The purchase of a new camera leads to the discovery of the ecosystem that supports it, in particular the accompanying software. The value of our equipment also depends on how much the manufacturer offers along with it; Canon offers an extended range of programs in the retail price.
The offer varies according to the type of camera in possession; once inside the box there was the ubiquitous CD with the programs to install while today it is more advisable to go to the camera support page and download the updated programs. Canon requires for some of them to enter the camera serial number.
Digital Photo Professional
Often abbreviated as DPP, it is the main program for working with camera files. It looks like an image browser with integrated raw file development tools, a sort of Canon Lightroom. The program allows us to visually navigate in the folders that contain the images and from them start both the development of raw files and organize them in virtual collections.
It must be said that DPP is not a champion of speed in its operations but it performs its functions with dignity. It is also important to point out that is the only software that can access the special information that EOS cameras can record in images, in particular the Dual Pixel information, the data to remove dirt from the sensor, the position of the faces in the images ...
The raw development section is the one that allows us, always free of charge, to process files to save them in traditional formats. The tools are the main ones of any similar program:
- exposure adjustment
- light / shadow recovery
- unsharp masks
- color adjustment
- local regulations
- lens defect correction
Then when we use the advanced functions on the cameras we will be able to produce image processing such as:
- HDR production from image sequences
- Focus Stacking
The latter allows us to produce images with an enormous depth of field; you start by setting the function in the camera that will take a long sequence of images by changing the focus. It will then be the responsibility of DPP to isolate the part in focus for each image and create a new one composed of the clearest parts. Many commercial photos are made with this technique.
Dual Pixel, a cosa serve?
Canon's Dual Pixel functionality finds application thanks to the supplied software. On newer cameras it is possible to activate this option which, first of all, double the file size. The camera will in fact record two side views for each pixel; this information can only be used with DPP to get very fine adjustments, very useful for shifting the plane of focus.
You can also shift the scene slightly left or right beyond the focus point. As a last resort, you can use this double information to increase image sharpness. We must evaluate whether it makes sense to have twice as large files in order to recover the focus slightly.
In Canon's bundled software EOS Utility is a small but powerful program to manage the camera from our computer, both wired and wireless. Compared to other similar alternatives (Lightroom, Capture One…) it allows you to control many more functions, in particular the point of focus. It is usually a small panel that summarizes the main settings but starting the Live View function another one appears where we can see our shot live. For those who work with still life, or food, it is very convenient; they are very useful
- customizable grids
- the ability to overlay an image
- a crop format (16: 9, 1: 1, 4: 3 ...)
- the point of focus
The captured images can be saved both on the computer and in the camera memory, each incoming image can be previewed with the Quick View function. Using Picture Style Editor we can also set a development parameter to have previews close to our interests right away, very useful with customers on the set. Forcing your hand a little is possible use EOS Utility as Capture One during tethered shooting sessions (connected to the computer); it's not the same but it's free.
We can also start the video recording but only on the memory card as the USB connections do not allow streaming of the video with the bit rate of the cameras. After recording is complete, you can transfer the video file to your computer.
Picture Style Editor
A little jewel of Canon's software; allows to load on our camera particular development settings of the raw file in order to immediately have previews in line with our processing styles. The program asks us to load a reference image (a portrait, a landscape, for example) and to adjust the exposure with a small raw editor.
This editor replicates the settings the camera is able to make internally when preparing both raw file previews and the JPG files themselves. We can therefore already produce pre-processed images without the need to intervene later. Perfect for when production times are required to a minimum, such as e-commerce or events.
Go online with the accompanying software
This is perhaps the least known part of Canon's software. Every modern camera is equipped with wireless communication both towards our smartphone and towards our computer. When we connect the camera to our smartphone, it is possible from the camera to send our images to various social networks; for newer cameras it is possible to automatically upload images to a server.
The procedure is not the simplest due to the various parameters involved in the procedure. Over time, Canon has improved connection management. At the moment you leave the camera and you arrive at the site https://ihub.image.canon/configure/home. From there we can configure the upload to these services:
- Google Photos
- Google Drive
- Adobe Photoshop Lightroom
The camera also has the configuration path for uploading images to an FTP server; it is an operation that requires a certain familiarity with the syntax of the FTP servers and a lot of patience.
Other small software included
Depending on the machine body in possession, we will be able to use other small software packages. One of the most present is EOS Lens Registration Tool which allows you to update the optics database; with updated DPP information, you will be able to optimize your shots by compensating for distortion, aberration and vignetting.
EOS Network Setting Tool is a program dedicated to owners of cameras with an Ethernet network port. The cameras will be managed not through the USB cable or Wi-Fi but through the network cables. These are special conditions related to e-commerce, advanced photogrammetry and some sports reports.
For the lucky owners of EOS R5 and RF 5.2 Dual Fish Eye optics, we talked about it here, it is possible to process the movies recorded with EOS VR Utility. We will talk about this in detail in the near future.
Mobile software supplied
For the mobile world we have two software packages. With Camera Connect we can replicate EOS Utility to manage our camera remotely: settings, shooting and downloading. Priceless when the camera is somewhere awkward to reach.
With Digital Photo Professional Express instead we have an editor that replicates the Desktop version. The app is able to:
- RAW image adjustment.
- Quick and easy adjustment of RAW images anywhere, anytime.
- Save multiple adjustment templates and compare results on a single RAW image.
- Using the edit history function to re-adjust images until the desired result is achieved.
- Saving the adjusted images in the Camera Roll in JPEG format.
SDK, beyond the basic programs.
We talked a while ago about SDKs for another brand, too Canon supports the creation of camera management programs. Access is free and allows you to create two types of products: real programs or web pages to manage the cameras.
The expressive power of a camera passes in many respects; knowing its possibilities in depth allows us to create images of greater impact. Familiarity with the supplied software is an extra gear to create more exciting images.Tether Tools JerkStopper Tether- ing Camera Support + USB
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