35 Replies Latest reply on Jan 20, 2011 12:28 PM by Noel Carboni

    Raw conversion color differences

    Ross Dillon Level 1

      Yes, I know that Adobe had to guess at how raw files are encoded (I shoot Nikon)a and that perfect color conversion should not be expected but...

       

      I started with Capture NX2 and while I loved the quality of pictures I could get from it, it was very slow and cumbersome, and publishing photos was not possible.

       

      I switched to LR3 and found the photo management (publishing, collections, etc) to be marvelous (maybe other products have it as well, but I found my happy place.  However, I noticed that even with a calibrated monitor the colors were not right.  Below are two pictures labeled cnx2 and LR3.  The CNX2 version was processed to include "bluing" the sky.  Not much else was done.  The LR3 version (done as a training aid until this was found) is unprocessed except for an X-rite color checker profile applied (more on this later). Notice how the CNX2 red has turned pink or magenta in the LR3 version.  To try and fix the pink, I bought an X-Rite color checker and installed their plugin for creating profiles.  Made no significant difference.  This is really bothering me.  Sure with some skills I haven't yet acquired I may be able to target the red and fix it, but to do it correctly I'd need to know what It's supposed to look like, and I had hoped to no longer require the use of CNX2 so that wouldn't be the case.  I'm considering going back to CNX2 for raw conversions and maybe capture sharpening (I'm more comfortable with CNX2 capture sharpening numbers than I am with LR3).

       

      CNX2

      CNX2.jpg

      LR3/ACR 6.x

      LR3.jpg

       

      Thoughts?  Suggestions?

        • 1. Re: Raw conversion color differences
          Yammer Level 4

          ACR and Lightroom are a lot faster than CaptureNX. That's the main reason I won't touch CNX with a barge pole.

           

          Having adopted Adobe software for raw processing, there are a few milestones one needs to get past before settling down to business.

           

          1. Nikon isn't necessarily right.

          Just because they give you a thumbnail and a default preview in CNX, doesn't mean that it's gospel. Nikon makes the camera, and Nikon makes the raw coding, but Nikon didn't invent colour or photography. There is no such thing as "out-of-the-camera" when we're talking about raw. All raw images have to be converted, and there are different ways of doing this. Nikon has its own way, and so does Adobe.

           

          2. Accurate/pleasing colour in ACR/lightroom needs a good camera profile.

          Adobe has provided its own improved camera profiles for a few years now. It has simultaneously provided approximate interpretations of camera manufacturers' own "picture control" processing settings, so you can get closer to what you might expect from the manufacturers' processing methods. "Camera Standard" is Adobe's best attempt at copying the default camera processing settings. "Adobe Standard" is what they actually recommend, as a starting point.

          Adobe provides free software (called DNG Profile Editor) to be used in conjunction with a "ColorChecker card", which will generate a custom camera profile for use with ACR/Lightroom. I'd certainly recommend this route, although I believe there are also 3rd-party alternatives available these days.

           

          3. Defaults are meant to be changed.

          The default settings Adobe provides in ACR/Lightroom are a starting point. You are at liberty to change these "base settings" and save these as new defaults. For example, you may prefer a darker exposure, less/more contrast, a higher black point, more saturation, a different camera profile, etc. This will become evident after spending time with the application. If you're always setting a parameter to roughly the same value, it's sensible to make it a default.

           

          Getting a good camera profile and customised default settings in ACR/Lightroom will give you a personalised starting point for processing your raw images. Compare this with Nikon's version, AND your memory of the real thing. I know which I prefer.

          • 2. Re: Raw conversion color differences
            Yammer Level 4

            As an exercise, I loaded your second JPEG into Camera Raw.

             

            I wasn't there. So I couldn't possibly say how accurate either photo appears. Studying the image, it appears that there is quite a lot of cloud. Was it sunny or cloudy? If it was cloudy, then the blue sky of the first image is wrong, as is the purple cast of the second. What does the second image look like with Adobe Standard profile?

             

            Adjusting the White balance (and a bit of added blueness for aesthetics) of the second image gives us this:

             

            LR3-edit.jpg

             

            Is this any better?

