Learning to use RAW files

Started 6 months ago | Questions thread
Guy Parsons
Guy Parsons Forum Pro • Posts: 39,681
Re: Learning to use RAW files

Texas hobbyist wrote:

Thanks Nigel. All my Topaz and the plug ins are current with all updates. I know zero about how to manipulate raw files so I’m starting from scratch with whatever program i use. I was able to download capture one free version but haven’t done much with it yet. I may try the DXO trial and just see which one I best understand.

Comparing C1 Express and DxO, in my case I found C1 Express hard to get into and use, more difficult to use than DxO - but it all depends of course on what you get used to. Its conversions are high quality. Great for a freebie.

For the last two years DxO has discounted all its software 50% at Black Friday time, so if you can wait until November than it should be again less painful on the credit card.

DxO Photolab Elite version is the one to look at because of DeepPRIME that is useful for higher ISO shots, slow processing on my older notebooks but if a modern capable graphics processor is available it speeds up DeepPRIME a lot. Only used on a few shots so the wait is no problem for me. It can be processing something in the background while I get on with fiddling with the next image.

On accessing a folder, DxO will pause and download profiles for any new combinations of cameras and or lenses it finds. The profiles are lab created and definitely get slightly better quality out of the lenses compared to the camera jpegs. Plus the colours are generally more accurate.

Photolab provides a variety of canned profiles to explore, such as things like HDR Realistic or HDR Artistic plus a lot of other variations and also B&W conversions. They can be clicked on and used as-is or go do further adjusts to make it the way you like.

Start learning at https://www.dxo.com/dxo-photolab/learn/

Another thought about a toolbox type raw converter is Affinity Photo, again, not as easy as DxO to use but offers more features like stitching and stacking that DxO has yet to add. It's raw conversion is OK but not up to DxO quality. I use Affinity for the toolbox nature of it, so is a handy tool to have. Often discounted up to 50% on its already cheap price. Nice sensible tutorials at https://affinity.serif.com/en-us/tutorials/photo/desktop/

Back to DxO.... The recommended necessary added cost for DxO Photolab is ideally also buying DxO Viewpoint to get perspective correction made easy, plus it also provides correction for those very wide angle shots where people at the edges put on a lot of weight, they can be made to look normal.

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