A brace of years ago, aback I switched careers and confused into photography abounding time, I did a lot of analysis on assorted aspects of active a photography business. One of those areas, agenda asset administration (DAM), deals with, well, managing your agenda assets, your angel files.
I apparent Adobe’s accessible accepted Agenda Negative Graphics (DNG) book format. There are a cardinal of advantages to converting your proprietary raw files (CR2, NEF, etc.) to DNG files, including book size, anchored book verification, approaching compatibility, and speed.
In Lightroom, DNG files accessible and cede previews faster than raw files. Two years ago, that may accept been beneficial, but now Lightroom has graphics-card accouterments acceleration, SSD drives are almost bargain to buy and accessible to install, and RAM is bargain to advancement and accessible to install. On a acceptable computer, the dispatch aberration is microseconds, so baby as to be unnoticeable.
If you’re application Bridge and Adobe Camera Raw (ACR), don’t forget: you meant to alarm your kids and ask them why Seinfeld has chock-full recording on your DVR. But seriously, you should stop account this now and drift your absolute workflow to Lightroom. Lightroom is basically Bridge and ACR puréed into one admirable interface. But don’t catechumen your files to DNG aloof yet! Bookmark this article, appear aback to it in a year or so already you absolutely accept how to use Lightroom, and I will accomplishment cogent you why I don’t use DNG files anymore. You charge to amend your workflow. That’s added important than this article. Catch up on the latest division of Seinfeld while you’re at it.
Having actual bound banking resources, the capital account for me — at that time — was the 15-20% abridgement in book admeasurement over proprietary raw files. Aback you almost accept abundant money to buy bread, $120 for addition alien adamantine drive is a lot of dough. On a 2TB adamantine drive, that’s a accretion of up to an added 400GB of images, the agnate of months’ account of images for alike addition who shoots as abundant as I do. So, to save deejay space, I adapted all my CR2 files to DNG files on import.
Two years later, however, I ambition I hadn’t.
I am consistently appetite to be bigger than my aftermost shoot, to apprentice more, grow, and booty my assignment to the aing level. My acquaintance has apparent to me that the accoutrement we use to get us there are important. Aftermost year, I upgraded my motherboard and CPU (i7) and jumped to 32GB of RAM. My computer is fast because it is the best important apparatus in your workflow. Added important alike than your camera.
I anticipate your best of camera (brand or model) is one of the atomic accordant accoutrement in authoritative your assignment better. I’ve attempt on a Canon 60D for abounding years because I haven’t, until recently, had the funds to advancement to a bigger camera. I’ve attempt application a Phase One agenda back, a 5D Mark III, and added camera bodies. Beneath the aforementioned lighting conditions, best cameras aftermath almost agnate after-effects to the naked eye. The absolute aberration amid assorted camera systems lies in the raw angel files they produce, and what you can do with those files aback processing them… on your computer.
The Canon vs Nikon agitation for able photographers is a antic one. Both systems aftermath abundant images. Both manufacturers accept produced camera models with austere flaws, focal issues, light-bleed issues, whatever. The absolute decision, I believe, that separates actual acceptable from great, is how photographers accept to action their images. For me, the absolute agitation lies in application Lightroom vs Capture One.
Now, I loooooved Lightroom. My LR kung-fu is legit, son. I advocated and raved about it because I like to deliver the accoutrement that I use that accomplish my assignment and activity better. (Hell, that’s the accomplished acumen abaft this blog post.) I am a ninja-level Lightroom user. Loved. That. Sh*t.
But admiring Lightroom is affectionate of like admiring your aboriginal car. If you’ve been benumbed a pedal bike your accomplished life, accepting your own car is like accepting a akin of abandon and ascendancy you’ve never experienced. Until addition charcoal that by giving you the keys to a DeLorean able with a alteration capacitor. Suddenly, you apprehend you’ve been bound all this time to accepting to drive on roads.
Where we’re going, we don’t charge Adobe Camera Raw.
About seven months ago, I downloaded the balloon adaptation of Capture One Pro. From the actual aboriginal shoot I candy application Capture One, I was awash on its adeptness to accomplish my assignment alike better. As a raw processor, Lightroom can’t blow it. It can’t even. After a ages of application CapOne, bodies had commented that my assignment had aback gotten so abundant better. Some asked what I was accomplishing differently. Others affected I drank abracadabra abstract and my assignment got better. Nothing had afflicted except that I had chock-full application Lightroom and started application Capture One exclusively.
Initially, I anticipation the after-effects weren’t activity to be actual apparent to the naked eye, abundant like the aberration in images produced by altered camera sensors. And this is breadth abundant software awfully differs from basal animal colour perception. Raw files accommodate a lot of data. Lots of colour data. Tonal data. And metadata.
What puts Lightroom and Capture One oceans afar is that Lightroom treats all raw files equally, ambience the absence camera contour to “Adobe Standard.” You accept to go in manually change the camera contour to commodity like “Camera Portrait” or “Camera Landscape.” (You can set defaults based on camera consecutive cardinal and body acceptation presets, etc., but until you become a ability user, best bodies don’t alike apprehend that “Adobe Standard” is not a acceptable baseline for any image.)
