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Has someone compared LR to PhotoNinja?

Explorer ,
Oct 03, 2012 Oct 03, 2012

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http://www.picturecode.com/index.php

how does LR and PhotoNinja compare in image quality?

the reviewer seem to be impressed.

but how much is just PR blahblah (makes small format camera images look like medium format) .... how much is fact?

“I have been using Photo Ninja for a while now and I must confess that the image quality is amazing. Better than any other raw converter I have ever used. The images get this ‘realistic’ look. I cannot describe it better than that.” 

Tomas Hellström Photography enthusiast, Sweden

“Photo Ninja makes small format camera images look like medium format work -- simply fantastic!”

Pete Myers Fine art photographer, Santa Fe, NM.

“...a stellar raw converter...” 

Rob Galbraith


“The image quality this program produces absolutely destroys any other raw converter I've tried in terms of colour reproduction, exposure controls, and noise reduction. ” 

Mark van Dam Wedding photographer, Wasaga Beach, Ontario

edit:

i have spend a few minutes with it.
loaded some DNG files and compared it to LR.

i noticed that the highlight and shadow adjustments in photoninja work more restricted.

they don´t affect the medium tones as much as LR.
for the images i tried it on i liked it better then lightroom.

the colors are way better out of the box. that really suprises me.

i have only looked at a dozend of photos yet but color rendition seems to be great out of the box.

the photos i have looked at show a blue yamaha R1 bike on a racetrack.
no matter what LR profile i use the color is off by default (too purble or too light blue).

the photoninja color is SPOT ON without any editing.

i sure will spend some more time testing photoninja.

here is a crop from an image (from the image backround, not in focus. but look how much detail photoninja managed to show).

best i could achive with LR and with photoninja.

http://i.imgur.com/8b72x.jpg

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Guest
Oct 03, 2012 Oct 03, 2012

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Yes i have tested it for a few days and i think it IS impressiv.

It is a bit slow. But the rendering of small details is great.

I managed to quench out more details then with Lightroom.
And im not a Lightroom newbie, thought im a Photoninja newbie.

What looks smeared in LR often shows details in Photoninja.

Im not sure if it´s because the Noise Reduction of Photoninja is better.

In LR i normaly use around 15-30 luminance noise for images under ISO 800.  I think that is not so much.

But you can see that you lose some details in foliage etc.
With Photoninja i get the same clean image, or cleaner, but with more details.

One thing that bothers me with LR since forever are these strange artifacts you can see in your example image too, this "pixelation" around contrasty edges.

It comes from sharpening i guess but Photoninja does not show it, or much less.

Sorry i hope you all understand what i want to say. I can´t say it better with my bad english.

I also find that the colors looks great.
At least for my canon cameras i find the photoninja colors more pleasing, without any tweaking

I can only advice anyone to test this RAW converter and build your own opinion!!

I would also like to hear what you think about it.

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Guest
Oct 03, 2012 Oct 03, 2012

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Here is a review:

http://billstormont.wordpress.com/?page_id=3927&preview=true

No matter if you like Photoninja or not, one thing is 100% sure in my opinion:

the default rendering of Photoninja is worlds ahead of LR and ACR.

Lightrooms "AUTO" feature is pretty useless, while Photoninjas default image settings (calculated default settings) work most of the time very good.

Adobe should look at this raw converter and get some ideas how to make Lightrooms AUTO feature work.

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 03, 2012 Oct 03, 2012

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I have been testing it for a week now.

Yes you don't get all the features of Lightroom but regarding image quality this piece of software is VERY impressive.

I have tested a lot of converter and I can say that detail rendering is the best I have seen and color rendering is on par with Capture One (but different). These 2 software are the only one I think that gives very good color rendering. Lightroom has been out for years and colors are still crap ihmo.

Noise suppression is good too (better than C1) but I would not say better than LR: it is smoother but less detailed.

Highlight recovery is also the best I have seen (but sometimes you have to mitigate it).

Well, it is a very strong software. I you need a speedy workflow, LR is better, but for image quality Photo Ninja is way ahead.

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Advisor ,
Oct 03, 2012 Oct 03, 2012

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Do I need to CONVERT my raw images (e.g. as in DxO) with Photoninja?

Or can I just store rendering instructions inside a catalog, like the LR principle?

