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sportster64 Mar 29, 2006 3:41 PM

I always thought that the camera did not use the menu settings from the "Optimize Image" menu when you chose to save the output as RAW. After calling Nikon today - they told me that the D50 does use those settings regardless if you save to RAW or JPEG. I though that was one of the great things with RAW - the camera would not optimize the image and would let you do it all - apparantly that is not the case at least with the D50. Are all DSLR's like this ??

Tom W Mar 29, 2006 4:11 PM


The camera does exactly what you tell it to do. The custom settings are just that, settings for you to use to manipulate your images 'in camera'. The beauty of the raw format, is that once opened in a supporting program, you can make any changes you want to, including removing all of your custom settings, or changing a setting that you might have forgotten was on at the time of the shot. With the other formats, like jpeg and tiff, you are somewhat limited to what you are able to change, after the shot. Shoot raw, shoot more often.

Tom W

sportster64 Mar 29, 2006 4:16 PM

SO - that means that the settings are applied to RAW images as well then ?

I then have to remove them in post processing ?

Nagasaki Mar 30, 2006 3:08 AM

I'bve found that it depends what software you use to process the images. I don't use picture projected but downloaded the, in my view, better Nikon view. If I view my RAW pictures with this software then the optimised settings are applied. Mostly I use PhotoShop and then the settings are not applied. My guess is that the optimise settings are held in the RAW file and processed by the Nikon software. I'd expect Picture project to behave in the same way.

A way to test what's happening is to shoot RAW + JPG if they look the same then the optimise settings are being used.

sportster64 Mar 30, 2006 8:07 AM

That goes against everything that I thought was an advantage to the raw format. I thought raw data was data that came directly from the CCD sensor with NO IN-CAMERA Processing applied ????.

JimC Mar 30, 2006 8:33 AM

You're misunderstanding how the process works.

When you make settings changes in the camera, much of that information is contained in metadata in the header of the raw file (versus changes to the raw data itself).

So, a raw converter that knows how to interpret this metadata in the raw file header can then process the raw images with the same settings (white balance, saturation, etc.)..

That comes in handy for things like the "as shot" white balance, so that the converted photos are already close to what you intended them to be (yet, you still have the flexbility of changing the settings later).

Some raw converters are more aware of metadata information than others (some may not know anything about camera settings in metadata, or use it to process the raw file). This metadata is mostly undocumented. So, many raw converters get to it via reverse engineering of the files.

White Balance is the most commonly supported information (although Nikon encrypted the metadata related to white balance in the D50 .nef files, so it took a while before it was supported in many converters due to legal and reverse engineering issues).

Now, there is some evidence I've seen that Nikon may be modifying the raw file from the sensor before saving it to a compressed .nef format. But, this does not appear to have anything to do with camera settings.

sportster64 Mar 30, 2006 8:57 AM

Thanks Jim.

Take a program like Rawshooter Essentials. Can you tell it to NOT interpret the metadata tag so you can then see what the in-camera settings are doing to the raw data ?

This would explain why I was seeing the changes to white balance I was making in my shots when I viewed the .NEF files in Rawshooter. Rawshooter was reading the metadata tags attached to the raw file.

JimC Mar 30, 2006 9:22 AM

1 Attachment(s)
sportster64 wrote:

Take a program like Rawshooter Essentials. Can you tell it to NOT interpret the metadata tag so you can then see what the in-camera settings are doing to the raw data ?
You've got three options for WB in RSE. If you look over the temperature slider you'll see some icons. One is an eyedropper. This allows you to select a white or gray portion of an image and use it for setting white balance.

The next is a camera icon for using the "as shot" white balance, and the last is for the software to estimate the white balance (like auto white balance algorithms in a camera would, only some algorithms are better than others).

By default, it's using the As Shot White Balance, so you'll see the color temperature change between photos if white balance was changed (or if you were using Auto WB and the camera changed it).

You'll see a description of each choice when you run your mouse cursor over it.

sportster64 Mar 30, 2006 9:30 AM

OK - that makes sense to me on how to control what the camera is doing with the WB. How do you tell Raw Shooter to NOT interpret what the camera has done with things like: Sharpening,Saturation,Contrast adjustments ?

JimC Mar 30, 2006 9:32 AM

I doubt it is trying to use those things. But, you'd have to test it to see.

I haven't used RSE much.

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