50D: DPP vs ACR - you decide (with examples)

Started Nov 3, 2008 | Discussions thread
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Guy Lerner
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50D: DPP vs ACR - you decide (with examples)
Nov 3, 2008

Hi all,

I'm just about to sink my teeth into editing the second wedding I shot with the 50D. But first I was playing around with converting a couple of images using DPP (all settings set to 0/default + forced zero NR), and ACR 5.1 (all settings set to 0, forced zero NR/sharpening). I've taken one example, cut 100% crops from midtone, shadow and lighter areas, and posted them below (see the complete [but reduced] photo at the end for reference).

Shot details: 50D, Canon 70-200 2.8L IS @ 85mm, ISO 1600, f/2.8 1/500.

I'll let y'all analyse the resulting crops. Perhaps someone can explain to me why ACR seems to render the final photo slightly darker? Also, leaving ACR's default settings of +50 brightness and +25 contrast yields much more objectionable chroma noise - so ACR users be aware of this when converting in ACR (I switched both the 0 for this test).

My thoughts: more 'blotchy' chroma noise across the range in ACR, which costs some details (look at the petal details in the rose). Noise seems "thicker", if that's the right term, in ACR, and shows up some smearing too, even in lighter areas. Keep in mind this is at 100% - if you look at the overall image, it will print very nicely even up to A3, especially once it's been treated with good noise reduction software. The level of detail I'm getting from my 50D, even at ISO 1600, is simply excellent.

I'm sure these 'kinks' in ACR will be sorted out soon enough. For now it's still a decent converter, and miles faster than DPP, but be aware of its limitations (which, unfortunately, the DPR review failed to be clear about).

Cheers,
gL

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