El Capitan - 4 Processors - Highlight/Shadow Comparison

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landscaper1 Senior Member • Posts: 2,839
El Capitan - 4 Processors - Highlight/Shadow Comparison

In a previous thread it was suggested that I compare how four different processor programs (Adobe Camera RAW [ACR]), Skylum Luminar, DxO Photolab 2, and Canon Digital Photo Professional (DPP) ver. 9.4.2 compared in their handling of Highlight and Shadow controls.  That is the sole intent of this post - to offer a comparison of those controls.  I do not suggest the scene in the image is, in itself, is at all noteworthy.

The image I selected for this comparison is of the SW face of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park.  The original RAW file (CR2) was made at 9:22am, local time.  This image file was chosen because it does have a very wide range of tonal values.

In the case of each processor program, White Balance was set at 5500 or as close as the processor would allow, the Highlight control was moved to its absolute minimum, and the Shadow control was moved to the absolute maximum.  No other controls or adjustments, including sharpening or chromatic aberration correction, were applied.

The original CR2 file - no adjustments

Adobe Camera RAW

The tones of the granite are quite good, but the sky and the foreground are still too dark.

Skylum Luminar

Luminar does a surprisingly good job despite its total lack of sliders for customized image results.

DxO Photolab 2

Photolab 2's weird colors speak for itself.

Canon Digital Photo Professional v9.4.2

DPP appears to have made virtually no improvement from the original CR2 file.

I should point out that I purchased Luminar and Photolab 2 because I wanted to see if there was a viable alternative to Adobe's migration to annual subscription fees for its programs.  I like Photoshop and would like to continue using it, but I don't trust Adobe to keep it fee schedule as reasonable in the future as it is now.  However, after viewing these results I may have to just swallow my distrust and subscribe to Adobe.  While Luminar is impressive, I'm just not willing to give up the almost infinite variety of customizable controls in Photoshop for Luminar's selection of pre-programmed adjustments.

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