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  • Davinci vs Adobe Camera Raw vs Lightroom

    Hi people,

    i searched for that topic but didn't really find a thread that can answer my questions.
    when i was researching in the internet i often read that adobe camera raw is the best tool to grade bmc raw files. i read also that when u import the dng's in resolve u dont grade the dng's by itself, you grade a de-bayered processed sequence. is that right? if yes then is ACR the best way to get most image quality out of the raw files? i mean it is the same like stills you take from a photocamera.
    and what about lightroom?
    i know davinci has way more options to use, but only for grading and color correction what would you take?

    best
    gregory
    GRÉGORY

  • #2
    144, Samuel H has posted some comparisons between Resolve and ACR. Not sure if Resolve 10 changes the results for this, as I understand the samples may have been processed in Resolve 9. I recall reading that there are rare occasions where ACR may cause a flicker to certain types of footage being processed, due to the photo stills nature of the ACR RAW processing that the software code came from, and perhaps not optimised for motion images when it became available to us in After Effects. ACR and Lightroom have very good debayer, processing may take longer. A lot of people like ACR, having come from processing RAW stills for years, whereas RAW is new to a lot of us dealing with motion images.

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    • #3
      ACR and Resolve are both great options, I wouldn't know which one is better. Except, I can't understand how Resolve works, it's so non-intuitive, I've never been able to learn how to use it. But if you don't have that problem, it's great, it's fast, and nothing beats "free".
      My YouTube channel

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      • #4
        debayering on ACR is much better than R9, dont know about about R10 though.
        Originally posted by WhiteRabbit View Post
        I recall reading that there are rare occasions where ACR may cause a flicker to certain types of footage being processed, due to the photo stills nature of the ACR RAW processing that the software code came from, and perhaps not optimised for motion images when it became available to us in After Effects. ACR and Lightroom have very good debayer, processing may take longer.
        flickering only occurs if you abuse the sliders hard left or right.
        the guys over at magic lantern have more or less figured out a safe zone for a clip not to flicker.
        i would choose ACR every single time except for the fact that the workflow is slow in comparison to resolve.
        ACR also automatically removes certain types of hot/dead pixels and has tools to remove them.
        Last edited by prio; 12-05-2013, 03:52 AM.

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        • #5
          We made quite a few improvements in the DaVinci Resolve V10 debayer so its worth looking into that version. I think you will find some image some system do better than others but its not all biased to one system any more.

          Raw images, no matter which application, need to be debayered. There are image processing steps in that debayer and then further processes once the image is in RGB pixel data form. Everyone has to do this.

          The key to using Resolve for raw images is to use the camera raw controls to get the full range of raw data debayered and into the RGB processing engine. Resolve uses 32 bit floating point so has far more precision and range than any existing capture device. All the data once in the RGB space has the benefit of all the extra Resolve features. The debayer and processing in Resolve is performed within the same GPU so its fast.

          Peter

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          • #6
            I found the debayering in R9 to be already pretty good, any improvements will be just icing on the cake. Then again, I really need some instructions to eat this cake, it seems to come in a child-proof case I'm completely unable to open...
            (please please please make a 10-hour course for R10 and charge me $100 for downloading it; I will think of it as the actual price of the software, and will probably be quite happy about it)
            My YouTube channel

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            • #7
              I have compared the debayer methods for quite some time now:
              I found that:
              - Best results I have got with Phase One debayer, best detail, best colors, most versatile controls to make the images look really HDR.
              - Second best has been Adobe Camera Raw in Lightroom. There is some aliasing on the result though. Less than Resolve probably and much easier to adjust the colors to my liking.
              - Third is libraw with the following settings: /usr/bin/dcraw_emu -4 -T -H 1 -g 2.7 0 -m 19 -n 0 -o 0 -b 1.5 image.dng
              - Fourth is anything else, including Resolve. I like the libraw debayer over Resolve because I get significantly less aliasing with the libraw debayer. However, I potentially lose some detail as well.

              I only had a demo version of Lightroom and it already expired so I am not using it anymore.
              The Phase One crashes on my iMac every time on big import. Apparently it runs some GPU code that is buggy on this and boom. I need to use the power switch to
              regain control to the computer. I have been only able to import one image at a time to Phase One without crashing my late 2009 iMac. Phase One probably works better
              on newer computers, haven't tried on my rMBP yet.
              Ex-BMCC-user

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              • #8
                Originally posted by karoliinasalmin View Post
                I have compared the debayer methods for quite some time now:
                I found that:
                - Best results I have got with Phase One debayer, best detail, best colors, most versatile controls to make the images look really HDR.
                - Second best has been Adobe Camera Raw in Lightroom. There is some aliasing on the result though. Less than Resolve probably and much easier to adjust the colors to my liking.
                - Third is libraw with the following settings: /usr/bin/dcraw_emu -4 -T -H 1 -g 2.7 0 -m 19 -n 0 -o 0 -b 1.5 image.dng
                - Fourth is anything else, including Resolve. I like the libraw debayer over Resolve because I get significantly less aliasing with the libraw debayer. However, I potentially lose some detail as well.

                I only had a demo version of Lightroom and it already expired so I am not using it anymore.
                The Phase One crashes on my iMac every time on big import. Apparently it runs some GPU code that is buggy on this and boom. I need to use the power switch to
                regain control to the computer. I have been only able to import one image at a time to Phase One without crashing my late 2009 iMac. Phase One probably works better
                on newer computers, haven't tried on my rMBP yet.
                Lets say I'v got a batch of CinemaDNG folders, how to I make them into DNxHD in Phase one?
                http://www.erichasso.com/
                http://www.thesuspenseofdisbelief.com/

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Samuel H View Post
                  I found the debayering in R9 to be already pretty good, any improvements will be just icing on the cake. Then again, I really need some instructions to eat this cake, it seems to come in a child-proof case I'm completely unable to open...
                  (please please please make a 10-hour course for R10 and charge me $100 for downloading it; I will think of it as the actual price of the software, and will probably be quite happy about it)
                  COULD NOT AGREE MORE!!! The Resolve PDF is just a menu reference guide - there's absolutely no context. To learn real workflow, you have to search youtube and vimeo and sit through plenty of tutorials and take notes, etc.

