the D30's debut, we've been struggling with its supplied
software. Although it's possible to convert RAW files using
Canon's Photoshop twain module or RAW conversion utility,
both options are very impractical.
Several programmers, who also happen to own D30's , decided
to ease the conversion process of D30 RAW files and incorporate
some new features. The most needed feature was the ability
to preview images at a larger size than the thumbnail size
that is included with the Canon software.
Which third party software does the job most effortlessly
and with the best output quality still remains to be seen.
This article will analyze in detail, how the latest version
of Breezebrowser ranks and what to expect from it.
(BB) was developed around the Canon's SDK and therefore
offers no real advantage regarding conversion speed or tweaks
before conversion. Chris Breeze decided to use Canon's own
"dll files" and concentrate on other features
like larger preview, rotation, RAW file slide-show, HTML
templates, and other options that were lacking in the supplied
(BB) version 1.1 offers some intersesting and effective
Since BB was first introduced, I've been impressed by its
automated HTML feature. With the click of a button, the
software generates a simple but elegant image gallery for
the web. This saves a tremendous amount of time when posting
galleries online. A few HTML templates are included with
the software and there are guidelines for creating your
own template. I even used this feature when creating my
own galleries online. Take a look at my landscape
However, in previous versions of BB the HTML feature was
not implemented as efficiently. The software did not use
any interpolation method to resize images which resulted
in poor quality thumbnails, and artifacts on resized images.
Fortunately, this problem is fixed in the updated version
of BB. Now there is a new interpolation feature (similar
to Photoshop's) and also a very welcomed Unsharp Mask algorithm,
which allows you to keep your images sharp even when resized.
The setting can be used in HTML custom mode.
now displays non-compressed 8 and 16-bit Tiff files. This
new version adds versatility by previewing, running slide
shows and displaying thumbnails of all D30 file formats.
(Jpeg, Tiff, Tiff 16bit and RAW). However, I would like
to see support for LZW compression for Tiff files.
When testing the software, I noticed that for some reason
I could not drag Tiff files to the preview window. The only
way that I can preview Tiff files, is to click on "open"
and find the file on the hard drive. Hopefully, this will
be addressed in the next update.
Another new feature is the ability to preview full size
RAW files at 100% magnification. This allows close inspection
of RAW files before conversion. This is a great time saver
when trying to decide between similar shots. The full size
preview takes 4s on my Pentium4 1.8 Ghz.One more useful
feature implemented on BB version 1.1 is "EXIF copy".
It's helps when editing images that you are creating for
a website. This lets you convert RAW files, edit them in
Photoshop and copy the original EXIF info back to the image.
Now you have the ability to call your image editor software
from BB. When browsing converted Jpeg or Tiff images,
you can send the images automatically to the editor. When
using Photoshop 6.0, just add this command line to the pop-up
File/Set up image editor
"Use the command line below:"
c:\Program Files\Adobe\Photoshop 6.0\Photoshp.exe
If you are not using Photoshop, then choose the default
"Use the Windows Explorer 'Open' command". You
may have to manually choose which software opens tiff and
is how you do it.
Windows explorer/tools/folder options/file types:
Find the ".jpg" and ".tif" extensions
and "change to" "your image editor",
It's a bit tedious but once you change it, it will stay
On another note, if you have a fast processor, the new "high
quality" feature works well. It allows preview of RAW
files with similar image quality by displaying a preview
of the converted image before actually converting the file.
On my Pentium4 1.8 Ghz, this feature only takes a couple
of seconds, but it may have a longer duration depending
on the system you are using.
It's a wonderful feature for running slide shows. When the
slide show starts, right click on the image and select "high
quality". The redesigned slide show feature in version
1.1 can display full screen RAW images. You can also set
the interval during the slide show.
In previous versions, there was a problem deleting several
files when in thumbnail mode. However, this problem has
been correct in BB 1.1
let's take a look at what BB is capable of.
The ability to preview RAW files has been a challenge for
all D30 users prior to the introduction of Breezebrowser.
While there are several utilities that assist in previewing
RAW files as large as the monitor allows, nothing comes
close to the versatility offered by BB.
I like the fact that with BB you can choose to either preview
an image or an entire folder of images, by dragging them
into the software.
With BB you can toggle between "Main window" and
"thumbnails" by right clicking on the image, selecting
from the "View menu", or using the specified shortcuts.
Thumbnails greatly assist in finding images. This was just
implemented a few months ago, and in my opinion it was one
of the most important features added to the software. Now,
you also have the option of choosing the background color,
and the size of the thumbnails.
fantastic feature is the histogram. It accurately displays
the luminosity of the image with, red, green and blue channels
all in one graph. Browsing from image to image, you can
use the histogram to see which image from a bracketed series
is well exposed. The red channel graph is very useful when
deciding to use the D30
linear ICC. Usually the red channel is the first to
overexpose and the linear capture is capable of bringing
the red channel back to normal. Also, if the luminance channel
is a bit overexposed, it's easily spotted on the gray graph,
indicating that a linear conversion may be necessary to
restore a bit of the highlight.
may be wondering how fast the conversion is, or how you
can speed it up?
Well, I've tested BB in 3 PC computer systems. Here are
Pentium4 1.8 Ghz 512mb RDRAM = 10s*
Dual Pentium III 933 Mhz 1.5gb SDRAM = 21s*
Pentium MMX 166 Mhz 48mb RAM (laptop) = 1.8 minutes**False
color filter checked
As you can see from the conversion times, BB runs more rapidly
on faster processors. Doubling the processor speed cuts
the conversion time in half. But, the amount of RAM in your
system or how fast your hard drive is seems to make minimal
difference in the conversion times.
Take a look at the RAW conversion window of BB. It previews
how "linear 16-bit" files will look and also allows
an option for creating customWB by clicking on a neutral
subject on the image.
my opinion is that Breezebrowzer is a "must have"
for Canon digital camera users. It has proven to be a necessity
for my workflow. If you want to try it out, here
is the link for a demo version. Or, for more information
check out Chris Breeze's webpage here.
This software has matured into a valuable asset, I hope
Chris Breeze continues supporting Canon users. He is doing
a fantastic job!