Saturday, April 23, 2022

Why I changed my Raw Photo Editing Software Back to Canon Digital Photo Professional

I published an article a bit over a month ago about how I moved my Photos Library to and external drive so I could store more RAW photos in the Photos Library file. As I'm getting back into photography I discovered a few things with Apple's photo's software that I didn't like, mainly with the RAW Processor. Let's go through these a bit to see what is going on.

First is how the edits are handled and stored. Just like with other image formats that Photos supports, RAW edits are done non-destructively. Unfortunately, this also means, Apple uses the same way of storing the edit Metadata. If you export the RAW file, you get what was imported into Photos, only on exporting to a non-RAW format do you get the edited results. I expect this is the way software such as Lightroom works as well and thus should be expected. I doubt Canon's Raw file recipe can carry the metadata from third party editors anyway. I can't even call this strike one.

The second problem is the editing capability, especially for black and white. While Photo will allow you to apply colored filters to an image in post-processing, it is a simple slider that allows you to select what you want to see. You don't know what position gives you no filtering or the position that gives you what colored filter. If you use the auto setting, you have no idea what filter was selected, even if you like the auto selection and thus can't even think about replicating it using a film camera in the future. This may be possible with paid third party add-ons, but my budget is tight and thus why I'm shooting black and white digitally in the first place. This was strike one.

The next two strikes are related to each other. This involves how Photos handles the picture style selected in camera or from Digital Photo Professional if you edit with that first. Photos completely ignores the picture style you select and performs it's processing exclusively. That's strike two, but that's only part of the story. Photos and Apple's Raw Processor is 100% capable of handling and processing this metadata. In fact, when you connect the camera to import into photos, the picture style selected appears on the preview, but disappears when you actually import the image. This is strike three.

Now, I can't put the blame on Apple too hard for this. I don't think Photos is designed for the intermediate style editing that I'm doing and it is very likely that Apple's software engineers are thinking along the lines that someone like me will pony up for Adobe's Lightroom software or another third party equal. There are things I don't like about Digital Photo Professional too, these mainly are due to the way processing is handled for batches of exports and the fact that the code is Intel only at the moment.

Tune back in here tomorrow at 10 AM Eastern Daylight Time (14:00 UTC) for why I chose to start using my DSLR Kit Lens again.

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