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Last post Author Topic: Sagelight Image Editor - pay what you want promo (Apil 2010)  (Read 43873 times)

Dormouse

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Re: Sagelight Image Editor - pay what you want promo (Apil 2010)
« Reply #25 on: April 10, 2010, 07:02:29 PM »
Remember that the value of batch processing depends on how much you want precisely the same settings applied to each photo.

If you shoot mostly RAW, then you will want to batch process them. But if you are doing that, then you might want to look at a number of other options. I use DxO which tests each lens/camera combination and calculates the corrections needed for each photo setting; that gives DxO much more controlled automatic processing for these parameters (at much greater cost too though). I'm not trying to suggest the use of DxO (or equivalent), but I am saying that HF should be compared with other raw processors if that is a substantial element of what you are interested in. But most people who shoot RAW are well into the advantages/disadvantages of various RAW processors already.

If you aren't interested in RAW, then you have to work out how much you really will want to apply all the same settings across a batch. Mostly, I suspect, if there's the same colour cast across a number of photos.

Looking at the other differences, HF (even in its latest beta) seems to me to be a much more traditional photo processor in approach and Sagelight appears to encourage more playing around. I wouldn't like to hazard any sort of guess or evaluation of which is 'best' without a lot more trying out, but I would say that I see them both as photo processors rather than image editors. I cannot really see how you can sensibly edit images without using layers.

Curt

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Re: Sagelight Image Editor - pay what you want promo (Apil 2010)
« Reply #26 on: April 11, 2010, 02:17:03 AM »
one simple example of what I like about the Helicon:

The very first time I was trying Helicon I found this dark and dull demo original:

1920x1280 pixels:
demo.JPGSagelight Image Editor - pay what you want promo (Apil 2010)



Within in a minute, still the very first time I tried the program, I made this version:

demo_hf.jpgSagelight Image Editor - pay what you want promo (Apil 2010)



There may be (many?) programs better than Helicon, but few  if any  as easy to use!

Dormouse

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Re: Sagelight Image Editor - pay what you want promo (Apil 2010)
« Reply #27 on: April 11, 2010, 08:36:29 AM »
~ HF has noise reduction - cant find any in SL [I just found a 'Smooth Skin/Image' edit which = Noise Reduction, preview of effect doesnt allow you to zoom in though, so you cant really see effect unless you apply it...]

Discussion of Noise Reduction in Sagelight

And another

Even more discussion on 26th March in the BLOG
« Last Edit: April 11, 2010, 12:17:54 PM by Dormouse »

Dormouse

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Re: Sagelight Image Editor - pay what you want promo (Apil 2010)
« Reply #28 on: April 11, 2010, 09:16:14 AM »
I'm finding the Sagelight forums quite interesting.
Batch processing is coming soon (interesting post on some advantages/disadvantages of raw processing in batches HERE) and layers in v4

Dormouse

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Re: Sagelight Image Editor - pay what you want promo (Apil 2010)
« Reply #29 on: April 11, 2010, 10:08:35 AM »
There may be (many?) programs better than Helicon, but few  if any  as easy to use!

It all depends on what is meant by easy to use.

Experienced users who use progs daily find a smooth workflow and shortcuts easaiest.
Users who understand what they want to do find it easy if those things are easily seen.
People who don't really know what they want to do or what is possible need an environment they can play around in or a set of clear instructions.

The limited set of main buttons in the new HF beta includes Chromatic Aberration. How many novice camera users know what that is?

This comes from their webpage:-
Some of the most interesting and unique features are:
  • Live preview of all brushes
  • Haze compensation
  • Spectral sensitivity controls
  • Chromatic aberration filter
  • Vignetting and barrel corrections

I'm not sure how many people will understand why they would be interested in all these. Or what to do with them.

Don't get me wrong, Helicon Filter is a perfectly good program. I've used it before. And they have other programs that people might find interesting, particularly Helicon Focus which does what it does probably better than anything else around at the moment, including Photoshop. And in some ways it is quite easy to use.

I just feel that the thread was moving away from Sagelight and giving the impression that HF is better. I hadn't even looked at Sagelight before seeing this thread and it seems to me to have a different sort of UI to most photo processing progs and possibly more accessible to a lot of people. I haven't spent a great deal of time looking at Sagelight et, or the HF beta, but at the moment, I'd describe them as different approaches to doing many of the same things. Sagelight probably being in a currently much faster state of development. Whichever suits you best, is the one for you to use.

