RAW Processing just got SO much easier

Discussion in 'Retouching and Post Processing' started by cculler, Sep 11, 2008.

  1. cculler

    cculler

    313
    Aug 12, 2008
    Seattle-ish
    So earlier, I posted a thread asking about a quick trick to make a RAW file look like the preview. Well, while cruising through everyone's favorite photographer Ken Rockwell's site, I found mention of Adobe's DNG profiles for your camera. Download them here, and just load it in the "camera calibration" tab of LR or ACR to get something close to your cameras presets like "Vivid" or "Portrait", etc..

    It makes it a LOT quicker to get close to the file you want.
     
  2. Wileec

    Wileec Guest

    That is, in essence bypassing the benefits of shooting RAW and using good software to create the initial render.

    If you don't want to really work with the data, you should save yourself some steps and stick with JPEGs from the camera. Just an opinion.
     
  3. mattsteg

    mattsteg

    455
    Aug 10, 2007
    MN
    That's not really the case here. They're just starting points that are intended to duplicate the rendition of in-camera jpegs and that provided by Nikon software. Is choosing to use Capture NX to process your images bypassing the benefits of shooting RAW?

    The other half of this is that there's also a DNG Profile Editor that you can use to define your own starting points, either based on something like a photograph of a colorchecker under your desired lighting for best accuracy or whatever you feel is a pleasing or otherwise desired rendition. It's a phenomenally powerful/useful advance, particularly if you were disappointed with previous adobe defaults and/or your ability to adjust them to get what you want.
     
  4. Wileec

    Wileec Guest

    And, with all due respect, have you seen a preset like this whose assumptions yielded better results across a range of images than would have been produced if the images were JPEGs.

    Further - consider what was stated in the post - do you honestly think the person is going to take the time to do any of what you are talking about.

    I could use ACR in CS3 to produce RAWs, but if I barely get past the results of the default settings - the JPEGs from the camera would be truer to the capture, than the render typically produced from a quick certain lighting based preset.

    I was neither intending to be rude, nor theoretical - just a practical observation, while attempting to really hear the person that posted the query to begin with.
     
  5. mattsteg

    mattsteg

    455
    Aug 10, 2007
    MN
    Sure. I've created my own, even. At the end of the day whatever converter you're using has to have some sort of profile as a starting point. Whether that profile is one of Nikon's defaults, one of Adobe's defaults, one of the new Adobe beta profiles, or something else, you have to start from somewhere. If you can set that somewhere to be similar to what you can make your jpegs look like, there are definite advantages to that. If nothing else you can better visualize what you're going to have as a starting point with your RAW when you're shooting. If you happen to have a specific complaint about how Adobe has chosen to represent your camera's color with their previous defaults, maybe these happen to fix it.

    It just makes sense to have a "good" starting point. The closer you make your raw converter's default color rendition what you prefer that it be, the easier additional processing is.

    Maybe, maybe not, but the point I was trying to make is that these profiles are pretty powerful. Even the adobe-provided ones can give results that would be somewhat difficult to achieve otherwise, due to the precision with which adjustments are applied to specific colors.
    I'm not sure what you're trying to say here. Perhaps you're misunderstanding my use of "preset". These aren't "presets" of existing controls. They're more accurate, more precise camera profiles that adobe developed due to deficiencies in their previous profiling framework. If you happen to like "Nikon Color" or "Canon Color", these will get you there far more rapidly and with far greater precision than other methods. If you want accurate color, this can get you there with far greater precision and accuracy than previous methods of calibrating ACR. The controls to duplicate what these profiles accomplish are not present in ACR (well, except in the form of the profile editor which isn't really part of ACR). This isn't a case of applying a generic preset that removes the though process, it's a case of moving your starting point somewhere more familiar that you can't necessarily otherwise get to easily.

    And I'll say this again - what the profiles in question do is move the default color rendition closer to what NX would give. Shooting NX isn't "bypassing the benefits of shooting RAW and using good software to create the initial render." and neither is the use of these profiles.
     
  6. Wileec

    Wileec Guest

    I would suggest you read the OP again. The context is ACR, not NX and the person is talking about profiles someone created for their camera, when the context of the software is a feature that is intended to be single camera specific.

    Further - the excitement was about a "quick trick to make a RAW file look like the preview." If that's the person''s goal, I would suggest shooting JPEGs makes more sense, for a lot of reasons.

