Alley in Pisa, Italy

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In Canon DSLRs there is an option to automatically correct Lens Vignetting and Color Fringing. When enabling this option, would it still be necessary to enable lens correction in LR4/Photoshop? If not, which one is better?

NOTE: I haven't tried Canon in-camera lens correction yet (for chromatic aberration). However, LR4 color fringing correction seems to perform poorly.

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It's worth pointing out that the fringing correction in LR4 can be adjusted and refined by you, so it can be made to work better. And if you find some settings that you're happy with, you can save them as a Develop Preset to automate it in the future. –  Dan Wolfgang Feb 28 '13 at 23:58
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2 Answers 2

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If you shoot RAW, the in-camera lens correction is not directly applied to the RAW data, it is appended to the tagged data. The lens correction is applied to the in-camera preview JPEG thumbnail viewed on the camera's screen. If your selected camera output is JPEG then the in-camera lens correction is applied at the time the file is processed in camera. As with many parameters, by saving to a RAW file you have the choice later of what correction to apply and by how much. Using DPP you can choose to apply, for example, any CA correction value between 0-200. You can also adjust Blue and Red correction separately. The optimal setting will depend upon the amount and type of CA exhibited in each photo. In general disabling in-camera corrections will save a little in-camera processing time for each image. Applying the correction in post processing allows you to optimize the settings at the expense of your time to do so.

If you open the RAW files in Canon's Digital Photo Professional (DPP), the file with be opened with the in camera settings applied, but may be modified using DPP without any loss of original data. Whether other RAW software uses or ignores the in camera settings is up to the software. LR and DxO apply their own data, so the in camera settings would make no difference if you use those programs to process .cr2 files.

Canon also has added the Digital Lens Optimizer option in DPP (ver 3.11.10 and later). This is similar to what LR and DxO do where the results of specific tested combinations of cameras and lenses are applied to the image. The difference is that Canon is not compelled to reverse engineer any of the proprietary information relating to the camera's sensors and AA filter, the lens' characteristics, the demosaicing algorithm, etc.

A post at Fred Miranda discussed this shortly after it was released concurrently with the 5DIII and the example pics, intentionally shot at f/16 to test how well DLO deals with diffraction, are fairly impressive, especially given that on the forum post they have been re-sampled (by tinypic). The downside to DLO is that applying it takes some intensive processing and the size of the RAW file is doubled. If you later turn DLO off for that image, the RAW file returns to the original size. Some have speculated that a "duplicate" RAW file with the corrections applied to the RAW data is added.

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If you shoot RAW, you can let Lightroom-4 handle all the corrections, color and all flavors of lens distortion (barrel, mustache, color fringing, etc.) You can have it done automatically or tweak the settings as @dan suggested. I am very happy with the abilities in LR4.

It can even correct geometry distortion typically found in architectural photos when you are using a non-tilt-non-shift lens. Very cool stuff. See http://tv.adobe.com/watch/getting-started-with-adobe-photoshop-lightroom-3/lens-correction-perspective-correction/

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do you know if Canon in-camera lens correction is any good? –  Bob Mar 1 '13 at 1:54
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Canon's new Digital Lens Optimizer applied using DPP is better than the in-camera correction. –  Michael Clark Mar 1 '13 at 6:26
    
Any modern desktop or laptop computer has hundreds (if not thousands) of times more processing power than any camera. That is why post-processing rocks. –  Pat Farrell Mar 2 '13 at 0:57
    
That is part of it, Pat. But the DLO lens profiles for some of Canon's zoom lenses are almost 100MB! The lens information used in the in-camera correction are not as detailed. –  Michael Clark Mar 2 '13 at 11:25
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