Raw Photo Processor (RPP) Impressions and Workflow
While dawdling, waiting for Adobe to release LR3, I discovered RPP. It has been amazing, enlightening, and frustrating me ever since. Sort of like a new girlfriend, then.
First, I haven't been using it in Comparometer™-type pixel collations against other raw converters. RPP is based around DCraw or maybe this http://www.libraw.org, according to my admittedly limited knowledge, so that may help some understand 'what's inside'. Iliah Borg, one of the talents behind the project, has posted on this forum previously to request select raw files for technical use in development. He can certainly set me straight if I misrepresent RPP's underpinning.
In general, I have found that RPP will often do a fantastic automatic white balance. When it does not deliver a sane WB, reverting to 'As shot' will get me into the ballpark about half the time. At other times, I tend to set individual color channel values to 1's, and then fine tune.
As for exposure, this software has enlightened me regarding getting settings right in camera. After a shooting session, I will d/l images to my Mac and open them with RPP *while* viewing the histograms and shooting data on my camera. This process helps me learn whether I've applied the correct exposure compensation on camera, in order to avoid blowing highlights. With RPP, it does not feel like LR, where you can swing the histo one way or the other, depending on your exposure slop. Adding exposure to the raw file seems to be safest course of action in RPP. Suddenly, expose-to-the-right (ETTR) feels greedy and a little bit dirty. I have not yet gotten my head around the highlights recovery functionality.
There is noise, but I am not put off by it. I think a modest amount of noise often enhances the impression of detail in an image. All around I have to give this software a solid recommendation. I love the controls and eccentric keyboard navigation method. I wish the exif metadata panel was a neutral gray instead of white; that would help in judging image contrast in some cases. Last, but not least, the film profiles are lots of fun and help to get the creative juices going.
I'd really enjoy hearing how others have used RPP (Whether you have adopted some workflow kinks to accomplish the best results). Also, if you have favorite features or just neat images, it would be great to see what you've done. Have fun and be cool!!
Last edited by NotXorc; 9th September 2010 at 17:44.
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