Pentax vs. 3rd Party RAW Conversion

Started Feb 27, 2010 | Discussions thread
FrancoisduP
Forum MemberPosts: 78
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Re: Pentax vs. 3rd Party RAW Conversion
In reply to Lance, Mar 2, 2010

I still own a Pentax DS, and I probably downloaded all the trial versions of RAW conversion software out there and tested them on my RAW files. I checked the usual, like colour accuracy, exposure, detail and as Marc has mentioned as well, ease of use.

While the Silkypix engine is quite good and give great results, the Pentax software (old version) was just absolutely too clunky....especially with all the different windows that it opened.

I used Lightroom for quite some time, and find it to be pretty good. Although it clearly wanted to overexpose all my shots if I click on auto (I know...why shoot RAW when you click on Auto, but sometimes you take pics inbetween with RAW that should not be manipulated for 5 min, but is merely a snapshot. And these I like to just click on the auto conversions).

I also use Apple Aperture (Currently my main RAW converter). Very good image quality and I like the workflow. Although depending on the day or weather...somehow it also likes to overexpose some shots for me. Noise reduction is practically non-existent and you would need to buy a plug-in. Here I feel Aperture is taking me for a ride, as they love to sell you plugins. Some software like Bibble have it already included.

Anyway, I also have Capture One 4. Got it a long time ago with a Sandisk promotion. Regarding workflow, speed and results I think its the best RAW converter. Unfortunately it does not have a lot of things that you can do on top of your RAW file, but for sharpness, clarity, colour, exposure and even noise it still is the best out of all the RAW converters I tried. I can go through the conversion of my photos to jpeg or whatever I want faster than any other RAW program.

I have not tested or downloaded the new Bibble 5. I heard its quite fast. Also not the latest Lightroom.

In the end, I would like to say that I agree with Marc. The working interface and functions are far more important in choosing the RAW converter than the results it gives (although they do differ). Luckily with all of them you can download a 30 day trial and give them a go on your computer. See which one works best for you in terms of workflow and the functions that you might want from a RAW converter. If there are two that feels similar to you in terms of what you want and operate, then look at the output, extra features or price (for me always an issue )

Good luck.

F

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