Rudy Winston
Rudy Winston

Rudy Winston has over 14 years experience with Canon USA's Pro Products team, and has been responsible during that time for training Canon's staff on new products, creating presentations for customers and dealers, numerous writing projects, and providing technical assistance to professional and amateur photographers.

EOS 60D: In-Camera Processing

April 01, 2011

… it’s a quick matter to select a RAW image, and apply any of ten different processing variables to adjust it for your tastes.

One area where the EOS 60D truly breaks new ground for Canon is in the area of processing images in-camera. Canon’s DIGIC series processors have been renowned throughout the industry for their speed and performance, but until the EOS 60D, no EOS model had the ability to shoot an image, and then work with that image to produce additional copies in-camera. The EOS 60D now has that capability. We’ll examine that in more detail here.

Option 1 — RAW image processing

All EOS digital SLRs can shoot RAW image files, and the EOS 60D of course is no exception. Like most recent EOS SLRs, in fact, the EOS 60D can shoot full-resolution RAW files, or users have the option of shooting reduced resolution RAW images: M-RAW (approx. 10.1MP images) or S-RAW (approx. 4.5MP files).

Until now, however, once a RAW file was taken, EOS photographers had to bring that image into their computers, open it there, and convert it with RAW processing software into a finished, useable image file. EOS 60D users, of course, can continue to do this.

But with the EOS 60D, a full-resolution RAW image file can be processed in the camera as well. Using simple menu commands in the camera’s Playback menu, it’s a quick matter to select a RAW image, and apply any of ten different processing variables to adjust it for your tastes. A new JPEG image is the result (the original RAW file is completely unaffected by this), and the new JPEG is also saved on the camera’s memory card. This JPEG can be full-resolution or any available reduced-resolution size.

Processing variables mimic some of those available in Canon’s sophisticated Digital Photo Professional software. The choices include:

  • Adjust overall brightness, in 1/3-stop increments
  • Completely re-set White Balance
  • Adjust Picture Style settings
  • Choose Color Space (sRGB or Adobe 1998 RGB)
  • Apply Auto Lighting Optimizer
  • Choose JPEG recording quality (resolution, and choice of Fine/Normal compression)
  • Apply Lens Peripheral Illumination Correction (vignetting correction)
  • Lens Distortion Correction
  • Chromatic Aberration Correction

This new in-camera capability can be a real time-saver in the field, allowing photographers all the control of traditional RAW image shooting, but at the same time permitting making of quick JPEG copies of select images that can be rapidly sent via e-mail or uploaded to web sites — without requiring separate RAW file processing at a computer. And the user has a versatile set of potential adjustments that can be made right on the camera’s LCD monitor to the RAW file when it’s processed.

Option 2 — Re-size image:

Photographers who prefer a JPEG workflow, and shoot JPEG original images, have options with the EOS 60D for in-camera processing as well.

One is the ability to call up a JPEG image you’ve taken on the camera’s LCD monitor, and make a reduced-resolution copy of that image, which is saved to the camera’s memory card.

This again can be especially useful to shooters who want or need to quickly get a reduced-resolution file out via e-mail or onto a web site. The EOS 60D’s full-resolution 18 million pixel files are loaded with detail and information (great when large prints are to be made), but the flip side is that these files are usually far too large to conveniently send via the internet; an ordinary Large/Fine JPEG file from the 60D typically has a file size on the memory card of about 6.6MB.

The EOS 60D supports a broad range of JPEG resolutions, whether for original shooting, or for re-sizing after the fact in-camera. The available choices are:

L:   approx. 18 million pixels (5184 x 3456)
M:   approx. 8 million pixels (3456 x 2304)
S1:   approx. 4.5 million pixels (2592 x 1728)
New — S2:   approx. 2.5 million pixels (1920 x 1280; close to HDTV dimensions)
New — S3:   approx. 0.35 million pixels (720 x 480; close to standard TV size)

Any JPEG original file can be copied, using a simple menu command (“Resize”) from the camera’s Playback menu. Users have the choice of any JPEG quality setting with resolution lower than the original image’s. This means:

A) It’s not possible to make an in-camera copy that’s the same resolution as the original file
B) Unavailable choices will be grayed-out on the camera’s LCD monitor when Re-size is selected.

The Re-size menu option applies only to JPEG original images; RAW files can be processed into smaller-res copies by using the in-camera RAW processing menu option, mentioned above. When a JPEG file is re-sized, the original file is completely unaffected, and a new file of the copy is written to the camera’s SD memory card.

Option 3 — Creative Filters:

Historically, one disadvantage of shooting original JPEG image files is that the creative options in post-processing at the computer are far fewer than is possible with RAW images. The EOS 60D’s new in-camera processing changes that, to a degree, with the Creative Filters option.

Creative Filters lets you take a RAW image file or an ordinary JPEG image file, play it back on the camera’s LCD monitor, and then using the Playback Menu, create a new JPEG copy of that original with specialized variations applied to it. You can even call up that copy, once it’s created, and apply a new Creative Filter, in essence applying more than one adjustment to the original image.

There are four options that users can apply. Within each, there are adjustments that can be made right on the LCD monitor, using the new large Multi-Controller, to modify the “look” of the Creative Filter in question. Available choices are:

  • Grainy Black & White
    (creates a B&W copy of an original color JPEG file, and digitally adds noise for a grainy effect; the photographer can adjust contrast over a 3-step range)
  • Soft Focus
    (potentially the most useful of the Creative Filter effects; provides a nice soft look for portraits, certain types of landscapes, and so on; adjustable in a 3-step range)
  • Toy Camera
    (an unusual effect, designed to mimic the “look” of images created by some toy film cameras; provides heavy vignetting, and user’s choice of natural color, or a bluish-green or yellow-amber tint)
  • Miniature Effect
    (mimics the effect of using a tilt-shift lens with “reverse” or “negative” tilt, for extremely narrow depth-of-field; users can choose to have the zone of sharpness be horizontal or vertical [regardless of picture orientation], and can move this zone of sharpness across the photograph)

Summary:

  • The EOS 60D introduces an entirely new set of options for photographers who need to work quickly with their images, or who want to make creative adjustments to them, with the new in-camera processing choices. Again, each can be accessed in the camera’s Playback menu, and each leverages the power of the DIGIC 4 processor in the EOS 60D to create a new copy of a file already taken by the photographer. Whether to simply create quick, reduced-resolution copies that are far easier (for example) to attach with an e-mail message, or to apply creative adjustments that previously would have required multiple steps — and specialized knowledge — to produce in an image-editing software program, the 60D’s in-camera processing is a great new addition. The options are easy to understand, easy to access, and can be potentially very useful even to the seasoned, experienced photographer from time to time.

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