29 Replies Latest reply on Nov 11, 2010 10:15 PM by bdegner

    The word from Nikon

    Yammer Level 4

      I shouldn't complain, because I was entertained and given a free camera service, but I had to bite my lip during a recent Nikon roadshow presentation. While discussing top tips for Nikon users, the speaker mentioned that using Nikon software was the only way to take advantage of Picture Controls set in the camera in post-processing, as Adobe software "ignored" these settings.

       

      On an off day, I would have put my hand up, and anyone with me would have put their heads in their hands, but luckily I kept my mouth shut and let it pass. It's interesting to see that Nikon is still promoting this notion that their competitors are ignoring their raw data, rather than simply being unable to decode it.

        • 1. Re: The word from Nikon
          Hudechrome Level 2

          Unable to decode it???

          • 2. Re: The word from Nikon
            Yammer Level 4

            Yes. I believe that the sensor data, EXIF and white balance readings are all that Adobe can read. The in-camera settings are encoded by Nikon, so that only their software can read it.

            • 3. Re: The word from Nikon
              Jeff Schewe Level 5

              Yammer P wrote:

               

              The in-camera settings are encoded by Nikon, so that only their software can read it.

               

              Oh, the in-camera settings COULD be decoded if there was a strong desire to do so...the settings in the EXIF are there and ACR could be made capable of making adjustments to the image based on the in-camera settings, but...the potential matrix of such adjustments would be exponential. ACR supports over 200 cameras (I think it's up near 250 now) and the amount of work required to do such decoding on a camera by camera basis simply isn't worth the effort. Camera Raw needs only certain settings to create a "default" normalized rendering to a raw file. From there, the user is free to alter the rendering using DNG profiles and any of the included image adjustment tools. Even something as apparently simple as a curves adjustment set by the camera would have to be painstakingly converted to the Camera Raw curves style of adjustment let alone all the other settings a camera can do.

               

              Bottom line is that unless the camera makers standardize on some basic in-camera settings and define exactly what those mean, the prospect of ACR ever being able to decode and use the settings for over 200 cameras is very, very unlikely. Personally, I think it would be a real waste of time. The ACR engineers are far more concerned with advancing image quality that diddling over supporting in-camera settings.

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              • 4. Re: The word from Nikon
                Hudechrome Level 2

                What in camera settings other than those already present on the Camera tab are we talking about? All the little niceties many of which either ACR and/or PS already delivers?

                • 5. Re: The word from Nikon
                  Jeff Schewe Level 5

                  Hudechrome wrote:

                   

                  What in camera settings other than those already present on the Camera tab are we talking about?

                   

                  Contrast curves, B&W conversion, color rendering adjustments such as saturation or rendering "looks" (which are somewhat duplicated in DNG profiles but not automatically set).

                  • 6. Re: The word from Nikon
                    Vit Novak Level 3

                    Personally, I completely agree with Jeff. On my cameras, all settings (like WB, picture style, contrast, saturation, sharpness) are left at default/auto all the time, and I do all adjustments in ACR.I admit that I'm simply not good enough to set all these settings optimally for every shot, at least not with cameras that are currently on the market. If I were, I wouldn't bother with raw and ACR, but use jpeg only

                    • 7. Re: The word from Nikon
                      Dennis 1111 Level 2

                      It is difficult for me to understand why anyone would want to futz around with these kinds of settings on-camera.  Aperture, shutter-speed, ISO, and focus combined with composition already stresses my memory and attention span.

                       

                      Sure, I can understand a PJ or sports-shooter using Jpegs might want to make use of them but then it becomes baked-in and isn't an issue for software like ACR anyway.

                      • 8. Re: The word from Nikon
                        Hudechrome Level 2

                        There was/is only one on-camera control that actually was useful to the point of strategic for a special shot several years ago. Nikon offers a layering capability so that multiple exposures like fireworks can be combined. The key to it was a gain control.

                         

                        In the shot I was doing, I was shooting a wood frame construction of Port Orford cedar, with a peculiar textureless texture my client wanted reproduced. An 8x10 would have done it but wasn't an option. So I remembered the noise reduction setup from my Nuclear physics days and shot the shots on a tripod, set the gain to 1/2 and blended the two shots. The noise, as low as it was, almost completely disappeared. The difference was notable. I could really sharpen with the lowest noise possible.

