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Old Aug 9, 2006, 1:31 PM   #1
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I want to start doing some shooting in RAW -- But the only software I have is what came with my camera (Canon Rebel XT). Is this good software to use for the conversion or should I be using Photoshop??
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Old Aug 9, 2006, 1:56 PM   #2
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Personally, I exclusively use Photoshop CS2 ... but that is a personal preference based on many factors including need and usage and familiarity.

What comes with the camera is very adequate for many. So ask yourself:

How much editing do you want to get into? What do you want to do with your photos? Will you be doing batch conversions? If you do not already have CS2, it will set you back quite a bit. Is that price worth it?

Only you can decide!

Since I use CS2 almost daily, I feel no need to use the (IMHO) lesser/lite, but quite adequate,programs that shipped with my 20D/ 30D. Again, personal preference!
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Old Aug 9, 2006, 2:07 PM   #3
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In theory the camera's RAW software should yield the best results. In practice I find that photoshop gives me the best results because I know how to use it better and the noise reduction features are better.
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Old Aug 9, 2006, 4:25 PM   #4
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There can be a pretty big difference in the algoirthms used by raw converters.

For a Canon specific comparision of some popular ones, see this page:

http://www.sphoto.com/techinfo/rawco...converters.htm

One popular free converter is Raw Shooter Essentials 2006. But, the developer's assets were recently purchased by Adobe. So, it will be a discontinued product soon (Adobe plans on phasing it out).

However, you can still download it (at least for right this minute. Here's the download link for the latest free version:

http://pixmantec.cachefly.net/RawShooterEssentials.exe

Another good free converter is UFRaw

It doesn't offer the speed and flexibilty of many products. But, it's demosaic algorithms are good. They're based on dcraw.c (a free Ansi C program for converting raw images, written by David Coffin).

I like Dave's algorithms for some images, and frequently use the latest versions of dcraw.c from command line. I tend to compile newer versions of it often for use with Windows XP.

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Old Aug 10, 2006, 3:05 AM   #5
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Also the software that comes with the Canon cameras is really not that bad.

If forced to choose between shooting JPG or shooting RAW and using the Canon software I would go the latter route for sure.

As Jim says though there are some free and some cheap options available.

One very sensible low-cost route is to use Photoshop Elements for editing and get the free plug-in RAW converter for it.
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Old Aug 10, 2006, 3:16 AM   #6
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The ZoomBrowser software that comes with the camera is hideously slow and awkward to use.

DPP is very much better. The colours are about the best you'll get and it also emulates some in-camera settings. If you have a large number of images to process however, the workflow isn't particularly good.

Raw Shooter Essentials will be available until v1.0 of LightRoom is released, which realistically will be early next year. It's just about as fast as it gets, batch processes in the background and has some useful features including fill light and seperate highlight and shadow contrast sliders. Make sure you d/l and read the user guide as it's a bit different from most windows programs. You should be aware that the internal profiles are NOT good for a lot of cameras, but fortunately the one for the 350D (Rebel XT) gives good, accurate colours.

Regards,

Stuart
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Old Aug 10, 2006, 10:12 AM   #7
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Most of the popular products like Bibble, Adobe Photoshop (CS2 and Elements), Capture One, and more have trial versions that you can download, too.

If you've got the time, I'd try a few of them to see what your prefer from a workflow perspective.



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Old Aug 10, 2006, 10:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
The ZoomBrowser software that comes with the camera is hideously slow and awkward to use.

DPP is very much better. The colours are about the best you'll get and it also emulates some in-camera settings. If you have a large number of images to process however, the workflow isn't particularly good.
I'd agree with all that. It's worth mentioning that DPP is one of the Canon products that comes for free and does RAW conversion.

My personal favourite for now is DXO Optics, which does a lot more than RAW conversion, and IMO is a pretty decent RAW converter too.

I may well move to Lightroom when it is released, though will probably keep Photoshop and DXO too (though will then not be using DXO for RAW conversion).







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Old Aug 10, 2006, 1:35 PM   #9
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Nobody has told anything about Silkypix? I have been using the trial version for the past one week and it works great for 350D.
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