             

            To get a better idea of what we're dealing with, it would be good to have access to the original raw file.

            • 3. Re: Raw conversion color differences
              Noel Carboni Level 7

              From where I sit your first conversion is way off, with regard to sky color.  Yammer P is on exactly the right track.  I think there are two things happening here:

               

              1.  In neither conversion have you chosen a good white balance.

               

              2.  Camera Raw tends to desaturate bright blue colors some no matter what options are chosen.

               

              That said, sky blue in a Camera Raw conversion can often be a better hue than an in-camera JPEG or conversion by another tool.

               

              BluesInACR.jpg

               

              One thing to keep in mind is that you're virtually expected to do some setup to get the colors in your conversions the way you like them, then save your own defaults.  It's not really reasonable to think that an out-of-the-box conversion will produce accurate results or pleasing color with Camera Raw.  As with most things Adobe, you're given a HUGE amount of control (right down to being able to make your own camera profiles), and exercising that control can often give you best-in-show results.

               

              Also, give the Camera Standard or Camera Faithful conversion profiles a try.

               

              Can you post the original Raw file for your air show image somewhere online?  I'll be happy to make some more specific suggestions.

               

              -Noel

              • 4. Re: Raw conversion color differences
                Noel Carboni Level 7

                Just another example of the tendency of Camera Raw to desaturate bright (e.g., sky) blues.

                 

                ACRBlueDesaturation.jpg

                 

                -Noel

                • 5. Re: Raw conversion color differences
                  Yammer Level 4

                  Just to show how much difference you can get with one image, I played with a photo I took in Spain a couple of weeks ago. It was taken on a chilly winter's evening, around sunset.

                   

                  ViewNX2 with Standard picture control
                  NX-Std.jpg

                   

                  Camera Raw with Camera Standard camera profile
                  CR-CStd.jpg

                   

                  Camera Raw with Adobe Standard camera profile

                  CR-AStd.jpg

                   

                  Camera Raw with custom camera profile

                  CR-Cust.jpg

                   

                  Speaking as the person who was there, the first two look nice enough but are not representative of reality. The last two are more accurate, with the sky colour being spot-on in the last one.

                  • 6. Re: Raw conversion color differences
                    Bill_Janes Level 2

                    Ross Dillon wrote:

                     

                    I started with Capture NX2 and while I loved the quality of pictures I could get from it, it was very slow and cumbersome, and publishing photos was not possible.

                     

                    The CNX2 version was processed to include "bluing" the sky.  Not much else was done.  The LR3 version (done as a training aid until this was found) is unprocessed except for an X-rite color checker profile applied (more on this later). Notice how the CNX2 red has turned pink or magenta in the LR3 version.

                     

                    LR3/ACR 6.x


                     

                    Thoughts?  Suggestions?

                     

                    I use NX2 and ACR 6.x with my Nikon D200 and D3 and have not seen such results. ACR does not read the Nikon Picture Control or settings other than white balance. However, ACR does have many camera profiles that closely duplicate many of the camera settings.Which profile are you using and what are your ACR settings?

                     

                    It might help to upload the raw file. Use YouSendIt--it is free.

                     

                     

                    NikonProfiles.gif

                    • 7. Re: Raw conversion color differences
                      Ross Dillon Level 1

                      Lot's of responses (thanks by the way)...I will try to address as many as I can.

                       

                      I had just typed a manifesto, and then decided that I should go back and take another look at my CNX2 conversion since it had been so long since I had actually done this.  Seems the red smoke was pinker than I thought in the original CNX2 conversion.  My (in retrospect poor) attempts to bring the blue sky back made the smoke redder. 

                       

                      I appreciate the time you all took to help and while I don't necessarily agree with all of the comments made ( I still trust Nikon's conversion better than Adobe's since Nikon made the sensor and Adobe is just guessing), and many made some incorrect assumptions (that was my bad for not specifying), your comments forced me to relook at my work.  Seem my aggravation was unwarranted as the conversion was much better than I recall.

