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Digital Asset Management software.
Obes
Brisbane, Queensland
9864 posts
Long Story (sans ninjas, dragons and tits):
I used to use a program called IDImager and it was f*****g awesome! SQL database and UNC support, that s*** was the bomb.

But they found it more profitable to stop developing that and instead make shovelware apps for the mobile markets... power to them.

I used to use IDImager for asset management and CaptureNX2 for post processing.

But since getting a NEX-6 (and the missus a 5R) we have used our Nikon's a lot less and thus CaptureNX2 is pointless. I hate Sony, but their cameras are so nice! The multi shot noise reduction is so sneaky, and focus bracketing in camera!

So I bought Lightroom.
What a piece of s***. It's been designed for simpletons (also known as Apple users). I can't get a good workflow from camera (via eye-fi) to pc to lightroom. I have watched various courses thinking I just don't get this (apparently having files on your desktop slows down a Mac so if you plan on using lightroom it's best to have nothing on your desktop! ...)

Lightroom wants to use DNG ... great whatever, but no auto import watched folder auto convert option !! I could join last millennium and do manual imports and card swapping, but seriously eye-fi makes it so much easier. And uploading files to anywhere is painful, but it sure is lucky we made a flash gallery creator (... shame nothing handles Flash anymore).

I am almost to the point where I think Picasa is a more viable option than Lightroom, and Picas has s*** RAW conversion.

Short version :

How are people managing their happy snaps ?
08:53pm 27/12/12 Permalink
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08:53pm 27/12/12 Permalink
Boxhead
Brisbane, Queensland
12397 posts
I've gone to lightroom and I've embraced it. (Same with itunes i suppose).

I'm doing things a bit differently I suppose.. I'm not editing stuff as much more throwing it at different gallery/display things, so the export things in LR are pretty KRAD..

Workflow for me is super simple Usb3 card reader, starts lightroom on connect and I'm sure i clicked an auto-import option somewhere in lightroom to automatically suck off the images as soon as it starts.. cards go in pile ready to be inserted and formatted.

I've found the word tags to be pretty robust.. Backing up of the catalog has saved me a few times but I'm not to a point where I feel comfy using multiple catalogues eventhough everything i read says i should be that and its only about 30,000 files.

/EDIT

It's also a case of being too far along in LR to bother to change now.. But I've played a bit with Digikam and it was alright (and free)

Oh and another thing, some of the filter/overlay sets that go with Lightroom are pretty hectic.. Vsco etc etc.

last edited by Boxhead at 21:59:58 27/Dec/12
09:50pm 27/12/12 Permalink
Boxhead
Brisbane, Queensland
12398 posts
The only other option which I tried ages and ages ago was Corel Aftershot Pro it was ok aswell but didn't play nice with photoshop at the time.
10:03pm 27/12/12 Permalink
KungFuCamel
Brisbane, Queensland
588 posts
I use Lightroom as part of my workflow for processing my photos though recently I've added Photo Mechanic before I edit the photos in Lightroom.

I use Photo Mechanic to do the initial ingest of the photos from memory cards and then I'll sort and tag the photos that I want to use and edit and import those into Lightroom. It keeps my Lightroom catalogue nice and clean and Photo Mechanic imports them so damn quick too. It does have a live ingest feature so that you can get it to auto watch a folder but I'm not sure if you can get it to do the RAW conversions.

I don't really bother converting to DNG from Nikon RAW though I understand that the DNG raws don't take up as much disk space as native RAW files.

I find the workflow process in Lightroom to be very quick for me as I can import into the Lightroom catalogue, adjust an image for white balance and lens distortion as well as exposure etc and then sync that with the rest of the photos in the catalogue - You could also do the same in Camera RAW as well.

Have you tried looking at Adobe Bridge for your digital asset management? It might be better suited for what you want to do with it?
10:22pm 27/12/12 Permalink
euphoria
Gold Coast, Queensland
2070 posts
Have you tried looking at Adobe Bridge for your digital asset management?
+1
10:25pm 27/12/12 Permalink
Whoop
Brisbane, Queensland
21087 posts
what? Lightroom has watched folders, I used to use the EOS utility to import, then lightroom would see that folder & go hey look images. That was before I could be bothered setting up lightroom to auto import the files to where I wanted them.

You don't have to use DNG.

Lightroom IS a piece of s*** though. It royally f**** up the color temperature, it doesn't keep custom white balances, especially if they're way off the chart, and it's the most bloated and slow piece of s*** I've ever had the displeasure of owning since, well ever.

