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Author Topic: RAW Convertor Comparisons  (Read 184795 times)

jrp

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RAW Convertor Comparisons
« on: August 05, 2015, 08:12:17 pm »

What is the state of the art for current cameras.

I have found some older comparisons, but wonder if there is something that covers the latest versions of the current main contenders.


I have stuck to Lightroom because I am used to the workflow, because it supports the cameras and lenses that I use (Sony, Leica, Nikon, etc) and, for architectural / landscape photography the lens correction and leveling save a lot of work, but I the resulting images could, sometimes, do with a bit of extra zip.  I did try Capture One 7, but it didn't like network drives and I needed to do a lot of clicking to get results.

I'm sure that some of this may be my lack of creativity / expertise (although I think that I understand the theory pretty well).

Can anyone point to more up to date comparisons?
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Schewe

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Re: RAW Convertor Comparisons
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2015, 09:23:44 pm »

Can anyone point to more up to date comparisons?

To what end? The first "comparison" was done at default. Several of the other "comparisons" were done wit older versions which are no longer useful (software changes ya know). But what none of these "comparisons" offer is just how much image quality to can get if you actually know how to use the applications. I'm an expert at ACR/LR and only a middling user of C1 (which I do use).

But rather than compare different apps at their defaults, it would be much more useful to compare the results of expert users and that ain't easy to find.

So, what is the best use of your time? Becoming expert at the app you want to use. I get excellent results from ACR/LR and other than using C1 for tethered shooting with my Phase One camera/back, I have no need to change raw processors...there is no such thing as a magic bullet.
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digitaldog

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Re: RAW Convertor Comparisons
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2015, 09:37:48 pm »

Can anyone point to more up to date comparisons?
Only you can. With our own images, with your own opinion of a sound workflow.
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: RAW Convertor Comparisons
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2015, 01:10:05 am »

Hi,

I am also working with Lightroom. Changing workflow never comes easy.

I have a way of working my images in Lightroom which works for me. But very clearly I see Lightroom as a workflow solution and not as a raw converter. In my view, demosaic in Lightroom is not really good on my P45+ back, but I would say the problems are not very critical in real world.

Making camera profiles for Lightroom may be advantageous. With my Sony I mostly use Adobe Standard profile but with the P45+ I mostly use a profile I created with Adobe DNG Profile Editor (which is free).

Anders Torger has developed a tool called DCamProf that has great promise.

I have published a sample illustrating the demosaic errors in Lightroom here: http://forum.luminous-landscape.com/index.php?topic=94812.0

With Capture One I found it has some tricks. It normally uses a film curve which makes image appear far to bright. I also found that it oversaturates deep blues and greens.

I have a small write up on this here that never got published.

I don't do think both Capture One and Lightroom can produce pretty accurate colour. But, accurate colour can be quite boring because it dosn't work well our perception. So each raw processor adds an own look.

Best regards
Erik

Update: Wording changed.

What is the state of the art for current cameras.

I have found some older comparisons, but wonder if there is something that covers the latest versions of the current main contenders.


I have stuck to Lightroom because I am used to the workflow, because it supports the cameras and lenses that I use (Sony, Leica, Nikon, etc) and, for architectural / landscape photography the lens correction and leveling save a lot of work, but I the resulting images could, sometimes, do with a bit of extra zip.  I did try Capture One 7, but it didn't like network drives and I needed to do a lot of clicking to get results.

I'm sure that some of this may be my lack of creativity / expertise (although I think that I understand the theory pretty well).

Can anyone point to more up to date comparisons?
« Last Edit: August 07, 2015, 07:19:20 pm by ErikKaffehr »
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jrp

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Re: RAW Convertor Comparisons
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2015, 05:41:17 am »

Thanks for these responses.  Mastering the devil that you know seems to be the way to go.  I'll see whether I can find some more expert resources to draw on, beyond the usual "here is what the sliders do and here are some presets".
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graeme

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Re: RAW Convertor Comparisons
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2015, 09:21:23 am »

Thanks for these responses.  Mastering the devil that you know seems to be the way to go.  I'll see whether I can find some more expert resources to draw on, beyond the usual "here is what the sliders do and here are some presets".

Schewe's 'The Digital Negative" might help you as might Martin Evening's' The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC/Lightroom 6 Book:
The Complete Guide for Photographers'.
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AlterEgo

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Re: RAW Convertor Comparisons
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2015, 12:51:18 pm »

Thanks for these responses.  Mastering the devil that you know seems to be the way to go.  I'll see whether I can find some more expert resources to draw on, beyond the usual "here is what the sliders do and here are some presets".

just google for postings of Eric Chan (you can also use his nickname : madmanchan) here and elsewhere (Adobe itself has several forums for ACR & LR users) - then reading those threads (there will be other participants with their inputs) you shall all the information that you need about the raw conversion part in ACR/LR
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jrp

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Re: RAW Convertor Comparisons
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2015, 01:00:48 pm »

Thanks, yes, I have used those books when starting out, albeit in the Photoshop 4 incarnation.  (Actually I'm a Dan Margulis sort of man: he seems to get closer to the heart of the matter.)
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digitaldog

