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Author Topic: dxo for lens correction only before RAW processin?  (Read 16918 times)
marcwilson
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« on: September 29, 2008, 03:03:47 PM »
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Hi guys,

For those that use dxo optics pro.

I want to use the software just to make lens corrections, CA, distortion, on my RAW files, but still use capture 1 or similar for the actual RAW processing.

Is it possible to make the dxo corrections on the RAW file and then save that file still in its RAW format, without any RAW processing so I can then process the otherwise untouched RAW file through C1, etc?

Cheers,

Marc
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Misirlou
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« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2008, 04:11:50 PM »
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Hi guys,

For those that use dxo optics pro.

I want to use the software just to make lens corrections, CA, distortion, on my RAW files, but still use capture 1 or similar for the actual RAW processing.

Is it possible to make the dxo corrections on the RAW file and then save that file still in its RAW format, without any RAW processing so I can then process the otherwise untouched RAW file through C1, etc?

Cheers,

Marc
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Sure. DxO can process a raw file, and then save the result as a DNG. If C1 can handle DNG, you'd be fine. I've never tried C1, but I have run a couple of DxO DNG files through Lightroom.

Sort of mixed results. You have to be really careful about setting everything up to keep from contaminating the DNG with other DxO corrections. Typically, I process the raw file with DxO, save out the result as a TIFF, and then tweak the TIFF in CS3 or LR2. If I ever find the time, I might try doing something like what you're asking about, in the hopes of making consistent color a little bit easier.
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httivals
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« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2008, 04:39:24 AM »
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Yes and no.  When DXO does any processing of RAW files it also demosaics the file, even when you save it as a DNG.  So you have all of the RAW data from the original in the DNG you then process in Llightroom, except that your demosaicing is already fixed.

BTW, this is my standard workflow.  I do initial corrections in DXO optics pro, then save as DNG and do further processing in Lightroom.  Works very well as a workflow.

One way of thinking about this is if you look at the file size of a DNG file after DXO initial processing it will be large, over 3 times the size of a RAW file.  That's because each of the R, G, B channels have been "fixed."  That's all demosaicing does -- it takes the Bayer filtered data and interpolates it to separate R, G, B channels.

IMHO, DXO 5.2 does a fantastic job of demosaicing.  The only downside to this workflow is that DXO will sometimes clip highlights more than Lightroom; this happens through the demosaicing.  My work around that seems to work almost perfectly is to change the tone curve by setting 255 to 250 for the highlight in DXO.  This gives you a gentler roll off of highlights.

The more I use DXO I find it indispensable.  I also find DXO lighting to be fantastic and of course the lens softness feature is the best (which I set to "0" to just iron out lens sharpness defects, but not to add extra sharpness), but that's starting to go way beyond your question.

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Hi guys,

For those that use dxo optics pro.

I want to use the software just to make lens corrections, CA, distortion, on my RAW files, but still use capture 1 or similar for the actual RAW processing.

Is it possible to make the dxo corrections on the RAW file and then save that file still in its RAW format, without any RAW processing so I can then process the otherwise untouched RAW file through C1, etc?

Cheers,

Marc
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marcwilson
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« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2008, 04:46:05 AM »
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Thanks guys,

I have now tried the demo of DXO and for what I want, lens correction for distortion and softness, CA control, vignetting it really does produce a very good image.

Only problem for me is that the DNG file it produces is linear not raw so capture 1 can not read it.

Am now looking at other options to C1 to see how I get on and then find the best combo workflow that includes the lens corrections and RAW conversion.

Cheers,

Marc
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httivals
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« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2008, 04:49:37 AM »
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Have you tried this?  Because it's not what the 16-9 site work around was directed at. The 16-9 site was talking about tricking DXO to work on unsupported lens. . . .  In all events, for supported cameras and lenses, the DXO demosaicing is fantastic, quite a bit better than Lightroom, IMHO.  Not to say that I don't love Lightroom for focused tweaking of already demosaiced raw files from DXO, I do.  But DXO's "lens softness" feature is by far the best "capture sharpening" software I've found.  And the "lighting" feature is the best way I've found to get "Zeiss-like" microcontrast from ordinary Canon lenses (I love pretty much all my Canon lenses when they're supported by DXO; much better than any of the alternative lenses I've tried, not supported by DXO).

