LIGHTROOM/ACR: Read canon raw files created by DPP using DLO (Digital Lens Optimizer)

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Lightroom should be able to read CR2 files created by Digital Photo Professional (DPP) using the DLO (Digital Lens Optimizer). The DLO can greatly improve the detail in raw fles. I would like Lightroom to be able to work with the DLO information in those files. Currently the raw files can be read but Lighrrom does not see the DLO improvements.
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Santiago Rodriguez

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Posted 5 years ago

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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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There is not just one way to convert raw sensor data to an RGB image.

Canon and Adobe have different algorithms and methods for raw conversion, and neither knows what the other does.

DLO is something that only applies to Canon's methods.

Adobe's Auto Tone, something similar to DLO, is specific to Adobe's methods.
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Santiago Rodriguez

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DLO is not similar to auto tone. Auto tone deals with exposure. DLO improves the quality of images by partially removing the effect of lens aberrations and difraction. DLO saves the information to modified raw files. Lightroom is a raw converter and could read those modified raw files, the same way it read the standard CR2 files.
As an alternative, Lightroom could expand the lens profiles to include corrections similar to what DLO currently does.
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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I see. Does DPP create a demosaicked RGB raw file, like a linear DNG, similar to how DxO corrects things that Adobe can actually process, or is the information just parametric values that Adobe would need to know the formulas behind?
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Santiago Rodriguez

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I don't know how the information is written in the modified raw files. The raw files modified by DLO are about twice the size of the original, so there is space for a second raw file. I don't know if Canon shares information about this format with Adobe.
In any case, DLO is very good at improving landscape pictures shot at small apertures where diffraction significantly reduces resolution. It would be nice if Lighroom could work with modified raw files as opposed to having to create tiff files.
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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I played with DLO a little and I believe it is variable Canon-sharpening based on lens analysis, perhaps stronger sharpening in the corners where the lens is softer and less sharpening if the lens, itself, is sharp. There may be some reverse FFT wavelet sharpening occurring, like you can do in Registax, an astrophotography application.

The main thing I notice with it is sharpening halos a few pixels wide, which gives the illusion of sharpness but is actually destroying the image. This is probably what gives the landscapes their detail.

I see no sharpening halos in Adobe sharpening even when turned up all the way, so even if Adobe added variable sharpening it wouldn't look the same as what Canon does unless Adobe changed how they do their sharpening, to make it more like Smart Sharpen in Photoshop, and something that has sharpen halos visible in the Detail panel of ACR and LR.

Here is a side-by-side of Canon's DLO and Adobe's Detail panel in ACR. The arrow indicates the same area in both where sharpening is easily seen. There are lighter and darker edges in Canon's compared to Adobe's. The thing I dislike about Canon's sharpening is the tiny random white and black spots with smoothness in between. This is why I never use in-camera processing or DPP for anything, because of the uneven look to their NR and sharpening:

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Santiago Rodriguez

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In my tests using lanscapes at small apertures with the EF 17-40, DLO is much better than what I can achieve by sharpening in lightroom.
Canon claims that DLO does more than sharpening. You can see:
http://web.canon.jp/imaging/dlo/effec...
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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I agree DLO is doing more than standard sharpening. It is at least doing variable sharpening and perhaps directional blur-removal based on a several MB lens profile that Canon has that specifies the OTF for various positions in the field of view.

Your original request seems to be asking Adobe to perform reverse-OTF corrections based on the additional information DPP puts in an image when you use the DLO function.

Adobe might be able to reverse-engineer that, or pay Canon to license the use of the data, but that would require running every image through DPP, first, and something I doubt Adobe would do--make a workflow process depend on proprietary processing by an outside company.

What I hope Adobe would do would be to produce their own reverse-OTF corrections like DPP does and what DxO has been doing for many years, already, using enhanced lens profiles, or licensing of DxOs if that could be made cost-effective.

Having DxO create corrected Linear DNGs that are acceptable to LR might be a workflow you could explore while waiting for Adobe to develop reverse-OTF corrections, and might be something you could request of Canon: make linear-DNGs with the DPP corrections in them.

If Adobe could do reverse-OTF corrections without introducing the sharpening halos evident in Canon's version then it would be even better. I am not hopeful of this, however, because the deblur function on Photoshop has heavy sharpening halos and is likely doing something similar to what reverse-OTF deblur is doing for Canon.