                      Thanks again

                      • 8. Re: Raw conversion color differences
                        Jeff Schewe Level 5

                        Ross Dillon wrote:

                         

                        ( I still trust Nikon's conversion better than Adobe's since Nikon made the sensor and Adobe is just guessing)

                         

                        That's one way of looking at it...on the other hand, who do you think has the most experience actually demosiacing and processing a raw file. A camera company that only knows their own sensors or a company that has decoded over 270 sensors (the last count I know for ACR). Nikon sure doesn't. Bibble prolly does as well as Dave Coffin who does DCraw.

                         

                        No, I don't really think Nikon has any real advantage over anybody else other than trying to develop the "Nikon Look" which tends to be a bit too saturated and higher contrast.

                         

                        Nikon's only real advantage is having the exact same processing to get a preview on the LCD and then the processed image in CNX...if you fall in love with the camera's LCD preview, that's what you'll get in CNX. Note, there's nothing more technically "right" with the LCD or CNX, it's just consistent.

                         

                        Nikon (and Canon) do have one advantage in that users can set a certain look in-camera and have that look respected in the camera software. Camera Raw only pays attention to the white balance, not all the other settings the camera can make to the tags.

                        • 9. Re: Raw conversion color differences
                          Vit Novak Level 3

                          I agree with Jeff ... about 95 %

                           

                          As about remaining 5% ... I wouldn't underestimate knowledge of companies like Nikon or Canon. Although Nikon is using sensors from Sony and Canon has quite limited number of own sensors, both Nikon and Canon are dealing with colors, this way or another, for quite long time, before Adobe and ACR even existed

                           

                          My 0.02 $ only

                          • 10. Re: Raw conversion color differences
                            Yammer Level 4

                            Jeff Schewe wrote:

                             

                            Nikon's only real advantage is having the exact same processing to get a preview on the LCD and then the processed image in CNX...if you fall in love with the camera's LCD preview, that's what you'll get in CNX. Note, there's nothing more technically "right" with the LCD or CNX, it's just consistent.

                             

                            ... and I think that people are comforted by this, and Nikon knows this. But I don't understand that, if people are so attached to the out-of-the-camera look, why do they bother shooting raw?

                            • 11. Re: Raw conversion color differences
                              Level 4

                              Yammer P wrote:

                               

                              …. But I don't understand that, if people are so attached to the out-of-the-camera look, why do they bother shooting raw?

                               

                              That's a question that comes to my mind often, Yammer, without my being able to find an answer on my own.

                               

                              ____________

                              Wo Tai Lao Le

                              我太老了

                              • 12. Re: Raw conversion color differences
                                Vit Novak Level 3

                                In my case, it is because:

                                 

                                - I don't have enough photographic experience to always set the right exposure, and many times I don't have enough time to take several photos. Metering on my 400D is done with metering sensor that has 35 color blind pixels (!!!) from the film age, which was good for negative film that has much wider dynamic range, so it sometimes miss the right exposure by 1 or 2 EV. Don't have live histogram on the camera to see what will I get before taking the photo

                                - AWB isn't always reliable (although much better than AWB in ACR) and camera has no possibiIity to set WB temperature in K

                                - there is no CA correction in my camera and my lens has a lot of CA (some other manufacturers have this built in)

                                - there is no vignetting correction in my camera

                                - I don't like an outdated gradation-type interpolation algorithm in my Canon camera (Nikon is better regarding this). ACR is doing this job much more according to my taste, using better algorithms

                                - I can't control amount of NR in my camera

                                - etc

                                • 13. Re: Raw conversion color differences
                                  Yammer Level 4

                                  Fair enough. I'm convinced. Although things might be different if you had a new-ish camera, with auto CA and vignette correction, in which case TIFF might be a better option. I suppose NX still gives you option to play with Picture Controls and noise reduction retrospectively. It's a different kind of raw processing though - more to do with rectifying previous settings, rather than trying new ones.

