Andrew S. Gibson is an expert on the Digital Photo Professional software that comes on the CD included with all Canon cameras. While most people ignore this software, he’d like to talk about a few reasons why you should consider installing it. Personally I use it as my RAW file processor when I need the best results out of RAW image, even though I’m no fan of its dated user-interface. Andrew has a few thoughts thoughts that might make you reconsider the usefulness of Digital Photo Professional (DPP). Here they are in his own words…
What Raw conversion software do you prefer to use? If you have a Canon EOS digital SLR, you're probably aware that it came with a free copy of Digital Photo Professional, Canon's proprietary Raw conversion software. What you may not know is that while it's not as advanced as applications like Lightroom 3, it's still a very good program. I know photographers who use nothing else. If you haven't yet, here are five reasons to try out Digital Photo Professional.
- It's free – and so are updates.
Yes, that's right. DPP is free and presumably always will be. It means that there's no immediate need to buy Raw conversion software if you've just bought your first Canon digital SLR. You can get started with DPP, and buy a more advanced program sometime in the future if you need to. DPP doesn't do everything – it's a Raw converter, not an editing program; but it works well in conjunction with an inexpensive editing program like the latest version of Photoshop Elements.
Tip: If you purchased your EOS camera some time ago, you won't have the latest version of DPP. You can download an update from http://software.canon-europe.com/ (and Canon USA). It's free, but you do need an earlier version of DPP installed on your computer for the update to work.
- DPP works in harmony with your EOS camera
The controls in DPP mirror those on your EOS camera. For example, settings like white balance, Picture Style, Auto Lighting Optimizer and Peripheral Illumination Correction can all be set in DPP as well as your camera, as long as you are shooting in Raw.
- DPP has a Canon lens database
DPP's database contains lens correction information for the majority of Canon lenses. You can use DPP to correct the effects of vignetting, chromatic aberration and barrel or pincushion distortion.
- You can download extra Picture Styles
EOS cameras (and DPP) come with six built-in Picture Styles. You can download another six Picture Styles from the Canon Japan website and either upload them to your camera or use them in DPP. You can even create your own Picture Styles with the Picture Style Editor application that also comes with your camera.
- DPP is ideal for beginners
For me, this is one of DPP's biggest advantages. I know (I've seen the queries on photography forums) that there are a lot of photographers who are new to Raw processing and somewhat put off by the expense and complexity of programs like Lightroom. While is not as advanced; DPP is much much simpler and easier to learn than Lightroom. As it also works in harmony with your camera's settings (see point two) it is an ideal way for newcomers to Raw processing to learn.
There isn't much written material available to help you learn to use DPP. Until now, that is, as I've just written an eBook called 'Understanding DPP' aimed at photographers who would like to learn to use the software. Understanding DPP is the most comprehensive resource that I've seen. It's available here and for a limited time only readers of Ron's blog can get a discount of £2 on the selling price. Just enter the discount code Ron2 when you checkout to get the deal.
The offer lasts until the end of January, 2012.
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