Here at Dear Susan there has been much discussion recently about raw development and editing software. There have been disgruntled mutterings about Apple’s Aperture, Adobe Lightroom and the monthly tax for continued access to your own catalogue, and various of Dear Susan’s contributors have tried some of the lesser known development and editing tools for Apple. I’ve never been an Apple user, but as someone who previously used Adobe Lightroom I certainly have much sympathy for some people’s frustrations and unhappiness.
Finding a raw development and editing tool that’s right for you should probably be a fairly personal choice, as different people like to work in different ways and have different end goals. Often it seems that most users choose Adobe because they are market leader and there is a wealth of “information” available online in the shape of video tutorials and guides.
When I owned a Fuji X system camera I became frustrated with Adobe Lightroom as the output was particularly bad, and even when I paid for a newer version which claimed to give better results with X Trans raw files, they were still mediocre at best and the software was very sluggish. As a result of my frustration I decided to purchase a license for Ichikawa software’s “SilkyPix Studio Developer”. It has now become my primary raw development tool for almost all my photography, and I have never really understood some of the negativity and hubris about its features and user interface.
With Adobe’s recent changes to the Lightroom product and their charging model, together with a number of new entrants to the market with new raw development and editing tools, it seemed like an ideal time to write a review of SilkyPix. The article linked below gives an overview of some its features, how to use it for those more familiar with other software, and some insight into its strengths and weaknesses. It is quite lengthy, so has been broken down into sections to try and make it easier to digest, and I hope others may find it useful and give the software a try – the results can be truly excellent.
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