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Thread: Leica M8 Recommendations for Editing Program

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    Leica M8 Recommendations for Editing Program

    I just recieved a new (to me) M8 and now I have excuse to update my computer and processing/editing software.

    I am not a big volume shooter, maybe 50 or so shots per week and prefer b&w over colour. I used NX with my D700 but have no experience with other programs. Not at all intimidated by a steep learning curve.

    I am looking at possibly purchasing an iMAC 7 and would like any recommendations from users as to the best iMAC configuration and editing program - CS5, Capture One, Lightroom, Aperture etc. Adobe are offering students a substatial discount on CS5 which is enticing but only if the program warrants it over other the other choices. Currently using an older Dell (only 4mgs RAM) which may have to do for a while before I upgrade.

    Thanks in advance for your comments/recommendations. I look forward to start posting images soon.

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    Senior Member mathomas's Avatar
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    Re: Leica M8 Recommendations for Editing Program

    I like Aperture, but just because that's what I've been using since version 1.0. Lightroom is good too. Consider buying the Nik Silver Efex plugin for either one of those, to get beautiful B&W conversions of your RAWs and JPEGs

    (Note I consider the M8 to create great out-of-camera B&W JPEGs, as well).

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Leica M8 Recommendations for Editing Program

    Congrats on your new camera! I have processed M8 files with virtually every piece of conversion software out there, and hands down C1 does the best job for both detail and accurate color. It also has a phenomenal B&W (with optional split-toning) tool too. But it's not cheap. Worth every penny IMHO, but you do pay for it.

    Re post software, I do use CS5, but with the latest release of C1, I'm using CS5 less and less. I have not even opened Silver FX Pro, or CS5's B&W tools since C1 v6.

    Cheers,
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Senior Member mathomas's Avatar
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    Re: Leica M8 Recommendations for Editing Program

    Not to contradict Jack, but he reminded me, with his message, that I should say that Silver Efex does split-toning as well. However, you do have to launch into the plug-in, rather than just having it "right there" as apparently with C1 (which I haven't used).

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    Senior Member kevinparis's Avatar
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    Re: Leica M8 Recommendations for Editing Program

    Just my thoughts

    question to ask yourself is whether you want a single application to handle the whole workflow eg non destructive image editing, the management of your files and a range of output options in a seamless package - then look at Aperture or Lightroom.

    If destructive editing and managing your own files and all the intermediate files that non destructive workflow brings then C1 seems to be a good choice.

    CS5 is probably the last choice I would make... I know its tradtionally been the tool of choice for digital photographers... but its toolset was never really focussed on photographers, it is expensive and to me is a very inefficient application workflowise in comparison to dedicated tools like Aperture and Lightroom.... which make the process of capturing, editing and delivering your images as smooth as they will get.

    some people relish the process... i prefer getting the result... which is why i use aperture

    K
    Last edited by kevinparis; 1st February 2011 at 14:48.

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    Re: Leica M8 Recommendations for Editing Program

    Thank you for your replys.

    My next question is what computing power I need to run the programs. What would you advise for a MAC or PC bearing in mind I am trying to keep expenses reasonable and that

    I am not batch processing lots of files but I do not want the computer to be crashing or to be too slow either. I can not upgrade beyond my 4 mgs RAM on my current computer (Dell XP) - would this be enough to run any of the above noted programs?

    Thanks for the help.

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    Senior Member kevinparis's Avatar
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    Re: Leica M8 Recommendations for Editing Program

    hope you mean 4 gigabytes of RAM not 4 megabytes -)

    K

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    Re: Leica M8 Recommendations for Editing Program

    Another strong recommendation for C1, especially with the M8 (which I use). One of the nice things about the Leica cameras is the quality of the lenses. If you "see" it, and value the "special" qualities of the glass in combination with the M8/9 sensors, then you'll probably learn to love the ability of C1 to pull every last drop of goodness from the files.

    There's a fair number of people who might think of the qualities I describe as nothing more than the camera equivalent of the emperor's new clothes. That's fine and they might be right. Plus, Kevin makes a good point about the efficiencies to be had with a one-stop-shop program like Lightroom or Aperture.

