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Old 09-02-2015, 09:36 PM   #21
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I'll give a shout-out to IrfanView, which is less about editing, more about processing. It allows use of Adobe style 8BF filters, like the ones from Topaz Labs. It even handles one or two RAW formats, though nothing remotely comprehensive.
I also use Irfanview for my little point and shoot digital camera. Good for cropping and minor adjustments. I do not do anything serious, mostly posting pics on internet or for selling stuff. So no high quality or performance required. Price is right: free.
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Old 09-02-2015, 10:20 PM   #22
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I'm only a light user of photo editing, so I use GIMP because its free, and I've also liked using Irfanview for doing bulk actions on a directory of photos (like making thumbnail images).
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Old 09-03-2015, 07:38 AM   #23
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I'm another RAW shooter. I use Lightroom 5 and occasionally Topaz Adjust for dramatic effects. Shooting RAW allows so much more adjustability than jpeg, especially being able to drop highlights and boost dark areas. Really brings out clouds on a bright day.
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Old 09-03-2015, 08:03 AM   #24
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I'm another RAW shooter. I use Lightroom 5 and occasionally Topaz Adjust for dramatic effects. Shooting RAW allows so much more adjustability than jpeg, especially being able to drop highlights and boost dark areas. Really brings out clouds on a bright day.
I have never shot or processed RAW. The advanced edits I most appreciate in Photoshop include values, curves, setting neutral gray with a dropper, and the shadow and highlight controls. Those controls seem to work well with jpegs. Are they substantially more useful with RAW? In RAW editing can you click on a preview and see what you will get with modified vs original settings?
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Old 09-03-2015, 06:12 PM   #25
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I have never shot or processed RAW. The advanced edits I most appreciate in Photoshop include values, curves, setting neutral gray with a dropper, and the shadow and highlight controls. Those controls seem to work well with jpegs. Are they substantially more useful with RAW? In RAW editing can you click on a preview and see what you will get with modified vs original settings?
Yes, you will get a preview of the image as you adjust settings, at least in Photoshop and Lightroom. I've never used Gimp so can't speak for that one.

Shooting in RAW gives you much more adjustability than jpg. Two or three stops on exposure, bringing up dark areas or toning down highlights but especially bringing up underexposed areas because you have the full set of data to work with before graininess sets in. White balance is another area that gives RAW files the edge too.

In a jpg image the camera has thrown away most of the data to give you the final image. In RAW you still have it to work with. Now, in most cases the engineers who designed the camera have done a fine job anticipating what you're going to want the image to look like, and for most people that's good enough.

But not all. If you like tweaking your images, or you're especially fussy about what it should look like then you will want to shoot RAW.

Here's a good discussion of the differences: RAW vs JPEG
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