I've gone back to using EOS utility to import and canon's own RAW processor.

(apparently having files on your desktop slows down a Mac so if you plan on using lightroom it's best to have nothing on your desktop!
what the hell does this even mean? what have files on the desktop got to do with lightroom or a mac? drugs bro, drugs. Plus you said you're using a PC.
10:54pm 27/12/12 Permalink
Linker
Brisbane, Queensland
1721 posts
I have a 16GB Retina Macbook Pro. Lightroom is the go for me, works well.

I just couldn't get used to Aperture's workflow, like most of Apple's software, they try to abstract everything too much and coming from Windows, makes it kinda confusing. I used Aperture up until Adobe released the retina compatible patches for LR and PS a few weeks ago. Glad to be back and using it. It was pretty slow on my old PC, but keeps up well on this beast of a laptop.
02:42am 28/12/12 Permalink
Whoop
Brisbane, Queensland
21089 posts
and in case I'm just stupid and don't know how2lr, I'll eat my words with bbq sauce but here's what lightroom and picasa do to canon's RAW files with weird custom white balances.

Images were imported using canon's eos utility, no editing done anywhere.

Top left is what it looks like in canon's image browser, it's also what it looks like on the back of the camera.
Top right is whatever the f*** happened after lightroom got at it. All I did was open lightroom, no editing, nothing.
Bottom right is what picasa thinks it should look like. To picasa's credit, it seems to keep the colours but for some reason makes everything twice as bright as what it should be.
Bottom left is irfanview. As you can see, all irfanview is doing is loading the raw file and showing me what it looks like. Unlike all the other s***forbrains programs, it's not trying to tell me what the image SHOULD look like, it's telling me what it DOES look like.

In short, f*** lightroom and f*** picasa and their auto adjustment ways.
http://i.imgur.com/cXRrNl.jpg

Not only does lightroom seem to not care what I set the white balance to if it's set way off, it also doesn't care if it's just a little bit off. I took 3 pictures, one slightly tinted green in camera, one slightly magenta and one "neutral". Lightroom showed all 3 pictures as looking exactly the same with no tint difference at all. Woe be unto those who buy fancy cameras to have full control, only to use noob software that thinks it knows best.
04:32am 28/12/12 Permalink
HerbalLizard
Brisbane, Queensland
5692 posts
Lightroom + bridge user here
08:25am 28/12/12 Permalink
Obes
Brisbane, Queensland
9866 posts
what the hell does this even mean? what have files on the desktop got to do with lightroom or a mac? drugs bro, drugs. Plus you said you're using a PC.

I agree it was s*** advice, but it was an example of the "hot tips" in some of the lightroom training videos I was watching.

what? Lightroom has watched folders

No it has a watched folder, not plural, a subtle but significant difference. (Not even subfolders get watched, eye-fi by default puts the files in to sub directories based on date). watrching subdirectories would be frickin awesome.
It also annoyingly throws all auto imported photos into a single directory, and won't do auto convert to DNG or anything other than a Metadata preset.

I also had noticed lightroom doing things to the colour of RAWs only RAWs not JPGs. I am also going to assume it plays with sharpening etc etc. I'd imagine Canon, Nikon et al do proprietary things. (Not to mention it can't see anything done in CaptureNX2.)

I've gone back to using EOS utility to import and canon's own RAW processor.

If only Nikon's mirrorless cameras hadn't been so crap.

Another thing I dislike about Lightroom is that any changes you make are stored in it's own little database (not SQL like IDImager for its catalogue), not inside the RAW in a non destructive way, there is the xmp files (but I am not sure I trust them to be up to date). Which is why I want to use DNG because I believe they are.
09:12am 28/12/12 Permalink
Herron
Brisbane, Queensland
167 posts
Lightroom is a RAW photo editing package, it really isn't meant for what I think you think it's for - library/asset management. I'm sure it would come across as designed for simpletons if you don't use the develop feature. The funny thing is you're actually looking for software for simpletons and there's nothing wrong with that, especially for happy snaps.

Lightroom 'auto converts' by getting the settings right for one photo in your session and then applying those photos to everything else in that session. If you were taking photos at the beach then the settings that need to be applied would be different to those at the park. Automating it would f*** things up.

Whoop, you can change the white balance to 'as shot' if you don't want the software to correct it for you. You are seeing the JPG preview in the top left so it will always match what you see in the camera. Lightroom works off the RAW file and defaults to auto white balance. Proper workflow would include adjusting the white balance to match what your own eyes saw, not what the camera picked up.

