18 Replies Latest reply on Apr 17, 2008 7:35 PM by (Jeff_Schewe)

    ___help : equivalent CAMERA RAW 4.4 <-> CR2 using CANON DPP

      Hi all,

      I desperately need your help,
      cause until now I tried and searched hard (myself and on the web) with no success at all, on how to "tweak" camera raw 4.4 in a way to achieve the same result ( quality, color, & mostly focus, etc... ) with .CR2 files as the one I manage to obtain using Canon Digital Photo Professional (

      My point is that I would love to develop and work in PHOTOSHOP only (!),
      and I can't due to "I think" some lack in CR 4.4. But is it "just me"? Am I missing something? In this case, someone may have some ".xmp" files for me to load in CR4.4, cause the defaults are "not good" and by far too inaccurate. Or... ?

      If needed, here is what I do :

      I shoot in CANON RAW files " .CR2 " ( CANON 5D )
      then I used to develop them using CANON DPP :
      resolution : 350 ppi
      then I export the files in JPGs ( shame! ) before going into PHOTOSHOP CS3 to do my retouch work.

      If I use CAMERA RAW 4.4, I miss some focus mainly ( I change of course the color space to sRGB instead of ADOBE RGB , and the res. to 350 ppi / Before CAMERA RAW 4.3 , I had some incredible color gaps and changes that are now fixed )

      So even with what I call a "downconversion" to JPEG my result using DPP is by far BETTER ( more sharp ) than dealing only with photoshop and CR4.4.

      So again HELP, cause I love photoshop, and the DYNAMIC OBJECTS ... and I'm a little bit lazy too, and would love to do everything using PHOTOSHOP !

      ( please don't tell CANON! ;o)) )

      THANX for any feedback,
      sorry if my english is not good ( I'm french ! )
        • 1. Re: ___help : equivalent CAMERA RAW 4.4 <-> CR2 using CANON DPP
          JimHess-8IPblY Level 3
          First of all, you CANNOT get Camera Raw to produce the same results as DPP. Part of the reason is that Canon DPP is proprietary software and it will read the proprietary data in your files. Another reason is that Camera Raw ignores all of the in-camera settings that are not ignored in the Canon software. When you work with Camera Raw you are getting the "raw" image data, and you have to learn how to process it. DPP applies processing according to the algorithms in that software, and it will be different, and you cannot change that. You need to do some reading in order to understand how Camera Raw works. The most highly recommended look is, "Real World Camera Raw with Photoshop CS3" by Bruce Fraser and updated for CS3 by Jeff Shewe. You should be able to find it at a local bookstore, or get it from Amazon.com.
          • 2. Re: ___help : equivalent CAMERA RAW 4.4 <-> CR2 using CANON DPP
            Ramón G Castañeda Level 4
            There are already dozens of threads like this. Jim, you have the patience of a saint.
            • 3. Re: ___help : equivalent CAMERA RAW 4.4 <-> CR2 using CANON DPP
              01af Level 1
              If the JPEGs produced by Canon DPP are significantly sharper than those produced by Camera Raw then DPP deliberately sharpens them strongly. That's not a good thing this early in the workflow, i. e. at raw conversion time, before all the other processing steps. Camera Raw, at default settings, also will apply some sharpening but only very gently so. If you want more sharpening from Camera Raw (not generally recommended) then simply pull up the sharpening parameters.

              -- Olaf
              • 4. Re: ___help : equivalent CAMERA RAW 4.4 <-> CR2 using CANON DPP
                Level 1
                Hi guys ,
                and really thanx for your quick answers : I do appreciate.

                SPECIFIC THANX to JIM of course. Then some precisions ,
                first to Olaf.
                I may not have been clear enough , but ( I think ? ;o) ) I'm not a newbie , neither here, nor in photography or photoshop. That's why I used the word "TWEAKING" camera raw. As for example when you use TWEAK XP , to "tweak" windows XP , vista etc ... I mean not this is not for newbies, isn't it ? ;o) (AT LEAST is what as a french guy we understand here in Paris ! )

                Yes indeed I've been following the huge steps made by CAMERA RAW in photoshop, and you must admit that we are getting closer and closer to DPP, mostly since version 4.3. But not yet... So I was wondering if someone was getting just closer than I do , and may have a "tweaked .xmp" files for me ...
                And then to OLAF , of course I tried to sharpen my footages in CAMERA RAW ... but it really alterates the pictures , while at the same time in DPP it's just brilliant ( I know dealing here with CANON that DPP is a proprietary software : some engineering here even told me that ADOBE wanted to buy the "matrix" (?) and CANON just SAID NOOOO ! Whether it's true or not I don't know... but I think so )

                Well that's it , I was really trying to share , (help?) here , and not tying to annoy you all.

