RAW Conversion

7 Comments on RAW Converter Shootout 2019

  1. Pingback: Exposure X5 Announced - Andy Bell Photography

  2. Pingback: Skylum Luminar - another look - Andy Bell Photography

  3. Michael McGuire

    Greetings Andy!

    I just discovered your excellent blog last night while searching out info on both Capture One and Exposure. Thanks for all the great information and work! This post was great, and I am glad for the introductions to Photo Ninja and DXO Photo Lab, which both look worth adding to the arsenal.

    Your post on Exposure x5 was exciting to see, as I was seeking an alternative to LR’s DAM that I could use in conjunction with C1. It seems they both follow loaded images wherever we might place them, so I want to tether to C1 using their “sessions” options that will then reside in folders under Exposure’s DAM control. Then I hope to have the option to further edit copies in Exposure or other programs that can also be stored as a sub-folder within the individual session folders.

    As soon as my new custom iMac arrives (tomorrow?), I’ll be getting both C2 & Exposure’s trial versions to try out the integration possibilities myself, but am I on the right track?

    If this is something you may want to explore more fully in another post, I’d imagine many others would also be very interested to know.

    Thanks so much!


    • AndyBell

      Yes, that approach will work well.

      C1 has its own DAM features but I find Exposure X5 to be so well set up, and I can use it to send images (and copies of images) to every editor I want. It is also great for exporting images ready to post on social media – sized, sharpened and watermarked.

  4. Tim

    Andy, thanks for the reviews on this site. I have similar interests to you and tastes in software, though I am an amateur photographer and actually work for Microsoft. Currently I have a Canon camera that uses CR3, so it’s hard to find consistent support for my raw files outside of Adobe $10/month subscription. Capture 1 is too rich for my taste. I already have Luminar 4, it handles CR3 and other photo cleanup needs quite well. And I have the Affinity apps, photo and designer, so I also have an editor for detailed work. What I’m thinking of doing is maybe: combine Luminar 4, Affinity Photo, and then either On1 2020, or Exposure X5, as the DAM app. Honestly, I’m not super impressed with the RAW output of either On1 or X5. But, they are both pretty good DAM apps, and they both play nice with Affinity and Luminar 4. When I look at my annual or bi-annual costs, it could get pretty expensive though if you imagine that say every 2 years, I have these expenses: $69 to upgrade Luminar, $89 to upgrade X5, and maybe $50 to upgrade Affinity, although in fairness, they don’t appear to upgrade major version numbers that often. But I’m looking at least $160 in upgrades every 2 years, excluding Affinity, so perhaps a bit less than the Adobe subscription. But honestly, I’d probably upgrade every year–I like software!–so I’d end up spending MORE than Adobe if I go this route. Which I can live with, if I get the results.

    What is your thought on my choice of apps, rolling with Luminar 4, Affinity, and either On1 or X5? I know you like X5 from your recent posts, I don’t find a lot of comments about the On1. They seem to have pretty good feature set, and somewhat better metadata options than X5 from what I can tell.

    • AndyBell

      I’d definitely go with Luminar plus Affinity. I haven’t tested On1 in a long time. Last time I tried it I found it to be too unstable, but that was years ago. I will test it again when I can.

      Exposure X5 remains my choice of DAM app. It’s RAW processing is underpowered compared to Luminar, although that could be said of many RAW converters… X5 produces better results for me if I give it some custom colour profiles built for for my cameras – I produce these using the XRite Color Checker passport. Luminar can also use the profiles and it does ensure the colours look right.

      Yes, upgrading is always tempting. I usually ask myself if the upgrade will give me anything worthwhile… and then upgrade anyway ?

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