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Thread: Histogram

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    Member formerly known as : Lplates Glenda's Avatar
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    Histogram

    This is an interesting piece on the histogram. I did know that the image shown on the LCD screen was the camera's jpeg rendition of the raw but didn't realise that the histogram on the LCD was that of the jpeg. I just took some shots and where the camera's histogram showed clipping in the highlights once the raw was in ACR there was no clipping. I've probably deleted shots I never needed to
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqH7nZLHeVw
    Glenda



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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    -- - or --

    It is an interesting tute, though.

    - - - Updated - - -

    When you consider it - the difference between in-cam histogram and that of a RAW converter program -
    you would expect to see info relevant to what is being displayed, viz. jpeg or raw, resp.
    Last edited by ameerat42; 27-01-2017 at 2:06pm.
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lplates View Post
    .... I did know that the image shown on the LCD screen was the camera's jpeg rendition of the raw but didn't realise that the histogram on the LCD was that of the jpeg. I just took some shots and where the camera's histogram showed clipping in the highlights once the raw was in ACR there was no clipping. I've probably deleted shots I never needed to
    ....
    Yeah, no, and maybe! All of the above, true and false.

    It's true that the histogram on the review screen on the camera is that of the jpg version of the file, but for all intents and purposes, its the same histogram of the raw file anyhow.

    What becomes confusing and muddies the waters is the raw conversion program you choose to open the raw file with!(hence the above opening line!)

    That is to say, even if the camera displayed a histogram of the raw file(which would be close to identical of that in the jpg image anyhow!!), that histogram would almost certainly be different to the histogram of the raw file if you opened the raw file in (eg) Lightroom/ACR/Ps/etc. The histogram woudl also be different if you then opened the same raw file in CaptureOne, and different again if opened in whatever other raw conversion software.

    Where the raw file and jpg file's histograms coincide is when you choose to use the raw conversion software from the manufacturer.
    ie. Canon = DPP, Nikon = CNX-D/VNX-i.

    I've only once had access to a Canon camera and DPP at the same time, and the histogram on the camera was identical to that of the (I'm guessing) raw image on the PC via DPP.
    But in Nikon world, if you use any of their raw software, the base raw file will display the same histogram either on the PC, or in camera.

    Note too tho that there are some very teeny minor differences between the raw and on screen histograms, but for all intents and purposes they could be considered the same. So the term 'identical' is meant as close to 99.9% equal.
    In Nikon's software, you can choose between viewing the raw file as raw data, or the raw file via the faster loading jpg file. Switching between the two modes also slightly alters the histogram.

    The reason for all of that above is simple: the tonal response curve used to form the final raw image.
    All images need a tone curve to render the image as a human readable image style.

    Canon use their engineer designed tone curve, as do Nikon, and all other manufacturers.
    The thirdparty software manufacturers try to emulate some of those, but can only succeed to a point. Unless the camera manufacturers supply the thirdparty software vendors with their data, they can never be exactly the same.

    So any difference you see in the camera histogram and the image histogram via your raw file conversion software is due to the computer software probably not being from the manufacturer(I'd dare say you're using Adobe).

    For the major vast majority of us photography enthusiast types, pro, amateur, or those indifferent to the hobby wouldn't really need to care, nor worry about it all.
    Just shoot as you did, get better at what you'd like to get better at and be happy.

    The above issue is really only relevant to the scientifically oriented photography community(as I understand it all) where having access to a raw file histogram could be the difference between a technically correct image or not.

    a note: if you're curious on the subject, I suggest you look into the workings of a program called rawdigger and UniWB(Uni White Balance).
    Neither of which will make your images any better, nor make you more efficient as a photographer.

    As to your final comment .. I doubt it!
    That is, I doubt that you not seeing a raw file histogram on the camera would have same any pixels from extinction!
    If you look into UniWB, and even try it! .. the chances are that if you get to see a 'raw' histogram on your camera, it'd be so green-centric, you'd be deleting all of your image off the camera.
    Remember that a camera sensor is made up of an array of Red Green and Blue pixels, but they act as a series of 4 pixels on the whole .. plus that the data from adjoining pixels is used to create a colour and tonal value for each pixel.
    But the main point is that there are 2x the number of green pixels for every R and B pixel .. so the raw image is actually very green tinted. The raw histogram is also very green tinted(as the sensor captures this data!).
    The cameras programming takes al this into account and uses a tone curve of your choosing(picture control or style in camera) and then outputs a human readable image for 'ya!

    With respect to histograms in camera, what would be appropriate is if the manufacturers created them for either aRGB OR sRGB colour profiles, respectively.

