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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 23 Feb 2015 (Monday) 10:50
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LR vrs Gimp?

 
mamaof2
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Feb 23, 2015 10:50 |  #1

I have 6 days left of my free trail of LR Cloud -?. I know there is talk LR6 is going to be coming out March 9th for $150 (I am cheap and $150 seems a lot  :p). I just do this as a hobby and I am wondering what way to turn. Gimp is free, but not a user friendly I read. LR cloud & PS is $10 and you have to commit for a year ($120 a year). I could buy LR5, but is that smart if LR6 is coming out soon. I am not sure if there is enough changes in LR6 to spend the money?

So looking for feedback on what others think the best route for a hobbyist is.


Thanks!


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mrfixitx
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Feb 23, 2015 11:00 |  #2

To me lightroom and gimp are not comparable. Lightroom is an image management and basic editing tool with a few advanced editing features and batch processing.

While gimp is a free image editing tool more comparable to photoshop and focused on editing single images one at a time or through custom scripts.

Personally I find lightroom well worth the money in terms of ease of use, organizing my photos and handling around 90% of my post processing needs.

You could always hold off for a few weeks on the Adobe subscription and see if lightroom 6 comes out at the beginning of March and what the early reviews say before making any decision financially.


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Feb 23, 2015 11:06 |  #3

As MrFixIt mentioned above, there are significant differences between what LR and Gimp do for you. I have been using LR 5 since about the time it came out. It will do most of what you will want to do as a hobby photographer. While I have heard the rumors about LR 6 coming next month, I am not even sure it is possible since they have not done a beta of 6 and that usually happens a few months before release. I have seen a few articles about the changes in LR6 and for a beginner, it is likely not something you would need to have.
But it is purely a decision you will have to make. The price of 6 is about the same price as what you can get 5 for now. If you wait a few weeks just in case 6 comes out, you will pay the same now for 5 as you could get 6 for potentially soon. Or once 6 comes out, you might be able to find 5 for a little cheaper.
But I would say without question, you should get some flavor of LR once you make the decision on what you want to get. It is a great tool for file management as well as a great basic photo editing software. I know I would not be able to do today what I do without LR in my tool set.


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jc1350
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Post edited over 4 years ago by jc1350. (2 edits in all)
     
Feb 23, 2015 11:07 |  #4

GIMP is analogous to Photoshop. It's a great manipulation tool like PS, but it has no photo management features.

I'm certainly no more than a hobbyist and I went with the LR/PS cloud combo. I understand I'm "renting" it and in the end I would be paying $120/year, but to get full Photoshop (not Elements or whatever) plus full upgrades at no additional cost is worth it for me. YMMV.

When I had Windows (I'm now a Mac OS user), I used Picasa and switched to Apple iPhoto and then Aperture when I moved to Mac OS. Now that Aperture is retired, I switched to LR thinking it would happen eventually, might as well get it done now instead of when my catalog is twice as large.

UPDATE: In the time it too me to compose this, others's already replied. Sorry for the duplicate info.


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Wilt
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Post edited over 4 years ago by Wilt. (7 edits in all)
     
Feb 23, 2015 11:45 |  #5

jc1350 wrote in post #17445710 (external link)
GIMP is analogous to Photoshop. It's a great manipulation tool like PS, but it has no photo management features.


Unfortunately, the way Adobe markets their photo software (with ever-changing naming schemes and licensing schemes from year to year), the name 'Photoshop' does not always connote the same thing!...

  • some folks who started with Photoshop over 10 years ago know of Photoshop as a 'pixel editor', while
  • for more recent newcomers 'Photoshop does everything' including RAW conversion.


So let me put it this way, in general categorizing functionality of software...

  1. pixel-level editing, of JPG/TIFF/bmp and other files
  2. RAW file manipulation (exposure adjustment, brightness, saturation, white balance etc.) with output of JPG/TIFF and other files
  3. photo file database management


Originally, programs did #1 or #2, but not both
Later, programs did both, but only ONE of them (#1 or #2) was done strongly, but one of them was 'weaker' function.