And there are a lot of free programs out there that do a lot of basic things, and some advanced ones, pretty well too.



Dormouse

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Re: Sagelight Image Editor - pay what you want promo (Apil 2010)
« Reply #30 on: April 11, 2010, 11:07:49 AM »
And another thread from the Sagelight forums where Rob explains the Sagelight philosophy/workflow and even makes a comparison with Helicon Filter.

Curt

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Re: Sagelight Image Editor - pay what you want promo (Apil 2010)
« Reply #31 on: April 11, 2010, 12:12:58 PM »
... I just feel that the thread was moving away from Sagelight ...

- you're of course right, Dormouse.

I have also tried out Sagelight, of course, and was very impressed. The main reason I gave praise to Helicon was that while it took me an hour to get a fine result in Sagelight the very first time I used it, it literally took me less than a minute to get a similar result in Helicon. On the other hand I know from experience that it would take me much longer with some of the other respected editors. Is Sagelight difficult to operate? No, it is dead-easy! However, it took me an hour to figure it out, because of too many buttons in sight.

Dormouse

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Re: Sagelight Image Editor - pay what you want promo (Apil 2010)
« Reply #32 on: April 11, 2010, 12:32:15 PM »
The developers describe HF as being problem focussed.

And historically it has always mapped onto a traditional photog's processing workflow. IIRC, it can work as a Photoshop plugin. It certainly works quite well and I wouldn't want to put anyone off it. And I admit to being tempted by H Focus, if not its price.

Sagelight seems to be taking a very different approach to a UI (& workflow) and one I've not seen before (iirc). And I like the forum, which seems to have a very good and helpful atmosphere even though it is relatively recent. I can see it developing a really good community.

tomos

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Re: Sagelight Image Editor - pay what you want promo (Apil 2010)
« Reply #33 on: April 11, 2010, 03:56:11 PM »
just edited my post above

[...]   I just found a 'Smooth Skin/Image' edit which = Noise Reduction, preview of effect doesnt allow you to zoom in though, so you cant really see effect unless you apply it... - a confusing interface here with changes shown 'live', and also a 'Preview Selection' setting which has the limitation as described in strikethrough text combined with: I not sure what exactly it's previewing ]

[...]

[edit] corrected SL noise reduction info [/edit]


Discussion of Noise Reduction in Sagelight

And another

Even more discussion on 26th March in the BLOG

the blog link recommends a good noise-removal plugin (awaiting improvements in Sagelight itself) :Thmbsup:
Tom

Dormouse

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Re: Sagelight Image Editor - pay what you want promo (Apil 2010)
« Reply #34 on: April 11, 2010, 05:18:36 PM »
The HF forum thread with requests for the new version 5 (it dates back over 2 years) has a request for being able to use external plugins for noise removal.

The problem with any form of automatic noise removal is that it is too easy to smooth everything out to give a plasticky effect. Very tricky to retain all the detail and still take out the noise because a lot of what is removed is actually the detail. Noise removal is a feature, that imho receives far too much attention in reviews etc, possibly because it is an easy thing for techies to measure unlike things like colour tones etc. Like making pictures 'pop'; I'm always amazed at how many photos of natural scenes I see for sale which have been popped into garishness. These photo editing programs have a lot to answer for.

Dormouse

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Re: Sagelight Image Editor - pay what you want promo (Apil 2010)
« Reply #35 on: April 13, 2010, 05:29:08 AM »
For those interested in RAW conversion, there is a very interesting post on 11th April in the Sagelight BLOG.

tomos

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Re: Sagelight Image Editor - pay what you want promo (Apil 2010)
« Reply #36 on: April 13, 2010, 06:45:58 AM »
For those interested in RAW conversion, there is a very interesting post on 11th April in the Sagelight BLOG.

I'd love to know what programmes he tried!
I really like what he writes - blog and forum - it's very informative and he's open & honest and seems to plan on making a good programme great :up:
Tom

Jibz

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Re: Sagelight Image Editor - pay what you want promo (Apil 2010)
« Reply #37 on: April 13, 2010, 06:59:08 AM »
I am guessing he might be swamped with registration requests .. at least I donated 5 days ago and haven't received anything. I sent him an e-mail about it a couple of days ago which he hasn't replied to either.

