Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
08-19-2019, 07:15 AM   #91
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Dec 2012
Photos: Albums
Posts: 2,068
QuoteOriginally posted by jbinpg Quote
I am curious how you arrive at your findings. Do you use the same settings in every program? Or do you simply rely on default settings to make your judgements? I am quite sure that similar results can be derived in all your listed programs if the user is able to take some time to learn its tools.
While there may be some useful information to be gleaned from this study, no one (or almost no one) uses just the defaults when developing RAW files. If you're going to do that you should skip a step and just use OOC jpegs.

That's the inherent limitation of this thread: it's testing 23 RAW converters in a mode of operation that basically no one will ever use. And as soon as you go beyond the defaults, seconds after importing a RAW file, the conclusions will likely be very different.

08-23-2019, 09:50 AM - 1 Like   #92
Veteran Member
emalvick's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Davis, CA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,642
QuoteOriginally posted by ThorSanchez Quote
While there may be some useful information to be gleaned from this study, no one (or almost no one) uses just the defaults when developing RAW files. If you're going to do that you should skip a step and just use OOC jpegs.

That's the inherent limitation of this thread: it's testing 23 RAW converters in a mode of operation that basically no one will ever use. And as soon as you go beyond the defaults, seconds after importing a RAW file, the conclusions will likely be very different.
From a realistic standpoint, these types of reviews and comparisons are impossible to do outside of what was done (at least for one person). None of us are going to be expert users of every software out there. Then throw in the complication of users combining software (plugins, etc), and you find that the goal really needs to be to find the best software to fit into your idea of a workflow AND also adjust your workflow to fit the software that gets you there. There are too many variables.

What may be interesting would be to hand out the same raw file (or a few raw files) to dedicated users of each software (take your pick how many raw converters you put out there) and have each person process the file(s) to get to an end point. For even more control, perhaps you have everyone strive to get to something similar to the jpg (in a RAW+JPG pair).

The goal here would be to track how much time / steps it takes for everyday users of a software to get to a similar end starting from that software's defaults (outside any user defined presets). The value of a raw converter is how easy it is to get to an end and how versatile it is under various input conditions. You might try this for a bright image image, a dark image, a high bokeh image, underexposed image, overexposed, etc.

If I go back to my experiences mastering the use of Lightroom and DxO raw processors, I found that both had significant strengths (and weaknesses). In processing one image, I can get to the same end from a RAW file in many fewer steps in DxO. BUT, if I am trying to process a lot of photos or a photoshoot, Lightroom becomes a winner (although DxO is catching up more recently). Interestingly, LR comes across as an easier program to use because its tool-set is relatively straight forward while DxO is less so (some tools are quite straight forward while others are quite complicated). Yet, once you really learn the program, I can process one file in DxO with only a few steps and in less than a minute (maybe even 10's of seconds) as long as I don't need to worry about selective color adjustments (at which point LR is much more powerful).

But, that is just my perspective in comparing two raw processors that I regularly use and that I feel I have mostly mastered. It takes practice to get to that level in any program.
08-23-2019, 10:26 AM   #93
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Dec 2012
Photos: Albums
Posts: 2,068
QuoteOriginally posted by emalvick Quote
What may be interesting would be to hand out the same raw file (or a few raw files) to dedicated users of each software (take your pick how many raw converters you put out there) and have each person process the file(s) to get to an end point. For even more control, perhaps you have everyone strive to get to something similar to the jpg (in a RAW+JPG pair).

The goal here would be to track how much time / steps it takes for everyday users of a software to get to a similar end starting from that software's defaults (outside any user defined presets). The value of a raw converter is how easy it is to get to an end and how versatile it is under various input conditions. You might try this for a bright image image, a dark image, a high bokeh image, underexposed image, overexposed, etc.
Nothing against the goals of this thread, but I think what you're describing might be more useful. Especially if there's a narrative associated with each of the test cases.