Lightroom is awesome if you enjoy your photography or have the time to manually manage your photo sessions but for an automated system you wasted your money.

Edit: Lightroom doesn't change the colours in your RAW photo by default other than setting what it thinks is the best white balance. It doesn't sharpen or anything like that unless you tell it to. It will remove hot pixels and dust though.

When working in RAW you have to completely forget about what you see in the jpg. The jpg is the camera's interpretation and often get's over saturated because point and shooters love to see bright photos.

The locally managed database isn't a problem if your workflow is based from lightroom. If you want changes then you export to TIFF, jpg, photoshop etc.


last edited by Herron at 09:35:19 28/Dec/12
09:27am 28/12/12 Permalink
Obes
Brisbane, Queensland
9867 posts
Lightroom doesn't change the colours in your RAW photo by default other than setting what it thinks is the best white balance.

In other words it does change colours.
And it would seem after reading the Adobe forums that there are oddities when you use "as-shot". The recommendation was to ignore the camera's white balance settings and start over...

Lightroom 'auto converts' by getting the settings right for one photo in your session and then applying those photos to everything else in that session.

Are you special ?
It auto converts to DNG as an option during import and it should purely be converting a camera specifc RAW to DNG... No changes of any sort should be being applied, unless I tell it to (as far as I can tell it seems to do this quite well ... when manually importing). But will not do it at all when it's Auto importing.


I'm sure it would come across as designed for simpletons if you don't use the develop feature

Compared to CaptureNX, or given you are a Adobe user (Viveza by Nik) the develop "features" are ok but sometimes clumsy in other places they are amazing. UPoint is so nice.

But I was definitely under the impression that lightroom is meant to be a catalog as well as RAW editor. Hence they have the catalog and searching etc etc etc
And it is listed as one of their features.

Take control of your image library. Extensive image management tools let you easily view and organize all your photographs.


Why is the manual import so much more useful eg. it will auto put files into date based folders, but from the watched folder, no. Auto convert DNG manual yes, watched, no.

At any rate you are suggesting that I am using lightroom incorrectly it's not meant to speed up your workflow and have editing and library in 1 app, so obviously brudge must be the adobe solution to the library ?

As far as I know bridge does not come with lightroom.
In fact, most discussions I have seen have been bridge vs. lightroom.
And to use bridge with lightroom you have to actually use a menu path to sync the metadata and vice versa, some tags are totally ignored. It's almost like they aren't meant to be used together.


I get that some people like Lightroom, I just can't get around all the clumsy limitations.

I mean a fair chunk of them would go away if I stopped using Eye-fi, but I like the convenience, I like photos appearing straight on my ipad, being auto backed up to 2 online services as well as being automatically pushed to my PC. (That's 4 copies even if someone steals my camera before I get home!)
Or if I just shot JPG. (No point converting a JPG to DNG)


Perhaps I just need to rethink the Eye-fi side of things because it's quite flexible. Maybe turn off endless memory mode etc etc use Eye-fi to provide instant backups and ipad access but go all old school and manually import the photos off a memory card into Lightroom.
11:53am 28/12/12 Permalink
Herron
Brisbane, Queensland
168 posts
In other words it does change colours. And it would seem after reading the Adobe forums that there are oddities when you use "as-shot". The recommendation was to ignore the camera's white balance settings and start over...


All you are saying is you don't like how Lightroom sets the auto whitebalance - change it to "as shot" and save as a preset which gets applied on the auto import. All as-shot does is read the WB saved by the camera. Is lightroom not reading these values right from your camera or something?

I like Lightroom's folder management but I don't do auto imports as I like to cull photos before clogging up my catalogue. I also edit in batches/sessions rather than one-size fits all. It speeds up my workflow nicely but I'm not using it for happy snaps. I really don't think it's what you're after or what it's designed for. I'd hate to use it as the tool to browse my photos as it is slow in that regard. (the library view is just a preview, you have to swap to develop to get the actual view of the photo).

From my research I found LR4 much more intuitive than CaptureNX. I haven't looked at the other one. I'd like to know what things they do better than LR though on the development side as I'm not some LR fanboy. I just it does what it does very well.