                                  • 14. Re: Raw conversion color differences
                                    Vit Novak Level 3

                                    Agree. Canon 400D is about 5 years old model. Many of these problems were addressed in the meantime, at least partially, so there are not as many reasons to use raw and ACR with new cameras. Probably I will also eventually switch to in-camera processing in the future (but I don't think it will happen very soon)

                                     

                                    But ... I still like default color processing of this camera. On the other side, I didn't like color processing of ACR when I bougth 400D, that was quite trivial at that time (no profiles, just simple matrix conversion), and that is also a reason why I didn't agree with Jeff when he compared Adobe and Nikon.

                                    • 15. Re: Raw conversion color differences
                                      MadManChan2000 Adobe Employee

                                      Knowledge of the sensor is only part of the story. What one does with the colors after capture (automatically via a default color profile, or manually via a preset) is what ultimately determines the "look" of the image. Color distortions (deviations from reality) are often deliberately introduced, because they make the image look better.

                                       

                                      As a rough analogy, saying that a sensor maker should be able to get the best colors because they know the properties of the sensor, is like saying that Spalding designers should have the best shooting percentage in basketball, because they know the properties of the ball.

                                       

                                       

                                      • 16. Re: Raw conversion color differences
                                        Yammer Level 4

                                        Vit Novak wrote:

                                         

                                        On the other side, I didn't like color processing of ACR when I bougth 400D, that was quite trivial at that time (no profiles, just simple matrix conversion), and that is also a reason why I didn't agree with Jeff when he compared Adobe and Nikon.

                                         

                                        When I bought my D300, 3 years ago, I think I was running ACR 4.2ish, and was relatively new to raw. Then, I was of the opinion that Nikon produced better colour out-of-the-camera, and I spent many frustrated hours playing with calibration scripts, trying to get decent reds and blues, and a decent colour balance by looking at hundreds of photos. I also remember pestering Eric in this forum for better camera profiles and automatic CA correction. We got the new camera profile system with 4.5, and lens profile system with 6.1. I just need to pester Eric to come up with a "decent photo" system in 6.4.

                                        • 17. Re: Raw conversion color differences
                                          Jeff Schewe Level 5

                                          Vit Novak wrote:

                                           

                                          ...both Nikon and Canon are dealing with colors, this way or another, for quite long time, before Adobe and ACR even existed

                                           

                                          Actually, no....neither Nikon nor Canon have any long tradition or experience in digital imaging. Nikon and Canon worked with Kodak (who did/does) to create digital cameras in the early 1990s called DCS1 & DCS2. You could buy the same sensor in either a Nikon or Canon camera body and system. Nikon left the triad first and introduced the D1 in 1999. Canon's first camera, the D30 came out in 2000. Photoshop 1.0 came out in Feb 19 (we think), 1990–ten years before Canon had their cameras and 9 years before Nikon.

                                           

                                          Well, you may say Nikon and Canon have been around a lot longer making cameras and lenses...yes, but that had nothing to do with digital imaging. Heck, neither Nikon nor Canon have any tradition or experience in "color". The camera companies experience is forming a sharp image at the plane of the film and maintaining a light tight enclosure...after that, it was the film company that controls the the images responds and what the colors look like. That was not the camera companies purview at all.

                                           

                                          Camera Raw came out Feb 19th, 2003. Yes, 4 whole years after Nikon and Canon were struggling with raw file processing...see, it was Kodak that had the image processing expertise because prior to Nikon and Canon breaking away, Kodak did all the image processing. So, Nikon and Canon were trying to come up to speed and they didn't do very well at all. Which is why Adobe even bothered to do Camera Raw in the first place. I remember trying to use Canon's software for processing the raw files of my Canon D30...it totally sucked.

                                           

                                          So, when you assume Nikon and Canon have vastly more experience than Adobe, you might want to have a grasp on the history of digital imaging.

                                          • 18. Re: Raw conversion color differences
                                            sandy_mc Level 3

                                            Jeff, personally, I'll take Nikon rendering over anything that Kodak's ever done, any time. Kodak was notorious for "Italian flag" syndrome, and still is  - e.g., the Leica M9, which has a Kodak sensor in it. And let's not get started on Photo CD's color model

                                             

                                            But Nikon versus Adobe color rendering is largely a matter of taste - Nikon tends towards "Hollywood" rendering, Adobe not so much. You pay your money and take your choice....

