Upload & Sell: Off
I'll bet there's not much that DPP can do that Lr cannot do, so with Lr alone you will lose very little and gain quite a lot. Ps is sure to be useful at some stage for some images but they probably need to be tricky images or very marketable images or very important images to warrant buying and using Ps on them, given its steep learning curve.
Lr does not respect Canon picture styles but it has something similar that you can apply. It has far better noise reduction that does far less damage to image data. It will not show you the AF points that were used or the raw file luminance histogram. I find it far more useful than DPP in most respects but DPP is free and is still there for me to use as required. For that matter, so is Ps.
At this stage I would wait for Lr 4 unless I had heaps of spare time to utilize it to my advantage in the next few months. The trouble is that it is only available in beta at present and is not recommended for your only image management. Safer to use Lr 3 and upgrade later, but possibly somewhat more expensive too.
In the meantime you can begin preparing the way for Lr if you need something to fill your time. Consider these ideas :
- Organize your images into a folder structure - any structure that works for you - so that there is a parent folder at the top of that structure. This will facilitate backups and recoveries in Lr. I sort mine by camera and then rating. I have a folder called "unsorted" that new images for each camera go into until I process them with Lr enough to transfer them into an appropriate rating folder. You might prefer a structure based on events. One reason I use camera as a separator is that I am then able to easily use camera-specific software on those images without images from other brands getting in the way. Canon DPP does not like Nikon NEF files. I use ratings so that from any software I can quickly home in on my better images.
- Determine what if any file naming pattern you want to use. Not essential but it might make dealing with images easier. Fairly powerful batch file renaming can be done within Lr but it's not as clever as say Downloader Pro. My file names retain original camera folder and file numbers so that I can easily find the same files in the camera software. Sometimes that software can tell me things that Lr cannot, such as where the focus point was.
- Know that in future you will want to do all renaming, relocating and deleting within Lr so that it can keep track of the files and maintain the info about those files in its catalog database. Once imported into Lr you can still access the files with the operating system or other software but you won't want to do anything that leaves Lr without a link to the files it knows about because then you'll have a hard time re-establishing those links.
- Decide what you want the star ratings and colour labels to represent so that you'll be in a position to use them sooner rather than later.
- Know that Lr knows a lot about image files from the EXIF data and can use that data to select images even before you get into key-wording. You do not need to duplicate EXIF data in a key word structure but it's up to you.
- Consider a key-word structure. You do not need to get it right first time as the structure can be altered on the go, but it's easier if you understand what things are likely to be important to you. It's not essential at all but is very beneficial to use keywords. Know that all images with keyword applied by you can also be found by using the parents of those key words in the keyword structure, without you actually assigning those parent words. e.g. you might have "Ford" and "Toyota" under "vehicles" and can then find both by searching for "vehicles" even though you only ever assigned "Ford" or "Toyota". Later on you might insert "cars" between "vehicles" and "Ford" and "Toyota" so that you can insert "trains" in there too. Lr will manage the links for you.
- Decide whether you want to use .xmp sidecar files to hold data about image files or whether you want to keep all such data just in the Lr catalog database. I do the latter. xmp files are ok if you only use Lr but most other software does not know that they belong with the image files and can separate them. Also, using xmp files and keeping them up to date gobbles up time by writing to hundreds or thousands of files. On a slow or full drive that can be painful.
- Establish a data backup routine. The Lr catalog database will hold a great deal of info that represents a lot of time and effort on your part. Keep it safe. Keep lots of backups on separate media in separate locations so that no one loss will ever be devastating.
- Know which images are most important to you. Plan on spending more time in Lr on those images in regards to key wording, labeling and rating. The idea is to get the most output with the least input, so start with the files you're most likely to want to locate in a hurry at some stage. Still keep in mind that Lr knows about the standard EXIF data already.
- Plan on backing up all image files before you hit them with Lr or any new software just in case you do something wrong and lose them. In general when you delete a file in Lr it will default to removing it from the catalog but not actually delete the file from your drive. However, you get that choice. The surprise may come when you discover that you had selected thousands of image files instead of just one before you pressed delete.
I suppose there's more but you get the idea. You don't need to go in cold when you eventually buy Lr and then have to undo things because you didn't put enough forethought into it.