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Have a read here: http://www.16-9.net/lens_tests/dxo.html

You can process a raw in your demosaic software of choice, then use the exif swap trick described above to let DXO think it's working on a straight-from-camera tiff.

Yes, it's cumbersome & irritating.
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marcwilson
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« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2008, 05:12:08 AM »
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I'll look into that also.

To be honest the way I see using DXO is as a very much automated lens correction software that I do not think about...I simply make the lens correction corrections in a batch on my RAW files and let these process whilst I get on with something else, say cleaning my lenses, writing the invoice, etc, and then carry on just as I always have with the RAW conversion altering colour, exposure, etc...although this may now be with other RAW software which won't be the end of the world for me.
I use C1 as I have it and quite like it but I'm not tied to it!

Cheers,

Marc
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NikosR
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« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2008, 08:23:19 AM »
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I'll look into that also.

To be honest the way I see using DXO is as a very much automated lens correction software that I do not think about...I simply make the lens correction corrections in a batch on my RAW files and let these process whilst I get on with something else, say cleaning my lenses, writing the invoice, etc, and then carry on just as I always have with the RAW conversion altering colour, exposure, etc...although this may now be with other RAW software which won't be the end of the world for me.
I use C1 as I have it and quite like it but I'm not tied to it!

Cheers,

Marc
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May I ask how you plan to do that? I'm referring to performing the lens corrections with DxO on raw first and then performing the actual conversion with another converter. httivals above pointed the issue out to you but maybe you didn't get it.

DxO can output DNG format and that will be readable by another DNG aware converter but by that time the data in the DNG are demosaiced linear data (which is much much closer to TIFF than raw IMO apart from the gamma correction part). Thus, conversion per se (as in debayering) was done with DxO.

The program that opens the DNG then (e.g. ACR, Lightroom etc.)  will only operate on RGB data thus missing any program specific raw conversion advantages or any operations that operate on raw data only or take advantage of raw data (e.g. exposure comp, highlight reconstruction, advanced de-noising, camera colour profile etc. depending on the raw converter program).

So in effect, it superficially looks like you are performing the raw conversion in the second program while in fact you're just operating on RGB data, much like what would happen if you have used TIFF (rather than DNG) as an intermediate between DxO and the second program.

I don't know if C1 can handle TIFFs but if it can it will be much the same thing as if it could handle these linear DNGs.


PS. Same thing applies with regards to Nikon NEF and DxO I believe
« Last Edit: October 03, 2008, 09:08:17 AM by NikosR » Logged

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NikosR
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« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2008, 09:03:02 AM »
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Have a read here: http://www.16-9.net/lens_tests/dxo.html

You can process a raw in your demosaic software of choice, then use the exif swap trick described above to let DXO think it's working on a straight-from-camera tiff.

Yes, it's cumbersome & irritating.
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But can DxO read TIFFs?
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marcwilson
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« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2008, 09:25:35 AM »
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I'm new to dxo and so not really certain of what using it means.

So basically although the dng files it produces can be read and converted as such into tiffs via lightroom, etc, the white balance and exposure, tone, curve, etc changes I make in lightroom on these dng files are not as effective as the same adjustments made to the pre dzxo RAW file?

I think this is what is being said?

Although the workflow I discuss, dxo then lightroom is the one used by httivals so may still produce very good results.

I've done a quick test altering just the lens corrections etc in DXO and then converting this DNG file in Lightroom, and then converting the same, but pre DXO, image again in lightroom with the same white balance, tone, exposure settings applied to it.

Both tiff images opened in photoshop and looked at 100% look the same in terms of white balance, exposure, etc (the lightroom conversions) but of course one has the lens correction also.

Marc
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NikosR
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« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2008, 10:46:00 AM »
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I'm new to dxo and so not really certain of what using it means.

So basically although the dng files it produces can be read and converted as such into tiffs via lightroom, etc, the white balance and exposure, tone, curve, etc changes I make in lightroom on these dng files are not as effective as the same adjustments made to the pre dzxo RAW file?

I think this is what is being said?


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More or less yes. Raw conversion is performed by DxO.
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httivals
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« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2008, 11:03:23 AM »
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More or less yes. Raw conversion is performed by DxO.
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I am not sure, but as I understand it there is a fundamental difference between a DNG that has been demosaiced, and a TIFF, so if my understanding is correct I think you're wrong, NikosR.

