Canon reinvents Digital Photo Professional, promises free download by month’s end


posted Friday, June 20, 2014 at 7:42 PM EDT


Last February, Nikon began beta-testing an update to Capture NX, the raw-processing application it bundles with some of its cameras, and sells for others. Four months later, we hear of a similarly-major overhaul coming from long-time rival Canon, whose Digital Photo Professional app is about to have a ground-up reinvention.

Nikon's Silkypix-based update, dubbed Capture NX-D, has proven controversial -- largely because it loses some of the unique features of the earlier version made by the now-defunct Nik Software. Canon users will doubtless be hoping for a smoother transition from their new release, but it remains to be seen if any of the features we know and love have failed to make the cut in the new app.

Either way, though, there certainly look to be a lot of new features on the table for Digital Photo Professional 4. The app -- which will be available only for 64-bit operating systems, and is to be accompanied by an updated version of EOS Utility -- is slated to arrive by month's end. (Update: It's available now! More details on where to get it can be found here.) According to its maker, DPP 4.0 brings with it faster, real-time adjustments, as well as improvements both to the user interface and to raw workflow.

Rating images in Digital Photo Professional 4 on Mac OS X.

Digital Photo Professional 4.0 will now support dual displays, and is said to have a faster thumbnail list view capable of showing up to 10,000 thumbnails in a folder. The interface supports drag-and-drop operations, and customizable toolbars let you tweak the layout to fit your own workflow. And as well as viewing images by folder, you can also create image collections.  A variety of views are available beyond the thumbnail and single-image display options, including side-by-side before and after or comparison views, and a single image with thumbnails either below or to the left.

You'll also be able to view basic image information alongside thumbnails or overlaid on single images or side-by-side displays, and to see highlight / shadow warnings with customizable threshholds. Six thumbnail sizes will be possible, from 84 x 84 to 512 x 512 pixels, and you can filter by file types, star ratings and more, or select / deselect all images with a single button-press. And unlike the previous version, DPP 4.0 now supports movie playback.

DPP 4 is said to have better highlight and shadow control, and sports white balance adjustment controls more like those in the camera.

To help with focus confirmation or checking other fine details in your photos, it will be possible to have up to four floating second-window views, each with separately-adjustable size. The Quick Check screen has also been revisited, with a claimed 100% increase in performance and support for new features including lens correction, crop and clone stamp. Integration with EOS Utility is also said to be closer than in the past, with the new version allowing the shutter to be triggered and remote shooting functions adjusted from DPP's tool palette, without the need to launch a separate app.

DPP 4.0 is also said to extract more detail from images, and to have better highlight / shadow control, as well as an improved raw histogram with one-click brightness correction. It also sports an eight-axis HSL gamut adjustment palette, and an improved white balance adjustment palette providing the same control as available in-camera. And where previously, the Auto Lighting Optimizer function worked only for raw images, it will now support JPEGs as well.

The Japanese-language version of DPP 4 running on a Windows machine.

There are, however, some features that are definitely absent. DPP 4.0 won't support recipes from earlier versions, and lacks composite, HDR, or tone curve assist functions. And nor can it be installed on 32-bit systems. You can, however, install DPP 3.x alongside the new v4.0 release. However, Digital Photo Professional 4 is also going to support just four camera models at launch -- the EOS-1D X, EOS-1D C, EOS 5D Mark III and EOS 6D. A new DPP v3.14 release is also scheduled for launch alongside DPP 4.0.

DPP 4.0 ships in Japan from June 26, and in Europe by the end of the month. Canon USA has not yet made any statement as to its plans.

DPP 4 allows up to four floating secondary windows with which to preview focus and so forth.