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Thread: Raw conversion

  1. #1
    milleniummuppet's Avatar
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    Raw conversion

    Hi guys,

    Ive just recently taken a new batch of images ( 50 or so ) and didn't realize that the raw capture was set to capture in .CR2, a format that doesn't seem to be recognized by photoshop.

    I obviously need to convert them so I can work with them ( into either .CRW or .DNG),
    but I was after a vote on the best Raw image converter .

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    Re: Raw conversion

    Photoshop should recognise CR2 files; but it depends on which version you have, and which camera, as to whether the raw converter [ACR] in it will work -- and you need to be sure that it is installed -- which it should be.

    You should have DPP with your Canon; this is a raw converter, though not as polished as PS, but you can correct lens abberations from within it.

    IMHO the easiest raw converter and general image processor is Lightroom [which uses the same raw converter as PS -- it's much easier to learn than PS, and most people can do around 90% of what they want to do using it alone -- and directly exporting into PS for more complicated things. You can download a free 30 day trial from Adobe -- well worth while.

    If you are on a Mac, there's also Aperture, similar to LR, but I don't have experience of it.

    Further, you can download for free from Adobe their dng converter, which will convert your Canon CR2 files into dng files, which PS certainly should recognise and open.

    As to the best converter; well, there's a huge range, each with it's own protagonists -- and anyway, best for what? -- conversions, ease of use...

    Which Canon and which version of PS do you have?

  3. #3
    milleniummuppet's Avatar
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    Re: Raw conversion

    Hi,
    I have photoshop CS3 which, as you said, does recognize CR2.
    However im using CDHK to save my raw files ( the CR2 extension doesn't seem to work with much ).

    As for what I'm looking for:
    a good balance of : recognized file types, ease of use, and fast processing.

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    Re: Raw conversion

    Hi Matt,

    I wasn't familiar with CDHK, so I did a little googling. If it's what I think it is (firmware "extension" for your camera), then you'll possibly find that the RAW conversion isn't as simple as you might think.

    In terms of Adobe converters, for each new camera that comes on the market Thomas Knoll (creator of photoshop) develops an appropriate profile under 2 different lighting conditions - and then ACR (and presumable the DNG converter) uses these to extrapolate colour temperature performance data for the RAW conversions; so if you've generated a RAW file via a hack then I'd be very surprised if any Adobe converter will be able to process it.

    Bit of a long shot, but you could try downloading the latest DNG from the Adobe site.

    In terms of RAW converters, there are many different opinions on many different products. I use Adobe's CS3 version of ACR on my main machine, and can honestly say that I want for nothing more with it - incredible number of options & controls to attack any aspect of an image - and the CS4 version is undoubtably even more capable. As mentioned above, Lightroom uses the same ACR engine.

  5. #5
    milleniummuppet's Avatar
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    Re: Raw conversion

    Ta,

    In the CDHK you can choose about 4 different file types for shooting RAW.
    Two of these actually work for easy post processing ( .CRW and .DNG ).
    I must have accidentally changed that setting ( have to watch that in future ).

    I'll give some of those a go and see what happens.
    I don't really need to be able to 'develop' the images that I am trying to convert, as I would much rather just batch convert the images into a RAW file recognized by photoshop, so that I can do the processing there.

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    Re: Raw conversion

    Matt, I have just been re-editing a lot of my CR2 stuff from previous 350D camera using Aperture 2 30 day free trial. If you have a mac, would recommend it. Maybe the 350D sensor was not one of the best in the universe, but I noticed when using Canon DPP it was worth trying every setting in the list (yes, portrait for landscapes etc) and colour temp to tease out the colour in lightly saturated shots. It lurks somewhere in the upper 1/3 of the luminosity range (the DPP curves have subtle kinks if you look carefully)....anyway Aperture has a 5 position levels input/output adjuster (the luminosity option, not RGB) - suddenly the grey vanishes like a mist and there is the colour, usually the middle right line does it, but all 5 worth a pull

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    Re: Raw conversion

    I opened a new thread on DxO, but it seems no one has any experience of that raw converter. I am just getting to grips with it, but it seems to do everything other converters do, with massive plus points.

    The key is that it provides 'modules' that relate to specific cameras and specific lenses. These modules accurately correct optical flaws due the the lens and camera combination. I am so impressed that I am unlikely to use ACR in the future, except for ... well, I can't really think what! It's that good. And no, I'm not employed by them, just a startled user.

    Of course, you do have to check that your camera and lens combinations are catered for, but a very large number are. I have a D70 and D300, with a Nikon 18-200, Sigma 10-20 and a rather old autofocus Nikon 105mm Micro. All these cominations are covered.

    Just using the default settings, all distortions are corrected, fringing is eliminated and initial sharpening used. I use .nef files and the output is linear DNG, which can be read by my Photoshop CS3. It will 'batch' any number of images and individual images can receive individual exposure, colour correction, curve etc treatment, if really necessary.

