ACR vs DPP vs Lightroom vs DXO

Started Apr 19, 2013 | Discussions
montygm
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ACR vs DPP vs Lightroom vs DXO
Apr 19, 2013

Hi all,

Hope to get some helpful advice from people that have used all if possible. I am wondering is there much difference on the output file on either of these software programmes regarding raw conversion of files? Curious mainly in image sharpness and noise. Or are they pretty much all the same in default settings. Currently use ACR but I also have DPP that came with camera. Prefer the ACR layout better and a few extra editing tools it has . I am also thinking of getting DXO for the staightening tools it has but have read it can be a bit aggressive in the auto mode as far as enhancements are concerned. Never used Lightroom before but heard good things about it, not quite sure if I can get used to it's storage of files though and importing system.

Thanks,

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Grace

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Denis de Gannes
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Re: ACR vs DPP vs Lightroom vs DXO
In reply to montygm, Apr 19, 2013

First off ACR and Lightroom use the same process engine and if the versions are the latest, they both provide the same tools. So in essence you should get the identical results.

The results of the three different programs provide different tastes/menus for the raw process all excellent programs. The choice of which is the best is subjective. Clearly if you are using a Canon camera and are of the view that your camera produces the correct rendition of the scene captured then you may prefer the DPP program because its the only one that can produce the identical rendition produced by your camera.

If you decide that you are the creative artist, who will choose which program provides the best results to your taste then that one is the best for you.

None of them produce the "actual reality of the scene" just what the creators of the process believe is the most pleasing rendition.

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Ysarex
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Re: ACR vs DPP vs Lightroom vs DXO
In reply to montygm, Apr 20, 2013

If you're concerned about image sharpness and noise you need to expand your list.

I also shoot Canon and so have DPP. I make my living teaching ACR/Lightroom so I have that. I also have DX0 and C1 but most often for my own personal work I use Photo Ninja which bests the lot of them especially when it comes to image sharpness and noise.

Joe

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tom60634
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Re: ACR vs DPP vs Lightroom vs DXO
In reply to montygm, Apr 20, 2013

montygm wrote:

Hi all,

Hope to get some helpful advice from people that have used all if possible. I am wondering is there much difference on the output file on either of these software programmes regarding raw conversion of files? Curious mainly in image sharpness and noise. Or are they pretty much all the same in default settings. Currently use ACR but I also have DPP that came with camera. Prefer the ACR layout better and a few extra editing tools it has . I am also thinking of getting DXO for the staightening tools it has but have read it can be a bit aggressive in the auto mode as far as enhancements are concerned. Never used Lightroom before but heard good things about it, not quite sure if I can get used to it's storage of files though and importing system.

Thanks,

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Grace

I can't speak to DPP since I don't own it.

I find ACR to be a bit fiddly i.e. the constant up and back going from the sharpening sliders to the noise sliders to obtain your optimal sharpness/noise ratio. It's work flow into photoshop is excellent.

DxO is fast becoming my raw editor of choice. If your file was created by a camera/lens combination that is stored in its database, the noise reduction and sharpening functions works automatically and is flawless 99% (for me) of the time. You can adjust or turn off DxO's rendering at any time. The only time where I make manual corrections are in the "Dxo Smart Lighting" and "Exposure Compensation" panels, sometimes the edits in these panels can be considered a bit aggressive (but easily adjusted). The DxO distortion tools are very good,if not excellent. DxO offers a plugin/stand alone distortion/geometry product called "DxO ViewPoint" if that is your main concern.

Photo Ninja (at its present stage of development) offers Noise Reduction with sharpening that is equal to or better than most raw editors (except possibly DxO). I find it particularly useful when utilizing ACR. I turn off the sharpening and noise reduction in ACR and when I open the file in photoshop I use Photo Ninja's  noise and sharpening features and usually obtain a noticeably better result than the ACR/Photoshop combination.

I don't like Lightroom's storage and importing systems. I've been checking out the new LR5 and the new features while nice haven't converted me to their enforced workflow paradigm.

Keep in mind that my comments are of a person who hardly ever shoots above ISO 2000.

