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RAW converters compared

In the comparisons below the JPEG and RAW images were taken within seconds of each other. The labels beside each sample equate to:

  • JPEG - JPEG straight from the camera (Large / Fine, Neutral PS, Sharpness 3)
  • RIT - RAW Image Task 2.3 (via ZoomBrowser) (Neutral PS, Sharpness 3)
  • DPP - Canon Digital Photo Professional 2.1.1 ('Neutral', Sharpness 3, NR off, HQ) [link]
  • Adobe RAW - Adobe Camera RAW 3.4 beta (preliminary support) [link]

Getting something we can compare, thanks to Picture Styles

To get something vaguely similar for comparison purposes we set both RAW Image Task and Digital Photo Professional to the 'Neutral' Picture Style with a sharpness setting of '3' which is about as close as we could get to our idea of a default image (as sharpness zero is no sharpening). For the resolution comparison we had to use the 'Standard' Picture Style as this is the camera default and was used to shoot the resolution chart in JPEG mode for comparison to other cameras. (Note that the acronym 'PS' on this page is short for Picture Style).

Color reproduction

Place your mouse over the label to see a ColorChecker chart for that output. As noted earlier in this review there's little difference between JPEG from the camera and RAW Image Task as far as color is concerned. The biggest differences are between RIT and DPP, their color rendition of the supposed-to-be standard Canon Picture Styles varies considerably, this does of course point to an inconsistency from DPP (as RIT is per the camera). DPP Neutral is much less saturated than RIT Neutral and DPP Standard is more saturated than RIT Standard. Very confusing.

RIT Standard PS RIT Neutral PS Adobe Camera RAW
DPP Standard PS DPP Neutral PS  

Sharpness and Detail

In the samples below the sharpness setting for each sample was set as follows:

  • JPEG - Neutral PS, Sharpness 3
  • RIT - Neutral PS, Sharpness 3
  • DPP - Neutral PS, Sharpness 3
  • Adobe RAW - Sharpness 25 (default), Color Noise Reduction 25 (default)

First of all it's fairly clear that (as mentioned earlier) Raw Image Task (via Zoombrowser) produces virtually the same image as in-camera JPEG. Next differences, the Digital Photo Professional and Adobe Camera RAW images both demonstrate better sharpness, especially on the edges of detail and without halo artifacts.

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Resolution

The crops below were taken from our new version two resolution chart which can measure resolutions up to 4000 LPH (Lines Per Picture height). The biggest difference among the RAW converters was how they handled 'information' beyond nyquist, beyond the absolute resolution limit of the camera. RIT did the same as the camera and blurred it to 'be on the safe side', in the case of DPP and ACR however each tried to deliver some kind of detail. ACR the most successful, DPP exhibiting dotted moire artifacts.

JPEG from camera (Standard PS) RAW Image Task (Standard PS)
DPP 2.1.1 (Standard PS) Adobe Camera RAW 3.4 (default)
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Comments

RVer
By RVer (6 months ago)

The 30D had a 50 mm lens and the 5D had an 85mm lens and that could account for the difference in reading the globe etc.

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