Raw processor comparisons

Discussion in 'Graphics Programs and Photo Gallery' started by ksmattfish, Feb 11, 2009.

  1. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Here's an article comparing several common raw processors. It also contains a comparison between processed raw and in-camera jpeg which does a good job of demonstrating why a photographer should choose raw if fine details are important.

    Nature Photography Gallery
     
  2. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Capture One Pro seems to have come out on top - however looking at its price I think it a choice for those that already have everything - or want that extra edge.
    It did seem - even in the end comparsion - to have a bit of an edge over the others - maybe a program to consider instead of lightroom?
    Its price (I think) puts it out of many peoples easy reach and I would also say that a newer photographer would be advised to use the money first to improve their image capture process (training or better kit) and to consider addons like this to be a latter investment.

    I also think that the differences shown in the last test appear to hold most of the RAW converters in good standing with each other barring perfect RAw
     
  3. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    I agree. I don't think the differences we see pixel peeping would show in most prints.

    A while back they were giving out Capture One (at least a basic version) with Sandisk compact flash cards. I tried it. I couldn't see enough of a difference to switch. I was also already used to ACR, and not very interested in taking the time to learn a new interface.
     
  4. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I think to get any meaningfull differnce one has to really know what they are doing with the program and be after a specific end result. Honestly I just use whatever it is that photoshop elements uses for RAW processing and that works fine enough for me.
     
  5. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I've been using RawShooter Essentials for a while now. It was a free download and I've been quite satisfied with it. Adobe bought them out when developing Lightroom...I don't know if it was just to eliminate some competition or to actually incorporate some of that technology into Lightroom.

    Anyway, I don't believe there have been any updates to RSE since then...so when I finally do update my cameras, I'll have to find a new RAW program. I think I'm going to download the trial of Lightroom and give it a try. Does anyone know if you get the latest version with the trial? I think they are on version 2.3 now and there may still be some problems to fix.
     
  6. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    I'm using LR 2.1 with few problems. I had problems with 2.2. I'm trying to get caught up with work before I try out 2.3, but many folks who complained about 2.2 say it's fixed their problems.

    I started out using Raw Shooters Essentials, and I really liked it. I've been using ACR since then, and LR recently. There are things I prefer about working in LR, and things I prefer about working in ACR (CS4). The interface for LR is very handy in some ways, but I'm not a fan of the cataloging system. On the other hand I find the ACR (CS4) interface just a bit slower (not in computer performance, but in the way I operate it). Recently I discovered several features in ACR that I thought were only in LR, so maybe it's just a matter of finding the time to really teach myself all the options.
     
  7. tsaraleksi

    tsaraleksi TPF Noob!

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    I've fully switched from LR2 to Capture One 4 LE and have been really happy. The LE version is only $100 and as far as I can tell is not lacking in any power-- most of what is stripped out is stuff like tethered capture and other stuff related to Phase One's medium format backs. I like C1 a lot better than LR, the only thing I feel like I'm missing is the dodge/burn that you can do in LR, but I've gained much nicer looking files.
     
  8. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I've tried the newest version of ACR (whatever it is with CS4) and yes, there are a lot of improvements over the last version of ACR that I've used (with CS). I've heard that there are plenty of upgrades even over the previous version of ACR.

    Still, after using RSE, I don't like the flow of ACR...I'm sure there are easy ways to work though many files quickly...but it doesn't seem very intuitive (or I'm too dumb to figure it out just yet).
     
  9. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    I think that's the one I got free for buying a 4gb Sandisk card. So if folks are interested keep your eyes open for that sort of deal. I tried it, and it seemed really nice. I do see a lot of very positive reviews. Between kids and clients I just don't have time to learn it!
     
  10. NucleaRR

    NucleaRR TPF Noob!

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    I wanted to know if there are any advantages to using a third party software to process RAW images? I have the software that came with my XTi/ 400D (ZoomBrowser EX) and it works fine for what I do. I have seen that you can get a free copy of Rawshooter but I am not sure if it's compatible with my camera. Canon uses .CR2 format files. So is it worth using something else?
     
  11. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I used to use DPP (Digital Photo Professional) all the time (it should have also came with your XTi).
    I thought it was pretty good.

    I downloaded the free trial of Lightroom one day... I have never used DPP since. Opinions may differ, but to me Lightroom blew DPP away in every catagory. I went back and re-processed my RAWs, I was able to do A LOT more with them in Lightroom than I ever could with DPP.

    ZoomBrowser can't process RAWs, it's mostly an organization/viewing/printing tool.

    To answer your question - Yes. Third party software is very much worth looking into.
     
  12. NucleaRR

    NucleaRR TPF Noob!

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    I use Zoombrowser to fix my pictures when I used the wrong settings and need to adjust the exposure compensation. You can edit RAW in Zoombrowser by right clicking and going to the 'RAW Processing'. Maybe I am mislead by what it is to adjust RAW images. I have used DPP before but it can't change exposure compensation, that I know of. Is there 'Element' or 'Express' versions of Lightroom? And if so are there any recommendations?
     

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