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Author Topic: Best RAW converter for...  (Read 12567 times)
wilburdl
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« on: November 24, 2007, 04:07:11 PM »
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I'm sure this has been done before but I  think now that most of the popular RAW converters have been updated--it's only appropriate to do it again.
I've always used ACR to convert my 1DsII files. Lately, I'm curious as to what the other converters offer in terms of image quality. I did trials of Lightroom and C1 but didn't gleam the quality improvements I've read about on a couple of forums (maybe I needed more time to work with them). Still, I'm ready to try something different if it shows a noticeable improvement over ACR.
Let me know what you use and why
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Darnell
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Bill Caulfeild-Browne
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« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2007, 04:11:53 PM »
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ACR and Lightroom are the same so you won't see any difference there. I prefer them to C1, tho' I do use the latter if I don't like the results from the former! Canon's own software is also good but a bit clunkier in my view.

Overall I love Lightroom simply because of the workflow.

Bill


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I'm sure this has been done before but I  think now that most of the popular RAW converters have been updated--it's only appropriate to do it again.
I've always used ACR to convert my 1DsII files. Lately, I'm curious as to what the other converters offer in terms of image quality. I did trials of Lightroom and C1 but didn't gleam the quality improvements I've read about on a couple of forums (maybe I needed more time to work with them). Still, I'm ready to try something different if it shows a noticeable improvement over ACR.
Let me know what you use and why
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digitaldog
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« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2007, 05:36:30 PM »
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Overall I love Lightroom simply because of the workflow.

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Same here. However, if you're looking for differing rendering qualities, and you're on a Mac, check out Raw Developer. Lovely rendering. But no workflow <g>
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Andrew Rodney
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Bill Caulfeild-Browne
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« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2007, 05:41:44 PM »
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TX, ddog, I do have a Mac (or 3!) and I'll give it a try.
Bill

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Same here. However, if you're looking for differing rendering qualities, and you're on a Mac, check out Raw Developer. Lovely rendering. But no workflow <g>
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sniper
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« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2007, 05:43:17 PM »
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Dxo is also gathering a following at the moment, partly due to it's image lens correction ability.
It would be interesting to see a side by side comparrison between all the different converters, I for one would like to see that.  Wayne
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wilburdl
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« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2007, 07:41:36 PM »
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I'm surprised no one has spoken for C1. I assume that once the latest version finally comes out, that will all change.
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Darnell
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« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2007, 11:26:12 PM »
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I'm surprised no one has spoken for C1. I assume that once the latest version finally comes out, that will all change.
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Everything's always perfect in the next version.  Have you heard about Lightroom 2.0?  How about Aperture 2.0?  They both will change photography as we know it!
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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2007, 11:46:42 PM »
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Dxo is also gathering a following at the moment, partly due to it's image lens correction ability.
It would be interesting to see a side by side comparrison between all the different converters, I for one would like to see that.  Wayne
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I've always preferred the output of DxO to the others (took a bit of time to get the settings correct)
Marc
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Marc McCalmont
wilburdl
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« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2007, 03:31:15 AM »
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Everything's always perfect in the next version.  Have you heard about Lightroom 2.0?  How about Aperture 2.0?  They both will change photography as we know it!
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Lol. At least that's how it's supposed to work. I mentioned the next version because it currently available in beta form. Though I'm sure Lightroom 2.0 will live up to all the hype
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Darnell
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« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2007, 07:34:20 AM »
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Lol. At least that's how it's supposed to work. I mentioned the next version because it currently available in beta form. Though I'm sure Lightroom 2.0 will live up to all the hype
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Try Bibble.
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sniper
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« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2007, 12:38:13 PM »
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I have just carried out a comparrison between most of the better known raw converters, not under lab conditions I'll admit, but an interesting comparrison all the same.
The results (viewed on screen as I haven't a big printer here) and all used at the default/auto setting.

ACR and LR both too light but accepable, interestingly ACR was slightly lighter and slightly less red than LR.

ACDC rubbish quite frankly, it's nowhere near as sharp as the rest and the image is way too light/washed out almost.

Raw shooter darker (closer to the original scene) but not as sharp as LR/ACR

Capture one arker  (closer to the original scene) but not as sharp as LR/ACR and seems to have yellowish cast (easily fixed of course)

Bibble as above seems sharper than Cap1 and raw shooter.

Dxo probably the sharpest (but not much better than LR/ACR) and also the most accurite colour and brightness.

As I say this is a personall opinion (and I'm sure others will disargee.

My overall favorite would be Dxo, closly followed by ACR or LR, theres not much in it really, and as I say this was on the auto setting, with a few tweeks I doubt you could tell the difference.
For the test I used RAW images from a Nikon D2X then converted to jpeg best quality (as thats what a lot of people will do)   Ducks head to avoid flak!  Wayne
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ajtaylor
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« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2007, 01:08:13 PM »
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The results (viewed on screen as I haven't a big printer here) and all used at the default/auto setting.

