Why Would I use Canon's DPP?

Mikehit

EOS 5D MK IV
Jul 28, 2015
3,253
454
Ian_of_glos said:
Valvebounce said:
Hi Ian.
Very nicely done, a for argument turned upside down! ;D ;D
As hinted in my first reply, I started as most in jpeg, my first use of raw was when flying over the Grand Canyon, I put my 300D in raw on takeoff and back to jpeg on landing (left it on P)! I put the folder in DPP and processed it, they looked like camera jpegs! ::)
Since then I got DxO, I started by just using the default settings, much better in most cases, but it was 5he cases where it didn’t work ‘straight out of the box’ that made me fiddle with things, oh my, that created some crap, but reset is your friend! Eventually I found that selecting different presets gave better results than I could manage, but it showed my error, small changes, make small changes to the sliders! Since I started on DxO 9, it has got more intelligent and there are more automatic selections which intelligently analyse each shot and apply different levels of effect depending on subject, for example finding a face will turn off microcontrast so as not to accentuate skin blemishes!
I have started to revisit that first raw folder and have found that improvements can be found.

Cheers, Graham.

Ian_of_glos said:
This is a very good analogy and just as I end up with a horrible tasteless, gooey mess whenever I try to bake a cake, every time I have tried to process a RAW file the results have been dreadful. After working on a picture for hours I always discard the RAW file and just use the JPEG that the camera produced. It is usually good enough for what I want and way better than anything I can create from the RAW file.
There are many videos on youtube that claim to explain how to process a RAW file to produce realistic images but in reality all they are unhelpful. They usually involve an expert showing everyone how competent he or she is at using Lightroom, flying between different sliders, moving one up another one down without ever explaining why they made each adjustment or how they know how far to adjust each one. The viewer is left baffled and unable to apply any of the techniques to their own photo processing.
I have even read two books on Lightroom and yet as soon as I see that horrible Lightroom screen appear on the computer my mind goes blank and I run for the cover of the JPEG that the camera produced.
The photo editing programs that I have used are all so complex and difficult to use that it is not surprising that, like me, many people have given up and just make do with JPEGs. It has the secondary benefit of saving me half a terabyte of disc space.
The biggest problem I have is with colour. The colours never look right after I have adjusted them and I always end up reverting to the JPEG, because the colours always look quite good.
Are there any simple techniques for making the colours look right as they always look pale and lifeless in the unedited RAW file. I would be happy if it simply copied the colours from the JPEG, if there is a simple way of doing this.
If you watch some of the videos on youtube that claim to show you how to manage colour they always fly through far too quickly and they never explain why they made each adjustment.
Canon has arguably the the colour science of all major manufacturers and the beauty of DPP is that the program renders the picture in the same way as the camera - you can then tweak from there and return to how it was. One of the most important things with colour is setting the white balance and sometimes doing it manually with the eye dropper is the quickest and easiest. After that I tend to most use Clarity, dehaze and curves.
 

Ian_of_glos

EOS RP
Jun 12, 2012
249
32
England
Mikehit said:
Ian_of_glos said:
Valvebounce said:
Hi Ian.
Very nicely done, a for argument turned upside down! ;D ;D
As hinted in my first reply, I started as most in jpeg, my first use of raw was when flying over the Grand Canyon, I put my 300D in raw on takeoff and back to jpeg on landing (left it on P)! I put the folder in DPP and processed it, they looked like camera jpegs! ::)
Since then I got DxO, I started by just using the default settings, much better in most cases, but it was 5he cases where it didn’t work ‘straight out of the box’ that made me fiddle with things, oh my, that created some crap, but reset is your friend! Eventually I found that selecting different presets gave better results than I could manage, but it showed my error, small changes, make small changes to the sliders! Since I started on DxO 9, it has got more intelligent and there are more automatic selections which intelligently analyse each shot and apply different levels of effect depending on subject, for example finding a face will turn off microcontrast so as not to accentuate skin blemishes!
I have started to revisit that first raw folder and have found that improvements can be found.

Cheers, Graham.