                         

                        Now, with the D90 (that time it was a D80) I don't need it but it sure came in handy then.

                         

                        You need precise registration to make it work, with no extraneous picture elements between shots (like people!).

                         

                        There is s similar app in later PS, but I think it's only in Extended. That wasn't an option at that time.

                        • 9. Re: The word from Nikon
                          Yammer Level 4

                          Thanks for your input, Jeff. I'm only going off what Eric told me a couple of years ago in this thread: http://forums.adobe.com/thread/312699

                           

                          I fully appreciate what you are saying. Obviously, we wouldn't be shooting raw if we were interested in things like Picture Controls.

                           

                          I'm sure the people at Adobe appreciate that there will be reasons why some Nikon users would rather use CaptureNX than ACR, misguided or not. For example, one of those reasons used to be the default appearance of images, which was successfully addressed with the introduction of Camera Profiles and manufacturer presets in 4.5.

                           

                          However, I think there's a little more to it than just Picture Controls. Much of what newer Nikon cameras do in the EXPEED processor now includes corrections for vignette, chromatic aberration, distortion, noise reduction, HDR, etc. Isn't this raw data also encoded? These capture settings are transferred with the raw image for reproduction in CaptureNX, as an initial setting, and take out a lot of the donkey-work of raw processing. Fortunately, Adobe has now addressed much of this in version 6, using their own methods. But could this have been easier?

                          • 10. Re: The word from Nikon
                            b2martin_a Level 2

                            Does anyone know what Adobe's goal is for the camera profile (Adobe Standard)?

                             

                            Adobe has released Camera profiles that duplicate Nikon Picture Controls Profiles when all camera settings are at nominal, but for cameras that do not have Picture Control Profiles (like D200) the Adobe Standard profile does not duplicate the JPG image you get from the camera when all camera controls are set to nominal.  I think that should be Adobe's goal for at least one of the profiles that is included for the camera.

                             

                            I don't think the other parameters (tone curve, contrast, sharpness, etc) set in the camera are as important as having the camera profile give results inentical to the in camera processed image when all internal controls are set to nominal.  I don't want to adjust these other controls in the camera anyway.

                            • 11. Re: The word from Nikon
                              Conrad C Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                              b2martin_a wrote:

                              ...for cameras that do not have Picture Control Profiles (like D200) the Adobe Standard profile does not duplicate the JPG image you get from the camera when all camera controls are set to nominal.  I think that should be Adobe's goal for at least one of the profiles that is included for the camera.

                               

                              Do you see a Camera Standard profile listed for the D200, and does it match better? Camera Standard is supposed to match the camera-produced image.

                               

                              b2martin_a wrote:

                              Does anyone know what Adobe's goal is for the camera profile (Adobe Standard)?

                              It's to provide the best rendering...in the opinion of Adobe engineers.

                              • 12. Re: The word from Nikon
                                b2martin_a Level 2

                                I have checked all the Picture Control Profiles for the D200 and none match the JPG from the camera - they are all too bright.  The picture control Profiles do match JPG's generated using Capture NX2  to process NEF files with all in camera settings to nominal, which I believe is the goal of these profiles.  The D200 only supports Color Mode I, Color Mode II, and Color Mode III in camera profiles and I don't believe Adobe supplies profiles to match these.  I would like to have these if they are availalbe anywhere.  I did find some for Color Mode I and II at OneThirdStop.com that are very close.

                                • 13. Re: The word from Nikon
                                  Hudechrome Level 2

                                  Adobe would have to go the route of DXO and take on the task of characterizing all those parameters. Of course, the camera manufacturers already have this data and most likely guard it as proprietary. Nothing stops others from doing it themselves, however.

                                   

                                  I would have expected Adobe to partner with (buy?) DXO and incorporate their information wholesale. I know of one site (www.slrgear.com) that offers detailed characterizations of a wide variety of lenses, using DXO software to do so for lens data, Adobe possibly could go with them. But instead, it hands out charts and a set of instructions to unqualified individuals and says "go for it", for lens corrections, perverting the whole concept. (Lately, I note that Adobe is trying to work with the manufacturers, which is encouraging.)

                                   

                                  When you apply the sharpening which DXO offers, remember their default is the actual correction determined in a controlled, repeatable environment which has been validated, the basic premise of sound testing. From that point, you can "sharpen" to your heart's content, but know that the essential lens softness, CA and distortion has been corrected to an optimum point which is not based on whims or subjectivity.