My understanding is that the only difference between a demosaiced DNG and another raw file, is that the demosaiced DNG has separate R, G, B channels.  But whatever exposure headroom exists in the original RAW file should also exist in the demosaiced DNG.  In addition, you should be able to reset white balance to the demosaiced DNG without any deterioration in image quality.

In my experience, I see no image degradation between a demosaiced DNG from DXO, and a normal Canon 5D raw file, when each is subsequently opened in Lightroom, except of course that the demosaiced DNG from DXO will have whatever image corrections you perform from DXO "baked in."

BTW, another huge advantage of DXO 5.2 is noise reduction.  DXO's noise reduction has the advantage of being performed on raw data, and is tailored to each individual camera.  Whereas I had previously found iso 3200 on the 5D to be too noisy for use for my tastes, when using it with DXO's noise reduction it produces an excellent file.  My other noise reduction program -- Noise Ninja, which I use as a Photoshop plug-in -- pales in comparison.
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NikosR
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« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2008, 11:44:37 AM »
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I am not sure, but as I understand it there is a fundamental difference between a DNG that has been demosaiced, and a TIFF, so if my understanding is correct I think you're wrong, NikosR.

My understanding is that the only difference between a demosaiced DNG and another raw file, is that the demosaiced DNG has separate R, G, B channels.  But whatever exposure headroom exists in the original RAW file should also exist in the demosaiced DNG.  In addition, you should be able to reset white balance to the demosaiced DNG without any deterioration in image quality.

In my experience, I see no image degradation between a demosaiced DNG from DXO, and a normal Canon 5D raw file, when each is subsequently opened in Lightroom, except of course that the demosaiced DNG from DXO will have whatever image corrections you perform from DXO "baked in."

BTW, another huge advantage of DXO 5.2 is noise reduction.  DXO's noise reduction has the advantage of being performed on raw data, and is tailored to each individual camera.  Whereas I had previously found iso 3200 on the 5D to be too noisy for use for my tastes, when using it with DXO's noise reduction it produces an excellent file.  My other noise reduction program -- Noise Ninja, which I use as a Photoshop plug-in -- pales in comparison.
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The demosaiced file has undergone Bayer demosaicing (of course) plus it might have undergone some additional arithmetic manipulation.  Colour  is part of the demosaicing operation so there you will be getting whatever colours DxO thinks you should get, rather than what Adobe thinks...

We are getting into deep water here which I'm not really qualified to tread (maybe an expert could join us).

 The DNG file not being gamma corrected will provide some advantage against a gamma corrected file but I cannot see how you would be able to recover the highlights to give an example.  Also, as you correctly point out you loose the raw level noise reduction which, BTW, LR and ACR support (but of course you have the DxO noise reduction to compensate).

It is interesting though to test. I use both DxO V5 and LR 2 but I have not tested this before. I will and if I have something significant to report, I will.

The fact remains that using that workflow you are based on a DxO raw conversion.
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marcwilson
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« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2008, 11:48:17 AM »
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Will be interesting to see what you find as I can see no differences between the 2 files.

One thing that has  come out of this though...lightroom works really nicely on the type of images I shoot digitally...interiors, etc, as it seems to pick out better detail or just retain a more natural dark area than I have been getting from C1.

Marc
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NikosR
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« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2008, 12:00:37 PM »
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Will be interesting to see what you find as I can see no differences between the 2 files.

One thing that has  come out of this though...lightroom works really nicely on the type of images I shoot digitally...interiors, etc, as it seems to pick out better detail or just retain a more natural dark area than I have been getting from C1.

Marc
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Which files?
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« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2008, 04:28:29 AM »
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Quote from: marcwilson
Will be interesting to see what you find


OK, I did a couple of quick tests by outputting DNG from DxO v5.2 and reading the DNG in LR 2.1

The following things are obvious

1. The DNG file is demosaiced by DxO. Also all corrections made in DxO are 'cooked' in the DNG file. That includes both pre-demosaicing and most demosaicing corrections.

2. If one does not perform any user corrections in DxO (i.e. leave all DxO 'buttons' unchecked) the default DxO conversion in the DNG file looks very similar to the LR conversion of the NEF file (I'm using Nikon D200). Colourwise the default DXO color profile used (opened with 'embedded' camera profile in LR) looks extremely similar to ACR4.4 camera profile (is this just a lucky coincidence?).

