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AiDon

[AP Beta 1.5.2.66] - RAW conversions

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Firstly I would like to say that the improvements are really noticeable with faster opening times, not exceeding 20 seconds, even for large images such as 5DsR or X-Trans images. I am not sure if this is simply personal preference or not but I use quite a few RAW processors and find that the AP conversions are a little too saturated and don't have enough brightness in the midtones.

 

Here are comparisons of AP vs C1 with both Canon and FujiFilm RAW images with simple basic conversions, AP on the top and C1 on the bottom where you can see the differences in saturation/vibrance and brightness:

 

 

post-41030-0-64035600-1493772413_thumb.jpg

post-41030-0-42948700-1493772477_thumb.jpg


Win 10 x64 System with Intuos Pen & Touch
 - Sys : Intel® Core™ i7-7700HQ CPU @ 2.80GHz (8 CPUs), 16GB RAM
 - GPU 1: Intel HD Graphics 630, 1GB, OpenGL v4.5
 - GPU 2: NVIDIA GTX1050, 4GB, OpenGL v4.6, OpenCL v1.2

 

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C1 is also far from being the color standard. Better than CR but C1 color profiles are also very far from the original ones laid by the manufacturer. AP by color is very good. But I have pictures in the AP look underexposed.

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Not sure what you are talking about quoting "CR and color profiles being very far from the original ones laid by the manufacturer" as Canon only creates a JPEG in sRGB or AdobeRGB from the RAW image. If you are talking about Picture Styles then they are only for DPP.

 

This is DPP's interpretation which is similar to C1.

post-41030-0-95475600-1493853102_thumb.jpg


Win 10 x64 System with Intuos Pen & Touch
 - Sys : Intel® Core™ i7-7700HQ CPU @ 2.80GHz (8 CPUs), 16GB RAM
 - GPU 1: Intel HD Graphics 630, 1GB, OpenGL v4.5
 - GPU 2: NVIDIA GTX1050, 4GB, OpenGL v4.6, OpenCL v1.2

 

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It means that the output C1 and ACR create are most often not at all what your camera would create if it was set to jpeg. C1 and ACR don't try to clone the look of your camera, they develop the raw how they think it should be developed, and that means it can look different. 

 

Most notably, C1 uses a film-like curve by default that gives the images some extra 'pop' from the get-go, and ACR also has a tone-curve applied that is more meant to normalize the output of all the sensors out there, so they all come out pretty similar in response. In other words, ACR (in 2012+ mode any way) applies a tone curve and leaves the output to be 'neutral'.

 

Both the C1 and ACR method give lower contrast around the levels of well-exposed skintones (let's say around 55% to 65% IRE) why they often seem 'brighter' in the mids.

 

That all being said, AP does little to nothing to make the images 'pleasing' with default values. It's rather bare-bones and straight shooting in the RAW development -> does little to the data so you can tweak it any way you want to. Yes, that means you might have to apply a curve that has a slight s-curve to it. This will will make the image pop a bit more and boost anything from 50% and higher, giving you the brightness in the mids you seem lacking.

 

And if the curve is applied in luminance-only mode (something like LAB mode) that means your brightness increases and gives pop, but the color intensities stay the same. I'm betting that if you brighten that image you see the colors don't seem so saturated anymore. Since they're darker, you see more of the color. If you add white (make it brighter) the color seems less intense.

 

So, you're absolutely right in what you see, but I don't think it's viewed as 'an issue', just a different output by default. And like I said, AP does way less to your files 'by default' then other programs like C1 and ACR do. ACR does a lot to your file that you can't turn off :).

 

Maybe the other way of viewing things is like this: There is no 'one correct way' of developing the RAW data, only multiple ways to do it, and you can choose which you find more pleasing or takes the less work to get to a pleasing result. Most often photographers want the RAW converter to match the camera's JPEG output by default (Since that is what they saw on the display when they took the picture :)) but like I said, there is no one 'correct' way. Your camera is just one way to deal with the sensor data, programs do other stuff with it.

Did you ever took a look at the (Free / opensource) Rawtherapee? It gives you _all_ the options. There are like 6 options to set brightness+contrast in there. Normal programs pick one, but there are multiple ways to do things.

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It means that the output C1 and ACR create are most often not at all what your camera would create if it was set to jpeg. C1 and ACR don't try to clone the look of your camera, they develop the raw how they think it should be developed, and that means it can look different. 

