Canon 400d RAW conversions

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Bill Hilton, Nov 5, 2006.

  1. Bill Hilton

    Bill Hilton Guest

    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
     
    Bill Hilton, Nov 5, 2006
    #1
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  2. Bill Hilton

    Bigma Guest

    "Bill Hilton" <> a écrit dans le message de news:
    ...
    > 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
     
    Bigma, Nov 5, 2006
    #2
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  3. Bill Hilton

    bmoag Guest

    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.
     
    bmoag, Nov 6, 2006
    #3
  4. "bmoag" <> 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
     
    David J. Littleboy, Nov 6, 2006
    #4
  5. Bill Hilton

    Bill Hilton Guest

    > 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/tests/c1_skin_tone_profile_1.jpg
    http://members.aol.com/bhilton665/tests/c1_skin_tone_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
     
    Bill Hilton, Nov 6, 2006
    #5
  6. Bill Hilton

    W Guest

    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/tests/c1_skin_tone_profile_1.jpg
    > http://members.aol.com/bhilton665/tests/c1_skin_tone_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
     
    W, Nov 6, 2006
    #6
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