                                             

                                            Sandy

                                            • 19. Re: Raw conversion color differences
                                              Vit Novak Level 3

                                              Thanks for some history data, Jeff. I really didn't know all these facts

                                               

                                              My point was that I wouldn't underestimate companies like Canon and Nikon and that they also surely know much about colors. I completely agree that ACR was better than Canon's and Nikon's software when I bought my camera several years ago, that's why I started using ACR. And Canon's software isn't much better now, than it was at that time. But despite that, color processing in ACR wasn't as sofisticated as in Canon camera (or Canon raw development software) at that time. It became when you introduced profiles

                                              • 20. Re: Raw conversion color differences
                                                Jeff Schewe Level 5

                                                sandy_mc wrote:

                                                 

                                                Jeff, personally, I'll take Nikon rendering over anything that Kodak's ever done, any time. Kodak was notorious for "Italian flag" syndrome, and still is  - e.g., the Leica M9, which has a Kodak sensor in it. And let's not get started on Photo CD's color model

                                                 

                                                No question...Kodak could have "owned" this industry (they still have a ton of IP) but frittered it away. And yes, Photo CD was goofy for a variety of reasons. However, it did serve a purpose early in the digital revolution.

                                                 

                                                The point I was trying to make is that neither Nikon nor Canon have any sort of "technical tradition" of image processing. Both left the Kodak/Nikon/Canon triad and had to start essentially from scratch in the years 1998, 1999.

                                                 

                                                And don't get me started on Nikon or Canon's creation and use of raw files. I still remember the head of Canon USA's camera division shocked to find out that Photoshop (I think it was v7) would open the raw file's embedded preview of a Canon EOS 1Ds and a user could save over their original raw by hitting Save.

                                                 

                                                And Nikon's use of NEF (Nikon Electronic File, I think) for raw files was pretty stupid since they already used that extension for their film scanners. Canon finally got the hint and switched to CR2.

                                                 

                                                Really, people tend to give Nikon and Canon far too much credit...in fact, they just barely got this stuff to work. I will say the cameras and sensors are pretty darn impressive...their image processing knowledge, not so much.

                                                • 21. Re: Raw conversion color differences
                                                  Jeff Schewe Level 5

                                                  Vit Novak wrote:

                                                   

                                                  My point was that I wouldn't underestimate companies like Canon and Nikon and that they also surely know much about colors.

                                                   

                                                  On the other hand, it's equally important not to overestimate Nikon and Canon's technical background and experience since both have come very recently. In the case of Canon, I suspect a higher degree of knowledge since not only does Canon make the cameras, they also make their own sensors. Nikon doesn't. I'm pretty sure Sony makes them for Nikon (with Nikon's input I would expect).

                                                   

                                                  The point being is you really shouldn't assume that gives either Canon nor Nikon and real leg up...

                                                   

                                                  Personally, I like MadManChan's analogy....and ya don't see many Spalding designers in the NBA...

                                                   

                                                  :~)

                                                  • 22. Re: Raw conversion color differences
                                                    Noel Carboni Level 7
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                                                    Jeff Schewe wrote:

                                                     

                                                    Really, people tend to give Nikon and Canon far too much credit...in fact, they just barely got this stuff to work. I will say the cameras and sensors are pretty darn impressive...their image processing knowledge, not so much.

                                                     

                                                    Canon does seem to know how to make pleasing images and get the most out of their data.

                                                     

                                                    Some examples:  Canon does a better job, in some ways, at rescuing partial overexposure (compare sunset images).  And they know how to put a raw converter in a piece of silicon that runs in a tiny fraction of a second.

                                                     

                                                    But these things aren't really important...  The real issue is even simpler:

                                                     

                                                    If all you did was make the default profile for each camera produce the same colors the cameras themselves produce, while still providing all the same configurability and features, you'd cease to get complaints about colors being "off".

                                                     

                                                    Whether you think the cameras produce "good" color or the camera company engineers know anything about color is irrelevant.

                                                     

                                                    No one would be harmed by this, but you'd stop confusing customers who expect one thing and see another.

                                                     

                                                    -Noel

                                                     

                                                    • 23. Re: Raw conversion color differences
                                                      Jeff Schewe Level 5

                                                      Noel Carboni wrote:

                                                       

                                                      If all you did was make the default profile for each camera produce the same colors the cameras themselves produce, while still providing all the same configurability and features, you'd cease to get complaints about colors being "off".

                                                       

                                                       

                                                      Well, I know a guy whose initials are TK that won't do it...

                                                       

                                                      The ACR engineers spent the time and effort to offer vender matching profiles for some but not all colors but they also developed Adobe Standard profiles for the purposes of accuracy, not "pleasing" color nor camera LCD matching. I'm pretty sure ACR/LR will NEVER default to what the engineers think are suboptimal color rendering.

                                                       

                                                      The effort the ACR engineers go through to "normalize" tone, color, and image detail for over 270 cameras and counting is astounding (particularly since it's just a few guys). I don't think defaulting to the camera company's "look" is the right thing to do and I would encourage TK (and EC and ZS and TH) not to do that.

                                                      • 24. Re: Raw conversion color differences
                                                        Vit Novak Level 3

                                                        Jeff, I said I agree with you 95%, I only made a point about remaining 5% that I think you and Eric agree with me, so no hard feelings.

                                                         

                                                        Also, I agree with your latest post about 'normalizing' all cameras and introducing Adobe standard profile. So like we have 'Canon look', 'Nikon look', we also have 'Adobe look'. It is useful for the people that have different camera brands, for instance someone has Nikon DSLR and Canon compact as backup (or say wife has Canon compact etc) so all photos can have similar rendering.

                                                         

                                                        Also, there will always be people that will preffer whether Canon look, or Nikon look, or Adobe look .... for some reason ...

                                                        • 25. Re: Raw conversion color differences
                                                          Ross Dillon Level 1

                                                          "But I don't understand that, if people are so attached to the out-of-the-camera look, why do they bother shooting raw?"

                                                           

                                                           

                                                          Not sure who you're pointing at when you say that, but you've referred to this more than once. For me, I can't get the camera to produce what my eyes saw, partly due to my inability to get the settings right, partly because the right settings vary from one shot to another, and partly due to the dynamic range of the sensor.  So I've resorted to things I can control like exposure, focus, and depth of field.  Everything else I do in post. Even there my skills are weak but they are improving...slowly.

                                                           

                                                          That said, I'm not the artistic type, other than trying to put a unique perspective on the shot when I can.  My normal goal is to reproduce what my eyes saw, and that's why I'm concerned about when I do a raw conversion.

                                                          • 26. Re: Raw conversion color differences
                                                            Jeff Schewe Level 5

                                                            Vit Novak wrote:

                                                             

                                                            Jeff, I said I agree with you 95%, I only made a point about remaining 5% that I think you and Eric agree with me, so no hard feelings.

                                                             

                                                            Agreed, no hard feelings. I just want to make it perfectly clear that the concept of Nikon or Canon "knowing their sensors better" is not necessarily a limiting factor for 3rd parties processing those camera's raw files. There's been a lot of FUD and myth about raw processing and it's clear if you are talking about "defaults" for matching the camera's LCD, there are some advantages that fall to the camera maker's software...

                                                             

                                                            I tend to look at the debate to be more of a chrome vs  color negative debate...back when I shot color negatives, my expectations for contact sheets were to show me what's in the neg in the proofs, not the final color corrections. C41 was a variable process and each film had a starting filter pack for a "default".

                                                             

                                                            With chromes, the final chrome tended to be the aim point for matching (which of course could NEVER be actually be matched in a print or reproduction of any kind).

                                                             

                                                            So, do you want the default (or first view) to match something in particular (the chrome) or do you want a normalized view (the contact sheet proof) of what's in the capture so you can decide what to do to make it look the way you want?

                                                             

                                                            Clearly, getting the final rendering of a scene shot in raw will take some work and effort. The question is can you get past the "falling in love" aspect of the first glimpse of an image on the LCD. Me personally, I couldn't care less what the image on the camera LCD looks like...I do care about what the histogram looks like, but I never fall in love with the "look" of the LCD...

