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 2)
  • RIT - RAW Image Task 2.2 (via ZoomBrowser) (Neutral PS, Sharpness 2)
  • DPP - Canon Digital Photo Professional 2.0 ('Neutral', Sharpness 2) [link]
  • RawShooter - Pixmantec RawShooter premium 2006 ver 1 (official support) [link]
  • Adobe RAW - Adobe Camera RAW 3.3 beta (preliminary supported) [link]
  • Bibble Pro - Bibble Pro 4.4 (official 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 '2' 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 response

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.

JPEG Standard PS JPEG Neutral PS RawShooter
RIT Standard PS RIT Neutral PS Adobe Camera RAW
DPP Standard PS DPP Neutral PS Bibble Pro

Sharpness and Detail

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

  • JPEG - Neutral PS, Sharpness 2
  • RIT - Neutral PS, Sharpness 2
  • DPP - Neutral PS, Sharpness 2
  • RawShooter - 'Custom' appearance (default), Sharpness 0 (default)
  • Adobe RAW - Sharpness 25 (default), Color Noise Reduction 25 (default)
  • Bibble Pro - Camera tone, Sharpening 100 (default)

To be totally honest here isn't a whole lot of difference between any of these crops, all the RAW converters managed to 'reveal' the brushed effect of the watch face and detail. However one converter did have the edge (perhaps because of higher default sharpening), that is RawShooter which had a very crisp and detailed appearance, a close second comes Adobe Camera RAW and Digital Photo Professional. I was a little disappointed with the color artifacts on the edges of highlights in the ACR image (quite unusual for ACR but may be down to the preliminary nature of this Beta copy). The cleanest image with the least artifacts goes to Digital Photo Professional.

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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). As we mentioned before the results from RAW Image Task and the camera JPEG were identical. 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 RawShooter, DPP, ACR and Bibble however each tried to deliver some kind of detail. With RawShooter, ACR and Bibble the most successful, DPP exhibiting dotted moire artifacts. The cleanest image was from RawShooter followed by ACR and DPP.

JPEG from camera (Standard PS) RAW Image Task (Standard PS)
Canon DPP 2.0 (Standard PS) RawShooter premium 2006 (default)
Adobe Camera RAW 3.3 (default) Bibble Pro 4.4 (default)