Thoughts on RAW converters

Started Jan 4, 2009 | Discussions thread
Robert Deutsch
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DxO Optics Pro
In reply to John Martini, Jan 6, 2009

It's really hard to do well-controlled comparisons of RAW converters; it's not enough to leave the settings of the different converters at default, because they do different things (NR, sharpening, etc.) to different extents at the default settings. The ideal for me is to set each converter to produce the optimal results, but there's a lot of subjectivity in making the settings, and a slightly sub-optimal setting of a particular parameter can make that converted seem inferior, which it's really just a matter of a sub-optimal setting.

With this as a disclaimer, and for you to interpret how you wish, I can say that I've done some comparisons of 5D RAW files using ACR, DPP, and DxO Optics Pro 5.3.1 (which I'm now just learning to use), each followed by adjustments (including FocalBlade plugin as the last stage) in CS3. Just considering resolution/sharpness, DxO came first, followed by DPP, and ACR definitely last. Could the ACR-processed files be processed in a different way, so that they match the greater sharpness of DPP and DxO? Maybe, but I'm not about to spend more time doing further comparisons. DxO's highly-touted new approach to noise reduction early in RAW processing seems to work as claimed, and has the most sophisticated correction of distortion. ACR has the best, most flexible interface, but it doesn't seem to produce the sharpest results.

Bob

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