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Old Feb 24, 2012, 6:32 PM   #1
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I'm a bit disgusted with the JPEG IQ of my G3. Images are soft, they lack details and are very noisy unless I set the exposure to at least +0.66. Many people have suggested a shoot raw instead, and so I did. The thing is, I don't have PS and I can't seem to find the Sylkpix CD that should have come with the camera. The version I have is 3.0 and it does not support the G3 RAW file. So I decided to try Rawtherapee. Yesterday I spent at least a couple of hours working on one single picture. In the end, I could not make the picture look nearly as good as the JPEG produced by the camera. The software is convoluted, I could not even figure out how to crop the darn image and save it. Does anyone know of any other free software that will recognize and convert a G3 raw file into JPEG? Thanks.
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Old Feb 24, 2012, 6:58 PM   #2
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Raw Therapee does have a bit of a learning curve, and isn't the most intuitive program I have ever used, but does give me the best output from my old 5 and 6 MP cameras. Have you downloaded and gone through the manuals for it? Once you develop a profile for the camera, you can use that as a basis for more detailed profiles, down to the level of each lens, focal length and ISO setting. When the initial work is done, you can then batch convert with little or no intervention.
OK, I like it, but it may not be for everyone. You should be able to find Rawshooter Essentials available for d/l (I think, at Photofreeware.net). This was the basis for Adobe's Lightroom, and most people who used it love the workflow and user interface. Development for it stopped in 2006, when Adobe bought out Pixmantec, so it doesn't support cameras newer than that.

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Old Feb 25, 2012, 9:56 AM   #3
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Thanks for the response, Brian. No, I haven't gone through the manual but I could not agree more...Rawtherapee is far from being intuitive. One of the main problems I have with it is the fact that it uses a lot of computer resources and since my PC is now 3 years old, it struggles to keep up. Every time I move a slide bar, it takes a long time before I can see the resulting effect and this is very frustrating. Rawshooter won't work by the sounds of it since I have the new Panasonic G3 m4/3.
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Old Feb 25, 2012, 10:11 AM   #4
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Do you use a photo editor that supports plugins? If so, you might want to use the Topaz denoise and sharpening plugins. I was very pleased with what they can do with some of my jpegs from my older D7hi when I tried using higher ISO settings. This was a fairly noisy camera at 400 ISO or greater, and the Topaz plugin cleans the images up very nicely without loss of detail. The sharpening plugin does wonders for some of my Pentax lenses that are pretty soft. The plugins aren't cheap (for me), but you can d/l a 30 day trial and try them out before you decide to spend money. I'm about as cheap as anybody, and found these to be worth the money.

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Old Feb 25, 2012, 12:20 PM   #5
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Raw Therapee, huh? I haven't used it in a while, although I probably should give the newer versions a spin, since it's been open sourced for a while with lots of changes from what I understand.

I was going to suggest you try some of the programs I've got installed like Darktable and RawStudio. But, it looks like some of the free programs I have are not available for Windows (I have them installed in Linux). Here's one free product with a Windows version that I've seen mentioned. So, you may want to see how it works. But, I've never tried it:

http://photivo.org/photivo/start

Have you tried different interpolation options with Raw Therapee (you may find that one works better than another with a specific camera)? I can remember reading that some interpolation types didn't work correctly with some Oly models a while back. So, the same thing might apply to some of Panasonic models.

You may also want to give some of the commercial products like Adobe Lightroom and Corel AfterShot Pro a try.

You can get a public beta of the upcoming Lightroom 4 release now. Go here (just setup an account with Adobe if you don't already have one and you can download the latest LR4 Beta version). Just keep in mind that it's still a beta release.

http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/lightroom4/

For the current LR3 (production versus beta release), you can download a trial version here (click on the "Try" button).

http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshoplightroom/

But, I'd probably just go with the latest LR4 Beta instead.

I'd also suggest giving Corel Aftershot Pro a spin. Get a trial version of it here:

http://www.corel.com/corel/product/i...id=prod4670071

Here's a "webinar" demonstrating some of it's features:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i633ZBya9Fc

It also has some more advanced features like allowing you to create layers and add regions for selective editing. For example, increasing saturation in one area but not another, or using fill light on the bottom of photo without impacting the sky, etc; using the amount of opacity desired for the edited portions. It also has pretty good viewing and metadata options compared to Lightroom (viewing photos without using catalogs, viewing photos from more than one catalog at a time, etc.).

The selective editing functions (creating layers with regions for editing) are demonstrated starting around 30 minutes into that "webinar" (most of the first portion of the webinar is geared towards professionals doing events like weddings, where a product like AfterShot Pro can save a lot of time).

You can see more about the features if you look at the site for Bibble Pro (Corel Aftershot Pro has the same features, as Corel just purchased Bibble Labs and relaunched the product as Aftershot Pro). You can click on one of the features (selective editing, etc). at the top of the page to see more about it:

http://www.bibblelabs.com/products/bibble5/features/

Corel AfterShot Pro is very appealing to me because I use Linux approximately 99% of the time (my computers are setup in multi-boot configs with both Win 7 and multiple linux distributions on them), and the same license key allows you to use it under multiple operating systems (Windows, OS X, Linux). So, I've purchased it for personal use (something I rarely do with image editing/raw conversion software), using a promo price that was available at product launch for an upgrade from an older version of Bibble Pro.

You'd have to try it to see how well it works with your G3 (which is one of it's supported camera models). But, at only $99.99 retail (when Bibble Pro sold for twice as much at $199, and Adobe Lightroom usually sells for even more), Corel Aftershot Pro is a bargain as commercial software like that goes, as it's very fast working with raw files, and has lots of nice features for image management and editing.
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Old Feb 25, 2012, 1:34 PM   #6
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I sort of fell out of using Raw Therapee a few years back, when it went open source, and the developers seemed kind of disorganized. It was pretty slow on my desktop (P4,2GHz, 1GB ram, XP) Have recently d/l it to my laptop, which is using 64bit W7, with 3GB, 2.2GHz AMD processor, and find it is significantly quicker.
Like lightroom and AfterShot, it works with jpeg as well, and can batch process either selected files, or a whole folder. The UI could be better, as there are a number of functions which are a bit hard to find on first acquaintance.

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Old Feb 26, 2012, 9:51 AM   #7
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Thanks for all your responses and suggestions. At the moment I don't have any non-free photo editor. I use (and like very much) Photoscape for JPEG processing. I also like the improvements that Google has made to Picasa. Then I use Noiseimage and denoisemyimage for noise reduction but all these software are for JPEG. I never really felt the needs to shoot raw until now with the G3. So, either I find something soon or the G3 goes to craigslist/eBay. The quality of its JPEG just won't cut it.
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Old Feb 26, 2012, 10:42 AM   #8
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I have gotten good results from Neat Image. Don't know if it is still available, but there was a free version. It wouldn't work as a plug in, and IIRC, you couldn't batch process with it, but you could develop a profile for your camera and process pretty quickly that way.

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Old Jun 15, 2012, 8:59 AM   #9
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I am a huge fan of Raw Therapee. I really like it and use it often with excellent results. I also really enjoy using Aftershot Pro. The latter being the best resource friendly app for image editing I've ever used.
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Old Jun 15, 2012, 10:56 PM   #10
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This maybe a bit late but try the gimp and Ufraw both are free
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