    However, they can't make the magic happen like C1 can. Just my opinion and as with everything else, your mileage may vary.

    Good luck! It's fun!
    Tim

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Leica M8 Recommendations for Editing Program

    Quote Originally Posted by kevinparis View Post

    CS5 is probably the last choice I would make... I know its tradtionally been the tool of choice for digital photographers... but its toolset was never really focussed on photographers
    Kevin,

    I would agree, except that since about CS3 Adobe has made HUGE inroads toward making the program more user-appropriate for photographers. Granted that before then it was more an offset printing graphics program than a photographer's tool. But now it's different...

    FWIW only,
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Leica M8 Recommendations for Editing Program

    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    Thank you for your replys.

    My next question is what computing power I need to run the programs. What would you advise for a MAC or PC bearing in mind I am trying to keep expenses reasonable and that

    I am not batch processing lots of files but I do not want the computer to be crashing or to be too slow either. I can not upgrade beyond my 4 mgs RAM on my current computer (Dell XP) - would this be enough to run any of the above noted programs?

    Thanks for the help.
    It will run them, just more slowly than a new machine. So grab a cup of coffee while you work.

    For any new machine, Mac or PC, I would consider 8G RAM the bare minimum for an image processing machine.
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Senior Member kevinparis's Avatar
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    Re: Leica M8 Recommendations for Editing Program

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Kevin,

    I would agree, except that since about CS3 Adobe has made HUGE inroads toward making the program more user-appropriate for photographers. Granted that before then it was more an offset printing graphics program than a photographer's tool. But now it's different...

    FWIW only,
    fair point Jack... I only have CS3 though i did look at the trial versions of CS5 and found it even more impenetrable than before. I do know Photoshop - I even used to train people in it!!.. but as a graphics art tool.

    My point is that I believe a large majority of the adjustments that photographers would use Photoshop to make in the past can be achieved more efficiently in other applications.

    Buy Aperture or lightroom along with a complete set of Niksoftware for example and you will probably spend less than a copy of CS5 and have a better toolset for photographers.

    K

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    Senior Member mathomas's Avatar
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    Re: Leica M8 Recommendations for Editing Program

    Quote Originally Posted by kevinparis View Post
    ...

    My point is that I believe a large majority of the adjustments that photographers would use Photoshop to make in the past can be achieved more efficiently in other applications.

    Buy Aperture or lightroom along with a complete set of Niksoftware for example and you will probably spend less than a copy of CS5 and have a better toolset for photographers.

    K
    +1

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    Re: Leica M8 Recommendations for Editing Program

    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    I can not upgrade beyond my 4 mgs RAM on my current computer (Dell XP) - would this be enough to run any of the above noted programs?
    Leica M8 has just 10mp sensor (not 80mp MFDB), so you can very easily run C1 v6.x 32 bit and/or CS5/ACR6.x 32 bit on your 4GB ram Windows machine... albeit I'd not run them at once... I'd suggest you to get SuperSpeed Ramdisk Plus (http://www.superspeed.com/desktop/ramdisk.php) - that can allow you to use the RAM above 3.xgb on Windows 32bit for a ram drive, which otherwise might be unused in 32bit environment... you can use that to cache some temp files (not in C1 - but ACR cache for example).

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    Re: Leica M8 Recommendations for Editing Program

    Quote Originally Posted by kevinparis View Post
    Buy Aperture or lightroom along with a complete set of Niksoftware for example and you will probably spend less than a copy of CS5 and have a better toolset for photographers.

    K
    Adobe has many ways for you to get CS5 at a much lower price (OP mentioned onw) than full retail and then he can as well use the same Niks plugins there and much more efficiently... as for example LR architecture is not particularly plugin-friendly... plus if he will ever needs some specialized plugins - there are much more of them for Photoshop than for both Aperture and LR combined... but that is of course for somebody who really does some real postprocessing, beyond couple of clicks.

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    Re: Leica M8 Recommendations for Editing Program

    Thanks for all your suggestions - since my firat post I purchased an iMAC 27 2.66QC so I will have more preocessing juice. Its between LR3 and C1 v6.1. Of course both are out of stock in my area at the moment.

