First and foremost: in this way you will actually be able to add much more to your images then just, say, lens data, such as: lens serial number, film type used, developer, agitation scheme, shutter times, scanner, paper etc.
If you, like me, have been messing around with Adobe Lightroom for a bit you’ve probably accumulated quite a few presets, and more importantly you’ve probably come up with some of your own tailored to your own style and work.
Problem is, when Lightroom changed the processing engine, many old presets stopped working. This was necessary because with the new version of the engine, the 2012, the available sliders and their latitude changed as well.
Continue reading “How to: a tip for working with Lightroom old presets”
Let’s see if you recognize the symptoms: changing pictures in the library becomes painfully slow, selecting more than one image takes ages, all that while the developing module remains quite quick in use.
That’s the dreaded Lightroom 5 slow-down. Continue reading “How to cure Lightroom 5 slow-down”
If you haven’t read the first four parts please take a look at them, because there you may see the images unsharpened and sharpened with various tools, and you’ll learn about the specifics of this comparison.
Now that we have seen, in the previous parts, who the winners are it’s time to draw some conclusions.
– Adobe Photoshop CS5 / Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3
Pretty good raw conversion quality with industry leading performance for all the other aspects. Both programs are easily usable in a workflow that includes other softwares as raw converters when it’s mandatory to obtain the maximum quality.
– Apple Preview
It’s a Mac software, so what can you aspect? It’s easy to use and does the job, and an excellent one. A bit limited for “creative” interpretation of the pictures, but really great as a plain raw converter.
– CaptureOne Pro 6.3.5
Many professionals used to use this program. I, quite frankly, nowadays I don’t see the need. The results are pretty good, but not better than Lightroom, and it costs a lot more doing a lot less. More, the interface is confusing, and it litters the file system with useless proprietary configuration files for each and every image. Too little for too much.
– Corel AfterShot Pro 1.0.1
The interface is well studied, but it’s not the 2003 anymore. There are better softwares out there, also free.
– Digital Photo Professional 3.11.4
One may think that Canon should know a trick or two about its own cameras, but if so it is not shown in this software. Good results, but nothing to write home about, and limited conversion options. It may came in handy if you save a dust removal image on the camera, to apply it to the raw files (that you can save again as raw and than open with a better app). At least it’s free.
– DXO Optics Pro 7
If your camera / lens combination is supported maybe it’s worth a shot. But try it first because, for example, with the (supported) Fuji X100 both Rawker and Preview do a better job…
– Gimp / Ufraw 2.6.12
If you are on Linux go for it, but the 8bit limit it is not a good thing. When it will sports a full 16bit support the rating will become a full 4.
– perfectRaw 0.6
Forget about it; it was a noble attempt, but the years do not pass in vain.
– RawDeveloper 1.9.4
Pretty good results, but it lacks an histogram and it costs too much for what it has to offer.
– Rawker 2.3.4
The interface could use a radical redesign, but quality wise it’s one of the winners, and it’s fast and it’s free!
– RawTherapee 4.0.8
Another one of the winners, in various categories, and overall one of the best. Probably the one with the best interface, with the exclusion of Lightroom.
– RawPhotoProcessor 4.5 64bit
Great results, but Rawker and Apple Preview do almost always better quality wise and RawTherapee beats it in the usability department. Overall still a good choice for low Iso images.
If you haven’t read the first two parts please take a look at them, because there you may see the images unsharpened and sharpened with the native tools of each raw converter, and you’ll learn about the specifics of this comparison.
Here I used the images from the second part, the ones sharpened with the tools of each raw converter, and I furtherly sharpened them to taste in Photoshop CS5.
Please keep in mind that some of the images may look a bit oversharpened here at 100% on screen, but than they will look good once printed.
To my eyes: it’s a tie, the crown goes both to RawTherepee and Apple Preview / Rawker.
RawTherapee “paints” the scene with a fine spaced, natural looking brush that looks pretty good at 100%, but once printed it looks less sharp that Apple Preview. More, to obtain this result in RawTherapee, like I wrote in part II, takes a lot of processing time, almost 1 full minute per picture, while Apple Preview takes only a couple of seconds for the conversion. Rawker, if set at -2 points of sharpening from the maximum value (not shown here), it’s every bit as good as Apple Preview (not a suprise, given that they share the same raw conversion engine).
On the plus side RawTherapee has excellent tools to correct chromatic aberration that Apple Preview (and almost all the others, at least good like this) lacks.
Once again a good performance from Corel AfterShot Pro, but once again penalized by the insurgence of non-existent chromatic aberration.
If you want to evaluate for yourself the images you may click below to download one of the PSDs. You have to open them in Photoshop or in Gimp, in this last case using the option File -> “Open as layers”.
The “landscape” PSD contains all the crops of the four parts of the review stacked as layers.
The “portrait” PSD contains instead crops from the three best converters (RawTherapee, Apple Preview and Rawker) when used with, guess what, a portrait image.
100% crops, sharpening for the best result