Original Photoshop was a super powerful #1.
In last 4-5 years, Adobe added #2 via the ACR module, also added some #3 via Bridge module (not as powerful as Lightroom's #3).
Adobe referred to all three together as 'Photoshop CS' but mentioned 'ACR' and 'Bridge'.
But then changed their licensing and naming so they now refer to all three collectively as 'Photoshop Creative Cloud' (Photoshop CC); the terms 'ACR' and 'Bridge' are no longer actively used by Adobe in describing modules, but are suppressed even from mention in Photoshop CC (although the function that they provide is there!)
...ergo the market confusion about just what function precisely different folks think of what Photoshop does!

Adobe Lightroom started as a powerful #2 and powerful #3, without #1 when it was launched by Adobe. Later versions added some 'local editing' tools (some #1), but not at the pixel level of manipulation which is found in Photoshop.

Adobe Elements started as a simplified #1, later added a very simplified #2

GIMP is a #1

Canon Digital Photo Pro is a somewhat less powerful #2 compared to the functionality of Photoshop ACR or Lightroom.

Corel PaintShop Pro started as a simplified #1, later added a very simplified #2

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DGStinner
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Feb 23, 2015 11:46 |  #6

Like jc1350, I'm also only a hobbyist and, even though I rarely use PS, I thought the $10/month for both programs was worth it. It's like buying one Venti coffee from Starbucks per month. Since the next version of Lr will require a 64bit OS, I would think there would be some overlap where both are available for purchase. You could wait until Lr6 is released and then decide then.


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mathogre
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Feb 23, 2015 12:47 |  #7

Hi Jessi!

If you shoot RAW, Lr is worth the money, even as a hobbyist. When you shoot RAW, you need to add the touch-ups the camera would otherwise include. You also have the ability to enhance your photos, whether through light adjustments or other retouching. If you don't shoot RAW, it's probably not worth the money.

Your other real alternative is Canon's Digital Photo Professional. It is much better than Gimp, and it's free, given you have a Canon camera. It actually gives you some things Lr/Ps won't even give you. When you shoot RAW and process your photos through DPP, you still get all of the original touch-ups the camera does (sharpening, light enhancement, et al). Also, if you ever want to go back to see what autofocus point(s) you used on an image, DPP will show you. Although I use Lr/Ps almost exclusively, there are times when I go back to DPP. While not as fast to use as Lr, DPP is a decent, legitimate image processor. And again, it is free.

You have nice work on Flickr. If your photos were out of focus, poorly composed, and just plain awful, Lr wouldn't help you at all. But your photos are good enough to justify spending the money to take them a step or two further with Lr/Ps. I have the Lr/Ps $10/month package from Adobe. I don't make any real money from photography yet. Regardless, the Lr/Ps package is a bargain to me.

Good luck!


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mamaof2
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Feb 23, 2015 13:29 |  #8

Thank you all for posting, I really appreciate you all for helping me out! I might just do the $10/month as like others said you get both LR and PS. I do have DPP and started in that but really like LR and ended up always going to that over DPP. I have GIMP but never messed with it.

Thanks for all the pots and if anyone has anything else to add please do!


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Feb 24, 2015 10:45 |  #9

If you are going to go with the CC monthly payment plan there is no point in waiting for LR 6 to arrive. The CC plan will automatically upgrade you to the new version when it is released.

At least if you are already using PS6 or CC then the move to 64 bit only with LR6 will be moot, as PS is already 64 bit only.

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mamaof2
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Feb 24, 2015 10:47 as a reply to  @ BigAl007's post |  #10

Well that is just it. I didnt know if I wanted to buy it and have it forever or pay monthly for it.


