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Canon 400d RAW conversions

 
 
Bill Hilton
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      11-05-2006
My wife bought this camera and I'm tinkering with it a bit ... the
third thing I noticed is the RAW conversions varied wildly between the
Canon DPP software and the Capture One software we typically use for
RAW, so here's a brief summary showing the good, the bad and the ugly.

I photographed a Gretag Macbeth ColorChecker card and converted the
same file with various converters, measuring the RGB values for the six
neutral patches. All the conversions were at default settings.

* Capture One V 3.7.5 did a terrible job. According to the C1 guy on
their forum this camera came out shortly before release of 3.7.5 and
they only had a few hours to gin up a profile. Unfortunately the image
sample they used to generate the profile lacked many colors. Like,
GRAY!

* Using the Adobe 3.6 DNG converter and then converting the DNG file in
Photoshop CS did a much better job with the neutrals but most colors
are bland and unsaturated at default settings. This converter would be
unacceptable (or at least 'disappointing') to me with this camera,
though clearly better than C1 V3.7.5.

* Canon's Digital Photo Professional (DPP) did a very good job with the
neutrals and the colors look good too, better than Photoshop CS RAW.
The Canon converters seem to be getting better but are still slow for
working with large numbers of files, I feel.

* Capture One V 3.7.6, a patch released mainly for the 400d, does a
very good job, similar to DPP with the added benefits of the faster
workflow for dealing with large numbers of files.

Here are jpegs showing the results from these different conversions. I
would stress again, all are default settings; clearly you can boost
contrast and saturation if required, but since I'm inherently lazy I
prefer software that gets things right from the beginning.

http://members.aol.com/bhilton665/tests/400d_raw/

It's wise to try out several different converters when you get a new
camera model.

Bill

 
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Bigma
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      11-05-2006

"Bill Hilton" <(E-Mail Removed)> a écrit dans le message de news:
(E-Mail Removed) om...
> My wife bought this camera and I'm tinkering with it a bit ... the
> third thing I noticed is the RAW conversions varied wildly between the
> Canon DPP software and the Capture One software we typically use for
> RAW, so here's a brief summary showing the good, the bad and the ugly.
>


<SNIP>

>
> Here are jpegs showing the results from these different conversions. I
> would stress again, all are default settings; clearly you can boost
> contrast and saturation if required, but since I'm inherently lazy I
> prefer software that gets things right from the beginning.
>
> http://members.aol.com/bhilton665/tests/400d_raw/
>
> It's wise to try out several different converters when you get a new
> camera model.
>
> Bill
>


In case this information could be of some use for you,
Adobe Lightroom beta 4.0 seems to cope very well with the 400 D RAWs.
I did not notice any shift, anyway certainly nothing like "horrible",
although I did not make extensive tests with color cards.
I simply used it the same way I use it with RAWs from other Canon cameras.
--
mb


 
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bmoag
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      11-06-2006
If you want images that are finished on opening perhaps you should
investigate the jpeg options in your camera?
I have no experience with newer Canon dSLRs but I find it interesting that
you describe the Canon converter as opening images with color you find
appealing. I presume you mean a certain degree of saturation and contrast
that is higher than the relatively flat settings of the Adobe converter.
Nikon does the same thing with its NX converter. This suggests that both
Canon and Nikon have deliberately decided on these default settings because
most people find saturation and contrast visually appealing regardless of
whether it is appropriate for the particular image.
TV sets and computer monitors are set up in store displays in the same way
and for the same purpose.


 
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David J. Littleboy
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      11-06-2006
"bmoag" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> I have no experience with newer Canon dSLRs but I find it interesting that
> you describe the Canon converter as opening images with color you find
> appealing. I presume you mean a certain degree of saturation and contrast
> that is higher than the relatively flat settings of the Adobe converter.


Canon's converter (DPP) is generally viewed as being one of the very best
for color; not just for producing electric Velvia reds and greens when you
want, but for rendering caucasian skin tones and other subtleties as well.

The bad news is that it doesn't provide a good or easy way of "rescuing
highlights".

> Nikon does the same thing with its NX converter. This suggests that both
> Canon and Nikon have deliberately decided on these default settings
> because most people find saturation and contrast visually appealing
> regardless of whether it is appropriate for the particular image.


The current Canon cameras/converter have a "Picture Style" setting that's
essentially a custom profile that you can set in the camera. The "Standard"
style is of the excessive contast and saturation variety you mention, but
"Faithful" is quite reasonable. "Neutral" is too flat, and "Landscape" does
the Velvia look quite nicely.

David J. Littleboy
Tokyo, Japan


 
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Bill Hilton
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      11-06-2006
> bmoag wrote:
>
> If you want images that are finished on opening perhaps you should
> investigate the jpeg options in your camera?


jpegs are fine if you have total control over the white balance and
exposure, typically shooting under studio lights or similar, but aren't
very useful for the type of shooting I do, where the white balance is
rarely stable and exposure conditions are sometimes dicey.

If you would really choose to shoot jpegs just because you want a
finished image then you are missing out on a lot that RAW can offer.
>From your past posts I'm pretty sure that you know about RAW though ...


> I have no experience with newer Canon dSLRs but I find it interesting that
> you describe the Canon converter as opening images with color you find
> appealing.


I posted samples of the three converters, so you can see the
differences ... I'm guessing most people find the CS RAW default image
too flat, but maybe not ... it looks awful to me.

> I presume you mean a certain degree of saturation and contrast
> that is higher than the relatively flat settings of the Adobe converter.
> Nikon does the same thing with its NX converter. This suggests that both
> Canon and Nikon have deliberately decided on these default settings because
> most people find saturation and contrast visually appealing regardless of
> whether it is appropriate for the particular image.


The Capture One software lets you change the 'look' between 'linear'
(very flat), 'film extra shadow', 'film standard' and 'film high
contrast' by rolling the mouse wheel ... in a rough film analogy 'extra
shadow' looks sorta like Astia, 'standard' like Provia 100F and 'high
contrast' like Velvia. The default I posted is 'film standard' ...
I've processed literally thousands of images with this converter and
rarely found nature or wildlife shots that looked better with the
flatter settings, so that's probably why Nikon and Canon (and Capture
One) bias the settings that way.

In addition to these four settings the C1 software lets you apply
various ICC profiles to quickly get the best color. As an example, for
the 1Ds they originally provided 10 custom ICC profiles, including some
for studio settings ... here is a matrix of skin types shown with five
different included 'skintone' or 'portrait' profiles ...
http://members.aol.com/bhilton665/te..._profile_1.jpg
http://members.aol.com/bhilton665/te..._profile_2.jpg

So basically right off the bat the colors are more pleasing to most of
us, then you have more precise ways of fine-tuning them with the
profiles.

You can of course get to a similar place with CS RAW but it takes a
while. This is one of the reasons I don't use CS RAW, even though I
have it free with Photoshop. Another reason is the conversions I did
in my original tests had smoother demosaicing with Capture One than
with Photoshop (ie, smoother out-of-focus backgrounds) and finer
detail.

Finally, if you have a lot of images to sort thru quickly CS RAW is
very slow by comparison.

Bill

 
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W
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      11-06-2006
Bill,

I am using a 20D and have recently moved away from CS2 RAW to Canon
DPP. Primarily because over time I found that CS2 RAW tended to create
noisy shadows (with accompanying spikes at '0' in some of the color
channel histograms). Even with all kinds of tweaking, this would not go
away. There were also some other areas where I had a problem with CS2
RAW. Canon DPP created shadows with much less noise and as you implied,
tended to give a better overall 'look' right out of the gate.
I do truly miss the chromatic abberation in CS2 RAW though...the 'lens
correction' in CS2 does not seem to do nearly as good a job.

W


Bill Hilton wrote:
> > bmoag wrote:
> >
> > If you want images that are finished on opening perhaps you should
> > investigate the jpeg options in your camera?

>
> jpegs are fine if you have total control over the white balance and
> exposure, typically shooting under studio lights or similar, but aren't
> very useful for the type of shooting I do, where the white balance is
> rarely stable and exposure conditions are sometimes dicey.
>
> If you would really choose to shoot jpegs just because you want a
> finished image then you are missing out on a lot that RAW can offer.
> >From your past posts I'm pretty sure that you know about RAW though ...

>
> > I have no experience with newer Canon dSLRs but I find it interesting that
> > you describe the Canon converter as opening images with color you find
> > appealing.

>
> I posted samples of the three converters, so you can see the
> differences ... I'm guessing most people find the CS RAW default image
> too flat, but maybe not ... it looks awful to me.
>
> > I presume you mean a certain degree of saturation and contrast
> > that is higher than the relatively flat settings of the Adobe converter.
> > Nikon does the same thing with its NX converter. This suggests that both
> > Canon and Nikon have deliberately decided on these default settings because
> > most people find saturation and contrast visually appealing regardless of
> > whether it is appropriate for the particular image.

>
> The Capture One software lets you change the 'look' between 'linear'
> (very flat), 'film extra shadow', 'film standard' and 'film high
> contrast' by rolling the mouse wheel ... in a rough film analogy 'extra
> shadow' looks sorta like Astia, 'standard' like Provia 100F and 'high
> contrast' like Velvia. The default I posted is 'film standard' ...
> I've processed literally thousands of images with this converter and
> rarely found nature or wildlife shots that looked better with the
> flatter settings, so that's probably why Nikon and Canon (and Capture
> One) bias the settings that way.
>
> In addition to these four settings the C1 software lets you apply
> various ICC profiles to quickly get the best color. As an example, for
> the 1Ds they originally provided 10 custom ICC profiles, including some
> for studio settings ... here is a matrix of skin types shown with five
> different included 'skintone' or 'portrait' profiles ...
> http://members.aol.com/bhilton665/te..._profile_1.jpg
> http://members.aol.com/bhilton665/te..._profile_2.jpg
>
> So basically right off the bat the colors are more pleasing to most of
> us, then you have more precise ways of fine-tuning them with the
> profiles.
>
> You can of course get to a similar place with CS RAW but it takes a
> while. This is one of the reasons I don't use CS RAW, even though I
> have it free with Photoshop. Another reason is the conversions I did
> in my original tests had smoother demosaicing with Capture One than
> with Photoshop (ie, smoother out-of-focus backgrounds) and finer
> detail.
>
> Finally, if you have a lot of images to sort thru quickly CS RAW is
> very slow by comparison.
>
> Bill


 
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