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Old Apr 18, 2004, 10:08 AM   #1
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Default white balance... wow

Ok, I've been shooting some RAW when my subjects don't move very fast. And this has lead to using the PhotoShop CS RAW converter more. I'm getting more comfortable with it, and finding it isn't that hard to do the conversion (I just wish it were faster. I've got a 1800+ athlon with 1G of ram... not a bad system, I would think.)

But what I've noticed is that the white balance settings (at least in the RAW converter) seems to change Tint as well as color temp. Don't know why... but it does.

My main point is... wow, what a difference getting color temp right does. I had been happy with the Auto white balance directly out of the camera. It has done a good job. Now that I see what correct white balance can do all I can say is "wow" much better. I hadn't noticed how the skys can be a bit muddy in Auto, but they can.

It will be hard to go back when RAW writing speed makes using it prohibitive. I really, really don't want to have to buy a faster camera (1D or 1D Mark 2) but this flexability makes it hard to not look at those longingly.

Maybe there is a plugin which can color correct for white balance that doesn't demand RAW?

Eric
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Old Apr 18, 2004, 10:23 AM   #2
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You can certainly remove the color cast caused by an incorrect white balance in JPG images, but it is a long and involved procedure to get there. It is MUCH easier during RAW conversion.

I would think that your machine wouldn't be that slow (or are you talking about YOUR time to do the conversion?). I have a 486 2 Ghz with 2 Gig of ram and I don't notice it being too slow. I did find that my speed was increased when I lowered the max amount of RAM used to 60% in the preferences. You might try tweaking that and see what happens.
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Old Apr 18, 2004, 5:34 PM   #3
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Eric, why don't you consider getting an ExpoDisc (or try coffee filters, Pringles lids, etc.)? You could then do a custom white balance ahead of time and still shoot JPEG's.

I have an ExpoDisc and I never have to worry about white balance, I know it will always be spot-on.

Ohenry, I don't believe there is such thing as a 486 running at 2Ghz, surely you must mean a Pentium 4.
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Old Apr 18, 2004, 6:01 PM   #4
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Snappers,

I should outdoors for an hour or more at a time. The light is ever changing. Using any type of custom white balance is impracticle for me. One shot could be in direct sunlight, the next when the sun is behind clouds.

ohenry
Its just annoying when I double click on the image and it doesn't just "open" (almost instantly) like the jpgs do. I don't mind that it opens the RAW converter instead of the image. But it takes longer than I'd like to open the converter. It is kinda annoying to have to wait just to check the sharpness of the image. I want to fly through these early culling steps.


Doing the conversion takes a bit of time as well, but I can accept that.

Is there a way in PhotoShop CS to open up the imbedded jpg directly?

Eric
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Old Apr 18, 2004, 6:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Is there a way in PhotoShop CS to open up the imbedded jpg directly?
You need to rename all the *.THM files to *.JPG before you can open them.
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Old Apr 18, 2004, 7:02 PM   #6
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Yes, I did mean P4. Duh! I've only been doing Intel since 8086's
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Old Apr 18, 2004, 8:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snappers
Quote:
Is there a way in PhotoShop CS to open up the imbedded jpg directly?
You need to rename all the *.THM files to *.JPG before you can open them.
ACDSeeCan browse the THM (thumnail) files directly without renaming but that doesn't tell you much as they are only 160x120 pixels.

OTOH, I wonder if the THM file what is meant by "imbedded JPEG" or do some cameras actually imbed a decent sized JPEG in the RAW file?

BTW, I started shooting RAW soon after getting my DRebel and now I pretty much avoid shooting JPEG. Only if I'm running low on CF space or occasionally to grab sports mode for a few quick shots without messing wtih any other settings.

I still develop to jpeg from CaptureOne but there is a quality difference in the final image that's hard to describe. The images just look better to me. WB is a big part of it and also I don't think the camera does as good of job of encoding the JPEG. Also you can adjust the exposure range before reducing the bit depth to 8bit. Canon RAW is 10 or 12bit I think. I'm not an expert on this but I know that in audio and sound reinforcement we are always trying to cram signals through systems that have less dynamic range than the live performance. Its best to have your mix and EQ as good as possible before compressing the signal. Not quite that simple but there's an analogy in there.

just some thoughts,
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Old Apr 18, 2004, 10:20 PM   #8
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I can view the thumbnail pictures as well, but I really want to zoom in 100% to see how sharp the picture is. Without sharpness, the picture is rarely worth editing.

The Camera RAW for Canon is 12-bit.

There are two camps on that. Some say they can see the benefit of that extra info over the 8-bit JPG. Others say that there is so little difference that you need just the right picture to make the drawbacks worth while (larger size, slower writing, more disk space, slower processing....)

The reasons that I've always wanted to use RAW (but hadn't till just recently) is the exposure and white balance. It looks to my eye like the same amount of recovery is possible, but it looks better if you recover the exposure from RAW than just lightening a JPG.)

I don't get a "THM" file. I copied the files over to my computer using breezebrowser (ya, I should try zoombrowser some time) and I get the CRW file. Nothing else. Now I've read that the jpg is "embedded", so I've always assumed that they are within the CRW file. But I haven't found a way to get at them. Maybe I'm missing something? Anyone? I'd like to find a faster way to check sharpness than zooming in 100% from the RAW conversion screen... that comes up too slowly, so I find it annoying.

Eric
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Old Apr 18, 2004, 11:21 PM   #9
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I use Capture One and can't comment on how slow CS handles the files, but I suspect C1 is faster. I download from the CF card using Downloader Pro (by the maker of Breezebrowser) and it transfers the .thm files -- of course I'm using a 300D -- maybe that's different?
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Old Apr 18, 2004, 11:49 PM   #10
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Eric,

CaptureOne's demo may be worth a try, it's pretty fast.
You can browse RAW files directly, inspecting sharpness, histograms, WB, whatever.
When you first open a folder, it starts generating previews but if you click on a thumbnail that takes priority and it will display in a couple of seconds. There is also a "focus" window at the side showing a portion of the image at 100%. Thumbnails, preview and focus window are all displayed on the screen together.

When you first display an image, the focus window takes about 4 sec to generate full resolution, after that you can drag it around the image and it generates almost instantly (.5sec). Here you can turn sharpening on and off to see the effect instantly. Exposure, curve and WB changes all show instantly in the main preview window. The above times are on my machine which isn't quite the screamer some of you guys have (Athlon 750, 512RAM).

CaptureOne has pretty decent file management tools too, esp once you learn some keyboard shortcuts it's pretty nimble.

David Y

BTW, I don't work for PhaseOne, I just think it's a nice piece of software.
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