Digital Outback Photo
- Photography using Digital SLRs


The Art of Raw Conversion #009


Checking Resolution, White Balance and Artifacts
of your Raw Converter

article by Uwe Steinmueller (8/30/2003)


There are more and more raw converters coming to market. We wrote our article "Raw Converter Essentials" to give some overview what to expect from a good raw converter.

Why is the quality of your raw converter so important? The raw converter should help you to get the best possible image quality from your expensive digital SLRs and your top lenses.

On one side judging a raw converter is very subjective. But still having some test files to check out your raw converter can help to get a more clear picture.


1Ds + 100mm Macro, F/8 & ISO 100
The original Raw File
To enable a common playing field we provide the original raw file here (10MB, be sure to rename it on download to *.TIF and not(!) TIFF).
A sample conversion

As a sample conversion we used our current reference Capture One Pro and also make the not sharpened converted file available.

What did we do in Capture One Pro?

  • Corrected Gray Balance by clicking on the second brightest gray field
  • Enhanced contrast by moving up the black slider in C1's levels dialog
  • Noise removal was to set to "low"
  • Profile used was C1 "1Ds Daylight"
  • Converted to 8 bit

We show these crops without any comments. Why? The result makes only sense in comparison to other conversions. You can down load the original raw, use your raw converter of choice and compare:

  • Resolution
  • Color Checker Colors
  • Artifacts (e.g. aliasing)
  • Overall impression
Is this a scientific Test?
No. But it might be better than talking just about subjective impressions of your personal pictures.
Note: Someone might think to get a sharper image from his 1Ds and the 100mm macro lens. Maybe, but it does not matter as all raw converters have to convert the same raw file and to get the best possible image out of it.

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