36 Replies Latest reply: Jun 20, 2012 11:22 AM by Noel Carboni RSS

    Why Camera Raw Needs Larger Size Choices

    Noel Carboni Community Member

      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.zip

       

      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_Sharpened.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

        • 1. Re: Why Camera Raw Needs Larger Size Choices
          RASouthworth Community Member

          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

          • 2. Re: Why Camera Raw Needs Larger Size Choices
            MikeKPhoto Community Member

            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

            • 3. Re: Why Camera Raw Needs Larger Size Choices
              Noel Carboni Community Member

              I'm not arguing, per se, but I have found I get my best results with this technique.  I'm not really hoping to debate this here.

               

              I see no reason to believe all the possible information from the raw file necessarily fits in a result that has the same count of pixels as the imager has photosites.  The whole thing gets even more complicated when one adds in the processing that Camera Raw does after the pixels are created, such as sharpening.

               

              Lastly, if the computer is up to the task, I find that processing the image at upsampled resolution simply yields better results.

               

              Regardless, Camera Raw offers upsampled resolutions for cameras with smaller imagers, so for consistency it should do the same for the newer high megapixel models.

               

              -Noel

              • 4. Re: Why Camera Raw Needs Larger Size Choices
                CameraAnn Community Member

                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.

                • 5. Re: Why Camera Raw Needs Larger Size Choices
                  Noel Carboni Community Member

                  You're welcome, CameraAnn.

                   

                  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_96MP_and_Sharpened.jpg

                   

                  A small unresized crop from that:

                   

                  Upsample_Crop.jpg

                   

                  P.S., Thanks, MikeK - I realize the way I wrote the original post it might sound like I'm missing the "native" resolution, but I'm not - Camera Raw does put up the "native" size for the D800 NEF files - just nothing bigger.  And size does matter! 

                   

                  -Noel

                  • 6. Re: Why Camera Raw Needs Larger Size Choices
                    RASouthworth Community Member

                    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

                    • 7. Re: Why Camera Raw Needs Larger Size Choices
                      Noel Carboni Community Member

                      RASouthworth wrote:

                       


                      I find it hard to believe using some process within Photoshop wouldn't work as well...

                       

                      You're welcome to find it any way you like.  I'm not asking YOU to make the product work consistently.  I'm not even asking on behalf of myself, since with the camera I have there are several upsampled resolutions that work very well for me. 

                       

                      Why do you think you can presume to judge whether my request is "legitimate"?

                       

                      If you want to continue to argue and see whose "image" is bigger, I invite you to find a way to make a 96 megapixel image from that DPReview NEF file that's better than the one I posted above.  Or propose one of your own images.  I'll put my results up against anything you care to show.

                       

                      -Noel

                      • 8. Re: Why Camera Raw Needs Larger Size Choices
                        RASouthworth Community Member

                        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

                        • 9. Re: Why Camera Raw Needs Larger Size Choices
                          Noel Carboni Community Member

                          That's hilarious, since only one of us is arguing from a position of selfishness.

                           

                          -Noel

                          • 10. Re: Why Camera Raw Needs Larger Size Choices
                            Noel Carboni Community Member

                            Oh, and it's not like I'm requesting the application be re-coded from scratch!  I've shown that the software can already do exactly what I'm asking; it just needs to offer some additional menu items.  How much could the features you apparently desperately want possibly be put off by someone coding a few new menu entries?

                             

                            I'm not sure what has set you off today, Richard, but you seem a bit out of line to me.  But hey, if you want to debate technique, start another thread.  I'll contribute to it.

                             

                            -Noel

                            • 11. Re: Why Camera Raw Needs Larger Size Choices
                              RASouthworth Community Member

                              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

                              • 12. Re: Why Camera Raw Needs Larger Size Choices
                                Noel Carboni Community Member

                                You have it right - you don't understand.  Thanks for your input.

                                 

                                -Noel

                                • 13. Re: Why Camera Raw Needs Larger Size Choices
                                  Community Member

                                  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!

                                  • 14. Re: Why Camera Raw Needs Larger Size Choices
                                    Community Member

                                    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

                                    • 15. Re: Why Camera Raw Needs Larger Size Choices
                                      Noel Carboni Community Member

                                      Now you're seeing why I like the results I'm getting.  :)

                                       

                                      -Noel

                                      • 16. Re: Why Camera Raw Needs Larger Size Choices
                                        RASouthworth Community Member

                                        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

                                        • 17. Re: Why Camera Raw Needs Larger Size Choices
                                          Noel Carboni Community Member

                                          If you don't see the obvious differences there, Richard, then perhaps you should look into getting a better monitor or a better pair of eyes.  I have gotten good value from LensCrafters, myself.

                                           

                                          RASouthworth wrote:

                                           


                                          So tell me again...

                                           

                                          I'm not telling you anything.  I'm asking (not you) for an easy fix on the chance that maybe people with cameras delivering in excess of 6144 x 4096 pixels might want to be able to choose from upsampled resolutions.

                                           

                                          Can we assume, by your negative demeanor on this issue, that you believe the person who originally coded the list of alternate resolutions into Camera Raw was wrong to do so?

                                           

                                          Sheesh, you'd think I was asking for the moon here.

                                           

                                          -Noel

                                          • 18. Re: Why Camera Raw Needs Larger Size Choices
                                            RASouthworth Community Member

                                            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

                                            • 19. Re: Why Camera Raw Needs Larger Size Choices
                                              Community Member

                                              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.

