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Author Topic: DPP 2.0.3 vs CameraRaw  (Read 3224 times)
cfw0047
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« on: December 19, 2005, 09:52:55 AM »
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I'm new to the RAW conversion process and new to a 20D.  It came with Digital Photo Professional (upgradable to v2.0.3), which I've yet to see reviewed by many folks.  The reviews I've seen have been favorable, but it was hard to tell how well it stacks up to CameraRaw/Bridge (which as I understand comes folded into CS2??).  I'm using PS Elements and would rather spend the $300 upgrade money on the Canon 70-300 IS lens.  Is anyone out there using DPP for their RAW conversion and happy with it?  Has anyone compared it to the other RAW converters out there?  Will I be able to get by with Elements (or beter asked) if you only had $500 would you chose the CS2 upgrade and $200 for future puchases or the new lens and PS Elements?

And last but not least, is it safe to say that the one of the inherent values of RAW is that you can "expose to the right" and then fix the overexposure in your RAW converter to provide a more "rich" TIFF with which to work in Photoshop?  I ask because initially I exposed "correctly" (not to the right) and then wondered what all the hoopla about RAW was -- I made almost no corrections to the image and thought "so what...big deal" (sorry, old Buckaroo Bonzai reference).  But now...hmmmmmm...I'll have to try it out for myself...ahh the joy of being forced to stay home due to an ice storm in the Pacific NW!    

Thank you in advance for any feedback/advice.  

PS: Michael, if you read this it would be great to get your impressions of DPP.  While it wouldn't serve those with CS2, it would be very helpful to those of us making the transition to digital SLRs (i.e., RAW image processing) on a limited budget...not like you haven't already made a huge impact with all your tutorials and your "understanding series"...just a thought.
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michael
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« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2005, 10:13:22 AM »
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Canon DPP software, like that from the other camera makers, is servicable, but thats about all one can say about it. Youre missing out of the superior image quality and much superior workflow that Camera Raw can provide.

Elements 4 can use Camera Raw.

Michael
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Dale_Cotton
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« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2005, 11:27:57 AM »
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Another superb raw converter is Raw Shooter, the Essentials version of which is free.

> one of the inherent values of RAW is that you can "expose to the right" and then fix the overexposure in your RAW converter to provide a more "rich" TIFF with which to work in Photoshop?

If what you are asking is why bother to shoot RAW instead of in-camera JPEG or TIFF, there is actually even more to it than that. The computer inside your camera does radical surgery on the raw output from the sensor+ATD; it has to in order to give you anything close to an acceptable image. One thing you may not even aware be of is something called a tone curve that transforms the brightness scale of the image from linear to something approaching the logarithmic transform that the human visual cortex applies. By default an exaggerated curve is applied to give the punch that consumers expect. Another thing it does is to lock in the colour balance you've chosen by transforming the colour numbers for each pixel. Another thing it does is goose up the saturation depending on the setting you've selected. Another thing it does is apply some level of halo-inducing USM (even if you specified "soft"). Another thing it does is shoehorn the colour data into a colour space such as sRGB or AdobeRGB. On top of all this you have the inherent degradation of the lossy JPEG compression process, unless you have a TIFF option.

When you shoot RAW you defer all these decisions, making it possible to try various different settings, letting your eye judge which is most appropriate to the specific image, rather than leaving it to the best guess choices of the camera engineering team. Just as importantly, you now have the ability to go with best-of-breed algorithms for each of the transforms involved in post processing your image.

In short, the programming inside your camera that generates JPEGs is a relatively mindless handholding alternative, just like the Program, Landscape, Portrait, Sports, etc. settings on the mode dial. Even professionals, such as photojournalists and wedding photographers, will use in-camera JPEGs for certain applications where quantity trumps quality; but if you can spare even a few seconds per image, you're going to add value that in many cases cannot be recovered with any amount of Photoshopping.
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cfw0047
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« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2005, 02:43:44 PM »
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If what you are asking is why bother to shoot RAW instead of in-camera JPEG or TIFF, there is actually even more to it than that...

...in short, the programming inside your camera that generates JPEGs is a relatively mindless handholding alternative, just like the Program, Landscape, Portrait, Sports, etc. settings on the mode dial. Even professionals, such as photojournalists and wedding photographers, will use in-camera JPEGs for certain applications where quantity trumps quality; but if you can spare even a few seconds per image, you're going to add value that in many cases cannot be recovered with any amount of Photoshopping.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=53898\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Dale, thank you for your response. I will be sure to check out Raw Shooter. Essentially, it's about deciding where to spend my money and when. Something tells me that until I train my eye, the advantages of CS2 and Camera Raw may be beyond my skill set.

