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Noel Carboni 23,528 posts
Dec 23, 2006
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Why Camera Raw Needs Larger Size Choices

Jun 17, 2012 4:35 PM

The upsampling provided in Camera Raw as part of the conversion process is excellent.  I know of no better way to extract the maximum possible detail from a raw image than to convert to an upsampled resolution.

 

Trouble is, the biggest value one can select from the list is 6144 x 4096 pixels.

 

WorkflowOptions.jpg

 

Some cameras, e.g., the Nikon D800, already deliver images with more pixels that this, so there are no upsampled resolutions to choose from in the Workflow Options dialog.  There need to be!

 

There is a way to "trick" Camera Raw into providing a larger image - one can set a custom crop, then drag the crop tool around the entire image, then finish the conversion.

 

Just to illustrate the utility in doing this, I used the "trick" to get a 9000 x 6000 pixel conversion from a Nikon D800 image, which can be found here:

 

http://movies.dpreview.com.s3.amazonaws.com/nikon_d800/DSC_0241.NEF.zi p

 

Once I opened this image at 54 megapixels (up from the camera's native 36.2 MP) I sharpened it.  You can see how well that came out here (11 megabyte JPEG file):

 

http://Noel.ProDigitalSoftware.com/ForumPosts/DSC_0241_Upsampled_and_S harpened.jpg

 

I've made this request before, and it was ignored.  Here's hoping the Camera Raw team will reconsider offering some upsampled sizes based on the native size (e.g., 125%, 150%, etc.).  No matter how many megapixels you've got, more is better.

 

-Noel

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 17, 2012 4:54 PM   in reply to Noel Carboni

    So you're arguing that there is some inherent advantage in upsampling as part of the raw conversion process?

     

    Or that the ACR team is just better at upsampling than the Photoshop programmers?

     

    Richard Southworth

     
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    Jun 17, 2012 8:13 PM   in reply to Noel Carboni

    ACR support for the D800 does provide the native resolution of 7360x4912 but nothing higher

    so this option only appears if you open a RAW file from the D800, non-D800 RASW files show the maximum you are seeing.

     

    MKD800.JPG

     
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    Jun 17, 2012 9:33 PM   in reply to Noel Carboni

    Noel Carboni wrote:

     

    There is a way to "trick" Camera Raw into providing a larger image - one can set a custom crop, then drag the crop tool around the entire image, then finish the conversion.

     

     

    Noel:

     

    That is an extremely clever solution: thank you so much for posting it.

     
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    Jun 18, 2012 8:49 AM   in reply to Noel Carboni

    Ok, I'll argue.  If there is some inherent advantage to upsampling at the raw stage, then you may have a legitimate request, otherwise IMO your concern is out in left field, and I'd rather the ACR people work on more useful functionality.

     

    As you well know, there are many techniques for upsampling, including 10% at a time, using third party programs, etc.  You may have found a technique that works for you within ACR, but I find it hard to believe using some process within Photoshop wouldn't work as well.  And I don't agree that they need to provide such for the sake of consistency, need to have some technical basis and not just one person's experience/preference.  You may not want to debate the issue, but what choice do you have given that (I believe) the majority of us don't want/need the function.

     

    Richard Southworth

     
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    Jun 18, 2012 10:16 AM   in reply to Noel Carboni

    I'm saying you haven't justified the need to add upsampling options for larger format cameras, and that the certainty with which you present the requirement is not IMO sufficiently supported by your experience/preference, given no technical arguments in support.  And yes I, and many other forum members, can question the legitimacy of your request from the standpoint of prioritization of ACR development.

     

    It's one thing to present a technique that's worked well for you, it's another to hammer the ACR team to accomodate your wishes.

     

    Richard Southworth

     
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    Jun 18, 2012 10:37 AM   in reply to Noel Carboni

    Firstly, I don't understand the selfishness reference.  Secondly, you don't know that the crop trick is equivalent to the sampling procedure used in the workflow options selections.  And thirdly, I was "set off" by your insistence on what appears to me to be a obscure functional change.

     

    I'm finished, have fun.

     

    Richard Southworth

     
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    Jun 18, 2012 10:50 AM   in reply to RASouthworth

    RASouthworth wrote:

     

    …you don't know that the crop trick is equivalent to the sampling procedure used in the workflow options selections…

     

    Regardless of whether it is or not, I join Ann in thanking Noel for sharing this elegant, simple and very useful trick.

     

    More tests are needed to show whether this is the most efficient upsampling method yet, but it certainly represents a useful technique already available to us.

     

    Thank you, Noel!

     
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    Jun 18, 2012 11:29 AM   in reply to Noel Carboni

    Noel Carboni wrote:

     

    …Here's a 12000 x 8000 pixel (96 megapixel result) using the same scheme, just so no doubt remains that it's viable...