Thanks for an answer and apologies that I am too lazy yet to look for myself 😉

Cornelia

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Explorer ,
Oct 03, 2012 Oct 03, 2012

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settings are stored in XMP metadata. but no catalog.

Photo Ninja can save editor settings in XMP sidecar files for RAW images, or in embedded XMP within DNG, JPEG and TIFF images. When you save XMP, the pixels in the image file are not modified; the editor settings are stored separately in a text-like format. If you reopen the file later, the saved settings will be applied to the original image data, so you can go back and make changes to your settings while always working from the original pixels. This approach is called "nondestructive editing".

NOTE: Photo Ninja settings are written to a separate "namespace" within the XMP, so they can coexist with settings from other software applications that also utilize XMP. (If you encounter an application that overwrites Photo Ninja's settings, you can enable the "Shadow XMP" option in Photo Ninja's preferences dialog to work around this.)

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Engaged ,
Oct 03, 2012 Oct 03, 2012

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A lot of people will like it for its non-database approach and its explorer-base viewing (no import needed).

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LEGEND ,
Oct 05, 2012 Oct 05, 2012

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I've tested PN heavily since its release, and my overall impression (given the bugs I've found, the irritating, inefficient and downright faffy workflow/UI decisions it embodies, the lack of flexibility in its functionality and - crucially - the regular and predictable false-colour artifacts it produces in highlight recovery, which aren't fully corrected by the colour correction tool) can be articulated in one of two ways.

Either:

  • it's far too expensive for such an incomplete, inadequately-tested, buggy, limited, flawed software release; or
  • it would be more or less acceptable at around half the price.

Suffice to say, I've maxed out the (only!) 15 day trial period, and Picturecode isn't getting my money. I wanted to like it (I much prefer converters that are just converters) but PN fails on a number of very important points for me.

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Explorer ,
Oct 05, 2012 Oct 05, 2012

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Keith_Reeder schrieb:

I've tested PN heavily since its release, and my overall impression (given the bugs I've found, the irritating, inefficient and downright faffy workflow/UI decisions it embodies, the lack of flexibility in its functionality and - crucially - the regular and predictable false-colour artifacts it produces in highlight recovery, which aren't fully corrected by the colour correction tool) can be articulated in one of two ways.

Either:

  • it's far too expensive for such an incomplete, inadequately-tested, buggy, limited, flawed software release; or
  • it would be more or less acceptable at around half the price.

Suffice to say, I've maxed out the (only!) 15 day trial period, and Picturecode isn't getting my money. I wanted to like it (I much prefer converters that are just converters) but PN fails on a number of very important points for me.

you remember LR v1.0 ?

yes PN is buggy... yes the workflow needs some work.
it needs to mature... no question.

but the image quality is already better then lightrooms in MANY cases.

im using LR for some time (3 years i think) but if there isn´t something i missed, then i can´t get the same detail rendering in LR.

i mean... look at my example image.

i pushed the sliders for hours on that image in LR and i did not get the same level of details (at the same noise level) i get instantly with photo ninja.

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LEGEND ,
Oct 05, 2012 Oct 05, 2012

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hamada2003 wrote:

you remember LR v1.0 ?

So what? Am I only allowed an opinion if it agrees with yours?

I am not impressed by PN. End of story.

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Explorer ,
Oct 05, 2012 Oct 05, 2012

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So what? Am I only allowed an opinion if it agrees with yours?

I am not impressed by PN. End of story.

huh... you seem to be a very agressiv person who takes this personal.

you can say what you want of course.... so do i.

you know... this goes both ways.....

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LEGEND ,
Oct 05, 2012 Oct 05, 2012

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No, I'm not aggressive, I just find people who get defensive the insant someone deigns to disagree with their opinion, tiresome.

If you don't want other people's opinions, don't ask for them.

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Explorer ,
Oct 05, 2012 Oct 05, 2012

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yes you are.

YOU get upset when someone does not agree with you.. not me.

so better grab your own nose.

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Guest
Oct 05, 2012 Oct 05, 2012

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hamada2003 schrieb:

you remember LR v1.0 ?

A very valid point!

It´s the first release of a new Software. We should keep that in mind.

I think we can expect a lot in the future.. and todays issues will sure be fixed in the future.