                Well, I guess we'll have to wait for a v4.5 or even 5... cause I can't help thinking that some day ADOBE will catch up with DPP , even without the original codes, I mean we will get close enough to the same result that will prevent us the step of going thru DPP.

                thanx again

                • 5. Re: ___help : equivalent CAMERA RAW 4.4 <-> CR2 using CANON DPP
                  JimHess-8IPblY Level 3
                  I might be wrong, but I don't think there's really anything for ACR to catch up to. From my perspective, we all have a choice. We can either take the time to configure ACR to process optimally for how each of us take our pictures, or else we can rely on the proprietary software from the camera makers to do the work for us. They are two different approaches. The ACR approach is to leave ALL of the processing to the photographers. The DPP (and other proprietary software) approach is to read and interpret proprietary data to produce an image that has a certain "look" to it. None of the camera makers are cooperating with Adobe. From their perspective Photoshop is just another third party software program that is to be ignored. It isn't necessary.

                  So if you like the DPP results, then use it. Export files that can be finished in Photoshop if necessary. ACR is just a plug-in for Photoshop. It doesn't have to be an integral part of your workflow. A lot of people like ACR, and use it exclusively for their raw image processing. However there are some who prefer to go another route.
                  • 6. Re: ___help : equivalent CAMERA RAW 4.4 <-> CR2 using CANON DPP
                    Dennis 1111 Level 2

                    Based on my own observations and discussions in various forums, I believe that there are 3 major areas of difference between DPP and ACR (I am ignoring interface/usability differences):

                    - Sharpening
                    - Color
                    - De-mosaicing/interpretation of very fine detail


                    This seems to be your main area of interest. I know many DPP users love the way it does sharpening but based on some experimenting that I did a few months ago, I came to the conclusion that its sharpening is really not that sophisticated. You can duplicate it very closely in Photoshop with an Unsharp Mask with a Radius of 0.7-0.8 and a Threshold of around 3-6. The DPP Sharpening Amounts correspond to Unsharp Mask Amounts approximately as follows:

                    DPP/USM Amounts
                    10 / 500 (plus a tad more in a 2nd application of USM to match exactly)

                    As you can see (and as others have mentioned to one degree or another), DPP can apply some pretty extreme sharpening but its use of Threshold holds that sharpening back from really fine detail.

                    Now sharpening in ACR is another animal so it is probably impossible to match a USM sharpening exactly. Assuming that my USM numbers are reasonably close, however, it gives you some clues on how to move in the DPP direction. You can try using a Radius of 0.5-0.8, a low Detail setting, and a high Amount setting. In my experiments, an Amount in ACR of 150 (maximum) could get you close to a DPP Amount of 4. The Masking setting in ACR can be used to some extent to dampen jaggies if they become bothersome, at some loss of sharpening.

                    So that is one approach. The other is to bring the image into PS and use the USM settings I mentioned above.

                    As others have mentioned, the sharpening philosophies between the two products are very different. DPP is oriented to more of a "one-shot" sharpening approach, where ACR is oriented to the first pass of a three-pass sharpening workflow. Since ACR is doing the first of multiple passes of sharpening, it takes a more milder, "do no harm" approach.

                    Here are some links to my initial sharpening comparison over at Fred Miranda and a link to a post I made here also:

                    Jeff Schewe, "Sharpening - DPP vs ACR" #1, 9 Dec 2007 7:29 pm


                    Color is probably the most difficult area to match between DPP and ACR. I have found that I can reduce the gap somewhat by using the Calibration tab in ACR. To determine the appropriate adjustments for the Calibration tab, I initially shot a ColorChecker chart and used the procedure outlined by Bruce Fraser. Now I am using the automated scripts from Rags Gardner. There are also scripts available from Thomas Fors and there is a procedure that Eric Chan has outlined specifically to match ACR to another raw processor. Here are links:



                    The third area of difference between DPP and ACR, de-mosaicing and interpretation of very fine detail, is unfortunately the one that I know of no way currently to resolve. ACR has a stronger tendency to introduce "maze-like" structures into very fine detail, particularly when sharpening is increased, and to create "jaggies" on straight-line elements of an image.

