RAW converters compared
In the comparisons below the JPEG and RAW images were taken at the same time (using RAW+JPEG mode). The labels beside each sample equate to:
- JPEG - Large/Fine, Default settings
- PictureProject - Nikon PictureProject 1.6
- Capture - Nikon Capture 4.4
- RawShooter - Pixmantec RawShooter premium 2006 1.0.2 Build 70 Beta [link]
- Adobe Camera RAW - Adobe Camera RAW 3.3 (Photoshop CS2) [link]
- Bibble Pro - Bibble Pro 4.5d [link]
Place your mouse over the label below the image to see the GretagMacbeth ColorChecker chart converted using each RAW converter. As we had expected there is no difference in color reproduction between PictureProject and Nikon Capture, this probably due to both using the same processing 'engine' for RAW conversion. There is a subtle difference between JPEG and the two Nikon conversions but it's primarily a tonal difference (no hue change).
|RawShooter||Adobe Camera RAW||Bibble Pro 4.5d|
Sharpness and Detail
In the samples below the image parameter setting for each sample was set as follows:
- JPEG - Normal (default)
- PictureProject - Default (same as camera)
- Nikon Capture - Default (same as camera)
- RawShooter - 'Custom' appearance (default), Sharpness 0 (default)
- Adobe Camera RAW - Sharpness 25 (default), Color Noise Reduction 25 (default)
- Bibble Pro - Camera tone, Sharpening 100 (default)
One thing we have already commented on is the low level of sharpening applied in-camera, although interestingly the same sharpening 'level' appears crisper and reveals more detail from a RAW converted using PictureProject or Nikon Capture. This was quite a surprise when we first discovered it and shows that the camera's procssing algorithms are not exactly matched to those of PictureProject or Nikon Capture. The most detailed, sharpest (default) image was from RawShooter closely followed by Adobe Camera RAW and Bibble Pro.
The crops below were taken from our new version two resolution chart which can measure resolutions up to 4000 LPH (Lines Per Picture height).
You should immediately be able to see a difference between in-camera JPEG and PictureProject / Nikon Capture, both of which extend visible detail around 400 LPH further. That said the absolute resolution limit is perhaps only 200 LPH better. All three third party RAW converters deliver good resolution but in the case of RawShooter and Adobe Camera RAW this also exposes some moire artifacts around 2600 LPH.
|JPEG from camera||PictureProject|
|Adobe Camera RAW||Bibble Pro|
RAW converters performance compared
One thing which became apparent when using these different RAW converters was that they performed very differently and made different requirements of the computer hardware. We devised a simple test to allow us to measure and time the conversion of two RAW images through each converter.
- Start RAW converter
- Open two RAW images and fully displayed (timed)
- Note memory usage with images displayed
- Save image one as JPEG (timed)
- Save image two as 8-bit TIFF (timed)
The computer used for this test had the following specifications: AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 4800+ (2.4 Ghz), 2.0 GB RAM, Samsung SpinPoint SP2504C 250 GB SATA-II HDD, Windows XP Service Pack 2. All other applications where shutdown to ensure maximum possible memory and CPU cycles. AMD Cool 'n' Quiet disabled.
|Nikon Capture 4.4||RawShooter
|Adobe Camera RAW 3.3||Bibble Pro
|Open RAW files||8.4 sec||5.0 sec *||11.2 sec||4.8 sec *|
|Memory (private bytes)||547 MB||38 MB||173 MB||496 MB|
|Memory (virtual size)||880 MB||148 MB||312 MB||593 MB|
|Save as JPEG||6.0 sec||10.0 sec||2.0 sec||1.3 sec|
|Save as TIFF||6.0 sec||10.0 sec||1.6 sec||3.6 sec|
* For RawShooter and Bibble Pro this is the sum of open procedures
* Saving an image with noise reduction quadrupled the processing time for Nikon Capture
All of the RAW converters here (in combination with a fast processor) managed to save the converted images in ten seconds or less, the top performers were Adobe Camera RAW and Bibble Pro. Again I'm still pretty disappointed by Nikon Capture's memory usage, grabbing a large chunk of RAM to work on just two images. RawShooter was the best in this respect using considerably less than any of the other converters.
TIME Magazine has named the Sony a7R III one of its top 10 gadgets of 2017. It was the only camera that made the illustrious list this year, receiving high praise from TIME, who dubbed it "one of the best mirrorless cameras ever made."
Thanks to Google Assistant integration, the Pixel 2's AI-powered 'Google Lens' camera feature will soon be easier and quicker to use.
Photographer Jenna Martin and her model friend Rachelle Kathleen set themselves a challenge: could they create beautiful portraits in an 'ugly' location? So they went to a local Lowe's hardware store and gave it a go!
The LG V30 differentiates itself from the competition with an expansive video feature set and a secondary wide angle camera, making it something of a Swiss Army knife for content creators.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. Holding down the top position is none other than the Nikon D850 – by a landslide.
It's been twenty years since Jeff Keller founded the Digital Camera Resource Page, one of the first websites dedicated to digital photography. Jeff, who has been at DPReview for nearly five years, looks back at the rise and fall of consumer digital cameras and his website.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. At #2 we have another staff favorite – the Sony Alpha a9.
Rotolight has released the Anova Pro 2 circular LED for stills and video, boasting a 70% increase in brightness and what the company describes as "unrivaled battery performance."
Designer Vinicius Araújo has imagined what he believes the perfect Adobe software keyboard might look like. From customizable touch pads, to a scroll wheel, to a little display that shows the tool in use, his design is pretty compelling.
Peak Design has teamed up with Leica to release a limited-edition backpack made special for fans of the Red Dot.
A portrait of an android woman has beaten over 5,700 pictures of humans to take third place in this year’s prestigious Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize. The judges were not told the subject was an 'android' until after the winning images were chosen.
Hauling around C-Stands just got a whole lot less annoying thanks to these new Matthews shoulder and roller bags, which can hold two or three C-stand (respectively) plus accessories.
Neal Preston has shot timeless photos of everyone from Led Zeppelin, to Whitney Houston, to Michael Jackson. In this interview, he offers insights into his craft to up-and-comer Elijah Dominique.
Future prosumer Canon DSLRs might feature light-up buttons, if this newly published patent is any indication of the camera company's plans.
Sony's a7R Mark III shoots 42.4MP files at 10fps and incorporates a robust video feature set, large battery, refined ergonomics and more. It certainly looks impressive, but what is it like to use, and how does it stack up against the rest of the market? Find out in our full review.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017 – the Fujifilm X100F takes the bronze and the #3 spot.
There's never been a better time to shop for a new camera, but the number of options available can be overwhelming. In this series of buying guides we've provided customized recommendations for several use cases, from shooting landscapes to buying a first camera for a student photographer.
Shopping for a camera with a set budget? No problem! We've rounded up our favorite cameras, broken them into price brackets and picked the best of the bunch.
Looking for a lightweight compact camera that's easy to bring with you anywhere? Or maybe you're smartphone-shopping and want the one that takes the best picture. And what if you want to shoot from above? In these buyers guides we have recommendations for the best compact cameras, smartphones and drones.
Despite reports to the contrary, analysis of DPReview images by our friend Jim Kasson confirms a disappointing fact: Sony a7R III is still a Star Eater. But there may be some improvements.
As the saying goes: A photo is worth a thousand words. And if you're sending that photo through Facebook Messenger, your thousand words now look twice as nice after today's update to 4K resolution.
Get to know the new Leica CL in short order by giving our 90 second 'First look' video a watch.
Leica has just released the CL, the forth in its series of APS-C L-mount cameras. Despite sharing a name with a camera released in the mid-70s, the new CL is a thoroughly modern ILC, with a 24MP sensor and built-in electronic viewfinder.
The Leica CL is a 24MP rangefinder-style mirrorless camera, which sits alongside the TL2 in the company's APS-C lineup. We've been using one for a few days – check out our gallery of images.
While it shares a name with one of Leica's most popular and affordable cameras of the 1970s, the new CL is separated from its namesake by more than just years. We've been using one for a few days - click through for a detailed first-impressions report.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017, and the #4 ranking goes to the Leica M10.
Sigma is discounting 13 different high-performance 'Art' series lenses from today until November 30th. The company is calling it an 'unprecedented' sale.
See DJI's 'AeroScope' drone-tracking technology in action. This is the system that DJI says can help law enforcement and airport (among others) track and identify rogue drones.
iPhone X owners can already accessorize their new phone with high-quality smartphone photography lenses courtesy of Moment's new lineup.
Considering buying Sigma's exciting new 16mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary lens for crop-sensor E-Mount and M43? Check out these official full-res samples first!