    One point about sharpening, Colin, you can use the specific capture sharpening criteria you prefer. I have tried them, but they seem excessive. It appears that by correcting the various optical flaws and distortions, the consequent image needs much less sharpening. The default is just 100, 0.5, 4 and this produces remarkably good sharpness.

    The only drawback so far encountered is that it is very resource-hungry. Each image can take up to a minute to process. However, you can set it to work on a batch, then go off to have lunch ... or whatever! The time it takes to process an image is more than compensated by the time saving in manually correcting fringing, distortion, sharpness and so on.

    You may conclude that I am enthusiastic. Correct! Look on their website for more info, or read the review in the March 2009 issue of Digital Photo magazine.

    Enjoy!

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    Re: Raw conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Bennett View Post
    . I have a D70 and D300, with a Nikon 18-200, Sigma 10-20 and a rather old autofocus Nikon 105mm Micro. All these cominations are covered.
    this thread started with a CR2 problem....but I'll do a deal Tony on nef work, I will try the 5 beta DxO for mac and you try Nikon Capture NX2 (30 day free trial and see my intro in the NX2 thread.) Now do I offer to eat my hat if , er Converted? Maybe not, not sure if it is pure wool or contains man-made fibres. Isn't the 18-200 the legendry lens that has no flaws?
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 1st February 2009 at 08:07 PM. Reason: Inserted closing bracket so that quote displays correctly

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    Re: Raw conversion

    *!*!!*! its a CS plugin...at least I won't have to eat my hat & will let you off too Tony

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    Re: Raw conversion

    @ Tony

    Hi Tony,

    Thanks for the heads up on DxO. I'd read similar glowing reports a few years ago (and I had a quick look), but at that stage I was shooting with a Canon 1D3, and it wasn't supported - and I haven't checked back since then. Will take a look at it now ...

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    Re: Raw conversion

    Hi Crisscross

    Thanks for the input. Glad I've saved your hat!

    Actually, the thread started with a query about a raw converter that would handle CR2 format. I understand that most incarnations of CR2 are handled by Photoshop, only the very latest aren't. My contribution was to highlight DxO as a raw converter that might just meet the needs of milleniummuppet and offer clear advantages over ACR, for CR2 as well as NEF files.

    Although it is available as a Photoshop plug-in, I have not so far tried that version (I understand it is not as comprehensive as the stand-alone application).

    As to the legendary 18-200, yes it is sharp, but it has optical defects (what zoom hasn't), but these are only truly evident when they are eliminated and the image then compared to the untreated image. In fact, there are irregular defects that cannot be corrected in Photoshop - only in DxO.

    Colin, I would be pleased to hear your conclusions about DxO in due course ...

    Tony

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    Re: Raw conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Bennett View Post
    Colin, I would be pleased to hear your conclusions about DxO in due course ...
    I'm installing the demo as we speak. They've got all my lenses covered, except for my EF14mm/F2.8L (which ironically is probably the one that would need the biggest corrections).

    Not sure how you found their website, but it was painfully slow at my end - also somewhat "disintuitive" - took me quite a while to find actual examples of lens corrections that I was looking for.

    Lens correction / fringing removal is what I'm most interested in - I'm open to other areas like RAW conversion, but I'm so familiar with ACR (and it's so darned powerful) that I'd be surprised if I move away from that - not sure how/if the two could work together? (I assume you can use DxO on an image that's already open in PS?)

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    Re: Raw conversion

    DxO is intended to be the first step in any image manipulation, because it reads raw exif data. If that data has been changed/added to in a way that affects the parameters used by DxO, it will not fully work as intended.

    I find that DxO has all the tools available to ACR, with the camera/lens correction a major bonus. You may find another 14mm lens is covered and this could do the adjustments for you. For example, my old 105mm Micro uses the data of the modern VR 105 Micro and adjusts accordingly.

    Also, be aware that there are facilities available in DxO that are not immediately evident: you have to open the 'more options' in many of the tools. For example, curve adjustment for contract control is not immediately obvious, but it's there! Please look at the on-line manual for the full picture. I'm currently ploughing thro' it!

    Regards

    Tony

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    Re: Raw conversion

    Hi Tony,

    First thing I've "re-discovered" is that they don't appear to support DNG, which right off the bat eliminates precisely 100% of my images!

    If this really is the case then I'd be limited to what's available as a photoshop plugin. It's mainly the automatic lens distortion features that I'm most interested in - are these still available from within PS proper? (I mucked up the install when I mistakenly told it to start installing plugins for CS rather than CS2 which I use at home - having to reinstall). I'm also interested to see how these differ from lens distortion correction filters in PS.

    Interface seems a bit clunky - I don't like having to click - click - click to get to more advanced areas, but may be better on a bigger screen.

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    Re: Raw conversion

    I've put all my comments under the DxO thread.

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    Re: Raw conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Bennett View Post
    I've put all my comments under the DxO thread.
    So have I

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