I may add the Clarity issue in LR 4.0, the curves issue, the performance issues... etc. etc. pp..

LR 4 was far from perfect when released and i still don´t like the look of the new Clarity function.

hamada2003 schrieb:

but the image quality is already better then lightrooms in MANY cases.

100% agree.

If they fix the flaws (the crashes) the Software would be worth the money for me.

I spend 120 Euro on a ND Filter yesterday and 3100 Euro on my new Camera.
So why skimp on Software.

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LEGEND ,
Oct 05, 2012 Oct 05, 2012

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-Agfaclack- wrote:

hamada2003 schrieb:

you remember LR v1.0 ?

A very valid point!

And if we were discussing Lr v1.0 I'd have made similar comments about Lightroom too.

But we're not: we were asked to express an opinion about Photo Ninja. I did. It's not very good. That's the truth as I see it.

Make excuses for its failings if you like, but they're still failings. I'm obviously not clever enough to see into the future so that I can temper my opinion of a piece of software now with the knowledge of what it will be like at version 4...

But - "picture saying more than 1000 words" and all that - here's my main problem with PN:

http://www.capture-the-moment.co.uk/tp/tfu29/upload/PN_false_colours_highlights.jpg

This is the best PN could do (and don't anyone even think of suggesting I need to learn to use PN. No user error here).

I shoot in this sort of challenging light all the time, and handling images like this in Lr is trivially easy.

When PN can recover highlights properly I might have another look.

My opinion is nothing to do with "skimping" - the simple fact is that it's not worth the price, which is a different thing altogether.

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Guest
Oct 05, 2012 Oct 05, 2012

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Read the postings again.. nobody denied the issues PN has.

Still the RAW engine is great in my opinion.

I did not dismiss LR 4 because it´s Clarity feature sucked... i waited for a fix.

And i guess the Highlight feature in PN will be fixed soon too.

No need to have the ability to see into the future or be very clever to make such a guess.  

Keith_Reeder schrieb:

My opinion is nothing to do with "skimping" - the simple fact is that it's not worth the price, which is a different thing altogether.

That´s to a great deal subjectiv.

For some Photoshop is not woth 10x more then Elements.

You get Linux for free.. Windows not.

ps:

someone gave me the tipp to use "color recovery" to get rid of the introduced colors in the highlights.

you may want to test that if you did not already.

my guess is they do it this way because if you want to recover highlights in skintones it is better to interpolate to the the surrounding colors.

shadow/highlight in photoshop, for example produces gray.

photo ninja tries to get a color similiar to the skintone.

of course that is counter productive when you have pure white... like your swan.

i will test it as soon as i am at home.

ps ps:

yep it´s all explained here:

http://www.picturecode.com/tutorials/hr.php

Keith_Reeder schrieb:

This is the best PN could do (and don't anyone even think of suggesting I need to learn to use PN. No user error here).

Well.... i guess you should not be so confident about that next time.

I tried it on a few images (some white bird images like yours) and it worked flawless when done right.

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Explorer ,
Oct 05, 2012 Oct 05, 2012

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i don´t know if he has used color recovery on that image.

but i did not notice these false colors myself, when the color recovery is used correct.

maybe you should upload that image keith reeder, so we all could have a look? 

maybe it´s a camera brand dependend issue? only noticable with certain RAW formats?

but i did notice that photo ninjas highlight recovery does a better job on skintones then lightroom.

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New Here ,
Oct 05, 2012 Oct 05, 2012

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Any one remember Raw Magic Light? That too had the majenta highlight recovery and was realy slow!I think one had to add Green some way or another, . so long ago cannot recall however when you got it right it was great.... In those days RML was one of the best RAW developers for NEFs but had for me a steep learning curve. Photo Ninja is way easier.

Most of the magenta/ Rose (blown) highlite problems I have been able to solve with with a reduction to around 50% in color recovery of Photo Ninja, usualy less, say 75%. Sometimes LR4 does the job easier, never automaticaly in Capture NX (nikon user) oftener Photo Ninja.

I had promised myself to stick to one product but I keep on chopping and changing. Mostly agree that skin tones seem better in Photo Ninja.

