Software for processing RAW images.

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Member for

14 years 1 month

Posts: 4,996

I wonder what the popular software package is for processing RAW images ?
For those who use RAW format that is.

I have Photoshop CS6, but that won't handle RAW (NEFF) files. Although I suppose I might be able to find a codec ?
My Nikon D3300 came with ViewNX2, which is a free cut down version. It's OK but limited unless you upgrade.
I've been playing around with Paint Shop Pro X3, and I can't say I'm that impressed.
The best one so far seems to be Lightroom 5.4. Fairly easy to use, and plenty of tutorials available.

Original post

Member for

16 years 4 months

Posts: 411

I wonder what the popular software package is for processing RAW images ?
For those who use RAW format that is.

Its very strange for Photoshop not to be able to handle a popular RAW file.. have you upgraded to the latest version of Adobe Camera Raw...?

To be honest the RAW workflow in Photoshop is terrible, you might want to look at one of the dedicated apps. Adobe Lightroom (Mac & PC) and Aperture (Mac) are the two most popular, my own preference is Lightroom. There are also a number of open source alternatives, RawTherapee being perhaps the best known.

All of the above allow you to manage as well as edit and refine the pictures, something that Photoshop doesn't do!

Zeb

Member for

14 years 1 month

Posts: 4,996

Photoshop seems to be a little fussy over which RAW files it will handle. I will try ACR

I did try RawTherapee (albeit briefly), I can't say that I was that impressed.

I do like Lightroom though, and I think I may stick with that.

Member for

10 years 4 months

Posts: 375

I have photoshop elements 5 and reads my raw DNG files fine if you want one that works download GIMP and add the addons then change it from raw to JPEG then open it in photoshop what I use to do when I have a very basic photoshop

Member for

20 years 7 months

Posts: 405

Adobe Camera Raw 8.4 should work with PS CS6 and supports the Nikon D3300. Older versions of ACR don't.

I've been a long time user of Nikon Capture NX2, which has always provided me with excellent results (camera body's include Nikon D50, D90, D2x, D300, D700 and D800). However, because of software license issues, Nikon will soon (this summer) stop supporting NX2 and replace it by the free Capture NX-D. This new package will not be backward compatible with files processed in either Capture NX2 or ViewNX2. The functionality of NX-D will resemble ViewNX2, therefore it will lack almost all of the advanced processing features (such as powerful tools to make local adjustments) that made NX2 such a nice program to work with.

Based on the above I've finally decided to take the plunge and move to Lightroom 5.4 as my prime RAW converter. After some 3 months of heavy use of LR5, I'm convinced that is a very good replacement for my NX2 workflow. Recommended!

Member for

14 years 1 month

Posts: 4,996

Out of the various programmes I've tried, I must say I prefer Lightroom.

Member for

20 years 7 months

Posts: 405

Out of the various programmes I've tried, I must say I prefer Lightroom.

In case you aren't already aware of this: be advised that non-Nikon RAW converters can't read the Nikon camera specific settings, like picture control, Active D-lighting, distortion and vignetting correction etc. Also non-Nikon processing software won't show which focus points you have used.

I recommend to set picture control to Neutral or Standard with sharpness set to "5" to be able to judge the sharpness on the camera monitor. The sharpness settings will not transfer to Lightroom. In the Lightroom Camera Calibration section select Camera Neutral or Camera Standard, but not Adobe Standard. On the camera set Active D-Lighting to "OFF", as this has an effect on exposure (usually underexposure).

Member for

14 years 1 month

Posts: 4,996

Just to update.

I've been using Lightroom for some while now, and have learnt a lot from watching a series of tutorials on Youtube.
It is very easy to overdo processing, but it can turn an otherwise pretty ordinary JPEG image, into something altogether
more presentable when shooting and processing a RAW image.
There will be those who argue that JPEG is fine, and that you should get it right in the camera. I doubt there's a photograph
published, which hasn't undergone some tweaking. Even going back to monochrome prints in the darkroom.

Pressing the shutter button is only half the job.