                                  • 14. Re: The word from Nikon
                                    MadManChan2000 Adobe Employee

                                    For Canon, the goal of the Camera Matching profiles (Camera Standard, Camera Portrait, etc.) is to match the baseline/default results of Canon's DPP software.

                                     

                                    For Nikon, the goal of the Camera Matching profiles (Camera Standard, Camera Portrait, etc.) is to match the baseline/default results of Nikon's Capture NX software.

                                     

                                    It is often stated that the goal/expectation of the Camera Matching profiles is to match the camera JPEG. This is incorrect.
                                    • 15. Re: The word from Nikon
                                      heartacre69

                                      Need help!! I can open a NEF file taken from a D700 in ACR but can't with a D3S.  I looked at all the settings and they seem identical.  Am I missing something? I am using CS4, Windows 7 on a Dell PC.

                                       

                                      Thanks

                                      • 16. Re: The word from Nikon
                                        b2martin_a Level 2

                                        I understand the goal of Nikon Camera Profiles (Standard, Landscape, Neutral, etc) is to match Capture NX2 with all camera settings at Normal, but what is the goal for Adobe Standard?

                                        • 17. Re: The word from Nikon
                                          Yammer Level 4

                                          @heartacre69

                                          You need ACR 5.6 or later to open a D3S NEF file with CS4. If this doesn't solve your problem, please start a new topic.

                                          • 18. Re: The word from Nikon
                                            MadManChan2000 Adobe Employee

                                            The primary goal for Adobe Standard is to deliver a pleasing default color rendering for general-purpose photography. It is a blend of colorimetric accuracy and color-specific tweaks that we add in response to user feedback we've gathered over the years. A secondary goal is to establish a consistent baseline rendering across camera models, within technical limits.

                                            • 19. Re: The word from Nikon
                                              Hudechrome Level 2

                                              Part two makes the most sense. Part one is the kind of perspective that drive me off the edge. Someone else's idea of "pleasing" as the default, same as opening a file in HDR. However, in ACR, one has to start somewhere.

                                               

                                              90% of the time I use Adobe Standard', it gives me that sinking feeling. The few times that it worked was when I photographed a subject that I probably should have not bothered, ie too excessively color vibrant (a subjective decision for sure!) because Adobe Standard dulls down the greeny portion of an image.

                                               

                                              So I guess I like the Japanes version of Standard, as it is my default. At least 50% of the time I depart from that as well, but it is closer than Adobe Standard. My next stop is usually Portrait, even for landscapes, then the sliders.Starting from too much is better than too little, because you can always dull down.

                                               

                                              Sliders work well in baseball and in Photoshop!

                                              • 20. Re: The word from Nikon
                                                b2martin_a Level 2

                                                I don't understand why Adobe's goal for Adobe Standard should not be to duplicate what the camera manufacturer has defined for the camera rather than generating something different.  Release of the Camera Profiles for Nikon (Camera Standard, Portrait, Neutral, etc) and similar profiles for other camera brands accomplished this, but for cameras that have these profiles, but cameras like the D200 no profiles exists to diplicate what the camera profile does (D200 has Mode I, Mode 2, and Mode 3 profiles and not Camera Standard, Portrait, Neutral, etc).

                                                • 21. Re: The word from Nikon
                                                  Jeff Schewe Level 5

                                                  b2martin_a wrote:

                                                   

                                                  I don't understand why Adobe's goal for Adobe Standard should not be to duplicate what the camera manufacturer has defined for the camera rather than generating something different.

                                                   

                                                   

                                                  And who voted the camera makers king of the scene rendering?

                                                   

                                                  Not me...and there is little if any tradition or custom to the camera makers determining what an image should look like. Prior to digital they had zero control over the final scene other than to focus the light and keep the film safe. The camera maker's rendering or "looks" are as arbitrary as any other rendering of raw. Adobe has tried to normalize raw digital capture across the over 200 cameras that Camera Raw supports. If your camera doesn't have vender matching DNG profiles, you can always make your own...

                                                  • 22. Re: The word from Nikon
                                                    Hudechrome Level 2

                                                    Jeff Schewe wrote:

                                                     


                                                    And who voted the camera makers king of the scene rendering?


                                                    In the case of Nikon, I do!