One can be easily fooled and think the two files (i.e. DxO produced defaut DNG and straight NEF with LR defaults) when opened in LR look the same. They look very similar but on close examination one can see the difference in demosaicing. Different demosaicing artifacts are present. (BTW on the files I used, I much preferred the demosaicing quality of LR vs DxO). Also slight differences in tone and colour are evident (when using the same LR camera profile).

I have not had the time to compare things like highlight headroom and the result of exposure compensation and highlight recovery performed in LR on the two files nor the differences when using High ISO such as noise is  obvious. I'll come back when I have the time to do that test.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2008, 04:58:08 AM by NikosR » Logged

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budjames
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« Reply #15 on: October 04, 2008, 05:02:08 AM »
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Instead of DXO, you might want to try a much less expensive and specific-purposed alternative like LensFix CL. I use it to correct lens distortion, but it does not correct perspective (making the sides of a building parallel, etc.), but it does a nice job of correcting pin cushion and barrel distortion.

I use to as the alternative editor in LR2. It creates a TIFF file only as output.

Bud James
« Last Edit: October 04, 2008, 05:02:28 AM by budjames » Logged

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marcwilson
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« Reply #16 on: October 06, 2008, 03:28:56 AM »
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Yup I'm trying out lens fix also.

What I'm looking to get from these various combinations of raw processor and lens correction softwares is something as seamless as possible which gives me the control and image quality I need.

I really like how in RAW software aimed at medium format cameras/backs lens correction is now being built into it in the hasselblad software and now also C1 for the phase/mamiya lenses.

So I'm currently looking at the iq from dxo corrected then lightroom processed files, which so far I like what I am getting for my shots, and am about to try out the aperture lens fix plug in so I can see how they compare on features/i.q.

Marc
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lllusion
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« Reply #17 on: October 16, 2008, 06:07:59 PM »
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Quote from: NikosR
2. If one does not perform any user corrections in DxO (i.e. leave all DxO 'buttons' unchecked) the default DxO conversion in the DNG file looks very similar to the LR conversion of the NEF file (I'm using Nikon D200). Colourwise the default DXO color profile used (opened with 'embedded' camera profile in LR) looks extremely similar to ACR4.4 camera profile (is this just a lucky coincidence?).

One can be easily fooled and think the two files (i.e. DxO produced defaut DNG and straight NEF with LR defaults) when opened in LR look the same. They look very similar but on close examination one can see the difference in demosaicing. Different demosaicing artifacts are present. (BTW on the files I used, I much preferred the demosaicing quality of LR vs DxO). Also slight differences in tone and colour are evident (when using the same LR camera profile).
Agreed, similar, but not the same. I like the color of LR demosaiced images better than dxo's version. And, despite all my attempts to get dxo to keep its mitts off the lighting it always seemed to plug shadows and clip highlights. IMHO, the noise reduction & capture sharpening was part of the problem in decreased dynamic range.

While I love dxo's auto correction for vignetting and lens distortion I couldn't justify all the workflow time and trouble of moving between dxo and LR. Not to mention that the user interface, IMHO, is poorly laid out, the program itself is slow, and it's restrictive in what files it accepts and how images are outputed.

In the end I spent a day using guidlines from ePaperPress.com to discover the correct vignette correction settings in LR for each of my lenses (at given focal lenghts and aperture). I also made a PS action that utilizes PTLens to autocorrect lens distortion. That same action also runs Noise Ninja with custom made profiles (I spent an afternoon working out the exact settings for given ISOs, etc.) to remove some noise and apply very slight capture sharpening.

Quote from: NikosR
I have not had the time to compare things like highlight headroom and the result of exposure compensation and highlight recovery performed in LR on the two files nor the differences when using High ISO such as noise is  obvious. I'll come back when I have the time to do that test.
It'll be interesting to hear what you come up with.

It sure would be nice if Adobe would step up to the plate with some RAW processing that really kicks some butt to include separate channel adjustments and automatic lens distortion correction.
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NikosR
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« Reply #18 on: October 24, 2008, 08:44:09 AM »
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I posed a question to tech support related to what DxO Pro outputs as a DNG file. The answer from tech support might be of interest to anybody contemplating using DxO Pro as the first program in the processing chain to perform demosaicing and basic corrections before outputting a DNG file to be imported in LR (or other DNG aware apps).

