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Raw and Raw Conversion

Supplied software

The EOS 1100D is provided with the 'Canon EOS Solutions Disk' which includes:

  • Canon ZoomBrowser EX 6.7 - Easy to use image browsing and organization with a unique interface. Includes rudimentary image editing, printing and e-mail. This latest version of the software also provides some very basic video editing. - Windows only.
      
  • Canon EOS Utility 2.10.0 - Automatic or Manual transfer of images via WIA, also allows for the adjustment of camera settings and remote 'tethered' shooting.  
     
  • Canon PhotoStitch 3.1 - Panorama stitching utility.
     
  • Canon Digital Photo Professional 3.10.0.0 - Advanced image workflow and editing, specialized in RAW conversion with a range of adjustment and output options.
     
  • Picture Style Editor 1.9.0 - Create custom Picture Styles.

Digital Photo Professional is an image workflow and RAW conversion application that provides for the browsing and management of images in a folder structure as well as tagging, rotation etc. In addition it also provides an extensive range of RAW conversion features which include digital exposure compensation, white balance, tone curve, color, picture style, sharpness and lens correction parameters.

A number of different tools can be accessed from the tools menu. The Quick Check tool allows you to browse through a selection of images and assign check marks to them. The Trimming tool can be used to apply a crop to an image (the image itself is not modified, this is simply saved in the recipe).

The Stamp tool works in a similar way to the clone stamp or healing brush in Photoshop (although it is primary designed for the removal of light or dark blotches).The Rename tool can be used to change the filename of a selection of images based on a rule set. Finally you can convert multiple RAW files at a time using the batch conversion tool.

Digital Photo Professional has a comprehensive feature set. RAW conversion (in this image you can see the Edit window) certainly offers enough to satisfy even the most advanced user. In fact you can easily end up spending way too long trying the different sliders.... One of the main advantages of working with RAW files: DPP offers much more control over noise-reduction than the in-camera settings.
Tone curves can be adjusted for each color channel separately. The lens aberration window offers correction of light fall-off, chromatic aberration, distortion and color blur.

RAW conversion

As usual in our digital SLR reviews we 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 1100D, we used the supplied Digital Photo Professional and a release candidate of the forthcoming Adobe Camera RAW 6.4 plugin for Photoshop.

  • JPEG - Large/Fine, Default settings
  • DPP - Digital Photo Professional 3.10.0 (default settings)
  • ACR - Adobe Camera RAW 6.4 release candidate(default settings)

Sharpness and Detail

As usually with Canon cameras the 1100D's JPEG engine does a fairly good job but shooting in RAW and processing either Adobe ACR or Canon's own DPP will get you a small amount of additional fine detail (most visible in the fine patterns of the bills). That said, the difference is marginal and only visible at 100% magnification. It's a little more obvious in the ACR conversion, DPP is in terms of tonality and color unsurprisingly very close to the out-of-camera JPEG.

JPEG (Default settings, manual WB)
ISO 100 studio scene 100% crops
Adobe Camera Raw 6.4 (rc) RAW ->JPEG (Default settings, manual WB)
ISO 100 studio scene 100% crops
Canon Digital Photo Professional, (all settings default)
ISO 100 studio scene 100% crop

Resolution

The resolution charts confirm what we've seen above. Adobe ACR and Digital Photo Professional are applying more sophisticated sharpening to the image and as consequence are pulling a little more detail out. All three images show a degree of moire.

JPEG from camera Digital Photo Professional (RAW)
 
Adobe Camera RAW 6.3 rc (RAW)  

Real world advantages

What we've seen above on the test charts can of course be replicated in real-life shots. We've applied some careful sharpening in the RAW conversion and as a result get a small but visible amount of additional detail in the image. You can avoid over-sharpening artifacts by using 'detail' sharpening in Adobe ACR rather than the main sharpening slider.

JPEG from Camera (default sharpening) ACR (Amount 25, Radius 1.0, Detail 55, Masking 0)
100% crop 100% crop

RAW files for download

Here we provide RAW files, both from the review and the sample shots we take, to allow you to apply your own workflow techniques and see whether your experiences match ours.

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