Light Room or not

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Aussie Geoff

Melbourne Australia
Supporting Member
Hi All sorry if this has been discussed before.
I have nothing against Light Room but for the small amount of photos I get printed for home use only I can not Justify the cost of LR so I just put the photos on a spare SD card and take them to a printer to get done. Am I the only one that does not use LR
 

bleirer

Well-known member
Supporting Member
You don't have to use lightroom, but it sounds like you are using no post processing software? If so I would look into the free software provided by your camera maker. You didn't say which camera. Canon is Digital Photo Professional (DPP4). I believe Nikon is NX Studio.

Even if you don't you don't have to take the card physically to a printer, you can upload jpegs to your local printer. Also there are good free and low cost photo browsers such as fastone image viewer and fastraw viewer might be worth a try.

Also if you don't want the Lightroom subscription, you could also try Photoshop Elements. Its about $100 but no subscription so it lasts until you decide to upgrade. It has a lot of the same tools as Lightroom. Anything you use will have a learning curve to it, but Elements has a beginner mode to make things easier.
 
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aolander

Well-known member
Lightroom is capable of a lot more than printing. Excellent editing, cataloging, printing, etc. capabilities. But if you just shoot jpegs and don't edit, I guess you wouldn't really need it. However, I can't imagine being without it or some other similar program.
 

abc123brian

Well-known member
I use CaptureOne instead of LightRoom. I wouldn’t say it’s any cheaper but they do run sales at times and you can buy a license instead of a subscription. You don’t need to purchase any editing software, most cameras come with a free version for editing you can use. If you bought the camera used or if the disc wasn’t included in the box, you can look on the camera manufacture’s website under support and most likely download it. There are also many other lower cost editing software available that get very favorable reviews and some free options. If you are using a Mac, the included Photos app may be enough for you. If you are shooting jpg, there isn’t any requirements to perform edits like with RAW. It is nice to have some software to perform some enhancements when needed and also gives you more control over the final image.

Side note, make sure you have a backup of your images if you don’t already do that. Not sure if you keep them on the computer and just move the ones you want printed to a spare SD Card, but any drive could fail resulting in loss of images.
 

MartyD

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Lots of good photo processing software available for free and for trial. Post processing can be very beneficial in helping you become a better photographer.
 

DRwyoming

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Hi All sorry if this has been discussed before.
I have nothing against Light Room but for the small amount of photos I get printed for home use only I can not Justify the cost of LR so I just put the photos on a spare SD card and take them to a printer to get done. Am I the only one that does not use LR
There's no rule that you have to use Lightroom, Photoshop or any other image editing or image cataloging tool but you're selling your photography short if you just shoot in camera and never edit any images. Sure if you shoot carefully you can treat in-camera jpegs a lot like slide film, nail the exposure and composition in-camera and they're ready to go. But there's an awful lot of fine tuning you can do with digital editing software in post processing like shadow and highlight recovery, cropping, dodging and burning, selective color adjustments and the like that can take a good photo and make it a great photo. It's a lot like the way good and great B&W print photographers would spend as much time in the darkroom trying to bring out their vision as they spent in the field capturing the negatives in the first place.

There's also the issue of finding an image a couple or many years down the road. Maybe you just print and then throw away all the images you didn't print or maybe you just store them all in one big directory but if you shoot any kind of volume good cataloging software can help you manage your image library and find images as time goes by. That's actually a big part of what Lightroom does though other programs do that kind of image library management as well.

But sure if you're happy with your current systems there's nothing wrong with it but decent image editing and cataloging programs can be very useful and I'd guess most photographers on these boards use some kind of post processing software.
 

Aussie Geoff

Melbourne Australia
Supporting Member
Thread starter
Hi All sorry if this has been discussed before.
I have nothing against Light Room but for the small amount of photos I get printed for home use only I can not Justify the cost of LR so I just put the photos on a spare SD card and take them to a printer to get done. Am I the only one that does not use LR
I have a Nikon D500, I have the QXD card in RAW format for photos only and the SD card is set up for JPEG and Video as I never use the Video setting as for saving photos I have 3 external hard drives that I put all My photos on 1 for animals 1 for landscape and 1 for mixed
 

Aussie Geoff

Melbourne Australia
Supporting Member
Thread starter
Thanks every one, maybe in the future I might get something like light room but write now my main concern is learning the camera and trying to stay away from the Auto settings
 

DRwyoming

Well-known member
Supporting Member
I have a Nikon D500, I have the QXD card in RAW format for photos only and the SD card is set up for JPEG and Video as I never use the Video setting as for saving photos I have 3 external hard drives that I put all My photos on 1 for animals 1 for landscape and 1 for mixed
So then I take it you use some kind of editing software to convert the raw files to viewable images? If so that's half of what LR does, the other half is library management. But there are other tools, some free, out there that can do those two jobs as well.

Your filing system is already a lot better than one big drive with your high level subject breakdown by hard drive but before you accumulate too many images you might want to look into ways to manage the files so you can find specific images in the future. There are lots of ways to skin that cat but some form of organization that lets you quickly find a particular image as time goes by is very useful.
 

bleirer

Well-known member
Supporting Member
I have a Nikon D500, I have the QXD card in RAW format for photos only and the SD card is set up for JPEG and Video as I never use the Video setting as for saving photos I have 3 external hard drives that I put all My photos on 1 for animals 1 for landscape and 1 for mixed

So the card set up for raw, how are you converting those raw files to images?
 