    The real issue is that the histograms are created using the sRGB colour profile.
    So if you shoot in jpg mode and also use the aRGB colour profile, then your not getting all the info you should be.
    Doesn't make any difference if you shoot in aRGB mode, but shoot in raw tho.
    The issue is strictly related to jpg shooting mode.
    A jpg is a jjp, is a jpg .. no matter what device made it, or what device you view it on, it's tonal and colour properties are set. (for raw it's not!).

    So to not have the ability to see your aRGB jpg image as you're supposed too in camera is an issue that needs to be addressed.

    hope that helps, sorry for the long reply .. C'ya!
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    Member formerly known as : Lplates
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    Thanks Arthur. I shoot in raw 99.9% of times and my camera is set to aRGB mode, and yes I do use Adobe, in particular, photoshop. I'm sure you are correct in what you say and I wouldn't be anywhere near qualified to argue with you. All I know is I took a shot where the histogram in camera was starting to climb the right side (prob about 40%) and blinkies showed clipped highlights. When I opened that image in ACR the histogram was not climbing the right side, in fact, sitting a smidgen (very technical measurement) back from the right side and no clipped highlights at all. I dare say it may have been different had I used the Nikon software. I just won't be so quick to delete and reshoot a scene which shows similar clipping from now on.

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    Member Lizzy84's Avatar
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    I never new that it was the jpeg view. I always shoot in raw so thought it would just be the raw file. Thanks for the link to the vid, Matt Granger is one of my favourite subscriptions on youtube!
    Quote Originally Posted by Lplates View Post
    This is an interesting piece on the histogram. I did know that the image shown on the LCD screen was the camera's jpeg rendition of the raw but didn't realise that the histogram on the LCD was that of the jpeg. I just took some shots and where the camera's histogram showed clipping in the highlights once the raw was in ACR there was no clipping. I've probably deleted shots I never needed to
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqH7nZLHeVw

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Lizzy. The point being made is that it is the histogram of the data being displayed.
    That is jpg on the back of an LCD monitor, but whatever file any program can show.

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Not that this offers much but I don't delete any photos in camera, ever. Bugga, I just missed something amazing that I didn't know happened because I was looking at the camera and deleting things that maybe I shouldn't be deleting.
    I just wait until I get the files on the computer and see how they look. Computer has bigger buttons than the camera and it's much easier to delete that way.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lplates View Post
    ... All I know is I took a shot where the histogram in camera was starting to climb the right side (prob about 40%) and blinkies showed clipped highlights. When I opened that image in ACR the histogram was not climbing the right side, in fact, sitting a smidgen (very technical measurement) back from the right side and no clipped highlights at all. ....
    I think my point may have been a little lost in my obsessive ramblings .. but one of the points I tried to make above was that your choice of raw converter will determine the histogram based on what it thinks is both the exposure of the image and the tone rendering.
    You could open that same image in any other converter and it will look different yet again!

    I know it will have looked different in any of Nikon's software(apologies I forgot you used Nikon stuff too).

    If you have a free raw capable program try it.
    eg. FastStone's software viewer by default shows raw images in the 'faster jpg rendering mode'. What that means is that you click the raw file, and to speed up it's browsing ability it shows you the embedded jpg preview file.
    Much quicker than decompressing 70-90Mb of raw data!
    So when you view your raw files in FSViewer, they look the same as they do in Nikon's software and hence in Nikon's camera .. ie. that same histogram that was blown in camera but a smigden under in ACR will(or should) be blown out again in FSViewer(as it will be in Nikon's software.

    But if you set FSViewer to display raw file data(slower) then it will show you what they think is the correct rendering of that raw file .. which is different to ACR, and different to Nikon's version, and so on and etc...

    Hope that makes sense to 'ya.

    ps. the tone and exposure discrepancy between camera(obviously Nikon for me), Nikon software and thirdparty raw software is the main reason I kind'a stopped using thirdparty raw software too.
    I hate setting up a shot, with the filters and all, get the exposure just about spot on in camera and then the (thirdparty) software show me either a blown out version or under exposed one instead.

    I think I remember one time reading someone's hints and tips on getting camera images in sync with (thirdparty) raw software, and that was to shoot all your raw images in the most neutral picture control setting, with all the tweaked settings zeroed out.

    You'll be amazed at how different in camera histograms can look just switching from say normal picture control to (say) Portrait, Neutral or Flat!

    Your choice of picture control is of absolutely no consequence to you when you shoot raw format, and especially so if you use ACR. ACR doesn't recognise them at all.
    I choose a picture control style because I use Nikon's software, which does use Picture Control settings. Just a few less edit steps to have to bother with, I guess

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    But doesn't clipping mean - or include - compression of data to a narrow band?
    In that case, Llps, what you saw would make sense in both cases.