     

    http://Noel.ProDigitalSoftware.com/ForumPosts/DSC_0241_Upsampled_to_96 MP_and_Sharpened.jpg

     

    I've examined this upsampled image at pixel and sub-pixel level for a good 30 minutes, and the quality of the upsampling is astonishing.

     

    The fine details of the feathers and the lack of artifacts is extraordinary.

     

    DSC_0241_Upsampled_to_96MP_and_Sharpened_crop.jpg

     
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    Jun 18, 2012 12:48 PM   in reply to Noel Carboni

    I lied, I'm back.  Downloaded the NEF you referenced earlier (BTW for those who might not be familiar this is a very high quality photograph done by DP Review in their studio), loaded into ACR 7.1, opened directly into Photoshop CS6 with no adjustments off of defaults in ACR.

     

    Using Image Size upsampled to 12000x8000 with bicubic smoother, then sharpened with USM .3 radius and 250% or so.  To my obviously unqualified eye it's very close to your sample.  So tell me again why ACR needs this capability?

     

    Richard Southworth

     

    PSUpRezAndUSMask.jpg

     
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    Jun 18, 2012 1:31 PM   in reply to Noel Carboni

    Attempts at humor and tangential references aside, here is the side by side comparison.  You may now point out the obvious and important differences that exist using a real image as opposed to non-specific diatribe.

     

    And let us all remember that a 12000x8000 pixel image will print at 50"x33" or so, assuming 240 pixels/inch.  Not exactly a size most of use very often.  And again, my main point is there is no real justification for adding upres sizes for the D800.

     

    Richard Southworth

     

    dual.jpg

     
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    Jun 18, 2012 2:15 PM   in reply to RASouthworth

    Regardless of your motivation, your insistence on arguing against the requested/proposed addition to the upsampling presets borders on the irrational, Richard.

     

    Ironicaly, the same can be said about Noel's preparedness to continue to argue the point with you.

     

    The bottom line is that whether the requested preset(s) are added or not is a trivial issue that does not hurt anyone, one way or another. 

     

    The functionality is already there, regardless.

     
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    Jun 18, 2012 2:22 PM   in reply to station_two

    I would probably have used "trivial" instead of "irrational", but essentially agree with you.

     

    Richard Southworth

     
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    Jun 18, 2012 2:37 PM   in reply to RASouthworth

    I do need to up-rez quite frequently for various purposes and always do it in ACR then open in Photoshop as a 16-bit ProPhoto RGB Smart Object for final processing and output.

     

    Noel's excellent trick will enable me to do this to the size that I need with greater precision from any camera and from any crop.

     

    It should be fairly easy to add a facility to the Workflow Options panel that would permit custom resizing to any predetermined output size and I think many Users would find it useful and I support his request for this feature.

     
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    Jun 18, 2012 2:49 PM   in reply to CameraAnn

    Okay, but why in ACR vs. Photoshop?  I'm trying to understand the usefulness of such.

     

    BTW the "trick" of resampling with the crop tool in ACR has been with us a long time, although it's more often used to downsample.  I will set a full image crop of e.g. 800 x 600 pixels and run a batch thru for email/proof.

     

    Richard Southworth

     
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    Jun 18, 2012 4:09 PM   in reply to RASouthworth

    The D800 is a great camera, and if used with careful technique and the right lenses can produce awesome results; and I am serious about the right technique, it needs to be treated like an old film medium format that would be tripod mounted. Lenses, I found many of my lenses that give great results on my D3 are really bad performers on the D800. At 240 ppi out of ACR I get a 30.1" by 20.5" (rounding up), a decent size print for many people. For folks producing images intended for the web this camera is overkill to say the least, as every image would need to be significantly down sized. In fact the majority of the latest digital cameras are overkill for the web.

     

    However, my mainstay business is commercial photography, and art reproduction, and making a 72"x30" print that is acceptable to clients can be a challenge. I would love to be able to go the medium format digital route, but not ready for the $$$ investment. So having another tool or technique in my toolbox that can help me achieve my goals is more than welcome. I have even taken the route of taking multi-row panoramas for some product shots to get the resolution that is needed, and I try to print at 360 dpi to the printers in my print farm, many of the images I print are not viewed from a distance, but very close, and I have sweated when the producer has pulled out his loupe to inspect an image.

     

    I have tried the ACR tip that Noel pointed out, and to be honest have never usd ACR to crop always cropped in PS, and the ability up rez in ACR has opened new possibilities for me.

