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Thread: What software for GH1?

  1. #1
    Senior Member apicius9's Avatar
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    What software for GH1?

    I hope you will tolerate the question - I know I could spend a few days searching for it but the more I look, the more confused I get.

    Until now, I have minimized any PP - the appeal of taking pictures to me is to get away from the computer, not to spend more time working on it. And I am really strictly an amateur with no ambitions beyond occasionally shooting a few nice ones and learning more about photography. But I have gotten to the point where I want to do just a little bit more. Unfortunately, most software seems to be doing things of which I have no clue what they are, let alone whether I need them... I also just got the GH1 and never in my life edited a video, so that is completely new as well. I also assume there will be as many recommendations as there are individual photographers, but I will ask anyway:

    What is a good basic software setup for the GH1?

    Points I am looking for:

    - I want to learn how to work with raw files
    - I need something to organize my pictures better
    - I expect that I will mostly correct for contrast, noise, color or white balance
    - I would like good color-b&w conversion
    - I want to add frames or watermarks
    - minor retouching capability would be nice
    - parsimony, i.e. fewer programs is better than having to use several different ones

    I find Photoshop too expensive for my needs, Gimp too confusing, and Picasa too simple. I have worked a little bit with Photoshop Elements 6 but not even to its full potential. Lightroom sounds interesting, and I understand that Silkypix would work with the raw files. Not sure what the latest PSE does beyond the version I know. As a university faculty, I get Adobe products fairly cheap, so that might be an issue.

    So, any guidance for setting up a new workflow (you couldn't even call what I did so far a workflow...) that is not too overwhelming will be greatly appreciated. And for once, you can assume that I am a complete dummy...

    Thanks,

    Stefan

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    Contributing Editor ustein's Avatar
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    Re: What software for GH1?

    I would start with Lightroom and go from there.
    Uwe Steinmueller
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    Editor&Owner of Digital Outback Photo
    http://www.outbackphoto.com

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    Re: What software for GH1?

    You can download the beta version of Lightroom 3 from the adobe site (http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/lightroom3/) and play around with it for free until they release the real version. It should give you an good idea of what it's like. More complex than Picasa, not as complex as Photoshop.

    Eventually you'll end up having to get more specialized software or at least plug-ins depending on the kind of work you want to do. There's special software for HDR, for image stacking, etc.

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    Re: What software for GH1?

    I would also have you seriously consider Lightroom but might do it in a slightly different way. You can download a trial of Lightroom 2 first and then move to Lightroom 3. The reason I recommend this is the amount of training and tutorials available. Most of the training you will find on LR3 will be pointing out what is new from version 2. So you might be better off doing some comprehensive training on version 2 during the trial period and then moving to LR3 beta.

    There are a number of different on line resources for video based tutorials

    Adobe has some

    Julieanne Kost has a ton of free tutorials
    http://www.jkost.com/lightroom.html

    There is a paid site KelbyTraining.com that has a ton of content. They charge $25/month. You could do a lot of training during that time. You can test out the first lessons of each class for free. I've found the training videos there to be very well done and comprehensive.

    www.kelbytraining.com

    Matt Klowkowski who does a lot of the lightroom training also has a website for Lightroom tips

    www.lightroomkillertips.com

    If you decide to go to Lightroom 3 right away just be aware that when the final version of 3 is available you may not be able to reload what you've processed in the beta version.

  5. #5
    rachp
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    Re: What software for GH1?

    I agree with the LR suggestion. I would also say check out the Nik programs to compliment LR.

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    Re: What software for GH1?

    I would also recommend Lightroom.

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    Senior Member apicius9's Avatar
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    Re: What software for GH1?

    Thanks for the unanimous vote, that makes it much easier. And thanks for the links, I will look into the tutorials. I was hoping to find someone locally who can give me a one-day crash-course, I will ask around a bit.

    Just to follow up: Does LR basically replace whatever comes on the CD with the camera or do they complement each other?

    Stefan

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    Contributing Editor ustein's Avatar
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    Re: What software for GH1?

    >Just to follow up: Does LR basically replace whatever comes on the CD with the camera or do they complement each other?

    Somehow both. You can ignore the CD content. But at time Silkypix maybe a nice RAW converter.
    Uwe Steinmueller
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    http://www.outbackphoto.com

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    Lightroom again ...

    LR3 is a Public Beta ... I don't recommend depending upon it just yet, although it seems to be reasonably stable. Lightroom 2 is ready, as Terry suggested there is a 30 day evaluation which can get you through the learning phase.

    I'm also teaching a Lightroom workshop this weekend at the Media Center in Palo Alto, it would be a good opportunity if you're local to this neighborhood to get a hands-on and some bootstrap training in person. See
    http://www.midpenmedia.org/media_pro...***/index.html
    and search for Lightroom for more information. Or send me an email ... my contact info is available through my photo blog link.

