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Old May 10, 2006, 8:02 AM   #31
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The only in camera settings that have any impact on raw images is the white balance and ISO. Any custom adjustments you have made to saturation, sharpness, contrast, etc. are not part of a raw image.

One of the advantages of editing the raw image in a raw converter is that you are working with linear image data that has not been gamma corrected. A good raw converter allows you to make much more precise adjustments to certain parts of the image than you can do in any image editor. I'm talking about Photoshop, Paintshop Pro, or whatever. But even the best raw converter can't do everything that needs to be done to some images. So after the "main" adjustments are made with the editing tools in the raw converter, that is when it is time to convert to a format that can be polished with your favorite editing program.

If you just use the simple converter that comes with Fuji cameras to convert your raw images, you lose the advantage of editing that linear data. That isn't to imply that you cannot get good images using that method. It just can, in some instances, make it a little more difficult.
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Old May 10, 2006, 11:31 AM   #32
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Good grief. NO it isn't!

The camera user has absolutely no control whatsoever in the process of the manufacturer's algorithm's manipulation of the data stream from the camera sensor to the recorded raw file. Yes, the algorithm's function will be based on how the user has set the camera but that would be the extent to which the recorded raw file could be influenced. Once the raw file is recorded it is what it is.

Then and only then the user can take that raw file and do whatever he/she wants with it with any software that can read the raw file, present it to the user for editing or not, and convert it in some fashion so that it can be saved and used by other software not specifically written to handle the raw file format, whatever it may be.

How well the various raw converters perform the presentation of the data in the raw file is I suppose a matter of personal perception but if all that is done with the raw data is to save it back out to a 16 bit file of some other format without applying any further enhancement or modification then you're saving the same data as was presented to you in your chosen raw converter. Doing this from a half dozen or more different raw converters has produced no discernable differences in quality from one image to the next before or after postprocessing.

This is of course based upon the assumption that the raw converter used employs a 16 bit workspace.


JimC wrote:
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The article you reference deals entirely with the varying methods of performing those estimations from which the raw image is recorded and which I would point out is not within the control of the end user, and therefore irrelevant.
Of course it's within your control since you have a choice of raw converters. You choose the raw converter that works the best, for how you want to perceive the image.

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Old May 27, 2006, 6:02 PM   #33
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I'm the proud new owner of an S9000 and just joined the forum. I've already shot 1000 pix at 9F, and have seen artifacts in the JPEG compression that I don't like, so now I am ready to try RAW.

The Lone Wolf suggests that PSPX is a top notch converter for the RAW images. Since I've used PSP for years, I like the idea of staying with a program that I generally understand - so this is encouraging news. (However, I have never messed with RAW images.)

However, I currently have PSP Nine. Will it do the job, or is it time for me to upgrade?
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Old May 28, 2006, 1:29 AM   #34
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Neither PSP9 nor PSPX support S9500 raw files. The Adobe Camera Raw plug-in v.3.3 and v3.4 that do support this camera only work with PS CS2 and not PSP. So you will have to use an external raw converter (the one bundled with your camera, s7raw, or whatever program that supports S9500 raf files). For editing you can still use PSP, it is a great and easy to use program.

HTH
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Old May 28, 2006, 2:01 AM   #35
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THE_LoneWolf wrote:
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The camera user has absolutely no control whatsoever in the process of the manufacturer's algorithm's manipulation of the data stream from the camera sensor to the recorded raw file. Yes, the algorithm's function will be based on how the user has set the camera but that would be the extent to which the recorded raw file could be influenced.
I think you're misunderstanding what a raw file is. The data in a raw file has not gone through the demosaic process yet. That's why it's referred to as raw. ;-)

You seem to be under the impression that a tiff file is the same thing, only the data is stored in a different format. They're not the same thing. A tiff file has already gone through the demosaic process with red, green and blur values stored for each pixel.

The demosaic process is an important step. It's no longer raw after it's converted to tiff (manipulation of the data has already been performed at that point, and there is no way to reverse that interpolation process if you wanted to use a better algorithm later, without starting from the original raw file again). tiff is like jpeg, in that the image data from the sensor has already been processed, regardless of whether it's an 8 bit per channel tiff or a 16 bit per channel tiff.

The raw converter is what's manipulating the data from the sensor in order to assign RGB values to specific pixels, based on complex algorithms that try to determine each pixel's color and brightness by interpolating values from surrounding pixels (each pixel is representing only red, green or blue in the raw file, since each photosite is only sensitive to one color). The camera isn't doing that part if you shoot in raw. That part is being done when you convert the file to tiff.

