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Thread: What camera settings/parameters affect RAW images?

  1. #1
    Ausphotography Regular John King's Avatar
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    What camera settings/parameters affect RAW images?

    https://photographylife.com/which-ca...os#more-132085

    Link posted by someone on another forum, but IMO an interesting analysis by Spencer Cox.

    The article is specific to Nikon cameras (per the author). However the principles are applicable to all of us to one degree or another.

    From my own perspective as an Olympus user, the comments about cropping and ISO are somewhat different.

    In Olympus land, almost nothing done to the JPG settings has any effect on the resulting RAW file, but none of my Olympus cameras are anything like ISO-less! Closest is my E-M1, which is relatively stable between base ISO and around ISO 1600, then again from 3200-6400, with 12,800 and 25,600 being somewhat "individualistic", shall we say !
    Olympus makes some use of on-sensor analog/digital converters (I think ... ), and then uses some digital jiggery-pokery after the image is converted into digital form (chicanery?) in some of their cameras (e.g. my E-30 does this ... ). It is this latter process that causes some Olympus cameras to become very noisy at their higher ISO settings.

    IMHO, this is a decent article that warns us all that we should at least attempt to understand what our cameras are doing behind our backs! And what the ramifications are for our use of our camera/s of choice, both in-camera and in PP.
    Regards, john

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    My understanding of Olympus and Panasonic raw files is that they are the most affected raw types, in that they contain a lot of correction data pertaining to lenses .. and that it's hard to, or impossible to undo those lens profiles out of the raw files if using the usuall suspects in the raw file editing world.

    To see the uncorrected raw images, the use of third party raw file converters(eg. Raw Therapee, or any other DC raw based software) are needed to see what's actually captured in the raw file.

    If my memory serves me correctly, I think Sony cameras do the same, where they 'bake in' lens profile data into their raw files too .. but not 100% sure about that one.

    I'm not sure about Canon or other brands, but (some)Nikons have the ability to allow the use of(or not) lens profiles which can be baked into the raw files.
    I think some of the lower end consumer models don't offer the option.

    Most sane ISO level NR can be undone via Nikon's software on Nikon raw files.
    There are levels where there is still some inherent high ISO NR applied, even if it's undone via Nikon's software.

    Personally I have all raw affecting stuff turned off in camera, except Long exposure NR(LNR).
    Any night time/astro type images I've ever done have only ever been single shot images.
    If I ever get properly into it, and start using stacking software and suchlike, then I'd turn that off too.

    I'm not a fan of raw files being manipulated for stuff like lens profiles! I think that should always be an opt in/out system.
    From what I remember of how raw files are actually written to your memory card in camera, they all have a fair amount of processing done to them anyhow, and that's from all brands.

    Years back, in the early to mid 2000's, I remember Canon raw files had the least amount of internal image processing to their raw files, and that astro photos preferred them for the cleaner more pure raw files to input into their preferred astro/stacking software(s).
    But the Nikon D70/D100's ye olde worlde 6Mp CCD sensor was the better sensor for capturing better images. The only issue was that Nikon set a lot of post capture signal processing within the camera which gave a less clean raw file for their software.
    The eventual realisation was that to get a better more raw image out of the D70, one had to capture the image and then immediately turn the camera off, which resulted in the camera not processing the NEF file beyond the capture phase .. hence cleaner less processed image(s) for them to work with.

    AFAIK: about the only software that allows you to generate a truly raw file out of your camera is Rawdigger.
    It's use is more for analysing sensor capability than for image processing tho.
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    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    My understanding of Olympus and Panasonic raw files is that they are the most affected raw types, in that they contain a lot of correction data pertaining to lenses .. and that it's hard to, or impossible to undo those lens profiles out of the raw files if using the usuall suspects in the raw file editing world.
    Arthur, I cannot speak for Panasonic, but with Olympus this is about the only processing done to the RAW file in-camera or by s/w by default and only applies to s/w lens corrections (profiles). I don't use µFTs lenses a lot, so PS doesn't apply automatic lens profiles to most of what I take, and with the 12-50 and 14-42 EZ, it can only improve things .

    The versions of PS I have used (going back to around PS6 or PS7) always had plenty of lens correction profiles for Sigma, Canon, Nikon, and some other lenses, but precious few for Olympus lenses. However, in those days, it was an opt in/opt out basis. I completely agree with you that this is always a better idea. Like you, I prefer cameras and s/w not to be doing things behind my back, as it were.

    Of course, much mainstream s/w reads the camera settings metadata and applies these as defaults, unless you have set the program up to do something else.

    To see the uncorrected raw images, the use of third party raw file converters(eg. Raw Therapee, or any other DC raw based software) are needed to see what's actually captured in the raw file.
    Actually, AFAIK the only way to edit a RAW image with zero interpretation of it is to use a Hex editor ...
    I've only done this a couple of times. I like Hex editing about as much as I like Unix ...

    AFAIK: about the only software that allows you to generate a truly raw file out of your camera is Rawdigger.
    It's use is more for analysing sensor capability than for image processing tho.
    RawDigger is still interpreting the RAW data in order to display any kind of image. Without interpretation, the only image that can be displayed is the embedded JPEG, which might or might not be of reasonable quality for display on a desktop sized monitor.

    My point of making the thread originally was merely to alert fellow photographers to what might be occurring behind their back. It was never intended as any kind of cheap shot at a specific brand or model.

    Back in the old days of digital, some makers encrypted the WB data. This also caused problems with non-proprietary s/w.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John King View Post
    ....

    Back in the old days of digital, some makers encrypted the WB data. This also caused problems with non-proprietary s/w.
    Nikon was notorious for that!
    And strangely enough, this must surely have been to minimise Nikon shooters preference for Adobe software rather than their own Nikon Capture(back then) .. I came in at version 4.
    And to cap it all off, they even supplied a small app to allow conversion from NEF files to TIFF files for direct use in Ps(as Ps didn't have the ability open RAW files natively).

    It all made absolutely no sense. On one hand there they are making it hard to use third party software by encrypting silly stuff like WB .. then on the other hand, they give you the tools to help you use third party software!

    Funny thing is (rhetorically)you ask the question .. why? .. and who? .. and what the!
    And I reckon the answer is simple. It's those same idiots that made those decisions back in the mid 00's still making the same dumba$$ decisions now too!

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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post

    Funny thing is (rhetorically)you ask the question .. why? .. and who? .. and what the!
    And I reckon the answer is simple. It's those same idiots that made those decisions back in the mid 00's still making the same dumba$$ decisions now too!
    Exactly my thoughts both in this thread and the Win10 thread, Arthur.
    Our species doesn't make a lot of sense sometimes (most of the time??).
    Hopefully, we will learn to do lots of things better before we completely wreck the planet both for ourselves, and for the rest of the ecosystem !

    We had better start learning fast IMNSHO ...

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