Honestly, I don't know why you'd shoot RAW if moving files into a folder structure manually is an inconvenience, and there's nothing wrong with that. If auto white balancing is bothering you then the RAW format is wasted anyway. Many portrait and wedding pros won't even use RAW as it slows them down too much. Because of their controlled settings they get consistent results and jpeg still allows for a s***load of adjustment. RAW is perfect for things like landscape shooting where you need more control over the shadows and highlights.






02:27pm 28/12/12 Permalink
Whoop
Brisbane, Queensland
21094 posts
Whoop, you can change the white balance to 'as shot' if you don't want the software to correct it for you.
It's set to "as shot" in the photos. Like I said, lightroom does not like whitebalances that are WAAAAAY off scale. It only has a set range it'll let you play with unless you create a custom camera profile. I tried the custom profile but in all seriousness it's easier to plug the camera in, have EOS utility auto download the RAW files to wherever, open up DPP and edit one photo, copy the edit settings and batch process the rest of them. I know LR does batch processing, it too sucks the fat one.

If you want more info.
It doesn't matter so much for the slight red / green tint test I did because LR seemed to automagically get the white balance almost right. Even when set to "as shot" the images in LR look nowhere near like they do in irfanview and on the back of the camera in playback mode.

When it starts becoming a BIG issue is when you slap an IR filter on the camera, take a photo of some grass, use that image as the custom white balance so that trees, grass, pretty much anything "green" will now be "white". Lightroom doesn't know what the f***, and royally screws up the white balance so when you go click edit in photoshop and reverse the red / blue channels to get that weird fake colour look, well it looks even more weird.

Go ahead, try it.

edit: Now that it's not 4am, I had another go at the DNG profile editor. Let me just say, there is NO consistency between what I see in the profile editor when I create a profile for my camera, and what lightroom shows me on the exact same image, using the profile I just created. I wonder if anyone at adobe ever uses the programs they make? I'm guessing not.
02:55pm 28/12/12 Permalink
Obes
Brisbane, Queensland
9870 posts
Honestly, I don't know why you'd shoot RAW if moving files into a folder structure manually is an inconvenience

Yeah you don't know.

But more importantly shooting RAW has nothing to do with a desire to spend time managing folder structures. And why doing things the hard way when Lightroom has the functionality to do what I want just I have to click some extra buttons instead of being in one of their other builtin functions.

I'd need help from a philosophy/logic major to identify the type of fallacy that is... but I'll claim its a strawman and move on happily.

I shoot JPG+RAW because I do a lot of macro and it's quite easy to under or over expose when chasing bugs. Sometimes the JPG is fine, sometimes its a great shot but it needs a little rescuing then it's off to the RAW. I also do JPG+RAW at 2 certain venues because the lighting has horrible colour casts/lighting and they are neither consistent across the venue nor consistent across the length of time for the venue so WB cards don't help. And anything from those venues is invariably a RAW that needs a fair bit of tweaking.

From my research I found LR4 much more intuitive than CaptureNX.

Well I am the complete opposite, I never once struggled with it's interface everything made sense, maybe you should research less and try it more. The batch thing was slowwer than Lightroom for sure, but I found it with ease and got it to work with out having to watch a video or read a help file.

CaptureNX2 made perfect sense to me for me, particularly since I have Nikon gear, less so now that I have some Sony stuff as well. But it was only part of my solution I was using IDImager to handle the catalogue, and it's now gone.

CaptureNX2 is written by the guys who do Viveza+more (plugins for LR/apeture/photoshop) and Snapseed (iOS photo editing which they have since ported to Mac and PC) which was Apple's iOS App of the year 2011 and TIPAs iOS Photo App of the year 2012. The software is so good Google bought the company.

But your brain may be more wired for Lightroom which is awesome for you, and you obviously think doing everything manually is awesome cool bananas for you.
06:29pm 28/12/12 Permalink
Herron
Brisbane, Queensland
169 posts
I'd need help from a philosophy/logic major to identify the type of fallacy that is... but I'll claim its a strawman and move on happily.


My point is simply if you want a hands-off process then why shoot RAW which is not hands-off anyway. I wasn't trying to stir. Using a watched folder and moving them to a more appropriate folder manually inside LR takes hardly any time.

If you just want to organise or find your photos by date then you could even use the filters on the watched folder.

Another option worth looking at is manually importing your eye-fi folder once and then when you want to add new files and folders under that watched folder simply right click and sync the top-level folder. Your eye-fi dump can then manage folder names. I don't think there is an option to do the sync on startup but it takes only a few clicks
11:14pm 28/12/12 Permalink
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11:14pm 28/12/12 Permalink
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