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Author Topic: Print better than Lightroom 4?  (Read 12835 times)
ahinterl
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« on: March 28, 2012, 10:01:13 AM »

Before I buy I need to evaluate the product first Wink

The Qimage site indicates that Qimage Ultimate is superior to Lightroom 3. Maybe something has changed in the new Lightroom 4 and it has improved technology now regarding printing: Is Qimage Ultimate printing still better than what I get with Lightroom 4?

Andreas
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Fred A
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« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2012, 10:13:10 AM »

Quote
Before I buy I need to evaluate the product first Wink

Andreas,
Please download and try the free DEMO of Qimage Ultimate.
Convince yourself.

Take advantage of the demo....

Let us know what you think.
Fred
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Wil
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« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2012, 08:19:36 PM »

1. Qimage has layout features that are not available in LR4.

2.  Both applications make superb photos.  I have yet to find an unbiased observer who could tell the difference in the prints from LR4 and Qimage in a blind test if both applications were set up properly -- not hard to do in either application.

3.  LR4 has a complete database solution -- you either love it or hate it.

3.  You can print your edited RAW file in LR4 without converting to TIFF or JPEG.

5.  LR4 has a much more complete and superior RAW conversion module.

6.  If you edit RAW files in LR4 and then print in Qimage, you must render the image (convert it to TIF of JPG) to preserve the editing you have done in LR4.

7.  Without a lot of hassle, can't edit in Qimage and return those edits to LR4

8.  If you are printing a single image on a page -- one or more copies of the same orientation, there is little advantage of converting from RAW to TIF or JPG in LR4 and printing in Qimage.

9.  If you want a more complete layout capability like 3 - 4 x 6 prints on one 8.5 x 11 sheet, or different layouts on different pages, converting from LR4 to TIF or JPG and printing in Qmage is a must.

10.  If you like the RAW conversion in Qimage and want the most complete layout possibility, Qimage is your best bet.  That is, if you don't want the database stuff.

11.  I have both and use them where they best fit my needs.

Wil
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Terry-M
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« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2012, 10:34:10 AM »

Wil,
Quote
3.  You can print your edited RAW file in LR4 without converting to TIFF or JPEG
I do that all the time with Qimage alone  Grin
Terry
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Wil
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« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2012, 12:20:40 PM »

The point should have been that you can't print a RAW file in Qimage and keep any RAW edits done in LR.  LR and Qimage don't understand each other's RAW edit "filters."  It would be nice if they did.

To print the RAW without rendering to TIF or JPG and keep the RAW edits, you must stay in the same application.

I think Qimage was the first to do non-destructive editing on files.  If I remember correctly, the first capability in Qimage of that was on already rendered files -- TIF, etc.

If you don't like the processing of the big boys, LR and Capture One, staying in Qimage is the way to go.  The problems are for those, including me, who prefer the LR processing.

The real problem is that for some tasks, Photoshop is still required.  It's required less now than in the past, but still some things require it to get the job done well.

Wil
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fencer
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« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2012, 11:06:38 AM »

Wil,
     could you be a little more specific? Obviously you're very expert in all these programmes but for my interests, which are mainly nature and scenic, what is it I am missing in only using Qimage?  The only function for which I still go to PS is the problem of converging verticals in architectural shots.
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Wil
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« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2012, 12:09:04 PM »

This isn’t the place to write an epistle on the differences in Qimage and other photo manipulation software.  If you like your workflow in Qimage you are all set.

As you have found out, there are some things you need Photoshop for that Qimage doesn’t do.  But as most have found out, Qimage does many things just fine.  In my opinion, its greatest strength is its layout capabilities.  No one else comes even close when you have very special and custom requirements like a twelve month calendar with different layout requirements for different months on each page – different image orientation and/or number of images.  But even then, if you want advanced text printing on each image, you’ll need Photoshop with its advanced text capabilities.

Image editing in Qimage is very basic and easy to use.  If you need more advanced editing features like local adjustments (increasing the exposure on just that one tree in the shadows), you’ll need another editor in addition to Qimage.  You must keep in mind that more individual control comes with increased complexity.  “You pays your money and you takes your choice.”

You also need to decide if keeping up with your image files by the “folder method” works for you, or do you need a more advanced database solution?

Only you can answer these questions, but all the photo software that I know about, except Qimage, allow you to download the full version and use it free for 30 days.  You can download them and try them for yourself.

In addition, the price and update costs make Qimage a steal.

Good Luck!
Wil
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admin
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« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2012, 01:19:10 PM »

A lot of misinformation in the above.

(1) Nothing has changed in the print engine in LR 4 versus LR 3.  Lightroom still does not know how to properly apply sharpening so that you get consistent sharpening across ANY print size (Qimage's smart sharpening).  This is clearly visible in most prints with Qimage Ultimate having the superior sharpness and detail.  Lightroom still employs "dumb printing" where it just dumps the entire photo at once to the driver rather than managing the data as QU does.  This allows QU to print much larger photos without incident where LR may fail with memory/driver/spooler errors.

(2) Qimage does a far superior job when working directly with raw photos because the raw engine in Qimage Ultimate is more advanced and knows how to do a lot of things automatically that must be done manually in LR.

(3) LR doesn't understand the edits you do in Qimage Ultimate either, so if you open a raw image in Qimage Ultimate and do some tone targeted sharpening for example (which you can't do in LR), LR will not see or understand those edits.  Although you can convert to TIFF (or JPEG) very easily for export, just like you can in LR.

