OT: Good tool for image (photo) histogram adjustments?

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Carsten
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OT: Good tool for image (photo) histogram adjustments?

Post by Carsten » 2006-01-18, 13:07

Hello all,

does somebody know a good program for adjusting the histograms of photographs?

I know that Gimp and PhotoShop can do it, but none of these is as good as Paint Shop Pro, which has a very good and intuitive dialog for editing and real-time previewing the histogram.

What I'm actually looking for is a program that offers histogram adjustment and preview like that of Paint Shop Pro, and is preferrably free. ;) (For everything else I try to use Gimp these days...)

Any ideas? What software do you use? Any recommendations?

Many thanks!! :)
Best regards,
Carsten
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Kai
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Post by Kai » 2006-01-18, 14:06

Well what do you mean by "histogram adjustment and preview like that of Paint Shop Pro" ?

I need to take a look into PSP to get an idea what you mean ;)
Histogram adjustment is also possible with Photoshop, but i don't know what you exactly mean ..
Let me take a look into PSP and im sure to give you some hints
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Post by Carsten » 2006-01-18, 15:39

I would normally post a screenshot of PSPs great histogram adjustment tool, but that would require that I install it, a chore which in turn I strive to avoid. ;) (because I'm looking for something better, if that exists)

Fortunately, I've actually found some screenshots of this dialog online. Here they are, it's always the same dialog:
Image (source: http://www.owwm.com/Scanning/Scanning.asp)

Image (source: http://www.imaging-resource.com/SOFT/PSP/PSP.HTM)

Image (source: http://www.n8xe.com/astronomy/articles/processing.htm)

Now compare that to the much simpler dialog of Gimp:
Image (source: http://gimp-savvy.com/BOOK/index.html?node60.html)


:arrow: In comparison, PSP has some very nice features:
  • Real-time overlay (preview) of the new histogram after modification (red (new) over grey (old) in the 2nd image above)
  • Direct display of the graph of the mathematical function that is applied to the pixels with the given settings. This is the mostly diagonal line over the histogram in the above images. If you modify any control in the dialog, both the line as well as the red histogram overlay are immediately updated.
  • The output levels can be set in PSP in a much more natural manner than in Gimp (see how they are arranged in correspondence with the graph in the PSP dialog!). That is, if you for example drag up the black dot of the "output min." in the PSP dialog, the curve starts at that height, not at the bottom any more.
  • There is a real-time preview of the actual image, too.
Overall, PSPs histogram tool has a very intuitive dialog (many of its features are hard to explain in words) that I've seen nowhere else so far, and what I'm looking for is a tool with similar functionality. The tool can be a lot "smaller" than PSP or any other program, because this histogram stuff is the only feature of PSP that I'm really missing from TheGimp. ;)
Best regards,
Carsten
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Kai
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Post by Kai » 2006-01-18, 16:52

I've played a bit around with the latest version of PSP and i must admit that it is sometimes much better than photoshop. Some features are even missed in Photoshop (CS1) like the ability to create a continuous brushstroke (the strokes are not added when overlapping, stay at same level of transparency)

However there are also some tools for less advanced users like the red-eye-reduction tool, which is useless for professionals, because this can be solved by hand.

To be honest, i have no idea of a tool or software for free with the same way of visualisation for the histogram. Corel seems to be the leading edge in this regard !
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Post by Carsten » 2006-01-18, 17:23

Okay, thanks!! :)
Best regards,
Carsten
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