A weakness is going to be the post-processing skills of the user and their chosen software. I've used RawTherapee for about a year now after dumping Lightroom 6, and I'm still figuring out better ways of doing things. Even if you see a program that seems to get quality results easily, a lot of that is going to be familiarity and learned workflows that might takes months or longer to acquire.
08-26-2019, 01:15 AM   #94
Pentaxian




Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 673
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by emalvick Quote
From a realistic standpoint, these types of reviews and comparisons are impossible to do outside of what was done (at least for one person). None of us are going to be expert users of every software out there. Then throw in the complication of users combining software (plugins, etc), and you find that the goal really needs to be to find the best software to fit into your idea of a workflow AND also adjust your workflow to fit the software that gets you there. There are too many variables.

What may be interesting would be to hand out the same raw file (or a few raw files) to dedicated users of each software (take your pick how many raw converters you put out there) and have each person process the file(s) to get to an end point. For even more control, perhaps you have everyone strive to get to something similar to the jpg (in a RAW+JPG pair).
This is a nice idea that I've also had. My concern with it is that you're going to be biasing the result towards a particular JPEG result that may have been achieved with a particular software (thus you'd have to exclude that software from that round), and some results may be easier with some pieces of software while others may be easier with others. Who is to say what's correct?

Let me give y'all an example that might help to illustrate this point. For a while, I really wanted to give Silkypix a chance. I had a copy of the full version either from a giveaway or through a discount (it mostly seems to go for $39 these days). I like the colours from Silkypix, and I had a food photography assignment for which the initial result with Silkypix was good, I just thought it needed some tweaking. So I started doing that, tried in Silkypix, couldn't get what I needed. Exported and worked on it some more in some raster graphics editor (may have been Affinity or GIMP). No dice. Put it into Capture One, started massaging it there. Tried to implement what I was learning from Capture One in Silkypix. No such luck. Eventually realised that the result I'd obtained in Capture One was near-perfect, and went with that.

But here's the catch: could I have gotten the same result from Capture One if I hadn't tried Silkypix first? Probably not. Could I have gotten as good a result from Silkypix if I hadn't worked with Capture One in parallel? Probably also no. Could I have gotten a good idea of the end result from either program if all I had seen was the default render? Absolutely yes. Even in the default render, the parts whose saturation I would battle with in Silkypix were obvious. And equally it was obvious that the initial result from Silkypix was naively quite appealing, and that Capture One gave an overall more balanced render.

So the value of a review like this is to give you a realistic idea what to expect, not to cover every possible angle.

08-26-2019, 08:52 AM   #95
Veteran Member
emalvick's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Davis, CA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,642
QuoteOriginally posted by Breakfastographer Quote
This is a nice idea that I've also had. My concern with it is that you're going to be biasing the result towards a particular JPEG result that may have been achieved with a particular software (thus you'd have to exclude that software from that round), and some results may be easier with some pieces of software while others may be easier with others. Who is to say what's correct?
Correct. But it may be better than biasing software based on their defaults. Using a software at its defaults almost defeats the purpose of shooting RAW in the first place, and most people are using the software to make adjustments or perfect the image. But, yes, one would have to choose a program to exclude, but alternatively, one could shoot in RAW+JPG mode and use the JPG as a target. Or, one could shoot with a different camera or even a Phone. But, I don't think it is about correct, and it is about what is easier. I use 2 or 3 raw converters because under certain situations my chosen software (currently DxOPhotoLab) isn't easy all the time, but for my usage it is easy >95% of the time.

But it is useful to know, even if you are a fanboy of a software, where it shines and where it doesn't. My biggest concern is getting the exposure/histogram acceptable as easily as possible. I want a software that is good at highlight recovery, shadow recovery, curve adjustments, etc. I also like a software that allows me to easily work with white balance and color balance.

