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Thread: Lightroom vs Picasa performance

  1. #1
    Photographe
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    Lightroom vs Picasa performance

    This past week while working offsite I had to use a netbook that was connected to a large screen.

    Lightroom was completely unusable in Library mode, so I installed Picasa. It was ridiculously fast in both displaying and editing RAW photos from a Nikon D700. (Who knew that the free Picasa even supported RAW and DNG files?)

    We've been constantly hammered with the idea that Lightroom's "modularity" is necessary to ensure that Library mode stays lean and fast. But it's not fast.

    I was so impressed with Picasa that, if I could do it all over again, I would probably use that program in place of Lightroom and rely on ACR, Capture One or Capture NX for developing high-value photos.

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    Why not just use Picasa if that works for you??
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  3. #3
    Photographe
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    First, I've already purchased Lightroom and don't want to purchase Capture One or Capture NX on top of that. Second, moving the catalogue over would be a PITA.

    What is remarkable though is just how slow LR 3.3's Library Mode is compared to this other free program that most people here probably just dismiss out of hand.

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    If your only concern and method of judging a program is program speed, then by all means, Picasa wins! If your concern and method of judging a program is an overall approach, which includes program speed and features and "speed of workflow" and many other things, then I think a reasonable argument can be made for Lightroom over Picasa.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Photographe View Post
    .....this other free program that most people here probably just dismiss out of hand.
    FWIW, I have had Picasa installed on my various PCs ever since it was first released, and I think it's a great program for managing certain content, especially with it's Picasa Web Albums link. In fact, until Publish Services appeared in Lightroom I used to use Picasa to 'manage' my exported jpegs and upload them to the Web Albums.

    So I have never, nor would I, "just dismiss Picasa out of hand".

    Having said that, I fear that once again you are comparing apples with oranges. Ignoring the obvious difference between Lightroom (or Capture One, or Aperture) and Picasa in terms of editing tools/capabilities, you also need to 'look under the covers' a bit more to understand a little bit more about how Picasa deals with Raw files. To save you the trouble, here's an extract from a post on the Picasa Help Forum from one of their top contributors, Don Lind. He has been a regular poster there since 2008 and to date has contributed more than 11000 posts....so I guess there's a fair chance the following is pretty accurate:

    "ANY program that is displaying a raw on your screen is doing some sort of "conversion" to 24-bit color.
    Picasa's conversions are completely automatic.
    AND, Picasa's conversions are done BEFORE any of your editing is allowed.
    There is no way to turn any of this off because the conversion HAS to be done to display the raw image.

    A "real" raw processing program lets you control the conversion process.
    Picasa doesn't do this.
    Picasa's goal was to make working with raws dirt simple.
    They did that. Raws, within Picasa, look and act exactly like JPEGs.

    BUT.. as I've said, if you're only going to use Picasa to work with raws, you may as well shoot JPEGs in the camera.
    Picasa's philosophy on raws does not let you get the advantages of having shot raws.
    A serious photographer shooting raws absolutely needs a "real" raw processor.

    Run a real raw processing program.
    It's a lot of work. You have a lot of choices to make so as to tweak the best image you can out of that raw.
    Picasa's simplified processing doesn't let you do that at all.
    But you can immediately post a raw to the web albums site (using the immediate, default conversion to JPEG that Picasa does for you)."


    To my mind, there are a lot of telling points in there which explain why I, for one, would not choose to use Picasa as a "Raw Convertor".....but of course, YMMV.
    Jim

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  6. #6
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    Call me paranoid - but there is also an other issue that I have with Picasa: Privacy. The business model of Google is based on exploiting the information that the user provides - and not from selling software like Microsoft or Adobe. Using Picasa includes the possibility that now or in the future Google will use and exploit the information in your pictures. I can imagine that Google would be very keen on setting up a search machine that can search for people in pictures - based on the Picasa face recognition data.

    Having said that: I really think that Picasa is an awesome software for managing your pictures. But with Lightroom I have one consistent software that takes care of 95% of all my needs. Very convenient if you consider how much time you need to learn how to use software and the effort to maintain (e.g. backups, updates, ...) everything.

  7. #7
    Photographe
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    Jim--There are plenty of good RAW processors out there--Capture One, Capture NX2, ACR, Bibble and others--what is sorely missing is a good RAW processor integrated with a browser/catalogue that takes you from the beginning to the end of the workflow. I thought that LR was the one, but after a year with it I've found that, for me, it leaves out too many essential features to make it an all-in-one solution. (I am finding that I will need (i) a proper file ingester, (ii) a proper EXIF viewer, (iii) a proper EXIF editor, (iv) another browser/catalogue to deal with my AVCHD video files, .pdf files, audio files, (v) another program to deal with special Nikon features, such as showing focus points, (vi) a better RAW converter (such as DXO) for dealing with heavy-duty lens corrections and distortion control for some pictures, (vii) possibly a dedicated sharpening tool, (viii) plugins to deal with uploading to various websites, such as Picasa (there is no plugin for Photoshop.com however!), (ix) Capture NX2 for difficult color balancing tasks, to get the maximum out of certain Nikon photos and when U-Points are needed, and of course (x) Photoshop (which already includes ACR, making it a relative bargain compared to Lightroom) to do a million other things. Not exactly an all-in-one, for me.)

