Picture Snob

April 4, 2008

Photo Software Series: Programs for Pros

In PictureSnob's Photo Software Series, we're taking a look at a range of current photo software. Let us know your experiences and if there's another photo software that you'd like to recommend.

The Pro Stuff
What you can do with these programs is endless. It's up to you how many features you wish to use, but you'll never run out! Hands down, Adobe Photoshop is still king of this world, especially if you wish to integrate with any other Adobe Creative Suite products.
software_pro.jpgAdobe Photoshop (Amazon $624.99)
When you're serious about being top-notch.
We're talking precise color-correction, color calibration to monitors and printers, raw-image processing and streamlined workflow with Adobe Bridge (included). Most importantly, nondestructive editing: keep your pixels pure while messing around with levels, filters and retouching. If you work with any other programs in the Adobe Creative Suite, this is the program for you. If you don't know what any of that meant, stick to Photoshop Elements and spend the $500 you saved on a sweet Epson printer!

Adobe Photoshop Extended (Amazon $996.99)
For 3D and motion support.
Simply, this is Photoshop that also caters to 3D content, animation and video. Also great for medical, architectural and engineering applications -- compatible with CAD, MATLAB and DICOM data.

Apple Aperture (Amazon $189.99)
A warm, fuzzy place between iPhoto and Photoshop.
Mac only. Okay, rather than go over all the features, "Appleture" makes us want to know how this compares to Photoshop and iPhoto. We're going to examine that pandora's box in detail later, but here's the nutshell. Use Aperture if you are focused on organizing, sorting and doing minor image edits. Use Photoshop for intensive image editing. Aperture can handle more images than iPhoto can and its file management system is better integrated than Photoshop's Bridge. Aperture can also process raw files and has more manual editing options than iPhoto (but less than Photoshop). It's fully integrated with all the iLife and .Mac programs and is Photoshop-friendly -- you can export an image from Aperture, edit it to death in Photoshop, and then import it back to Aperture. Ultimately, we consider this an upgrade from iPhoto rather than an alternative to Photoshop.

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Posted by Susan Moriarty at April 4, 2008 7:16 AM
Recent Comments

Adobe also has an Apeture-like product called Adobe Lightroom. Its not quite as slick as Aperture (from what I gather), but it is available on Windows. I've been using it for a little while now, and its been great for keeping my photos organized.

Posted by: Peter Kovacs at April 4, 2008 8:48 AM
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