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Author Topic: Use LR for RAW conversion, or Canon's software?  (Read 14046 times)
The View
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« on: July 09, 2008, 02:25:02 PM »
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With my new Canon 40D, I wonder if I should adapt my workflow.

Do I win anything if I use Canon's own software for RAW conversion, and then import into LR?

Are those differences in RAW conversion just that some software brings the converted RAW closer to JPEG appearance (which I wouldn't want, as I prefer a more neutral starting point).

Or is there some real quality difference in using Canon's conversion software provided with the camera?
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Panopeeper
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« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2008, 02:44:00 PM »
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DPP ist superior in color reproduction. ACR neeeds to be calibrated, and according to some of those, who did that, the color is still not as good. DPP is faster than ACR.

ACR is better in other aspects: workflow, and the palette of adjustments.

There is a very important difference, which may be decisive in certain workflows: DPP stores the adjustments in the raw file, while ACR creates a sidecar file (forget about the dumb rubbish of storing the adjustments in ACR's data base).

Some users dislike the sidecar files, but

1. think of archivation. What do you want to archive? I archive the unadultered orginal before any adjustments, and I archive the adjustments on their own. I don't want to re-archive the large raw files because I cyhange the adjustments.

2. multiple adjustments. Neither DPP nor ACR allows for different sets of adjustments of a single raw image. This sucks. However, I can copy the sidecar files, thus saving a certain set of adjustments, and then make other adjustments.

Note, that ACR saves the adjustments in the DNG-format raw file, except if the file is read-only (then a sidecar will be created).
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Gabor
john beardsworth
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« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2008, 03:18:03 PM »
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The OP is asking for a comparison with LR, not ACR. So no sidecars unless you want them for some reason - the data is stored in LR's database.

LR does allow multiple alternative renditions, via both virtual copies and snapshots (concepts which need pulling together). Only the latter are stored, if you want, in the xmp or dng. There is already at least one way of swapping snapshots outside of LR.

As for the colour reproduction issue, that's only a matter of opinion and many would disagree with you.

John
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Panopeeper
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« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2008, 03:36:02 PM »
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The OP is asking for a comparison with LR, not ACR
I am not sure if this surprizes you, but LR is using ACR.

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So no sidecars unless you want them for some reason - the data is stored in LR's database
I mentioned the sidecar files, for I find them an advantage compared to DPP (and compared to storing the adjustments in a data base).

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LR does allow multiple alternative renditions, via both virtual copies and snapshots (concepts which need pulling together). Only the latter are stored, if you want, in the xmp or dng
Are you sure, that multiple adjustments can be stored in XMP format? I don't think so, but I am not sure of that.

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As for the colour reproduction issue, that's only a matter of opinion and many would disagree with you
1. It is not a matter of opinion, that the color reproduction of ACR differs very much from that of DPP.

2. Adobe acknowledges, that a calibration should be done.

3. Those, who have done it, confirm, that the result is better, but still not the same as DPP.

4. I have yet to see one, who prefers ACR's uncalibrated colors to DPP; you might be the first one. However, there are many (like myself), who are either lazy, or don't appretiate the accurate color reproduction as much as some others do.

How far the above is true is confirmed by the upcoming features, which allow for multiple color profiles.
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2008, 03:58:49 PM »
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Of course I know LR uses ACR, but your comments specifically use the term ACR, not LR, and mention features specific to it such as the use of sidecars, which are of marginal value in the context of LR. Give me a database anyday - anything other than sidecar hell.

You might want to check out the latest specs re DNG or examine LR's sidecar or XMP metadata output - LR was saving multiple snapshots (sadly not VCs) some time before the spec came out. To see what I mean, create some snapshots in LR, then save out the metadata and open it in Bridge or a text editor. I've seen at least one Bridge application that can swap snapshots (via Bridge scripting).

You can always find a few Nikonites who'll swear by Capture NX or Canonites who'll sell their mothers for DPP, but the vast majority? Plenty of top Canon-using pros couldn't give two hoots about navel-gazing, calibrating their cameras, or DPP. Even if the camera makers' apps did produce better output, in any case what counts nowadays isn't so much pixel peeping individual files, but how much of a shoot you can get to your hopefully exacting quality standards in the time you've got for bulk post processing. We've got to factor in volume / efficiency too.

