Dual Pixel Raw (opens in new tab) capability first arrived with the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV (opens in new tab), and many of the latest EOS R mirrorless models also have the option. When active, the camera stores the readout from both of the photo sensors that are within each pixel. Similarly to how we see slightly different images from left and right eyes, dual pixels capture different views of the same subject which can then be manipulated with DPP’s Dual Pixel Raw tool.
Using DPP, Canon's free Digital Photo Professional software, to adjust Dual Pixel Raw images, you can slightly move the point of sharpness, it’s almost as if you get to slightly change the focus ring after the shot. Micro adjustment is better suited to portrait images, as the amount of adjustment is dependent on the depth of field captured, so with macro subjects there’s little adjustment possible.
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Bokeh shift and flare and ghosting reduction makes use of the two slightly different perspectives of the separate photodiodes in each pixel. Adjusting bokeh shift changes the balance of left and right viewpoints causing out-of-focus elements in the foreground and background to appear to rotate around the subject. Its effect is most readily seen when images are taken with a fast standard or short telephoto lens with the aperture wide open. Flare and ghosting reduction also makes use of the dual perspective.
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01 Switch on Dual Pixel Raw
If your Canon EOS camera has Dual Pixel Raw, it needs to be switched on from the camera menu, so that the data from each photo diode is stored in the Raw image. It goes without saying it’s also necessary to shoot in the Raw image format, as JPG and HEIF images cannot store multiple values from each individual pixel.
02 Image micro adjustment
In DPP, select an image, and from the menu select Tools > Start Dual Pixel Raw optimizer. Check the image micro adjustment then adjust the point of focus. Zoom in to 100% helps you to see the change in focus point. Moving the slider to the extreme end of the adjustment makes it simple to see which way to adjust the image.
03 Bokeh shift
Bokeh shift moves the viewpoint around the main subject and can be used to move out of focus elements in-front of or behind the main subject. Move the slider to the left to shift background bokeh to the left and foreground bokeh to the right. Maximise the shift to determine the optimum direction, before more considered adjustment.
04 Ghosting reduction
Ghosting reduction decreases the appearance of artefacts caused by bright light source. Check ghosting reduction, and the software analyses left and right views before selectively swapping then to reduce the presence of flare spots and ghosting. You can optionally select a specific part of the picture where you want to apply the correction.
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