The EOS 400D is provided with the 'Canon EOS Solutions Disk 13' which includes:
Canon ZoomBrowser EX 5.7 - Easy to use image browsing and organization with a unique interface. Includes rudimentary image editting, printing and e-mail. Allows RAW conversion via the RAW Image Task plug-in (version 2.4 provided). - Windows only.
Image Browser 5.7 - Mac only. *
Canon EOS Utility 1.1 - Automatic or Manual transfer of images via WIA (slow), also allows for the adjustment of camera settings and remote 'tethered' shooting. *
Canon Digital Photo Professional 2.2 - Advanced image workflow and editing, specialized in RAW conversion with a range of adjustment and output options. *
* Now Universal Binaries (Intel / PowerPC) for Mac.
As is normal in our digital SLR reviews I like to compare the supplied RAW conversion software, any optional manufacturer RAW conversion software and some third party RAW converter. In the case of the EOS 400D we had the supplied RAW Image Task and Digital Photo Professional as well as Adobe Camera RAW 3.6 beta.
JPEG - Large/Fine, Default settings
RIT - RAW Image Task 2.4
DPP - Digital Photo Professional 2.2
ACR - Adobe Camera RAW 3.6 beta
Place your mouse over the label below the image to see the color from a GretagMacbeth ColorChecker chart produced using each RAW converter. As we would expect there is no difference between JPEG from the camera and RAW Image Task (which is essentially a 'camera DPS emulator'), there is a slight difference using Digital Photo Professional although it's pretty subtle. As we've come to expect Adobe Camera RAW takes a slightly more conservative approach to color response and has a less contrasty tone curve.
Canon EOS 400D
Sharpness and Detail
Again RAW Image Task produced the exact same output as the camera JPEG, the sharpest most detailed image was from Digital Photo Professional closely followed by Adobe Camera RAW.
These crops clearly demonstrate that more detail is available from Digital Photo Professional and Adobe Camera RAW conversion of RAW files than can be obtained from JPEG or RAW Image Task. That said a lot of this detail could be described as 'false' (produced beyond Nyquist), although frankly the majority of the time this is useful as it improves the apperance of 'texture'.