Archive for December, 2008


December 15th, 2008 dotted line

RAW Software

Shooting RAW offers many advantages over using your camera’s JPEG processing, including the ability to increase the dynamic range of the original photo. It also means finding the right software to process the files into a format suitable for prints, and uploading to the web. I’ve been using Capture One 4 for over a year now, and been very happy with it.

I made the following notes when I was evaluating RAW converters, looking specifically at:

  • the level of detail extracted
  • ability to assign comparative ratings
  • customizable sharpening
  • noise removal
  • batch processing
  • color rendition for my Canon 400D files (.CR2)

 
Adobe Camera Raw

Pluses

  • great workflow with Bridge
  • excellent viewing and editing performance
  • sidecar files (ie. the ability to save your edits in a file external to the RAW file)
  • DNG format support (a standard for RAW files that is gaining wider support)

Minuses

  • doesn’t display red correctly for CR2 files, even worse when it’s converted to DNG
  • conversion is slow

 
Adobe LightRoom

Pluses

  • extremely slick, impressive interface
  • sidecar files

Minuses

  • has the same color problems with my Canon files as ACR
  • slow

 
Bibble Pro

Pluses

  • a one-stop shop with lots of control, meaning you may not need to go to Photoshop for most shots
  • sidecar files

Minuses

  • more resource hungry than ACR, meaning I can’t use it on my Dell X1 laptop (with its measly 512MB RAM)
  • not as detailed image as C1 or ACR/Lightroom

 
Capture One

Pluses

  • excellent colors and detail from my 400D files
  • best sharpening algorithms to my eye
  • lowest resource usage, making it possible to run on my Dell X1

Minuses

  • have to manually export (archive) its own side car files

 
Silkypix

Pluses

  • best colors of the lot, even better than C1
  • sidecar files automatically saved

Minuses

  • sharpening not as good as C1, but on par with others
  • more resource hungry than C1, but less so than the others

 
Raw Developer

Pluses

  • more detail than C1, good colors too (see outback photo’s article)
  • sidecar files

Minuses

  • only for the Mac

 
LightZone

Pluses

  • unique zone mapping feature (a la Ansel Adams), Photoshop not needed for most applications
  • sidecar files

Minuses

  • still an early edition
  • runs on Java, which means slow and occasional crashes on my laptop

 
Breeze Browser

Pluses

  • writes sidecar files

Minuses

  • not as full-featured as the others, will need to go to photoshop