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>This makes me assume that these are actually shot as color images and my camera is just showing me a desaturated image.
You are correct.
>Is this true,
Yes, it is.
> and how are these otherwise different than shooting in a color mode.
They are NOT different at all. They are indeed color images. They are identical. The B&W shooting mode merely adds a tag in Metadata to alert the camera manufacturer's software that you wish to have them converted to black and white in post-processing.
Both Adobe Camera Raw and the DNG Comverter ignore or cannot read the proprietary tag.
>And if they are different--not just desaturated--how are they different?
Again, the metadata tag is the only difference. They are really full color raw files that can be converted either way: as color or as grayscale images.
Thanks Ramon, good information. So, if there is an "conversion" other than desaturation, it would happen with the Canon software, which I don't use.
I have never used the Canon software, so I don't know how it is designed. The thing you have to remember about shooting raw images is that the camera is really recording just the "raw" image data. Any of the in-camera settings like sharpness, saturation levels, and even black and white settings are ignored by ACR and Lightroom. The Canon software "might" be programmed to read the black and white tag, but that is not the approach that Adobe has taken. If you want black-and-white photos either use the Canon software or plan on creating your black-and-white images using the tools provided by ACR or Lightroom.
Jim, I've always thought that some of the in-camera settings such as 'picture style' (where you can apply sharpness, contrast, saturation and color tone settings, and also B/W mode with filter options) are applied to the Raw image, in the same way that WB and WB shift settings are applied. I'll do some more research on this however.
It wouldn't be raw if things like saturation, sharpness, etc. were applied
to the image. RAW is the RAW image data from the sensor. The white balance
for lack of a better way of putting is at sensor level. Sharpness, etc. is
Those settings MIGHT be applied to the raw image, I don't know. But if they are they are using proprietary tags that are not available for the Adobe programmers to access. In any case, those settings will not be read by ACR or Lightroom.
>The white balance for lack of a better way of putting is at sensor level
The white balance too is meta-information, just like contrast, saturation, etc. The difference between these is, that the WB is standardized, while the other settings are not. Particularly Picture Style and loadable custom curves are proprietory to the camera maker's software and firmware, but the effect of for example a contrast setting "2" is not uniform.
>I've always thought that some of the in-camera settings such as 'picture style' (where you can apply sharpness, contrast, saturation and color tone settings, and also B/W mode with filter options) are applied to the Raw image, in the same way that WB and WB shift settings are applied.
Every one of those assumptions is wrong.
>Every one of those assumptions is wrong.
Ramon, yes, I'm getting that.
Only thing is, when I set custom White Balance for an image (or any WB setting for that matter), then open it in Camera Raw, those WB settings are part of the image and alter the apperance.
In lay person's terms I suppose this is because WB affects how the image is captured, not how its processed after capture?
>In lay person's terms I suppose this is because WB affects how the image is captured, not how its processed after capture?
WRONG again. WB is also a metadata flag, as G Sch explained above, albeit a piece of information that the RAW converter can read.
The only camera settings that will actually affect the capture are the three that control exposure: ISO, aperture and shutter speed.
Ah, Raw image good. Yes. Thanks for clarifying that.
Tags are not apply to the image. Tags and tags, two different things. Having
a proprietary tag that for example the Canon software recognizes and then
messes with the image is very different than the saturation and sharpening,
etc. applied in camera to a non-raw file like JPG. RAW is RAW and is the RAW
data from the sensor with no in camera messing. A tag is a tag applied to
the metadata that doesn't alter the image until loaded in program that knows
how to and what to do with it.
Thank you G Sch for clarifying.
This is the DNG forum. No one was talking about JPEGs here. :)