Dormouse

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Re: Sagelight Image Editor - pay what you want promo (Apil 2010)
« Reply #38 on: April 13, 2010, 07:19:06 AM »
I'd love to know what programmes he tried!
I really like what he writes - blog and forum - it's very informative and he's open & honest and seems to plan on making a good programme great :up:

Me too; I'm hoping it will slip out some time. Of course, his comments can only really apply to the automatic settings (I hope so anyway) - if you use the histograms to manage the development for each pic then this won't happen. But that takes so much more time. It also emphasises to me the need to do cropping in raw as that can change what the histogram sees.

My own workflow is to copy the RAWs on to the computer untouched and unprocessed. And making sure I have a set that stays that way.
I then put everything through DxO on automatic settings. That gives me a better idea of what might be there.
When I want to print or use a photo, I go back to the RAW and take it through manually.
And then do final editing/tweaking on the jpg.

(I am especially good at the first two stages  ;D)

I hope this insulates me from the problems he describes. I do find the way he writes very helpful and informative.

Partly, maybe, because he seems to share a lot of my own prejudices.
He likes Faststone amongst the free image viewers - which has never felt fashionable view.
He dislikes the plasticky images produced by too much noise removal and prettifying.
He hates anything that causes a loss of more information than absolutely necessary.

I think I will probably buy and upgrade Sagelight as it develops purely to support his writing. I can see that reading him may well help me change and develop my approach and techniques. I haven't really decided how much I will use it yet (I have collected a lot of these programs over the years), but it may be that I will end up using it a lot.

kfitting

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Re: Sagelight Image Editor - pay what you want promo (Apil 2010)
« Reply #39 on: April 13, 2010, 10:25:30 AM »
I downloaded the trial of Sagelight... does anyone know if it can do lens correction (similar to DPP from Canon)?  I looked but could not find it...

JavaJones

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Re: Sagelight Image Editor - pay what you want promo (Apil 2010)
« Reply #40 on: April 13, 2010, 01:40:05 PM »
For those interested in RAW conversion, there is a very interesting post on 11th April in the Sagelight BLOG.

Wow, that *is* an interesting blog post. But FFS why doesn't he mention the names of the programs he compared to? What does he have to lose? It's a factual comparison. There shouldn't be any legal or other problems, should there?

Before that blog post I honestly had little interest in Sagelight. Now I'm definitely going to try it when I get home.

- Oshyan

Dormouse

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Re: Sagelight Image Editor - pay what you want promo (Apil 2010)
« Reply #41 on: April 13, 2010, 02:39:40 PM »
I downloaded the trial of Sagelight... does anyone know if it can do lens correction (similar to DPP from Canon)?  I looked but could not find it...
I haven't used it much, but don't think it would have. It doesn't sell itself as a raw processor especially and it would be expensive to get sucked into that. Rob's already found it time consuming to support plugins. You would probably have to use something like PTLens or be very careful about how much you allow DPP to do.

Dormouse

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Re: Sagelight Image Editor - pay what you want promo (Apil 2010)
« Reply #42 on: April 13, 2010, 02:48:32 PM »
Before that blog post I honestly had little interest in Sagelight. Now I'm definitely going to try it when I get home.

If you're happy with what you have and know how to use it, then I'm not sure it's worth changing your workflow. What Rob talks about is applicable whatever software you use. That said his plans for Sagelight are very promising.

JavaJones

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Re: Sagelight Image Editor - pay what you want promo (Apil 2010)
« Reply #43 on: April 13, 2010, 03:24:25 PM »
Before that blog post I honestly had little interest in Sagelight. Now I'm definitely going to try it when I get home.

If you're happy with what you have and know how to use it, then I'm not sure it's worth changing your workflow. What Rob talks about is applicable whatever software you use. That said his plans for Sagelight are very promising.

That's just it. I haven't settled on a package yet, and my absolute biggest priority is *proper* RAW processing. Which is why it's so important to me that he names the packages he tested, so I know A: how to reproduce the tests he's done with my own files and B: potentially what products to avoid or at least be wary of due to improper RAW processing. There is also the possibility that he accepted the program's defaults but that there are ways to get more "baseline" RAW output from a given tool and he just didn't use it, in which case naming the software would allow users of it to point out how the test might be made more fair.

