Post production software for your EOS DSLR

Tutorial: Post Production

Make the most of your photos
When you buy an EOS you get more than a camera – you also get powerful and easy-to-use software to manage and optimise your photos.

For beginners, the software is a perfect introduction to the world of post-exposure processing. For advanced users, it is well worth exploring the software to see if it will fit into your workflow.

In this tutorial we will cover the following:

  • Updating your software
  • EOS Utility
  • PhotoStitch
  • Digital Photo Professional
  • Picture Style Editor

Spring Morning Mood, © Markus Ritzmann 2012, Canon EOS 40D

Updating your software

Before you get started it is worth making sure that you have the latest versions of the programs. If you have not updated the software supplied with you camera since you installed it you might be missing out on the latest features. First check your current versions by opening the programs in turn and selecting the ‘About…’ option from the menu giving the name of the program.

Make the most of wide angled lenses

Updating your software is free and easy. Click here, select your country and camera from the drop-down menus and finally your computer operating system and language from the menus on the next screen. You will see a list of the latest program versions and can download the appropriate updaters. Full installation instructions are given.

You need the software from the original disk installed on your computer for the updater to work

EOS Utility

EOS Utility is the interface between an EOS camera and a computer. Its primary function is to download image files from your EOS to your computer

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PhotoStitch

Some landscapes are best shown as panoramas – a long, narrow format taking in more of the scene than is possible with most wide-angle lenses.

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Panoramas are usually created by taking several shots of the scene, moving from left to right (or vice versa between each exposure. An overlap of 1/3 to 1/2 should be made so that consecutive images can be merged together.

FLASH

PhotoStitch, supplied with your Canon camera, does all the hard work. After opening the application you select the set of images, arrange them in the correct order and let PhotoStitch merge them to create a single panoramic file on its own.

Alternatively you can control the process more using the ‘Specify Overlapping Areas’ window gives you the opportunity to move where the overlap occurs which can improve the transition between the individual images.

Digital Photo Professional

Digital Photo Professional (DPP) is Canon’s RAW converter and image editing software. RAW files can be shot with EOS cameras and some compact models including PowerShot S and G series cameras. A RAW file is the data captured by the digital sensor, with minimal in-camera processing. You can’t actually view a RAW file – DPP opens a copy of the file in a format that can be displayed on a computer screen. The original file remains unchanged.

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The advantage of a RAW file is that you do not have to worry about many of the camera settings. You need to get the exposure (aperture, shutter speed and ISO) correct, but features such as white balance, Picture Style and Auto Lighting Optimiser can be applied in DPP – you can experiment with different settings to see which gives the best results. Brightness, contrast and colour saturation and tone adjustments can be made. DPP also allows you to apply sharpness, noise reduction and lens aberration corrections.

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Once all the modifications have been made, the image can be saved as a JPEG or TIFF file. The original RAW file remains unchanged and can be used to create a different photo from the same image. DPP can also be used to edit JPEG images files, though the range of available corrections is more limited.

If you would like to discover more about the benefits of shooting images in RAW, then this tutorial shows what you can achieve in much greater detail.

Picture Style Editor

All recent EOS cameras support Picture Styles and come with six styles built into the camera.

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However, if you want even greater control over the colours in your images, you can create your own Picture Style. A program such as DPP will alter the colour saturation in an image, but this is applied uniformly across the entire image. Picture Style Editor lets you make changes to a limited range of colours. For landscapes, for example, you can choose to increase the saturation in just the greens and blues.

Once you have created your own Picture Style you can upload it to a compatible EOS camera as a User Defined Picture Style. This is the only way to apply the style to JPEG images. However, if you shoot RAW images, the style can be applied in DPP, which means that you can use it with images shot before you created the style.

Give it a go

If you haven’t tried the software supplied with your EOS, then now is the time to discover how it can help you. If you’ve investigated it a little, you can now go into more depth, armed with the knowledge of what you could achieve.

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