Author Topic: Looking for a Photoshop alternative software  (Read 961 times)

Akira

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Looking for a Photoshop alternative software
« on: November 16, 2018, 00:16:04 »
Now that my subscription is going to expire on December 3rd, I'm seriously thinking about switching my photo editing software, as I'm not a big fan of the subscription system.

But there is one problem.  I started the "Floating point" thread sometime ago:

http://nikongear.net/revival/index.php/topic,7899.msg128035.html#msg128035

The floating (actually hanging from somewhere by the spider web strings) leaves of the image was quite a bit overexposed, but it was very easy to recover the blown highlight in ACR.  In search of the alternative, I tried to process the same NEF data in the latest versions of CNX-D (even using U-point) and DXO Optics Pro but neither could do that.

The first crop is from the original NEF converted to JPEG without any retouch, and the second one was processed in ACR.

I would be glad if some of you folks would try to recover the highlight in any photo editors you are familiar with.  If it is possible with CNX-D or DXO, please enlighten me.

Here you can download the original NEF:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/4pedeehwa14t7s9/_DSC2672.NEF?dl=0

Please keep in mind that Capture One by Phase One is not among the candidate, because I would think the overall cost should be virtually the same as the subscription of CC2019.

Thank you in advance.
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"Limitation is inspiration." - Akira

MFloyd

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Re: Looking for a Photoshop alternative software
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2018, 00:41:34 »

Lr Classic 8.0 Camera Raw 11.0
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Akira

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Re: Looking for a Photoshop alternative software
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2018, 03:18:44 »
Lr Classic 8.0 Camera Raw 11.0

Christian, thank you for your immediate response.  The highlight reovery seems to be fairly good.  Frankly speaking, that is not very surprising, because the raw convert engine is essentially the same as that of CC.

I should have mentioned that LR was not one of the candidates.  I'm not really in need of the catalog system, and the cataloging function of LR cannot be deactivated.
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pluton

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Re: Looking for a Photoshop alternative software
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2018, 06:01:18 »
PN2=Photo Ninja, set to one of its default renderings for D750
PN3=Photo Ninja, with typical adjustments(brightness, color sat, noise, sharpen) Too much sat in the orange...my mistake. 
AP=Aperture 3(welcome to 2014) with nominal adjustments.
Keith B., Santa Monica, CA, USA

Eb

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Re: Looking for a Photoshop alternative software
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2018, 07:17:43 »
Akira, I understand where you are coming from!  I dropped the Adobe subscription exactly 2 years ago, but I do have older versions of Photoshop, CS5, CS6.  In order to continue using old photoshop and ACR, (also PS Elements,) I purchased MetaRaw on The Plugin Site.  This allows you to open a NEF file in 3 ways.  First, it can route through the older ACR version, if it still supports the camera.  Second, it will use the latest DNG converter and open the converted file in ACR.  Thirdly, it will use the MetaRaw converter, which I believe is based on DCRaw and open into Camera Raw (as an editor.)  Metaraw converter and DNG converter is kept up to date by the author.  The output from the latter is very much alike what you would get with Camera Raw in CC.  If you do have an older version of Photoshop or Elements, this nifty plug in will give you what you are used to working with.  All operations are, automatic, seamless and quite snappy!

MetaRaw conversion with slight adjustment of highlight slider in ACR (as a filter.)
Eb Mueller
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Řivind Třien

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Re: Looking for a Photoshop alternative software
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2018, 07:41:33 »

CNX-D has become better and better, and got the color control points (but not selection control points) back when Z7 was released. I am slowly warming up to it, well past the stage where I got angry every time I used it. Actually I have preferred it in some cases to the ViewNX2 (initial quick adjust and rating)/CNX2 combination (still use ViewNX2 for IPTC and initial ratings though).

I find that cropping works better in CNX-D than in CNX2 as it can be readjusted without starting over. I also discovered that the adjustment sliders work just by hovering the mouse over them and using the scroll wheel - very quick and gives very precise contol. No need to click before adjust. I miss user defined sharpening when outputting resized files though. Nikon just released new version with support for Z6.
Řivind Třien

Akira

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Re: Looking for a Photoshop alternative software
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2018, 08:10:23 »
PN2=Photo Ninja, set to one of its default renderings for D750
PN3=Photo Ninja, with typical adjustments(brightness, color sat, noise, sharpen) Too much sat in the orange...my mistake. 
AP=Aperture 3(welcome to 2014) with nominal adjustments.

Keith, thank you for taking time to provide three different examples.  They look all great and even better than ACR (at least than my treatment).  Both versions of Photo Ninja seem to prove its renowned performance again here.  Unfortunately, my main machine is the one with Windows 10, and I don't use Aperture.
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Akira

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Re: Looking for a Photoshop alternative software
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2018, 08:17:10 »
Akira, I understand where you are coming from!  I dropped the Adobe subscription exactly 2 years ago, but I do have older versions of Photoshop, CS5, CS6.  In order to continue using old photoshop and ACR, (also PS Elements,) I purchased MetaRaw on The Plugin Site.  This allows you to open a NEF file in 3 ways.  First, it can route through the older ACR version, if it still supports the camera.  Second, it will use the latest DNG converter and open the converted file in ACR.  Thirdly, it will use the MetaRaw converter, which I believe is based on DCRaw and open into Camera Raw (as an editor.)  Metaraw converter and DNG converter is kept up to date by the author.  The output from the latter is very much alike what you would get with Camera Raw in CC.  If you do have an older version of Photoshop or Elements, this nifty plug in will give you what you are used to working with.  All operations are, automatic, seamless and quite snappy!