Ian_of_glos said:
This is a very good analogy and just as I end up with a horrible tasteless, gooey mess whenever I try to bake a cake, every time I have tried to process a RAW file the results have been dreadful. After working on a picture for hours I always discard the RAW file and just use the JPEG that the camera produced. It is usually good enough for what I want and way better than anything I can create from the RAW file.
There are many videos on youtube that claim to explain how to process a RAW file to produce realistic images but in reality all they are unhelpful. They usually involve an expert showing everyone how competent he or she is at using Lightroom, flying between different sliders, moving one up another one down without ever explaining why they made each adjustment or how they know how far to adjust each one. The viewer is left baffled and unable to apply any of the techniques to their own photo processing.
I have even read two books on Lightroom and yet as soon as I see that horrible Lightroom screen appear on the computer my mind goes blank and I run for the cover of the JPEG that the camera produced.
The photo editing programs that I have used are all so complex and difficult to use that it is not surprising that, like me, many people have given up and just make do with JPEGs. It has the secondary benefit of saving me half a terabyte of disc space.
The biggest problem I have is with colour. The colours never look right after I have adjusted them and I always end up reverting to the JPEG, because the colours always look quite good.
Are there any simple techniques for making the colours look right as they always look pale and lifeless in the unedited RAW file. I would be happy if it simply copied the colours from the JPEG, if there is a simple way of doing this.
If you watch some of the videos on youtube that claim to show you how to manage colour they always fly through far too quickly and they never explain why they made each adjustment.
Canon has arguably the the colour science of all major manufacturers and the beauty of DPP is that the program renders the picture in the same way as the camera - you can then tweak from there and return to how it was. One of the most important things with colour is setting the white balance and sometimes doing it manually with the eye dropper is the quickest and easiest. After that I tend to most use Clarity, dehaze and curves.
So are you saying that, were I to use DPP for converting my RAW files then the colours would be similar to those in the JPEG that the camera produced?
It is possible that white balance is a factor, but the main problem seems to be that all the colours in the RAW file are pale, nothing like the bright, vibrant colours in the JPEG or what I could see when I was taking the picture.
Please take a look at this example of my daughter playing pool. I have not edited either of these files in any way except to make the files smaller. Other than that they are exactly what the camera produced.
The colours in the JPEG are very realistic, but in the RAW file the red balls look pink not red. Also in the RAW version my daughter's face is very pale. This seems to be corrected by the white balance in the JPEG version, but that still does not explain why the balls are so pale and colourless.
I have tried increasing the saturation and the vibrance but then the colours look unnatural.
Any advice you can offer would be much appreciated.
 

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stevelee

FT-QL
Jul 6, 2017
1,286
310
Davidson, NC
Ian_of_glos said:
The biggest problem I have is with colour. The colours never look right after I have adjusted them and I always end up reverting to the JPEG, because the colours always look quite good.
Are there any simple techniques for making the colours look right as they always look pale and lifeless in the unedited RAW file. I would be happy if it simply copied the colours from the JPEG, if there is a simple way of doing this.
If you watch some of the videos on youtube that claim to show you how to manage colour they always fly through far too quickly and they never explain why they made each adjustment.
In ACR you can set a default profile for opening RAW files. I would think LR has something similar. You can't see an unedited RAW file as such. If you could, it would look pretty weird. There is always a "profile." If colors look washed out, you need to change the profile. If you shot a JPEG in Adobe color space and looked at it on a computer that is interpreting it is sRGB, you would have a similar experience.

I find that a lot of the time for pictures I have made with my 6D2 or G7X II set for Autocolor, that the "As Shot" setting in ACR beats any of the presets or anything I can do with the sliders. The camera defaults are that good, at least to my taste, so no wonder the JPEGs look good. The exception is for example something like a picture I took near sunset, and I want it to look like it did then, and not the noontime look the camera may be aiming for. (Sometimes for later convenience, I'll set the camera's color balance for "daylight," and then the picture will open up in ACR with the orange tones I saw naturally.)

