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Raw and Raw Conversion

Supplied software

The EOS-1D Mark IV is provided with the 'Canon EOS Solutions Disk v21.0' which includes:

  • Canon ZoomBrowser EX 6.4.1 - 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 2.7 - 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 3.7.3 - Advanced image workflow and editing, specialized in RAW conversion with a range of adjustment and output options. *
     
  • Picture Style Editor 1.6.1 - Create custom Picture Styles. *

* Universal Binaries (Intel / PowerPC) for Mac OS X.

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 is normal 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-1D Mark IV we used the supplied Digital Photo Professional and Adobe Camera RAW 5.6.

  • JPEG - Large/Fine, Default settings
  • DPP - Digital Photo Professional 3.7.3
  • ACR - Adobe Camera RAW 5.6

Color reproduction

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 hardly any difference between JPEG from the camera and Digital Photo Professional.

Canon EOS-1D Mark IV Compare to:  
      
      
      
      
StandardPortraitLandscapeNeutral
FaithfulMonochromeAdobeRGB

Sharpness and Detail

The supplied software, DPP, provides the best 'out of box' detail (visibly better than the JPEG) using the default settings, with Adobe ACR noticeably softer. However the difference between ACR and DPP is mostly down to sharpening (ACR by default uses very light sharpening). The bottom example below shows this (it's way over-sharpened in ACR, but it illustrates the point).

Digital Photo Professional -> TIFF (Default settings, manual WB)
ISO 100 studio scene 100% crops
JPEG out of camera, High quality setting (all settings default)
ISO 100 studio scene 100% crop
Adobe ACR 5.6 RAW ->JPEG (Camera Standard Profile, manual WB)
ISO 100 studio scene 100% crops
Adobe ACR 5.6 RAW ->JPEG (Default settings, manual WB)
ISO 100 studio scene 100% crops
Adobe ACR 5.6 RAW ->JPEG (Maximum sharpening - radius 0.5, amount 140, manual WB)
ISO 100 studio scene 100% crops

Resolution

These crops demonstrate that little more detail is available as a result of processing the raw files. The slightly over-sharpened JPEGs contain most of the resolution you're ever going to get out of the camera. DPP gets a fraction more resolution out but it's mainly just showing moiré.

JPEG from camera Digital Photo Professional (RAW)
 
Adobe Camera RAW 5.6 (RAW)  

Real word advantages

As we've seen, there's little scope for getting more detail out of the files than what already appears in the JPEGs. Only by applying quite extreme sharpening will you get any additional detail out. This is a huge advantage in situations where you need the speed, both of shooting and transmitting, the considerably smaller JPEG format.

JPEG from Camera
(default sharpening)
ACR conversion
(Sharpening 80, radius 0.8, detail 60)

RAW files for download

Here we provide zipped RAW and sRaw 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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