(4) You can print your raw file in Qimage Ultimate without converting it to TIFF or JPEG.  And with Qimage Ultimate's smart processing, you're much more likely to be able to do that than you are in LR (where more edits will be needed).

(5) Qimage Ultimate does not have database capability.  Agree with Wil here: you either love that or hate it.  Me: I already have a "database".  It's in the folder structure that I use.  I set up QU's flash card copy/move process so that it creates the folder structure that I need to ID and find my photos, including the albums that are created upon download.  Since I already use a proper folder structure, I hate having to BEG Lightroom just to see my files.  I can't just go view them when I already know the folder, I have to force LR to load them into the database first which is more than a hassle!  I guess if you have a mess on your hard drive and you didn't take the time to organize your photos from the get-go, LR's "database" capability might come in handy.

Mike
« Last Edit: April 04, 2012, 01:21:50 PM by Mike Chaney » Logged
Terry-M
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« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2012, 01:43:11 PM »

Quote
A lot of misinformation in the above.
Something else too:
Quote
but all the photo software that I know about, except Qimage, allow you to download the full version and use it free for 30 days.
That implies you cannot trial it, in fact you can for 14 days.
Quote
Image editing in Qimage is very basic
Mike has explained that it isn't for raw processing - it's just clever  Cool
However the image editor is not that "basic" either; it has all the usual functions and some extra clever stuff like Tone Targeted Sharpening - unique to QU - and the Select Color tab.
I get the impression that some photographers go for fancy editing in other software instead of learning to use so called "basic" stuff like curves that can achieve excellent results.
Ok. like Fenser, I use another editor (not PS, too expensive) for things like perspective correction, cloning and even the odd bit of tone mapping but 90% of my images are printed from raw in QU. I must be doing ok. I've won 2 trophies for competition series at my club this season, beating all those LR users  Grin
As for organising images, I rely on a rational folder & image naming system helped by QU Flashpipe; and for those tricky searches, Copernic Desktop search across several hard drives. I take about 4000 images a year, not as many as a pro of course but sufficient to warrant a careful naming policy.
Terry

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« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2012, 04:45:31 PM »

This thread did prompt me to update my print testing to include Lightroom 4.  I did some printing and scanning and don't find any improvements at all from Lightroom 3 to 4.  In fact, Lightroom 4 still isn't smart enough to pick up the driver resolution automatically and at least use a multiple of that for printing.  It starts with 240 PPI on a Canon printer that has a native 600 PPI resolution.  Worse, then you change the resolution to 600 PPI to match the driver (like Qimage Ultimate does automatically), I see Adobe has added a warning "You have chosen a high resolution for printing which could cause memory issues or a failure to print on some systems".  I never noticed that in Lightroom 3 but now that I go back and try it, the warning is in LR3 too.  That's just an example of what I was talking about with "dumb printing"... dumb in the sense of the old "dumb terminals" where the print is first interpolated to whatever resolution you choose and then simply dumped to the driver in one big chunk.  That's why the warning in LR: because data to the driver is not managed... just dumped.

Anyway, check the bottom of the print quality page.  I've updated it with a LR4 example:

http://www.ddisoftware.com/qimage-u/tech-prt.htm

All technical behind-the-scenes details and warnings aside, it doesn't appear to do any better than LR3 in print quality.

Mike
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Fred A
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« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2012, 04:55:14 PM »

Quote
Anyway, check the bottom of the print quality page.  I've updated it with a LR4 example:

Holy Moley Batman!
That's Night and Day, plus you tweaked the best PPI into the driver settings!!!

I don't even need my glasses to see this latest!

Fred
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2012, 08:41:08 AM »

I also wonder what the quality of downsampling is in LR. After long threads on the Luminous Landscape forum the LR men (Jeff Schewe etc) last year changed their advice to upsample any image above 300 or 360 PPI at print size to 600 or 720 PPI needed for the highest print resolutions and set the printer driver at highest print resolutions. Like written already, Qimage does that step much easier. Before they advised a split above and below 450 PPI, either up- or down sampling. While this new advice does no harm to image quality it will in many cases take much more time in processing and printing + increase the demands on memory. With large prints this is not going to work without issues in LR. Then there are papers that just do not show an image quality increase with higher print resolution settings. Cameras like the Nikon D800 deliver big files, every generation of cameras increased the data delivered. It is inevitable that at some point the quality of the downsampling routines has to be considered and I doubt they have the quality of Qimage Ultimate in LR. With large prints on matte papers, where I have say 350-400 PPI left at print size I will use a printer resolution setting that asks for 300 PPI input in almost all cases and rely on Qimage's downsampling.

Another LR oddity is the sharpening specified per paper type, gloss etc, (LR3 at least) and little choice left. There is a wide variety in paper qualities within paper types and the media presets in the driver have an influence as well on what print sharpening is needed. Qimage does a lot on the fly and smart but still gives the user transparent choices to interfere.

LR 4 color management got improved with Soft Proof features that I like and think are an improvement (hint!) but the Printer Adjustment feature has a dangerous aspect I have written about:
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=61027.80
Qimage has the Print Filter that can do the same  and much more but it is not linked to the printer profile and in my view that is the correct way. I will not use Q's Print Filter to compensate color management flaws in my printer profiles or monitor calibration+ profiling. It should not be a replacement either for what should have been done with the colors in image editing. Like I will not use "ink" sliders in the printer driver for similar corrections.

No LR4 user but I tried the demo.


--
Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst


Dinkla Grafische Techniek
Quad, piëzografie, giclée
www.pigment-print.com

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