You just need to find a workflow that works for you, and maybe just shooting JPEGs is it. For me, if I just need a quick JPEG, I'll use my iPhone. If I bother to use a real camera, I will always shoot RAW. (OK, if I were stranded for weeks on a desert island with only a 4GB card in my camera, I would shoot just JPEGs until the battery went dead.)

In ACR I'll usually tweak Clarity a bit, maybe add (or subtract) a touch of Vibrance, maybe lighten the shadows a bit, make sure there is some deep black and/or white white in the scene as appropriate, and recover highlights if they get blown out in the process. That all takes less time than it took to type that sentence. If I exposed the picture properly and the light wasn't too weird, that is the most it takes.

Otherwise, I will sometimes correct converging verticals, add a bit of "fill in flash" to the faces of backlit people, adjust some particular color that somehow just doesn't look like I remembered it, get rid of some haze, bring out detail in skies (usually the Highlights adjustment has already done that), or play around with a lot of things. I can devote a day or 30 seconds to a picture, as I wish. I'm not a pro, so time isn't money.

Then in Photoshop, I'll prepare the picture for intended use, a version for the web and, if I wish, a version fit to print.

I find that if I use the Camera Raw filter in PS on an existing JPEG, I almost always overcorrect. So after the filter, I immediately invoke the Fade command, and something about 70% often looks perfect.

Perhaps something in this article or something linked from it will help:

http://blogs.adobe.com/jkost/2018/04/adobe-camera-raw-april-update-raw-and-creative-profiles.html
 

Valvebounce

EOS 5D SR
Apr 3, 2013
4,289
226
52
Isle of Wight
Hi Ian.
I’m probably so wrong with this advice, but I choose a colour that is important, usually the main colour of a subject and then after lightening shadows and reducing highlights to recover sky detail I will do a comparison, flip back and forth with the compare button, change some things slightly flip back and forth with compare until the colour doesn’t appear to alter in my opinion.
In DxO (and probably most other development software) you can choose a master shot for comparison so I guess you could choose the jpeg (I’m not sure but compare might already be done against the jpeg stored in the raw file?).

Cheers, Graham.

Ian_of_glos said:
So are you saying that, were I to use DPP for converting my RAW files then the colours would be similar to those in the JPEG that the camera produced?
It is possible that white balance is a factor, but the main problem seems to be that all the colours in the RAW file are pale, nothing like the bright, vibrant colours in the JPEG or what I could see when I was taking the picture.
Please take a look at this example of my daughter playing pool. I have not edited either of these files in any way except to make the files smaller. Other than that they are exactly what the camera produced.
The colours in the JPEG are very realistic, but in the RAW file the red balls look pink not red. Also in the RAW version my daughter's face is very pale. This seems to be corrected by the white balance in the JPEG version, but that still does not explain why the balls are so pale and colourless.
I have tried increasing the saturation and the vibrance but then the colours look unnatural.
Any advice you can offer would be much appreciated.
 

Mikehit

EOS 5D MK IV
Jul 28, 2015
3,253
454
Ian_of_glos said:
So are you saying that, were I to use DPP for converting my RAW files then the colours would be similar to those in the JPEG that the camera produced?
It is possible that white balance is a factor, but the main problem seems to be that all the colours in the RAW file are pale, nothing like the bright, vibrant colours in the JPEG or what I could see when I was taking the picture.
Please take a look at this example of my daughter playing pool. I have not edited either of these files in any way except to make the files smaller. Other than that they are exactly what the camera produced.
The colours in the JPEG are very realistic, but in the RAW file the red balls look pink not red. Also in the RAW version my daughter's face is very pale. This seems to be corrected by the white balance in the JPEG version, but that still does not explain why the balls are so pale and colourless.
I have tried increasing the saturation and the vibrance but then the colours look unnatural.
Any advice you can offer would be much appreciated.
Yes, raw files often look flat.
For example, on cloudy days, the light is quite blue but the human visual system (eye+brain) compensates for it. The camera does this by setting a white balance - with auto white balance the camera will sense what should be whites and skintones and will apply a warming effect. When setting white balance manually n the camera, you do this by using the 'cloudy' setting: in fact some people leave the camera set on 'cloudy' even in daylight because it can add a nice warm colour.
Similar thing happen under artificial lighting which is why your camera has settings for fluorescent and tungsten lights.

