Upload & Sell: On
| p.1 #5 · alternatives to LR/ACR that aren't aperture |
i use, and enjoy, lightroom/acr. it does 95% of what i need it to do. i am wondering two things:
- are any of the alternatives much faster?
- do any of the alternatives produce notably better results?
regarding the latter point, i know there are some special circumstances surrounding cameras like the new fuji's. ignore that... pretend we're just dealing with canikon and others whose raw files aren't problematic.
I just moved from Aperture to LR 4.3 after having used AP since version 1.5. Believe me, prepping, transferring, and setting up 20K+ images was an activity I hope not to do any time soon again. I left AP fundamentally because Apple would provide no guarantee that it was going to continue to support and improve it as a professional program.
I know that everyone says LR is faster but I've not found that to be categorically true. (My reference platform is a dual quad 2.4GHz MacPro with 32GB RAM.) Import of some file formats (notably Panasonic) are dramatically slower. Many functions are faster but then it does vary plus LR lacks some lovely tools Aperture had.
Sort of by accident I have 6 RAW converters: ACR, Apple's system level service, DPP (Canon), DXO 8, Noise Ninja (new and interesting), Photo Mechanic, and RPP. Ah, guess that's 7. Sheesh! I've never done any sort of systematic comparison between all of them, because frankly speed of conversion is a not key issue for me.
I have noticed that DXO - if they have the profile for your gear - seems quick. DPP is fairly slow. (I don't know anything about Nikon's offering.) I've never used Capture One so can't comment on it though some praise it. I've only played with RPP with some trans-x (or whatever the Fuji files are called) loaned by a friend.
The Noise Ninja has a very interesting take with its rendering and to be honest I've never much liked DPP. DXO does an excellent job of dealing with UWA and WA distortion plus correcting for other lens artifacts. I have noticed and others will probably scream at my assertion here, though I'm not alone in making it, that with tweaking all of the converters can produce essentially the same output. Makes sense really, so I guess you have to find the one closest to your sense of "right" and go with it.
As someone has already pointed out, AP and LR are DAMs while none of the others are. Well, DXO has a rudimentary system and PM can keep track of photos but not manipulate them. As a newspaper photog who also sells his own work, being able to find a file or a type of file is vitally important to me.
I understand that some folks have "religious" convictions that one or another RAW processor is the "one true rendering" but I really don't think that's true, at least based upon my experience.
None of this really gives you an answer other than to suggest that you can get similar results with most of them and you need to decide how important managing your images is.