Software (contd.) - RAW conversion
As is normal in our digital SLR reviews I like to compare the supplied RAW conversion software, any optional manufacturer RAW conversion software and some third party RAW converter. There's been quite a lot of talk recently about Nikon's move to encrypt the recorded white balance in RAW files on its newer digital SLR's. We won't get into that debate here but you should be aware that of the third party converters here only Bibble Pro decodes the white balance, Adobe Camera RAW can not.
- JPEG - Large/Fine, Default settings
- PictureProject - Nikon PictureProject 1.1
- Capture - Nikon Capture 4.2.1
- Adobe Camera RAW - Adobe Camera RAW 3.1 (Photoshop CS2) *1
- Bibble Pro - Bibble Pro 4.2.6
*1 Because of the encryption issue ACR can not read the recorded white balance from D2X RAW files, in this case we used the eyedropper to achieve a manual white balance
Place your mouse over the label below the image to see the GretagMacbeth ColorChecker chart converted using each RAW converter. There's absolutely no difference in color reproduction between PictureProject and Nikon Capture, this can probably be attributed to PictureProject using the image processing 'engine' from Nikon Capture to perform its RAW conversion. Between the two Nikon RAW converters and JPEG straight from the camera there's a slight difference in contrast but not actual color.
|Adobe Camera RAW||Bibble Pro 4.2.6|
Sharpness and Detail
The most detailed results from PictureProject and Nikon Capture closely followed by Adobe Camera RAW and in-camera JPEG. The image with the least immediate detail is that from Bibble Pro, although some tweaking of the sharpening setting would probably draw a little more texture detail out of the watch face. There's a tiny amount of color moire visible down the arc of the edge of the watch in all but the Adobe Camera RAW image.
Resolution (double distance)
Because of the D2X's twelve megapixels we need to shoot our chart from double distance. This means that the numbers indicated on the chart must be multiplied by 200 to return the resolution in LPH (Lines per Pixel Height). Interesting results too, both PictureProject and Nikon Capture extend visible detail further than a JPEG although actual measurable maximum resolution is about the same at 2400 LPH. Both Adobe Camera RAW and Bibble Pro exhibit some noticeable moire artifacts at these high resolutions.
|JPEG from camera||PictureProject|
|Nikon Capture||Adobe Camera RAW|
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 (timed)
- Note memory usage with images displayed
- Save image one as JPEG (timed)
- Save image two as TIFF (timed)
The computer used for this test had the following specifications: AMD Athlon 64 3800+ (2.4 Ghz), 1.0 GB RAM, Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 SATA 160 GB 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 4.2.1||Adobe Photoshop CS2||Bibble Pro 4.2.6|
|Open RAW files||12.2 sec||19.3 sec *||5.4 sec *|
|Memory (private bytes)||792,300 KB||187,476 KB||519,296 KB|
|Memory (virtual size)||1,136,668 KB||316,880 KB||599,925 KB|
|Save as JPEG||15.3 sec||2.6 sec||8.4 sec|
|Save as TIFF||18.1 sec||4.1 sec||4.3 sec|
* For Photoshop this time is the sum of the time to display the RAW plug-in and then to convert the image (twice), for Bibble Pro this is the sum of the two open procedures.
As you can see the best performance from a time taken point of view is Bibble Pro which opened files quickly and felt snappy in use, save time for JPEG was slower than Photoshop but faster after the first save. Memory usage for Nikon Capture is frankly unbelievable, it grabbed huge amounts of RAM just to display an image which caused our test machine to slow noticeably.
Jun 1, 2005
Sep 16, 2004
May 23, 2008
May 23, 2008
Photographers who fly frequently in the US may want to finally invest in that TSA Pre-check status: in standard security lines, cameras and all other electronics larger than a smartphone will need to be placed in a separate bin for screening.
Images have appeared which claim to show Nikon's forthcoming D850 DSLR, the development of which was announced this week. If genuine, the pictures indicate that the D850 will offer illuminated controls and a tilting LCD screen, but no built-in flash.
To celebrate the Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64 lens' successful Kickstarter campaign, Lomography has announced a chrome-plated version of the lens in Nikon and Canon DSLR mounts.
Nikon just released four new firmware updates, adding features and fixing bugs in the D600, D610, D750 and the KeyMission 80.
It probably hasn't made your landscape photography bucket list just yet, but there's a good reason to visit Idaho. Here are 9 must-visit locations in this beautiful state.
Oops... Adobe accidentally leaked their unfinished Lightroom-powered cloud-based photo editor 'Project Nimbus' to some Creative Cloud users yesterday.
Storm chaser and award-winning photographer Mike Oblinski just released his latest time-lapse, and it is absolutely stunning.
Looking to level up your video capture capabilities without buying a whole new camera? Blackmagic's Video Assist 4K is well worth considering, despite a few flaws and its lack of 4K/60p support.
We're big fans of Fujifilm's fast-growing GFX system, and the GF 110mm F2 lens is no exception. Positioned as the system's classic portrait lens, its optics are just as impressive with non-human subjects as well.
Nikon turns 100 years old today, and the company is celebrating with a wacky music video, some tributes to its history, and a new vision presented by president Kazuo Ushida.
Phottix just released the Premio Parabolic Umbrellas series, replacing their Para-Pro line with a stronger, deeper and better made set of parabolic umbrellas.
The Moto Z2 is Motorola's first dual-camera smartphone and, compared to its predecessor, comes with a number of improvements and new camera features.
Researchers at Stanford have revealed a new '4D camera system' built for robots. The system is based on the same light field tech that allowed Lytro cameras to refocus images after they were taken.
If you want 'beautiful rendition' from your lenses, follow this simple rule: only buy classic low-element prime lenses with lead glass elements—everything else is junk.
In an interview with CNBC, Leica Chairman Andreas Kaufmann said he dreams of a 'true Leica phone,' and hinted at what's next for the Leica and Huawei partnership.
Wildlife and nature photographer Peter Mather tells the story behind this exceptional shot of a mama grizzly and her cub searching for salmon in Yukon, Canada.
Popular YouTube channel TastyTuts has put together this 33-video Beginner's Guide to Adobe Photoshop—a godsend for anybody who wants to learn Photoshop from scratch.
The long anticipated replacement for the popular Rode VideoMic Pro is almost ready for shipping. The price of the upgraded VideoMic Pro+ will be £290/$300 when it goes on sale in mid-August.
A new iOS app called Explorest wants to help you find new locations to shoot. It's limited to Singapore for now, but the app is packed full of useful location scouting features.
Nikon's D850 development announcement is extremely light on details, so we assembled a wish list of upgrades and features we'd love to see.
Nikon has announced the development of the long-awaited replacement to its full-frame D810: the D850. Nikon says that the D850 will build on the strengths of its predecessor and offer 'new technologies, features and performance enhancements.'
Lens manufacturer Voigtlander has introduced a 65mm F2 macro lens for Sony E-mount that it says "rates as one of the finest in the history of Voigtländer."
The UK released a preview of their upcoming drone safety regulations, and it looks like drone pilots will have to both register their device and pass safety awareness tests.
National Geographic photographer Bob Holmes talks about light, and why you need to learn how to 'see' and not just 'look' at your subject.
Photographer Alessandro Barteletti shares the story behind his National Geographic Italia cover, shot with a 10-year-old DSLR and an iPhone flashlight.
Fashion catalog photographers in China have some next-level models to work with. In this video, you see one model hitting 30 poses in 15 seconds as the photographer snaps away.
Photographer Paul Adshead breaks down 11 photography-related smartphone apps he couldn't live without—from a pocket light meter to a lighting diagram app.
Fast-growing Chinese flash brand Godox is teasing a brand new flash trigger... for smartphones. The Godox A1 is a 'phone flash system' that can act as both flash and 2.4GHz trigger.
On July 12, Canon opened its newest Technology and Support Center, designed to serve the motion picture industry, in Burbank, CA. DPReview got a sneak peak and takes you behind the scenes.
The Sigma 14mm F1.8 Art is truly one-of-a-kind. It offers the fastest aperture of any lens that shares its focal length, produces beautiful sunstars and is incredibly sharp to boot. If you're in the market for a fast ultrawide prime, this looks to be the one to get.