Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Comparisons plus Artifical Sunsets
Finally got around to comparing RAW Therapee to Adobe Camera RAW. The crop on the right was converted using the next to last build (1313) of the 3.1 beta version of RT. The one on the left was converted with the Photoshop CS3 version of ACR. I took the image the last time I went out with the D60--my DSLR camera that works with my version of ACR.
As you can see (click to view large) there is more fine detail on the leaf (circled in blue) than there is in the ACR version (circled in red). Not that the ACR image is a disaster. If Adobe had been a nice company and didn't demand I pay a $200 to $400 upgrade fee just to get a version of ACR that works with my D7000, I never would have considered trying out something as unknown as RAW Therapee.
Now I have the fuzzy nice feelings. I'd hoped to prove that RT was just as good as ACR. Instead I've discovered that RT is better.
Why? I think there are three main reasons.
RT now does flowing point arithmetic instead of integer arithmetic. In people talk that mean the program does not build up errors while is doing the multitude of calculations needed to turn a RAW file into a photo. It also has the Richardson-Lucy Contrast by Details routine that I've talked about in earlier posts. And finally it uses the Amaze demosaicing algorithm which is pretty much state of the art. Not bad for a freebie program.
Here another RT feature I don't think you will find in another RAW converter. I took this shelter photo a few hundred feet from where I shot the Spring Flowers photo Once I had it on the computer, I felt it needed a little something extra. Like a minor tweak on the LAB color channels to bath the shelter in golden sunshine.
With the tweak
And without the tweak.
And, yup, I know the shadows aren't right. So lets pretend--despite the evidence outside my window--that Madison is the capitol of the new Golden Sunshine State.