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    I like my computer more than my camera farmmax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lplates View Post
    I've probably deleted shots I never needed to
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqH7nZLHeVw
    Now I know why I never look at my histograms. Looks like I'm doomed never to be a real photographer

    I do now use a custom Picture Style on my Canon. I shoot in raw and found that if I pass the raw file through Canon's software directly into Photoshop, it takes the picture style with it and applies it in Photoshop. As Arthur says, it cuts out a few steps of editing. I'm not sure why ACR wouldn't have the ability to pass the custom picture style through as well. I found under "Camera Callibration" in ACR, I could pick the camera picture style from a list and ACR would apply it, but only the standard picture styles show up on the list, and not my custom one.

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    Member formerly known as : Lplates
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    Hi Arthur, no I did realise what you meant about it being the same in the Nikon raw converter and different in others. I actually don't have the Nikon raw converter on the computer - sacrilegious probably - in fact it's probably still in the box my camera came in. It took me ages to get comfortable with ACR and learn the little I know about photoshop so I guess I'm stuck in the rut of using it. I know, after buying my Mac I did try trial versions of Affinity and more recently MacPhun's Luminar. I still went back to Ps after thinking damn I'd have to learn yet another new program, although probably should at my age to keep the old grey matter ticking over.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Mark and Farmmax - I don't delete a lot in camera except if I can see obvious oof images or if the image exposure looks way off. I do tend to use blinkies when shooting birds as, I don't care if the part that is blown isn't near the bird for I know I'll have to crop anyway. I also tend to use the blinkies screen as that damn LCD screen seems to be getting smaller or the eyes worse and I'm finding discerning if that line is climbing the right side becoming more difficult - even if the Optometrist says my reading glasses are still fine .

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    Way Down Yonder in the Paw Paw Patch jim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark L View Post
    Not that this offers much but I don't delete any photos in camera, ever. Bugga, I just missed something amazing that I didn't know happened because I was looking at the camera and deleting things that maybe I shouldn't be deleting.
    I just wait until I get the files on the computer and see how they look. Computer has bigger buttons than the camera and it's much easier to delete that way.
    I'm much the same, though I do delete the ones I've accidentally taken of my feet etc.

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    I think my point may have been a little lost in my obsessive ramblings ..
    No, that couldn't possibly happen.
    I get all 20 points most of your posts have in them. Sometimes, maybe.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lplates View Post
    Hi Arthur, no I did realise what you meant about it being the same in the Nikon raw converter and different in others. I actually don't have the Nikon raw converter on the computer - sacrilegious probably -

    ....

    - I don't delete a lot in camera except if I can see obvious oof images or if the image exposure looks way off. I do tend to use blinkies when shooting birds as, I don't care if the part that is blown isn't near the bird for I know I'll have to crop anyway. ....
    I would recommend that you don't delete anything at all. blinkies or otherwise(other than as farmax said and delete the accidental foot shots and suchlike).

    The reason you don't delete even the blinkies version of images is the same reason you choose to shoot raw mode.
    Raw mode has the flexibility to be able to recover highlights by a significant margin!

    The more modern cameras(Nikon that I'm used too) can recover up to approx 2Ev of blown highlight detail.

    Technically this is a good way to practise your shooting, as many technophiles would have you believe .. but I tried it once or twice and I didn't really like the results I got(predominantly with landscapes).
    Yeah .. you get a lot of tonal detail(ie. info), but I just never got the same rich colours as I did when I just tried to get the exposure I wanted, in camera.

    But(lets use your lost highlight bird images as an example) .. you shoot as slow as you possibly can, with the lowest possible ISO to retain as much detail data as possible, even if this means you have to blow highlights out by (eg.) +1Ev to +2Ev.
    You then use -ve exposure compensation in your raw image software.
    This recovers the highlight detail, ISO is kept to as low a value as possible, and you then process the image to taste.

    A good read on this kind of info is from Thom Hogan. He explains it quite well. There are others of course(Luminous Landscape) etc, but many of them are now going to paid subscription site models, so the info may not be so 'freely' available.

    As for the sacrilegious situation of not having installed Nikon's current software .. don't sweat it.
    In the past, you'd be mad not to have at least tried it.
    But their recent software is pretty much crap!
    Other than the fact that working with it on raw files is similar to tweaking images in camera(ie. mainly via various Picture Controls) .. they're limited in what they can do in terms of editing images.
    Only the really basic ACR global adjustments can be made in Nikon's software.

    But like Farmax said about the Canon software:
    Using Nikon's software now is best when you simply do the global raw file adjustments in Nikon's software, then use it to send a TIFF file to Ps, where you then edit to your hearts content.
    Nikon provide a handy shortcut icon(ability) to send the file being worked on directly to a program like Ps(or you can configure any other program instead).

    As an example, I recently set up ViewNX2 to send raw images directly to the (now free) Nik Collection of software.

    At least you now have an understanding why some of us choose to use Nikon's (very limited) software on our raw files.
    It's about seeing and believing! WYSIWYG.