Marcus Slade

Active member
Supporting Member
I have a Nikon D500, I have the QXD card in RAW format for photos only and the SD card is set up for JPEG and Video as I never use the Video setting as for saving photos I have 3 external hard drives that I put all My photos on 1 for animals 1 for landscape and 1 for mixed
As Dave Ryan @DRwyoming said, Lightroom is also as much about cataloguing as it is about image manipulation. I well understand that lots of people might not want to spend the desk time editing pictures but it can be a revelation going back to an image you've processed earlier, seeing it with fresh eyes and being able to edit it again (or simply making a new copy and editing it for comparative purposes) and with updated software. As pleased as I might be with a handful of images in my catalogue, I always say that I've never taken a picture that (after reviewing and critiquing) couldn't have been yet better. But with Lightroom and Photoshop I've been able to go back and improve older images. Very much the same principle with the introduction and development of the Topaz tools.

Also from your original point I would respectfully suggest that printing might not be a determinant of whether or not to use Lightroom (or another software solution): it might simply be whether or not you choose to have a printer at home.
 

NWGuy

Member
As others have noted there are several other post production programs out there. I have been using On1's Photo Raw, ~$100, which also has a cataloging feature, although not as fancy as Lightroom's. Has a lot of features for adjusting photos similar to Lightroom. On1 also has on1 Plus (~60 bucks/year) which has a lot of tutorials both for photographic techniques and also for using the software.
 

Viathelens

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Hi All sorry if this has been discussed before.
I have nothing against Light Room but for the small amount of photos I get printed for home use only I can not Justify the cost of LR so I just put the photos on a spare SD card and take them to a printer to get done. Am I the only one that does not use LR

I highly doubt that you are the "only one who does not use LR." But, the software is useful for just about any photographer, even if you take a "small amount" of photos and is more than just a program for printing. Your question lacks any specifics other than the question at the end so it's really hard to answer you other than to say that there are many software processing programs available and they all do a pretty good job. No one is forced to use LrC but if you are shooting RAW I hope you are using some type of processing software as a RAW image is intended to be processed.
 

Aussie Geoff

Melbourne Australia
Supporting Member
Thread starter
As Dave Ryan @DRwyoming said, Lightroom is also as much about cataloguing as it is about image manipulation. I well understand that lots of people might not want to spend the desk time editing pictures but it can be a revelation going back to an image you've processed earlier, seeing it with fresh eyes and being able to edit it again (or simply making a new copy and editing it for comparative purposes) and with updated software. As pleased as I might be with a handful of images in my catalogue, I always say that I've never taken a picture that (after reviewing and critiquing) couldn't have been yet better. But with Lightroom and Photoshop I've been able to go back and improve older images. Very much the same principle with the introduction and development of the Topaz tools.

Also from your original point I would respectfully suggest that printing might not be a determinant of whether or not to use Lightroom (or another software solution): it might simply be whether or not you choose to have a printer at home.
I use my home printer for printing notes or letters but the cost of ink its cheaper to pay a company to print the photos for me
 

bleirer

Well-known member
Supporting Member
I just put the card into a card reader and it saves it to my computer which allows me to view photos

I'm wondering what program is opening the raw file?

Shooting raw is for when you intend to use software like Lightroom or similar to adjust the image with more control or to a greater degree than jpeg would allow. If you don't want to adjust the images more than a little, it's ok to stick with jpeg only.
 
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Palouse

Well-known member
I'm wondering what program is opening the raw file?

Shooting raw is for when you intend to use a raw converter to adjust the image, like Lightroom or the software that is provided by the camera maker to convert raw files into pictures. If you don't want to adjust the images at all, it's ok to stick with jpeg only.
I'm guessing he is simply reading the jpgs.
 

DRwyoming

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Possibly not. When I recently updated to windows 10.......yeah I know.... a very late adopter, I found that it previewed both raw and jpeg files side by side.
Dang you're right. I've had Windows 10 for years but never tried directly opening a .nef into the photo app. It works, edit options are really minimal and it seems to render my D500 and D850 images a bit too bright (jpegs out of camera don't have blown highlights but the .nefs do as soon as I open them in the Windows app but they aren't blown in LR) but they open, can be edited and saved as jpeg copies.

Very interesting.
 

bleirer

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Possibly not. When I recently updated to windows 10.......yeah I know.... a very late adopter, I found that it previewed both raw and jpeg files side by side.
I believe Windows Photos will edit raw files to a limited degree if the right extension has been installed.
 

Steve W

Well-known member
Supporting Member
I believe Windows Photos will edit raw files to a limited degree if the right extension has been installed.
Yeah, it’s a bit of a pain actually, there used to be jpeg images with a box marked NEF beside them, now it’s just pairs of images and I have to check which is which.
 

Steve W

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Dang you're right. I've had Windows 10 for years but never tried directly opening a .nef into the photo app. It works, edit options are really minimal and it seems to render my D500 and D850 images a bit too bright (jpegs out of camera don't have blown highlights but the .nefs do as soon as I open them in the Windows app but they aren't blown in LR) but they open, can be edited and saved as jpeg copies.

Very interesting.
Yes, I only discovered it because I tend to do a quick scan and cull using the jpegs using the file explorer.
 
To be honest, I scrolled through the posts....just wanna say that if your shooting Canon,the free license to DPP4 does an amazing job...I've been using it for over a year now. Just heats up my MacBook Pro, but we are surviving.
 

abc123brian

Well-known member
Possibly not. When I recently updated to windows 10.......yeah I know.... a very late adopter, I found that it previewed both raw and jpeg files side by side.
I’ve been using MacOS and it previews and opens RAW files from most cameras as far back as I can remember. I’m surprised Windows didn’t prior to Windows 10. Either way, it’s good it does now.
 
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