                                                     

                                                    At least for Standard. The fulcrum, however, is Camera Neutral. It's really my reference when in doubt.

                                                     

                                                    But then, rendering a scene as is is rather boring and not at all likely to be expressive on my terms. After all, we see it in 3d, wide view, sounds all around, perspective changing in a heartbeat etc, and I want to capture that essence in a single shot.

                                                     

                                                    My second, surprisingly, is Camera Vivid, with Vibrance cranked back -7 or so. Third is Camera D2x mode 3.

                                                     

                                                    When colors are really off I will resort to Adobe Standard, or D2x mode 1.

                                                     

                                                    Now all this is in preparation for the final push. I have my ducks lined up so I can get what I want without introducing excessive negative elements into the mix. But there are times that anything I do past initial settings makes matters worse. It's delightful when that happens.

                                                    • 23. Re: The word from Nikon
                                                      MadManChan2000 Adobe Employee

                                                      Correct, it is not realistic to have a single default profile that pleases everybody. On the other hand, we do need to have a default, or the user won't be able to see anything!

                                                       

                                                      So our approach has been to produce a default rendering which is the result of a lot of user feedback and ideas (including discussions in this forum). We hope it will please a lot (most?) of our users, but we realize practically that it won't satisfy everyone. This is why we have the free DNG Profile Editor. If there's something about the profile you don't like, you can use the DNG Profile Editor to add your own tweaks.

                                                      • 24. Re: The word from Nikon
                                                        Hudechrome Level 2

                                                        Probably a good idea to pursue. One problem left: What is a Standard Scene?

                                                         

                                                        I'm going to set the default for the D90 at Camera Neutral for a while and see if that works. If I have to make any kind of departure, at least that one starts the flattest. With B&W, departure from reality is SOP, because it already is. With color it's tougher, even though the still image is not reality in any presentation.

                                                         

                                                        Few people complain about painters color palette as not real, but the photographer is expected to deliver reality....and at my tender age of 73, I still haven't figured it out!

                                                         

                                                        Don't mind me. I've been grumpy about color ever since I saw my first transparency and said  WHUT?!

                                                        • 25. Re: The word from Nikon
                                                          Hudechrome Level 2

                                                          Thinking about it a bit more, it seems to me that "Standard" should be the closest to neutral in the first place, as that can be defined quite well.

                                                          • 26. Re: The word from Nikon
                                                            b2martin_a Level 2

                                                            I realize that it's not possible to please everyone with the camera profile.  There does not appear to be any standard for generating camera profiles, so that leads to a lot of different implementations.

                                                             

                                                            My concern is what affect does the camera profile have on the validity of the white balance set by the camera.  I assume Nikon has optimized the white balance algorithm in the camera and the stored in camera preset white balance values based on the camera profile, so if your camera profile gives a different results the white balance values are not as valid.  I have generated camera profiles using both the Adobe DNG Profile Editor and X-Rite Passport software.  I notice that the "As Shot" white balance values for the same NEF file are different with profiles generated by Adobe DNG Profile Editor and X-Rite Passport software - don't understand why, just a observation.

                                                             

                                                            I located a DNG profile for the D200 that gives almost identical results to the Nikon Color Mode 1 profile and tweaked it using the Adobe DNG Profile Editor and 24 patch color checker.  I am now able to get "Pleasing" color balance much easier that before.

                                                            • 27. Re: The word from Nikon
                                                              Vit Novak Level 3

                                                              WB info is usually stored in raw file in form of RGB multipliers. ACR translates it into temperature and tint using color matrix in the profile. So if you have two profiles with different color matrices and set WB as shot, temperature/tint shown in ACR will be slightly different, but white point measured by camera will map to white no matter what profile. However, if you set temperature/tint manually, white of first profile would be different than white of the second one

                                                              .

                                                              • 28. Re: The word from Nikon
                                                                MadManChan2000 Adobe Employee

                                                                There is no problem using the in-camera "as shot" white balance (or custom defining your own white balance after the fact), in conjunction with different color profiles. The only thing that changes is the color rendition of non-neutral areas.

                                                                • 29. Re: The word from Nikon
                                                                  bdegner

                                                                  way technical,   what we are basically dealing with is a white balance feature , is the a standard white balance method you could run to balance out your light source say studio flash or working with the new light saver  fluorescents and then save as presets?