Canon EF-S 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6 IS review
Aberration correction using RAW and Digital Photo Pro 3.2
With the release of version 3.2 of their Digital Photo Pro RAW processing program, Canon quietly snuck in one hugely interesting feature, an automated lens aberration correction module. This is pretty well unique amongst the camera manufacturers' free software, in that it can correct for four specific aberrations - namely peripheral illumination (i.e. light fall-off), distortion, chromatic aberration, and colour blur. Essentially the program reads the RAW file's EXIF data to establish the camera/lens combination, then uses the focal length and distance data, presumably in combination with a look-up table of pre-determined corrections, to apply the relevant adjustments. One problem with this approach is that not all cameras and lenses are yet supported in version 3.2, however our test combination of the 18-55mm IS on the EOS 40D is one of those favoured few that made it onto the initial list, so we thought we'd investigate just how well it worked.
Chromatic aberration correction
Below are crops of checkerboard patterns taken from the extreme corner of our lens test chart shot at 18mm and F5.6, where the lens shows strong blue/yellow fringing due to chromatic aberration. The first was processed normally, and the second with chromatic aberration correction applied (with the blue slider set to maximum). DPP has done a very good job of reducing the effects of chromatic aberration, although it can't perhaps quite eliminate them altogether.
200% crops compared
(Photoshop 'nearest neighbour' upsizing)
|Normally processed||Chromatic aberration correction|
Colour blur correction
Here we’re looking at Digital Photo Pro’s ability to correct for blue colour blur, one of this lens’s signature aberrations. Below are crops of checkerboard patterns taken from the centre of our lens test chart shot at 18mm and F3.5, where blue colour blur is most obvious. The first was processed normally, and the second with colour blur correction applied. Again DPP has done a pretty good job, and managed to turn the blue areas of the squares to something closer to black.
200% crops compared
(Photoshop 'nearest neighbour' upsizing)
|Normally processed||Colour blur correction|
Distortion and falloff correction
To round things off, here's a demonstration of Digital Photo Pro's falloff (peripheral illumination) and distortion correction capabilities, using a shot taken at 18mm, F3.5 and about 1.5m subject distance; conditions under which falloff and distortion will be almost as bad as they get. The first image file is processed normally, the next has falloff correction, and the third adds distortion correction. The results speak for themselves - DPP has done a pretty good job at correcting for light falloff, and the distortion correction has unbent the lines in the image near-perfectly.
EOS 40D, 18mm F3.5
|Original||Peripheral Illumination||PI + Distortion|
Taken together, these results show that Digital Photo Pro is really rather good at correcting the effects of chromatic aberration, colour blur, falloff and distortion in a pretty straightforward fashion, and therefore has the potential to improve noticeably the results obtainable from inexpensive and therefore less-well corrected lenses. By the nature of the process, you'll only benefit if your camera and lenses are on the list of those which are supported, but we fully expect that Canon has teams of boffins in a laboratory somewhere painstakingly working their way through every combination imaginable. And you'll still have to shoot RAW, but we expect it's only a matter of time before these kinds of corrections get written into cameras' internal JPEG processing routines.
Of course one thing no RAW converter can make up for is any inherent unsharpness of the lens, so don't expect to get quite top-end performance from a budget lens via software assistance.
|Fascia walkie talkie building London by ian herridge|
from Abstract Architecture
|Global Reach by cjf2|
Joey L, Dani Diamond, Brandon Woelfel and Jessica Kobeissi go head-to-head in an episode of "4 photographers shoot the same model."
The latest flagship phone from Asus combines a 12MP 1/2.55" Sony IMX362 main sensor with a smaller Sony IMX351 chip for 2x zoom and a background-blurring portrait mode.
The company behind popular photo editor Picktorial 3 just released the X-Pack: a preset package that allows you to add Fuji's in-camera film simulation profiles to your RAF files in post.
Photoshop. GoPro. Every once in a while a product emerges that defines a category. And sometimes, it vanishes just as quickly as it arrived on the scene. This week's Throwback Thursday remembers the Flip, the pocket camcorder everyone had – until they didn't.
The Nokia 8's dual-cam combines the image data from a 13MP RGB sensor and a 13 monochrome chip for better detail, improved dynamic range and lower noise levels.