 

Most notably, C1 uses a film-like curve by default that gives the images some extra 'pop' from the get-go, and ACR also has a tone-curve applied that is more meant to normalize the output of all the sensors out there, so they all come out pretty similar in response. In other words, ACR (in 2012+ mode any way) applies a tone curve and leaves the output to be 'neutral'.

 

Both the C1 and ACR method give lower contrast around the levels of well-exposed skintones (let's say around 55% to 65% IRE) why they often seem 'brighter' in the mids.

 

That all being said, AP does little to nothing to make the images 'pleasing' with default values. It's rather bare-bones and straight shooting in the RAW development -> does little to the data so you can tweak it any way you want to. Yes, that means you might have to apply a curve that has a slight s-curve to it. This will will make the image pop a bit more and boost anything from 50% and higher, giving you the brightness in the mids you seem lacking.

 

And if the curve is applied in luminance-only mode (something like LAB mode) that means your brightness increases and gives pop, but the color intensities stay the same. I'm betting that if you brighten that image you see the colors don't seem so saturated anymore. Since they're darker, you see more of the color. If you add white (make it brighter) the color seems less intense.

 

So, you're absolutely right in what you see, but I don't think it's viewed as 'an issue', just a different output by default. And like I said, AP does way less to your files 'by default' then other programs like C1 and ACR do. ACR does a lot to your file that you can't turn off :).

 

Maybe the other way of viewing things is like this: There is no 'one correct way' of developing the RAW data, only multiple ways to do it, and you can choose which you find more pleasing or takes the less work to get to a pleasing result. Most often photographers want the RAW converter to match the camera's JPEG output by default (Since that is what they saw on the display when they took the picture :)) but like I said, there is no one 'correct' way. Your camera is just one way to deal with the sensor data, programs do other stuff with it.

Did you ever took a look at the (Free / opensource) Rawtherapee? It gives you _all_ the options. There are like 6 options to set brightness+contrast in there. Normal programs pick one, but there are multiple ways to do things.

 

Sure I understand what you are saying and as you say there is no 'one correct way' of developing RAW data and I certainly wouldn't expect AP to emulate C1, ACR or even any of the other RAW processors out there on the market ... BUT that said ... it does need to create a more pleasing result and a better starting point as it is presenting itself as a RAW development environment.

 

Also your statement "Most often photographers want the RAW converter to match the camera's JPEG output by default" is way off track as people who use RAW converters usually want to create a different look otherwise you would simply shoot in JPEG. That said a Linear conversion with a brightness adjustment would be more pleasing than the current conversions with AP.

 

All in all it is simply an observation that there needs to be a attempt to produce a more pleasing start if AP wants to be treated as a serious contender in the RAW conversion workspace.

 

Not criticism just observations of a customer :)  


Win 10 x64 System with Intuos Pen & Touch
 - Sys : Intel® Core™ i7-7700HQ CPU @ 2.80GHz (8 CPUs), 16GB RAM
 - GPU 1: Intel HD Graphics 630, 1GB, OpenGL v4.5
 - GPU 2: NVIDIA GTX1050, 4GB, OpenGL v4.6, OpenCL v1.2

 

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I know a lot of people that want to 'start' with the jpeg-output in a RAW editor, and tweak it from there. That is what I meant.

The same with all the (early) x-trans users that just plain liked the jpeg output more but couldn't get ACR to match it closely :). Anyway, it was just a way to explain _what_ was happening, and that it is not a fault _in theory_.

 

But you absolutely have a point that 'more pleasing out of the box' will help, specially when people start comparing raw converters. It's nice that it can produce great results, but if you need a lot of tweaking to get there, people tend to start using other stuff. Specially in the pro world, where the mantra of 'time is money' is simply true. A raw converter that needs 3 sliders tweaked a little bit vs a raw converter that doesn't is very clear in my mind :).

 

I also think the 'pleasing from the start' comes from supporting different camera's and raw files. Some people have been complaining that their raw files start out way too dark and it appears a new (Beta) update fixed it. I believe (as an example) people not thinking the raw development was OK from Olympus OM-D E-M5 mark2 files, but my OM-D E-M10 mark1 files came out great from the start. So it depends on camera body and everything.

 

Maybe make an official 'support' request with a sample raw file from you so they can tweak the default response? Wouldn't be the first time they did that from what I read on the forum.

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