Canon raw file conversion

Top  Previous  Next

Select the "Convert Raw Image" menu option or press the "Convert" button to display the Raw convert dialog. Different cameras allow different raw conversion adjustments and so the contents of the raw conversion dialog will vary according to the camera model. The screenshot below shows the raw conversion dialog for the Canon EOS 10D:




The raw conversion method can be set to "Normal", "Linear" or "Combined". All three conversion modes are available for 20D, 350D, 10D, 300D, D30, D60, G2, G3, G5, S30, S40, S45, S50, S60, S70 and Pro1 raw files but only "Normal" mode is available for the G1 and Pro90. If "Linear" or "Combined" conversion is selected for G1 or Pro90 raw files they will be converted using "Normal" conversion.


Select "Normal" conversion for normal, well exposed shots. This uses the standard Canon raw conversion routines and allows you to set the white balance, saturation, contrast and sharpness.


Select "Linear" conversion to convert the raw file with the minimum of post processing. This takes the raw sensor data and only applies white balance correction. The image will appear very dark because it has a gamma value of 1.0 from the camera and has not been adjusted to a gamma of 2.2 normally used for displaying images on a PC screen. Canon's raw conversion routines do not allow the saturation, contrast and sharpness to be adjusted when using linear conversion. This can result in images that look poorly focused and is simply because the image has not been sharpened.


"Combined" conversion is useful for shots which are slightly over exposed and shots with a lot of highlight detail. "Combined" conversion isn't suitable for all images but it can be very effective with slightly over-exposed images. It is most effective with G3, G5, G6, S45, S50, S60, S70, D30, D60, 10D and 300D images which contain 36-bits per pixel but it is also useful with G2, S30 and S40 raw files which contain 30-bits per pixel. "Combined" conversion converts the raw file twice using different exposure compensation settings and combines the two to extract more highlight detail from the image.


Smart noise reduction uses sophisticated image processing techniques to filter out noise from digital images with virtually no loss of image detail. All digital cameras images have noise in them and this noise becomes more apparent at higher ISO settings. The smart noise reduction filter uses the shooting data stored in the image file to select optimal settings for the camera at the given ISO setting and shutter speed. Select "Normal" for most images, "High" for high ISO images where noise is severe and "Low" for images where noise is less of a problem. If you don't require noise reduction the filter can be set to "OFF". The smart noise filter is described in more detail here.


Select a preset white balance setting from the white balance combo box. A custom whitepoint can be selected by clicking on the image. The best way to do this is to select an area of neutral gray as opposed to an area that is white. This is because white areas may be overexposed and not contain any useful color balance information. When a custom whitepoint is selected the preview image is updated to show the new setting. It may be necessary to try clicking on several different areas to get the best color balance.

Selecting a custom white point isn't the same as selecting a custom white balance when the picture is taken. The custom white point samples a single pixel from which the white balance is calculated. This can be useful when trying to fine tune the white balance by clicking on a number of points until the optimum white balance is found.

When a custom white balance is set in the camera the camera averages a large area of pixels to calculate the white balance. This works much better when using a gray card than selecting a custom white balance. This is because it is averaging the pixels over an area and minor differences due to noise in the image are averaged out.


The saturation, contrast and sharpness settings can also be selected from the combo boxes. These settings are disabled when linear conversion is selected. If you intend to edit the image in a photo editor after converting it is probably best to set the saturation, contrast and sharpness to low. This will reduce the amount by which the image is modified during the conversion process and preserve as much image information as possible for editing later.


Canon Powershot S45, S50, S60, S70, G3, G5, G6, Pro1 raw files


Raw files from these cameras have an additional raw conversion parameter called "Photo Effect". The value of this setting effects the other raw conversion settings as shown in the table below:


Photo Effect

White Balance

Saturation, Contrast, Sharpness










Low sharpening






Black and White








PowerShot S60 and PowerShot Pro1 raw files


You may also set the exposure compensation from -2 EV to +2 EV when converting raw files.


Canon EOS D60


You may also set the exposure compensation from -2 EV to +2 EV and the color tone setting when converting raw files. The color tone setting adjusts the colors of the images to compensate for different skin tones.


Canon EOS 10D and 20D raw files (also EOS 350D/Digital Rebel XT/Kiss N and EOS 300D/Digital Rebel/Kiss)


You may also set the exposure compensation from -2 EV to +2 EV and the color tone setting when converting raw files. The color tone setting adjusts the colors of the images to compensate for different skin tones. You can also set the color space to sRGB or AdobeRGB.


Select "False color filter" to enable the false color filter during conversion. This is an additional stage which removes false colors that can appear in areas of fine detail and high contrast (e.g. the branches of a tree against a bright sky). The false color filter increases the processing time for raw files but will ensure the best possible quality.


Select "Use this white balance for all images" to convert several images using the same white balance as the displayed image. This option is automatically enabled when a custom white balance is selected. If this option is deselected when the white balance is set to a custom white point the white balance automatically reverts to the "As Shot" setting.


Press "Convert" to convert the image or "Convert all" to convert all the Raw files in the directory using the same white balance, saturation, contrast and sharpness settings. Note: In thumbnail mode the button is labeled "Convert Selected" and only the currently selected files will be converted when it is pressed.


Converted files are stored in the "Converted" subdirectory unless you have changed the default output directory (see Preferences) or have entered a new output directory in the dialog. The output directory can be an absolute pathname (e.g. "D:\Photos\Converted") or a relative one (e.g. "Converted"). BreezeBrowser Pro will create the output directory if it does not exist already.


Files may be converted to JPEG, 8-bit JPEG2000, 16-bit JPEG2000, 8-bit TIFF, 16-bit TIFF, 8-bit PNG or 16-bit PNG. JPEG uses lossy compression and JPEG2000 images are lossless if the quality is set to 100 and lossy otherwise. TIFF images are lossless and are uncompressed (BreezeBrowser Pro does not output compressed TIFF files because LZW compression is covered by a patent owned by Unisys). PNG files use lossless compression and result in smaller files than TIFF images.


A color profile can be tagged to the image (see Preferences) and if a monitor profile is also selected in Preferences, the preview image will be displayed using the selected profile. Click on the "..." button to change the selected color profile. The preview image will be updated to show the effect of the profile.

Embedding (or tagging) a color profile in an image does not modify the image data in any way. What it does is includes information about the color space of the image which can be used by other color profile aware applications for accurate color representation.


If "Open in image editor after converting" is selected BreezeBrowser Pro will open the image using the settings defined in Preferences. A confirmation dialog will be displayed if this option is selected when converting more than one image.




1.Files converted with linear conversion selected will have the letter 'L' appended to their filename (this feature can be disabled in Preferences). This is to make it easier to use dynamic range enhancement techniques which combine the 16-bit linear and non-linear images.
2.The 16-bit output formats, "linear conversion" and "false color filter" options apply to all cameras except the PowerShot G1 and Pro90IS.
3.Enter '.' for the output directory to store the converted files in the same directory as the raw files. You will need to refresh the directory (e.g. by pressing F5) to see the new files after converting them.
4.JPEG2000 files are lossless if the maximum quality (100) is selected. At lower quality settings JPEG2000 files are considerably smaller than equivalent JPEGs.
5.The "Preset" white balance setting will only give sensible results if a custom white balance was selected in the camera when the picture was taken.
6.Color profiles can only be used with JPEG and TIFF images in this version of BreezeBrowser Pro