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Old 07-18-2011   #1
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Default Stand Alone Software

Afternoon fellow camels,

Hopefully I can get some help, I was wondering if there were any standalone editing software out there. I was looking at the Nik set of software and thought it would be perfect for what I want, but you have to have photoshop or lightroom with it. Topaz was the same way...

I found Noise Ninja and Photomatix, but is there anything out there for Sharpening, Noise removal or HDR etc... that I don't know about, that aren't plugins. I was planning on getting the Capture NX2 software, so I feel having photoshop would be kind of redundant.

Thanks for any help...

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Old 07-18-2011   #2
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Default Re: Stand Alone Software

The programs you are mentioning are specialized editing programs with limited tools designed for those specialized functions. They are not full image editing programs. For example, I don't think any one of them is able to straighten the horizon on an image, or for that matter, even crop an image, not to mention the lack of layers and masks. So, if you are looking for an overall image editing program, you'll need to consider photoshop, elements, paint shop pro or some of the free, and good ones, like gimp. Do a search on free image editors and you'll see several. Photoshop is expensive, and may be more than you need. Elements and Paint Shop Pro X3 are both very capable programs and inexpensive.
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Old 07-18-2011   #3
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Default Re: Stand Alone Software

Quote:
Originally Posted by kenwae View Post
The programs you are mentioning are specialized editing programs with limited tools designed for those specialized functions. They are not full image editing programs. For example, I don't think any one of them is able to straighten the horizon on an image, or for that matter, even crop an image, not to mention the lack of layers and masks. So, if you are looking for an overall image editing program, you'll need to consider photoshop, elements, paint shop pro or some of the free, and good ones, like gimp. Do a search on free image editors and you'll see several. Photoshop is expensive, and may be more than you need. Elements and Paint Shop Pro X3 are both very capable programs and inexpensive.
Thanks for mentioning that, I do have GIMP, I can use that for basic editing... I so like the ideas behind the

The Capture NX program, has a section that deals with lens errors such as barrel distortion... I don't know if this is what you're talking about with the straightening the horizon.

I myself like the idea of a program specializing in one area, seems to me that it would be better at that one thing than a jack-of-all-trades like photoshop would.

As a plus, you have given me some new terms to look up... the ones I was using wasn't coming up with much.
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Old 07-18-2011   #4
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Default Re: Stand Alone Software

another one you might look at is paint.net, freebie,, think this is the link for it Paint.NET - Free Software for Digital Photo Editing, not really sure why you would want a program that does just one thing though,, I have found that photoshop elements is a great program and not too spendy.
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Old 07-18-2011   #5
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Default Re: Stand Alone Software

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveor View Post
another one you might look at is paint.net, freebie,, think this is the link for it Paint.NET - Free Software for Digital Photo Editing, not really sure why you would want a program that does just one thing though,, I have found that photoshop elements is a great program and not too spendy.
For something like contrast, or color enhancing, I'd use GIMP. For something like noise removal though, I think the best programs are the one that focus solely on that issue. The problem is everything seems to be a plugin to photoshop... So I'm trying to find stand alone ones that do what the NIK programs do.

NIK seemed to have the same idea that I do, they have a general editing program, then a noise removal, HDR, Black and white conversion program. They just all work out of photoshop... which is kinda odd to me.

Keep it coming though, I'm looking at all the programs put up on here. Will look into elements, maybe if it's cheap enough I can use NIK with it...

EDIT: Just look up elements, and damn... it's cheap and the NIK software is compatible with it. That very well could be what i was looking for... I'll still look around, but that option just jumped to the top of the list
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Old 07-19-2011   #6
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Default Re: Stand Alone Software

Photoshop Elements is a very worthy photo editing program, which (I am sure) would serve you very well. I have Elements (v7), as well as its bigger sibling (CS5), but find that I use Elements for most of my editing work. Yes, it is indeed compatible with NIK software plugins, and another very nice thing about Elements (v9) is that it features the fantastic 'Content Aware Fill' (which is the reason that I bought CS5, in the first place).
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Old 07-21-2011   #7
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Default Re: Stand Alone Software

I would suggest that you look at Photoshop Lightroom (LR) or Photoshop Elements (PSE). LR was originally designed with the photographer in mind, it has an incredibly good Library module and its Develop module will do probably 80% + of what you want to do. PSE, like full Photoshop (PS) is capable of manipulation at the pixel level. I have both LR and PS (CS5) and find that LR does about 90% of the editing that I need to do and the other 10%, where I need to manipulate the image at the pixel level or make slide titles for presentations, do image merges, panos, etc., I can do in CS5. The Nik plugins, I have the whole suite, work in both LR and CS5 and PSE as far as I know (I have never tried them with PSE). I will admit that they work a little better in CS5 than LR, because Nik has set up their plugins to produce Layers in PS/CS5, whereas LR is not conditioned to handle Layers directly like PS.

You can download a copy of the latest version of LR or PSE and use it free for thirty days, as well, Nik plugins can be downloaded from their site and used for 15 days before you have to pay for them. PSE is the most economical and there is a variety of plugins, both free and not so free that will add to PSE, some of the abilities found in the full version of PS.

If you buy PSE, then you might think about getting a copy of Kelby's book, downloading the images that are available for the book and working through them with the book. This is how I learned Lightroom and it really helped me to get started with the basics. There are also some PSE forums around where you can post questions and get answers from very knowledgeable and friendly people relatively quickly: Elements Village - Powered by vBulletin is a good one to know about. HTH.

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Old 07-21-2011   #8
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Default Re: Stand Alone Software

Much appreciated NLAlston and WesternGuy, PSE is what I started looking at. It doesn't have support for the NIK HDR program, but I was planning on getting photomatix anyway. So that seems to be the best path for me to take, now I just gotta save up a few bucks after my trip to get em...
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Old 07-21-2011   #9
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Default Re: Stand Alone Software

For just general tweaking I often use Helicon Filter even though I do have Photoshop. You can get the free fully working version HERE
This will utilise some Photshop plugins too. Just scroll down the page till you see the free bit.
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Old 07-21-2011   #10
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Default Re: Stand Alone Software

Adding my voice in for Elements. I have an older version and can do almost everything in it. The only things Elements is not able to do that I want "real" Photoshop for are the pen tool and recording actions.

And yeah, the Nik software works with Elements. I was looking into it just last week or so. Added it to my very long Want list...


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