skifastbadly wrote in post #17180729
Thanks all. Two more quick questions: Until I get this thing down and really start to get serious about the processing, is there any advantage to shooting RAW over JPG? And, since I was provided with a copy of Digital Photo Professional 4.0, how much better is the $140 Lightroom?
Yes there are several advantages to RAW over JPEG.
- Backward compatibility. If you shoot JPEG now you will regret it after you learn to use RAW. You will have lots of images, some very good ones, from which you cannot extract the best print because you only have JPEG to work with.
- RAW has the kind of flexibility you are familiar with from color neg film. JPEG is like the chrome strait jacket.
- Your DPP install will do a good, basic job of converting RAW right out of the box. You don't have to wait until you have developed significant RAW skills.
- If you keep your RAW files, you can always go back to the beginning and try again - like a negative.
Now, as to LightRoom, the big advantage is the ease with which you can do non-destructuve editing. Initially the way LR handles files can seem less than intuitive but, once you get it, you will understand that with LR you never have to touch your camera original. Your "negatives" are secure as they are with film. All your edits are "soft-saved" in LR's database without changing the original RAW. When you "export" (the LR equivalent of "save"), you save a copy - your original is again untouched. You can make DPP do all this but you will have to give it some thought and it requires some extra steps, LR does it by design.
LR also make really good photographic sense after you learn it. And you'll be surprised at how precise some of the controls are - especially compared to what is available in a darkroom. It can be a a precise tool after you begin to understand it. Worth every penny (and I don't even like Adobe).
The biggest challenge with a printer is getting a color balanced work flow. I would not be too concerned with that until the camera and LR are pretty well learned. First photo printer, if it's still being made, get a Canon ip4920. Prints very nice photos and is also a good office printer. Only has 5 carts (CMYK and pigment black for text). It's also a good general purpose printer. I now use a Canon PRO100 but the little ip4920 is a good start. The PRO 100 might also be a good start for you and they're not very expensive. I have never liked HP for photos.
Hope this helps. It's a long but pleasant journey you beginning. I came to digital a bit late after years of using 4x5 and 6x7 film. For color, digital is a dream. For B&W, I much prefer film. Digital B&W almost offends me.