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Thread: Post Processing - is Photoshop significantly better than DPP?

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    Member Nickoz74's Avatar
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    Post Processing - is Photoshop significantly better than DPP?

    Hi There,

    I've only recently started shooting in RAW and have been using the standard Canon software (Digital Photo Professional) for all my editing. I'm quite happy with some of the results I've achieved, but it seems that all the post processing advice in magazines and forums like this relates to the Adobe Photoshop software. It is apparent this software seems to be the industry standard for post processing, but having checked the price on Adobe's website I've decided it's a bit above my budget for the time being!

    My question is this - is the functionality you get with Photoshop worth spending several hundred dollars on when compared to what you can do in DPP?

    I also notice there seems to be a few different versions of Photoshop (lightroom and elements) - how do these differ from the main Photoshop software, and are either of these worth spending some money on when considering the benefits of them in comparison to DPP?

    Cheers

    Nick

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    I have not used DPP other than to inspect images downloaded to my PC using EOS Utility (via the Canon supplied USB cable), but I understand that DPP does not offer the important functionality of Layers, whereas Photoshop does.

    Whilst the goal is always to “get it right” in-camera, sometimes this is not always possible so some post capture processing may be required.

    If my assumption re DPP is correct (i.e. no Layers) then this may limit the post processing to global changes that affect the entire photo.

    Layers in Photoshop allow you to isolate regions of an image so you can selectively apply changes to those areas only. Layers in Photoshop “stack” on top of the “master” photo so that the master is not modified – it remains as it came out of the camera.

    The changes you make (sharpening, histogram, colour balance, selective tweaking, etc.) are applied to each Layer(s) only, much like painting on transparent sheets placed over the original, so the editing is non-destructive – it does not modify the original (master) data.

    I found CS4 quite daunting but after a few months practice, I really got to like it although I am one of those people that enjoy the processing as much as the taking of the image.

    Cheers

    Dennis

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Welcome to AP Nick.
    I'm interested what others have to sat on what you've asked. There are some free options like GIMP. It probably depends on what you want do and what type of photos you want to take. I've been thinking about layers for landscapes lately, and DPP don't do that. But it does do this;
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    Last edited by Mark L; 21-12-2011 at 10:34pm.
    "Enjoy what you can do rather than being frustrated at what you can't." bobt
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    Post Processing - is Photoshop significantly better than DPP?

    Yes, 10000 times better. Be it photoshop or Lightroom or even elements.

    Let me add a caveat to that bold statement. If all you want to do is crop, adjust exposure, sharpen and a couple of other tasks then DPP is more than adequate to produce an 'as shot' image with minor adjustments. However, if you want to process then you need something with a bit more kick.

    Lightroom is very powerful and very reasonable in terms of cost. They recently did a promotion at $124, the usual cost being around the $300 mark. The word is that lots of pros use Lightroom and nothing else. Photoshop 'proper' CS5 comes inaround $1500 <from memory> but it has more features than we will ever understand. I love using it though, part of the fun of the art of photography.

    The power of both programs is the ability to isolate and influence individual aspects of the image, something that DPP cannot do. Sky too light, change it. Person in background, remove them. Want to blur background, blur it. Enhance those beautiful blue eyes, enhance away. Skin a little rough, soften it.....etc etc

    All these and more can be done with CS5 and LR3. DPP cannot do these and we have just touched the surface.

    There are of course other alternatives to the Photoshop family, you just need ti decide which way to jump

    I recommend LR3.

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    Light room is truely excellent for RAW images, and you can do a lot more in Lghtroom than you can in DPP like enhance selected colours for both saturation and luminosity.
    Having said that, there are times when you need to do more to the photo than Lightroom allows and this is where you need Photoshop.
    However, I would recommend you get Photoshop Elements.
    Its relatively cheap, and if you are going to do some video work, I'd recommend you get the package which also included Premiere Elements so you can also edit the videos you take with your DSLR.
    Elements does at least 90% of what CS5 does, at less than 10% of the cost, and is a relative bargain and if you use the tutorials from the magazines, virtually all of them are done using Photoshop Elements.
    All my photos are taken with recycled pixels.
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    I have to process large quantities of images quickly so I adore Lightroom and it now takes care of 98% of my post process. If you are not doing high volume photoshop is great and has a lot more functionality than DPP. I have used it but found it very limited. It is not intuitive to learn so maybe get a couple of lessons then you can see for yourself if you think it would be useful.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    To me - and also welcome to AP BTW (since we're into acronyms) - the problem is with the word "better". In this case, DISCLAIMER: as I understand DPP and Photoshop are rather different products, though they share common functionalities. Again, as I understand Photoshop, you have to have the right plugin for ACR to handle your raw images.

    Basically, you have got to go from your camera's raw image to some sort of widely presentable image, and how you get there is "the thing". As intimated by "nardes" or Dennis, above, you start by getting as much right in the camera as you can first. Now to your statement: Photoshop is far in being an "industry standard in this forum". Certainly, it is a common piece of software, and many of its features can be found in other software as well. But to "have" it is not a requirement for anything. If you feel that it would be able to help you in your photographic endeavours, then OK, it is worth having. I feel lucky that I was "handed down" a now rather humble version of CS2. The good thing about Photoshop is that it can handle lots of bit-depth, like up to 48-bit images, whereas the free "Gimp" software is limited to 16-bit images. (Shoot me if I'm wrong, folks - just aim the other way.)

    Now, after that, let me say that I now rarely use Photoshop except in certain cases when I have to trim up stitched panoramas or even more rarely, for tonal/colour adjustments, or for perspective adjustments. I now go (usually )straight from the raw software to 8-bit jpeg(/rarely tiff).

    The underlying point is: PP software is not essential to everything you do, but it can be a quite useful adjunct to your needs and means. So, identify what you feel you need, then look about to see what software would suit them, and go from there.

    (End of rave)
    Enjoy the realm of AP, Am.
    Last edited by ameerat42; 22-12-2011 at 8:20pm.
    CC, Image editing OK.

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