So I finally took a punt and installed LR3 beta2 version on my PC last night(or maybe the night before..I can't really remember.
From that point, I've placed myself on an intravenously administered paracetamol regime.. taking tablets was wearing out my throat!
Found an image that may have had some merit in posting, but not being overly happy with it, it never made it beyond the rating stage(very lowly) and has subsequently been sitting on my PC taking up precious space.
Feel free to comment on the image, but keep the comments specifically related to processing ideas and tips if you can.
First up, I have to admit I'm basically a CaptureNX2 'fan boy'. I say that with the trepidation of inverted commas, because it's both one of the most brilliant pieces of software for editing images(mainly Nikon NEF files), but has some of the most infuriating features(or lack thereof).
Eg. saving an image(mainly jpgs) to a specific file size in Kb's(or Mb even). Some 25Meg NEF fill can be saved at 120kb using my default 70% quality setting, and then the next image in the series could end up at 360Kb's!! So if you want to upload directly to AP(as an example_ you have to go back and resave at .... guess!! 65% quality.. maybe 60% quality??? .. who knows!!?? that's the point.. you just have to guess at what may be a good quality setting without going too low and get jpg compression issues in the image(blockiness, lack of detail sharpness.. etc) So you have to guess at a quality setting, and 99 times out of 100 you guess very close to perfectly apart from having 2-3kb's too much fat.. which AP doesn't allow you to upload!
(not an AP issue, as no matter what the file size limit is, I'll invariably guess at 2-3kb's over the limit! )
So simple things, that are very easily and efficiently achieved in free software is missing in my fave image editor(which is CaptureNX2).
There are a myriad of other niggles, but never has user interface or intuitive workflow ever been an issue for me.
I found PS and now LR(again) as well as a few others over the years(Bibble recently) PSP7, 8 or 9?? many years ago.. I found all those others a right royal pain in the bum to use.
As much as I can't stand point and click cameras, I love point and click software for editing my images.. that is photos! Not vector graphics or png's or whatever else PS or PSP can do. I hate graphics, never liked it when I had a quick dabble in it many moons ago, and all I want is an easy to use photo editor that manipulates my photos(more specifically NEF's).
So LR3-B2 has a few niggles that can be issues with the Beta-ness of the software, but one problem that I think is more hardware stress related is the dual screen, and having the secondary monitor view zoomed in at 100%. LR3-B2 hyperventilates and refuses to work.. basically hanging, and Win7 is gracious enough to wait it out and not fall into the black hole of repetitive endless loop of CPU cycles that LR3-B2 is creating. close down the secondary screen, or minimise the view to less than 100%(if you can catch it quickly enough), and things went well-ish, in a sedate, non fussed, no stress, plenty of time to make another cuppa or three fashion. Slow is not a word I'd use to describe it as it currently works on my old system specs.. frozen is a better way to describe most of its ability for now. Could be the beta thing.. but I currently have an alpha version of PhotoMe running perfectly and I think LR just doesnt; like old PC systems(which I currently have) and CaptureNX has been derided on many occasions for being slow, but as I currently find it, CNX is unfathomably faster in some aspects, like saving the NEF to jpg(5secs or so, whereas LR3-B2 took my PC the time I sat for a moment or two waiting, getting up to boil the kettle, kettled now boiled and poured into the waiting coffee granules.. etc, etc. ie. at elast 5-10mins!! just to save the edited NEF into a less than 250kb jpg.. now that's "workflow for 'ya!"
I should have converted to jpg and then edited in LR3-B2
not a concern as I'm sure the release version will improve the speediness in which it operates basic editing/converting, etc.
And workflow. I won't even start to describe the cursing that involved opening an image. Took me at least 5 mins to 'remember' a comment made by another member here over a year ago I reckon.. where opening an image is not!.. It's importing an image. I already imported the dang thing from my CF card.. I don't want to import anything. I don't need a personal manager or finance director.. nor a bookmark consultant and neither a director of creative corporate cataloging corpulence!! Just open a damned file so that I can edit it.
.. I suppose to save the edited image I need to export it too!
What is it with these morons!?
then my favourite part is that it basically forces you to change the batteries in your wireless keyboard, for no apparent reason other than to make sure you've been paying attention to your PC's maintenance routine.
Took me lots of headscratching, battery changing and then a Eureka moment to research the fact that Ctrl + does not make sense any more to zoom in(whereas Crtl - still does make sense to use a a quick access zoom out!).
If you use a program designed by people that think this way, you really need to get grip of reality! These people are morons! They make the least amount of sense with the most fundamentally intuitive patterns + zoom in - zoom out. How the hell does it make sense to use = as the zoom in tool 'all of a sudden'?
The reason I had that Eureka moment was not because I figured this pattern out for myself. I'm sometimes considered to do the most incompetent things, but I know I'm not that incompetent. No! The Eureka moment came when I changed the batteries twice in my k/b but then the revelation came that Crtl - was working!! so.. there's nothing wrong with the k/b.. there's something wrong somewhere else!.. Moronic Adobe programmers! that's where.
