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Author Topic: RAW Convertor Comparisons  (Read 186015 times)

Fine_Art

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Re: RAW Convertor Comparisons
« Reply #20 on: August 12, 2015, 01:52:01 pm »

What do you really want to compare? I want to get a natural looking detail when viewed at 100%. That allows future proof display in print or on hi res screen. I want accurate color as a base point for adding a style.

Have the various leading softwares advanced much in the last year? I like what I can get out of RT based on last year's comparisons. I am tempted to dxo for high iso images.
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jrp

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Re: RAW Convertor Comparisons
« Reply #21 on: August 12, 2015, 06:28:00 pm »

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.

I am a Beta reader of his latest books.  I put in the time because I think that the content is worth the effort.  It helps you to understand what is going on under the hood in a way that the likes of Dog's journeyman material never really approaches.

The basic issue I have is that (a) I think that ACR is no longer state of the art when it comes to demozaicing and (ii) there is more than one way of achieving something in ACR / Lightroom and the settings interact in unpredictable ways: you have to use several adjustments to get to the right answer,  For example. increasing contrast seems to also increase saturation (which may be the "correct thing to do", but I really don't like saturated shadows..)
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digitaldog

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Re: RAW Convertor Comparisons
« Reply #22 on: August 12, 2015, 07:34:37 pm »

I own two of Dan's books. Looks to me they are all about Color Correction without a lick of color management (he's kind of a color management denier). I can't find one "Before" image in either book that appears it was captured by someone who has a clue about creating good images or image data. So if you as a pro photographer and find out that your uncle (who's day job is an accountant) was hired to shoot your sisters wedding or annual report (because he owns a DSLR), Dan's book will be a good read for your uncle. If any of those photo's in Dan's book were uploaded here for a critique, the poster might be laughed out of the forums. Dan is the master at fixing bad images! There is a market and need for that. Probably not much around here...

My material as you call it, doesn't at all approach Color Correction. It's about color management! Yes, both have the word color in them.
I put in the time because I think that the content is worth the effort.  It helps you to understand what is going on under the hood in a way that the likes of Dog's journeyman material never really approaches.
That statement appears to me, perhaps others, to imply either you don't know the difference between color management and color correction or you do and haven't really looked into my so called material which indeed never approaches color correction!
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The basic issue I have is that (a) I think that ACR is no longer state of the art when it comes to demozaicing...
So perhaps you can provide us what raw converter you use that is state of the art and maybe some examples of it and ACR. That would allow us to see your POV and better, attempt to illustrate to Adobe what work they need to do on their converter to make it more state of the art. Least we forget your original post: What is the state of the art for current cameras. and Can anyone point to more up to date comparisons?
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...and (ii) there is more than one way of achieving something in ACR / Lightroom and the settings interact in unpredictable ways: you have to use several adjustments to get to the right answer,  For example. increasing contrast seems to also increase saturation (which may be the "correct thing to do", but I really don't like saturated shadows..)
It's not unpredictable, it was designed that way for a reason!** The right reason if we're to believe the large number of ACR users and the perhaps hundreds of thousands if not million of images processed through that product. FWIW, this contrast/saturation 'issue' has been a bone of contention of Dan's for years, I only hear complaints about it from his minions.

**From: Thomas Knoll <member@adobeforums.com>
Subject: Re: Color reproduction in digital photography
Date: Tuesday, October 11, 2005 at 12:32:05 PM Mountain Daylight Time
To: adobe.photoshop.camera.raw@adobeforums.com
Delivered-To: andrew@digitaldog.net

A new message was posted by Thomas Knoll in

Adobe Camera Raw --
  Color reproduction in digital photography

While developing Camera Raw, I experimented with a pure luminance curve (as Simon suggests). However, based on my testing results, I rejected this algoirthm since it produced results that were most often visually worse looking that the tone curve algorithm actually used by Camera Raw (which is a special hue-preserving curve, NOT three indepent curves as Simon incorrectly assumed). The saturation effects that Simon considers a defect is actually something that most users actually want.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2015, 07:40:58 pm by digitaldog »
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jrp

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Re: RAW Convertor Comparisons
« Reply #23 on: August 13, 2015, 04:16:24 pm »

You raise a number of different points:

People can make their own minds up about the quality of the photos in Dans (recent) books.

Several demosaicing comparisons with other raw converters are available in the links in the first post in this thread.

Yes, I am bought into the idea that treating contrast and saturation separately is desireable, for more control, so that I can choose what to accentuate and what to mute.  (I can of course do that in Photoshop, but it would be good to do it in Lightroom.) And yes, I can fiddle with the sliders with the best of them, but would prefer to better understand what they do and how they interact with each other (ideally without spending $30 on a video).  I can get perfectly satisfactory images from Lightroom, quickly, which seems to be the product's forte.  It would be better to be able to get great images without so much experimentation.
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digitaldog

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Re: RAW Convertor Comparisons
« Reply #24 on: August 13, 2015, 04:23:13 pm »

People can make their own minds up about the quality of the photos in Dans (recent) books.
IF they own them or there's somewhere we can see them.
I'm referring to the two I own; Professional Photoshop (5th edition) and Photoshop Lab Color. The photography ranges from OK at best to just awful. 
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Several demosaicing comparisons with other raw converters are available in the links in the first post in this thread.
So which is and isn't 'state of the art' and why?
Quote
I can get perfectly satisfactory images from Lightroom, quickly, which seems to be the product's forte.
Which is identical to ACR FWIW.
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aderickson

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Re: RAW Convertor Comparisons
« Reply #25 on: August 13, 2015, 05:23:10 pm »

As primarily a film photographer, my first digital images were jpegs taken with simple compact cameras. Lately I've upgraded my digital equipment and technique but I still have about 5 years of jpegs of indifferent quality. I heard of Dan's work on another forum and managed to find a used copy of Photoshop LAB Color (complete with CD) on Amazon for a ridiculously low price. I use Photoshop Elements but a free plug-in exists called Smartcurve which gives you Curves and the ability to work in l*a*b colorspace. Sounds like smoke and mirrors but it works and I compared my results to the images on the CD. I got identical results from his methods.

