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Probably not, David.
However, remember that the camera-produced "look" (i.e., the in-camera-generated JPEG) is just a starting point. The point of shooting raw is that you, the photographer, get to choose after-the-fact how your images should look -- not the camera.
You also have the freedom to adjust your default settings in Camera Raw (i.e., if you don't like the defaults, change them to something else, and turn those into your new defaults).
And you also have the freedom to adjust the color profiles to your liking, with the DNG Profile Editor.
Ok. It's just very hard for me to reverse-engineer the Canon camera Faithful picture style that I use ... Have had a few goes already.
Thanks all the same for the reply! I don't know many developers who answer users' questions as quickly and as politely as you do. Thanks.
I think overriding issue is that the internal Canon conversions (at least for cameras with DIGIC4) use more information to produce their conversions that any other method; so they get better conversions. The internal conversions take into account the known chromatic aberration of the lens, the light metering, the focus method, etc.
This seems to be confirmed by the hierarchy of conversion quality: Internal, DPP, ACR, HDR Script.
This is terribly sad for the G10 which has DIGIC4 and great conversions, but can't save TIFF, so you get the choice of best conversion, but with JPEG artifacts, or lesser conversion.
When creating HDRs in Photoshop, using the RAW files directly is the worst solution (despite Adobe's advice). The best solutions seem to be to use the JPEGs with Alien Skin JPEG Repair or DPP save to TIFF with EXIF, then open the files and HDR them in Photoshop.
Trying to use Adobe's presets for the G10 is pretty much futile because ACR isn't getting the full EXIF data and is producing a very generic starting point.
I find I can spend 30 minutes on a ACR conversion in Photoshop and still not match the quality of the JPEG.
I don't know how many Canon camera's have this problem because the G10 is unique in being a point and shoot, but with the DIGIC4 image processor.
Another problem with Adobe's handling of recent Canon files is missing EXIF info.
Canon for whatever strange reason, saves Zoom setting in the Focal Length field, and Focal Length in the Subject Distance field.
Although Subject Distance is a valid EXIF field, Adobe (for whatever strange reason) discards it completely, even in the EXIF section of File Info.
There are other examples as well. But the point is that ACR isn't even getting the EXIF imported, and so has no chance of creating a default that can compete with the camera internal conversion.
Missing EXIF data such as subject distance usually has very little to do with raw conversion quality. It has nothing to do with presets or per-camera defaults.
I disagree with your assertion that using RAW files is the worst solution for creating HDRs in PS (or HDRs in general).
In general, you have not explained why you feel this way, or exactly what "worst" means, or what your metric/standard for "quality" is.
In the absence of any further description, I'm assuming you're referring to noise (as opposed to color, or tone, or highlight detail, or sharpness, etc.)
"I disagree with your assertion that using RAW files is the worst solution for creating HDRs in PS (or HDRs in general). "
The Canon G10 allows me to shoot a single shot as CR2 + JPEG. I made a a default HDR from an exposure bracket produced this way using the default gamma and expoure settings. This is what I got:
The JPEG version is closer to the scene in front of me, more pleasing, and contains far more detail.
I tried manually adjusting for contrast and I got:
The loss of color information is still significant and now the loss of detail is more dramatic.
The JPEG also has less noise at the fine level if I pre process the JPEGs with JPEG Repair.
"Missing EXIF data such as subject distance usually has very little to do with raw conversion quality. It has nothing to do with presets or per-camera defaults."
The internal conversions in the G10 are visibly using this information to adjust chromatic abortion, sharpening, smoothing, etc. This makes it hard for an external conversion to compete if it is not using such camera-specific information, and is why I am lamenting the inability to get those superior conversions out of the camera without JPEG artifacts.
Well none of them are any good, that blown out hot spot in the middle of the
flower is just horrible. As for the raw conversion I have noticed myself
with my Pentax K20D that I get lesser results when using raw images than
when using JPEG images. I suspect that the cause of the problem is the need
to go through ACR or some other raw processor in order to get the raw images
in to a format that can be HDR merged.
I have also had a better results is PhotoMatix than with Photoshop. However,
in the end I am still not a big fan of HDR. Having all areas of the image
perfectly exposed makes the image look more like a painting than a
Photograph. In the real world with real photos as well as with human eyes
you don't get a scene that is perfectly exposed throughout. The human eyes
have better dynamic range and less noise but there are still areas in the
scene that are under exposed (dark) and some that are light. It just isn't
natural to have it any other way. Only paintings by and large have that kind
My suggestion would be to try Photomatix. It is also important to understand
that no display is capable showing HDR images and that what you see in
screen especially before you process down to 16-bit or 8-bit is at best a
weak immation of the real image. This makes it hard to do an accurate
Robert Barnett wrote:
"Well none of them are any good, that blown out hot spot in the middle of the
flower is just horrible."
Well, yes. I was just taking a quick dirty shot to make an example. I think that blown out hot spot is blown all the way out and is unrecoverable.
Thanks for the tip about Photomatix. I'll give it a try.
Wow. Photomatix preserved WAY more detail! It also created a different composition with a different apparent light source. Neither Photoshop HDR nor Photomatix is accurate to the original in that regard. The Photomatix version is far closer in terms of diffusion and brightness overall, but introduces an addition imaginary light source.
This is the default from the demo version with the only processing in Photoshop being the black point.
I think you are going to find that none of the programs add the "imaginary
lightsource" you are talking about. I think you will find it is just the
nature of blending multiple images in to one and having to show much more
detail. HDR isn't easy to do. The fact that you can't come close to seeing
32-bit data on screen means there is a lot of guessing going on until you
get it down to 8-bit or 16-bit. The choices you make while at 32-bit you
just can't see accurately and so you really have no idea what you will get
until you get it.
Hi Robert -
Photomatix creates the appearance of an additional light source (in the 16-bit result) unless I set "Smooth Light" to the maximum setting. With Smooth Light at max, the light source is exactly as shot, but the detail pulled out of (or should that be poured into) the image is not quite as high.
I've found that for very complex images, Photomatix is weak on image alignment, particularly if I use the "By Matching Features" option. Taking an HDR bracket of shelves full of paperwork, Photomatix has trouble lining things up right and introduces inappropriate rotation if I use By Matching Features. Photoshop is better at this step.
The automatic RAW conversion in Photomatix is eerily good in it's color rendition. But I still need to use the JPEG shots from the Canon G10 because the internal conversion removes more color noise, and because I get better results in Photomatix if I pre-process each image in Photoshop to remove grain and artifacts.
So now my HDR process uses G10 internal processing, NoiseNinja, Alien Skin JPEG Repair, Photoshop and Photomatix. And then Photoshop again for the post-processing. Thankfully, I can script and batch most of it.