Too Many Programs


Hall of Famer
So by my estimate, I have to be quite good enough on the nuances of the following:

1. Lightroom 5.x
2. Nikon Capture NX2 (not so much now since I've sold off my Nikon kit but have plenty of NEF files)
3. Fujifilm Raw File Converter EX 2.0
4. Iridient X-Transformer
5. Canon DPP (recent arrival, I'll talk about it in the GAS thread)
6. Nik Efex (inside LR)
7. Luminar 2018

I realize 2-5 could be consolidated by relying on a monolithic RAW interpreter inside say Lightroom or Luminar, but I'm old school enough that I prefer the Manufacturer's Software, as terribly designed as it is. I'm still flipping a coin on Iridient vs. RFC 2.0 - as bad as the Silkypix interface is, there's some really great controls therein. The distortion controls in LR do a lot better job even after applying lens control profiles in each of the Manufacturer programs.

I'm still wondering how the heck I got here when I made a conscious decision to set very usable profiles in my Fujis and shoot LF JPG only. I think the lesson here is "Don't let Perfection get in the way of Good Enough" or something to that effect. :rolleyes-74:


Central Ohio, USA
Real Name
I'm under the same issue. Reading your post, out of all the programs I have, I use 3 almost daily, which is Lightroom, onOne Photo raw and Nik.

I've got Oly viewer 3, topaz labs, Nikon NX and a few others that basically got installed and just sit there. I really should clean this junk up. Lol

Bruce McL

This is an interesting discussion. I don’t think this problem is unusual.

I’m retired now, but I used to do computer work for people who had a small business or home office. A lot of my time was spent explaining about and steering people away from software complexity and lock-in.

The only effective answer for a photographer is: Don’t buy any camera until you know and like the way the image files perform in your workflow.

The problem with this answer is that it’s nearly impossible to make a good buying decision in that way. I know - I’ve made my share of bad decisions! :) If you shoot RAW, you have to wait six months until support for the latest, greatest camera is available in your software of choice. Then you have to hope that some site has posted RAW files from the camera that are similar to the kind of images that you make.

Then, every once in a while, there is another decision to make: Is it time to make big changes to my workflow? Sometimes this evaluation is prompted by new cameras that don’t work well with your current software, sometimes by changes in the software you use or that competitors offer. Workflow decisions definitely require some long term thinking: If I get into this workflow now, how easy will it be to get out of it in 5-10 years if I don’t like the new version of what I’m using or if something better comes along?

I realize that things like identifying pain points in workflow and becoming an efficiency expert are not appealing to a lot of photographers. But the industry is not set up to take care of these problems for the advanced photographer. I don’t think it ever will be. A more casual photographer can pick an ecosystem, like Apple or Google, and stay inside of it.

The short answer to the question at hand is: it’s time to start destroying stuff. Throw out cameras and software until you are comfortable with your workflow along with being happy with the results you get. Once you get there you can start building out without adding more pain.


Newcastle, Australia
Real Name
Love the way you think, Bruce! Throwing out cameras is harder for me than throwing out software, though. I seem to have abandoned OnOne, havent liked it since v9.5, Gimp just didnt do it for me, free or not, Adobe... ugh... money... lots of it. Current favourites on my Mac are Luminar and Aurora, and on the iPad, Snapseed, Leonardo and ACDSee. I still do some editing inside Photos as well.

[edit] Generally I detest the halfbaked efforts supplied with cameras. YUCK.

Bruce McL

... Throwing out cameras is harder for me than throwing out software, though.
Looking back I see a pattern in the way I get rid of cameras. I get frustrated with working on the files but that’s not enough, so I find one minor flaw in how it operates or IQ and then I get mad enough to let go of the camera. :)


I've never really liked the manufacturer's own RAW engines. There are third party solutions that are simply better in terms of detail extraction, distortion correction, noise reduction, etc. For me, for pure IQ, it's DxO Optics, or now Photo Lab. It's a lot of fun re-editing old RAW images from time to time - the quality of the RAW conversion engines (and to a point, improved editing skills) can make for some very interesting improvements.

(until you try pushing 6MP CCD files too 3 stops and wonder why the shadows look so terrible....)

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