     

    So I would welcome and support the ability to up rez from a D800 in ACR

     

    Cheers

     

    MK

     
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    Jun 18, 2012 5:31 PM   in reply to Noel Carboni

    Noel Carboni wrote:

     

    I've made this request before, and it was ignored.  Here's hoping the Camera Raw team will reconsider offering some upsampled sizes based on the native size (e.g., 125%, 150%, etc.).

     

    I think it's wrong to charachterize the request as being ignored...it's simply not been acted on–yet. The Workflow Options have not been reved since the engineers added the SO option (several major revs ago). You need to make a use case argument that carries enough weight for the engineers to go into the sizing options and do additional work–which appearently you've not successfully done yet. Personally, I would advocate for at least a 2X over native capture for any/all native raw captures. I think the argument could be made that upsampling and capture sharpening at the raw processing stage is optimal. I doubt that many additional options would end up being added without a total re-write of the Workflow Options function...but a 2X option would not be a ton of work if enough users ask for it...

     
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    Jun 18, 2012 5:52 PM   in reply to Jeff Schewe

    I can agree with the desirability of capture sharpening during raw processing, but why upsampling at this stage?  I've always read (and practiced) remaining at native camera res until edit completion, and then going thru an upsampling and sharpening phase for print.  Why run it up early?

     

    Richard Southworth

     
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    Jun 18, 2012 7:47 PM   in reply to Noel Carboni

    Noel Carboni wrote:

     

    Someone on the Camera Raw design staff has ALREADY made the case for providing both up- and down-sampling options for all the cameras available at the time, or those options would not have been implemented in the first place!

     

    His name is Thomas...and if you want him to do some more work, prove that it's useful to a large enough user base to make it worth his while...

     
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    Jun 19, 2012 9:26 AM   in reply to Jeff Schewe

    Jeff,

     

    Perhaps lost in the static (this thread has a fairly low signal to noise ratio) was my question to you as to why upsample in CR, was there some technical rationale or is it only experience based?  I did go back and read the two pages about resampling in RRCR for CS4, has anything significant changed since then?

     

    I had always assumed the choices were provided in the workflow options to help a photographer with multiple cameras create a consistent workflow, normalizing his images to a standard resolution.

     

    Richard Southworth

     
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    Jun 19, 2012 2:05 PM   in reply to RASouthworth

    That is a good, valid question, Richard.  Without pretending to have any particular insight into the guts of ACR, it just seems like the most natural step to upsample before any artifacts are introduced into the image, so as not to enlarge said artifacts.  Obviously, the raw conversion will have the least imaginable artifacts.

     

    I have to admit that I bypass sharpening in ACR simply because I have become convinced that I cannot get any better results than those provided by the non-destructive sharpening through PhotoKit Sharpener without dedicating a substantial amount of time to the task.  But umpsampling in ACR just seems like the natural, logical thing to do.

     

    Just my two cents.

     
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    Jun 19, 2012 5:08 PM   in reply to Noel Carboni

    I rest my case.

     

    Richard Southworth

     
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    Jun 19, 2012 9:02 PM   in reply to Noel Carboni

    Noel Carboni wrote:

     

    Thanks, but I think Thomas and company might just be intelligent enough to understand what I've pointed out here without need for further "proof".

     

    And yet again you prove, without a doubt, why the ACR guys don't really listen to you...make your case as strong as you can make it and then go aways till the next round of upgrades and make your case again (if you haven't gotten what you want). That's what I've learned how to do...are you saying you can't figure that out? Want some keys to learning how to punch their buttons (and advance the art) or are you interested in promoting your own agenda? (which the ACR engineers can see right through)...correct me if I'm wrong, you are STILL using your own home rolled capture sharpening (and not the ACR/LR capture sharpening)...and yes, Thomas and Eric are smart boys and remember stuff...

     

    Agsin, I don't disagree that it would be useful to get a 2X native rez upsample for high rez captures...if you want to help make thins happen, let me know...if ya wanna piss&moan, then forget you dooode.

     
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    Jun 20, 2012 10:49 AM   in reply to Noel Carboni

    Noel Carboni wrote:

     

    Jeff, I don't know what your problem is...  Why do you feel it necessary to turn my threads into confrontations?

     

    Yeah, ya know I just reread my last post and I said a few things that were uncalled for...my appologies. Some of my attitude is coming from your tendancy of taking potshots at the ACR team (as apposed to "Adobe" the company) and part comes from some past dustups with you recently where I though you were out of line. Now it seems I'm out of line...

     

    In any event, I _DO_ agree that the whole sizing function in ACR needs a rev. I also agree thst upsampling in ACR is better than after the fact in PS because the sharpening and noise reduction can scale better when you set ACR to upsample. And I think it can be argued ACR upsampling is a bit better than PS's. So, I think that use case should be pushed...

     
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