First Snow - 2021 Lake Ontario at Guildwood

To Get Real Canon Colour Use Canon's Own Software

The Move Away From Canon

Most serious amateurs, and many pro photographers (I was one) were taught very effectively by Adobe to use their digital negative (DNG) raw file format converter when it first came out, advocating convincingly for a raw file universal standard format. All major digital photo apps adopted the format in record time, as this made everything easier for their own software engineers. While DNG files are amazingly good, Adobe had the monumental task of trying to figure out every camera manufacturer’s raw file proprietary colour science for the conversion to DNG.

The Return to Canon

But wait – nobody knows your camera better than the manufacturer. I eventually learned from other discerning photographers that Canon’s colour was best represented by Canon’s proprietary .CR2 raw files processed with Canon software – Digital Photo Professional (DPP) 4. This software is actually free with the purchase of your Canon camera, and while it has a bit of a learning curve, I love the real Canon colours I am getting from this app. I have compared DNG with TIFF files output from DPP and there is a slight but distinct difference in the 

colour. Not only that, but DPP incorporates some very cool lens corrections – no one knows Canon lenses like Canon. So if you are a photographer who loves those Canon blue skies and flesh tones, I recommend finding that Canon DPP software (you can download it from Canon) and diving into it. 

Workflow

For serious photographers, your workflow will be to bring your .CR2 Canon proprietary raw files into DPP for initial processing, and then output them to 16 bit TIFFs for further work in Photoshop if necessary. Don’t forget to shoot RAW in the Adobe 1998 colourspace and embed that profile in the TIFF. With this workflow you will have preserved the Canon colour science in the high quality TIFF.

One last point – when outputting jpegs from the Adobe 1998 colour space originals in Adobe applications make sure you convert (not assign) to sRGB or your colours will look washed out. These two “Adobe words” are representing different colour space conversions.

Finally, as you know, YouTube has Canon and many pro photographers waiting to teach you Digital Photo Professional. Enjoy!

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