Highlight Recovery: Striking Difference between Lightroom and Silkypix

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Mark van Dam Regular Member • Posts: 311
Highlight Recovery: Striking Difference between Lightroom and Silkypix
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First of all a huge thanks to dpreview for generating all of the camera reviews they have. I find this website to be an essential resource whenever I am researching a camera. Thank you everyone!

Since switching to Canon (from Nikon), I have noticed that Lightroom, the default raw converter used for making comparisons of image quality in these reviews, has far less ability to recover highlights from Canon cameras than Silkypix Pro 9. When I shot Nikon, I didn't find this to be the case. In fact, sometimes Lightroom could pull out more than Silkypix could.

When dpreview posted sample shots from the new Canon M6 II, I thought I would see what the difference in highlight recovery between the 2 programs would be.  The difference is striking and dramatic.

The following comparison image is taken from the dpreview Canon M6 II sample gallery.  In this collage image, the left image is the Silkypix Pro 9 conversion (from a DNG file as native raw support is not yet available), the middle image is from the CR3 file in Lightroom, and the right is from the DNG in Lightroom.  In all cases I reduced exposure and recovered highlights to the point where no further highlight detail could be recovered.  Note the Silkypix image shows strong blue colour in the sky and great detail in the clouds in all but the very brightest spots.  The CR3 file in LR shows no colour and nearly no detail in the sky/clouds.  Interestingly, the DNG file in LR shows a small amount of colour in a small bit of the sky, and again, nearly no detail in the clouds.

silkypix pro 9 from DNG (left, CR3 in Lightroom (middle), DNG in Lightroom (right)

I am aware that not a lot of people seem to love tto hate Silkypix, but I believe it to be excellent raw converter in every way (except automatic lens corrections) and a class leader when it comes to lab quality portrait colour.
--Mark van Dam

Canon EOS M6
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