But here's something that most digital imaging experts do agree on: The better the photo that comes out of the camera, the easier - and more effective - will be your work in Photoshop, Elements, Lightroom, Aperture, whatever.
All this really relates to Ansel Adams' famous quote: "You don't take a photograph, you make it."
Unfortunately, the “I’ll fix it later in Photoshop” way of thinking is still prevalent among some photographers. Yet, post-production work can't always resuscitate images that fall short of a sparkling vision. For example, when it comes to camera angle, or making use of fine light, there may be no satisfying way to make that image match your vision.
Yes, it's true that noise-reduction programs have been improving, but when you can avoid an image with high noise - by using a tripod in low light whenever possible - that's always preferable. And while sharpening software also has improved, a blurry image is, well, a blurry image. Post-sharpening is designed to make an already-sharp image crisper, not resurrect a fuzzy one. And those creative Photoshop filters may not help - inherently good photos look better with special effects than those made from less-than-stellar images.
If big cropping is a routine part of your digital-darkroom workflow, it might be time to re-consider your strategy, especially if you would like to make quality use of your photos beyond Web posting (which doesn't require large-size files to look great). After all, major cropping is just throwing away pixels that you paid for. Minor trimming may not be an issue, but major cropping does limit things in terms of quality big prints as well as submission to major publishers or stock agencies.
Perhaps surprisingly, the regular use of a tripod for stationary scenes helps achieve top shots in so many ways. Read my blog on the subject: Use a Tripod to Boost Image Quality, Composition and Creativity
Getting the exposure right, even if shooting in Raw, is always important, regardless of your Photoshop skills. Check out Jim Zuckerman's excellent article: DSLR Overexposure: Blowing the Highlights
Then there's the time-saving factor. Doing as much as you can in the camera - when shooting - not only helps you come up with a quality image that's ideal for post-processing (and/or for applying creative effects), but quite simply, it saves time too. For myself, saving time always a worthy goal!
Want more thoughts on how to achieve the best images in-camera? Check out these photography blogs: