Choices in raw converters...

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by MCAsan, Mar 6, 2015.

  1. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #1
    Depending on what apps you have installed you may have several choices in which raw converter you are using:

    Mac OS converter: This is what is used by Perfect Photo Suite if I open a raw file using PPS as a standalone app. Some other non-Apple apps may be about to also use the Mac OS raw converters.

    Lightroom converter: This is the converter that would be used if I ask LR to open/edit a raw image.

    DxO converter: If I set up DxO as a LR plugin, DxO will take a copy of the original raw file and use its own raw converter. When you close DxO, it returns a DNG file to the LR library. So in the library you have both the raw converted by LR and the raw converted by DxO.


    Other combinations of photo apps may give you additional choices. For example if you also have CP1 installed, it uses its own raw converters.

    It is nice to have raw converter choices
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #2
    I like C1's RAW processing the best, but I found the app didn't fit my needs in other areas. I am also impressed with DXO, and will probably buy that at the end of the month if they do have some sort of discount to drop the price.

    I find that Lightroom/PS does the absolute minimum to appease its core base. I think they could do so much more with ACR but they focus on new features and what not.

    As for OS X's core RAW processing engine. This is my personal feeling and I know it doesn't make sense but I always felt that they were treading water. They were generally very slow with RAW updates and the processing was mediocre. No better then ACR and in some cases maybe tick worse.
     
  3. robgendreau macrumors 68030

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    Jul 13, 2008
    #3
    And now another problem with Apple RAW processing is the lack of sophisticated adjustments. The stuff in Photos doesn't compare with the alternatives listed by the OP.

    And there are other alternatives as well, if the purpose here is to gather them:

    Photos Supreme
    RAW Therapee
    Raw Photo Processor
    Photo Ninja
    LightZone
    DarkTable
    GIMP
    Graphic Converter (to a certain extent)
    Corel Aftershot Pro 2
    Affinity Photo beta

    And probably others I've forgotten. Note that many of these are open source and/or free, and are very capable. Some just do RAW without any browsing, cataloging, or other DAM features.
     
  4. MCAsan thread starter macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    #4
    I was really only talking about raw converters, not editors. So what Photos or other editor does once it get the converted raw file from the raw converter provided by Yosemite....is another topic. We already have threads about how little Photos can do.
     
  5. AppleHater macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    As an amateur photographer, Lightroom is a must have for me to fix all kinds of mistakes that I made taking photos. Hence, Lightroom is my choice.
     
  6. r.harris1 macrumors 6502a

    r.harris1

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    #6
    While not up to scratch at this point, Photos is a RAW converter in addition to being a very limited editor. It interfaces with core image/image kernel APIs to perform the demosaic process on the data and then allows you to apply exposure, white balance, shadow, highlight, level adjustments on that data.
     
  7. FieldingMellish Suspended

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    #7
    Also, there is Irridient Developer on Mac. I got it for its handling of Fuji X100S raw files. But it handles lots of raw files and is in continuous development.
     
  8. MCAsan thread starter macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    #8
  9. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #9
    Technically its the operating system that is processing the RAW images (for the Apple apps). That is for iPhoto, Aperture and Photos, its the same exact engine built into OS X that is transforming the RAW image. What occurs after that is up to the application
     
  10. r.harris1, Mar 8, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2015

    r.harris1 macrumors 6502a

    r.harris1

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    #10
    Yes, there is definitely an OS-level component. All Apple applications and applications like Pixelmator use the Core Image API / Image I/O routines, the higher OS-level interfaces that allow the given application to process the image using the digital camera RAW compatibility component. So indeed, it's at the OS level that there is the interface, but it doesn't happen ahead of a given application calling the routines. So Photos, Aperture, iPhoto, etc all use the same OS level APIs, but the demosaicing on the actual RAW data doesn't occur until the application calling the routines does the work. And the typical RAW controls, such as exposure, contrast, shadows/highlights etc are built using filters that come as part of the APIs and to one degree or another are exposed in those applications.

    In an analogous way, the same way that ACR exposes those similar controls and is used in both LR and PS/Bridge, the OS level APIs above are used in Photos, iPhoto, Aperture, Pixelmator, Affinity Photo, etc.

    ACR is Adobe's interface to processing RAW using their application level APIs, and Photos, etc are Apple's (and others) way to do the same sort of thing but with OS-level APIs.
     
  11. The Bad Guy macrumors 6502a

    The Bad Guy

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    Australia
    #11
    I find this subject peculiar. But seeing as though this is all you guys want to talk about these days, I suppose I'll throw my 2c in.

    Make presets. It's as simple as that.

    I know my camera, I know my software and I know what my RAW files are going to look like and import them with adjustments accordingly.

    To suggest one package renders better is silly. You're leaving your images fate in the hands of software. **** that.

    Anyway, I'll leave you guys with it. Because no doubt you'll want to talk about this inane **** for pages.

    Have fun with that. ;)
     
  12. r.harris1 macrumors 6502a

    r.harris1

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    #12
    We will. Appreciate the insight!
     
  13. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    Vancouver, BC
    #13
    As you might know I've got a comparison thread here...
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1845001

    I looked at red tones in my comparison as this where RAW converters seem to have the most challenge or result in the most difference. I think it's important to know what your RAW converter of choice is doing, so you can either accept it or adjust it. For example, I'm using C1 these days, which produces red that tends towards orange so if I have an image where red plays an important role, I can be sure to adjust the hue slightly to correct it.

    I added Affinity Photo (beta) to my comparison thread. I'll add Corel Aftershot Pro and LR6 in the near future.

    Good advice... Although all these RAW converters produce slightly different results, you can definitely get them looking the way you want with a bit of adjustments. And presets are an ideal way to do that. However, you need to know where your RAW converter is lacking or off in the first place, so I'm sure you can see the value in my thorough analysis :p :D ;)
     
  14. robgendreau macrumors 68030

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    Jul 13, 2008
    #14
    Well, aside from Apple's system based RAW converters I think ALL converters have some editing functions, in that they allow tweaking of the various parameters one uses to render an image from RAW data. And they often throw in stuff like crop. Look at ACR for example; it's not a stand alone editor per se, but does allow a lot of editing when rendering RAW.

    ----------

    Except that they do render differently.

    And depending on the algorithms used, you may or may not be able to replicate one application's renderings with another's tools. I agree that the difference is often slight, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Sometimes its very significant. And unless you use film, you are always leaving your image's fate in the "hands" of software, unless you write your own.

    Some people love the way their camera's manufacturer renders the data; some don't. Glad you're having fun with yours though ;) .
     
  15. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #15
    I agree, they do produce different results. I found that Aperture and LR seem to render the closest at least with a sites that were reviewing RAW engines. I found LR to be a bit better in my unscientific testing. I also found DXO to be better then LR, and C1 to produce the most accurate rendering of my images, in both color and pulling out sufficient detail and sharpness.
     

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