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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

My preferred image and video Editing Software

My passion has always been photography. It was only during the past few years that I developed a keen interest for video. I still recall the steep learning curve when I switching to digital photography. I recall how stressful it was to master things like the histogram and the new or different role ISO played in digital photography. The same is true for digital video recording. Many of the photography basics does apply to video, but still there are so much more to learn and master when working with video.

Taken with the EM-1 MKII plus Olympus 7-14mm Pro
Edited with DXO PhotoLab

My own learning curve editing images were mainly influenced learning with Photoshop Elements. At the time there were several good web sites and magazines advising and assisting the photographer on how-to master basic image editing skills. When I search through my image collection I noticed it was only from late 2009 onwards that I really started using and working with RAW files. I always save both my JPEG and RAW files. The EM5 was my 1st Olympus camera that made it possible to have jpeg ready directly out the camera. That said I always preferred to have raw files. The amount of info available in raw files is just too much to ignore.

Having started with Photoshop Elements, I happily continued using it for many years. When my daughter started her after school studies we decided to get CS3 on a reduced student price. I loved working with CS3 and eventually bought my own CS6 version. I could not upgrade when Adobe launched their controversial "subscription" option and basically forced everybody to change over. I do subscribe to the basic PS subscription for photographers which includes PS and LR.

I do not really use Lightroom. I tried it and used it for some time in the past but never liked the way the image database worked, I found it slow and cumbersome. I also preferred editing my raw files in the Photoshop raw editor and enjoy its good integration with Photoshop. I therefor mainly used Adobe Bridge, PS and Photoshops raw editor. Today I am comfortable with PS for editing both my image and video files.

Olympus EM1 MKII with 12-40mm f2.8  @  f11, 1/160, ISO200

Adobe opened the door for other developers to develop and launch great editing alternatives. I started using DXO a few year back and today I love to use DXO PhotoLab 3 working on my raw files. I still use PS but do effort to move over to DXO PhotoLab 3.

I have been also used Luminar 3 (now 4) and Aurora 2019. These are probably some the most exciting software developments in recent years. They are powerful solutions and good for both raw and jpeg files. In addition professional features like layers and masks are great. What I do not like about Luminar 3 and now V4 is the image database function the developers are forcing us to use. As all image database solutions, they slow, horrible to work with and I hate them. When working on images over my home server it can take forever to do minor things.

Finally when we consider video, things are complex with a completely different learning curve when compared to digital image editing. For several years I used Adobe Premier Elements, again a great package. One can also achieve excellent results with Premier Elements. During the last few months I have been switching over to Final Cut Pro. Another learning curve and not something I enjoy. The reason I am switching is Elements hang again and again and again. My son use Premier Pro on a professional basis and the same thing, its became so bad that he now prefers working with Final Cut Pro and Da Vinci.

Again the learning curve on Final Cut Pro is steep and it is completely different working with a Pro level editing tool like Final Cut Pro. As one would expect, the integration with other Apple products are great. That was one of my main reasons when making the decision for Final Cut Pro. Another was the fact that I did not want to take another subscription with Adobe to get access to Premier Pro. The latter would also have been more expensive than both PS plus my LR subscription...

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