Best RAW converter?

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Comments

  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,428Member
    edited April 2015
    I was talking about RawTherapee...
    You were specifically talking about Capture NX2 and Capture NX-D, not RawTherapee in the post I was responding to.
    The Nikon software NX-D, NX2, employ the exact same algorithms as the cameras. You produce an identical JPG if you use the same Picture Control settings.
    To put it bluntly, I shoot RAW because I do not like the in camera algorithms. If I did I wouldn't bother shooting RAW.

    RawTherapee is a great editor in many respects, and does have far more RAW tools than Lightroom. Of course RawTherapee suffers from what many open source software packages suffer from, a terrible user interface (not that the likes of Adobe Lightroom is much better, but is, slightly). That is just one reasons why it has not been widely adopted. As mentioned in an earlier post, the best RAW processor is not necessarily the "best" in a scientific sense, but rather in terms of what best fits a given persons workflow. If the editor drives a person nuts, it's not going to be the "best" for that person.

    I have never stated the Lightroom is the "best", I would never argue that. Does it work the best for many people? I guess so, since it is the most used photo DAM out there in terms of marketshare. We can talk all we want about which is best from a purely scientific standpoint, but that is irrelevant.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    I was talking about RawTherapee...
    You were specifically talking about Capture NX2 and Capture NX-D, not RawTherapee in the post I was responding to.
    You are correct. I should have specified.
    The Nikon software NX-D, NX2, employ the exact same algorithms as the cameras. You produce an identical JPG if you use the same Picture Control settings.
    To put it bluntly, I shoot RAW because I do not like the in camera algorithms. If I did I wouldn't bother shooting RAW.

    RawTherapee is a great editor in many respects, and does have far more RAW tools than Lightroom. Of course RawTherapee suffers from what many open source software packages suffer from, a terrible user interface (not that the likes of Adobe Lightroom is much better, but is, slightly). That is just one reasons why it has not been widely adopted. As mentioned in an earlier post, the best RAW processor is not necessarily the "best" in a scientific sense, but rather in terms of what best fits a given persons workflow. If the editor drives a person nuts, it's not going to be the "best" for that person.

    I have never stated the Lightroom is the "best", I would never argue that. Does it work the best for many people? I guess so, since it is the most used photo DAM out there in terms of marketshare. We can talk all we want about which is best from a purely scientific standpoint, but that is irrelevant.
    That is your point of view. As a DAM, LR has many good qualities. I would use it for that purpose, but I find using the finder (or explorer in windows) is better for me as I organize by project and date.

    If I want to produce a high quality image, I am not afraid to use whatever tools are available. If that means for the perfect pano I use RawTherapee for the raw conversion, DxO PRIME noise reduction, and final edits and stitching in PS, that's my workflow. The OP was about best raw converter, not DAM, or printer driver, or HDR. That is a scientific question and answer.
  • funtagraphfuntagraph Posts: 265Member
    No, there's no answer to the "best RAW converter" as long as it's not specified, which qualities should be delivered and how important it's user interface is. After all, it's "only" a tool. And if a tool doens't suit my skills, expectations and needs for usability, it can remain in the shop even if it's the best one for somebody else.

    There's also no "scientific answer" as it is no measuring process or mathematical proof. And again, to answer this question scientifically - no matter how nonsensical that'd be - we first need to say hwich qualities are about to be "measured" and how big their values is. The "best RAW converter" is simply a subjective decision: What suits my workflow, how easy and reliable do I get the images what I want. If you need 4 different apps for that (Finder, RAW Therapee, Photoshop, DxO Prime noise) and are happy with this load of stuff to learn, great. Others, like myself, prefer a more direct solution and a better DAM than Finder/Explorer ever could offer to be.
  • TriShooterTriShooter Posts: 219Member
    edited May 2015
    I just spent a month trying every raw converter mentioned here, and a few others, I decided on Phase One's Capture One which does an amazing job of converting Nikon D700 / D800 raw files for me.

    I agree that there is no best raw converter, and suspect it could have a lot to do the individual exposure settings we use, and how well we deal white balance while we are shooting, and other things on the input side including the sensors in our cameras, and the electronics,, and software that gets the image from the sensor to the magnetic media.

    Most of the time I complete the entire editing process in Capture One. When I do want something in PS, or LR, I click a couple of times to process a 16bit tiff file for either program, finish the edit, and save it back to the session file in Capture One. I have tools I am fond of in PS that let me change color profiles, and edit in LAB, and CYMK to tweak curves on problem files that work well that have spoiled me.

    Capture One is highly underestimated because most people get nervous when they see how the catalog function works process a file, and then quit. However, Capture One is equal if not better than PS for working with layers editing portraits for my purposes, but I am still spoiled by PS action scripts.

    I like to review my camera / lens data to see what I am shooting and compare the good shot ratio so I still use LR to catalog, and even occasionally edit in LR because it is very fast, but so is Capture One. I set up sessions in Capture One by job, or event using the files in LR. Adobe's ACR raw converter which LR CC, and PS CC use are not in the same league with Capture One, especially noticeable if I am forced to extend the capability of my gear. For studio work where you have complete control over the light, and the dynamic range, the difference is still there, but does not hit me between the eyes. One of the many reasons I avoid Adobe ACR is that it applies noise reduction to some extent, even when it is turned off in the panel.

