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Author Topic: D800E, M240, a7R mk1 BUT which RAW converter? Lr CC?  (Read 1319 times)

FataMorgana

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D800E, M240, a7R mk1 BUT which RAW converter? Lr CC?
« on: October 23, 2016, 02:54:14 PM »

A mixed camera bag, granted.

I keep hearing about Phase 1 being a better RAW converter than Lr CC. PhotoMechanic, a better PP software.

Not being a Tech Wizard (I dropped out of Hogwarts in the first year) I was wondering what, in your opinion, is the best RAW converter?

After conversion, I would be keen to save as a dng, or similar so that, ideally, I can load into Lr CC. I can operate Lr after owning it for a while, and trust me, it took / is still taking a while.

Now, that might have some tech' giants reaching for their key pads; this is to be expected.

All that I am looking for is a possible "better" way of working in the RAW conversion. Nikon and Sony have their own RAW files, Leica shoot dng by default.

If, after hours of picture taking, I am not maximising my images or work flow? I would be keen to hear from people as it might be that Lr CC gives me everything I need in one package (which is the Adobe corporate supposition) then I can cease wondering, however, I have read enough photographers who dismiss Lr in favour of the likes of PhotoMechanic and other RAW converters, I wonder: "What am I missing which I need to embrace?".

thanks in advance.

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Pictus

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Re: D800E, M240, a7R mk1 BUT which RAW converter? Lr CC?
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2016, 10:18:41 AM »

The best RAW converter is the one we know how to use...
Some may have a better workflow and other better output.
Some may excel in one specific area like correcting
lens aberration, noise reduction or highlight recovery.

They all got trials for you to test...
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Ghibby

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Re: D800E, M240, a7R mk1 BUT which RAW converter? Lr CC?
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2016, 01:51:00 PM »

I second that, practice at one until you know it inside out. In my experience LR is great at some things and C1 better at others but at the end of the day it's a different flavour of the same image. The key is being able to extract the most out of the program and this is down to your creativity and ability to gel with a specific program.

I would categorically avoid saving to DNG though. All the xmp data is saved to the file itself, a terrible idea, if you sync multiple copies and make changes that you want to sync the actual DNG file will be over written each time! A recipe for data corruption. Keep your original raw files, learn how to exploit xmp sidecar files as incredibly useful and small bits of data to sync multiple copies. DNG also ties you closed to Adobe and this is not good in the long run for your data and freedom to use other converters that may not be optimised to the format.

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FabienP

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Re: D800E, M240, a7R mk1 BUT which RAW converter? Lr CC?
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2016, 06:02:25 PM »

These different software solutions do not completely overlap, which makes comparison a bit difficult.

For instance, Lightroom also contains other modules not related with RAW development which might be missing from other packages. The most obvious and useful of these are the Library and Print Modules, which would cover the needs for DAM and printing.

Some RAW development tools like DxO Optics Pro try to make use of this complimentarity and offer ways to edit RAWs out of the Lightroom catalogue. You will in this case have to generate TIFFs or linear DNGs to be able to read the converted file back in Lightroom, which takes more disk space than a few development metadata in the Lightroom catalogue if the file was processed internally. This hybrid approach can also interfere with a pure parametrical editing workflow.

For some RAW files which benefit from lens correction or heavy noise reduction, I sometimes use DxO as a development plugin and finish the job in Lightroom and Photoshop. Otherwise, most of the processing is done in Lightroom out of convenience, even if some would argue that demoisaicing and denoise/sharpening algorithms might be inferior to other specialised solutions.

This is probably the strength of the Lightroom / Photoshop pipeline: not the best that can be done (compared to specialised tools) but the workflow is much more convenient, at least for moderate work volumes (due to the slow ingest process in Lightroom).

As other people have said, the best thing is to try for yourself. If you set up the trial software in a virtual machine, you can probably try for longer periods of time by resetting / reinstalling the virtual machine. Sometimes, 10 or 30 days are just not enough to learn a new tool...

Cheers,

Fabien
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