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That's the killer line - "on the auto/default setting". It's not really (as I'm sure you know) a meaningful comparison if you do that!

Most RAW converters will be able to produce similar results to each other, provided you know how to drive them. At the end of the day it comes down to which one you find easiest to achieve the results YOU like.

Yes, there are some features in some but not others - e.g. Bibble's built-in NoiseNinja and PTlens plugins, DXO's lens correction, the DAM aspects of Aperture,  split-toning bits of LR - but, ultimately you have to decide what's important to you.

Personally I have a few raw converters on hand - I find different ones work better with different kinds of images/tonalities. RAW Developer for example, is without doubt my favourite for B&W work, but I generally use LR, despite preferring Aperture's DAM abilities by a long way. If I can't get quite the result I envisaged when I took the shot in LR, then I'll try C1, NX or RAW Developer or occasionally Bibble with its ugly as sin interface. (Bibble seems to have all the functionality, but very little of the ease of use, or least that's how it feels to me)
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sniper
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« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2007, 02:02:57 PM »
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The idea was to see how well the programs could handle a raw file without any real input, as you say with time you could probably get them all to look the same, but that wasn't the idea.
The real test would be printing them.
Still an interesting test. lol   Wayne
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2007, 02:06:51 PM »
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This exercise is completely pointless unless you recalibrate the Auto defaults in each converter to respect the same parameters, and then see how well they perform comparatively doing what is supposed to be the same thing on the same image.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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digitaldog
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« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2007, 02:10:41 PM »
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This exercise is completely pointless unless you recalibrate the Auto defaults in each converter to respect the same parameters, and then see how well they perform comparatively doing what is supposed to be the same thing on the same image.
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Yup. Default rendering isn't all that useful by itself in deciding the qualities of a converter. Getting the same Raw to appear as close as possible (not easy) THEN viewing the qualities of the rendering tells you a lot more.
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Andrew Rodney
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wilburdl
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« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2007, 02:48:49 PM »
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I'm a people shooter and I rarely ever bother with setting a neutral color as I'm always messing with the color temp. I'm mostly concerned with color noise and sharpness. (I'd also like to be able to bring all my images into ACR in chronological order).

Basically, I'm always tweaking everything (sometimes every shot). I like when people test stuff--but all I ask is that you process that image to the best of your abilities (I don't care about uniformity in parameters myself) in each software and then give the results.

When I look at test I'm looking for which was fastest, easiest to use, features and ultimately results.
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Darnell
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« Reply #16 on: November 25, 2007, 03:17:33 PM »
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Sadly you can't claibrate the auto defaults on some of the programs. That was part of the idea behind the test, as some people will use auto for a quick fix, and I wanted to see how each one rendered the same raw image.
It was interesting to see the difference between the softwares, ACR and LR should have been the same, but there was a noticable difference between the two.

As I said it was a personal viewpoint, I saw little point in making all the images look the same, thats more a test of my skill than the software.   What I was looking for was ease of use for quickly and efficently converting my raw images to something else.  Wayne
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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #17 on: November 25, 2007, 03:28:13 PM »
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I think both points are valid but in the end I would like to see (know) which produces the highest image quality. So I guess a test with the parameters tweaked to an optimum setting would be a valuable test.
Marc
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Marc McCalmont
Jeff Kott
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« Reply #18 on: November 25, 2007, 03:29:31 PM »
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In general, under most circumstances, I use Nikon Capture for my Nikon nef files and ACR 4.2 for my Pentax pef files.

I seem to be able to get better colors more easily with Nikon Capture than with ACR.

I prefer the Nikon Capture interface to that of Capture NX, but the conversion results are almost identical with Capture and NX.

When I have a difficult file with a lot of detail and maybe some noise, I often use Raw Magick Lite. I wouldn't recommend it for the workflow, but the image resulting from the raw conversion can be incredible. You might want to give it a try. Supposedly, the developers of Raw Magick Lite are going to come out with an update soon and they are working on an advanced version "Raw Magick Extreme."
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #19 on: November 25, 2007, 05:21:41 PM »
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Sadly you can't claibrate the auto defaults on some of the programs. That was part of the idea behind the test, as some people will use auto for a quick fix, and I wanted to see how each one rendered the same raw image.
It was interesting to see the difference between the softwares, ACR and LR should have been the same, but there was a noticable difference between the two.

As I said it was a personal viewpoint, I saw little point in making all the images look the same, thats more a test of my skill than the software.   What I was looking for was ease of use for quickly and efficently converting my raw images to something else.  Wayne
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Wayne, I wasn't getting at making the image look the same - I was getting at moving the Auto defaults of the various converters to a common playing field (for example all of them would have a linear tone curve or an S-Curve with the same shape set as the auto default), and then seeing which does the best job on a variety of image types. If the raw converter doesn't allow you to create a preset and save it as the new auto default, it isn't worth very much within the scope of the test you have in mind, because then the photographer is totally reliant on the taste of the program developer, which may well be different. In other words, such a converter would kind of fail before it starts for your purpose!
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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