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Robgo2
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Re: ACR vs DPP vs Lightroom vs DXO
In reply to Ysarex, Apr 20, 2013

Ysarex wrote:

If you're concerned about image sharpness and noise you need to expand your list.

I also shoot Canon and so have DPP. I make my living teaching ACR/Lightroom so I have that. I also have DX0 and C1 but most often for my own personal work I use Photo Ninja which bests the lot of them especially when it comes to image sharpness and noise.

Joe

Agree totally.  My head to head testing of PN vs ACR, C1 and DxO leaves no doubt in my mind as to which is best.  Those who want the superior results or are just curious should try it themselves, taking sufficient time to learn the presets and adjustment tools.

Rob

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AZBlue
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Re: ACR vs DPP vs Lightroom vs DXO
In reply to montygm, Apr 20, 2013

I used DxO during a trial period and could not purchase this flawed product. In using it to develop several RAW files, no matter how I set things I would always get a hard edge or artifacts along a bright/dark boundary. I would also get what looked like chromatic aberration along those edges when nothing of the sort was visible using ACR or NX2.

I use NX2, it appears to know how to handle D800 raw files perfectly while DxO apparently tries to do too much and fails if image quality is your top priority.

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Mike CH
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There was an article here...
In reply to montygm, Apr 22, 2013

... on dpreview not that long ago with that topic.

But I can't find it again!

Maybe this will trigger somebody with better search skills... or perhaps the dpr search function really is that bad

Regards, Mike

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Wait and see...

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Fred T
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Re: There was an article here...
In reply to Mike CH, Apr 22, 2013
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Mike CH
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Yes!
In reply to Fred T, Apr 22, 2013

Fred T wrote:

Meant this?

http://www.dpreview.com/articles/8219582047/raw-converter-showdown-capture-one-pro-7-dxo-optics-pro-8-and-lightroom-4

Thank you.

Perhaps Monty can use the article...

Regards, Mike

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montygm
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Re: ACR vs DPP vs Lightroom vs DXO
In reply to AZBlue, Apr 23, 2013

Thansk for your reply,

I also read something about DXO showing signs of artifacts and moire also. Software programmes can be so confusing, each and every one has certain specific items that I like and want, however none have it all in the one package. I do like the perspective control though that DXO has with wide angle lenses. It looks absolutely incredible how it works.

Cheers,

Grace

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montygm
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Re: There was an article here...
In reply to Fred T, Apr 23, 2013

Thanks for the link. Really appreciate it.

Regards,

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Grace

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montygm
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Re: ACR vs DPP vs Lightroom vs DXO
In reply to Ysarex, Apr 24, 2013

Thanks for your comment. I have read a few people mentioning about the Ninja programme is supposed to be quite good. I'll have to look into that with more detail as I personally don't know much about it at this stage.

Regards,

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Grace

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montygm
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Re: ACR vs DPP vs Lightroom vs DXO
In reply to tom60634, Apr 24, 2013

Thanks so much for your detailed thoughts.

Kindly appreciated,

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Grace

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Fred T
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Re: There was an article here...
In reply to montygm, Apr 24, 2013

Your welcome

And may I suggest you should certain have a serious look into Photo Ninja, it is excellent indeed.

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Yanko Kitanov
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Re: ACR vs DPP vs Lightroom vs DXO
In reply to montygm, Apr 24, 2013

Hi all,

Hope to get some helpful advice from people that have used all if possible. I am wondering is there much difference on the output file on either of these software programmes regarding raw conversion of files? Curious mainly in image sharpness and noise. Or are they pretty much all the same in default settings. Currently use ACR but I also have DPP that came with camera. Prefer the ACR layout better and a few extra editing tools it has . I am also thinking of getting DXO for the staightening tools it has but have read it can be a bit aggressive in the auto mode as far as enhancements are concerned. Never used Lightroom before but heard good things about it, not quite sure if I can get used to it's storage of files though and importing system.

Hi,

The default settings, as you noted, are no base for comparison as you will use them in no more than 1% of your shots for some time and later you will probably never use them.