  10. #10
    Senior Member apicius9's Avatar
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    Re: What software for GH1?

    The workshop sounds perfect but I'm in Honolulu - every location is far away from here

    I will have to reinstall my computer in the next few weeks, so I thought this is a good opportunity to start over again with photo software in a more systematic way. I will definitely give LR2 a try and go from there.

    Thanks again,

    Stefan

  11. #11
    Contributing Editor ustein's Avatar
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    Re: What software for GH1?

    Quote Originally Posted by apicius9 View Post
    The workshop sounds perfect but I'm in Honolulu - every location is far away from here

    Stefan
    We plan to offer web based classes on Lightroom soon.
    Uwe Steinmueller
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    http://www.outbackphoto.com

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    Re: What software for GH1?

    With Lightroom, you don't need anything from the Panasonic GH1 CD. I have not even put the Panasonic CD in my computer yet and actually have no idea what is on that CD.

    I really don't see the reason to get LR 2 today when the LR3 is on its way, unless you really need the program immediately. There are a few LR3 features I think are worth the upgrade for me. If I were you, I would download the LR3 Beta, and learned the LR basics. I think for basic stuffs, you will not miss too much from LR2. But, I can be wrong too as I am still using LR2 for 'real' work.
    Last edited by slau; 6th January 2010 at 15:39.
    Stephen Lau
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    Re: What software for GH1?

    Quote Originally Posted by slau View Post
    With Lightroom, you don't need anything from the Panasonic GH1 CD. I have not even put the Panasonic CD in my computer yet and actually have no idea what is on that CD.

    I really don't see the reason to get LR 2 today when the LR3 is on its way, unless you really need the program immediately. There are a few LR3 features I think are worth the upgrade for me. If I were you, I would download the LR3 Beta, and learned the LR basics. I think for basic stuffs, you will not miss too much from LR2. But, I can be wrong too as I am still using LR2 for 'real' work.
    "On its way" means April or May. For me, that means something on the order of 5000-8000 images to manage and process. I would never rely upon beta software to do that.

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    Contributing Editor ustein's Avatar
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    Re: What software for GH1?

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    I would never rely upon beta software to do that.
    And Adobe even warns about this.
    Uwe Steinmueller
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  15. #15
    Member slau's Avatar
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    Re: What software for GH1?

    For a beginner in post processing, learning to organizing images and probably not shooting any more than a few hundred shots a month, I don't see much downside from jumping into LR3 immediately. I hate to recommend people to pay for LR2 now and then pay for the upgrade to LR3 in a few months. Stefan may not even like the workflow for LR after he has a taste of it. If Stefan shoots a few thousands shots a month, that will be another story. And, the speed of LR2 is much faster until LR3 is further optimized.
    Stephen Lau
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    Contributing Editor ustein's Avatar
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    Re: What software for GH1?

    Quote Originally Posted by slau View Post
    I hate to recommend people to pay for LR2 now and then pay for the upgrade to LR3 in a few months.
    Get a LR 2 trial. Especially for beginners beta version can be tricky. If something goes bad there is not even a way to complain.

    I use many beta products every day but I also have a very good backup workflow.
    Uwe Steinmueller
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    Re: What software for GH1?

    Quote Originally Posted by slau View Post
    For a beginner in post processing, learning to organizing images and probably not shooting any more than a few hundred shots a month, I don't see much downside from jumping into LR3 immediately. I hate to recommend people to pay for LR2 now and then pay for the upgrade to LR3 in a few months. Stefan may not even like the workflow for LR after he has a taste of it. If Stefan shoots a few thousands shots a month, that will be another story. And, the speed of LR2 is much faster until LR3 is further optimized.
    I wasn't recommending to pay for LR2 but to at least learn on LR2 though the free 30 day trial. All of the full program tutorials are LR2 based. There isn't anything out yet on LR3 start to finish. Everything I've seen is "Here's what's new in LR3". If you don't know LR2 then the LR3 tutorials are only touching a few things and not putting a whole workflow together. At the end of the month Stefan can decide if he wants to just use the LR3 beta or buy a LR2 and then have to pay to upgrade to LR3 when the final program is out.

    While I am using LR3 beta right now, I have my workflow set up to bring the images into the LR2 catalogue so my eventual migration to LR3 isn't all disjointed. I don't process a ton in LR3 right now only things that need a final output right away.

  18. #18
    Senior Member apicius9's Avatar
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    Re: What software for GH1?

    Thanks Terry, that's how I understood it. I'm happy to use betas of programs I know but prefer relying on proven versions when I get into a new one, too many unknown variables otherwise if something doesn't work. I'm swamped with work right now and my computer needs a new graphics card, so by the time I really get to it, the LR3 release may be on its way anyway...

    Stefan

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    Re: What software for GH1?

