4 Replies Latest reply on Jan 27, 2008 9:18 AM by michael shaffer

    red ACR artifacts

    michael shaffer Level 1
      I'm seeing artifacts that mainly seem to affect reds. I've posted a comparison of an Olympus E-3 ORF developed with ACR 3.7 after having been converted with DNG 4.3.1. The posted JPEG (quality=12) shows 2 results, developed with ACR and Olympus Master, both of which had sharpening and noise removal completely disabled.

      http://www.michael.shaffer.net/decor/Master_v_ACR.jpg

      You may have to zoom in further to accurately see what I'm speaking of -- ie, the artifacts associated with the red "EXIT" sign. The red letters are abosolutely discernable with the Oly software, but only the context provides a clue for the image developed with ACR. Note also that the problem isn't entirely with reds -- ie, if you apply extreme USM to the entire image, you see some similar but less obvious artifacts.

      I'd like to believe Adobe wants their raw software to work better than this(?) Is this a problem with the DNG converter, or ACR 3.7? I can provide the original ORF to anyone who wants to investigate further.

      BTW ... I'm extremely happy with the E-3 colors as developed, and I haven't even calibrated yet!

      TIA & cheerios :)
        • 1. Re: red ACR artifacts
          Level 1
          Looks like the Oly software is doing lots of sharpening...

          And while you are using 4.3.1 DNG Converter, the CURRENT version of Camera Raw is 4.3.1 usable in Photoshop CS3, not CS2. Considering CS3 shipped almost a year ago, the odds of any updates to Camera Raw 3.x is less than zero. Oh, BTW, Camera Raw 4.3.1 does a LOT more than CR 3.x...so, since CR 3.7 is water under the bridge (so to speak) not much reason for getting all worked up about it.
          • 2. Re: red ACR artifacts
            michael shaffer Level 1
            > Looks like the Oly software is doing lots of sharpening...

            I've reposted the same image after making sure Oly Master hadn't applied any sharpening or NR (it turns out '0' sharpen is not the same as '-2' sharpen). Still, it does not change the fact that either the DNG converter or ACR3 demoaicing is not faithfully reproducing the red detail (eg, having truncated the "right arm" of the character 'T' in the "EXIT" sign). Furthermore, I hope Jeff is not implying that some sharpening method is able to <i>add</i> the T's right arm, or make the 'X' more convex and recognizable.

            > [...]. Considering CS3 shipped almost a year ago, the odds of any updates to Camera Raw 3.x is less than zero. Oh, BTW, Camera Raw 4.3.1 does a LOT more than CR 3.x...so, since CR 3.7 is water under the bridge (so to speak) not much reason for getting all worked up about it.

            This I am quite aware of, but I haven't upgraded to CS3 for reasons regarding scripting compatibilities --ie, reasons other than ACR. If what I am hearing from you implies the artifacting is not present in ACR4, I might consider LR -- but that's <b>not</b> what I hear you saying -- nor is it what I am hearing in other forums.

            The artifacting is not that noticable, but clearly the lens resolved the letters in the "EXIT" sign, and ACR (or DNG) bungled the detail. I will continue to explore this, including not wanting to forsake my Bridge/ACR/PS workflow -- but if I am not able to retain the detail the camera+lens is capable of, why should I stay with Adobe?

            Again ... let me offer up the original ORF to anyone more capable than I for getting to the bottom of this problem.
            • 3. Re: red ACR artifacts
              michael shaffer Level 1
              > The artifacting is not that noticable, but clearly the lens resolved the letters in the "EXIT" sign, and ACR (or DNG) bungled the detail. I will continue to explore this, including not wanting to forsake my Bridge/ACR/PS workflow -- but if I am not able to retain the detail the camera+lens is capable of, why should I stay with Adobe?

              It's been confirmed with a current install of LR (MacOS) that ACR4.3.1 develops my E-3 raw data the same as I've described above. I'm beginning to understand why Oly users are not using ACR. If there's anything I can provide for having Adobe take another look at their demoiacing algorithm and Olympus ORFs please let me know. If the problem is fixed I'll upgrade ... else, I'm looking for another raw developer and staying with CS2.

              cheerios :)
              • 4. Re: red ACR artifacts
                michael shaffer Level 1
                I'll eat some crow ... but I don't feel too compelled to swallow too much of it ...

                After trying a number of software developers, I didn't find any that offered good integration with Photoshop and they all failed with respect to developing these red pixels with the detail that is in the in-camera JPEG, or a result of Olympus's own software. Olympus Studio offers a very good light table, but its GUI for the developer is painstakingly slow as you modify settings, and it does not offer a color space beyond AdobeRGB (colors the E-3 is quite capable of) nor any help with highlight recovery (and the E-3 does need some help with DR).

                So, I'm back with ACR, deciding if I want to change over to LR (keeping CS2), or to upgrade my camera's workstation to CS3. I won't go as far here to mention any of the other softwares, but suffice to include that I took the subject further at the DPR forum:

                http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1022&message=26531901

                In the end, having chosen ACR isn't to say I'm not a little bit disappointed in its algorithm. I hope Adobe will look further into its possible improvement for the sake of its Olympus owners. However, I was wrong to qualify its performance as "bungling" the detail -- especially when it performed well relative to other 3rd-party developers. I hope Adobe understands that I simply wanted ACR to perform as well as my ZD lenses -- but don't we all, when it comes to having spent good money on quality cameras and lenses.

                my CA$0.02 and cheerios :)