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Wilt
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Post edited over 4 years ago by Wilt. (7 edits in all)
     
Feb 24, 2015 11:16 |  #11

mamaof2 wrote in post #17447416 (external link)
Well that is just it. I didnt know if I wanted to buy it and have it forever or pay monthly for it.

Yes, Adobe used to say "pay us $700 for the Photoshop CSx program, pay us $150 for the each of the updates for Photoshop/ACR/Bridge" or "pay us $150 for the program, pay us $99 for the updates for Lightroom". If I do not buy a new camera, which requires the lasted RAW conversion capability, I can forgo Lightroom upgrades or delay until I make the new camera purchase!

So the $10 to infinity for Photoshop CC seems attractive compared to purchase of Photoshop CSx and upgrades. At the original per-month fee of $20, it was more questionable for a hobbyist.
I think that $19.99 is too much if you are looking to just use Photoshop the-pixel-editor; $240 a year is a lot more than most hobbyists can afford to spend on this software...it is a no-brainer for a professional!
Comparing the old purchase of Photoshop vs. the subscription, it would take 7.5 years of $20 subscription to equal the cost of purchase; at $10 subcription, one never will exceed the annual upgrade of $150.

But with subscription, if I cancel my subscription you will not lose all your files but you may not be able to open PSD without the software (they are preserved and waiting for you when you are ready, but not accessible). This is one thing most people are upset the most about. Once you no longer pay for the service you no longer can open your files....unless you had already output JPG/TIFF which any program can open. With outright purchase, you always own the software and can load it 10 or 20 years later than the last purchase payment (assuming it runs on the latest O/S still).


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Post edited over 4 years ago by Left Handed Brisket.
     
Feb 24, 2015 15:09 |  #12

Wilt wrote in post #17445784 (external link)
Canon Digital Photo Pro is a #2

ain't that the truth!

:P


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Feb 24, 2015 15:26 |  #13

if you can wait until 6 comes out do so, though there might be an option of a free upgrade if you buy 5 in a certain time before the release. 6 supposedly comes out in March, check on Adobe.com

I'm not a fan of the subcription, while relatively cheap I don't plan on signing up for life with Adobe. And once you stop to pay you can't get at your layers and adjustments anymore to change them.

you might also want to look at the new Affinity Photo Beta (google it) which is free in beta and will cost around $50 once released. A competition to photoshop and it looks pretty good. I have the beta but have not had much time to play with it but find it promising.

An other option is the OnOne perfect photo suite that you also buy outright. they changed their name from onone to on1.com but either should get you there. I like their software.

But mostly I use LR5 and several plugins from Nik, onOne, Alienskin, Topaz, etc.

According to Adobe LR will 'always' be sold as is and as subscription, personally I recommend the buy full option for the reasons above.

Of course there is also Picasa from google if you only need organizing and some basic adjustments, Apple is coming up with apple photo or something, there's iphoto....

Really depends on what you think you might want to do now, you can always get something else down the line if something simple turns out to be limiting.

I'd get LR, you don't even have to buy upgrades when they come out, I can't imagine they'll add anything essential in the near future. Maybe they will add layers, but it really does just about anything I want to do unless I really want to modify things, then it's PS and/or some of the other options showing up now.


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Feb 24, 2015 19:11 |  #14

Left Handed Brisket wrote in post #17447809 (external link)
ain't that the truth!

:P

:lol: I changed that post, since the description for Elements applies to Paintshop Pro. Frankly, the insinuation in your reply, while humorous, is unfair...I still use Paintshop Pro to complement my use of Lightroom. I also fixed my erroneous classification of DPP.


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Feb 24, 2015 19:25 |  #15

Virtually all of my personal post-processing needs are handled by DPP or Paint Shop Pro. If I'm doing panoramas, Kolor Auto Pano Giga is miles above Photoshop, so no need to pay Adobe's EZ-Pass fee even when I'm not using the toll roads.


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LR vrs Gimp?
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