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Explorer ,
Oct 05, 2012 Oct 05, 2012

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when you do a google search you will see that even LR had some issues with highlight recovery and a magenta cast for some raw formats in the past.

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LEGEND ,
Oct 05, 2012 Oct 05, 2012

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And again - so what?

We're not talking about Lr then, or PN in three years time, we're talking about PN right now, and it comes up wanting, whether or not you're prepared to accept that.

[Personal attack removed by Adobe admin to keep the forum a friendlier place.]

Message was edited by: TerriStoneCHL

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Engaged ,
Oct 05, 2012 Oct 05, 2012

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Chill guys. No point of arguing.

Thank you Hamada2003 for letting us know about the software. Thank you Keith for letting me know about the cons. So people who have time will test out the software. And those who are busy will wait until it's better. Personally I'll wait. I don't want to crash my system. Maybe when PN gets better, LR is already at another level.

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Explorer ,
Oct 05, 2012 Oct 05, 2012

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[Personal attack removed by Adobe admin to keep the forum a friendlier place.]

Message was edited by: TerriStoneCHL

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Guest
Oct 05, 2012 Oct 05, 2012

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Romain_Th schrieb:

I have tested a lot of converter and I can say that detail rendering is the best I have seen and color rendering is on par with Capture One (but different). These 2 software are the only one I think that gives very good color rendering. Lightroom has been out for years and colors are still crap ihmo.

Yes Skintones are a weak point in LR if you ask me.

I think all the LR profiles for my Canon cameras are bad.

I bought a Colorchecker Passport because i am so dissatisfied with Lightrooms Canon profiles.

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LEGEND ,
Oct 03, 2012 Oct 03, 2012

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-Agfaclack- wrote:

One thing that bothers me with LR since forever are these strange artifacts you can see in your example image too, this "pixelation" around contrasty edges.

It comes from sharpening i guess but Photoninja does not show it, or much less.

Perhaps what you are seeing comes from sharpen masking? - in the transition zone between masked and unmasked regions...

I call it "sparkling".

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New Here ,
Oct 05, 2012 Oct 05, 2012

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Hi Hamada,

I've actually bought the software (Keith may call me a sucker here, I suppose ).

I do agree in part with Keith in that it's handling of highlights, is not as graceful as LR. You can get yellow hotspots which the colour correction will not get rid of. Also it's processing workflow is a different. I actually get the approach and have no problems with it.

I must say that the images do come out with more detail (especially in shadow areas) and, to me a better 'look'.

However, every bit of image software has it's own look too - put the file through LR, Capture NX2 (which I also have), Bibble (sorry, Corel) etc and they will have differences. I actually find PNs photos more natural looking. Highly scientific tests with my family comparing processed  images had them all gravitating to PN (lol).

After using the software for a bit, I sent a feedback email to PN and received a prompt, detailed response from Jim Christian (the founder) - that bodes well for a continuous-improvement approach from PN.

I covered a wide range of topics in my email all of which received a response which left me feelling good about the future of the software.

I, for one really appreciate that it is trying to be 'best of breed' raw converter. This is clearly a different paradigm for LR, which (of course is also trying to be best raw converter), but has a much larger functional footprint by design.

I'l specifically comment on performance (since I am one of the people with the 'laggy sliders' problem in LR4.1 - I'm currently working out LR4.2, with unfortunately not positive results at the moment) - the user-experience in PN is consistent - by that I mean, no laggy sliders and the application informs you when it is processing - that means that they know how to manage their UI, worker and tools threading. When LR fires up 30+ threads (on a W7 machine) and consumes 50% of CPU (still on LR4.2) just when the mouse moves over the image - that's interesting from an application developers' pov.

I'm sorry to hear Keith that you have found it buggy - that's not been my experience. And I do understand your position in that you want to compare LR now to PN now. That's a purchasor's position - what doI get for my dollar now. I'm more inclined to look at PN from a startup-competitor and directional perspective.

I'm actually glad I spent the money on PN to help foster some competition and also to learn from what other tools can show me. Seeing a different result gets me out of the visual comfort zone. After a while you just don't see that LR does *something* to greens and starts with a somewhat processed raw file (opps! that's back to the "is zero, zero" thread).

I thought I'd give you a detailed reply Hamada, since I thought your OP reasonable and inquring (even in an adobe forum).

regards

Hans

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