Maximum PC Staff Apr 02, 2010

Canon Digital Photo Professional

Canon’s Digital Photo Professional (DPP) ships with every Canon DSLR. It’s a simple, straightforward editing tool that pretty much supports just the basics: adjusting color temperature, batch conversions to other file formats, and simple noise reduction. It lacks the sophistication of its competitors, but since it comes free with every Canon DSLR, it’s tough to be too harsh.

The main interface is simple and uncluttered—arguably too uncluttered, as DDP hides much of its functionality under the menus. Want to crop? Pull down the tool menu and launch the trimming tool. Need spot repairs to remove dust specks? Fire up the stamp tool. Once in a tool, you can’t do anything else until you finish, then close the tool.

Canon's Digital Photo Professional offers basic editing of Canon RAW files and comes bundled with every Canon DSLR.

The main photographic touch-up capabilities are available when you begin editing an image. You can easily adjust white balance, brightness, contrast saturation, and tone curves in a tabbed panel alongside the image being edited. It’s easy to pop up a window that compares the original to the edited image, so you don’t have to always eyeball the changes from memory.

While the noise-reduction capability is limited, Canon at least gives you control over both luminance and chrominance noise, something the more sophisticated Nikon Capture NX2 fails to deliver. In essence, what Canon gives you in DPP are software versions of the same tools that you get onboard a Canon DSLR. Canon seems to realize the limitations of DPP by integrating it with Photoshop. A tools menu selection allows for one-click transfer to Photoshop; the image is loaded into Photoshop as a 16-bit-per-pixel TIFF image, bypassing Adobe Camera Raw. Employing this feature means you’ll be creating an additional TIFF file, which must be separately loaded back into DPP if you want to continue to edit in the Canon app.

Batch-converting Canon raw files to JPEG was a lengthy process: 100 EOS 5D Mark II images (21 megapixels each) took 12 minutes, 14 seconds to convert. Our CPU meter had all threads pegged just a small fraction of the time.

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Canon Digital Photo Professional

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