                    You generally find two schools of thought on the ACR "mazes and jaggies":

                    1. These anomalies are not noticeable in common enlargements at normal viewing distances.
                    2. These anomalies ARE visible and look like crap and that is the reason I don't use ACR.

                    I suspect the second camp consists of pixel-peepers (who would probably never notice if they couldn't zoom in to 100%) and some folks that produce large prints and don't like to see those artifacts when they get close to the print.

                    My suggestion is that if jaggies and mazes in ACR bother you (for whatever reason), you will probably need to use another raw processor, at least until Adobe makes changes to ACR down the road.

                    = = =

                    Well, that's my 2 cents on DPP vs. ACR. I do think it is a valid area of discussion since there are a significant number of Adobe users that really want to use PS or LR because of workflow, quality, or other features but like certain image aspects of their camera manufacturer's software. You can use both but that is often a cumbersome and time consuming process.
                    • 7. Re: ___help : equivalent CAMERA RAW 4.4 <-> CR2 using CANON DPP
                      Level 1

                      Dennis is pretty much on the money here. I've been using both DPP and ACR for several years. Because I would like to live in a perfect (phantasy) world where one application really does it all I frequently compare the lastest DPP against the latest CRx.x.

                      They're just different, but not always. DPP often produces better detail, but not always and not so much as to make a real difference.

                      DPP sharpening is OK if you never look at the image larger than displayed on your monitor. ACR sharpening is really good but Smart Sharpen is so much better.

                      Under outdoor lighting my Canon images sometimes have better color on ACR than on DPP. The tools for shadow and highlight manipulation in CR make it a no-brainer.

                      Under artificial gym lighting ACR color often just plain stinks, and the variations in WB from frame to frame are way greater in ACR than in DPP. Yet ACR is adjustable and the other tools for dealing with sports images shot under really crappy lighting again make it a no-brainer.

                      I take the advise of others here and if I just have to have the DPP version I save it as a 16-bit TIF and open it in Photoshop.

                      The Lens tab in the latest DPP makes it more of a contender against ACR than earlier versions were but Canon doesn't support enough lens/camera combinations for me to use it often, besides the PTLens plug-in is fantastic.
                      • 8. Re: ___help : equivalent CAMERA RAW 4.4 <-> CR2 using CANON DPP
                        Level 1
                        Hi guys ,

                        you are all far beyond my beliefs ,
                        I mean ... : now I'm really happy with the answers!

                        Moreover I'll need to read and tryout all these tips and tricks,
                        for days , maybe weeks. But I love that , to improve my knowledge and work , so no pb , I'm glad !

                        SO really thanx to you for all this ,
                        and taking time to share it all with me.

                        As I said ... I'll try and come back later for my impressions.

                        Ooops, just one more thing.
                        If as a french guy, I do perfectly understand your thoughts, ( I will try to make myself clear ... ;o) ) I understood that you think that I love the sharpening tool in DPP.
                        That's untrue , cause I usually ****never add some extra and computerized sharpening**** on pictures ... due too all the drawbacks, we all know.

                        What I was trying to say with my words , is that "by default" DPP produces a very sharp image ( as it should be , I think, according to my CANON 5D ) whereas ACR seems like producing some kind of a soft blur , or some king of an old fashion glow . ACR makes me think sometimes of a JPEG image ( artefatcs , soten ...) when I'm shooting and dealing with RAW files.
                        Of course all this is "soft" but nonetheless present . And it annoys me a lot to loose some precious informations. Et voilà ! ;o)))

                        thanx again !

                        kiwiii ( also known as "vincent" ;o)) )
                        • 9. Re: ___help : equivalent CAMERA RAW 4.4 <-> CR2 using CANON DPP
                          John Joslin Level 6
                          The ACR image hasn't "lost" anything. It is raw just waiting for you to sharpen it, unlike DPP which does the sharpening as it thinks fit, before you see the image.
                          • 10. Re: ___help : equivalent CAMERA RAW 4.4 <-> CR2 using CANON DPP
                            Level 1
                            Okay John,
                            thanx for making that clear : I didn't get it , you're right. ;o))
                            I thought ACR did the minimum, and it seems not.

