Sunday 24 August 2014
The Easiest Upgrade
Nikon D200, 16-85 VR
If you're shooting an older camera, chances are you're still using RAW conversion software from the same era. Unless it's something unusual this is not an ideal situation.
If you are in this situation, the easiest and probably the cheapest upgrade you can do to improve Image Quality is to update to a current RAW conversion package. Software has come a long way over the last 10-15 years and it shows, in speed, quality and features.
The image above is a good example. The current version of Lightroom (5) gives me IQ from the D200 which approaches what I was getting from the D300 back in 2008, and it's all in the greatly improved RAW conversion algorithms, especially in terms of Noise Control and Noise Reduction. Simply put, there's less noise in the initial RAW conversion and you can get rid of it easier and with less impact on the detail present in the image. Colour is also improved, LR and ACR have long struggled with colour from cameras that aren't Canon's, but things are a lot better than they used to be.