So, all this furor over the state of ASP2's RAW conversion made me wonder, if the opinions are based on current releases or not. So, I made a comparison between Canon's latest DPP 4.0 and ASP2 126.96.36.199. I think it's indisputable that Canon's latest DPP for FF is going to be the reference model for its own CR2 RAW conversion. My test is neither scientific nor comprehensive, I simply wanted a quick sanity check. Either ASP2 is way off, or it's still in the game and may be worth the time for a closer look. I understand that if it works well for CR2, it might do poorly for Pentax or DNG or whatever else RAW format is used.
1. I used a color calibrated monitor.
2. I deliberately chose a terrible image, as I'm looking for conversion aberrations. I picked an underexposed image, to see what detail could be pulled out. The image was for a family group shot, at a wedding in the church. It was after the ceremony, and I was asked if I would capture a family moment. They wanted it at the moment, even though the lighting was truly bad (even at 32,000).
3. I ran DPP 4.0 on the CR2 (it's a Canon 6D), pushed up the exposure, corrected the white balance and adjusted the unsharp. Nothing dramatic, but good enough to hand the family a 4x6. I took a screenshot of the DPP during process, and also the final jpg.
4. I ran ASP2 (188.8.131.52) and mirrored the steps I took with DPP.
I checked the image at 100% and cannot discern any difference.
If ASP2's conversion is equal to DPP 4 under the conditions that I checked, then I don't see it as quite the pariah that it's been labeled.
My read is that the current release of ASP2 is matching DPP, for what I examined.http://www.aftershotpro.com/en/support/updates/default.html