Spring 2012

Spring 2012
by ani

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I use a Sony NEX-5R, with Lightroom 5, on a Mac.

Bundled with the camera came two pieces of OEM software: Sony's Image Data Converter and Canon's Digital Photo Professional.

I had a quick look at the former, and it doesn't seem to do much that Lightroom can't. Is that impression correct, or am I missing significant capabilities by ignoring these and sticking with Lightroom?

In particular, I can't imagine Canon's software doing something unique for a Sony camera.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

I can't image why Canon's Digital Photo Professional was included with a Sony NEX-5R. It won't open any of the RAW files from the Sony.

On the other hand, with RAW files from a Canon DSLR DPP does have some advantages over other third party software for use as a RAW conversion application:

  • The demosaicing algorithms are based on Canon's knowledge of the design and tested performance of their cameras. Canon designs and manufactures their image sensors themselves and no one knows more about them than Canon does.
  • The lens correction profiles are based on Canon's knowledge of the design and tested performance of their lenses. No one knows more about them than Canon does. With the addition of the Digital Lens Optimizer for many of Canon's most often used professional grade lenses correction for lens aberrations including diffraction can be applied to a RAW file and exported still in the RAW format.
  • Although Lightroom has closed the gap with the last couple of editions DPP still seems to do a better job of strong noise reduction with images taken at high ISO in low light while preserving a little more detail.
  • DPP preserves the 'maker notes' section of the EXIF information and includes it when exporting the image converted to JPEG. Canon includes some fairly significant information in the 'maker note' section and uses some of this information when doing RAW conversion. Adobe products strip the information from the maker note section of the EXIF information and ignore it when processing the image.
  • When a RAW image is first opened in DPP the image is displayed using the in camera settings selected at the time the image was created. The white balance, contrast, saturation, etc. in place when you shot each image are used by default. So if you got it right in camera, you don't have to rebuild that set of choices again to get the image to appear the way you told the camera. This is especially beneficial if you shot a large number of images under rapidly changing conditions and changed the in camera settings at the time you shot them.
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This is a very detailed and useful list, Michael. Thanks for that. However, since I own an NEX, I guess the relevant information for me would be what Sony's Image Data Converter can do that Lightroom can't (let me edit the title of the question for this). Do you know about Sony's software, or can I assume it will be more or less the same as Canon's DPP? Thanks, again. – Vaddadi Kartick Feb 19 '14 at 7:46
I've never owned a Sony camera, nor have I used the Sony software. As originally asked your question included what Canon's DPP can do that Lightroom can't. For your NEX-5R it can't do anything. For Canon DSLRs there is quite a bit it can do. Sony's RAW conversion may or may not have the same or different types of added functionality. One of the users who shoots Sony might be able to answer that aspect of it. – Michael Clark Feb 19 '14 at 18:36
Understood. Thanks. – Vaddadi Kartick Feb 20 '14 at 8:01
"The demosaicing algorithms are based on Canon's knowledge of the design and tested performance of their cameras. Canon designs and manufactures their image sensors themselves and no one knows more about them than Canon does." But isn't a Bayer array a Bayer array? Same pattern of pixels. So why should Canon have the best demosaicing of anyone? Try Rawtherapee and all its algorithms and then let's talk. The one advantage that I can think of from knowing the sensor is better color. – Andy Blankertz Sep 28 '14 at 22:19
No, all Bayer arrays are not equal. There could be quite a few differentiators from one sensor design to the next. The color filters may be centered on slightly different wavelengths. The gap between pixels may be different widths (both in terms of absolute measurement and in terms of percentage of coverage area). The response curve to varying wavelengths of light could vary. The way noise reduction (if any) is done on chip before the data is read out to the camera's processor will differ. – Michael Clark Sep 29 '14 at 1:54

Lightroom is everything to everybody if you use the sony image data application you will find the Greens and Blues and read in a different way.

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What is it that you're trying to say? It's really not clear. – Andy Blankertz Sep 28 '14 at 18:09

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