Adobe Camera Raw 5.6 Beta & Canon 7D Raw Files

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What timing! After spending the past few days criticizing CR 5.5’s, Adobe just released a Beta version of Camera Raw 5.6 which includes dedicated support for Canon 7D Raw files.  While it is an improvement, the results still do not compare to Canon’s Digital Photography Pro (DPP).  In fact, the best results with 5.6 was when I increased the Noise Reduction Levels of Luminance to 50 and Color to 50.  I used the same 7D Raw 3200 ISO file to test.  Take a look.













While Camera Raw 5.6 is an improvement, based on the above samples, Adobe still has some work to do to match the results of Canon’s DPP.


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12 Replies to “Adobe Camera Raw 5.6 Beta & Canon 7D Raw Files”

  1. Hmmm, do you seriously say, that the DPP results are better????
    I presume that it is 100% crops, så those noise grains on a 18MP photos are very small, so the detail is much better on the ACR samples IMO!

    Thomas H. –

  2. I see the opposite, but everyone has there own opinion. The last picture really stands out in my mind. The ACR 5.6 + NR looks to me much better then the DPP. The DPP seems to remove a good amount of constrast and detail. Look at the objects in the windows, the ACR 5.6 appears to have more detail.

  3. Contrast is something that can always be added back in through Photoshop, Camera Raw or DPP. The point is the digital noise, and Camera Raw is showing a lot of it. In the previous article, I have the 7D set for RAW+JPG. The HI-RES JPG is as close to “film” as you can get with digital camera. The DPP image and the camera-generated JPG are very similar in color, detail and noise. Obviously, Camera Raw is missing something.

  4. I cannot talk about the 7D raw files but I can share my findings on 5D2, 40D and 30D raw files using DPP and ACR.
    DPP has a “better” noise control (reduction) than ACR, that is a given. Sadly, Adobe and Canon are business and both look for themselves. Canon HAS to give a “better” overall converter since they are selling the camera but for real control and deep post processing ACR/Photoshop beat DPP in a heartbeat.
    As straight comparison as shown, DPP could stand due noise control, BUT, I don’t know anybody who works exclusively with PS, so taking in consideration the “best” output from DPP (which is standalone) and doing the same with ACR then using a good denoiser like Topaz DeNoise, the images really can go back to life.

    For a quick rendering, colors are more accurate in DPP, but playing with ACR profile manager you get more control.

    In real life, everything goes back to what you really want to do with an image, if you want to post small family snapshot online, why to use raw? If you want to print a 48”x36” poster, you would never use JPG. So, thinking that you want to improve your image (reason you’re using raw), then DPP is not close to PS (ACR included).

  5. Adobe Lightroom 3 beta is using ACR 6.0 beta, which produces excellent results with the 7D. ACR 5.6 looks to be a very incremental release, mostly working on the color reproduction.

  6. honestly – comparisions based on this pictures do not help me personally to build an opinion. I mean – I would delete any of this pictures right after shooting since their quality in terms of noise and sharpness is just not acceptable to me. The only thing I can take away from this is that ISO 3200 is not something I would ever use (with present cameras).
    However – just my 2 cents.

  7. Unfortunately DPP is a pain to use, but if you’re after sharp, clean and color accurate images, it is far superior than ACR (Photoshop or Lightroom). Although ACR has improved a lot lately, especially since Adobe introduced the color profiles for various camera models.

  8. I definitely agree ACR is an easier fit into work-flow. Honestly, until the Canon 7D, I would never have even considered using DPP. But, you have to admit, in higher ISO, DPP performs very well. And, it’s FREE!

  9. ACR has more features and I prefer to use it on my 1D3 and 40D files. That being said, from Adobe Bridge, you right click on the file. In my case I can open it in:
    a) Photoshop (ACR)
    b) ACR (thus launching ACR in Bridge, not PS)
    c) DPP
    I take my pick: At the moment, if it is a 7D shot, I go with DPP
    Do my thing in DPP, go to the menus and click “Transfer to Photoshop” which opens it as a 16 bit tiff.

    I dont think that is any more involved than the ACR route.

    If you shoot RAW, you do it because you have better control over NR, sharpening and contrast/saturation/exposure. I find that PS plugins like NeatImage and Focusmagic far outperform whatever you can do in RAW converters. So I tend to convert the file doing only minimal adjustments and keeping sharpening and NR turned off fully. Once in PS, I do NR with NeatImage and profiles for my workflow, and then do a very moderate Focusmagic sharpening to do capture sharpening. From here on out, the image goes into creative editing.

    With that in mind, ACR’s bells and whistles do not matter all that much anyhow. I think Canon’s NR is quite good but it is still not a match for a proper NR plugin like the good ones on the market at the moment.

    I am not a pro – just a hobbiest. But I often shoot ISO 3200 of my daughter doing ballet on school stages etc with low light and no flash and this workflow is the only method giving me clean shots with good detail looking nothing like the originals.

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