So my take on DM and his methods is that it is very useful if you are stuck working with 8 bit jpegs. If you are starting out with raw data, well, I don't see the point.

Allan
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digitaldog

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Re: RAW Convertor Comparisons
« Reply #26 on: August 13, 2015, 07:03:06 pm »

So my take on DM and his methods is that it is very useful if you are stuck working with 8 bit jpegs. If you are starting out with raw data, well, I don't see the point.
Exactly.
GIGO:Garbage In Garbage Out.
Or
Better to spend a little time at the front end, producing optimal image quality and photography then a lot of time at the back end, polishing a turd.  :P
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jrp

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Re: RAW Convertor Comparisons
« Reply #27 on: August 14, 2015, 05:30:59 pm »

These platitudes are getting us no closer to an answer to the question posed.
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digitaldog

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Re: RAW Convertor Comparisons
« Reply #28 on: August 14, 2015, 05:35:34 pm »

These platitudes are getting us no closer to an answer to the question posed.
us? You got answers! Test with your own images,come to your own conclusions!
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xpatUSA

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Re: RAW Convertor Comparisons
« Reply #29 on: August 14, 2015, 07:57:36 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.

Can anyone point to more up to date comparisons?

For my Sigma SD1M, SPP 5.5.3 is still the best for all-round purposes. Mac Users say Irridient Developer is "better".

Since the SD15, Adobe has abandoned Sigma cameras, so my computer is currently Adobe-free. Including no Flash and no Reader.

Sacrilege, I know . . .
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digitaldog

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Re: RAW Convertor Comparisons
« Reply #30 on: August 14, 2015, 07:59:56 pm »

Mac Users say Irridient Developer is "better".
Can't comment if it's better, it is a very, very good product. If I ever abandoned LR/ACR, I'd use it exclusively and it fully and correctly supports DNG.
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Lundberg02

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Re: RAW Convertor Comparisons
« Reply #31 on: August 30, 2015, 02:31:10 am »

I would be an Iridient evangelist if he needed one. I love the way it produces images that need hardly any work, from my cheapie Fuji.  I wonder if he is going to work on Lytro .lpf files so there would be an alternative to Lytro Desktop for processing. I got an ad to buy a Lytro 1.1 mp f/2 for 80 bucks the other day and might do it just for laughs. The real Lytro 40 mp is about 1300 bucks.
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adias

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Re: RAW Convertor Comparisons
« Reply #32 on: August 30, 2015, 06:14:16 pm »

Irident Developer seems to produce smoother gradients and smoother tonality changes. ACR/Lr needs some work in that area.
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jrp

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Re: RAW Convertor Comparisons
« Reply #33 on: September 01, 2015, 11:08:50 am »

I did try Iridient at one point but did not stick with it merely because I found the user interface to be very hard work.  Lots of settings, but quite hard to see what they were doing because of the slow screen redraw.  Even cropping to a given ratio involved more clicks than I would have preferred.  Perhaps for the 5-10% of pictures that warrant extra care.
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adias

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Re: RAW Convertor Comparisons
« Reply #34 on: September 01, 2015, 01:46:11 pm »

I did try Iridient at one point but did not stick with it merely because I found the user interface to be very hard work.  Lots of settings, but quite hard to see what they were doing because of the slow screen redraw.  Even cropping to a given ratio involved more clicks than I would have preferred.  Perhaps for the 5-10% of pictures that warrant extra care.

True.
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Lightsmith

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Re: RAW Convertor Comparisons
« Reply #35 on: September 01, 2015, 03:23:18 pm »

Easy enough to download trial copies of the software and easy enough to take various images and see which applications provide the best results and what workflow issues may be involved. For batch processing of thousands of images I like ACR as time is money if you are doing work for clients. For difficult scenes I use Nikon Capture NX2 as it provides the best results for converting Nikon RAW to TIFF. This should not come as a surprise as all software from third party companies has to be reverse engineered from the RAW files and so their engineers are at a disadvantage to the engineers working inside of Nikon, Canon, Sony, Olympus, etc.

I like DXO Optics Pro as it is fast and has the most comprehensive database of lens corrections for my Nikon gear. I disliked Capture One as it is like Lightroom and requires loading and processing the RAW files before I can do my first pass review and deletion and sorting of the images. I process from RAW to TIFF less than 5% of my image captures. So I use set of applications to review my images and another to process RAW to TIFF which depends on the intended use. For RAW to JPEG for Web use the Adobe ACR is good enough. For RAW to TIFF for most files the DXO Optics Pro works well. For the odd image where Optics Pro is not up to the task I fall back to the Nikon RAW converter.

No single tool is "best" for each and every situation.
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Denis de Gannes

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Re: RAW Convertor Comparisons
« Reply #36 on: September 01, 2015, 05:35:00 pm »

Quote "No single tool is "best" for each and every situation."
Very wise and logical observation.
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Lundberg02

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Re: RAW Convertor Comparisons
« Reply #37 on: September 02, 2015, 02:13:12 am »

The Iriridient developer says he has no plans to incorporate Lytro .lpf file processing
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