The title to this article says it all. Please do not misunderstand. Adobe makes very fine products and have been a mainstay of the post processing world for a very long time and has evolved into the premier image processing software for Bayer Pattern Sensors.
However as new cameras with new technologies continue to enter the market place, Adobe’s desire to achieve perfection for them seems to have diminished with more concern about marketing to gain more users to their creative cloud as opposed to heavily concentrating on dealing with the new technologies.
However for the masses Adobe continues to do a respectable job in processing images. But where Adobe fails and has failed terribly in the past is their direct consumer help. On a personal level I have tried to get assistance with Lightroom and Photoshop bugs, and other problems only to never hear from them. Others have told me that Adobe has responded half assed to them, did not provide a real answer, and then ended (closed the file) on the problem believing they have solved the problem. That is not the sign of a responsive or forward thinking company.
Because I am a Fuji X camera user (various models) and because Adobe Lightroom CC and Photoshop CC have had difficulties in translating this brands raw files successfully to the point of “perfection” I have been forced to seek other manufacturers products to post process my raw files.
Programs that have done an excellent job not only on my Fuji raw files but files from other cameras brands that I have tested are in a list below. I am not going to review them because this article would be much too long to cover all the details. However YOU can determine if any of these soft ware by downloading free trials.
In all cases you will find that these programs are much less expensive, very capable and easier to use. Many people I have spoken to hate the Adobe Library in Lightroom and that library is one of the most heavily pushed by Adobe. In reality there has never been anything wrong with the data base systems of your operating system whether it be Windows, OSx, Linux. Simply using those systems together with your own keywords is far simpler and non dedicated to a piece of software.
On1 10.5 and soon to be On1 RAW – This is a very creative and excellent software and the company is highly responsive to questions by phone or email
Capture one – I have used this, and as the program grows it seems to be trying to emulate the Library in Lightroom. Customer service responses could be a lot better.
Alien Skin – Great program and highly creative especially if you love the film looks from the past.
Iridient – I started with this Mac only program quite some time ago. It is a small company (one person) and the owner has created brilliant software that keeps up with the time and his upgrade policy is incredible and he does provide many useful upgrades and refinements. He is also very responsive to emails.
PhotoNinja – They have been around for many years with a product called Noise Ninja which is now incorporated into PhotoNinja. They are a subscription program but unlike Adobe, if the subscription runs out the program continues to operate. I now use this in conjunction with Iridient and this is a perfect combination for Fuji X raw files especially for the new X Pro 2. I add Alien Skin and / or On1 for very special artistic purposes. ****
Their is another program called Affinity. I, like many others took advantage of their Beta program but never did purchase the program. I found that its controls were all over the place and I did not like it. But you might. Also very inexpensive with an excellent customer blog for asking questions and getting answers.
****This total combination comes out to less money that using the Adobe Subscription service. The reason I have all of these programs was mainly for the purpose of research. So I am not telling you to use several programs to achieve your results. I use them because I own them but each is very viable on their own.