Free Professional Print & Layout software translates DPRAW data into superior prints

People look at three photos on a display - the left, of yellow flame-like flowing fabric, the middle, a close-up of a middle-aged man, the right of an older African woman in colourful printed clothes
Canon's groundbreaking plug-in will bring out the full DPRAW Print and HDR Print functions in prints for the first time. That's great news for photographers looking to exhibit their work.

Photographers who use the Dual Pixel RAW (DPRAW) function of the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV or Canon EOS R to select and sharpen focus post-capture will soon be able to bring out even more details in their prints thanks to a new print software solution. Canon's new Professional Print & Layout software can read the depth map data from DPRAW files, and sharpen the printed image selectively in focus areas.

This is a new way of processing prints – by contrast, current software sharpens an image indiscriminately across the frame, meaning that the effect of selecting focus and defocus areas in DPRAW files is less visible in print.

The result of using Professional Print & Layout software is that prints look more three-dimensional, with visibly sharper and clearer details in focus areas.

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"Because the software uses the depth map of the DPRAW file intelligently, and applies sharpening accordingly, it really makes the image stand out. If you're delivering a print to a gallery or an exhibition competition, you'll want to use this feature," says Suhaib Hussain, a senior product marketing specialist at Canon.

"Now, there's even more reason to shoot in DPRAW, whether you're shooting wildlife, portraits or weddings where you've got blurred background and want the subject to really 'pop'. If you're printing, this is the way you should be doing it."

Visitors to the Canon stand at photokina 2018, in Germany, were able to see the difference the software makes at Canon's Print Gallery. There, prints with and without the DPRAW Print function were displayed side by side, including work by Canon Ambassadors David Noton, Brent Stirton and Katya Mukhina.

A display board with large photo prints; six on the left are pairs of prints of the same image, one of each pair noticeably crisper and brighter.
Canon showed its latest printing solutions in its Print Gallery at photokina 2018.

How Professional Print & Layout works

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The Professional Print & Layout software plugs into Canon's photo editing software Digital Photo Professional, and the DPRAW Print function is activated with a single click.

As well as the DPRAW Print function, Professional Print & Layout software will make it easier and faster to print HDR images. With one click, the software can bring out detail in highlight areas to achieve a wider dynamic range. Thanks to the Exhibition Lighting Optimisation function, this expanded dynamic range is evident in prints viewed under the varied lighting conditions used for galleries and exhibitions. The two functions can be used together, revealing greater information in the highlights while making in-focus areas stand out.

"For HDR Prints, the software works directly with the RAW file that comes out of the EOS R or the EOS 5D Mark IV," says Suhaib. "You don't need multiple shots. You can use one shot, and the software can bring back up to two stops of dynamic range in the highlight areas. If the EOS R is the future of capture, this is the future of printing. No other manufacturer is doing HDR printing in this way."

The Professional Print & Layout software is free, and will be available for Canon's range of large-format fine art printers, the imagePROGRAF PRO-1000, imagePROGRAF PRO-2000, imagePROGRAF PRO-4000 and imagePROGRAF PRO-6000. Photographers who already own one of these printers will be able to update their firmware free of charge. New users who buy an imagePROGRAF printer will get the software included free with their purchase.

The software is currently in beta testing, and expected to be made available to the public in December 2018.

Written by Kathrine Anker

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