- Oshyan

Curt

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Re: Sagelight Image Editor - pay what you want promo (Apil 2010)
« Reply #44 on: April 13, 2010, 05:03:22 PM »
... there is a very interesting post on 11th April in the Sagelight BLOG.

... why doesn't he mention the names of the programs he compared to? What does he have to lose? It's a factual comparison. There shouldn't be any legal or other problems, should there?

Maybe there is. In Denmark it is not legit for a company to advertise their own test against a competitor.

JavaJones

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Re: Sagelight Image Editor - pay what you want promo (Apil 2010)
« Reply #45 on: April 13, 2010, 05:23:53 PM »
Really? Hmmm. Lame. Well, maybe he can just tell someone else and they can publish the results themselves as "verification". :D

- Oshyan

Darwin

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Re: Sagelight Image Editor - pay what you want promo (Apil 2010)
« Reply #46 on: April 13, 2010, 06:32:39 PM »
I suspect it's more of a "gentlemanly" thing... Don't slam the competition.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Dormouse

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Re: Sagelight Image Editor - pay what you want promo (Apil 2010)
« Reply #47 on: April 13, 2010, 06:43:12 PM »
my absolute biggest priority is *proper* RAW processing. Which is why it's so important to me that he names the packages he tested, so I know A: how to reproduce the tests he's done with my own files and B: potentially what products to avoid or at least be wary of due to improper RAW processing. There is also the possibility that he accepted the program's defaults but that there are ways to get more "baseline" RAW output from a given tool and he just didn't use it, in which case naming the software would allow users of it to point out how the test might be made more fair.

He has to have accepted the default automatic settings. To do anything else would be seen as unfair (the other progs' developers will have chosen their default setting) as the settings would have been chosen by him and could not be reproduced others unless he explained what settings he chose and why. And trying to get the best possible photo out of them all would have taken a great deal of time. I think what he was drawing attention to is factors in developing raws that a lot of people don't know or ignore and that (some) other programs have a tendency to choose automatic settings that look better than Sagelight initially, but have actually lost information by doing so.

I think most, if not all, the major raw processors will allow you to choose settings that lose no information and will also allow you to automate it slightly by using the same formula for groups of photos that you think are similar. I'd be quite alarmed if they lost information unnecessarily whatever you did. What he is suggesting you do when you are testing raws is to check the histograms of the befores and afters. And the other thing, of course, is not to convert into jpgs if you expect to be doing much more processing, especially if it will involve a number of stages and saves.

It's not something I worry about. over much As long as I have a pristine copy of the raws, I can always go back. Any type of automatic processing or using defaults or using the same settings for a number of images is a compromise between time saved and quality. You choose the best mix you can according to your needs at the time.

Lutz_

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Re: Sagelight Image Editor - pay what you want promo (Apil 2010)
« Reply #48 on: April 14, 2010, 05:19:16 PM »
I do not know how the author did the comparisons for the previously mentioned blog post (http://sagelightedit...bout-raw-converters/ ).  RAW converters usually have a lot of optimization options.  It is a great read however.

I did my own comparisons of the highlight recovery tools in several RAW converters a while ago with a challenging test picture from a German blog: Ansichten eines Sturkopfs.  I have added Sagelight to this comparison and the highlight recovery performs as good as indicated in the authors blog post (one has to use the  ">> File >> Open RAW file with Highlight Recovery Options" menu).  In my eyes Sagelight is one of two converters with superior highlight recovery (together with Scarab Darkroom).  Please note that for this test I did focus my efforts only on the best highlights. The images are rendered quite differently in all other aspects by most converters.
The test images can be downloaded in full size from here.  The Sagelight example is the last one.

JavaJones

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Re: Sagelight Image Editor - pay what you want promo (Apil 2010)
« Reply #49 on: April 14, 2010, 05:46:02 PM »
Would anyone be interested in a website setup specifically to share source and output comparisons for RAW conversion? For example you would register, then upload a RAW file that you took for others to convert using their software of choice. Others would then upload their conversions, with e.g. details of program, version, and settings used. Then you could run a side-by-side or maybe a mouse-over flip comparison to judge the differences, as well as maybe download the full-size result files for better comparison.

This is something I've been thinking of doing lately, and I'm curious if anyone else would actually be interested not just in the results, but in contributing to it. Lutz, it looks like you'd have something to contribute. ;)

- Oshyan