If the article I posted the link to above wasn't clear enough about this process, here is another one explaining the demosaic process with examples of some of the algorithms used in raw converters (or by in camera processing if you're not shooting in raw). The raw file doesn't go through this kind of manipulation until you use a raw converter.

http://www.dalibor.cz/files/Ting%20C...erpolation.pdf

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How well the various raw converters perform the presentation of the data in the raw file is I suppose a matter of personal perception but if all that is done with the raw data is to save it back out to a 16 bit file of some other format without applying any further enhancement or modification then you're saving the same data as was presented to you in your chosen raw converter. Doing this from a half dozen or more different raw converters has produced no discernable differences in quality from one image to the next before or after postprocessing.
It's not just presentation. It's a complex conversion process. If you can't discern the differences, fine. Many others can. It's pretty obvious how different the output is comparing Fuji's raw converter with just about anyone elses, especially at higher ISO speeds (because of the amount of noise reduction being applied by the Fuji converter).

I don't like to point users anywhere else. But, since Phil Askey has such a good example of this for this camera, I'll make an exception. If you scroll down to the bottom of this page, you can see how the output of Fuji's raw converter looks compared to Adobe Camera Raw (by pointing your mouse at the desired raw converter, the image at the bottom will change to reflect the converter used).

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/fuji...000/page14.asp


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Old May 28, 2006, 2:36 AM   #36
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ifxmnfly wrote:
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I'm the proud new owner of an S9000 and just joined the forum. I've already shot 1000 pix at 9F, and have seen artifacts in the JPEG compression that I don't like, so now I am ready to try RAW.
Your camera should have shipped with a raw converter you can use if you want to give it a try (although it doesn't appear to give you much control and outputs an 8 bit tiff, it does seem to work reasonably well, especially at suppressing noise at higher ISO speeds). You could then open this tiff using PSP and edit it further.

S7Raw is popular converter with Fuji users, as you can see from previous posts in this thread.

You may also want to give dcraw.c a try if you're comfortable from a DOS prompt.

You can get versions of it already compiled, too. I do this part myself (I download new versions of dcraw.c frequently and compile it). Here is someone that compiles dcraw.c relatively often for both Windows and Mac platforms so that you don't have to worry about that part:

http://www.insflug.org/raw/

A number of other raw converters use some or all of David's source code for the demosaic part, while adding a GUI front end and more features to augment the conversion algorithms.

If you go through the list of "Other Raw Decoders" on David's web site, you'll probably find that some of them support your camera:

http://www.cybercom.net/~dcoffin/dcraw/

UFRaw is one popular free product that uses David's code for the demosaic algorithms.

Newer versions of ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) also support your camera. But, you'd need either Photoshop Elements or Photoshop CS2 to use ACR.

I shoot mostly in raw or raw + jpeg using a Konica Minolta 5D, and depending on the image, I may use ACR, Raw Shooters Essentials (which doesn't support your camera), or dcraw.c (one may do a better job compared to the other, depending on the image). If I had to pick just one, I'd probably use ACR.

It tends to do a bit better job in maximizing Dynamic Range compared to most, especially when I blow highlights.

You may want to download a trial version of Elements and see how you like it.

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

You'll also need to download and install a newer version of Adobe Camera Raw (ACR 3.3 or higher will support your camera). Here's the Windows download page for ACR 3.4:

http://www.adobe.com/support/downloa...jsp?ftpID=3357


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Old May 28, 2006, 5:11 PM   #37
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No, I never stated PSPX was a topnotch converter, because it isn't. It does a great job with the rest of the PP workflow. The Digital Camera Noise Removal tool, compared with Noise Ninja for instance, is worth the price of the upgrade from PSP9 to PSPX in my opinion. And of course it offers so much more.

ifxmnfly wrote:
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I'm the proud new owner of an S9000 and just joined the forum. I've already shot 1000 pix at 9F, and have seen artifacts in the JPEG compression that I don't like, so now I am ready to try RAW.

The Lone Wolf suggests that PSPX is a top notch converter for the RAW images. Since I've used PSP for years, I like the idea of staying with a program that I generally understand - so this is encouraging news. (However, I have never messed with RAW images.)

However, I currently have PSP Nine. Will it do the job, or is it time for me to upgrade?
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Old May 28, 2006, 7:00 PM   #38
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Okay I'll make this real simple and I'm sure it's something we can both agree on. What happens before the raw file is recorded by the camera is moot.

There are any number of raw conversion programs available with which to load the raw file. To the best of my knowledge all employ a 16 bit workspace. Some may only use 8 but most assuredly NONE use a 12 bit workspace.

Some of these programs use differing algorithms to interpret and display that raw data once it has been loaded. How well the user perceives the converter to have done that interpretation is largely a matter of personal taste. For instance, some do a better job of cleaning up colour noise before the user is presented with the image. Some don't clean the noise up at all, leaving that postprocessing step up to the user. Regardless, it's not relevant to the point I'm trying to establish.

Some of those converters are very basic and some are more feature rich and offer the capability to perform some of the postprocessing steps offered by other full featured image editing software packages before being saved out after the conversion.

Some that do offer extended editing do a better job of it than others.

All, without exception, permit the saving of the interpolated raw data back out into some format that can be easily recognized and utilized by other software. None save the input raw file back out again as a raw file of any description.

All that save the data back out to an 8 bit data format will have to extrapolate the raw file's 12 bit data which will result in some data loss. Depending on the type of file saved the amount of data lost will vary but data will be lost. That's the nature of the beast. No compression algorithm is perfect.

