Monday 20 April 2009

Lightroom and the Canon EOS 5D Mark II

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I received the following question today.

Hi David,

I just discovered your blog and was especially interested in your post "Lightroom vs Aperture with 5D Mark II RAW files". I'm a big fan of Lightroom and a new owner of a Canon 5D MkII. However, I'm a little bit disappointed. Although I have the latest version of Lightroom (2.3) and Camera Raw (5.3) and always shoot in RAW (usually sRAW1, 10MB), my pictures are always too contrasty and I frequently lose information in the shadow/dark areas, getting only a black surface.

Do you have any idea what might be the problem? How do you personally capture and process your images?

Congratulations on your blog. It's a real pleasure and inspiration to look at your pictures. Thanks for your help.



Hi Olivier,

Thanks for your kind words.

I've not shot in sRAW 1 and so am not aware if there are any particular limitations with this format. I'd be surprised if it were different to the 5D Mark II's standard RAW format but life is full of surprises! I've not yet encountered any problems with recovering detail from shadow areas whilst shooting the standard RAW format on the 5D Mark II.

I think you need to do a few photographic experiments.

Put your camera on a tripod and shoot a scene in both RAW and sRAW 1 with -1, 0 & +1 stops of exposure compensation. Process the six shots using Lightroom and also Canon's DPP software. Comparing your results you might be able to answer some, or all, of the following questions.

Is there a difference between RAW and sRAW 1?
Is there a difference between Lightroom and DPP?
Is the camera underexposing with the lens you're using?
Which settings give the best results?

I'd love to know how you get on.

All the best,


Any other suggestions or comments?

My main photography website: Kent Photographer

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