card to run and the current mid 2011 macs have that. Also the turbo feature kicks up the processor as needed, and some reports say that it also over clocks the Radeon video card also along with the processor.

Lightroom is less dependent on the video card and more dependent on the CPU. Older macs ran Lightroom much faster than they did Aperture 3 because the previous GPU's weren't really up to snuff. This is why Lightroom seemed to work much faster for me on my MBP 2.2 ghz with the nvidia 8600GT GPU and only 2 gig RAM and probably why Leukeh was also more blown away by it than by Aperture 3.
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I've really enjoyed LR since I've got it, there's tons of info and books to teach you to use it, and it's on sale right now for $100 off using code LR3JUL199 when you buy from Adobe.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by fleurya View Post
I've really enjoyed LR since I've got it, there's tons of info and books to teach you to use it, and it's on sale right now for $100 off using code LR3JUL199 when you buy from Adobe.
.. and that's a screaming deal.

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Just read today that Adobe is going to be selling Photoshop Elements through the App Store. Not an endorsement, just an FYI.
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Also FYI, the PS Elements from the Mac Store is *slightly* different from the boxed version -- it lacks the Organizer tool and is $20 cheaper (for me, this would be considered a big plus).

Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 now on Mac App Store | MacNN
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