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Author Topic: Preferred DNG editor?  (Read 3456 times)
Mike Yang
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« on: November 29, 2010, 07:38:21 PM »

Hi all,

I am solidly on the DNG bandwagon. However, I'm having trouble figuring out which software is best for editing the DNG image files.  I used to use Nikon Capture NX but as we all know that is incompatible with the DNG format.  So I'm wondering what you guys prefer, and why?  Lightroom? ACR? Photoshop? 

The vast majority of my edits are "global" edits to the picture (white balance, correct exposure, add saturation and sharpness, etc.)  I don't tend to do small adjustments like cloning as much. 

thanks!
Mike

ps.  I don't know if this matters or not, but I use IDimager as my catalog software. 
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DrewFulton
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« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2010, 07:41:34 PM »

Mike,

I imagine that most of us that are using DNG are also using ACR whether that is accessed through Lightroom or Photoshop/Bridge.  I personally do all my edits (deleting bad images, sorting, etc) in Bridge, image adjustments in ACR from Bridge or possibly Photoshop, and then convert to DNG before cataloging in Expression Media.  If I decide to make additional adjustments later, EM2 launches ACR in Photoshop and I make my changes.  If the preview is important to you then make sure you adjust your settings in ACR to update your previews if you make changes!

Drew
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Mike Yang
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« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2010, 11:02:52 AM »

Thanks for your response Drew.  When you make changes to the DNG file in Photoshop, are you able to make your saves to the DNG? For the life of me I cannot figure out how to save to DNG format from Photoshop.

What is your opinion of LR as a photo editor? It is the same as the ACR interface in Bridge?

thanks,
Mike
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johnbeardy
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« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2010, 11:27:40 AM »

You can't save to your DNG in Photoshop. Photoshop creates a TIF file from the DNG.

I use Lightroom for the vast majority of my image editing. The underlying raw conversion engine is the same as ACR, but the interface is enormously better. For instance, for sensitive adjustments, you can split the screen into before and after, letting you benchmark your work. Another big difference is editing history is retained, so in a later session you can step back or use a previous version as the benchmark. It's also important not to forget that Lightroom isn't just about adjusting your images - it's about managing them too. Its organisational ability is much better than Bridge, and it has features like virtual copies which Bridge doesn't have (so you can create a B&W version of an entire shoot without using up much disc space). Give it a 30 day trial.

John
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johnbeardy
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« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2010, 11:29:09 AM »

By the way, re saving the DNG in PS, take a look at editing the DNG as a smart object. The DNG's raw data becomes a smart object layer, and can then be double clicked for editing in ACR.

John
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DrewFulton
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« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2010, 12:16:13 PM »

Mike,

John's got all the answers there but I'll clarify what I said.  Camera Raw (ACR) can be launched either through Bridge or through Photoshop.  When you edit a DNG using either of these options, the adjustments are saved.  However, if you open it in photoshop and do other stuff to it (Filters for example) you have to save as a PSD/Tiff/etc.  There is the option of opening the DNG as a Smart Object and then you can go back and edit that layer later in ACR even though your file is now some other format.

As far as Lightroom goes, I am not a Lightroom user, yet.  I have considered making the jump a lot recently and right now I just haven't bit the bullet and made the leap.  I currently use ACR/Bridge/Photoshop for all my editing and then over to Expression Media for all my cataloging.  I personally really like my workflow but am considering making the switch to LR3 at some point, especially for my wife.  I haven't' used LR since version 1 betas and didn't like it then.  Yes, I know it has improved by leaps and bounds since, but I just haven't made the effort to learn a new program yet.

Hope that helps!

Drew

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