Best RAW converter for ease of use and noise control (E-M1)

Started 8 months ago | Discussions
AngelicBeaver
Contributing MemberPosts: 658Gear list
Like?
Best RAW converter for ease of use and noise control (E-M1)
8 months ago

I was sold on the E-M1 like no other camera that has come before.  It just checks off all my boxes.  All except one very important one:  I hate the noise suppression in JPEG.  I have been constantly shocked to be looking at a photo and thinking the ISO must be sky high because of the heavy noise suppression applied and then I find out it's at 1600.  It's very noticeable around the eyes, where the irises look all melty and the eyelashes have a painted effect.  THIS IS WITH NOISE FILTER SET TO "OFF".

For this reason, and this reason alone, I am reluctantly seeking a recommendation for a RAW converter.  With the exception of the noise filter settings, I'm happy with the OLY JPEGs.  I have played around with RAW Therapee, but it seems very in-depth and slow for what I want.

I would ideally like to set some profiles for different ISOs and be able to drop all my photos from my card into the program and pick them up afterward as JPEGs that look like what OLY puts out, minus the smeared details.  I definitely want to suppress chroma noise, but want very little (if any) luminance noise suppression.

Should I just pick up a copy of Lightroom, or is there something else out there that you would recommend?  I guess I should note that I'm not opposed to having editing features, but I don't want something that makes me feel like I have to process each individual photo, because I don't have the time.

-- hide signature --

I have no signature.

 AngelicBeaver's gear list:AngelicBeaver's gear list
Olympus E-M1 Olympus 12-40mm F2.8
Olympus E-M1
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
jkrumm
Veteran MemberPosts: 8,061
Like?
Re: Best RAW converter for ease of use and noise control (E-M1)
In reply to AngelicBeaver, 8 months ago

Lightroom with the new camera profiles does a pretty decent job of mimicking the color and fairly high contrast of the camera jpegs. You can easily make import presets with different NR and sharpening for different iso settings, among other things. That's one fo the many strengths of Lightroom.

-- hide signature --

John Krumm
Juneau, AK

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Kweide
Senior MemberPosts: 1,697Gear list
Like?
Re: Best RAW converter for ease of use and noise control (E-M1)
In reply to AngelicBeaver, 8 months ago

There are several choices on the market. Lightroom, DxO, SilkyPix, Capture One. But did you every try Olympus Viewr 3 ? I know it is not blazing fast but extremly good in colors, sharpness and overall quality. For me, although using LR, IT IS STILL MY REFERENCE

-- hide signature --

More of my work can be see her: ( some NSFW )
http://www.klaweide.de/

 Kweide's gear list:Kweide's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus E-M1 Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 50mm 1:2.0 Macro Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 12-60mm 1:2.8-4.0 SWD Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH +14 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Mike Raub
Regular MemberPosts: 353
Like?
Re: Best RAW converter for ease of use and noise control (E-M1)
In reply to AngelicBeaver, 8 months ago

DXO 9 has superb noise reduction if you use the Prime noise reduction option. It is slow, however, sometimes taking several minutes to process an image. I've never had a problem navigating DXO's interface, though some find it quirky. DXO has a free 30 trial, so you lose nothing even if it doesn't suit your needs. Their website is: www.dxo.com

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
RSColo
Contributing MemberPosts: 610Gear list
Like?
Re: Best RAW converter for ease of use and noise control (E-M1)
In reply to AngelicBeaver, 8 months ago

I have tried Lightroom, DXO, CaptureOne and RAWTherapy. I didn't like the heavy image organizing overhead of Lightroom. RAWTherapy was a real pain to use. I found it difficult to use and slow. DXO and CaptureOne were close for me. I ended up with DXO. I think it may be the best if... The big if for DXO is if they have your camera/lens combinations in their profiles database. If they do the product is great. If not, it is not nearly as powerful. The latest version of DXO has a new very powerful noise reduction system. It is very slow but works wonders on high-ISO shots. It still have the relatively fast normal noise reduction system as well for all the rest of your shots.

This was my decision process to find a RAW converter. I suggest you play with the free trial versions and make your own decision.

-- hide signature --

Reid Shay
www.sawatchpub.com

 RSColo's gear list:RSColo's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 50-200mm 1:2.8-3.5 SWD Panasonic Leica Summilux DG 25mm F1.4 +2 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
cfh25
Contributing MemberPosts: 765
Like?
Re: Best RAW converter for ease of use and noise control (E-M1)
In reply to RSColo, 8 months ago

"...the heavy image organizing overhead of Lightroom..."

Not sure of this comment - you can have any setup to suit your workflow, i.e., one folder for everything through to a sophisticated location/date/keyword database.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Bob Tullis
Forum ProPosts: 26,243Gear list
Like?
Re: Best RAW converter for ease of use and noise control (E-M1)
In reply to AngelicBeaver, 8 months ago

AngelicBeaver wrote:

I was sold on the E-M1 like no other camera that has come before. It just checks off all my boxes. All except one very important one: I hate the noise suppression in JPEG. I have been constantly shocked to be looking at a photo and thinking the ISO must be sky high because of the heavy noise suppression applied and then I find out it's at 1600. It's very noticeable around the eyes, where the irises look all melty and the eyelashes have a painted effect. THIS IS WITH NOISE FILTER SET TO "OFF".

For this reason, and this reason alone, I am reluctantly seeking a recommendation for a RAW converter. With the exception of the noise filter settings, I'm happy with the OLY JPEGs. I have played around with RAW Therapee, but it seems very in-depth and slow for what I want.