    I have no doubt of the truth of what you are talking about - but it's largely based on your knowledge and use of the software - not that of the person posting. Not trying to be condescending, or anything like that - but I learned many years ago that the most important part of "helping" another person is to listen - to their context - their priorities, etc. We both could discuss the benefits of working with the software to produce the most amazing initial render possible from the RAW data - and we would be "right." I don't read that as being the context of this post. Maybe I read it wrong, but I think I'm respecting the context of what was stated in the OP in the comments I've made.

    Cheers!
     
  7. mattsteg

    mattsteg

    455
    Aug 10, 2007
    MN
    "Someone", in this case, is Adobe, the same company that created the software he's using and the profiles that he would use, absent these. These aren't some profiles he picked up off of the side of the street or something. They'll quite likely be included in the next release of ACR/LR. They would have been in 4.5/2.0 but Adobe didn't judge them to be quite final so they delayed shipping a final version and instead released these betas.
    As he made quite clear in his other post, which I know you read, he's interested in shooting raw because of other advantages it gives him. He just doesn't love Adobe's old interpretation of color (and therefore their old camera profiles which defined it). Adobe themselves weren't at all satisfied with it either - that's part of why they built a new, better camera profiling system from the ground up. Starting from somewhere familiar, comfortable, and desirable doesn't devalue RAW, it just makes it easier to get what you want. What's the harm in that?
    From what I hear, his priorities are 1) shoot raw so that he can utilize the flexibility and power provided by raw capture and 2) find out a way to make the colors of the initial raw rendering agree with what he considers to be a more pleasing starting point. In other words he wants colors that Nikon likes (since they made the initial decions) instead of ones that Adobe is lukewarm on and has noted several specific deficiencies with (particularly undersaturated warm hues). Perhaps This interview would be of interest.
    To me, this sounds like these profiles might as well have been created just for the original poster.

    I'd contend that you're trying to push the poster in a direction that you feel is better rather than one that matches what he's asking for. I don't know about you, but I don't necessarily shoot RAW to mess around with manipulating specific colors individually (in fact otherwise available ARW controls, as I said before, can't really match what these profiles can do. They're new capability). They don't cut off your arm and make new decisions for you, they just give a more accurate and/or more pleasing definition of what colors the camera saw.
     
  8. lchrismunos

    lchrismunos

    511
    Jun 28, 2006
    Arkansas
    I like the presets and they still give me all of the flexibility of shooting RAW. In my mind, it is a matter of whether I prefer to render the initial image the way Adobe wants me to see it or something closer what the camera manufacture (Nikon in my case) intended it to be. I use it with CS3/Lightroom 2.0 and the starting point is much closer to what I get when rendering an image with in camera settings (my settings) in NX2. It is a somewhat better starting point and it is STILL a raw file that I can easily "click back" to ACR 4.X.
     
  9. lchrismunos

    lchrismunos

    511
    Jun 28, 2006
    Arkansas
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  10. Wileec

    Wileec Guest

    I'm not associating another thread with this one - so only considering the posts in this one as relevant. The person sounded like what they wanted was "what the camera sees," especially when shot style prefs are selected in the camera and JPEGs are the quickest way to that route. I find using the kind of camera presets mentioned and RAW as a bit contradictory in interest. I'm not pushing JPEGs because I think that's a better way to go. And I'm not saying I think Adobe's starting place with a RAW file is acceptable. If they can improve the profiles, fine, they should, but I'm not any more interested in Adobe's view of the processed image than I am of Nikon's in this case. The point of RAW is to get the captured data - without Nikon or Adobe's take on how that data should be processed.

    I know that most people choose cameras based on the initial view - the preview, which is based on what a JPEG would be. Reviews of cameras tend to be based on the same. But cameras are like consumer speakers - they process the data a lot. Most people don't want accurate cameras any more than they want accurate speakers. I want both captures and my speakers to be as accurate as possible. And one of the things I like about a professional camera is the increased ability to go in and limit the processing the camera does, so that I get the capture I want. I shoot RAW because it gives me access to that data, while, in ACR, more or less ignoring the camera settings. Most don't want that - they would like to have much of the processing done already - not me. I don't want Nikon's capture sharpening, NR, Color Balance, etc. nor the side effects that come with it. The beauty of RAW for me is that if I have done a decent job in taking the picture, I can very quickly render an image that matches what I saw, or wanted to see with my eyes.

    So for me, the choice of camera and workflow has always been about what allowed me to produce a picture that matched what I saw. That is very subjective and perhaps even arbitrary and not very scientific, though I tend to approach most everything as my chemistry and graphic design education would suggest.

