What's your best RAW converter?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by dtornabene1, Jan 14, 2009.

  1. dtornabene1
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    dtornabene1 New Member

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    Just want to get a feel for what people think out there. What is your best RAW converter? I know what Popular Photography, Shutterbug, and other magazines have said. Now I like to hear from my pears. What do you think is the best at converting?

    Do you think the manufacturers software is the best or are you a fan of third party converters? Note, not all converters are the same. So if you believe they are, then don't bother posting.

    -Nick
  2. Josh66
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    Josh66 Well-Known Member

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    I used to use Canon's Digital Photo Professional (DPP), I thought it was pretty good at the time.

    I use Lightroom now and would never go back to DPP. Lightroom blows DPP away, IMO.

    I'm not just talking ease of use - my pictures done with DPP look like crap compared the ones after I started using Lightroom.
  3. JerryPH
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    JerryPH New Member

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    Depends on the brand, however my personal fav is PS CS3 (soon CS4).
  4. YoungPic
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    YoungPic New Member

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    LIGHTROOM IS BOSS
  5. tsaraleksi
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    tsaraleksi New Member

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    Phase One's Capture One produces a much better file than Adobe's converter in my opinion, though I'm stuck with LR for now, given that upgrading C1 to read 5D2 files means that it won't run unless I upgrade my OS :(.
  6. davebmck
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    davebmck New Member

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    Lightroom 2. I used to use Camera Raw in CS3, but LR2 is a much better tool.
  7. craig
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    craig New Member

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    Lightroom.

    )'(
  8. dtornabene1
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    dtornabene1 New Member

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    Thank you everyone who responded. It seems to be an overwhelming Lightroom and Phase One response. However, has anyone used other third part software other than these two with best results?

    Any a follow up question for Adobe users. Isn't the RAW converter in Photoshop the same as Lightroom? Don't they both use Adobe RAW or am I mistaken? I truly don't know and I am upgrading soon.

    Currently I use Canon's DPP then Photoshop 7. I haven't needed more but feel I would benefit by upgrading. So, the question still stands, what's the best RAW workflow? What about bilbble, or DxO?

    Thanks to everyone so far.

    -Nick
  9. MikeBcos
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    MikeBcos New Member

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    According to Adobe

    Adobe Photoshop Lightroom® software is built upon the same powerful raw processing technology that is available in the camera raw plug-in

    Adobe - Adobe Photoshop CS4: Digital camera raw file support
  10. dtornabene1
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    dtornabene1 New Member

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    Thanks MikeBcos! So, Photoshop or Lightroom are the same as far as RAW converters go, but I do understand there is a difference in user interface.

    So, is everyone just using Adobe? There has to be people out there using programs other than Adobe! I'm not against using Adobe, after all I am an A.C.E. (I have CS4 used for a Printing Company. I just haven't found a reason to upgrade for my photography business).

    But no one out there is using bibble, DxO, acdsee, etc.?
  11. Garbz
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    Garbz New Member

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    CameraRAW engine. This includes Lightroom too, they are essentially the same RAW converter.

    This has to be coupled with the Adobe CameraProfiles beta from Adobe Labs which addresses the lack of red with the default ACR4.3 profiles in CameraRAW and Lightroom.
  12. davebmck
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    davebmck New Member

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    Camera Raw in CS4 is supposed to have the same tools as the Develop module in Lightroom2. I haven't seen it myself, so I don't know that the full functionality is actually there in CR. Lightroom is more than a raw converter, though. The Library module is a file manager that is superior to Adobe Bridge. There are also Web, Slideshow and Print modules. The advantage is that these modules are all seamlessly integrated.

    If you're interested, my recommendation would be to go to the Adobe website and download the 30 free trial and get a good book on the program (I got Scott Kelby's book) so that you can see all the features without hunting for them.
  13. freeflydive
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    freeflydive New Member

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    I like Aperture 2.0...upgraded from 1.0 and still a loyal and happy customer.

    Cheers,
    Majdi
  14. Garbz
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    Garbz New Member

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    Oh most definitly. Lightroom is an entire workflow manager for working on many images quickly. I was just pointing out that Lightroom uses Adobe CameraRAW as the RAW converter engine inside it. All the settings for developing really are the same. Just in ACR you manually do one at a time or maybe import multiple from bridge or do some other nasty horrid thing to try and help you process faster, whereas Lightroom is just intuitive from the ground up.
  15. dtornabene1
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    dtornabene1 New Member

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    I was waiting for this one, and can't believe it took so long for someone to come forward with it. So, this is one of the biggest choices so far.

    Adobe or Apple? Why is Lightroom better than Aperture or visa versa? I wan't to make an educated purchase. A consumer can read quite a bit from the company's themselves, but I am interested in the end-users.

    Please let me know why you like one over the other. Or just why you like one, period.

    Please, I am less concerned about technical specifications, more about people specifications.

    Thanks Folks!

    -Nick

    P.S. So far these comments have been very helpful. I am very appreciative of all of your time.
  16. SlimPaul
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    SlimPaul New Member

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    I use Aperture 2. Great editing software!
  17. icassell
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    icassell New Member

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    I have Canon DPP, Adobe, and Phase One. I essentially always use Adobe, because it is so seamless with Bridge and CS2. I don't know if it's any better or not.

    Ian
  18. usayit
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    usayit Well-Known Member

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    Both aperture and LR2 have options to download for a free trial. The best review is one that you perform yourself.

    I found that there will be more responses regarding LR2 over Aperture. Not necessarily because LR2 is better but because LR2 has wider support (Mac and Windows) as well as the "Adobe" packaging name which brings over lots of loyal Photoshop users.

    I use mainly LR2 and I love it. I on occasion use Capture One.
  19. Joves
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    Joves New Member

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    I use both Adobe and Capture NX. Any that Im working on in CS I convert to DNG first then work with it. Nikon still needs to work on NX to make it less of a resource hog.
  20. Ls3D
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    Ls3D New Member

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    There is a funny story about Thomas Knoll cracking Canon's RAW code over a weekend, after having asked Canon for it.

    So what are your typical adjustments in the raw importer?

    I like to start with a 'exposed to the right' image, AKA a bit hot in the exposure dept - then I slide the Blacks up a touch, and the Exposure down. Then I go to the tone curves and I turn up the Lights to bring the exposure back up a bit.

    Then I do any sharpening if needed or desired and send it off to photoshop.

    This produces a nice contrast image without blowing the saturation too much. I typically do a few curves and levels once in photoshop just to explore the image range and the more familiar workflow in PS. Desaturation, and/or luminosity only edit layers* are typical on more valued shots.

    * picked up that tip right here! Thanks guy from other thread. :thumbup:

    Sometimes I just look at the shot and pass it to PS 'as shot' - rare, but it happens.

    Another tip: if you can open your jpgs in RAW, the controls are still pretty good, even while lacking the 14bit pixel depth of a true raw format. I don't have raw for the 5Dmii and this is working out pretty good for now.

    BTW the cheaper upgrade path for Lightroom is another consideration - as I discovered while probing my own options here.

    -Shea

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