Slightly OT raw converter discussion

Started Jan 25, 2013 | Discussions thread
James O'Neill
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,928
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Re: Slightly OT raw converter discussion
In reply to jonska, Jan 26, 2013

jonska wrote:

"... the differences among Capture One Pro 7, DxO Optics Pro 8 and Lightroom 4 are relatively small. And those that do exist, revolve around default image rendering. Where global color, contrast and saturation are involved, it's rare that you achieve a result in one converter that cannot be reasonably matched in the others."

This is true. There a small differences in the defaults, but my experience with the previous version of capture one and prevous and current versions of Light room "Quality" is pretty similar in both. I switched to lightroom because I could do more of the things that I do without saving the file and switching pagages - at the time I switch C1 couldn't do a split toned B&W. It's a bit like cameras: they are all similarly capable, one might have/lack a killer feature for you,  otherwise its the one which you're most comfortable working with. I should go back and see how C1 has progress, but I'm very happy with Lightroom.

I shoot raw (DNG) and use Lightroom (still at ver. 3.6). To be honest, I could quite well shoot jpeg and that would work 90% of the time. But for those 10% that I want to work with it is comforting to know that I have all the information that I recorded on my SD card. There are also things that simply cannot be achieved using a jpeg.

I wonder some of the things you go on to talk about because you don't habitually do things in LR

So here beginneth my story and the ensuing questions:

Sometimes when I want to upload an image quickly in an Internet discussion somewhere, I will do a quick and dirty as follows: 1. Crop/straighten if necessary in LR, 2. Export full-size jpeg from LR, 3. Open in Irfanview and hit "auto adjust colours," 4. resize, and 5. Post. This takes about 2 minutes and I find that the result is (a) better than what I could do in LR in a much longer time - even using my presets or LR's presets - and (b) better than my out-of-camera jpegs at default (bright).

Here is an example of a shot I uploaded quickly the other day in the course of a conversation on Flickr. The image is nothing special (dull, grey skies etc.) and its quality as an image has nothing to do with anything. Just a tourist shot from Brazil.

Here is the LR version:



Lightroom

Here is the Irfanview version:



Irfanview

Irfanview has boosted exposure, contrast and saturation. In LR I'd push up the Vibrance setting and that would probably acheive the same thing. I'd also use the graduated filter in LR to hold the sky back and increase the contrast - in the Irfanview version the increased contrast has pulled out some cloud detail which wasn't visible before.

There's no reason why you couldn't get this from LR. Whether it would about the same as saving and realoading or longer, or a lot longer  is another question. .

So here is my question: Are those of you who use any of these three raw converters discussed in the "showdown" (or any other converter) happy with the default results, or the results using your import defaults, if you use any?

The defaults , or clicking auto can give great result, but usually I can get better manually.

Is there anyone who could replicate the Irfanview version using LR - I can send the raw if you want to try. Can you put your finger on the principal difference? (contrast appears to be one obvious difference, but bumping contrast in LR does not appear to do the trick. Saturation another? Clarity?).

I'll have a go if you send it or post a link

Just to be fair, sometimes Irfanview cocks up the auto colour adjust so spectacularly that the ensuing image is useless, but that is besides the point - most of the time there is an improvement. Remember also that it is free software.

Free or paid for, auto adjust works well most of the time in most packages. When it fails, the results can be comic.

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