John
« Last Edit: July 09, 2008, 04:31:33 PM by johnbeardy » Logged

The View
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« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2008, 11:29:52 PM »
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DPP ist superior in color reproduction. ACR neeeds to be calibrated, and according to some of those, who did that, the color is still not as good. DPP is faster than ACR.

ACR is better in other aspects: workflow, and the palette of adjustments.

There is a very important difference, which may be decisive in certain workflows: DPP stores the adjustments in the raw file, while ACR creates a sidecar file (forget about the dumb rubbish of storing the adjustments in ACR's data base).

Some users dislike the sidecar files, but

1. think of archivation. What do you want to archive? I archive the unadultered orginal before any adjustments, and I archive the adjustments on their own. I don't want to re-archive the large raw files because I cyhange the adjustments.

2. multiple adjustments. Neither DPP nor ACR allows for different sets of adjustments of a single raw image. This sucks. However, I can copy the sidecar files, thus saving a certain set of adjustments, and then make other adjustments.

Note, that ACR saves the adjustments in the DNG-format raw file, except if the file is read-only (then a sidecar will be created).
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=206744\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

So you mean that the interpretation of the data from the sensor is superior in DPP.

I noticed that an image improved by simply opening it in PS. Any change ACR works different in the environment of PS than in the environment of LR?
« Last Edit: July 09, 2008, 11:30:44 PM by The View » Logged

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The View
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« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2008, 11:34:31 PM »
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Even if the camera makers' apps did produce better output, in any case what counts nowadays isn't so much pixel peeping individual files, but how much of a shoot you can get to your hopefully exacting quality standards in the time you've got for bulk post processing. We've got to factor in volume / efficiency too.

John
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=206768\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


So, John, you mean, that the interpretation of RAW data to form an image is pretty much the same from all the RAW processors? And the tiny differences you get over as you do adjustments anyway?

I repeatedly read that DPP renders details and color tones better, so you start out with more and better data. What would you say to that?
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The View
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« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2008, 11:45:58 PM »
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In this test by dpreview DPP show better detail and sharpness in RAW conversion.

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos450d/page18.asp
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Panopeeper
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« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2008, 11:58:13 PM »
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You can always find a few Nikonites who'll swear by Capture NX or Canonites who'll sell their mothers for DPP, but the vast majority? Plenty of top Canon-using pros couldn't give two hoots about navel-gazing, calibrating their cameras, or DPP. Even if the camera makers' apps did produce better output, in any case what counts nowadays isn't so much pixel peeping individual files, but how much of a shoot you can get to your hopefully exacting quality standards in the time you've got for bulk post processing. We've got to factor in volume / efficiency too.
It is obvious, that the proportion of digitally illiterate is very high on the LL forums, but equating the desire for color fidelity with pixel peeping is a bit if a stretch even here.
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Gabor
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« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2008, 12:06:44 AM »
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I noticed that an image improved by simply opening it in PS
Now that is quite surprizing. Improved compared to what?

DPP applies all the in-camera settings (contrast, sharpness, WB, saturation, color tone, Highlight Tone Protection), ACR applies only the WB.

If I add to this the fact, that ACR makes an auto-adjustment of "exposure", which can ruin the image, but does not say a word about it, then I can only say: stay awa from ACR until you don't understand, what it is doing.
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Gabor
The View
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« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2008, 12:14:11 AM »
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By "an image looks better" by opening it it PS I meant exporting it from LR to PS.

It opens, and looks more vivid and more nuanced.


I just installed DPP and found out, that it has Adobe RGB as the widest color space. No ProPhoto color space. Isn't that a bit limiting?
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2008, 12:17:07 AM »
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So, John, you mean, that the interpretation of RAW data to form an image is pretty much the same from all the RAW processors? And the tiny differences you get over as you do adjustments anyway?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=206881\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Pretty much, and personal preferences differ with regard to converters' default renditions, even if they are meaningful anyway. With something like LR, you're also talking volume - so how many images can you finish to a high standard?

John
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The View
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« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2008, 12:18:15 AM »
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If I add to this the fact, that ACR makes an auto-adjustment of "exposure", which can ruin the image, but does not say a word about it, then I can only say: stay awa from ACR until you don't understand, what it is doing.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=206890\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I'm not sure if I follow you here.

