Topic: AfterShot Pro by Corel
I just got this only a yesterday but I've found that's about the same as a few weeks for the less app-aggressive users out there. But oh man, have you guys used this yet? Drop the poorly-written slow-as-molasses LightRoom and put aside CaptureOne for awhile and give this a try! It's available for Windows, Mac, and Linux so you're afforded a bit of platform freedom with it. There's a trial version available on the home site here.
The Corel site starts off the introductory blurb with "Corel® AfterShot™ Pro is a fast..." and as these kinds of blurbs typically go they're drastically understating the case. Running AfterShot Pro on my ancient 2006 MacPro1,1 (w/32GB RAM, and 8-cores of x5355 Xeon at 2.67GHz & GTX570) acts much faster than LR on my liquid-cooled 16-core 4+ GHz Boxx 8980 XTREME with dual Tesla cards and 32GB RAM!
All the usual raw processing tools plus some unexpected goodies are presented in a pretty slick highly customizable, gooey (GUI):
It's of course all non-destructive. The last 4 or 5 revision releases have offered OpenCL support as you can see from the image above. Totally sweet! It has layer masks for selective editing and processing. Layer brushing can be as accurate as 2 pixels and selection areas are sub-pixel accurate. It has options for independent layers which allow opacity and unique selection spline sets and/or brush strokes per layer. The selection splines can be edited at any time during editing or after saving the files out. I guess the spline data is saved in either of it's two kinds of XMP sidecar files. It sports a plug-in architecture but I haven't looked yet to see what APIs it's using nor if the plugs are compatible with those from/for other apps. Mine came with a souped up version of NoiseNinja and B&W processor with selective color capabilities.
It supports catalogs which I personally dislike, and also OS hierarchal folder structures of your own devise - which is what I prefer. It uses just two user definable folders for all of its cache, work, proofs, previews, and profiles so it won't make a mess of things either. The review-and-select tools are similar to all other good PP apps I've tried so finding, sorting, and tagging stuff is done in the usual ways. Basically if you already know LR, CP1, or Aperture, there's no learning curve to deal with - just a HUGE speed increase and who doesn't want that? It has some nice output features but nothing others don't have IIRC. PDF files, Proof (Contact) Sheets, and so on. It also has a slide-show feature but it's fairly simplistic with just interval, border offsets, and so on as available options. No fancy wipes or anything but this is a RAW processor so I'm not sure how fitting something like wipes or etceteras, would be. It's got Versioning, Stacking, Keywording, Tagging, and Star Rating to help with progressive edit revisions and so forth. And the various tool pallets can be docked and floated for us multi-monitor users.
My little old MP1,1 with GTX570 can select, apply many many adjustments, and display GH2 RAW files in 0.27s or 3 FPS depending how you look at it. Processing, converting, and saving one raw-to-jpeg image at a time occurs in about 0.8 seconds with every slider and adjustment set to something other than the as-shot defaults. Batch processing 100 such 16mpx GH2 raw files took considerably less time with an average 0.63 seconds for each. That's fast in the extreme - given the machine spec!
So give this a try. DL the trial version, walk through all the preferences to optimize it for your particular system, then try out all the features, and come back here and tell us what you thought - good or bad. I have a feeling some here will be typing CASP or ASP in their posts more often than LR from now on. Me, I'm uninstalling LR all together - that's for sure! They've put together quite a system with hordes of free plug-ins and a fairly energetic community.
Right now Amazon has it for sale for $14.99 as a download. But you can only take advantage of the deal if you're either in the USA or are using something like a Tor network which makes you location independent.