Here's what DxO's tech support had to say about this:


'Well, you raised a good questions as indeed it is not clear... and I was wrong in my initial answer.

As a matter of fact, just like for any other other output format, the entire processing chain is applied to the image before it is exported to DNG. One reason is correction such as vignetting have to be performed after delinearisation. Also, the user interface would need to be radically different for DNG if the output did not take certain functions into account. Furthermore some people wanted to take advantage of DxO lighting or other features in DOP in their DNG exports so it was decided that everything would be supported.

During export, the "as shot" color chain is reversed on the image which is then relinearised to DNG format. Now, if another color space was used, the color space reversal will be incorrect and the difference will carry over into the DNG.

In conclusion, when using DNG, it is best not activate panel such as color rendering, tone curve, HSL, white balance... that would conflict with the processing performed in the second DNG to RGB conversion. To be safe, use DOP to correct for the optics and for the noise only before exporting to DNG.'
« Last Edit: October 24, 2008, 11:43:02 PM by NikosR » Logged

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« Reply #19 on: October 24, 2008, 11:34:17 PM »
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Lots of questions, of course, remain unresolved in my mind. First and foremost: How is exposure adjustment and highlight recovery handled and where is the best place to perfrom these adjustments? In DxO or in the subsequent DNG editor?

BTW. My first tests with regards to demosaicing comparing new DxO 5.3 vs LR2.1 show a very promising advantage for DxO (it was the other way around with DxO 5.2) with regards to detail rendering especially noticeable in details like grass, stony or sandy surface etc. Lots of blockiness and demosaicing 'meanders' noticeable in the LR rendition are missing from the DxO renderings which appear much more natural. Also small colour details in these surfaces are rendered convincingly by DxO while they have dissapeared in the LR rendering. That's obvious when viewed at 200-300%. Not sure if the differences would be noticeable in 'normal' use but the difference is certainly there. More tests to follow.

Above findings apply to Nikon D200 raws and not necessarily applicable to other cameras.

DxO 5.3 looks promising.


EDIT:

The differences looked too great to me, so I went back and redid my test paying more attention to compare apples to apples. It turns out that sharpening has a strange and unexpected effect to the results. Let me try to elaborate:

Case 1:

No adjustment at all made in DxO, DNG output, import in LR. Compare to NEF in LR with all detail modifiers to zero (sharpen, clarity).

The result favours DxO, although to a much slighter extent than noted above. It is quite tough to choose between the two renderings so for all intents and purposes I'll pronounce this a draw.


Case 2:

Take Case 1 and progressively apply sharpening in LR in equal amounts to both files. Here's the weird thing. The more sharpening is applied to the two files in LR, the more the LR rendering becomes preferable to DxO DNG rendering. The differences are not great but they are there with the DNG rendering appearing 'harsher'.  Maybe LR sharpen algorithm is performed before de-mosaicing whenever the real raw file (not linear DNG) is available? That might help to explain the difference.


Case 3: Compare LR sharpening with DxO lens softness correction (for lenses where the DxO module is available).

Apply DxO lens softeness correction (Default at 0) before outputting the DNG. Compare in LR with NEF file sharpened with various combinations of the parameters in Sharpen adjustment. No additional sharpening to the DNG file.  Consistently, the DxO DNG rendering looked better than the NEF rendering whatever I tried to do with the Sharpen adjustments. Now, that might tell something about my ability to use the Detail parameters optimally, but, still, DxO softness was at the default. For me, applying DxO softness correction would be preferable and less fuzzy as a method for initial 'capture' sharpening than LR Detail correction.


Conclusion

I will have no hesitation to use DxO as the demosaicing editor in case I need to use DxO corrections such as for geometric distortions and chromatic aberrations. In that case I will use DxO 'capture' sharpening rather than LR capture sharpening. I see no real reason though to use that elaborate workflow for all my images given the additional demands for storage the creation of DNG entails and also my findings in Case 2 (which will affect the output quality in case I use LR for output sharpening).


Next test will be noise handling.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2008, 05:01:15 AM by NikosR » Logged

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