Canon's new premium compact, the G5X Mark II, now has RAW support from Adobe thanks to Lightroom 2.4. Since I'm shooting with the camera in Las Vegas, what better place to try out the new .CR3 files? And while we're at it, let's revisit the newish PhotoMerge that was added to Lightroom (CC) earlier this year. I'll start with the RAW files.
.CR3 RAW Decoding with Lightroom 2.4
Overall, I thought the .CR3 RAW files were moderately responsive in Lightroom 2.4. Shadows opened up reasonably well. I could recover highlights, although I was wanting for more recovery for many of my shots. Color and sharpness were very good. Overall, a thumbs-up rating.
I'm looking forward to comparing Capture One's decoding of the .CR3 files once it releases its RAW update. As I look at the Lightroom versions, I feel like there is a little "pop" missing with this tandem. I could be wrong. Time will tell when I have something to compare it to.
Bottom line, however, if you're already a Lightroom user and have been considering the Canon G5X Mark II, then the coast is clear. The RAW decoding is solid.
Photo Merge with .CR3 Files in Lightroom 2.4
Earlier this year, Adobe added HDR merging to its Creative Cloud version of Lightroom. I had worked with it previously, but I felt that these .CR3 files in Las Vegas would be perfect for further research. I was right. This was fun.
The Canon G5X II doesn't have an HDR mode per se (HDR Backlight doesn't count for me), but it does have the traditional Canon Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB). So I set the self-timer to 2 seconds, and set AEB to -1.7, 0, +1.7 and captured my .CR3 source files while exploring the interiors of some of my favorite hotels.
I then tapped Photo Merge in Lightroom 2.4 (Photo > Photo Merge > HDR Merge) and let the software do its thing. The result was a great looking DNG file that I could further edit in Lightroom if I wished.
From earlier testing with the G5X II, I had already felt that the Jpegs produced by the 20MP 1" Stacked CMOS sensor and DIGIC 8 processor were definitely street photography worthy.
But now, with RAW processing available in Lightroom and tapping Photo Merge as well, I can squeeze a lot of quality out of this compact if I just slow down a bit and use good technique. I still have another day here on location. I'll see what I can get next with it. But to this point, the Lightroom 2.4/Canon G5X II dynamic duo are getting the job done.
You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.