Monday, October 3, 2016

Canon 5D Mark 4 Dual Pixel Raw Test

One of the most touted features of the Canon EOS 5D Mark 4 is the Dual Pixel RAW capture capability. According to Canon,

“Dual Pixel RAW [DPR] is a Canon innovation utilising both photodiodes on the EOS 5D Mark IV’s 30.4 Megapixel Dual Pixel CMOS AF sensor.”

You can read more about what it is and what it is supposed to do in the following links:

I would like to jump right in to my test and the results.

Test methodology
The subject I chose was a flower with both foreground & background bokeh for testing the bokeh shift and the same flower, in and out of focus to test “image micro adjustment”. As usual, the test files are available for download at my git repo.

Test Gear
Body: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
Lens: Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM
Shooting mode: RAW, with DPR option enabled.
Original RAW files can be downloaded from my git repo, under DPR folder.

File naming convention: <Filename>_<Exposure>_<ISO>.<file extension>
Capture Date: 26 September 2016
Capture Time: 10:51 am onwards
All pictures are taken with an aperture of f2.8

Since this is a new feature, only Canon’s Digital Photo Professional software supports it (Adobe says it will add support in PS and Lightroom). For this post, I took screen captures of the actual processing to get a better sense of what is possible. Please feel free to download the files (here) and try for yourself. Share your findings in the comments section.

Test 1: Bokeh Shift

Test 1: Image micro-adjustment

Conclusion
As evident from the video, bokeh shift does show some changes in the background. I used a telephoto lens with wide open aperture as Canon recommends. I suspect the effect may may vary significantly depending on the lens of choice. As for the image micro adjustment, I am not able to detect any visible improvements (or otherwise) in any of the test images. Personally, image micro adjustment was the feature I was hoping to be the game changer. On the down side, the image size doubles (since the images are effectively 60mp now) and fills up storage fast.

In general, while the whole technology is cool, I do not see any real applications for it. One potential application I can think of is, moving a foreground bokeh from a subject’s face. Again, as any new technology goes, I hope DPR can offer a lot more in future as technology improves. The good thing is, since all the processing is done in software, we may well receive a software update in future which lets us do focus readjustments. Fingers crossed.

Overall, I have to say, I am disappointed with DPR.

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