As for shooting in RAW, being convinced by this site and others that it's far superior to JPEG was one reason I bought the 20D. I need to figure out exactly what all the advantages are so I begin to make use of them. Something tells me that the best thing I can do is start experimenting and gaining valuable experience. I'm a hands on learning, so reading about it will only do me so much good. Gotta work with it and see it, if you know what I mean!

Now I'm really wishing I had bought the 20D _before_ going to Hawai'i a few weeks back!!!

Chris
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jimhuber
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« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2005, 02:55:33 PM »
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I tried and had decent results with Canon's Digital Photo Professional 1.6.1. I upgraded to DPP 2.0.3 and still had decent results, but not great. Not even very good, really. I'm also frustrated that DPP doesn't support raw files from a Canon Powershot S70, which is my point-n-shoot and backup to my Rebel XT (I'm not a professional).

I have RawShooter premium and really like it. More than 90% of what I usually do with Photoshop can be done in RawShooter premium, and more quickly and easily, too. I really like the RawShooter setup for workflow.

But ultimately I find Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop CS2 indispensible. There just is no replacement for Photoshop. For example, with RawShooter you still have to have an application to print from, something that supports profiles if you want it to look right. RawShooter is a replacement for Adobe Camera Raw, not Photoshop, even in it's premium incarnation.

I'm not familiar with CS2 versus Elements feature sets. When I decided I needed Photoshop I found that Elements didn't support some plug-ins I needed and that decided it for me. I think even for an amateur enthusiast like me Photoshop CS2 is required. Learning how to use it can be difficult, too, but fantastically rewarding once you're over the initial hump (and it's a big one).

For my money, I'd buy Photoshop CS2 before any other gear, but then I have lenses to cover wide (Canon 10-22), "standard" (Canon 17-85 IS), and telephoto (Canon 70-300 DO IS). So to put myself in your situation, would I give up the 70-300 lens for Photoshop CS2? Yes, without hesitation. It's a "must have".
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Paul Sumi
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« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2005, 04:21:24 PM »
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As for shooting in RAW, being convinced by this site and others that it's far superior to JPEG was one reason I bought the 20D. I need to figure out exactly what all the advantages are so I begin to make use of them. Something tells me that the best thing I can do is start experimenting and gaining valuable experience. I'm a hands on learning, so reading about it will only do me so much good. Gotta work with it and see it, if you know what I mean!

Chris
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Chris,

For me, one of the greatest benefits of RAW is that, as one's experience and skill grows, one can reprocess the file to take advantage of this new knowledge.  The same thing holds true with new and better processing tools.

So even if you're not conversant with RAW processing yet, one day you will be.  Then you'll be glad you shot RAW from the start.

Paul
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2005, 06:47:32 PM »
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Chris,

For me, one of the greatest benefits of RAW is that, as one's experience and skill grows, one can reprocess the file to take advantage of this new knowledge.  The same thing holds true with new and better processing tools.

So even if you're not conversant with RAW processing yet, one day you will be.  Then you'll be glad you shot RAW from the start.

Paul
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What Paul says was *very* important for me. When I started digital with a Canon 10D, I had learned from the LL website that "Raw" was the way to go, and I had read a bit about "expose to the right". I didn't have much understanding of either "raw" or "expose to the right" at that time, but I did my best, because all the smart pros recommended it. I also played with various raw converters, but compulsively saved all of my original raw files.

Now, a year and a half later, when I look back at my early conversion attempts I am appalled. But since I still have the raw files, I can do the conversion all over again, and do it much better this time. And I expect that as I learn more over the coming years, I will still go back and redo old pictures.

When I started, I came from many years of black-and-white darkroom work, so I had no idea what "color management" was all about either. That is yet another big, fuzzy subject that I expect to be grappling with for a long time, too.

Good luck with your 20D, and have fun.

Eric
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-Eric Myrvaagnes

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boku
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« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2005, 07:36:09 PM »
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Chris,

For me, one of the greatest benefits of RAW is that, as one's experience and skill grows, one can reprocess the file to take advantage of this new knowledge.  The same thing holds true with new and better processing tools.

So even if you're not conversant with RAW processing yet, one day you will be.  Then you'll be glad you shot RAW from the start.

Paul
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Exactly!
I still open RAW files from 2 years ago and re-process them with my improved skills.
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Bob Kulon

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