The company behind retail giant B&H Photo has agreed to pay out $3.2 million in monetary relief and back wages to settle a discrimination and harassment case from 2016.
After a popular Facebook teaser and some studio portrait samples, Godox has finally officially released the Godox A1 smartphone flash and flash trigger. Cheap, versatile and innovative, color us intrigued.
Canon’s EOS 5D Mk IV has won the European Imaging and Sound Association’s Professional DSLR of the Year award, making this the third year in a row that the brand has beaten Nikon to the top spot in the professional camera category.
A photograph and quote tweeted out by former president Barack Obama has officially become the most popular tweet of all time, receiving over 1.3 million retweets and 3.4 million likes.
Edward Weston was one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century, and in this episode of Advancing Your Photography we learn the extreme technique he used to capture one of his most famous still life photos.
Instagram just released a small update that will make a huge difference if you're active on the photo sharing app: threaded comment replies.
Venus Optics has announced the price and delivery date of the second lens to join its Zero-D line up: the 15mm F2 for Sony’s E mount. A lens they've dubbed, "the world's fastest 15mm rectilinear lens for full-frame."
Cinnac is a new social network for photographers that will help you separate your good photos from your great ones through a Tinder-like community-based rating system.
The Canon EF 35mm F2 IS USM is an understated jewel of a lens, and one that we've enjoyed on a variety of cameras since its release almost five years ago. Its relatively small size and image stabilization make it a versatile tool for a variety of photography - check out our sample gallery.
You don't need a fancy studio or tons of gear to capture the kind of classic product photography you see in magazines. In this video, Dustin Dolby shows you how to do it with just a couple of speedlights and some know-how.
The life-logging camera is trying to make a comeback. Say hello to FrontRow, a live-streaming enabled life-logging camera from Ubiquiti that hangs on a necklace like a pendant.
When a prospective client approaches you, don't just say "yes" right away. Here's a useful list of questions you should be asking before you decide to take the job and name your price.
Samsung just revealed a blazing-fast new Solid State Drive capable of data transfer speeds of up to 540MB/s.
DJI has developed a 'Local Data Mode' that lets pilots fly without being connected to the Internet. The mode should calm recent fears over data privacy and security when flying DJI drones.
After 1.7 million downloads on Apple computers since the launch in November 2015, Aurora HDR will be available for Windows PCs for the first time with the 2018 release.
The company behind the new Meyer Optik Goerlitz lens manufacturing business has formed a new brand to bring back the Biotar 75mm F1.5 that was made by Carl Zeiss Jena in the 1940s and 50s.
The updated Qualcomm Spectra system is a dual-camera setup that is capable of sensing depth and motion in real time.
A sizable swath of the United States will be treated to a total eclipse of the heart – er, sun – in just under a week. Here are a few excellent guides to help you photograph this rare occasion.
f11 Magazine—an ad-supported, free magazine for 'photographers and aficionados' that focused on photos rather than gear—is suspending publication due to financial troubles.
The Minolta MC Rokkor-X 40-80mm F2.8 is unlike any zoom lens you've probably ever seen. Instead of a helicoid, it uses a gearbox, and because of this it's still one of the sharpest zoom lenses out there.
If you're looking to switch to Sony, the company's new limited-time "α trade up" promotion can snag you up to $500 + trade-in value towards a brand new a9, a7 II, a7R II, or a7S II when you hand over your DSLR or mirrorless camera.
The Google Camera app exclusive to the company's own Pixel phone has been unofficially ported to other Android devices. If you're willing to take the risk of installing, you can now use features like HDR+ on the Galaxy S8, LG G6, OnePlus 5, and more.
49-year-old David Hilos is known by the Singapore photography community as the 'camera whisperer.' When a service center says a camera is beyond repair, Hilos can usually coax it back to life.
Photographer Ryan Kelly captured one of the most viral and graphic images of the horrifying events in Charlottesville, VA this weekend. This is the harrowing story behind that photograph.
Data storage manufacturer Synology has added a new, lower-cost NAS to its DiskStation j line that has a maximum capacity of 40TB, and which is aimed at home users and photography enthusiasts.