Canon Rebel T3i / EOS 600D Review
Raw and Raw Conversion
The EOS Rebel T3i / 600D is provided with the 'Canon EOS Solutions Disk' which includes:
- Canon ZoomBrowser EX 6.7 - Easy to use image browsing and organization with a unique interface. Includes rudimentary image editing, printing and e-mail. This latest version of the software also provides some very basic video editing. - Windows only.
- Canon EOS Utility 2.10.0 - Automatic or Manual transfer of images via WIA, also allows for the adjustment of camera settings and remote 'tethered' shooting.
- Canon PhotoStitch 3.1 - Panorama stitching utility.
- Canon Digital Photo Professional 188.8.131.52 - Advanced image workflow and editing, specialized in RAW conversion with a range of adjustment and output options.
- Picture Style Editor 1.9.0 - Create custom Picture Styles.
Digital Photo Professional is an image workflow and RAW conversion application that provides for the browsing and management of images in a folder structure as well as tagging, rotation etc. In addition it also provides an extensive range of RAW conversion features which include digital exposure compensation, white balance, tone curve, color, picture style, sharpness and lens correction parameters.
A number of different tools can be accessed from the tools menu. The Quick Check tool allows you to browse through a selection of images and assign check marks to them. The Trimming tool can be used to apply a crop to an image (the image itself is not modified, this is simply saved in the recipe).
The Stamp tool works in a similar way to the clone stamp or healing brush in Photoshop (although it is primary designed for the removal of light or dark blotches).The Rename tool can be used to change the filename of a selection of images based on a rule set. Finally you can convert multiple RAW files at a time using the batch conversion tool.
As usual in our digital SLR reviews we like to compare the supplied RAW conversion software, any optional manufacturer RAW conversion software and some third party RAW converter. In the case of the EOS 600D we used the supplied Digital Photo Professional and a release candidate of the forthcoming Adobe Camera RAW 6.4 plugin for Photoshop.
- JPEG - Large/Fine, Default settings
- DPP - Digital Photo Professional 3.10.0 (default settings)
- ACR - Adobe Camera RAW 6.4 release candidate (default settings)
- DXO - DxO Optics Pro 6.5.6 (default settings)
Sharpness and Detail
As we usually see with Canon cameras (and this is the fourth time that we have encountered this sensor), the JPEG engine does a pretty good job but there's more fine detail to be realized by switching to RAW and processing after the event. There's not a big difference between the JPEGs and the results of the supplied Digital Photography Professional software. However Adobe Camera Raw (which is compatible with Photoshop CS5, Photoshop Elements 9 and is identical to the processing in Lightroom 3.3), pulls out a fraction more detail in the really fine feathers.
|JPEG (Default settings, manual WB)
ISO 100 studio scene 100% crops
|Adobe Camera Raw 6.4 (rc) RAW ->JPEG (Default settings, manual WB)
ISO 100 studio scene 100% crops
|Canon Digital Photo Professional, (all settings default)
ISO 100 studio scene 100% crop
|DxO Optics Pro 6.5.6, (all settings default)
ISO 100 studio scene 100% crop
The resolution charts tell a similar story to the test scene crops above - all stop showing further detail at similar resolutions but Adobe Camera Raw and Digital Photo Professional are applying more sophisticated sharpening to the detail they are pulling out. As a result the very fine detail around and above 2550 lph (about the limit of genuine detail) is much clearer in the crops taken from raw conversions.
|JPEG from camera||Digital Photo Professional (RAW)|
|Adobe Camera RAW 6.4 (RAW)||DxO Optics Pro 6.5.6 (RAW)|
Real word advantages
What we've seen above on the test charts of course also works on real life shots. Some careful sharpening in the RAW conversion will generate visibly more detail than can be seen in the JPEG image. Here we've only slightly adjusted the default sharpening of Adobe Camera Raw and it's been enough to pull much more lifelike detail out of the scene. We've also been able to remove the rather unpleasant chromatic aberrations that the Canon 18-135mm is rather prone to at short focal lengths.
|JPEG from Camera (default sharpening)|
|ACR (Amount 38, Radius 0.8, Detail 3, Masking 25 - CA corrected)|
RAW files for download
Here we provide RAW files, both from the review and the sample shots we take, to allow you to apply your own workflow techniques and see whether your experiences match ours.
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