Another thread got me thinking aboutfiles and their conversion.
Whilst not a technical person I think I have a reasonable understanding of the file format and the differences between and .
This thread is not meant to be a debate of vs .
Its about trying to understand how each third party converter interprets the file produced by the camera.
I read somewhere that most in house software use the in camera settings selected at the time the image was shot as the starting point which then represents the preview image on your screen.
But most third party conversion software, do not apply the in camera settings.
My understanding is every third party converter chooses a set of default adjustments as its starting point when it first demosaics a file. Most (all) third party converters will also apply other default adjustments when opening the file such as , corrections, denoising and .
So the same file opened in any number of converters will produce different results depending on the software’s interpretation of the information the camera has embedded in the file. So what is really a file?
I wonder how the developers engineer the algorithms and come up with how their program interprets the file?
Do they then look at the image on screen and make a judgement based on what they see?
This article : http://www.nomadlens.com/raw-converters-comparison
does some interesting comparisons of converters and if you look at page 2. (Defaults) each one appears different.
Nevertheless it would appear then that all the results become subjective through the eyes of the viewer depending on their taste of contrast, colour, noise, etc.
Other factors also come into play such as viewing environment, quality of monitor, colour calibration etc.
So I suspect if 10 people viewed the same file on the same monitor in the same environment using a number of different converters at their default settings , they would have different preferences as which converter produced the most pleasing image.
Even creating your own presets or camera profiles becomes a matter of personal taste.
After trying a number of third party converters, I have lately reverted to using Viewer 3 to convert my files (.ORFs).
Whilst it is fairly clunky and slow with limited corrections/features, to my eyes the software renders the files in the most pleasing way.
I rarely make any changes to settings in OV3 but have the option to do so if required. I then export them as 16 bit TIFFs to Photoshop.
Basically this is my starting point to make further adjustments/enhancements in Photoshop as I consider are necessary.
Any thoughts/comments on conversion, converters you prefer would be welcome.