                            for the Dennis tips :
                            "Unsharp Mask with a Radius of 0.7-0.8 and a Threshold of around 3-6",
                            could somebody tell me where to find the "UNsharp mask",
                            wheter it is inside our outside ACR ?

                            ( cause I'm dealing here PHOTOSHOP with french names, so... I'm not sure. I mean inside the details TAB in ACR I've no "threshold" but in order of appearance instead :
                            first " details " :
                            then "noise reduction" :
                            that's all )

                            Then according to Jack I agree that Smart SHARPEN outside ACR is muuuuuuuuch better. ( Yes I know where to find SmartSharpen and use it ! )
                            • 11. Re: ___help : equivalent CAMERA RAW 4.4 <-> CR2 using CANON DPP
                              Dennis 1111 Level 2
                              I probably confused you a little Kiwii. Unsharp Mask is the standard sharpening inside Photoshop - not ACR.

                              To try to come close to DPP sharpening using the sharpening tab of ACR, use a very small Details value (maybe start with 0 or 1) and a Radius of between 0.5 and 0.8. To get close to an amount of 4 from DPP you will need to use a high amount in ACR (maybe the max of 150). If you start to notice any jaggies on straight lines in your image, increase the Mask value from 0 to something higher until the jaggies are reduced. This last adjustment may not even be needed.

                              If that doesn't satisfy you then an alternative is to do NO sharpening in ACR, bring the image into Photoshop and use Unsharp Mask with the values I stated in my my original post.

                              Also, just to clarify, I don't necessarily recommend that you do the sharpening in ACR as I outlined above unless you want to emulate DPP sharpening in ACR and quickly go to final image without messing around much in Photoshop.

                              ACR sharpening is meant to be used as the first pass of as many as 3 passes of sharpening. Its primary objective is to compensate for the anti-aliasing filter on digital cameras and bring the image to a certain baseline of minimal sharpening. After that, you are expected to bring the image into Photoshop to do an optional pass of creative sharpening (emphasizing the sharpness of certain elements while deemphasizing others) and a final Output sharpening pass that sharpens the image taking into consideration the specific characteristics of the output device (inkjet printer, online display, etc.).

                              Here is a summary written by Bruce Fraser that covers the basics of 3-pass sharpening:


                              I would also recommend the book Bruce wrote titled "Real World Image Sharpening".
                              • 12. Re: ___help : equivalent CAMERA RAW 4.4 <-> CR2 using CANON DPP
                                Peter DL Level 1
                                Dennis S wrote:
                                >> Well, that's my 2 cents on DPP vs. ACR. <<

                                Just to advertise for my recent feature request (#340):
                                Peter Lange, "+ Camera Raw Feature Requests +" #340, 20 Mar 2008 11:00 am

                                Some discussion already happened here:


                                • 13. Re: ___help : equivalent CAMERA RAW 4.4 <-> CR2 using CANON DPP
                                  PECourtejoie Adobe Community Professional
                                  In Photoshop, Sharpen > Unsharp Mask = Renforcement > Accentuation
                                  • 16. Re: ___help : equivalent CAMERA RAW 4.4 <-> CR2 using CANON DPP
                                    I can't help wonder if what Vincent was looking for was an ACR preset that mimiced the renderings of DPP. I think there was a guy named Mike Milker of huelight.com that was asking people in the dpreview.com forums if they wanted an ACR preset that mimiced DPP. I am not sure if he ever made anty available, maybe someone here downloaded one if he did? He did have presets for different cameras available on his site. I downloaded a Canon 30D preset that made ACR render more lifelike colors - sort of a free calibration. It worked so so. They disappeared only to be replaced with different ones. Now he seems to be developing his own converter.
                                    • 17. Re: ___help : equivalent CAMERA RAW 4.4 <-> CR2 using CANON DPP
                                      MadManChan2000 Adobe Employee
                                      At the moment, no single ACR preset can mimic DPP. One preset can mimic DPP in some cases (i.e., for a limited subset of images). But to make this work across many images would require the use of several presets, which is inconvenient and clearly sub-optimal from a usage point of view.

                                      A more sophisticated mechanism is needed if one were to try to match ACR to DPP or some target appearance.
                                      • 18. Re: ___help : equivalent CAMERA RAW 4.4 <-> CR2 using CANON DPP
                                        Level 1
                                        >A more sophisticated mechanism is needed if one were to try to match ACR to DPP or some target appearance.

                                        Jeeesh....and I wonder when THAT'S gonna happen...