RAW support for Canon Rebel T1i (EOS 500D)

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RAW support for Canon Rebel T1i (EOS 500D)

Unread postby skimball@cox.net » 01.08.2009 23:31

Helicon Filter does not seem to process RAW files from my new Canon 500D correctly. I get an error that says, "Adobe RAW Converter Error. Other Raw converter will be used to open current image"
Then the image gets opened but it appears very low resolution. What do I need to do to correct.


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Joined: 26.02.2009 00:39

Unread postby g0b » 04.08.2009 00:07

Seems "recent" canon DSLR's raw are not supported. I have the same issue with my canon EOS 5D Mk II...



Unread postby Guest » 05.08.2009 03:28

In my opinion you'd be crazy to shoot raw with a 500D (or a 5D Mk II) and then trust the inbuilt raw converter to do a good job. The whole point of shooting raw is so that you have control over the conversion process, getting the white balance and exposure spot-on.

My advice is to convert first using the software that came with your camera (DPP), or a good aftermarket one e.g. PhotoShop or Capture One, making sure they look right, then load the tiffs into Helicon.

Helicon has three different ways to convert RAW files. If you really want to use them it's possible that if you updated them independently (DCRAW or the Adobe RAW converter), the camera would be recognised. Or contact Helicon help and get the camera compatibility updated.

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Joined: 01.08.2009 23:25
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Unread postby skimball@cox.net » 14.08.2009 16:32

Do you have any facts to back up your assertions about the Helicon RAW converter?

Can you provide any examples that would demonstrat why we should follow your advise?


Unread postby Guest » 15.08.2009 10:03

Sorry I forgot which forum I was reading and thought you were using Helicon Focus. I am a Helicon Focus user and it would be silly to load in a bunch of raw files and carry out the whole procedure automatically because there would be no way of checking that the white balance, exposure and curve were optimized.

If you are using Helicon Filter as your primary RAW decoder, then you can get it to work with your 500D. I checked the two alternative methods that Helicon uses, DCRAW and Adobe DNG converter, and both support the 500D and 5D MkII. If you don't have the latest versions they can be downloaded and installed in the Helicon folder. There are instructions on the Helicon website. The inbuilt converter seems to be a bit behind the times, and doesn't even support the 450D yet.

I still think there is a problem with using alternative non-specialised raw converters in that they are such a mixed bag and do not necessarily read the raw file as it was intended. As far as I know only the camera manufacturer knows the exact values that the camera sensor gives to the image it reads. Some software companies, like Capture One, have access to this information, and some (like Helicon) use the freely available conversion files. And others probably calculate their own profile for each camera model.

I just tried running a raw file from a 5D through Helicon using all three converters. The results were different in each case, in the colours, the contrast, and detail in the highlights and shadows. Of the three, I thought the inbuilt converter, using Canon DLLs, was the best, and DCRAW the worst. It would be possible to get a decent result from any of them with a bit of playing around but I would not be confident that the colours were right. I have seen different greens and reds developed by different raw converters from the same original file.

In theory you should get a similar result from Digital Photo Professional as from Helicon's inbuilt decoder, but Helicon definitely has more ways to tweak the image. You could always try DPP to confirm that Helicon is doing at least as good a job, if not better.

It is nice knowing that the raw converter was designed to work with your camera's raw files. In fact I think the best way to shoot is tethered to a computer so that you can check the result straight away with the raw developer of your choice. You can do this with your camera, even having the live preview on the screen, changing all settings, including focus, and firing the camera, from the computer! But not everyone can do their photography in a studio right next to their computer.

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Unread postby wayne3109 » 15.08.2009 12:18

I shoot RAW on my 5D mkII and my workflow is to convert all files to DNG then open them in Adobe Camera Raw. I then select one file, do all my processing, then synchronise all files with the settings I have chosen. I then save as TIF or JPG and then load into Helicon Focus... :-)

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