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Does anyone know if there is a tool available to convert DPP3 recipes to the DPP4 format?


I have TBs worth of edits in DPP3 and cannot archive them in the way that DPP4 would apply those edits. For now I'm able to use DPP3, but it will likely fail to run at some point on whatever version of Windows makes it incompatible.

Does anyone know of any tool that can convert .VRD recipe files into .DR4?



Here's how DPP3 and DPP4 store recipes in CR2 files, for those who are interested. This post is purely informational, as I haven't found the tool to automate this process yet.

You will need a fairly recent version of exiftool to run some of the examples. DO NOT run any of the commands modifying images against your actual images. Use a throw-away copy for experimentation.

Both versions of DPP store recipes in EXIF tags, under CanonVRD. DPP3 and DPP4 tags are mixed in and some have the same names and some do not.

Here's how you can see all recipe tags:


exiftool -s -a -G -H -CanonVRD:all _MG_2280.CR2


I will demonstrate DPP3 vs. DPP4 tags using RAW brightness value. If image RAW brightness value was changed in both, DPP3 and DPP4, this command will show two brightness values.


exiftool -s -a -G -H -CanonVRD:RawBrightnessAdj _MG_2280.CR2
[CanonVRD]      0x20001 RawBrightnessAdj               : 1.25
[CanonVRD]      0x0038 RawBrightnessAdj                : 2.00


The top one is for DPP4 and the bottom is for DPP3. Notice how they have the same name and different tag IDs. This means that some of the scripts circulating online may not work as intended if just the tag name is used to set the value.

Here's an example how I can take the DPP3 value and apply it against the image, so DPP4 will show the desired brightness, which in this case is 2.0.


exiftool -CanonVRD:ID-0x20001:RawBrightnessAdj=2.00 _MG_2280.CR2


If you have DPP4 open in this directory, you will see brightness jump up immediately after this command.

Tag names don't always match between DPP3 and DPP4. For example, crop tag names for DPP3 look like this.


[CanonVRD]      0x0246 CropLeft                        : 684
[CanonVRD]      0x0248 CropTop                         : 726
[CanonVRD]      0x024a CropWidth                       : 3417
[CanonVRD]      0x024c CropHeight                      : 2278


, while crop tag names for DPP4 look like these.


[CanonVRD]      0x0003 CropX                           : 100
[CanonVRD]      0x0004 CropY                           : 100
[CanonVRD]      0x0005 CropWidth                       : 3877
[CanonVRD]      0x0006 CropHeight                      : 2585


DPP4 recipes saved as standalone files are stored as EXIF values as well, so you can see all DPP4 tag values if you run the same command against a .dr4 file, like this.


exiftool -s -a -G -H -CanonVRD:all _MG_2280.dr4


You can see a full list of Canon VRD tags and meanings of some values on this page.

Update 2022-12-19

Posted a thread on exiftool forums on why JSON export/import fails. JSON may be used to extract DPP3 values, remapped into using DPP4 tag IDs and then imported into .CR2 images.

This is work in progress. I will keep updating this post if anything interesting surfaces in my search, because Canon forums are messy in how they present threads.

View solution in original post



I do commend your perseverance.  I don't have any copies of DPP3 installed, just v4.  Credit to John (jrhoffman75) who I saw a thread from in 2017.  v3 .vrd files being converted to v4 .dr4.  There is no tool and exiftool doesn't support it either per there user forums.  You are not the first to ask.  John also mentioned that the raw files are not altered, and that the recipes are applied to the files upon export.  You are already aware the changes between v3 and v4 are significant.  While backwards compatibility has been maintained, .CR2, .CR3, the way EXIF data is stored and read differs.  With 2TB of data archived, I understand the motivation.  You also pointed out that the tag names differ between the two file types.  Now we are talking about some serious development time.  You may find a way to do a migration, but others who may lack the time or technical ability will not.  

Have you contacted Canon Support to inquire about this?  Help might be available if you ask?

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> There is no tool and exiftool doesn't support it either per there user forums.

In a few of those threads they are talking about straight tag export/import, which will not work here. Somebody needs to create a mapping of all DPP3 and DPP4 recipe tags, by their IDs, not just names. That mapping can be used to migrate recipes safely. I would caution people against using any of the commands mentioned in those threads because many of them use just tag names not IDs, which is not deterministic.

I'm still looking into a few possible ways to approach this from this angle.

> Have you contacted Canon Support to inquire about this? 

My previous interactions with Canon Support weren't very fruitful. The best they can do is to forward my comments to the software development team, and that's if I'm lucky. Most likely they will just consider this working-as-designed and drop it.

So, my plan is to gather as much as I can, send them a plea that they dropped the ball on this one for many of their customers, and proceed with the assumption that they will never follow up.