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Re: RAW Convertor Comparisons
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2015, 01:04:44 pm »

Thanks, yes, I have used those books when starting out, albeit in the Photoshop 4 incarnation.  (Actually I'm a Dan Margulis sort of man: he seems to get closer to the heart of the matter.)
Then you probably don't want to mess with ACR as Dan once famously said to his list, it's unfit for professional work. Of course, Dan wouldn't know a raw file or how to render it in that product if either hit him on the head. :o
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jrp

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Re: RAW Convertor Comparisons
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2015, 04:52:39 pm »

I can see why you call yourself dog.
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stamper

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Re: RAW Convertor Comparisons
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2015, 03:58:07 am »

I can see why you call yourself dog.

He is not a fan of Dan. Jealousy possibly because he has written award winning books.  :(

digitaldog

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Re: RAW Convertor Comparisons
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2015, 09:17:28 am »

He is not a fan of Dan. Jealousy possibly because he has written award winning books.  :(
Ouch, busted! Actually I'm not jealous of Dan's Nebula award or Pultzer. Im so jealous of his six-pack abs!

Not that this has anything to do with his text to his minions on his Color Theory (?) List when he wrote that ACR was unfit for professional use.

Maybe you guys are not pro's like Dan and might find ACR works well for you???

I still think this guy's text makes sense, for pro's or not who want to investigate a software product with an open mind:
Only you can. With our own images, with your own opinion of a sound workflow.
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jrp

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Re: RAW Convertor Comparisons
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2015, 06:20:13 pm »

The reasons for his reasoned disdain for ACR is set out, slider by slider, in his recent books.  (I don't happen to agree with his assessments, but understand his reasoning.)

Sounds like "Digital Salieri" would be a more apt handle. :D
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digitaldog

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Re: RAW Convertor Comparisons
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2015, 07:10:32 pm »

The reasons for his reasoned disdain for ACR is set out, slider by slider, in his recent books.  (I don't happen to agree with his assessments, but understand his reasoning.)
Is he still stating it's not fit for pro use?
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Lundberg02

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Re: RAW Convertor Comparisons
« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2015, 11:41:20 pm »

If I remember correctly Dan is what used to be called a numbers guy who could color correct from black and whites of the channels. He lives in A CMYK world.
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jrp

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Re: RAW Convertor Comparisons
« Reply #15 on: August 08, 2015, 07:23:38 am »

From memory, he is not fond of PV2010.  He concedes that some sliders in PV2012 have their uses, but can get better results from curves and channel mixing.  His last two books at least have been focused on RGB.

As Schewe says "it would be much more useful to compare the results of expert users and that ain't easy to find". If not Margulis' books, then what do you suggest? (I'll look at the Chan threads idc.)
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: RAW Convertor Comparisons
« Reply #16 on: August 08, 2015, 09:20:32 am »

Hi,

I don't think so. I would suggest that there is some pretty good research behind PV 2012 tone mappings. But hi, I think we are in need of 2015 tone mappings!

Best regards
Erik

From memory, he is not fond of PV2010.  He concedes that some sliders in PV2012 have their uses, but can get better results from curves and channel mixing.  His last two books at least have been focused on RGB.


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jrp

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Re: RAW Convertor Comparisons
« Reply #17 on: August 08, 2015, 11:32:45 am »

Yes, but even the best tone mapper can't tell what the subject of your image is supposed to be, how you want to spend your contrast budget across the tonal range and in the picture.

I find PV2012 OK, but it's hard to figure out how all the different settings interact (contrast, shadow, highlight, tone curve, for example), you end up doing a rough set of adjustments for maximum tonal range and painting on d+b or doing what needs to get done in photoshop.

Microsoft software has the same -- hamburger-ware -- characteristics.  Demos well, but as soon as you try to do something slightly off the beaten track, you'll struggle.  (We'll see how Cortana does in competition with the paper clip or dog or Siri.)
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digitaldog

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Re: RAW Convertor Comparisons
« Reply #18 on: August 08, 2015, 11:44:16 am »

I find PV2012 OK, but it's hard to figure out how all the different settings interact (contrast, shadow, highlight, tone curve, for example), you end up doing a rough set of adjustments for maximum tonal range and painting on d+b or doing what needs to get done in photoshop.
You'll probably find you can do the vast majority if not all global and some local adjustments in ACR/LR. The key is understanding and being comfortable with the product and what each slider provides. Here's a really great resource for doing that (George Jardine, former Adobe evangelist):
http://mulita.com/blog/?page_id=724

http://mulita.com/blog/?page_id=3084
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stamper

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Re: RAW Convertor Comparisons
« Reply #19 on: August 09, 2015, 04:59:36 am »

If I remember correctly Dan is what used to be called a numbers guy who could color correct from black and whites of the channels. He lives in A CMYK world.

I think you will find it is the LAB world he inhabits. I suspect his followers have dwindled in numbers because LR has become increasingly popular but if somebody prefers alternative methods then his books are worth reading but they are a bit dense.
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