QuoteQuote:
Let me give y'all an example that might help to illustrate this point. For a while, I really wanted to give Silkypix a chance. I had a copy of the full version either from a giveaway or through a discount (it mostly seems to go for $39 these days). I like the colours from Silkypix, and I had a food photography assignment for which the initial result with Silkypix was good, I just thought it needed some tweaking. So I started doing that, tried in Silkypix, couldn't get what I needed. Exported and worked on it some more in some raster graphics editor (may have been Affinity or GIMP). No dice. Put it into Capture One, started massaging it there. Tried to implement what I was learning from Capture One in Silkypix. No such luck. Eventually realised that the result I'd obtained in Capture One was near-perfect, and went with that.

But here's the catch: could I have gotten the same result from Capture One if I hadn't tried Silkypix first? Probably not. Could I have gotten as good a result from Silkypix if I hadn't worked with Capture One in parallel? Probably also no. Could I have gotten a good idea of the end result from either program if all I had seen was the default render? Absolutely yes. Even in the default render, the parts whose saturation I would battle with in Silkypix were obvious. And equally it was obvious that the initial result from Silkypix was naively quite appealing, and that Capture One gave an overall more balanced render.

So the value of a review like this is to give you a realistic idea what to expect, not to cover every possible angle.
The problem with the type of reviews provided, is that it seems the reviews are focused on the default rendering and not working with the software. Your example above is valid, and it will be for any user plugging software A and software B against each other. There are really a lot variables, and the fact that so many people swear by so many different software is proof that many of them are good. I really think the best program is the one that works best for the user. It is the user who takes the photos (and of course photos can vary by whether you shoot portraits, landscapes, astrophotography, street photography, macros, etc). It is the user who has to drive the software from open to export/end-product.

That being said, I don't want to discount the default rendering in a software. It is part of what makes me like DxO. However, where LR is somewhat lacking on its defaults, it gets made up for in straightforward tools. And when processing a lot of photos, it is really easy to copy develop settings from one image to another, or make presets, or set new defaults, etc.

As i mentioned in the previous post, there is no perfect way to make these comparisons, and it probably takes a dedicated user a year to really get to know a program.
10-28-2019, 04:25 PM   #96
Pentaxian




Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 673
Original Poster
Giving this one a small bump to say I've updated the article with samples from the recent releases, i.e. Ashampoo Photo Commander 16, Cyberlink PhotoDirector 11, (formerly AlienSkin) Exposure X5, and RawTherapee 5.7.

There are no obvious changes in the renderings compared to their previous versions.

DxO PhotoLab 3 and ON1 Photo RAW 2020 samples should also show up within the next few days.
05-27-2020, 01:25 PM   #97
Pentaxian
ChristianRock's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: People's Republic of America
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 7,936
QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote
Funny, I made the same journey. From Aftershot Pro to finally ending up with Darktable, which I also love. I used RawTherapee in the meantime which I still like, but Darktable has the features and the workflow that reminds me of Aftershot Pro - with much better RAW conversion. Aftershot's problem is that they don't use standard RAW converters, preferring to create their own. The conversion was fine for the old K10D, K20D and K-r when I had those cameras, but for the K-50 and K-S1 the results are smudgy/unsharp and the colors are off. Highlights were always an issue as you said, but you would expect them to have gotten better. And the workflow/UI got worse with ASP 3 compared to 1, which I liked quite a lot.

I still like RawTherapee though, and every once in a while I'll still use it - it's a very capable program.

@Breakfastographer - thanks for the article!
So I thought I'd go back to my comment about Aftershot Pro... I'm back using it for my K10D and K-50 files. The K-50 files, in this latest version that I downloaded for ASP 3, work well in DNG. I think it's the PEF that I had issues with. But I've always liked the workflow of ASP 3 and I do think that the older converters at least, work very well with the color rendering. With this current computer that I have that has 16GB of memory I've had no issues really with the program locking up.

For my K-S1 files I shoot RAW+, and the JPEGs are often very good so I have a few one-click styles mainly to use the Perfectly Clear algorithm which really does enhance JPEGs quite nicely 95% of the time.

