Post-processing is an integral part of many pro photographers' workflows – an indispensable step if you shoot RAW – but are you getting the best results? Canon's own RAW processing and photo editing software Digital Photo Professional (DPP) is more capable than you might have realised.
Why use DPP? DPP is the ideal RAW processor because it has been developed specifically to work with files from Canon cameras, with optimal support for features such as Picture Styles, Auto Lighting Optimizer and lens aberration corrections. This is probably most noticeable if you shoot RAW with the Monochrome Picture Style: open the file using other software and it will open as a colour image, not mono. You can remove or modify the Picture Style in DPP too, of course, or replace it with another, but the critical thing is that other RAW processors, while they might apply their own approximations, actually don't understand your image settings – and that includes custom white balance, advanced noise reduction and other settings. They just won't be applied as you intended.
The latest version of DPP, 4.17, goes even further, introducing a powerful new Neural Network Image Processing Tool. Based on artificial intelligence with deep-learning, this subscription-based tool automatically analyses different areas of images and applies a range of selective enhancements to achieve unprecedented levels of quality. It can also help save you time, making it ideal for busy professionals and any demanding photographer with little time to spare.