                                                             

                                                            When I first open the image in Camera Raw or Lightroom (with my camera calibration set to Adobe Standard), that's when I decide what I want the image to end up looking like. Obviously, I'm pretty good at looking at an image in ACR/LR and knowing what settings to adjust to finish the image. But the original image on an un-color managed camera LCD? That tells me almost nothing!

                                                            • 27. Re: Raw conversion color differences
                                                              Noel Carboni Level 7

                                                              I think the people who talk about matching the camera's color aren't talking about what they're seeing on the LCD so much as the color in the out-of-camera JPEGs.  Trying to match the LCD would be kinda silly...

                                                               

                                                              But the issue remains that I don't think I'm the only one who initially thought the color out of the Adobe converter basically sucked until I took the time to set things up the way I liked them.

                                                               

                                                              -Noel

                                                              • 28. Re: Raw conversion color differences
                                                                Vit Novak Level 3

                                                                I definitively don't care about LCD preview, as LCDs on my cameras are relatively small and low quality, so jpeg on my monitor always looks very different. Maybe that will change when I get some new camera with OLED display, if they are as good as I was told, but I don't think so

                                                                • 29. Re: Raw conversion color differences
                                                                  Yammer Level 4

                                                                  Ross Dillon wrote:

                                                                   

                                                                  "But I don't understand that, if people are so attached to the out-of-the-camera look, why do they bother shooting raw?"

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                  Not sure who you're pointing at when you say that, but you've referred to this more than once.

                                                                   

                                                                  I'm not pointing at anyone specifically. I've come across this complaint many times before, but it was much more common pre- ACR 4.5 and CS4. Adobe pretty much knocked it on the head with its current camera profile system and camera matching profiles.

                                                                   

                                                                  What I had a problem understanding was why, with all the fine control available, one would want to produce something that looks just like the camera JPEG. Why not just shoot JPEG, or, better still, TIFF? But this has already been answered above.

                                                                  • 30. Matching Camera Color
                                                                    Noel Carboni Level 7

                                                                    The point is that exactly matching a camera's color could represent a starting point that an Adobe Photoshop user just starting out in converting raw files could easily understand.  As it is, the differences just seem to confuse people initially, until they visit here or the light bulb comes on by itself.

                                                                     

                                                                    People sometimes imply that the color as delivered by a camera is somehow "bad".  Not just that, but they ridicule people who like it or who shoot JPEGs.  Just keep in mind that ad hominem is often based on insecurity, and open-mindedness is a sign of higher intelligence.

                                                                     

                                                                    Many people buy particular cameras based on the reviews they see, which are usually supported by images containing color as delivered by the camera.  Look for discussions on how this or that camera captures skin tones, for example.

                                                                     

                                                                    It is no sin to actually LIKE the color a camera's processor provides, however "off" you may feel it is.  It is not a given that everyone wants colorimetrically accurate results in preference to "pretty pictures" that please them or their clients.

                                                                     

                                                                    If this were a discussion of film, not everyone would be using the same type.

                                                                     

                                                                    -Noel

                                                                    • 31. Re: Matching Camera Color
                                                                      Yammer Level 4

                                                                      The OP uses the phrase: "However, I noticed that even with a calibrated monitor the colors were not right." This is where semantics play a part. It's arguable what "right" actually means. It could mean:

                                                                      * like it looks in Capture NX or camera JPEG

                                                                      * like it looked in real life (as well as I can remember, and can reproduce in this room on this equipment)

                                                                      * natural-looking

                                                                      * aesthetically pleasing

                                                                      * awesome

                                                                       

                                                                      So, an opinion on what looks right and what doesn't look right depends on what your version of right is in the first place.

                                                                       

                                                                      I'm not belittling anyone for shooting JPEG. I'm just saying: why try to recreate the look, when you can have it anyway?

                                                                      • 32. Re: Matching Camera Color
                                                                        Noel Carboni Level 7

                                                                        I wasn't directing my comments at you in particular.