    Over the years I tried many user created Nikon camera profiles for ACR .. none of which actually look like Nikon camera profiles tho.
    Until Nikon creates a set of Nikon camera profiles(ie. to match their Picture Controls) .. I stick to Nikon's software for the raw files, then if I need to edit in a way that I can't in Nikon's software, I may then call up some other program.

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    Ausphotography Regular Hawthy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jim View Post
    I'm much the same, though I do delete the ones I've accidentally taken of my feet etc.
    I am with you on this, Jim. No feet or fingers = good shot.
    Andrew




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    Interesting little video.
    Website - McGoo Photography
    Sean | Olympus E5 | Olympus e620 | Zuiko 7-14 | Zuiko 35-100 SHG | Zuiko 14-54 | Zuiko 70-300 | OM 50mm | Panagor macro converter | CPL filter | FL-50R flash |


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    Quote Originally Posted by jim View Post
    I'm much the same, though I do delete the ones I've accidentally taken of my feet etc.
    Or the ones where I've left the lens cap on

    The video is quite interesting though. Nice find and thanks for sharing.

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    Perpetually Bewildered
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    Perhaps some further clarification...

    Firstly, strictly speaking there is no such thing as a raw image and consequently no such thing as a raw histogram. The raw data requires processing (at the very least application of a colour space) to create a viewable image. However as Arthur points out it is apparently possible to set your camera so that the histogram closely matches the raw data - although this is still working off the processed jpeg image and not the raw data itself.

    As the in-camera histogram is based on the generated jpeg image, it is directly dependent on the in-camera settings (even though you may be shooting raw files). Although the settings won't affect the raw data they may affect your decision making when determining what the correct exposure should be. I assume that it will also affect the camera's exposure settings when in an auto/semi-auto exposure mode (but I haven't checked this). I did some tests a few years ago on a D300 and the variation between 'flat' in-camera settings and max'd-out settings was somewhere around 2 stops on the highlights side of the histogram. (The images were essentially the same when loaded into LR). The amount of variation might depend on lighting, subject matter, etc - tests were bright colors in bright sunlight.

    When raw files are loaded into raw processing software the image displayed is a processed image, although likely less processed than the in-camera jpeg. It will have a colour space applied and perhaps some other adjustments. There are basically 3 scenarios:-
    1. Software doesn't read in-camera settings: software defaults will be applied (For example LR loads my Fuji files with a default profile called "Adobe Standard")
    2. Software doesn't read in-camera settings: user 'defaults' will be applied if they have been defined
    3. Software reads in-camera settings: camera settings will be applied
    As Arthur points out, different raw software may have different default settings and consequently give the image a different appearance when loaded.

    Matt Granger is incorrect in the video where he states that LR shows a histogram of the raw data. If that was the case the histogram would not change when you move the sliders because LR does not alter the raw data. The histogram is for the displayed image which will have had the default processing applied when the image is first opened.

    This is info I've gleaned over the years, happy to be corrected if I'm off the track somewhere...

    Hope it helps.
    Phil.

    Some Nikon stuff. I shoot Mirrorless and Mirrorlessless.


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    I like my computer more than my camera farmmax's Avatar
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    I didn't have Canon's DPP installed on my computer for years. It only was installed 12 months ago when playing with the picture styles for a Canon Light Awards challenge, and I couldn't pass the picture styles through ACR. After passing images through DPP into Photoshop for a while, I realised the quality of the photos was definitely better than passing them through ACR. They consistently came through with less noise, and the sharpening in DPP sharpens without adding too much grain to the photo. Some of that is due to my picture style including noise reduction and sharpening, but even without that, the images were cleaner for not passing through ACR. It is saving a lot of processing time.

    My photos are viewed in Faststone and I have the keyboard shortcut of Alt + 2 to move them into DPP. From there the keyboard shortcut of Alt + P opens the photos in Photoshop as a .tiff and I save it as a pdf. 90% of the photos get passed straight through DPP without any adjustments being made to them.

    So Lplates, it might be time to revisit the Nik software If you haven't already played with the picture style, I find it a great time saver. I created a custom one which basically does the sort of things I might have done in ACR. Added some noise reduction, sharpening, vibrancy, and slightly lightened the shadows to create a less contrasting image. This makes it easier to manipulate in Photoshop. I assume you can create custom pictures styles in Nik software then upload it onto your camera. I create mine in a part of DPP. It's good fun, and adds another meaning to SOOC (straight out of camera). If you don't want the picture style applied to a particular image, just remove it when it passes through the Nik software.

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    Member formerly known as : Lplates
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    Thanks fillum and farmmax, both interesting replies. Might have to look at what differences I see if I use the Nikon raw converter rather than ACR, however I know Arthur doesn't like the newer Nikon PP software

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