Skip to main content

The mother knows her own, or, Pick the right raw processor for your camera

Will be posting more soon from our trip to California at the end of 2015, but looking through my photos from the trip, I was struck by this difference. This is a snapshot of my wife taken during dinner at Koberl at Blue in San Luis Obispo (delicious food—I recommend the place). We were celebrating our fortieth wedding anniversary and, for the benefit of our daughters back home, Joan is modeling the ruby necklaces I gave her.

The photo was taken with the DxO ONE. Here's how it looks by default when opened in DxO Optics Pro 10. The three images that follow are all PNG screen captures from my Macbook Pro.

Default rendering in DxO Optics Pro
Which captures the color of the brick and Joan's Anglo-Irish skintone pretty well, especially considering that we were eating well after dark and the lighting in the restaurant was not bright and there was a mix of artificial lighting, candles, etc. Now, here's how the image looks when opened in ON1 Photo 10:

Default rendering in ON1 Photo 10
Yikes! You'd think Joan had spent too much time on the tanning bed. This is how the image looked in ON1 Photo 10's browser mode; it was even worse initially when I converted to PSD and opened the image for editing in the Enhance module.

Here it is in Lightroom 6 or whatever it's called now:

Default rendering in Lightroom 6
Better than ON1 Photo, but not as good as DxO Optics Pro.

My point here isn't to knock ON1 Photo 10, which I continue to like, despite the fact that months after release it's still got a few bugs that annoy me. I simply want to point out that some raw processors do better with images from certain cameras than others do. The software that came with my Olympus E-M1 is not very good in a general sense, but it does render the E-M1's ORF files really well. Not surprising, since that's precisely what it was designed to do. DxO Optics Pro 10 is designed to be a much more universally useful raw processor, but it shouldn't be too surprising that it does a particularly good job with files created by the DxO ONE camera. The mother bear knows her own cubs.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Wireless control of Olympus OM-D E-M1 with OI.Share app

The Olympus Image Share or "OI.Share" app for smartphones allows you to do some very neat things with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 camera, like control focus, shutter and other settings, download photos to your phone, and geo-tag your photos. The only problem with this partnership between camera and phone — at least for me as a micro-four-thirds and Olympus novice — was getting it to work.

The documentation provided in the app and in the user manual for the camera is typically bad. I wrote this blog article from the notes I started making as I was trying to sort this out for myself. I hope I save somebody else an hour and some worry.

Ingredients To get started you'll need to have an EM-1 and a smart phone with the OI.Share app installed. I'm using an iPhone 5 running iOS 7 and version 2.1.1 of the OI.Share app. I downloaded the app from the App Store.

Addendum 7 January 2015: This article was first published a little over a year ago, in December 2013. I just went through the…

Why DxO Optics Pro 10 stays in my toolbox

You can read this post here, or read my reposted version over over at Medium.


I've used over a dozen apps in the last decade to convert my raw files and process my digital images. Today I rely on four main tools to process my images: Lightroom 5.7, the Nik suite of apps (now owned and published by Google), onOne Software's Perfect Photo Suite 9 — and DxO Optics Pro 10. I want to talk about Perfect Photo Suite some other time; it's my replacement for Photoshop and I really like it. But today, I want to say nice things about Optics Pro 10.

Might seem an odd thing to admit, but I don't really want to use Optics Pro. It can't hold a candle to Lightroom for browsing and managing images. And it doesn't support layers (like Perfect Photo Suite) or much in the way of selective editing (like Lightroom, Nik and Perfect Photo Suite do). I'm able to get what I want from most of my images using Lightroom, or Nik or Perfect Photo. So most of the time, I don't need Op…

Why I switched from Lightroom to Aperture

Read today an excellent article, "Why I use Aperture instead of Lightroom," by Mel Ashar; it's posted at the Aperture Expert blog edited by Joseph Linaschke. Ashar, a landscape and architectural photographer, provides a useful catalog of some of the reasons Aperture is a strong choice for photographers who use Macs. He focuses on the file-management advantages of Aperture that arise from the fact that Apple controls an entire file ecosystem, comprised not just of Aperture, but of iCloud and the file systems on both Macs and iOS devices (iPhone, iPad).

Now, notwithstanding the advantages Ashar enumerates, the consensus seems to be that, Aperture as a photo processing app lags way behind Lightroom. I disagree with the consensus. In fact, shortly after the public beta of Lightroom 5 became available, I started looking again at Aperture and this time I really gave it the old college try. To my surprise, I discovered that I liked it. I liked it a lot. So, instead of upgrading…