My concern here is that they do things their way to try to 'set trends' in a trend setting kind of way. That is to be uber cool, so that people can say .. "hey look how cool Adobe Frarklespecking CFV4 image editor is, because I can do..."
It's cool to be normal too!!
I'm sure they made this into a configurable option to change too!
So now that I finally learned how to drive the program.. that is start the engine! ... it surely gets easier from here. and well it was pretty much ok to drive, but once you get used to CNX's colour control points(which are available to PS users via Nik's plugin suite) any other method of editing images just feels like a Flintstones car... compared to a Jetsons car.
Point, click drag and done. repeat with point, rightclick, and/or a mixture of this and a few other variations.. but it's simple intuitive and takes me between 2-3 minutes to edit an image in CNX with a few clicks of the mouse. Playing with the various tweaks on that Develop work pane was a pain(by comparison) but no different to Bibble a few months back, and I do vaguely remember some of this stuff.. years ago(before the invention of CaptureNX).
Where CNX falls down is in speed, once you add any noise reduction(a faster PC system I suspect will help here, but images in CNX are faster by a order of magnitude that's immeasurable as of this current Beta release.
BUT!! where LR wins by a similar order of magnitude is on NR! brilliant.
I selected an image I captured at ISO6400 on the D300, and where I just couldn't get the chroma noise out(of a black area) using CNX2, the NR feature in Beta2(turned on by default.. and I suspect once the program reads the exif data and hence ISO level???) black became black and with uber uber detail.. Makes Neat Image redundant(mainly for me as I like to work on and stay in raw image mode right up until the very end.. that is I like to maintain the edit steps I'd made in an image easily(as CNX does with it's handling of NEF files).
NR in CaptureNX used to be OK, and I only ever used Neat Image if I were in trouble so to speak, which was so rarely that it's not worth installing Neat Image on this PC yet(PC's about to go!).
NR is the only reason I'd ever get a copy of LR3.. but they need to make a host of changes before I'd bother to install it, let alone pay for it(pay for LR3..no way.. not unless that allowed every single aspect of the program to be user configurable.. bloody Crtl = !!!! what braindead incompetent!!.....
I think ATM the Nik software add-ins to Capture may be my only option for proper NR on raw images..I've read many user feedback experiences that it works well.
So LR can edit an image 'easily' once you get around the idiosyncrasies(but then again LR uses are laughing at what CaptureNX users have to endure.. yeah! Like Open.. image! Save As... Ctrl +
So I made three jpgs editing the exact same image with LR3B2, ViewNX and CaptuerNX2.
My personal opinion is that CNX2 wins in the way it can edit the image.
The sky probably looks a little more dramatic in the LR version, I did play with it a bit longer in LR, because i had to more about the way it operated/worked/flowed.. whereas I knew in an instant what I needed to do in CaptureNX.
4 colour control points in the sky, set to about -20 brightness, and all I had to do was to accurately place them on the correct colour section(as CCP's work on colour within a defined edit radius). and then I had to redefine the radius on the top righthand CCP as it covered a wider area. That took less than 30 seconds.. which then gives me more time to have more cuppas, and chockies, and then bikkies and a cuppa tea again, and some cake.... as the image was edited to this point in a poofteenth of the time it took to edit the image in LR.
(that is probably more my bad, as I'm not used to the way LR works. Not hard, just different and the same result required more editing and slider pulling in LR).
To me speed is more important in 'understanding the workflow' involved when using your editor.
PS never made sense to me, whereas (way back then) Nikon Capture(4.something) was easier to use, and then CaptureNX came out not long after I started using Nikon Capture, and there was no turning back.. point and click editing was now here
With the images, the LR version may look kind of more dramatic, but it's less real as I remember the scene.
Not a molecule of bias in that comment even tho I've already stated that my fave editor is and will always be CNX.. unless something else turns up with CNX's point and edit ability, with LR's noise reduction ability without any effort.
if you want to see how well the noise reduction eliminates chroma noise, look up DPReview's quick write-up on it recently and their point about a 1stop advantage in noise levels. That's what prompted me to install LR and try it.. but with too many other compromises, I can't ever use it as an editor, or cataloging software or whatever.
I need my software to just make sense as a priority, and when I eventually get around to keywording my images, it'll be through View or Capture, and hopefully saved in a format that is easily readable(which I assume is, in the XML tags).
Poor ViewNX, just can;t compete with a proper editor, but even the image it produced is fairly good(to excellent) this image has totally blown out sky highlights, and in ViewNX required -1.3Ev exposure compensation. as it doesn't selectively edit parts of an image I had to add global edit steps using ViewNX, so it's not so much an editor as a quick browser, and if you got it perfect in camera a decent raw converter.
LR is a mix of the two, being more detailed as an editor, but clunky compared to CaptureNX.
yeah it has a lot of much better tool implementation compared to CNX, but the compromises far outweigh those advantages, and I can get those advantages that LR has, by using other software very easily anyhow. it always comes back to those colour control points for me.
LR.. I hate(as much as Bibble now)
ViewNX.. well it costs nothing and forces you to get it right in camera
CaptureNX2.. still the king when it comes to NEF files, and editing them.