MetaRaw conversion with slight adjustment of highlight slider in ACR (as a filter.)

Eb, thank you for your response.  As with the example provided by Christian, various versions of ACR seem to show similar characteristics of rendition here.

Unfortunately, I don't have any of the older versions of Adobe software anymore.   I used to use PS Elements and noticed that its raw converter engine is not as efficient as the full versions of PS (not its functionality, but its essential performance of raw conversion).
"The eye is blind if the mind is absent." - Confucius

"Limitation is inspiration." - Akira

Akira

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Re: Looking for a Photoshop alternative software
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2018, 08:19:23 »
CNX-D has become better and better, and got the color control points (but not selection control points) back when Z7 was released. I am slowly warming up to it, well past the stage where I got angry every time I used it. Actually I have preferred it in some cases to the ViewNX2 (initial quick adjust and rating)/CNX2 combination (still use ViewNX2 for IPTC and initial ratings though).

I find that cropping works better in CNX-D than in CNX2 as it can be readjusted without starting over. I also discovered that the adjustment sliders work just by hovering the mouse over them and using the scroll wheel - very quick and gives very precise contol. No need to click before adjust. I miss user defined sharpening when outputting resized files though. Nikon just released new version with support for Z6.

Řivind, thank you for posting your take.  This looks amazing!  If it is possible to recover the highlight that well in CNX-D (freeware!), I would love to try to improve my skill on it.
"The eye is blind if the mind is absent." - Confucius

"Limitation is inspiration." - Akira

MFloyd

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Re: Looking for a Photoshop alternative software
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2018, 08:28:31 »
Christian, thank you for your immediate response.  The highlight reovery seems to be fairly good.  Frankly speaking, that is not very surprising, because the raw convert engine is essentially the same as that of CC.

I should have mentioned that LR was not one of the candidates.  I'm not really in need of the catalog system, and the cataloging function of LR cannot be deactivated.

Lr CC, Lr Classic CC, and Ps, share the same raw (ACR) processing machine. The subscription model brought a lot of controversy, all over the place. At the equivalent of a little less than €10/month, it’s probably the cheapest recurrent cost item in my whole photography practice   ;)
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Akira

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Re: Looking for a Photoshop alternative software
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2018, 09:01:56 »
Lr CC, Lr Classic CC, and Ps, share the same raw (ACR) processing machine. The subscription model brought a lot of controversy, all over the place. At the equivalent of a little less than €10/month, it’s probably the cheapest recurrent cost item in my whole photography practice   ;)

You are right, and I don't disagree.

However, I'm in the process of revising the overall cost relating to the computer, software and communication.  So, trying to look for the alternative (and hopefully cheaper) software seems to make sense.  I daily use MS Word for my day job, and its running cost has been a lot lower than that of CC, even admitting that a lot of more advanced technology seems to be involved with CC.
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Chris Dees

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Re: Looking for a Photoshop alternative software
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2018, 09:04:03 »
DxO Photolabs 2
I used only the standard tools; Highlight priority strong, highlights -100, shadows -40, Prime noise reduction, default sharpening and cropping

Edit; I see it's horrible soft while the JPG-file and the screen in DxO is quite sharp. ???
Chris Dees

Řivind Třien

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Re: Looking for a Photoshop alternative software
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2018, 09:23:48 »
Řivind, thank you for posting your take.  This looks amazing!  If it is possible to recover the highlight that well in CNX-D (freeware!), I would love to try to improve my skill on it.

Akira, glad if it can inspire you to try it out. Note that I do not use the highlight recovery slider - just use exposure compensation slider and then pull up shades if needed.
Řivind Třien

Akira

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Re: Looking for a Photoshop alternative software
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2018, 09:59:36 »
DxO Photolabs 2
I used only the standard tools; Highlight priority strong, highlights -100, shadows -40, Prime noise reduction, default sharpening and cropping

Edit; I see it's horrible soft while the JPG-file and the screen in DxO is quite sharp. ???

Thank you, Chris.  Surely you can use DxO much better than I.   :-[  The general characteristics of the result looks similar to my result of using DxO, though.
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Akira

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Re: Looking for a Photoshop alternative software
« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2018, 10:00:16 »
Akira, glad if it can inspire you to try it out. Note that I do not use the highlight recovery slider - just use exposure compensation slider and then pull up shades if needed.

Thank you for the further tip.  I'll definitely look into CNX-D further.
"The eye is blind if the mind is absent." - Confucius

"Limitation is inspiration." - Akira