RAW Converter Comparison / Challenge

Started 11 months ago | Discussions thread
fireplace33 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,026
Re: RAW Converter Comparison / Challenge

Tim van der Leeuw wrote:

Erik Baumgartner wrote:

fireplace33 wrote:

Tim van der Leeuw wrote:

fireplace33 wrote:

Tim van der Leeuw wrote:


Interesting observations!

I could not get acceptable results out of ACDSee, nor out of RawTherapee (although I had previously tried them with different images and they performed OK on those easier images).

So I wouldn't say that they all can be made to appear almost identical!

Here's my result from ACDSee Ultimate 2021 from your RAW image.

It seems to be OK to me?

That's interesting -- your results are indeed much better than mine. I assume that you did not change any of the defaults?

I wonder if they made any improvements in the 7 months between now and my test. I'll see if I can find some time to check this out!

Thanks for re-running this test.

You're welcome. I've been using ACDSee for many years and I'm quite pleased with the results, including noise reduction and sharpening. Like any program you need to get a feel for how it works best.

Why on earth would I not change any defaults. The program is there to get the best result from the RAW image by adjusting the sliders. If anyone wants a quick route to get a finished photo then they can just use an already finished jpg straight from the camera?

Agreed, comparing RAW converters at default settings is pointless. Some people expect a finished jpeg-like result at import but that’s just not what RAW editing is about. The best result you can get from each editor is what should be compared. Default import settings can typically be customized to apply whatever initial processing that you prefer to start with, so the comparing editors at the original default settings really has very little to do with what each editor is ultimately capable of, only where the different software designers thought a good starting point would be. Capture One is typically more contrasty at import than Lightroom, for example, but either can be set to look much like the other at import if that’s your preference.

I assumed that not too many defaults were changed because,

1. I had no idea about your degree of experience with ACDSee

2. I would expect a RAW converter to reproduce a result of similar quality as out-of-camera without having to tweak sliders.

You start tweaking sliders to get a result _better_ than what you can get out of camera, or to achieve a degree of creative vision that you can't get directly out of camera.

Since I was not able to achieve results out of ACDSee that were acceptable to me, or at least on comparable level as the straight out of camera results, I'm curious, what settings did you use to develop this image, Fireplace33?

Hi Tim

maybe the easiest way to show the settings is for me to post a dropbox link to your original RAF file including ACDSee's .xmp file that has all the settings I used.


If you copy those 2 files and the extra folder called [Developed] to your drive and open the RAF file with ACDSee ultimate 2021 then it should hopefully work fine.

I have never processed a RAF file before, I've noticed all RAWs are different and you need to use different settings for each type,... and anyway each photo is done separately according to needs.

The original image was quite blown out, so the first step is to recover some of those highlights, then applied the specific lens correction and adjusted the chromatic aberration. Then tweaked the LIGHT-EQ settings and saturation somewhat. Also added some sharpening but no noise reduction.

If you want to see some more of my images, all here have been processed with ACDSee

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