    Note that some of the LR quirks are easy to fix, but I am afraid that LR is just not on the same page as I am and doesn't even view them as issues at all. For example, they've made clear that it's not their job to display any EXIF information that they don't currently display, which I view as a major security flaw. The file ingestor in LR keeps changing from one .dot release to another, and none of the iterations are what I'm looking for (which is flexibility). I am sure they would scoff at the idea of providing the ability to edit EXIF codes (such as camera used and lens used). Their public excuse for not providing support for AVCHD is a fimsy one. Supporting .pdf and audio files would have been very easy but it apparently doesn't fit in their "philosophy".

    Yeah, I know I don't have to buy LR if I don't like it. No need to point that out, it really doesn't help.

    What I was suggesting was possibly using Picasa as the browser/catalogue along with another RAW processor(s). Expression Media is another candidate. Bridge is a fine browser, but not a catalogue. There really aren't a lot of choices.

    drmaxx--I hear you on the privacy issue. When I look at the list of installed programs in my Windows 7 Control Panel, I see 19 entries for Adobe and zero for Google. I give (had given) a lot of stock to the notion that a video/image company should do a good job at managing media without compromising privacy.

    I still hope that there will be a sea-change at Adobe and that LR 4 will break away from the ambition of imposing a certain pre-defined workflow on users and poviding more options and flexibility as they do in their other programs, such as Photoshop and Premiere Pro, which I have only a few "philoshophical" problems with.

    In the meantime, ANY suggestions of another browser/catalogue would be much appreciated.

  8. #8
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    To be honest, I really don't think I can help you here. You obviously have a level of dissatisfaction with Lightroom that I am entirely unable to empathise with, so I regret that all I can suggest is to make your feelings known to Adobe (doing it on this forum is entirely pointless in my opinion) or continue your search for something that fits your idea of what an 'all in one' solution should look like. I wish you luck.

    In the meantime if you think you can get by with a combination of Picasa for browsing/cataloging and something else (NX2 or ACR?) for Raw processing, then just go for it.
    Jim

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  9. #9
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    I agree, Lightroom certainly doesn't seem to be the right program for you, and I don't see LR4 changing that dramatically, so I'm afraid you'll continue to be disappointed that it can't fulfill your expectations for an all-in-one solution. The phrase "jack of all trades, master of none" tends to spring to mind, so I'm not sure you'll ever find that one-size-fits-all solution that you're looking for. The benefit of using multiple programs, of course, is that you can put together the set that suits you, rather than relying on a software company to think exactly the same way that you do, or having to adapt yourself to its thinking.

    Since Phase One have bought Expression Media, I would suggest that a Capture One/Expression Media combination may suit you, or if you already have CS5, then CS5/Expression Media may work for you. Admittedly that's at least 2 separate programs, but that also means they are each designed to do their specific job well. They're also both much older programs than LR, so they've had more time to mature and cover some of those smaller areas such as minor EXIF fields, which may reduce some of your irritations.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Photographe View Post
    Jim--There are plenty of good RAW processors out there-... Bibble and others--what is sorely missing is a good RAW processor integrated with a browser/catalogue that takes you from the beginning to the end of the workflow....
    I think you need to revisit BibblePro5. If the folks at Bibble Labs weren't so late to the gate with BibblePro5, I'd probably still be using BibblePro instead of LR for all my image management.

  11. #11
    Photographe
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    What are strengths of Bibble Pro 5 in your opinion?

    My initial thought is that it doesn't support DNG, which is an issue for my current library. Besides that, having to evaluate Capture NX2, Capture One, DXO, RPP, Aperture, RPP and Bibble is a pretty daunting task. I would never get to shoot or develop anything.

  12. #12
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    It may be more appropriate to ask this on the bibble forums http://support.bibblelabs.com/forums/ . Most of the people here are here because they use LR, they ,may of course have used an older version of bibble. Hope they can help.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Photographe View Post
    What are strengths of Bibble Pro 5 in your opinion?

    My initial thought is that it doesn't support DNG, which is an issue for my current library. Besides that, having to evaluate Capture NX2, Capture One, DXO, RPP, Aperture, RPP and Bibble is a pretty daunting task. I would never get to shoot or develop anything.

    Mate , you need to do your own research or use what software you have and shoot and process!!
    I'm surprised you have time to do anything other than post on forums as that is all you appear to be doing and quite frankly by going on and on about your points is rapidly wearing thin the patience of many and reducing any effectiveness your ideas may have to dust,
    Geoff Walker,
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  14. #14
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    Amen.
    ......brad s Win7x64 (HPE) / i7-920 / 6GB / 2.67 GHz / tons o'drives / Canon/Sigma gear

  15. #15
    Photographe
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    What can I do but thank you for your concern for my time?

  16. #16
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    Thread closed. This has gone on long enough. I will repeat what it says in the rules of this forum:

    All of the Members, Gurus, Moderators, and Administrators here are volunteers giving freely of their time and expertise to help other users, and working hard to keep a friendly and positive atmosphere that all can enjoy.

    We understand that computers and software can often be frustrating, and Lightroom is no exception at times, but whilst venting is understandable, it's not very constructive. We're pleased to discuss those bugs in order to find workarounds, however we won't allow venting or constant complaints about Adobe. We're a privately run Forum, not affiliated with Adobe, and constant complaining just creates a negative atmosphere. There are other Forums where that behavior is acceptable, but this is not one of them.
    Victoria


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