A few conversion packages will permit saving the raw data back out to some form of 16 bit format. In those cases the integrity of the data to be saved will not be compromised by being compressed. 12 bits will go into 16 bits with room to spare.

So, is there anything thus far that you disagree with?

The point of all this being that for further processing of the data in a raw file beyond the capabilities of the raw converter, that data must either be converted to 8 bits or 16 bits. 8 bits will inherently result in data loss where 16 bits will not. Even in the case of Photoshop CS2 where the conversion of the raw file and preliminary corrections and adjustments are performed and then subsequently passed on to the main editor for further processing, you are given the option to continue on in either 8 or 16 bit workspaces.

So the bottom line is that regardless of which raw converter you choose to use if you're working with a 16 bit dataset produced by that converter you're working with ALL the image data that is possible to use FROM that converter.

The argument isn't about which converter algorithm performs a more faithful interpretation of the raw data. Whether or not that can be empirically proven is not important. No conversion software works with a 12 bit workspace to match that of the raw file nor will it ever either so your choices are going to be 8 or 16 bits. If you're given a 16 bit workspace to use and it's saved as a 16 bit workspace then nothing is lost.

Period.

I trust that this will finally put an end to this ridiculous discussion.

JimC wrote:
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THE_LoneWolf wrote:
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The camera user has absolutely no control whatsoever in the process of the manufacturer's algorithm's manipulation of the data stream from the camera sensor to the recorded raw file. Yes, the algorithm's function will be based on how the user has set the camera but that would be the extent to which the recorded raw file could be influenced.
I think you're misunderstanding what a raw file is. The data in a raw file has not gone through the demosaic process yet. That's why it's referred to as raw. ;-)

You seem to be under the impression that a tiff file is the same thing, only the data is stored in a different format. They're not the same thing. A tiff file has already gone through the demosaic process with red, green and blur values stored for each pixel.

The demosaic process is an important step. It's no longer raw after it's converted to tiff (manipulation of the data has already been performed at that point, and there is no way to reverse that interpolation process if you wanted to use a better algorithm later, without starting from the original raw file again). tiff is like jpeg, in that the image data from the sensor has already been processed, regardless of whether it's an 8 bit per channel tiff or a 16 bit per channel tiff.

The raw converter is what's manipulating the data from the sensor in order to assign RGB values to specific pixels, based on complex algorithms that try to determine each pixel's color and brightness by interpolating values from surrounding pixels (each pixel is representing only red, green or blue in the raw file, since each photosite is only sensitive to one color). The camera isn't doing that part if you shoot in raw. That part is being done when you convert the file to tiff.

If the article I posted the link to above wasn't clear enough about this process, here is another one explaining the demosaic process with examples of some of the algorithms used in raw converters (or by in camera processing if you're not shooting in raw). The raw file doesn't go through this kind of manipulation until you use a raw converter.

http://www.dalibor.cz/files/Ting%20C...erpolation.pdf

Quote:
How well the various raw converters perform the presentation of the data in the raw file is I suppose a matter of personal perception but if all that is done with the raw data is to save it back out to a 16 bit file of some other format without applying any further enhancement or modification then you're saving the same data as was presented to you in your chosen raw converter. Doing this from a half dozen or more different raw converters has produced no discernable differences in quality from one image to the next before or after postprocessing.
It's not just presentation. It's a complex conversion process. If you can't discern the differences, fine. Many others can. It's pretty obvious how different the output is comparing Fuji's raw converter with just about anyone elses, especially at higher ISO speeds (because of the amount of noise reduction being applied by the Fuji converter).

I don't like to point users anywhere else. But, since Phil Askey has such a good example of this for this camera, I'll make an exception. If you scroll down to the bottom of this page, you can see how the output of Fuji's raw converter looks compared to Adobe Camera Raw (by pointing your mouse at the desired raw converter, the image at the bottom will change to reflect the converter used).

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/fuji...000/page14.asp

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Old May 28, 2006, 7:57 PM   #39
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THE_LoneWolf wrote:
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I trust that this will finally put an end to this ridiculous discussion
I didn't consider it to be ridicuolous. I just wanted to make sure users knew that there are differences in raw converters, since you were implying that conversion from raw to tiff does not alter the data in your previous comments in the thread (and it does alter it).

As for your comments on editing after the conversion, use the editor you're more comfortable with, and I'd suggest users try them out to see what they find to be a good fit (and that goes for raw conversion software and editors).

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Old May 28, 2006, 8:51 PM   #40
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JimC wrote:
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I just wanted to make sure users knew that there are differences in raw converters, since you were implying that conversion from raw to tiff does not alter the data in your previous comments in the thread (and it does alter it).
I suppose that I should have been more precise but I would have thought that it was obvious that I was referring to the converter's interpretation of the raw data within it's working environment. Since that is all the user is given to work with from the start, with any converter, that is the logical point of reference from which all other succeeding considerations have any validity. I mean, until the raw data is converted there's nothing you can do with it otherwise is there?

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