What Are The Alternatives To The Creative Cloud Lightroom and Photoshop Subscription For Real Estate Photographers?
August 13th, 2015
Every time we talk about the Adobe creative cloud subscription I get people that propose alternatives to using Lightroom CC and Photoshop CC. This last time was no exception. Peter suggested the following:
Perhaps there is an alternative to Adobe Photoshop to take into consideration: AffinityPhoto.com by Serif (Europe). It’s a new program that competes with CS at $39.99. I downloaded the program from Apple’s iTunes Store and it works.
Peter is in that relatively small population that find the whole concept of subscription software offensive. Yes, I understand totally. I used to feel that way, but I’ve gotten past it. Mainly because there are almost no software applications that even come close to replacing Lightroom CC and Photoshop CC for real estate photographers! Why?
Because the Key functionality for real estate photographers is lens correction features. You know, all that stuff in the Lens Corrections panel of Lightroom! For example, AffinityPhoto or OnOne photo suite has none of that stuff! They may someday, but they don’t now! To create quality work real estate photographers MUST be able to:
- Straighten verticals
- Straighten horizontals
- Remove barrel distortion
- Remove Chromatic Aberration
- Ideally, 3 and 4 will be done automatically based on a profile of the lens you used for the shot rather than manually.
What other applications other than Lightroom and Photoshop that can do all all five above and are available both on OS X and Windows? The research I’ve done leads me to only three applications:
- DxO Optics Pro ($129 or $199 depending on your camera and lens) 17,000 lens/camera profiles compared to 600 profiles for Lightroom and Photoshop. Many professional photographers claim that this application does RAW conversion even better than Lightroom. John McBay, the author of Image Editing For Real Estate Photography uses DxO Optics along with Photoshop CC and likes the results! I’ve talked to other top real estate photographers that use DxO Optics too, but they all use it along with Photoshop.
- Phase One Capture One Pro 8 ($299 or $15/mo) I can’t find which lenses are supported. I know this application is in use by at least a limited number of real estate photographers.
- CyberLink Photo Director 5 ($99) – Very limited number of lens profiles (60). This application appears to do 1 through 5 above but in a very limited way.
So there are probably only two strong alternatives (1 & 2 above) and they don’t eliminate the need for Photoshop completely.
Am I missing any?