My best raw converter
Over the last years I have collected a few different RAW converters on my harddisk. During the last week I got updates for a few of them, time for a review. My goal is always to get a natural look with nice colors and if possible a nice film style and of course, it should not be rocket science to get good results. I have capture one pro 8.1 for sony, that is the special version that you can get for a good price if you use a sony camera, DxO Optics Pro 10 and Lightroom 5.7 for this test. First I will open the same RAW file,from a Sony A7, in all three converters to check which one gave the best results with the default settings.
Coming to the default settings, C1 is giving very nice colors and a nice contrast, DxO looks brighter and LR is somewhere in the middle.
The difference in exposure come in DxO from the DxO smart lightning option, that is checked per default. If you uncheck the box, it look much better for the exposure.
Next difference is in the white balance temperature, if you use the read out value from the camera, C1 and LR are having a different interpretation of this value. C1 is using 5667 Kelvin and LR 5200 Kelvin. I have no clue why there is this difference in whitebalance temperature between the converter. I have no information which temperature DxO is using, cause it is not displayed.
Coming back to the contrast, the difference between in the contrast between C1 and LR comes from the profile. LR is using Adobe standard as default. If you use for example the Huelight A7 V40 and the same wb then the results does look pretty similar with a little bit more contrast in the lightroom result.
RAW with default settings in C1
Huelight A7 high V40
I'm not a fan of pixelpeeping, but when you have very obvious image error, it is disturbing in larger prints. C1 is having some problems with the side of the sunglasses. C1 is creating steps that are not there in the LR or DxO photo. The reason for this might be, that C1 is sharpening more agressive than LR in the default settings but I would prefer the LR way in this case, where you have a nice error free base as a starting point and you can improve it step by step rather than having a base where you have to do troubleshooting first.
DxO has no problem with the side of the sunglasses, but there is a moire pattern visible that is not there in LR and C1. So it is the same reason here why I would prefer the LR way with error free base to start with.
I know that you can get nice results with all three Raw converter, but I would prefer LR to get the best results with less work