    I know there are people who share my interest in an accurate image, as I've read the articles about the tweaks people make to camera settings to yield a more accurate capture, but it's a small minority, to be sure - especially if one takes in the whole range of cameras and the people taking pictures with them. I provide training for consumer occasional shooter to pro and it amazes me how little most pros want to understand about what they are doing, but that is another matter altogether.

    P.S. I said that cameras are like consumer speakers. Most consumer speakers are really whacked in terms of what they do to sound. When I got my first studio monitors (which are designed to be as accurate to the sound supplied to them as possible), it was like hearing my albums for the first time - so much detail and range that I'd never heard before. I now have a set for my computer office, too. I started shooting RAW many years ago, when Kodak first included it as an option for their better P&S cameras and used it through the years with three different P&S cameras, so when I did so with the D300, my first DSLR, it was one of the things that was old hat for me. So many other areas to learn it - and I'm very much in the thick of that learning.
     
  11. Lets just agree that the new presets/profiles are a marked improvement on what was available previously. They satisfy the OP, for me I combine them with other develop settings and have my own preset that suits me. This method works for some others like the results "packaged."
    We all have different views depending on where we stand.
    I can tell you that this has been a long term project involving very experienced PS/ACR engineers and my results have improved markedly.
     
  12. Wileec

    Wileec Guest

    Yeah - I'll have to download those beta profiles and see what they might offer my workflow, as well.
     
  13. Good for you. Get the Profile Editor as well and try creating your own!!
    What is your name mate??
     
  14. I would not bash it until I tried it.
     
  15. Wileec

    Wileec Guest

    Not a camera profile fan . . .

    Yeah - not as interested in that. In general profiles are hyper sensitive to subtle changes in things that influence color - the color cast of a lens - differences in light - both time of day and the kind of light. I shoot in so many different scenarios that it's not too likely a camera profile would be all that useful to me for most images.

    I worked on creating one, based on a script that exists to create one based on shooting a Macbeth chart and it was pretty well useless to that project, though it took about two hours for it get created - on a pretty souped up system. Some had found this script helpful - I didn't - and it was with shot with one of my best lenses and in excellent light.

    Camera profiles have been hammered pretty hard for a number of years. Basic ones are the basis of ACR - but I can't imagine one existing that would really be all that useful for a wide range of lens/lighting scenarios.
     
  16. "Ouch"
    This has become more of a I'm right thread and forgetting about cargasm66 the poster. I think in my very humble opinion that to agree to disagree and let them see what works for them.
    Both present a good argument for the poster to choose from, I just think it's a little to argumentative and agressive for the Café.

    Darrell
     
  17. Wileec

    Wileec Guest

    WW-

    Sorry if the tone of my replies seemed this way. I've been working with color management for some fifteen years, so have a bit of background in this kind of thing. I also work with a wide range of camera users and so pulled from that to make the suggestions I did.

    Beyond that, the discussion was from people who are comfortable working with RAW in a way that makes sense to each - but I suggest in ways that seem beyond the time interest of the initial inquiry. For me, it's not so much about being right. My aim is to understand all options - which is why I suggested I would check into the beta software Adobe has posted. People then chimed in that I should run that direction all the way - without any reason why. Having invested a lot of time in that direction, both in experience and research over the years - it's an idea that sounds better on paper than has worked well for me. Many minds much brighter than mine and with greater resources have pursued this idea, with far less success than they thought should be possible. I'm not saying there isn't a place for camera profiles. As a matter of practice, it's usually in the context of a studio, where camera, lens, and lighting are all dialed in. And in that context a well crafted profile can cut down on processing time. In that context, it's a matter of deciding whether the time to create/test/refine the profile will be saved in the using of it.

    I expressed a willingness to check into things, to see if things have changed - but it's not the nature of a profile to handle well a wide range of scenarios where key elements affecting color are in play. Beyond that - it is a matter of poking into the latest software options and see what comes of it.

    The great thing about digital photography is the opportunity to keep learning. That's why I'm here - hopefully, you, too.
     
  18. cculler

    cculler

    313
    Aug 12, 2008
    Seattle-ish
    Wow! What a lively discussion! LOL.

    Anyway, the reason why I was so interested in these profiles is that they give me a decent starting point. I just shot a wedding, and for the first time, I had 600 images in one batch that needed editing, and I have many other things I'd rather do besides sitting in front of a computer. By loading the profiles, I get the color close to what I want, and then I can edit exposure, fill, etc, as needed, WITHOUT having to worry about editing the colors on every single shot.

    Then again, with all the free time, I just hit the bars with my friends more often, so maybe these profiles AREN'T a better thing for me..... ;) 
     
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