Please comment briefly on your RAW file processing experience.

Editor's picture
While we all can agree that RAW format offers the potential for the best image quality, not everyone agrees about how to process the file. Some think that the manufacturer knows their RAW file structure best, while others believe that third-party RAW converters do just as well. When processing your RAW files do you:
Please comment briefly on your RAW file processing experience.
Stick with the manufacturer software.
16% (22 votes)
Use Aperture, Lightroom, ACR or other third-party software.
77% (108 votes)
Don't shoot RAW, so it doesn't apply.
8% (11 votes)
Total votes: 141
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Comments
Donnie G.'s picture

I'm a Canon shooter, and I tend to stick with Canon's DPP raw converter because it's fast, easy to use, and backward compatible with my older Canon bodies. Add to that the fact that Canon provides me with a free copy of the software with every new camera purchase and well, there's not much reason for me to use anything else. I've also used Photoshop's DNG converter with equally good results when I'm using a computer other than my own. Love em both.

Ron's picture

Lightroom of course!

Cody Weaver's picture

I have always used the Camera Raw feature in Photoshop to process my RAW image files, but I have recently moved to Aperture. After all this time I still find the whole process to be confusing.

Angela A.  Stanton's picture

Lightroom raw processing is invisible, just like Canon's processing (my manufacturer), and unlike CS5 (opening raw is a separate task from other functions), with the benefit of being able to process it into many different virtual finishes in a few steps. Propriety software does not have the same processing options as Lightroom does.

Claude Fletcher's picture

I find the Nikon software clumsy to work with. Adobe seems light years ahead in terms of being user friendliness.

G.  Sykes's picture

Be good to know what all the slider controls do in Bridge!

Alexander Basil's picture

I use Canon Raw because its simple and practical,to enhance whats there not make something thats not.

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Ed Ruttledge's picture

I use RAW in all of my photography. I have learned the capabilities and workflow of CS4. Further, it has a seamless transition into the CS4 image processing.

Monroe Payne's picture

I shoot exclusively raw, and use Lightroom 3 to do the initial processing. The biggest problem I have is hard drive space.

Alan Lichty's picture

I use the tool that is best suited to all of my post processing workflow. My camera manufacturer's RAW software is not integrated into the software I use for the remainder of my PP work.

Mel Reimer's picture

I stick with the manufacturer's software because it works the most seamlessly for me.

Larry Novotny's picture

With a limited budget, I have found Nikons NX2 far superior to Photoshop Elements.

Ken Hunter's picture

I have found the Canon software the best overall. I have Bibble which complicates to simple. Page after page of control that basically do the same thing over and over.

Doug Dean's picture

I shoot everything RAW. Lightroom, along with Nik's Viveza, Silver Efex Pro, and a few other plug-ins make processing a joy. I can be as artistic as I feel.

Jay Ward's picture

The differences between ACR and Nikon software are so subtle it would take a lab to see them. That's why I use Adobe. Plus, ACR 6 gives more control than ever and is easier to use for adjustments.

Jim Wiltse's picture

I have CS5 and NX2. With all the recent upgrading of ACR I use it all the time now.

Ed Wood's picture

Prefer Adobe Raw, but am about to try Sony's new engine.

Michael Reed's picture

I use ACR with Photoshop Elements. It has all the features I need and is simple to use.

Wally Lubzik's picture

Raw is great. You can do so much with raw. As someone once said, " Raw Rules".

Bob C.'s picture

I originally bought into the notion that Canon DPP would naturally be best for RAW conversion. Have sinced learned that there's noting LR cannot do that DPP does.

Mark Levandowski's picture

I would never have a reason to shoot anything less than a raw image.

Eric Hill's picture

Using 7d MK2 I have tried RAW with Lightroom & Canon's DPP. Compared to the best JPEG setting out of the camera the biggest difference I could see was the much longer download times and the related much larger file size. Plus with RAW I have to tweak every image and with JPEG only most images. If shooting indoors with mixed light I may use raw for better light balance corrections. Most of my shooting is wildlife outdoors.

JL Garcia, Ph's picture

Lightroom is very much ahead of Adobe Raw Image Converter, especially for batch processing.

Allen's picture

I have done compairsons using Canon DPP, Lightroom and ACR. While there are distinct differences I find that ACR, or Lightroom, allows me to get the image just the way I want it, and I am dealing with just one tool.

Bruce Hildebrand's picture

I like the options that can affect the look of my image. I still need to learn some automation. It is tedious and even browsing my shots takes too much time at the moment.

George Bowron's picture

Adobe Elements can't seem to keep up with the new RAW formats when new cameras come out. The download format is convoluted and if you are using several cameras the software "forgets " how to convert the older camera RAW.

Michael Smith's picture

Lightroom and Camera Raw are great image processing tools - much better than the tools that come with the cameras. I have used Minolta and Canon and Lightroom is best.

George Sass's picture

After much experimentation I've found that Photo Mechanic is fastest, easiest to use browser. I then process and edit my selects using Nikon's Capture NX2. NX2's U-Point technology gives me selective control at a fraction of the time it takes in Photoshop.

Tim Sheridan's picture

90% of the time I use Canon's DPP. I also use Photoshop Elements for some things I can't do with the Canon software.