The human eye also compensates for shadow and highlights, and with the colour shifts you get in different lighting conditions, this is why some people use selective colour boosting to recreate what they remember of the scene.

Colours we see are those light rays present in the light source that are reflected to our eye. If the light source does not have those colours, there is nothing to reflect so you lose that colour. Increasing saturation and vibrance will not really help - you also have to boost the hue and luminance (the 'HSL' settings in many programs are hue, saturation and luminance and they are all interlinked which is why the always appear together) - simply boosting saturation to recover reds will screw up the saturation of other colours so you have to boost the red selectively. All this is part of the recipe the camera uses as set by the manufacturer.

There are many pros who use jpegs, especially sports and event photographers who do not have time to convert and manipulate the images.
 

privatebydesign

Would you take advice from a cartoons stuffed toy?
Jan 29, 2011
8,062
1,360
119
To make the RAW file look like the jpeg all you have to do is select the same profile that was set on your camera for the jpeg render, i.e. Portrait, Neutral etc.

Look in your camera menu and look at your picture profile.
 

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LDS

EOR R
Sep 14, 2012
1,593
164
Ian_of_glos said:
The biggest problem I have is with colour. The colours never look right after I have adjusted them and I always end up reverting to the JPEG, because the colours always look quite good.
When you shoot in JPEG, the camera performs RAW processing in-camera to create the JPEG - and that processing impacts contrast, colours and sharpness. When you shoot RAW, none of that happens.

The parameters that control JPEG processing (and only JPEG, RAW is not affected) are those under "Picture Style". Different picture styles will yield different results. Those closer to RAW are Neutral and Faithful - which usually yield images "looking dull". The others usually returns more vivid colours, depending on which is selected. "Portrait" aims to return pleasant skin tones. Styles can be tuned in-camera, or more extensively using the Picture Style Editor application.

Some tools (DPP, Lightroom, etc.) can read from the image metadata what style was selected (it's still there even for RAW images, applied to the embedded JPEG preview), and apply it to the RAW image when it is loaded, so you get a similar look.

Others may not, so the image will appear duller. Still, most tools allows to apply stored "presets" (or "recipes", or whatever they call them) when showing or importing images, to tailor the "first look" to your tastes.

In DPP and other applications, you can also switch style without changing the original RAW data.

Basically, if you shoot JPEG you let Canon control the final image mostly - which is nevertheless usually good - still, you can edit styles, and process the JPEG even if 8 bit images have limitations. If you shoot RAW, almost everything is in your hands - the price is more complexity and time to get the final image.

PS: another factor that may impact image look is the colour space selected. Canon JPEG can use sRGB or AdobeRGB. The latter is larger than sRGB, but by now most computer monitors only support sRGB.

Applications that understand colour spaces and profiles will convert images automatically (as long as the image contains the needed data, and conversion profiles are available) , and they will still look good,

Those who don't will display the image blindly as if it was their standard or the OS one, usually sRGB, and colours won't look good. Use sRGB unless you have good reasons to use AdobeRGB and you know what you're doing (i.e. they may print better).
 

takesome1

EOS 6D MK II
Aug 23, 2013
1,490
122
98
Licking, Missouri
The best advice from this crowd so far is for the OP, just use DPP and see if it improves what you do.
After all it is free.

Many of the posters here would just do that any way, its a camera nerd/geek thing. If you have free software you have to play with and check it out.

Which reminds me, Canon released version 4.8.30 for windows a few days ago. Its been a while maybe I need to check it out again.
 

JumboShrimp

EOS RP
Sep 9, 2012
275
0
USA
OP here. I have been following all replies, and some new thoughts, too, and wish to thank you all. You obviously know way more than I about this stuff. (I did upload Elements 2018 just now so I feel a BIT more savvy.)