                                                                         

                                                                        function(){return A.apply(null,[this].concat($A(arguments)))}

                                                                        Yammer P wrote:


                                                                        I'm just saying: why try to recreate the look, when you can have it anyway?

                                                                         

                                                                        I dunno...  Consistency, so that switching between raw or JPEG doesn't involve unlearning and relearning what the color is going to look like...  Reduction in user confusion (as I have mentioned)... The fact that a conversion with default parameters with an out-of-the-box Photoshop installation looks muddy and lifeless by comparison...

                                                                         

                                                                        That kind of question assumes a lot that should not be assumed.  At the outset, it says "the only reason to shoot raw is to make color changes".  There are so many more reasons...  Higher resolution, no artifacts from lossy compression, deeper data depth allowing greater editing latitude, more control during conversion...  But there are also times when these things aren't as important as, say, fitting thousands of images on a card, or continuous shooting, or getting lots of images online in a hurry, or...  The camera makers simply wouldn't put so much effort into producing JPEGs if there weren't good reasons for doing so.

                                                                         

                                                                        I'm not saying these things haven't gotten better with time - they have.  But there are still differences.  These people who only have initials for names apparently simply refuse to touch camera makers' color with a 10 foot pole...  Why?  Do they think Camera Raw is the center of the universe?  Oh wait, they do. 

                                                                         

                                                                        -Noel

                                                                        • 33. Re: Matching Camera Color
                                                                          Jeff Schewe Level 5

                                                                          Noel Carboni wrote:

                                                                           

                                                                          These people who only have initials for names apparently simply refuse to touch camera makers' color with a 10 foot pole...

                                                                           

                                                                          Uh, no...those people brought you the whole concept of DNG profiles and wrote it into the DNG spec–all of which is free (but took considerable amounts of work). Lot's of cameras also have extensive vender matching profiles–again for free. What they are not willing to do is have Camera Raw "default" to what is technically and measurably less accurate. It's a lot of work to do Adobe Standard DNG profiles for each and every camera ACR supports. Why do you think they do that? Because they like the abuse? No, they do it because they honestly think it's the right thing to do.

                                                                          • 34. Re: Matching Camera Color
                                                                            Yammer Level 4

                                                                            Noel Carboni wrote:

                                                                             

                                                                            That kind of question assumes a lot that should not be assumed.  At the outset, it says "the only reason to shoot raw is to make color changes".  There are so many more reasons...  Higher resolution, no artifacts from lossy compression, deeper data depth allowing greater editing latitude, more control during conversion...  But there are also times when these things aren't as important as, say, fitting thousands of images on a card, or continuous shooting, or getting lots of images online in a hurry, or...  The camera makers simply wouldn't put so much effort into producing JPEGs if there weren't good reasons for doing so.

                                                                             

                                                                            Sure, JPEG has pros and cons. It's faster and smaller, it's coarser and distorted. I'm not talking about that.

                                                                             

                                                                            If you want to keep the colour and tonal characteristics of the manufacturers' cameras, shoot TIFF. You get a non-lossy 16-bit file to play with. If you need the space, shoot JPEG. That's a no-brainer.

                                                                             

                                                                            As was already discussed and agreed, I can appreciate that Capture NX is a way for Nikonians to change Picture Controls and NR, WB and exposure retrospectively whilst keeping the characteristics they like. It's a time machine. But, as the OP already intimated, it's bloody slow at it.

                                                                             

                                                                            I'm not sure why I'm still typing.

                                                                            • 35. Re: Matching Camera Color
                                                                              Noel Carboni Level 7
                                                                              function(){return A.apply(null,[this].concat($A(arguments)))}

                                                                              Yammer P wrote:


                                                                              If you want to keep the colour and tonal characteristics of the manufacturers' cameras, shoot TIFF. You get a non-lossy 16-bit file to play with. If you need the space, shoot JPEG. That's a no-brainer.

                                                                               

                                                                              Just to tidy up a minor point:  Many cameras can't be set to shoot directly to TIFF format.

                                                                               

                                                                              But in any case, there is no serious problem to solve here.  I have things set the way I like them, and so do you, so...  Don't worry, be happy. 

                                                                               

                                                                              -Noel