I hope you don't mind a several questions - this will help to give better advise: Do you prefer using automated presets or prefer developing your images yourself? Are you using MS Windows or Mac OS? Do you want filters/tastes available at RAW development level? Is ultimate image quality the most important factor for choosing a RAW converter program?(it is to me for example)

Have a great day/evening!

Yanko

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ormdig
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Re: ACR vs DPP vs Lightroom vs DXO
In reply to tom60634, Apr 24, 2013

I agree with tom60634 100%. DxO has the best noise reduction and sharpening tools I have found in any raw converter. I have edited 15,000+ images through DxO with my D800 with most shot in low light,(small gyms and nighttime fields), often at ISO 4000, and consistently get clean, artifact free images, even with extreme cropping.

Lightroom has some good stuff but as tom60634 pointed out, you are force to use it's storage/workflow system. DxO has a catalogue system but you don't have to use it. I have my own database/file system and just reference my folders and files.

The only thing lacking in DxO as far as I am concerned is local correction abilities and there are plenty of alternatives for that after I get what I consider the best available raw correction/comversions on the market today.

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nkistrup
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Re: ACR vs DPP vs Lightroom vs DXO
In reply to ormdig, Apr 24, 2013

ormdig wrote:

I agree with tom60634 100%. DxO has the best noise reduction and sharpening tools I have found in any raw converter. I have edited 15,000+ images through DxO with my D800 with most shot in low light,(small gyms and nighttime fields), often at ISO 4000, and consistently get clean, artifact free images, even with extreme cropping.

Lightroom has some good stuff but as tom60634 pointed out, you are force to use it's storage/workflow system. DxO has a catalogue system but you don't have to use it. I have my own database/file system and just reference my folders and files.

The only thing lacking in DxO as far as I am concerned is local correction abilities and there are plenty of alternatives for that after I get what I consider the best available raw correction/comversions on the market today.

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Pete

Hi Pete,

Did you ever use Capture NX2 for raw conversion?  And if so, how did it compare to DXO?

Niels

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montygm
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Re: ACR vs DPP vs Lightroom vs DXO
In reply to ormdig, Apr 25, 2013

Thanks kindly for your reply,

I have been leaning towards DXO for a while now. And will probably end up buying it mainly for the lens distortion and sharpening features of it.

Regards,

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Grace

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montygm
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Re: ACR vs DPP vs Lightroom vs DXO
In reply to Yanko Kitanov, Apr 25, 2013

Thanks Yanko for your reply,

i personally adjust manually all my images at present with ACR. No sharpening used until later when I open them up in Photoshop CS5. Use Mac OS. Filters not important, however I do like the graduated filter in ACR for washed out skies and sometimes the spot removal tool also which are the ones I end up using mostly. Quality of image with most photographers are always at the paramount. Find all these software programmes a bit confusing as to whether or not there is much difference to the image qty once converted on normal setting without any sharpening or major adjustments made. Or if at the end of the day they are all the same.

Regards,

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Grace

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ormdig
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Re: ACR vs DPP vs Lightroom vs DXO
In reply to nkistrup, Apr 25, 2013

Hi Niels, yes I have used CNX2. It is a very different editor, with a lot more local adjustment capabilities and is not fast at all. I find the UI to be unintuitive and it doesn't lend itself to any type of batch processing. If I have several images with similar lighting, once I have one image where I like it I like to be able to copy and paste those settings to similar images  and then convert to jpeg or tiff. I never found a way to do that in NX2 but maybe someone knows how, I don't. I must stress, however, I shoot anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000 images a week during school sports season, so batch processing is important to me. If I was shooting only a few at a time I wouldn't mind CNX2's shortcomings near as much.  CNX2 can produce excellent images and the u-point feature is useful.

I have the latest version of DxO and it is the first editor I have used that I can apply a modest preset for my cameras to all  of my images when I open a folder that gets me a good starting point. Nikons software will apply camera control settings upon opening in View NX2 or CnX2, however I never used any as I don't shoot jpegs and didn't always want those settings applied.

The big thing about DxO is it's ability to produce sharp, clean, artifact free images. Colors are excellent and it has the ability to copy colors from different cameras and apply them to your images if you aren't satisfied with your cameras native colors. I haven't used this feature as I love the color the D800 produces.

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Pete

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