I would ideally like to set some profiles for different ISOs and be able to drop all my photos from my card into the program and pick them up afterward as JPEGs that look like what OLY puts out, minus the smeared details. I definitely want to suppress chroma noise, but want very little (if any) luminance noise suppression.

Should I just pick up a copy of Lightroom, or is there something else out there that you would recommend? I guess I should note that I'm not opposed to having editing features, but I don't want something that makes me feel like I have to process each individual photo, because I don't have the time.

You can just choose presets and/or auto adjustments if taking command on any level isn't your style.  Use it like a dumb tool, but know you have quite a wealth of control if you ever need it, but that doesn't have to get in your way at all.

And if you think everyone else develops every image they take, you're grossly mistaken.

-- hide signature --

...Bob, NYC
http://www.bobtullis.com
http://www.flickr.com/photos/bobtullis/
.
"Well, sometimes the magic works. . . Sometimes, it doesn't." - Chief Dan George, Little Big Man
.

 Bob Tullis's gear list:Bob Tullis's gear list
Olympus E-M1 Olympus M.Zuiko ED 75-300mm 1:4.8-6.7 II Rokinon 7.5mm 1:3.5 UMC Fisheye CS Voigtlander Nokton 17.5mm F0.95 Aspherical Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 +18 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Paulmorgan
Senior MemberPosts: 1,619
Like?
Re: Best RAW converter for ease of use and noise control (E-M1)
In reply to AngelicBeaver, 8 months ago

AngelicBeaver wrote:

I was sold on the E-M1 like no other camera that has come before. It just checks off all my boxes. All except one very important one: I hate the noise suppression in JPEG. I have been constantly shocked to be looking at a photo and thinking the ISO must be sky high because of the heavy noise suppression applied and then I find out it's at 1600. It's very noticeable around the eyes, where the irises look all melty and the eyelashes have a painted effect. THIS IS WITH NOISE FILTER SET TO "OFF".

For this reason, and this reason alone, I am reluctantly seeking a recommendation for a RAW converter. With the exception of the noise filter settings, I'm happy with the OLY JPEGs. I have played around with RAW Therapee, but it seems very in-depth and slow for what I want.

I would ideally like to set some profiles for different ISOs and be able to drop all my photos from my card into the program and pick them up afterward as JPEGs that look like what OLY puts out, minus the smeared details. I definitely want to suppress chroma noise, but want very little (if any) luminance noise suppression.

Should I just pick up a copy of Lightroom, or is there something else out there that you would recommend? I guess I should note that I'm not opposed to having editing features, but I don't want something that makes me feel like I have to process each individual photo, because I don't have the time.

-- hide signature --

I have no signature.

Lightroom is about the best and its simple enough to use.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
AngelicBeaver
Contributing MemberPosts: 658Gear list
Like?
Thanks. Lightroom it is.
In reply to Paulmorgan, 8 months ago

I just read the thread on the new profiles Adobe added to mimic the Natural, Vivid, etc. settings on the camera.  This sounds like what I've been looking for.  I'm looking forward to trying out some of the other features as well.

(Takes deep breath)

Okay, here I go...

-- hide signature --

I have no signature.

 AngelicBeaver's gear list:AngelicBeaver's gear list
Olympus E-M1 Olympus 12-40mm F2.8
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
jkrumm
Veteran MemberPosts: 8,061
Like?
Re: Thanks. Lightroom it is.
In reply to AngelicBeaver, 8 months ago

I don't think you will regret it, after the somewhat steep learning curve. It's worth watching a few tutorials, or paying $25 for a month lynda.com subscription. Another cool thing with Lightroom is that it respects the aspect ration when shooting raw (for the last few Oly models). If you shoot at 16:9, that's how the image shows up, but if you click the crop tool you can bring back the full 4/3 shot.

-- hide signature --

John Krumm
Juneau, AK

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
tgutgu
Senior MemberPosts: 3,196Gear list
Like?
Re: Best RAW converter for ease of use and noise control (E-M1)
In reply to RSColo, 8 months ago

RSColo wrote:

I have tried Lightroom, DXO, CaptureOne and RAWTherapy. I didn't like the heavy image organizing overhead of Lightroom.

Which overhead do you talk about? Don't you have to import the photos from your card to your hard drive anyway? Don't you change the original file names to something more useful? You can arrange the folder structure in Lightroom as you would do in your explorer. There is no difference.

Don't you want a good image browser in your RAW Editor, so that you can find and compare your images easily? DxO has no image browser to speak of, except a small film strip at the bottom.

As a workflow solution Lightroom is a lot more complete and user friendly, IMO.

RAWTherapy was a real pain to use. I found it difficult to use and slow. DXO and CaptureOne were close for me. I ended up with DXO. I think it may be the best if... The big if for DXO is if they have your camera/lens combinations in their profiles database. If they do the product is great. If not, it is not nearly as powerful. The latest version of DXO has a new very powerful noise reduction system. It is very slow but works wonders on high-ISO shots. It still have the relatively fast normal noise reduction system as well for all the rest of your shots.

This was my decision process to find a RAW converter. I suggest you play with the free trial versions and make your own decision.

-- hide signature --

Reid Shay
www.sawatchpub.com

-- hide signature --

Thomas

 tgutgu's gear list:tgutgu's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus E-M1 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH Panasonic Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm F2.8 ASPH OIS +17 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads