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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey folks, I am a new photographer and am looking to pick up a good easy package that would grow with me over the years. My main desire is for a good organizer and the ability to have some fun editing. I have a mid 2007 iMac with 4GB of memory and the last update available (El Capitain). I may be updating to a new system soon.
I would like to also be able to work with Raw files. I have been looking at Lightroom if I could buy it as a stand alone, and PS Elements 15. ACDSee.
I have no real experience with photo editing other than Photos and I do not like it.
Please feel free to offer your suggestions.
Thanks.
 

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I'll leave the software recommendations to folks who work at a higher level than do I in photography...

But I will state that 4gb of RAM - IMHO - is barely enough to run El Capitan, let alone add Lightroom or something on top of it with possibly RAW image files. That model supposedly can be brought up to 6gb, though I'm not sure I'd consider it worth the investment. Given the age of the processor... a decade old.... it most likely makes more sense to put any $$$ toward that new system you mentioned.
 

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Hey folks, I am a new photographer and am looking to pick up a good easy package that would grow with me over the years. My main desire is for a good organizer and the ability to have some fun editing. I have a mid 2007 iMac with 4GB of memory and the last update available (El Capitain). I may be updating to a new system soon.
I would like to also be able to work with Raw files. I have been looking at Lightroom if I could buy it as a stand alone, and PS Elements 15. ACDSee.
I have no real experience with photo editing other than Photos and I do not like it.
Please feel free to offer your suggestions.
Thanks.
Making that big a leap when you have no experience is asking for trouble. First your system at 4 GB RAM is not compatible with the advanced programs you mention unless you upgrade your hardware.

So many folks never even consider Preview that it amazes me. I still use it often for touch ups for pics for my web site and it is so easy. It is also free with every version of any Mac OSX. Take the time to look at its easy to use interface and surprising power to alter photos.

At least check it out before you get in way over your head and wind up disappointed. Take at look at these three shots, the first unedited and the second two altered with Preview.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys, El Capitain runs fine with no issues so far, I am maxed out for ram on this unit. So the only option would be to pick up a new system.
Sinc, I never thought to even look at preview. I will have a look.
So I think I understand I am probably under powered with my system therefore I'll work with what I have until a new system shows up.
Thanks,
Cheers.
 

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Take a look at GraphicConverter. It organizes your images and has a powerful processing capability. You can continue to use the software with full functions after the trial period ends. It just that you will get a gentle prompt to consider paying for a license and a longer wait before the software finishes launching.

I have a mid-2007 MBP with the same specs as your iMac. That used to be my main machine and I could run Lightroom 4 without any issue.

What camera do you have? Some camera manufacturers bundle a software in the camera package. Nikon, Canon and Panasonic do that.
 

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Have you seen this:

20 best image-editing apps for Mac and iOS: top image apps revealed | TechRadar

Or this:

Apple Photos Alternatives and Similar Software - AlternativeTo.net

A very powerful but little known alternative to Photoshop seems to be Affinity Photo, this is really a powerhouse, getting you in league with the big boys:

https://affinity.serif.com/en-gb/photo/

As to organising you photo libraries, I' don't know. Maybe the database part is best left to Photos. Once you have done the editing you can import the pics there.

If you do not like Photos, but did like iPhoto, there is a trick to keep iPhoto running still.
Just chime in, and I will explain/ look up my links.
I have posted about this, but on a Dutch-speaking forum.

Good luck!
 

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I run an early 2008 iMac with four gigs of RAM and have yet to run into a memory or processing dead end.

The machine is no slower with El Capitan than with any previous system going back to 2008. Apple, though, has deemed El Capitan the end of the major-update road.

I run the photo-editing application Pixelmator, mostly for repairing old black-and-white photos and colourizing them, and during that process have run Pixelmator, Firefox, Pages and sometimes Preview (to double-check a photo in another app) all at once with no problem.

The iMac ain't the sharpest knife in the drawer, but it ain't the dullest, either.
 

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Have you seen this:

20 best image-editing apps for Mac and iOS: top image apps revealed | TechRadar

Or this:

Apple Photos Alternatives and Similar Software - AlternativeTo.net

A very powerful but little known alternative to Photoshop seems to be Affinity Photo, this is really a powerhouse, getting you in league with the big boys:

https://affinity.serif.com/en-gb/photo/

As to organising you photo libraries, I' don't know. Maybe the database part is best left to Photos. Once you have done the editing you can import the pics there.

If you do not like Photos, but did like iPhoto, there is a trick to keep iPhoto running still.
Just chime in, and I will explain/ look up my links.
I have posted about this, but on a Dutch-speaking forum.

Good luck!
Affinity does look interesting. A bit cheaper than taking PS Elements from version 4 to version 15. Will down load the trial next time I am in the sandbox.

Rejected Pixelmator only because it lacks sensitivity control on the magic wand and a "Select Similar" command. I find this combination absolutely essential to keep some highlights from blocking out when I am trying to add punch to a photo.
 

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Photoshop Elements is a good beginner program and actually is a good photo editor. It also comes with an organizer program.

I agree that GraphicConverter is an excellent program and it provides a variety of functions from browsing your pictures to editing and more. Try it out as it covers what you are wanting to do. The browser can also be setup if you ever want to work with a different editor, such as Affinity Photo which is what I do. Another photo editor I have used is one called Acorn.

As mentioned with your setup you won't necessarily be able to run the latest versions of software, just try and find a version of the software you want. The download page for GraphicConverter has older versions where you should be able to find a version that can run on your computer.

If you ever get a newer machine Apple Photos has improved, in particular it now allows third party extensions which can make it more powerful.
 

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Graphic Converter is a fantastic program, and it's been around forever on the Mac. That said, it isn't the most user-friendly of graphics apps. Powerful, though.

My go-to app for anything graphic right now is definitely Pixelmator. eMacMan have you tried the most recent version to see if it addresses your criticisms? It's updated very frequently. The new "Smart Refine" feature in v.3.6 seems pretty capable (video at the link).

Pixelmator requires OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) minimum.

And for the price - $29.99 with very frequently sales at half-price – it's hard to beat.
 

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Photoshop Elements is a good beginner program and actually is a good photo editor. It also comes with an organizer program.

I agree that GraphicConverter is an excellent program and it provides a variety of functions from browsing your pictures to editing and more. Try it out as it covers what you are wanting to do. The browser can also be setup if you ever want to work with a different editor, such as Affinity Photo which is what I do. Another photo editor I have used is one called Acorn.

As mentioned with your setup you won't necessarily be able to run the latest versions of software, just try and find a version of the software you want. The download page for GraphicConverter has older versions where you should be able to find a version that can run on your computer.

If you ever get a newer machine Apple Photos has improved, in particular it now allows third party extensions which can make it more powerful.
Do I get you right that you would consider GraphicConverter a good database for your pictures, teamed together with Affinity Photo as a more advanced editor?
 

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Graphic Converter is a fantastic program, and it's been around forever on the Mac. That said, it isn't the most user-friendly of graphics apps. Powerful, though.

My go-to app for anything graphic right now is definitely Pixelmator. eMacMan have you tried the most recent version to see if it addresses your criticisms? It's updated very frequently. The new "Smart Refine" feature in v.3.6 seems pretty capable (video at the link).

Pixelmator requires OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) minimum.

And for the price - $29.99 with very frequently sales at half-price – it's hard to beat.
That was the version I was trying. FWIW sometimes it's worth spending more to get exactly what works well for you.

BTW I find Preview gives me the quickest and easiest way to sort through photos. Also does nicely for tweaking some photos, if partial selection abilities are not required.
 

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Do I get you right that you would consider GraphicConverter a good database for your pictures, teamed together with Affinity Photo as a more advanced editor?
Yes you can use GraphicConverter to browse your files and use the functions and send the image to another program for editing. I wrote an entry on my blog about setting up the preferences to work with an external image editor.
 

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Much maligned but Photos editing capability is pretty good. Obviously it will run on your existing platform and it's free. From there you really need to upgrade your system.

Then it depends on the complexity of the organising required. If, for instance, you want complex keywording (including embedded) and multiple categorisation then Lightroom would be your friend. Once you have Lightroom, 90%+ of your editing needs will be satisfied. If you then want to do some fancy photo retouching, then Affinity Photo will be your next port of call (very cheap, especially compared to Photoshop).

If your organising needs aren't that great, then I would stick with Photos and use Affinity occasionally for more advanced jobs.

At present I'm using Photos + Lightroom + [Affinity or Photoshop] and it's complicated to have a good workflow.
 

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Played a bit with Affinity yesterday. I think the learning curve is a bit steep to make a fair evaluation in 10 days, especially when I only have an hour or so a day to get the hang of it. Even PS Elements gives you 30 days.

That said I have been able to do everything I wanted so far. A couple of things are really quirky, especially launch time. Not sure if that's because the app is checking in with the mother ship before launching. If that's the case will it launch more quickly once the app is paid for? When I close an image but not the app, then open another image, it seems to go through the slow launch again.
 

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Seems there is no easy way to "select similar" in Affinity. A shame as the suggested workarounds seem needlessly complex and time consuming.
 

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I knew the 10 day trial period for Affinity was just too short.

Anyways at $70CDN versus $100CDN for PS Elements I will almost certainly go with what I know. If the price was down around $50 I would at least try another fling at a trial. Not sure if they just key to a code or if they key on the MAC address or the IP.
 

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Have been playing around with the GIMP. Big bonus is that it is still free. Also a lot more stable than when I first tried it.

It does have an effective way to select similar.

Overall seems a bit slow or even clunky compared to my old version of PhotoShop Elements. Generally the fastest way to solve a problem is to search the internet for GIMP + whatever the problem is.

Two examples, beveled text which is a simple intuitive process in PS Elements is a 7 step process and if you want to change the text, only the text itself can be edited. The beveling process will have to begin from scratch.

Creating cartoon text bubbles is similarly convoluted. Both can be accomplished but probably only by searching for help.

Still it's filling the gap nicely until I find a replacement for my door-stopped MacPro.

EDIT: Even something as innocent as erasing a part of the top layer to show the layer underneath required a search.
 
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