    LR2 trial is a good compromise. Just have to make a decision where to go after the 30 day trail period expires. Good luck, Stefan.
    Stephen Lau
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    http://www.pbase.com/stephenl

  20. #20
    JohnKendrick
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    Re: What software for GH1?

    Quote Originally Posted by apicius9 View Post
    I hope you will tolerate the question - I know I could spend a few days searching for it but the more I look, the more confused I get.

    Until now, I have minimized any PP - the appeal of taking pictures to me is to get away from the computer, not to spend more time working on it. And I am really strictly an amateur with no ambitions beyond occasionally shooting a few nice ones and learning more about photography. But I have gotten to the point where I want to do just a little bit more. Unfortunately, most software seems to be doing things of which I have no clue what they are, let alone whether I need them... I also just got the GH1 and never in my life edited a video, so that is completely new as well. I also assume there will be as many recommendations as there are individual photographers, but I will ask anyway:

    What is a good basic software setup for the GH1?
    ...........

    Thanks,

    Stefan
    Very much my response when I bought a GH1 this past November. I was moving up from P&S, wanted something substantial for software but, after an experience with PhotoShop several years ago, knew I didn't want to go there.

    The advice I was given, which turned out to be very helpful, was to download free trial versions of either Lightroom or Aperture (not the beta versions--too many problems there) and work my way into the software drawing on a manual to do so. I chose Lightroom and Scott Kelby's book. Worked very well and I soon used academic discounts to buy Lightroom relatively inexpensively. I'm quite pleased with the results. And may well never move to Photoshop.

    I could have chosen Aperture. I've seen one or two good manuals that might prove helpful. But I particularly like the Lightroom feature which stores all changes in the database without changing the original.

    Ah, one more reason for choosing Lightroom rather than Aperture. It looked to me as if there was much more support for the former--more books in the bookstore, more online forums, just more sources to draw on when I couldn't find answers.

    John

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    Re: What software for GH1?

    Quote Originally Posted by ustein View Post
    Get a LR 2 trial. Especially for beginners beta version can be tricky. If something goes bad there is not even a way to complain.

    I use many beta products every day but I also have a very good backup workflow.

    And--there are some issues with the beta. I can't open the print module. After installing, uninstalling, reinstalling, etc.---asking for help on LR beta forum--we haven't found anything. I haver a very straightforward setup--and have participated in LR betas since 1.0 without any problems.

    I would dl the 2.6 30 day demo to begin with. I work with LR daily and really like it--thus I'm a bit frustrated that I can't try the print module, but anticipate the final version (and I agree--I bet there will be at least one more iteration of the beta and probably not a final version until later in the Spring--and of course, this is what beta's are for---to iron out the problems) will work fine. I wouldn't trust important files to a beta--and Adobe recommends this also.

    Lots of tutes online--and a web based class would work fine too.

    Diane

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    Re: What software for GH1?

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnKendrick View Post
    ... Ah, one more reason for choosing Lightroom rather than Aperture. It looked to me as if there was much more support for the former--more books in the bookstore, more online forums, just more sources to draw on when I couldn't find answers.
    A principle reason not to choose Aperture for the GH1 (or G1, or GF1, or E-P1 or E-P2) is that Aperture does not at present support their raw files, or even DNG files made from their raw files.

  23. #23
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    Re: What software for GH1?

    My shooting buddy, who was a dead hard Aperture fan for years, has recently decided to go to Lightroom as he gave up the hope of Aperture supporting the raw files of his GF1/G1. Not sure what Apple engineers are thinking. The new Aperture 3 will support the brand new Canon 1DMk4 but not the over an year old G1. ?????
    Stephen Lau
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  24. #24
    Senior Member apicius9's Avatar
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    Re: What software for GH1?

    A few follow up questions on this, if you don't mind:

    I went to a very good Lightroom workshop yesterday and I am convinced that this is really a great basic solution for me to keep my pics organized and do basic processing - thanks again everyone for recommending that! I am still setting up my new computer, so the timing is also perfect to start organizing everything from scratch. I still have to decide whether to dare using the beta version at this point or pay for 2.6 now and then again when the new one comes out...

    But I also realized the limitations of LR in the workshop, and, of course, the instructor took it as a given that we all would use Photoshop to do the 'real' work. My feeling is still that PS is overkill for what I want to do (and it doesn't come cheap either), so I was wondering whether a combination of LR and Photoshop/Premiere Elements 8 would make sense - assuming that Premiere would also work to deal with the videos of the GH1. Is anybody using this combination? How well do they work together? I haven't seen any LR plugins for Elements, do they exist?

    And lastly, I finally understood what HDR means and would like to at least keep this option open. I can get Photomatix (recommended by my workshop instructor) for a reasonable price with an academic discount - would that work as an addition to the combo above?

    I always had this delusion that the basic needs should be handled by one program, but it looks like I won't get around diving into a few more if I really want to do the next steps. Or maybe I am getting to an 'advanced needs' level already...

    Thanks,

    Stefan

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