DPP or ACR?

Started Apr 12, 2012 | Discussions thread
MarkDouglas
New MemberPosts: 21
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Re: Both
In reply to MisterPootieCat, Apr 13, 2012

MisterPootieCat wrote:

MarkDouglas wrote:

I am currently using DPP to process my raw images from my camera, but I see a lot of people are NOT using it and prefer to use ACR instead.

ACR has some advantages that I like. Automatic remapping of dead/hot pixels is one. More flexibility when adjusting exposure is another.

But 99% of my editing gets done with DPP. Adobe's GUI just doesn't do it for me. I feel like one almost has to take a night course at the community college to figure out how to make Adobe products work. Interestingly, it happens to be one of the most popular courses at our community college.

I actually viewed one of the LR tutorial videos last night. Very good videos, and LR does seem to have a lot more control over settings. And you're right, it would take a while to learn exactly how to do things. I'm not sure I liked the way you have to access some of the features though. For example, the video showed that double clicking on certain words in the UI actually performed some operations! That's just horrible UI design Maybe there are menu options for that too, but double-clicking on words? Really?

Maybe they made it difficult to use so they can sell books and courses on using it

I use DPP because it has lens profiles for all 3 lenses I own, and also because it's provided by Canon so must be good, yes?

The recent inclusion of lens profiles is a bonus for sure. The newest version of DPP (still unavailable for download) is going to take lens correction to a new level. From what I'm seeing it's going to behave almost identically to DXO Pro with downloadable modules for various lenses and camera bodies. I've played around with several trial versions of DXO Pro and the lens/body modules make a huge difference in the final output. I've run old images from my 300D through DXO Pro and was seriously impressed with the output. And images from my 40D really came to life when using it. I'm hoping the new version of DPP will be as good.

DPP version 3.10.11 comes with the 5D MK III, but I think you can only download 3.4.x from Canon. The new version comes with about 25-30 lens profiles but downloads will be available for others in the future. It certainly makes a big difference. Applying CA correction with the correct lens profile is simply amazing - fine details like tree branches against a bright sky might come out of the camera with aberrations, but after applying CA correction, the results are superb! Of course, mileage may vary by lens and camera body.

I haven't tried out the digital lens correction thingy yet. Not really sure what it does, but it takes a VERY long time to apply. And unlike other editing operation, I don't think you can undo it once it's applied. But I really didn't spend a lot of time investigating to see if it's worth using.

When I import pictures, I normally correct for distortion, CA and noise, followed by any sharpening, cropping and rotation. IF I need to do any further processing, I export to 16-bit TIFF and edit in Photoshop Elements 9.

I use the same workflow for the few occasions when DPP won't do something that PSE will. But each new release of DPP closes the gap between the two. I don't think DPP will ever completely replace PSE, they're really two different animals. PSE allows some creative stuff that DPP will probably never support.

If you have the ACR plugin for your camera you might want to try opening the RAW images directly and experiment with editing them directly and bypassing DPP. I find ACR cumbersome to use and it doesn't support batch processing as far as I know. That is one feature I use a lot in DPP.

I think ACR does a little better with NR but for the types of stuff I shoot the noise never is a big issue. To be honest, some shots seem to look better with a little noise. It's a matter of personal preference.

My biggest beef with Adobe is having to constantly upgrade to keep ACR support for newer cameras. There used to be ways to install newer releases of ACR on older PSE applications but Adobe finally plugged that hole when PSE 9 was released. I'll reluctantly upgrade PSE if/when I purchase a new body that my version of ACR doesn't support.

Funnily enough, I used to open my raws with PSE (using ACR I assume), but I switched to using DPP as I just felt it was doing a better job with lens corrections. That was when I first got my 600D though. I switched about 6 months ago and have been using DPP ever since.

Are there any advantages to using ACR over DPP? If so, what are they?

As mentioned already (my opinion):

Better NR
Automatic dead/hot pixel remapping
Finer granularity with exposure settings (and more of them)

I'm anxious to get my hands on the latest version of DPP. It looks promising and the price is right.

I'm going to try LR 4 and see how it compares for NR. The NR in DPP seems to be very good for the 5D MK III raws, so would be interesting to see how ACR deals with these files. Others are saying that DPP makes the images appear 'mushy', and I understand a 'fix' for that is in the works, but again I'd like to see how LR compares.

LR does have a lot more knobs and sliders to play with than DPP that's for sure!

Do Canon usually release new versions of DPP on their web site? 3.4 must be quite old by now. So unless you buy a new camera, are you stuck with 3.4? Certainly the changes in the newest version are very good and worth having, so I hope you can get hold of it soon

Anyway, thanks for your very interesting and informative post

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