I have been using Lightroom since long before I had an EOS camera, so I have to admit when I got my 60d two years ago I never bothered at all with the Canon software and have always used lightroom and elements for my workflow.
Having recently gotten a 5D iii, I thougt I would install the software (mostly for the EOS utility). DPP seems pretty neat; but is there anything it does that lightroom cant? Is anyone using both in conjunction, or any of the other canon supplied software?
Wondering if DPP handles noise reduction better... Or maybe makes workflow faster for processing simple RAW changes, using picture styles perhaps.
There are reasons to use either program over the other, depending on your needs. The latest iteration of DPP is now a fairly mature program that will convert your average files very, very well, but still doesn't have the extremely "fine-grained" control that Lightroom or ACR has at the moment. Many people, however, don't need that much control over the image, if either your capture is very good and fairly near ideal to begin with, or, if you don't care to work so hard to wring the last 5% out of the raw file; then, DPP is a great and, not unimportantly, a free application that will probably meet all your needs.
DPP usually yields excellent color out of the box, and has several tools that are either somewhat limited but easier to use, or just better than those available in Lightroom. The compositing and HDR tools are eamples of the former and the quick check tool is an example of the latter. Again, Lighroom (and/or Photoshop) certainly has tools to accomplish the same tasks, but they are a little more complex and require a little more knowledge and practiced judgment to use well. In my book, however, nothing beats the quick check tool in DPP for quickly eliminating non-keepers in your first edit go-around. I will always use DPP for that alone, even if I later open the raws in another program. DPP is also pretty "small," pretty speedy on a good computer, and is not a resource hog.
The only things that aren't up to the level of many other raw converter programs are more complete and fine control over individual color channels, very complete sharpening and noise reduction options, the most extreme levels of highlight and shadow recovery, and, of course, no cataloging of your images, unlike with Lighroom's module. Frankly, I have been cataloging finished 16-bit tiffs, and then raws, for the past 16 years with a couple of good digital stand-alone programs, so I don't feel so attached to Lightroom for that reason alone.
As far as overall speed with very large shoots involving many hundreds to thousands of images, very experienced users of Lighroom can get through their work faster than someone with DPP alone, but if your dealing with a couple hundred files or less, the difference is very small and you don't need to learn as many tricks and shortcuts to use DPP in that way.
Don't rely on DPP for noise reduction. You may want to do none or simply sharpen it up a little with the "sharpen" command at levels 1 to 3, but don't bother with the unsharp mask control; it's much better to save that function to Photoshop or whatever program your Tiffs or Jpegs go to later. Noise reduction in DPP is good, but use it very judiciously, if you find you need a lot of it, skip it and do this in another program following DPP's conversion. Lastly, as far as picture style is concerned, that is not really the domain of DPP, but is really the process by which you control the camera's internal development of Jpegs directly from the camera. If I'm wrong about this, my apologies, but that is what I've always assumed. In DPP, you can cook up different "recipes," or even multiple "recipes," to apply to multiple files with only a click or two, and that operates in the same way with raw files, as do picture styles with Jpegs.