I've adjusted several thousand images in LR, and never found exposure "auto-adjusted".

Actually, I think the LR approach of only taking the WB from the camera settings quite good.

The only thing that really made me rethink LR were the repeated statements about better color rendition and detail in DPP. (this is why I posted the link to dpreview, and it's only one of many notes that I found on the web).

This better detail representation and sharpness, is it on the data level, or is it just more presharpening done by DPP (so, if I worked the details panes in LR, I'd get exactly the same result?).
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« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2008, 12:40:07 AM »
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found out, that it has Adobe RGB as the widest color space. No ProPhoto color space. Isn't that a bit limiting?
Well, I convert all images in ProPhoto, 16bit and keep them so up to the point, when I decide for a presentation copy (for printing or Internet). However, most users start out with sRGB, which is smaller than aRGB.

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I've adjusted several thousand images in LR, and never found exposure "auto-adjusted"
LOL, the point is, that it does not show this adjustment.

Raws files of which camera have you converted?

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Actually, I think the LR approach of only taking the WB from the camera settings quite good
So do I, but the majority of users posting about this issue are expecting the raw converter to honour the in-camera settings. (This is not "LR approach" but "ACR approach", just like the auto-adjustment.)

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This better detail representation and sharpness, is it on the data level, or is it just more presharpening done by DPP (so, if I worked the details panes in LR, I'd get exactly the same result?).
I don't understand the question; what is "on the data level"?

Btw, ACR is better in sharpening than DPP; you need only to look at the options.
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Gabor
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« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2008, 12:41:16 AM »
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If I add to this the fact, that ACR makes an auto-adjustment of "exposure", which can ruin the image, but does not say a word about it, then I can only say: stay awa from ACR until you don't understand, what it is doing.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=206890\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Please explain.

Sure, there is an 'auto' settings feature in LR (and ACR) but that doesn't mean you have to use it. Do you think there is something else going on 'under the hood'?
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Nick Rains
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« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2008, 12:57:40 AM »
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Do you think there is something else going on 'under the hood'?
What's your camera?
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Gabor
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« Reply #16 on: July 10, 2008, 01:57:19 AM »
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What's your camera?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=206899\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
5D, 1DsM3, D3 (loaner).

For the purposes of this, the Canons will suffice.
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Nick Rains
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« Reply #17 on: July 10, 2008, 02:52:13 AM »
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5D, 1DsM3, D3 (loaner).
The auto-adjustment is

5D: +0.25 EV at all ISOs

1DsMkIII: +0.35 EV, probably at all ISOs, but I don't have raw samples for all

D3: - 0.5 EV at ISO 100, +0.5 EV at all other ISOs.

This adjustment may cause apparent clipping, or or may hide true clipping (as far as one can talk about "true clipping" in the raw processor, because that is far from the raw clipping).

If you want to see the image as "normal", you have to adjust "exposure" in the opposite direction.
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Gabor
The View
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« Reply #18 on: July 10, 2008, 03:12:36 AM »
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Well, I convert all images in ProPhoto, 16bit and keep them so up to the point, when I decide for a presentation copy (for printing or Internet).

Raws files of which camera have you converted?
So do I, but the majority of users posting about this issue are expecting the raw converter to honour the in-camera settings. (This is not "LR approach" but "ACR approach", just like the auto-adjustment.)
I don't understand the question; what is "on the data level"?

Btw, ACR is better in sharpening than DPP; you need only to look at the options.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=206897\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

But if DPP can only do Adobe RGB, how could you convert to ProPhoto (that extra gamut isn't there). It's like converting from a "lower" color space to a higher.

I converted Pentax so far, and it will be Canon (40d) from now on.

Then, what camera settings do you mean? All those color, sharpness, etc. settings are for JPEG only. RAW is RAW, the pure data directly from the sensor - that's what I meant with "data level".
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The View
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« Reply #19 on: July 10, 2008, 03:17:08 AM »
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Regarding the auto adjustments, that means LR would counterbalance certain camera model's tendency for e.g. underexposure in a Pentax?

That adjustment seems to be rather minor to me.

But what do you say to that sharpness comparison at dpreview?

Is DPP really sharper, or could you go at this same sharpness level by going to the detail panel in LR? After all, it's non-destructive...
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