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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.


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