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Software (contd.) - RAW conversion

As is normal in our digital SLR reviews I like to compare the supplied RAW conversion software, any optional manufacturer RAW conversion software and Adobe's Camera RAW plug-in which is now standard with Adobe Photoshop CS. The current version of Adobe Camera RAW has preliminary support for the 7D. Below you will find crops from four images of the same scene, the first image is a straight-from-the-camera JPEG, the next three are conversions of a single RAW file. The crops show are from TIFF files saved by each RAW converter (JPEG high quality copies are linked to these crops for your own analysis).

  • JPEG - Fine, Default settings
  • DiMAGE Viewer 2.3.7 - Default settings
  • DiMAGE Master 1.0.0 - Default settings
  • Adobe Camera RAW - Sharpness: 25 (default), Color Noise Reduction: 25 (default)

Sharpness and Detail

The best overall sharpness and 'attention to detail' (most noticeable in the watch surface) go to in-camera JPEG and Adobe Camera RAW. The DiMAGE Viewer image appears to be softer than the rest (although on the 'Normal' sharpening setting), the DiMAGE Master image is fairly sharp although misses some detail on the watch surface and suffers from artifacting around darker image elements.

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Color comparison

Compared to the color of the original crayons (on our calibrated screen) the closest to the original color was in fact the in-camera JPEG, followed by DiMAGE Viewer (over-saturated reds, good yellow), DiMAGE Master (incorrect blue, better reds) and Adobe Camera RAW (under-saturated reds, better blue than the JPEG).

JPEG DiMAGE Viewer DiMAGE Master Adobe RAW

Image processing artifacts

After converting the RAW in DiMAGE Viewer and DiMAGE Master we noted some artifacts in each (although different). The DiMAGE Viewer image has some demosaic color artifacts which can be seen in the arc on the watch face as orange and cyan dots and breaks. The DiMAGE Master image has some very strange artifacts around detail, it's difficult to tell if these are a result of demosaic or sharpening but they're quite noticeable and distracting. Adobe Camera RAW suffered no artifacting and neither did the in-camera JPEG.

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