Raw and Raw Conversion

Supplied software

The EOS 7D is provided with the 'Canon EOS Solutions Disk v21.0' which includes:

  • Canon ZoomBrowser EX 6.4 - 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 2.7 - 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 3.7 - Advanced image workflow and editing, specialized in RAW conversion with a range of adjustment and output options. *
  • Picture Style Editor 1.6 - Create custom Picture Styles. *

* Universal Binaries (Intel / PowerPC) for Mac OS X.

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.

Digital Photo Professional has a comprehensive feature set. RAW conversion (in this image you can see the Edit window) certainly offers enough to satisfy even the most advanced user. In fact you can easily end up spending way too long trying the different sliders.... One of the main advantages of working with RAW files: DPP offers much more control over noise-reduction than the in-camera settings.
Tone curves can be adjusted for each color channel separately. The lens aberration window offers correction of light fall-off, chromatic aberration, distortion and color blur.

RAW conversion

As is normal 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 7D we used the supplied Digital Photo Professional, Adobe Camera RAW 5.6 Beta and a Release Candidate 2 version of the new Capture One Pro 5.0.

  • JPEG - Large/Fine, Default settings
  • DPP - Digital Photo Professional 3.7
  • Cap One - Capture One Pro 5.0 RC2
  • ACR - Adobe Camera RAW 5.6 beta

Please note that our version of Adobe ACR (5.6 Beta) had according to Adobe not been fully optimized for the EOS 7D yet. Once a full version becomes available we will reprocess these samples and replace them where necessary. Thanks to Eric at Adobe for making this 'pre-beta' version of ACR available in time for this review.

Color reproduction

Place your mouse over the label below the image to see the color from a GretagMacbeth ColorChecker chart produced using each RAW converter. As we would expect there is hardly any difference between JPEG from the camera and Digital Photo Professional. Adobe Camera RAW and Capture One's default settings take slightly different approaches to color response and tone curve.

Canon EOS 7D Compare to:  
FaithfulMonoAdobe RGB

Sharpness and Detail

The sharpest image was produced by Capture One although the end result looks almost slightly over processed. DPP and Adobe ACR deliver a better balance between image detail and sharpening. All RAW samples show a tad more detail in the feathers than the out-of-camera JPEG.

Digital Photo Professional -> TIFF (Default settings, manual WB)
ISO 100 studio scene 100% crops
Capture One Pro ->JPEG (Default settings, manual WB)
ISO 100 studio scene 100% crops
Adobe ACR 5.6 (Beta) RAW ->JPEG (Default settings, manual WB)
ISO 100 studio scene 100% crops
JPEG out of camera, High quality setting (all settings default)
ISO 100 studio scene 100% crop


These crops demonstrate that more detail is available from the RAW converters than can be obtained from JPEG. That said, a lot of this detail could be described as 'false' (produced beyond Nyquist), although frankly the majority of the time this is useful as it improves the appearance of 'texture'. The ACR output looks a little softer than DPP. Again, Capture One is close to being over sharpened.

JPEG from camera Digital Photo Professional (RAW)
Adobe Camera RAW 5.6 Beta (RAW) Capture One Pro 5.0 RC2 (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 JPG image. The difference is not enormous though and you'll have to zoom in quite a bit in order to spot it.

JPEG from Camera
(default sharpening)
ACR conversion
(Sharpening 40, radius 0.5, detail 60)

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.