    Superior quality can be obtained in other ways as well. One of the best for getting the most out of a nef file is to create a DNG file (do not use adobe dng because they add noise to the file for some inexplicable reason), and then convert it to a linear tiff for processing. Linear tiffs are usually superior to any raw processor but processing the very dark Linear TIFF file is yet another learning curve.
    Post edited by TriShooter on
  • KillerbobKillerbob Posts: 732Member
    I am reopening this thread, as I recently came to a conclusion, but need some suggestions...

    In my humble opinion DxO OpticsPro 10 has one of the best RAW converters, and I really like the result when I just open up a RAW image. However, I like the Adobe Lightroom workflow and the power of Photoshop. So how should I combine these tools?

    I guess if I worked on JPGs all the time I could open the RAW images in OpticsPro, save them as JPGs, and then enter the JPGs into my Lightroom workflow. But I do not work with JPGs, so that's not a solution.

    How do I harvest the power of the RAW converter in OpticsPro, but use the workflow in Lightroom and editing possibilities in Photoshop?
  • haroldpharoldp Posts: 984Member
    Process in DXO 10 (prime noise reduction is awesome), and export it to dng or tif then into photoshop.

    .. H
    D810, D3x, 14-24/2.8, 50/1.4D, 24-70/2.8, 24-120/4 VR, 70-200/2.8 VR1, 80-400 G, 200-400/4 VR1, 400/2.8 ED VR G, 105/2 DC, 17-55/2.8.
    Nikon N90s, F100, F, lots of Leica M digital and film stuff.

  • KillerbobKillerbob Posts: 732Member
    So TIFF format would have to be an intermediary? I wonder if I could mass produce in DxO, and then import in Lightroom...
  • haroldpharoldp Posts: 984Member
    If you highlight multiple images in DXO, and then hit 'export', it will run all of them in a batch.
    If you are using prime noise reduction, do not hold your breath waiting for it to complete. A single D810 image takes 45 seconds on a new 3.5 ghz mac pro while attaching 12 cores (6 physical, 6 virtual running 1140 % cpu).

    That is a good time for a cappuccino.

    I personally prefer DNG as an intermediate format.

    ... H
    D810, D3x, 14-24/2.8, 50/1.4D, 24-70/2.8, 24-120/4 VR, 70-200/2.8 VR1, 80-400 G, 200-400/4 VR1, 400/2.8 ED VR G, 105/2 DC, 17-55/2.8.
    Nikon N90s, F100, F, lots of Leica M digital and film stuff.

  • KillerbobKillerbob Posts: 732Member
    lol - I have the exact same Mac Pro:) 64GB RAM and 2 x D700s... What monitors are you using?
  • haroldpharoldp Posts: 984Member
    @Killerbob

    I am using an NEC PA271W

    ... H
    D810, D3x, 14-24/2.8, 50/1.4D, 24-70/2.8, 24-120/4 VR, 70-200/2.8 VR1, 80-400 G, 200-400/4 VR1, 400/2.8 ED VR G, 105/2 DC, 17-55/2.8.
    Nikon N90s, F100, F, lots of Leica M digital and film stuff.

  • SnowleopardSnowleopard Posts: 244Member
    I always shoot raw and never will look back. my opinion on the post editing thing is " If I could do it in a dark room with film, I don't have a problem doing it in post with digital".

    So Dodging, Burning, brightness, contrast, saturations, you can manipulate all that depending on your film developing process and paper processing in a dark room.

    Cutting people out of photo's, changing backgrounds, putting people in photo's, etc..... That is not photography.....

    I feel that I get allot more control over the "dark room" adjustments in raw than in jpg. People that have developed film and made prints understand this.

    The average person going picking up a $4 disposable camera and handing it off to a 1 hour lab don't get it.

    There is also the difference in "I just want to take good pictures of my family" on 4x6's 5x7's and the occasional 8x10 and "I am an artist and want stuff hung in an art museum that is 8ft x 10ft.

    Just food for thought :-).
    ||COOLPIX 5000|●|D70|●|D700|●|D810|●|AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED|●|AF Nikkor 20mm f/2.8D|●|AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D|●|AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G|●|AF Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8D|●|AF-S Micro Nikkor 60mm f/2.8G ED|●|AF-S VR Zoom-NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G IF-ED (Silver)|●|AF-S Teleconverter TC-20E III|●|PB-6 Bellows|●|EL-NIKKOR 50mm f/2.8||
  • SnowleopardSnowleopard Posts: 244Member
    When I was shooting the meteor shower I had the intervalometer setup to take a 30 second exposure with a 1 second pause between them for 5 hours..... I was able to process all those raw files in batch on my Windows 8.1 (Now Windows 10) Laptop with 4 physical cores and 4 virtual cores (8 total) and 32gb of ram in less than an hour from the D810. about 128gb in raw files. It is fast Using Capture D, Light Room.
    ||COOLPIX 5000|●|D70|●|D700|●|D810|●|AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED|●|AF Nikkor 20mm f/2.8D|●|AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D|●|AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G|●|AF Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8D|●|AF-S Micro Nikkor 60mm f/2.8G ED|●|AF-S VR Zoom-NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G IF-ED (Silver)|●|AF-S Teleconverter TC-20E III|●|PB-6 Bellows|●|EL-NIKKOR 50mm f/2.8||
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