                  Any of you experienced graders want to make some pocket change, write up an eBook of workflow and sell it (Kindle, PDF, whatever). I'd cough up for it.

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                  • #10
                    I am using Capture 1 pro 7 and import hundreds of medium format still raw captures at a time with no problem. The software takes a few minutes to generate the previews while importing but no crashes. I am using a Mac Pro 5.1 machine. I do love the controls, especially the chromatic aberration function and moire reduction, noise reduction and the color editor. I am continually delighted with how much I can pull out of the raw file.
                    richklein.com

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by twelvetwelves View Post
                      i know davinci has way more options to use, but only for grading and color correction what would you take?

                      best
                      gregory
                      Resolve.....Nothing beats the tool set when it comes to grading MOTION. You can animate grades and very easily add nodes / Layers. Dynamic grades. Motion tracking that easily allows you to animate windows (layers). The total speed which which it can process files. It's literally 100's of times faster.

                      I've never seen the advantage of ACR or C1. While you may be able to get a slightly better debayer, it's such a magnitude of difference to sheer workflow practicality. You'd have to REALLY REALLY want and love the look you get from that tool to take the workflow hit. I know entrenched stills guys who invest the time have slowly come around to Resolve (Paging Sam Morgan Moore)

                      I think a lot of the time though people get *better* results in C1 or ACR because they are using a tool they know over a tool they haven't learned yet. Not because it's actually technically better.

                      jb

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by John Brawley View Post
                        Resolve.....Nothing beats the tool set when it comes to grading MOTION. You can animate grades and very easily add nodes / Layers. Dynamic grades. Motion tracking that easily allows you to animate windows (layers). The total speed which which it can process files. It's literally 100's of times faster.

                        I've never seen the advantage of ACR or C1. While you may be able to get a slightly better debayer, it's such a magnitude of difference to sheer workflow practicality. You'd have to REALLY REALLY want and love the look you get from that tool to take the workflow hit. I know entrenched stills guys who invest the time have slowly come around to Resolve (Paging Sam Morgan Moore)

                        I think a lot of the time though people get *better* results in C1 or ACR because they are using a tool they know over a tool they haven't learned yet. Not because it's actually technically better.

                        jb
                        The debayer performance seems to have improved significantly with Resolve 10 too. No question as a general purpose tool for serious grading of motion formats it is the best. How well does ACR work from within Speedgrade, which should give comparable tools for motion?

                        People complain about Resolve not being "intuitive", though how one could consider any software program that comes with a 700+ page instruction manual intuitive ( usually meaning I don't need to read the instruction manual) is beyond me.

                        I'm looking forward to finishing the piece-at-time build up of a new workstation that can actually run Resolve.

                        That said, for best debayer quality of standard camera raw formats like DNG, C1 and Raw Therapee still have an edge if you want to exercise deeper control over that particular aspect. They both work in a 96 bit space vs 32 bit, so the fine control resolution of deep data recovery from the raw file with minimum artifacts is still better by some margin IMO, though not always necessary.
                        Last edited by razz16mm; 12-06-2013, 02:08 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by razz16mm View Post

                          That said, for best debayer quality of standard camera raw formats like DNG, C1 and Raw Therapee still have an edge if you want to exercise deeper control over that particular aspect. They both work in a 96 bit space vs 32 bit, so the fine control resolution of deep data recovery from the raw file with minimum artifacts is still better by some margin IMO, though not always necessary.
                          The V10 debayer is indeed improved (and it should be seen in the camera soon when shooting ProRes).

                          I guess it depends what's important to the end user. Isn't it nice to have choice !

                          jb

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                          • #14
                            My current experience is that SpeedGrade is 'good enough' and the round tripping involved with Resolve isn't worth it. However, I'm missing curves if I'm being honest and I've not found any techniques in SpeedGrade that would replace the loss of curves. I might still go with Resolve eventually, plus it's very quick/efficient.

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                            • #15
                              itimjim, are you running SpeedGrade via Direct Link from Premiere with BM ProRes footage?

                              I have spent the last two days trying to get my Premiere timeline made up of BMCC cDNG RAW files across to Speedgrade to read the files from their native RAW base. Opening the Premiere project file in SpeedGrade, the Lumetri engine is forcing the cDNG files into video REC709 space on import into Premiere, no control at import, so the images can clip, and the base of RAW is not available, LUTs/camera profile makes no sense. SpeedGrade takes on the compressed video REC709 range, rendering it useless. Exporting an EDL to SpeedGrade, and the cDNG image sequences can not be loaded, or any clip you can load from the EDL shows an error. EDL has been problematic in the past, based on searching forum threads. The Direct Link will be good, once the next part of the software is implemented, the RAW import controls (or just leaving it RAW), whereas the playback engine is impressive. Part way there, Adobe. The only way I can colour cDNG files in SpeedGrade is to import each cDNG clip, which kind of defeats the purpose editing in Premiere and exporting an EDL, grading in context. It will be good in the future, SpeedGrade is fast, just currently not so functional for BMCC RAW users. If I am doing something wrong, please advise.

                              For now I am considering, edit in Premiere, XML to Resolve. I intend to learn both SpeedGrade and Resolve, eventually.
                              Last edited by WhiteRabbit; 12-06-2013, 08:29 PM. Reason: rending = rendering

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