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Best RAW converter for A200?

SL ATTANAPOLA , Dec 05, 2008; 04:13 a.m.

I am currently using the one which comes free with the camera. Are the aftermarket ones better than the Sony one and if so which is the best??

Responses

Peter Blaise Monahon , Dec 05, 2008; 08:30 a.m.

.

"Best"? What does "best" mean to you? Fast? Works in Linux? Most noise free, or do you plan on using noise reduction software as a separate pass? Accurate to what the camera captured? Free? What does "best" mean to any of us?

For Raw conversions, in order of frequency, I use:

- free http://picasa.com/google.com/ most, and it makes flawless BIG prints (what does "big" mean?!?) up to 17x11 inches on a modern printer with no noise visible but loads of detail.

- free http://www.irfanview.com/ which has a quick (and batch) 1/2 / 1/4 size importer that bypasses de-Bayerizing and all that noise, and makes nice, small web copies, and great contact sheets.

Others suggest these:

- Adobe Camera Raw ACR has a reputation for great flexibility and control, get it in Lightroom or Photoshop,

http://www.adobe.com/products/

- though ACR is available separately:

(link) or http://tinyurl.com/5udek5

- DxO is capable of also fixing lens faults by lens model number:

http://www.dxo.com/intl/photo/dxo_optics_pro

There's a new freebie I just played with from StepOK.com:

http://www.stepok.net/eng/download.htm

I can't speak to it's powers yet.

Our compatriots at Dyxum.com have a running list of others:

http://www.dyxum.com/reviews/converters/reviews.asp?IDS=23 or http://tinyurl.com/5nxqv2

(off line today?)

SL, what's "not best" for you about the Sony Image Data Suite for Windows - did you know there's a new version released?

(link) or http://tinyurl.com/5jgzfe

September 16, 2008 Sony Image Data Suite for Windows new version released Sony is offering DSLR-A100/A200/A300/A350/A700 users the latest version of α application software, “Sony Image Data Suite” which includes the following software:

* Image Data Converter SR Ver.3.0 Software to view, adjust and save the RAW format still images shot with your camera.

* Image Data Lightbox SR Ver.2.0 Software to view, compare, and rate the RAW/JPEG format still images shot with your camera.

* Remote Camera Control Ver.2.0* Software to control your camera connected to the computer via USB to shoot images or change the settings.

* This software can be used with DSLR-A700 only.

New Functions and Improvements

* Image Data Converter SR Ver.3.0

o Improvement of operability o Higher speed of display o Addition of the peripheral illumination compensation function o Addition/Improvement of the D-range optimizer, etc.

* Image Data Lightbox SR Ver.2.0

o Higher speed of display o Enhanced filtering function

* Remote Camera Control Ver.2.0

o Addition of the "interval timer shooting function"* (for Windows only)

* You can use this function with DSLR-A700 with the firmware updated to Ver.4 from here.

* To activate this function, you need to execute “Interval Shooting Set-up Tool” which is provided here.

Applicable Products

Digital SLR camera "α" series:

* DSLR-A100 * DSLR-A200 * DSLR-A300 * DSLR-A350 * DSLR-A700

Supported Operating Systems

* Windows XP SP3* * Windows Vista SP1*

* 64-bit editions and/or Starter are not supported.

==

Of courese we all can Google serach for [raw converter comparison sony] - 155,000 responses today:

(link) or http://tinyurl.com/557pkp

That's my experience. Tell us more about yours.

.

SL ATTANAPOLA , Dec 05, 2008; 08:50 a.m.

Thanks for your detailed response!! :) I intend to use Noise Ninja or Neat Image for noise reduction. I am looking for a RAW converter that has the best detail from the RAW files and least processing artefacts. I also do use my A200 in low light alot too! I did not know that there was a new version of the Sony software. I will try it out!!

Howard Vrankin , Dec 07, 2008; 09:12 p.m.

Sony's free IDC SR easily produces very good RAW conversions, including your original imbedded custom settings in DEC.  (contrast, sharpness, saturation, custom scene modes, etc.) The results are very high quality in my experience.

Peter Blaise Monahon , Dec 09, 2008; 08:12 a.m.

.

I'm now considering PRESERVING EXIF metadata a top criteria for any program that imports Raw, and the original software that came with the camera seems to be best at that.  

Go ahead, inspect the EXIF left over when converting from Raw in ANY Raw conversion software, and see if you are happy.  

I have "PETERBLAISE.COM" in my original in-camera EXIF, and I HATE to think it's being stripped out against my intentions to have my name in every image file.

.

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