Size doesn’t matter as long as there’s enough to go ’round.

Lightroom 2 vs. 3 beta vs. out-of-camera JPEGs.

I’ve long since been an advocate of shooting in raw.  There are many benefits such as the ability to adjust exposure and perhaps the most important for me – white balance, before the shots hit the web or press.

Unfortunately my tool of choice – Adobe Lightroom 2, has failed to impress me with its poor colour accuracy.  I do, however, love its noise reduction routines allowing me to get a nice smooth look to my images even when shot at ISO 12800 or 25600 out of the 5D Mark II.  My solution to get NR working well is to go to uncompressed TIFF first using Canon’s Digital Photo Professional, then import into LR2, then apply NR and export – a big pest!

LR3 has since been released which seems to give me very similar results to the JPEGs I get out of the camera (or Canon’s DPP, for that matter).  But there’s no luminance NR, only colour NR which is still a BIG help and removes the purple banding effect I typically get with images I imported with LR2.

Here are three images – you decide which is best!  Note that the colour wasn’t harmed by the colour or luminance NR setting that much – not to the degree we see here between the LR 2.x and 3 beta images.

Matt's birthday - JPEG out of camera (5D Mark II), ISO 12800.

Matt's birthday - JPEG out of camera (5D Mark II), ISO 12800

Matt's birthday - 5D Mark II via Lightroom 2.x, Camera Standard profile, ISO 12800.

Matt's birthday - 5D Mark II via Lightroom 2.x, Camera Standard profile, ISO 12800, 100% color NR, 100% luminance NR.

Matt's birthday - 5D Mark II via Lightroom 3 beta, Camera Standard profile, ISO 12800, 100% Color NR.

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