Wednesday, April 27, 2011

F550EXR in RAW – Silkypix versus ACR 6.4 – Review Part 45

Well, after the raging success of our campaign to get Adobe to support the EXR sensors (and truth be told I have no idea if we had any effect at all) … I downloaded the update within 30 minutes of the announcement and ran my first test.

Remember the post about the deer, where I showed how much better Silkypix was than the jpeg? It’s here if you want to see it again.

Well, I took the same RAF image and processed it in Adobe Camera RAW 6.4. Only the Adobe Standard profile is available for the 550, and the black point slider is very insensitive, but otherwise the experience was the same as it is with any camera, which is to say glorious :-)

This conversion took me less than a minute (far less time than with Silkypix) and I like it far better than I do the Silkypix conversion.

And I updated the crops to show the three at 100% again …

Of course, you must click through on that image to see the full-sized crops. And you will notice that the nasty patch of what looks like dead skin on his neck behind his ears is quite visible on both the jpeg and the Silkypix images. But with the ACR image, you can see that there is a bit more texture there. I was able to control the sharpening with far more precision, so I believe I was able in very little time to strike a near-perfect compromise between texture and smoothing.

Also, note how easy it was to get white balance to come pretty close to the jpeg. this is always a nightmare in Silkypix, whereas in ACR I simply clicked the WB tool on the ear tufts and the white balance was set accurately enough.

Now … I still like the Silkypix conversion. It.s more pleasant than the jpeg, partially because it is so much less contrasty and harsh of tone. But I believe that the ACR conversion retains that less harsh feel while getting back to what is actually out there in the field at this time of year (early spring.)


With apologies to Silkypix, this is no contest. ACR is as good with these sensors as I had hoped.

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