A abundant affair about Lightroom is that it is actual accessible to use. It has a bank acquirements ambit and keeps accepting easier and easier to use for the boilerplate person. It’s still abundant for professionals, but Adobe’s business archetypal with attention to Lightroom has switched from actuality abundant raw about-face software for able photographers to abundant raw about-face software for anybody who owns a camera. Hobbyist photographers are subscribing to Adobe’s photography plan for $10/mo and bearing bigger work. Which is abundant for them. And for Adobe.
Getting aback to the metadata… what is analytical to agenda about Capture One is that it doesn’t avoid the camera metadata. It doesn’t set all images to a absence state. In fact, this is what I anticipate is in Capture One’s abstruse sauce. Instead of d all raw files are the same, and alike alms to catechumen your raw files to its own architecture on input, Capture One uses that abstracts as the axiological architecture block aloft which the blow of its raw processing is built.
By accepting chip endless camera brands, makes and models, Capture One knows how anniversary one of those camera models is congenital and how anniversary model’s specific sensor interpolates the ablaze hitting its apparent and how the camera food that abstracts in its raw file. Sony makes a majority of the world’s camera sensors (including all Nikon sensors), but the sensors in the Sony A7s and Nikon D810 are awfully different. As are the sensors in the Fuji X100T, the Phase One IQ3 backs, Mamiya Credo 60, Canon 60D, etc.
While the images these cameras aftermath beneath the aforementioned altitude may not be that apparent to the animal eye, they are abundantly altered to a computer affairs that knows how to apprehend and adapt that raw data. This is why I accept the computer is the defining apparatus in the accurate process. We can now booty the captured abstracts and do amazing things with it, but how amazing is, as I’ve stated, abased on the accoutrement we use.
If you booty the aforementioned raw files (not DNG files!) and accessible them in both Lightroom and Capture One, ancillary by side, after accomplishing annihilation to the files, you will apprehension anon — IMMEDIATELY — that Capture One does a abundant bigger job of accurately apprehension the image. The colours are better. The acknowledgment is better. Everything is aloof better.
Below are two versions of an angel of my acquaintance Kit that I took on Feb. 16, 2014.
The adaptation on top was candy aftermost year application Lightroom. The adaptation on the basal was candy aftermost anniversary application Capture One. (In fact, activity aback and processing this angel for Kit is absolutely what prompted me to address this article.)
It’s actual accessible to see the difference. Compared to the Capture One image, the one candy application Lightroom looks collapsed and dull. And I approved my best to get it as aing as accessible to commodity Capture One can produce. It aloof can’t. (A ancillary aftereffect of acceptable absolutely acceptable with Capture One is that I’ve gotten alike bigger at application the accoutrement in Lightroom if I appear to charge to go aback and get images from an earlier shoot.)
As I said, I deliver the accoutrement I accept in and I accept Capture One outshines Lightroom in every aspect of raw angel processing, except one…
Capture One does not like DNG files. Unless the camera supports DNG files natively (Leica, Pentax, Samsung, etc.), Capture One doesn’t absolutely apperceive what to do with a DNG file. It can still apprehend the files and action the information, and you can still assignment with them, but don’t balloon that DNG files abundance the built-in camera contour as “Adobe Standard.” Capture One doesn’t admit Adobe Accepted as a camera contour and it shouldn’t, because Adobe has never fabricated a camera.
The DNG book architecture is, by design, meant to actualize a accepted accepted for raw angel files, or agenda negatives. Aback raw files from your camera are adapted to DNG, they are adapted to a accepted accepted through a action that Adobe has developed to best adapt the abstracts in your CR2 (or NEF, etc.) files. The botheration is, it aloof doesn’t do anywhere a as acceptable a job as Capture One.
In converting my old files to DNG, I had no abstraction that I would one day be authoritative my activity added difficult. Since all of my images above-mentioned to December of aftermost year are all adapted to DNG files, I cannot aloof accessible them up in Capture One and aces up breadth I larboard off. Capture One has no abstraction which camera that angel was taken with. It has no abstraction which camera contour to use.
You ability anticipate it’s as simple as alteration the camera and lens contour in CapOne — and that is absolutely the aboriginal affair to actual — but the raw abstracts has been afflicted during the about-face process. Capture One sees the advice abnormally than ACR, but Adobe has afflicted that abstracts to commodity that works best with ACR (or its Lightroom interface). Adobe created an accessible architecture in DNG but it congenital that accessible architecture on its own standards, accurately “Adobe Standard.”
So, now I’m sitting on a abundance of DNG files that I ambition had never been adapted to DNG in the aboriginal place. I’m a abundant bigger columnist now that I was two or three years ago, but I still accept some absurd images that I would like to go aback and re-edit. That’s commodity I’m in the action of accomplishing now.
I am systematically activity through my old shoots and creating Capture One sessions for those shoots and an all-embracing Capture One catalog. Cataloguing, unfortunately, is the one breadth in which Capture One avalanche abaft Lightroom — very, actual far behind.
In the meantime, alien adamantine drives are accepting cheaper, I can allow to eat steaks every night, and I no best catechumen my raw files abroad from their built-in format. Aback I get a 10-bay NAS and accept a ton of allowance to spare, I ability accede the approaching affinity of DNG files commodity account revisiting, but now I no bigger than to get rid of the built-in raw files in the process.
CR2 for liiiiife! Well, at atomic until addition easily me the keys to a arrangement with built-in IIQ files. WINK!
About the author: Kevin Patrick Robbins is a commercial, editorial, and announcement columnist based in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. You can acquisition his assignment and affix with him through his website, blog, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. This commodity originally appeared here.
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