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    Re: Leica M8 Recommendations for Editing Program

    I use Lightroom for all my image processing work at present.

    I run it on both a Mac Mini (2.66 Ghz, 8G RAM, 500G 7200 rpm drive, Apple Cinema Display 23") and now a MacBook Pro 13" (2.4 Ghz, 8G RAM, 500G 7200 rpm drive, also connected to the ACD23 occasionally). Both systems have very satisfactory performance for my needs.

    I also use Aperture for some post-processing work (the book and slide show modules) using high quality JPEG and TIFF file exports from Lightroom. Aperture is so inexpensive now from the App Store ($79) it's well worth it for these things. I have Photoshop CS4 as well but don't use it much, it's installed on the Mini but not on the MacBook Pro.

    A couple of things to note in setting up your system:

    - For best performance with Lightroom (and most anything else) be sure that your startup drive has about 50% free space.

    - I put all the original files (raws, TIFFs, JPEGs) on an external drive which can be plugged into either machine any time I want to use it. The Lightroom catalog folder is kept on the startup drive. This also nets a significant increase in performance.

    - It came to my attention recently that even though all these new systems are fully 64bit capable and come with a 64bit kernel, only the Mac Pro models are set to use the 64bit kernel by default. The others are set to use the 32bit kernel (for reasons of compatibility with older software). I don't have any older software, everything I run is 64bit now, so I set my machines to use the 64bit kernel.

    Information on this and how to set up the 32 or 64 bit kernel as default is available in the following knowledge-base post from Apple:
    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3770

    The result is yet another nice improvement in performance for Lightroom and everything else. I don't know how relevant this is for machines with 4Gbyte or less of RAM, but it sure works nicely for my 8G systems.

    enjoy!

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    Re: Leica M8 Recommendations for Editing Program

    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    Thanks for all your suggestions - since my firat post I purchased an iMAC 27 2.66QC so I will have more preocessing juice. Its between LR3 and C1 v6.1. Of course both are out of stock in my area at the moment.
    I'm not sure I understand ... what is "out of stock in your area"? I buy software via the internet, haven't bought anything at a local store, software wise, in years.

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    Re: Leica M8 Recommendations for Editing Program

    Godfrey,
    Thanks for the set up information - I need all the help I can get as I am new to all this. I have very very slow internet service so I prefer to buy CDs as it makes for a much quicker and more stress free installations.

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    Re: Leica M8 Recommendations for Editing Program

    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    Godfrey,
    Thanks for the set up information - I need all the help I can get as I am new to all this. I have very very slow internet service so I prefer to buy CDs as it makes for a much quicker and more stress free installations.
    You should consider that all theese SW packages are constantly updated (C1 in particular) with a new release every couple of months, so buying the CD versioon in a first instance will not solve the problem.
    Cheers,
    Ario

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    Senior Member Ario Arioldi's Avatar
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    Re: Leica M8 Recommendations for Editing Program

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    I use Lightroom for all my image processing work at present.

    - I put all the original files (raws, TIFFs, JPEGs) on an external drive which can be plugged into either machine any time I want to use it. The Lightroom catalog folder is kept on the startup drive. This also nets a significant increase in performance.
    I use a similar approach but I keep also the catalog on the same external drives so that I'm sure to use always the most updated version of the catalog on each machine i plug the drive into.
    I know i may loose something in terms of speed but I hav'n find a better solution.
    Cheers,
    Ario

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    Re: Leica M8 Recommendations for Editing Program

    Quote Originally Posted by Ario Arioldi View Post
    I use a similar approach but I keep also the catalog on the same external drives so that I'm sure to use always the most updated version of the catalog on each machine i plug the drive into.
    I know i may loose something in terms of speed but I hav'n find a better solution.
    That works well too, if you're moving back and forth between machines frequently, and the performance hit is small if you're using a fast drive on a fast connection.

    It's not time effective for large catalogs, but you can also copy the catalog folder to the startup disk, edit, then copy it back when you're done. Less convenient but a little faster.

    Lots of these solutions work just fine. :-)

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