                                              • 20. Re: Why Camera Raw Needs Larger Size Choices
                                                RASouthworth Community Member

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

                                                 

                                                Richard Southworth

                                                • 21. Re: Why Camera Raw Needs Larger Size Choices
                                                  CameraAnn Community Member

                                                  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.

                                                  • 22. Re: Why Camera Raw Needs Larger Size Choices
                                                    RASouthworth Community Member

                                                    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

                                                    • 23. Re: Why Camera Raw Needs Larger Size Choices
                                                      MikeKPhoto Community Member

                                                      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

                                                      • 24. Re: Why Camera Raw Needs Larger Size Choices
                                                        Jeff Schewe Community Member

                                                        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...

                                                        • 25. Re: Why Camera Raw Needs Larger Size Choices
                                                          RASouthworth Community Member

                                                          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

                                                          • 26. Re: Why Camera Raw Needs Larger Size Choices
                                                            Noel Carboni Community Member
                                                            Jeff Schewe wrote:

                                                            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.
                                                            ...
                                                            if enough users ask for it

                                                             

                                                            You're advocating design by public popularity contest over technical leadership?  Really?  LOL, I mean no disrespect but that sounds like something out of Dilbert's world. 

                                                             

                                                            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!  That they were implemented as fixed values rather than a formula based on the native resolution may have been because of constraints that are no longer there now (based on our current ability to arbitrarily choose sizes via the Crop trick).

                                                             

                                                            RASouthworth wrote:

                                                            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?

                                                             

                                                            Ah, so now it becomes clear we're discussing something that goes against long-standing beliefs you have been running on.

                                                             

                                                            1.  No one is trying to force you to abandon anything you like to do and which nets you good results already.

                                                             

                                                            2.  No one is proposing anything radical here, but do always try to keep an open mind, because there might still be people in the world who are just as smart as those who have sold you books in the past.

                                                             

                                                             

                                                             

                                                            -Noel

                                                            • 27. Re: Why Camera Raw Needs Larger Size Choices
                                                              Jeff Schewe Community Member

                                                              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...

                                                              • 28. Re: Why Camera Raw Needs Larger Size Choices
                                                                Noel Carboni Community Member

                                                                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".

                                                                 

                                                                -Noel

                                                                • 29. Re: Why Camera Raw Needs Larger Size Choices
                                                                  RASouthworth Community Member

                                                                  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

                                                                  • 30. Re: Why Camera Raw Needs Larger Size Choices
                                                                    Community Member

                                                                    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.

                                                                    • 31. Re: Why Camera Raw Needs Larger Size Choices
                                                                      Noel Carboni Community Member

                                                                      I've asked that question before, but it apparently got into the realm of "the beans they do not wish to spill".

                                                                       

                                                                      It's not hard to imagine that an algorithm for creating pixels from raw data could work backwards from each pixel in a larger-than-imager-size output image, kind of like ray tracing, in which case an upsampled result might actually carry more information from the original than could be stuffed in a a one-pixel-per-photosite result. 

                                                                       

                                                                      I don't know this - I am only going on what I've seen observationally:  I've personally been able to make my best results doing the upsampling in Camera Raw.

                                                                       

                                                                      But EVEN IF upsampling in Camera Raw was only just as good as doing it in Photoshop, if doing it in Camera Raw just makes for a smoother or more convenient workflow, what business do you have to suggest that I shouldn't ask for additional upsampled resolutions?

                                                                       

                                                                      RASouthworth wrote:

                                                                       


                                                                      this thread has a fairly low signal to noise ratio

                                                                      Thanks for your opinions, but really, you're just being too generous in providing them.  You really don't need to bother.  Really.

                                                                       

                                                                      -Noel

                                                                      • 32. Re: Why Camera Raw Needs Larger Size Choices
                                                                        RASouthworth Community Member

                                                                        I rest my case.

                                                                         

                                                                        Richard Southworth

                                                                        • 33. Re: Why Camera Raw Needs Larger Size Choices
                                                                          Jeff Schewe Community Member

                                                                          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.

                                                                          • 34. Re: Why Camera Raw Needs Larger Size Choices
                                                                            Noel Carboni Community Member

                                                                            I don't know what your point is with your "let me know" comment... Consultant or no, last I looked, it doesn't say EMPLOYEE under your avatar. It seems to me that people shouldn't have to "let you know" to catalyze proper product changes.

                                                                             

                                                                             

                                                                            Jeff, I don't know what your problem is...  Why do you feel it necessary to turn my threads into confrontations?  Do you feel so threatened by other smart people posting here that you feel you have to lash out?  I have no need nor want to argue with you.  Since you presume to speak for Adobe, I suggest Adobe might want to talk to you about your attitude.

                                                                             

                                                                            -Noel

                                                                            • 35. Re: Why Camera Raw Needs Larger Size Choices
                                                                              Jeff Schewe Community Member

                                                                              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...

                                                                              • 36. Re: Why Camera Raw Needs Larger Size Choices
                                                                                Noel Carboni Community Member

                                                                                Thank you for that.  I admit to being a bit pushy and abrasive at times as well.

                                                                                 

                                                                                In any case, with this thread I'm doing just what you suggested - bringing it up again.  I hope it's being considered! 

                                                                                 

                                                                                -Noel