Can anyone tell me if I'm missing out on something by doing it this way? It seems I could avoid this monthly cost by going with this workflow.
Yes you are missing out a lot because I get the impression you don't know yet the benefit of shooting Raw over jpeg. This is a learning curve that can be made as steep as you want but basically I can tell you that shooting Raw and save as a tiff without having used the options that are provided with ACR and Photoshop to get the most out of it is not the best workflow.
Raw is the data captured by your sensor in camera and you need a Raw converter to get an image out of it. What you see of the Raw file on the back of the camera is only the jpeg preview that is included in the Raw file. Some converters give kind of a start but mostly you want your own 'signature' for your images and this needs some skills and knowledge. Shooting Jpeg is letting the camera do your work for you. If you are pleased with it all is fine, however making changes or corrections in a jpeg file is far more limited compared to a Raw file.
You have lots and lots of different options to get as much as possible out of a Raw file and besides that, color temperature is added in the converter as you wish it to be without the colors getting shifted (as will be in a jpeg file if you correct to much) and also plus or minus 1 stop exposure is not giving much trouble. But as said, you need a good Raw converter for it and some knowledge. Bridge is a good start and from there make your selection for the keepers, open in ACR, make changes and the finishing touch is made in PS. Save it to the file format you like and finally use Bridge for the last metadata, keywords, renaming etc.
I don't know anything about Nikon's ViewNX2 but as a Canon user I suspect that it is not very much different to Canon Photo Professional. For me the vendor software is utterly useless due to very slow performance and an unproductive workflow, combined with to less options to make a good image.
It all comes down to your needs and wishes. Can't look at your budget but there seems to be a possibility to only subscribe to PS (check the education section of Adobe) in the Creative Cloud.
And if you have a trial version of CC running be sure to check the version of ACR. Use Photoshop / about Plug in / camera raw. It should say 7.4 and this version opens your d7100 NEF files
I have huge holes in my knowledge obviously, so thank you for your comment. My workflow with my previous camera before the cloud in CS5, was to upload to adobe bridge, use ACR, make adjustments and open in Photoshop. I did that because someone told me to do it that way and that it was nondestructive. When I got my new camera, the profile wasn't updated in CS5 which meant I had to now pay monthly for my camera profile to be included in CS6.
I was trying to find a way around paying monthly for the cloud and going back to CS5 which I already have on my computer. I really don't like paying this monthly fee of $29.99. That's my price since I was a previous adobe customer which is supposed to be good. I find it quite annoying to pay monthly for something like this. I only want photoshop. I don't care about lightroom or muse or any of that other stuff. But when I talked to them before, they told me I could not just buy photoshop in the cloud, that $29.99 was their cheapest price (for now). They told me it was locked in for a year (as if they're doing me a favor).
I LOVE photoshop, though, so I can't imagine going to Elements or some lesser photograph editor. What about converting them to DNG? I really am clueless as to file formats although I've always shot in raw only because a friend told me to, lol.
What's the point in shooting Raw? Don't most Nikon's have TIFF as an option anyway? You might as well just shoot TIFF if you're doing it that way. I'm not recommending you do that, it's just that you're making life more complicated by adding the extra step.
The whole point of shooting Raw is that you have full control over the rendering of the image. So, if you're not intending to use this power, you might as well shoot TIFF. TIFF is certainly a better option than JPEG for allowing better quality post-processing.
I already have cs5 software though. Any suggestions?
Use the DNG route, here is the link for the latest DNG converter:
Download the latest version (7.4) and convert your files to DNG. Then you can open them in ACR CS5.
Be aware that CS6 has a different process version (the 2012 edition) and uses a different approach to highlights and shadows then the 2010 version (CS5).
But it al comes down to your wishes and needs. If you do very less editing you better shoot jpeg high quality and do little in PS if needed.
But if you need to do some work in correction and exposure, dodge and burn etc just use a DNG in ACR CS5.
And also be aware the moment CS7 is announced you lose the upgrade option from CS5 to CS6. Adobe changed its policy to upgrade only 1 version back.
So consider an upgrade version of CS6 for an upgrade price, that is one time spend money instead of a monthly cost for the whole package.
Thank you. I think adobe steamrolled me because I asked them if I could just upgrade to cs6 without the cloud and they said no. So, I've scheduled a callback for Monday and we will see. I swore I had asked adobe this very question before.
I would prefer to be on the latest version, however, its not critical to me. Yes, I do a fair amount of editing in the photos first in ACR and then in photoshop using various plugins depending on what I'm doing.
While I'm waiting for my Monday callback, I'll try the dng converter you suggested and see how that process works.
All these monthly expenses for technology are killing me. Between the Internet, TV, Netflix, DVRs, cell phones....at some point it's gotta stop! Lol
Sent from my iPad
Omke's said it all, but I'll chime in just for reinforcement.
DNG Converter 7.4 is free, and it converts folders of Raw files to folders of DNG files. To run it with CS5, first make sure you're running the latest and greatest version of ACR for CS5--which is 6.7, available on the Adobe website. Download and install DNG Converter, then set its compatibility preference to ACR 6.6. When you install DNG Converter, you automatically install a bunch of the latest Camera Profiles and Lens profiles to a shared library on the computer. Then download your Raw files from your camera into a new folder on your computer, drop the folder onto DNG Converter, and hey presto. A folder of DNG files which you can view in Bridge CS5, and open in ACR 6.7.
Ahhhhhh......I tried the process utilizing the DNG Converter and it works just perfectly! I opened Bridge CS5 and opened camera raw and voila. I do see the differences in the menus between the 2010 vs 2012 lighting and shadows, but frankly, for what I'm doing, the 2010 version is fine for me. I will miss the look and feel of CS6, but hey, it's not that big of a deal.
Thank you all so much for your help. I really appreciate it! And so does my pocketbook!
Check out my website....it has links to my photos! LOL! I've only been shooting a few years and those years were very interrupted by health issues. I'm back to it now and loving the learning process!
I do see the differences in the menus between the 2010 vs 2012 lighting and shadows, but frankly, for what I'm doing, the 2010 version is fine for me. I will miss the look and feel of CS6, but hey, it's not that big of a deal.
It's worth noting that ACR 6.7 does actually support Process 2012, although the controls won't let you adjust it. They designed it like this for anyone using Lightroom 4 with CS5.
There is another option if you only need to use Photoshop and don't need any of the other apps because Adobe offer a "single-app membership" to a single product for $19.99 a month.
For some reason, they have made it very difficult to find that option on their web site but it is here: