11 Replies Latest reply on Mar 14, 2013 2:39 AM by Yammer

    Use Camera RAW with Sony Nex-3

    Andi265

      Hey Guys!

       

      I want to get out more details from my photos.

      Im using Adobe Photoshop CS5

      Sony NEX-3 Compact Camera (listed in the camera raw compatibility list)

       

      First i changed the cameras picture format from jpg to RAW & made some photos.

      At home i tried to open the files with Camera Raw. Doesnt work. The sony camera saved the pictures as an ARW File.

      So i downloaded Adobe DNG Converter. I converted the ARW into a RAW file and opened it with camera raw.

       

      So far so good! I opended the RAW picture with Photoshop. Just for testing with 8 & also 16 bit. Does my camera support 16bit?

      I compared the RAW File with the new created jpg.

      Normaly the quality of the raw file should be much better than the compressed jpg i think.

       

      I took a look at some other jpg pictures (i shot them in JPG Mode) & compared them with the RAW Images (RAW Mode).

      I saw absolutely no difference between RAW & JPG.

      I also tried a exact tonal value correction at both images.

      Same with other picture corrections. Details, Noise, Sharpness.... same.

       

      With the Sony NEX-3 there also was a RAW Program included which opens the ARW Files.

      I cant see some differences between RAW & jpg here too.

       

      What I am doing wrong?

       

      I have to say that i am an camera raw beginner. I tried this for the first time. I thought this would be easier!

      At the screenshot below you see a JPG picture on the left & a 16bit DNG on the right.

      I found no differences!

       

      I would be very happy about your help and some good advices.

       

      Best regards Andi

      jpg-raw.jpg

        • 1. Re: Use Camera RAW with Sony Nex-3
          Andi265 Level 1

          Hey!

           

          By mistake i wrote the wrong Camera Model.

          Its a NEX-C3 not the NEX-3 if this makes an difference.

           

          Would be great if someone could help me.

           

          Thanks Andi

          • 2. Re: Use Camera RAW with Sony Nex-3
            JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            You have lots of questions, and you are going to get countless different answers.

             

            First of all, raw images are typically 12 bit or 14 bit images.  Your camera doesn't have to support that because that is one of the benefits of shooting in raw.  Camera Raw opens those images in a 16 bit workspace.  Because of the extra bits and other factors as well, you are able to do a lot more with the images.  If you have deep and heavy shadows or extremely bright overexposed highlights you'll find that you can recover a lot more detail in those troubled areas when working with raw image data.  The fact is that if you have perfectly exposed the image and don't have any blown highlights or heavy shadows it will be difficult to see the difference.

             

            So you really aren't doing anything wrong.  You need to do some more experimenting and do some studying to understand for yourself what the benefit is for shooting raw images.  If you are like most of those who would contribute here, once you realize the full benefits of shooting raw images you will probably stop shooting JPEG altogether.

            • 3. Re: Use Camera RAW with Sony Nex-3
              Andi265 Level 1

              Hey Jim!

               

              Thanks for your answer and the description of the benefits of shooting Raw Images.

              As soon as i see the benefits with my own eyes i will primary use RAW Images for sure.

               

              Basicly i understand how RAW works. But im still wondering why i cant see just only a very little difference to my jpg Images.

              The image of the Mountain Railway Station i postet has a lot of dark shadow areas & details.

              I´m also wondering why these chromatic aberrations are shown in the RAW file? I thought its only in the jpg images because of the compression.

               

              Thanks

               

              Andi

              • 4. Re: Use Camera RAW with Sony Nex-3
                Jeff Schewe Level 5

                Andi265 wrote:

                 

                As soon as i see the benefits with my own eyes i will primary use RAW Images for sure.

                 

                Basicly i understand how RAW works. But im still wondering why i cant see just only a very little difference to my jpg Images.

                 

                Uh, when you learn how to use the Camera Raw processing controls, I think you'll discover just how much you can optimize your image–a lot further in raw than JPEG. Learn how to optimize the tone/color, image detail, sharpening, noise reduction and lens correction plau the ability to local gradient and brush adjustments. You need to learn how to push the image to be what you want.

                 

                As far as the CA, did you go to the lens correction and correct the CA? The camera prolly does that automatically for JPEGs but with raw, it's off by default.

                 

                Also, know that Camera Raw 7.x in Photosop CS6 is a big jump over ACR 6.x in CS5.

                 

                Bottom line, you have a lot to learn...which should be fun to do!

                • 5. Re: Use Camera RAW with Sony Nex-3
                  JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  As I understand it, the image captured by the camera produces the same pixels regardless of whether it captures them as a JPEG image or in raw format. The big difference comes in the processing capabilities. If you're familiar with the difference between slide processing and negative processing back in the film days, processing raw images is equivalent to working with negatives, giving you all the flexibility that is possible. If you ever worked with slides you know that you just didn't have any flexibility. If the slide was blown there wasn't much you could do about it. With negatives a good lab could do a lot with the image and sometimes even completely save it. That is what shooting raw can do for you. It's not that the untouched raw is going to look any better than the JPEG, especially if the image was exposed correctly. Shooting in raw gives you a lot more creative ability afterwards.

                  • 6. Re: Use Camera RAW with Sony Nex-3
                    Jeff Schewe Level 5

                    JimHess wrote:

                     

                    As I understand it, the image captured by the camera produces the same pixels regardless of whether it captures them as a JPEG image or in raw format.

                     

                    If you mean that every JPEG started life as a raw capture, that's correct. However, the JPEG by definition has already gone through the raw>JPEG conversion and is now in a gamma limited color space that essentially bakes in the camera's JPEG processing. If you are happy haing the camera makers' decide what your raw file should look like and bake that in, that's fine but that's not for me.

                     

                    I couldn't care less what the camera's JPEG looked like and since about the only time I ever shoot JPEG is when I'm doing a raw + JPEG for some kind of test, that's a really small fraction of the time.

                     

                    Comparing JPEG to chrome may work for old-farts, but most peolple these days may not have the experience. I think of it more like baked cookies vs cookie dough...when buying some baked cookies, I hope you like the way they were baked because there's little you can do about it...on the other hand, if you start with cookie dough, YOU get to decide how to bake them...I like them crunchy on the outside and soft and doughy on the inside. It's really the different between pre-cooked and custom cooking.

                    • 7. Re: Use Camera RAW with Sony Nex-3
                      Yammer Level 4

                      Andi265 wrote:

                       

                      Basicly i understand how RAW works. But im still wondering why i cant see just only a very little difference to my jpg Images.

                      The image of the Mountain Railway Station i postet has a lot of dark shadow areas & details.

                      I´m also wondering why these chromatic aberrations are shown in the RAW file? I thought its only in the jpg images because of the compression.

                      Your raw file may be 12 or 14 bit, and have no output colour space - it is only limited by its physical characteristics and analogue-to-digital converters. You should set Camera Raw for the biggest workspace necessary, which in my case is 16 bit AdobeRGB. Others work in ProPhotoRGB—it's a personal choice. This has the effect of constraining the raw data, and you will learn to use the sliders to work within those constraints.

                       

                      Using normal processing settings there will only be subtle differences between the conversion preview and the camera JPEG. The tonal response will be slightly different, seeming slightly lighter or darker, and the colours' hue/saturation will be slightly different too. Also, depending on the camera, automatic distortion/vignette/aberration correction will be missing. This is all to be expected, and your expectations have been misplaced.

                       

                      However, this is only a starting point. Whilst JPEG shooters can go on to process their images, the resulting quality will be inferior; JPEG is a finished image format. Raw shooters have much more to play with, and can manipulate the conversion's parameters to boost shadows, recover highlights, adjust mean exposure, increase/reduce/localise sharpening and noise control, apply processing gradients and masks, apply local contrast and selective saturation boosts, and correct your camera's colour response, as well as apply lens defect corrections—all before the conversion to JPEG.

                       

                      So, you won't start to see the difference until you start to push these adjustments. You have been given a second (and a third and a fourth...) chance to create your JPEG using your own set of picture parameters, and the ability to change these parameters for each photo after taking the photo.

                       

                      In your photo above, you can bring out detail in the shadows by boosting Fill and Blacks. As you shot in Raw, you will have a good amount of tonal resolution recorded in the shadows (assuming you didn't underexpose in the first place), which would be absent from a JPEG. You also have the ability to change the sharpening to suit the image, and even apply local sharpening where it's needed most (and less where it's not needed).

                       

                      You also have the ability to modify Camera Raw's default settings how you like it. You can enable automatic lens defect corrections (like chromatic aberration—make sure you're on ACR 6.7). You can change the default camera profile (which dictates how tone, hue and saturation is translated) to a preset, or make your own using a calibrator. Do this and your starting point will be how you want it, not how Sony wants it.

                       

                      I could go on, but I think you have probably heard much of this before. The main point I'm making is that you shouldn't expect to see a big difference straight away, but the possibilities you have created are much greater.

                       

                      Message was edited by: Yammer P

                      1 person found this helpful
                      • 8. Re: Use Camera RAW with Sony Nex-3
                        Andi265 Level 1

                        Hello!

                         

                        Thanks for all your answers!

                         

                        Im also using Lightroom 4.1 since a few months to develop images.

                        The processing options like, sharpness, lights, shadows, nois reduction, clarity etc. are the same as in Camera Raw 6... in CS5 i think?

                        So i understand how to optimate my pictures. But the time before i only optimized JPG pictures.

                         

                        I got some very good results. But now i want to try the same with the RAW files.

                        If i open a RAW file in CS5, to i have to change the Bit Depth to 16bit?

                        By default Adobe RGB (1998); 8 bit; 3008 x 2000 (6,0 MP) 240 ppi are selected at the bottom line of Camera Raw.

                         

                        Thanks

                         

                        Andi

                        • 9. Re: Use Camera RAW with Sony Nex-3
                          Yammer Level 4

                          Andi265 wrote:

                           

                          The processing options like, sharpness, lights, shadows, nois reduction, clarity etc. are the same as in Camera Raw 6... in CS5 i think?

                          So i understand how to optimate my pictures. But the time before i only optimized JPG pictures.

                           

                          I got some very good results. But now i want to try the same with the RAW files.

                          If i open a RAW file in CS5, to i have to change the Bit Depth to 16bit?

                          By default Adobe RGB (1998); 8 bit; 3008 x 2000 (6,0 MP) 240 ppi are selected at the bottom line of Camera Raw.

                          The controls have changed over the years. This corresponds with the Adobe "Process Version" (PV) used at the time (which also determines how raw images are handled internally). CR 6 (CS5) / LR 3 introduced PV2010. CR 7 (CS6) / LR 4 introduced PV2012. The latest software can also operate in PV2010 and PV2003 modes.

                           

                          You should operate Camera Raw in 16 bit workspace if you you are planning to save as PSD/TIFF and/or process in Photoshop, as this will give you better quality results through greater accuracy.

                           

                          AdobeRGB is fine for home/shop printing, although many shops may want you to convert to a custom profile. You can convert AdobeRGB to sRGB with little effort. Use ProPhotoRGB if you prefer to use Photoshop to constrain/convert the wider-gamut colours and/or preserve a wider gamut for your PSD/TIFF archives.

                           

                          Isn't your NEX-C3 16MP? Camera Raw shouldn't say 6.0MP unless you have cropped the image or are downsampling it. If you click on the workspace link at the bottom of Camera Raw, you should be able to change the "Size" of the workspace. The default is the size without a +/- symbol after it.

                           

                          The PPI/resolution is mostly meaningless, although some people request a particular setting. ACR defaults to 240dpi. Some stock libraries request 300dpi. It doesn't affect the image's appearance. It just adds metadata to the output, which can then influence any software which uses it.

                          • 10. Re: Use Camera RAW with Sony Nex-3
                            Andi265 Level 1

                            Hey Guys!

                             

                            I´m very happy with the great support here. Thanks for that!

                             

                            Today i developed some DNG Images in Lightroom 4.1

                            I thought it would be better to use the newer Camera RAW Engine of Lightroom instead of ACR 6 CS5.

                             

                            In Lightroom i saw that the controls of white balance, temerature, toning & sharpening have changed.

                            So for an example the white balance is 5100 instead of 0? And Sharpening +10

                             

                            I exported the images as a 16bit TIFF in SRGB. Would you prefer Adobe RGB Color Space?

                             

                            While processing the images i noted that it heavily depends on the image if i can see some differences to jpg.

                            I got some really good results in which i saw great differences in the shadow areas.

                             

                            I think with raw i can enhance my image quality in many cases .

                            Through further training i want to learn much more about the operation of Camera RAW.

                             

                            Andi

                            • 11. Re: Use Camera RAW with Sony Nex-3
                              Yammer Level 4

                              Andi265 wrote:

                               

                              I thought it would be better to use the newer Camera RAW Engine of Lightroom instead of ACR 6 CS5.

                               

                              In Lightroom i saw that the controls of white balance, temerature, toning & sharpening have changed.

                              So for an example the white balance is 5100 instead of 0? And Sharpening +10

                               

                              I exported the images as a 16bit TIFF in SRGB. Would you prefer Adobe RGB Color Space?

                              Lots of people are very happy with the PV2012 system. It's certainly better at handling highlights, and the controls are probably more intuitive for beginners than before.

                               

                              The settings you mention are not related to the software version, but are the differences between processing (pre-cooked) JPEG/TIFF and processing Raw.

                               

                              A JPEG will initially show settings of "0" for White Balance, Contrast, etc. This is the most logical way to start—the JPEG is an already-processed image, so any changes will be relaitive to that processing, i.e. non-zero.

                               

                              A Raw file's starting settings are based on the raw metadata and develop defaults. So a measured white balance will be your starting point, and you can change this if you decide it's not correct or want to emphasise warmth/coolness, for example.

                               

                              Your choice of output colour space is dictated by your own requirements. What will you do with the image? If you are printing it, sRGB may not be enough. If it will end up on the web or digital frame, sRGB will be fine. If you are archiving it, sRGB may not 'cut the mustard' in 10 years' time. Your mileage may vary, as they say.