Canon software

Discussion in 'Canon Cameras' started by Winona, Mar 3, 2018.

  1. Winona

    Winona TPF Noob!

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    I am very computer illiterate. I bought a new MacBook Pro and have a Canon T2i. Do I use the software that came with the camera (the CD) or is there something I should download from Canons website.


     
  2. TCampbell

    TCampbell Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    A "new" Mac wont have a disk slot to read the disk ... and the software would be horribly out of date. Download the latest software from the Canon website here:

    EOS Rebel T2i

    The two MAIN programs that you want are:

    1) EOS Utility -- this allows you to remote control the camera from the computer (tethered control) and it also is one way to import the images (there are a few ways to import images.)

    2) Digital Photo Professional -- this is Canon's software that lets you adjust/edit your images and is particularly nice if you shoot RAW (instead of JPEG).

    There's a "Picture Style Editor" ... that's not really important. "Picture Styles" allow you to manipulate how the camera reacts to colors. Back in the film days you could buy films that vibrant, saturated color... some films had gently subdued color, etc. Pick your film based on the subject and mood you want to convey.) There's no "film" for a digital camera, but the camera has built-in "picture styles" that let you set how it handles colors - similar to what you could do by changing film types (this ONLY applies to images shot and stored in JPEG. Picture styles are not applied to images stored in RAW.) The "Picture Style Editor" allows you to create your own picture styles (beyond using just the built-in styles). However... you can do any of this in your photo-editing software on the computer (there's no reason it needs to be done in-camera.) This is why I don't consider this utility to be very important.

    Neither of these programs is essential... you can use the camera and import your photos without it. Apple's included software does know how to import photos and video from your camera. (as do most third party photo programs.)
     
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  3. Winona

    Winona TPF Noob!

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    Should I just stick with Apples software and then pick a better post processing system as I learn more? Is Canons going to have better features than Apples? Right now I am just doing JPEG and hope to move into RAW in the future. I need to learn the basics first. Thanks for any information.
     
  4. TCampbell

    TCampbell Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You will ultimately find that you want a program that deals with RAW files. So a bit about what a RAW file is.

    A "RAW" file means the file saved on the camera actually contains everything your camera sensor "saw" when the photo was captured. Nothing is deleted or adjusted. JPEG images do not faithfully record what the camera sensor "saw".... those images have adjustments that were automatically applied in the camera before the image was saved to the memory card. Also JPEG images are compressed to save space.

    Your camera is natively a 14-bit camera and RAW files actually are saved with 14-bit data (loads of detail)... but they are much larger file sizes. (the files have a ".cr2" extension on the filename).

    JPEG images are much smaller, but they only use 8-bit data. So straight away a lot of data is eliminated when converting the RAW into a JPEG. But the other issue is that JPEG uses aggressive compression algorithms that do actually a true loss of data (that cannot be recovered later). They do this by exploiting weaknesses of the human eye. If the difference between two different pixels is so subtle that your eye would not be able to tell the difference, then the JPEG algorithm just makes those two pixels identical. Having lots of identical pixels improves it's ability to compress the file size.

    Trouble happens, when you later want to recover that detail. Suppose you took a photo of a wedding dress and the dress is basically "white" but it has lots of lacy detail in it. If the image was a bit over-exposed... the subtle difference in pixel tonality might be very difficult to distinguish (for your eye). If it was a RAW file, you could simply adjust down the whites or highlights and this would start to bring back the details (the differences between pixels would become more obvious ... the dress wont appear washed out and you get your detail back.) But in the JPEG world... those slightly over-exposed pixels that don't "appear" to be different (to the human eye) will be compressed because "your eye would not have noticed the difference". When you realize the dress is simply over-exposed and use the software to adjust the exposure... you would expect to get your detail back... but you don't. The JPEG algorithm is "lossy" (meaning the detail can never be recovered.)

    JPEG is certainly easier, in part because the camera applies loads of adjustments for you. It will perform "white balance" adjustments. It will perform noise reduction. It can provide color enhancement. Basically the "straight out of the camera" copies of both RAW vs. JPEG side-by-side, the JPEG will often appear to be the better image (but only because the RAW image has not had anything done to it.)

    When you start adjusting the RAW file, you've got loads of data and the algorithm forbids any compression that would result in an unrecoverable loss of data. You can recover your detail.

    The problem with RAW is that you (may) need to perform many adjustments yourself. The camera wont perform any adjustments. But many photo programs on computers will automatically apply *some* adjustments based on camera "profiles". This means that for many programs, the RAW file looks just as good (if not better) than the JPEG image after it has been imported ... even if you don't make any changes (it's a lot easier to deal with RAW files than it used to be). But these adjustments are typically applied in a non-lossy way. The original file isn't changed (only the output on the screen is changed OR if you expert a version of your image then that image is changed ... but not the original. You can always undo any changes if you change your mind.)

    I find it's best and safest to capture everything in RAW file format... now I've got lots of latitude to adjust my images on the computer. To share an image (post it to social media, etc.) you'll export a copy of the image as a JPEG and post the JPEG. JPEG actually is a very good "final output" format (best for images that wont need further adjustment after the JPEG is created.) But that JPEG is just a copy of the image... you still keep that original RAW file.



    So that's a lot of background you didn't ask for... but it's important to know.

    Having said that, you will find that Canon's "Digital Photo Professional" is very good at editing Canon's RAW files. It is designed to edit photos "one at a time" so if you shot an event and have hundreds of photos to deal with... it's going to take a while to get through them all. It doesn't have a concept of a photo "library". You have to manually manage how you organize your images on your computer's filesystem.

    Photos, on the other hand, is fairly decent at managing the photos and it tracks things by when they were shot, you can build albums, etc. It supports all the most common adjustments you would typically make to a photo and it's fairly easy to use.

    When Apple killed off Aperture (that was their "pro" photo management and editing application designed for RAW workflow) they had promised that the capabilities of Aperture would make it's way into Photos. It's not quite there yet... but I can see it has had tremendous improvements over what it used to be.

    The obvious drawback of Photos and Canon DPP are that neither allow you to make selective corrections.

    Suppose the light is just a bit dark on a subject's face... but the rest of the image is pretty good (maybe their face was in shadow) and you'd like to bright up JUST their face. In Adobe Lightroom, I can apply a selective adjustment... grab my mouse and brush over the area that I'd like to fix and then I get a whole set of controls as to what I can do with that "brushed" area... bring up the exposure, adjust the color, apply sharpening, etc. but the point is ONLY the selected area will be affected by my change (not the whole photo).

    You can't do that in Apple Photos nor in Canon DPP.

    You will likely eventually get to a point where you want to be able to selectively adjust only some areas of photos and want the ability to apply "brushed" on or "masked" adjustments.

    Lightroom and Luminar both support this. Photoshop and Affinity Photo also support this but those have a bit more of a learning curve. Lightroom and Luminar are both meant to "adjust" images. Things like Photoshop and Affinity Photo can do more hard-core edits such as building "composite" images, applying surreal edits ... the sorts of things a graphic designer might want to do. I find that I do the vast majority of my adjustments in Lightroom and only just occasionally need to do something in Photoshop.

    The one advantage of Lightroom is that since it's "the 800 lb gorilla" of the photo world... there are LOADS of tutorials for it. The downside is that you have to keep paying $10/month to use it (and they require annual subscriptions.)
     
  5. Winona

    Winona TPF Noob!

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    Thank you for the very detailed replies! I learned a lot. I do think I'll start doing RAW and playing with post processing-which is my goal of course. I would want selective adjustment at some point as well. I'll let you know what I end up doing and update my progress. Thank you!
     

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