You can find Aftershot Pro 3 on sale quite frequently but even at the usual price of 64 bucks it's still worth it for Perfectly Clear alone. The user-created but Corel-supported "Bez" module is another favorite of mine - really good control of midtones for both color and black and white.

For sure it's spotty and might not support some cameras well - I wish the K-S1 conversion wasn't so bad - but for anyone who just does this as a hobby and wants a software that is very fast (as long as you have enough memory) and quite fun to use, I'd say it's a good option.
06-12-2020, 05:39 AM   #98
Pentaxian
fs999's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Luxembourg
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 6,133
And still not PaintShop Pro... Not serious...

06-12-2020, 06:55 AM   #99
Pentaxian
ChristianRock's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: People's Republic of America
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 7,936
QuoteOriginally posted by fs999 Quote
And still not PaintShop Pro... Not serious...
Doesn't PaintShop Pro use Aftershot for the Raw conversion?

I just did opened up a K-S1 raw file in PSP and it has the same issues I see with the conversion in Aftershot Pro 3 - loss of detail and problems with the colors. It looks basically identical to what I get in ASP3 (older camera profiles are usually better...).
06-18-2020, 10:51 AM - 2 Likes   #100
Pentaxian
The Squirrel Mafia's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 2,649
You can't really go wrong with any of these RAW converters. Once you master the one you like, you can get very good results out of it.

I have tried a majority of these like Lightroom, Silkypix, DxO, Capture One, On1, Pentax Digital Camera Utility, LightZone, Photivo, darktable, & RawTherapee. The one that I find the most useful for my workflow is RawTherapee. Yes. It has a massive learning curve, but once you have it figured out, it becomes insanely easy to use. Once you have RawTherapee configured, batching a single or hundreds or thousands of RAW files is easy with a few mouse clicks. RawTherapee will automatically determine how much noise reduction each file needs & so forth & so on. I don't have to manually go through each RAW file. That would take waaaaaaaay too much time. When using the .dcp files from the Adobe DNG Converter, you can get the same Bright, Landscape, Natural, Portrait, or Vibrant look that you get from the OOC jpegs, but with slightly better color & more fine detail, especially at higher ISOs. I can confidently shoot my K-50 to ISO 12800 & not worry about it so much 'cause I know that I'll still get a very nice image out of RawTherapee. Heck, even an ISO 25600 image is slightly usable when not pixel peeping.

But yeah. It all comes down to how much you're willing to stick with a particular program. Once you figure out the quirks & workflow, you'll eventually learn how to do things quite fast & efficiently.
08-31-2020, 10:08 AM   #101
Pentaxian




Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 673
Original Poster
38 RAW converters for Pentax compared

Thanks for the comments, SquirrelMafia and ChristianRock. Meanwhile, the compilation has been updated with samples from:
  • darktable 3.2.1
  • DxO Photolab 3
  • Emotion Projects Professional
  • HDR Projects 7 Professional
  • ON1 Photo RAW 2020
  • Perfectly Clear 3.5
  • Photomatix (Pro 6 and Essential 4.2)
  • RawTherapee 5.8
The total number of represented programs is now 38.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
blog, camera, converters, converters for pentax, darktable, dng, download, dxo, images, internet, laptop, link, nikon, optics, page, pentax, photography, photoshop, profile, raw converter, raw development, raw editing, results, road, software, support, test
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Does the switchable AA filter pose difficult problems for RAW converters? Paul the Sunman Pentax K-3 & K-3 II 12 01-20-2014 02:10 PM
K30 and Raw Converters KMMD Pentax K-30 & K-50 2 04-01-2013 07:43 PM
SMC Pentax-DA 18-270mm not recorded in EXIF (latest Firmware 1.13.23.23) Alfie Pentax K-5 & K-5 II 9 12-31-2012 09:36 AM
Comparison of almost all raw converters fotoreporter1975 Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 4 12-12-2012 05:17 PM
high end raw converters Gooshin Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 5 03-01-2008 08:59 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:43 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top