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Photography people - RAW?

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In a nutshell i have a new Canon 550D it takes lovely pics. When i render the RAW in Lightroom they look awful! (I'm a new LR user) When i render them through Digital Photo Professional (Canon's software) they are better and a closer match to the jpeg, but not exact.


What am i doing wrong and how do i fix it? Because at this point it seems far easier to get nice results using jpegs and editing those!


LR seems to apply a bunch of settings on import even though there are no presets on import. It sharpens A LOT to the point of skin looking plasticy and unnatural. Colours, especially red are changed too! Some way over saturated and some desaturated.


I am committed to trying to work through this because i have some longer term plans for my photography but seriously hitting my head against a brick wall on this one!


Anyone have any advice for me? Thanks

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