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Non-destructive RAW development (all RAW adjustments in separate sidecar file)

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On 3/1/2020 at 10:48 PM, peanutbutter said:

I'm fairly new to AP. I would love to see some non-destructive raw development, too. It would be great to be able to go back to make changes.

When it comes to the rendering quality, could you kindly expand on your argument? Maybe share those pictures. Where are the differences? Is this noticable in amateur editing, too?

I posted the picture in some other forums already, just follow the link below. You'll see the Affinity render vs the Capture NX-D render.


 

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On 3/3/2020 at 1:15 AM, Jowday said:

Hi @peanutbutter

All of these RAW converters and Affinity Photo are available in trial editions - I suggest you shoot some RAW images that represent the type of images you care about and make some tests. Seeing is believing.

DxO Photolab, Capture One Pro and Photoshop are the top contenders. They do not simple "convert" RAW data to an image from a common equation or algorithm. They intepret and render the image data using own algorithms and aesthetic goals. 

Results are very different. I have licenses for all of them and I have converted tens of thousands of RAW images from Nikon, Canon, Fuji, Sony and Olympus cameras using them all.

  • Capture One has the most beautiful and organic rendering. Many prefer it - but it is expensive. Results are close to Fujifilm rendering of details, surfaces, lines and curves. With a Sony or Fujifilm camera you can download a feature limited - but with same awesome rendering - version called Capture One Express. Highly recommended. Great highlight and shadow recovery and natural clarity enhancement. Rather good noise reduction. Interesting colour manipulation tools.
  • Photoshop (as possibly Photoshop Elements) has the most clinical, neutral rendering. Mostly for studio photographers I presume. It aims at resolving as many details as possible resulting in boring, digital images. It is feature rich though with several state of the art algorithms though so you can easily adjust and enhance the image. Outstanding highlight and shadow recovery plus texture, clarity and dehaze enhancement features. Often also supports camera colour profiles (portrait, standard, vivid fx) also for Fujifilm cameras. Okay noise reduction.
  • DxO Photolab lies in between the two. It has outstanding support for cameras and lenses. It is almost like an upgrade of your camera when it is best. Affordable too. Has industry leading noise reduction (PRIME) for noisy very images. Has partly organic rendering, partly detail oriented. Great highlight and shadow recovery plus clarity and dehaze enhancement features. Also U-point technology from NIK plugins for local editing.
  • Affinity Photo falls behind everything above. Especially in resolving details. Rendering is dull with far less details or clarity and colors are dull as well. Photography is about the dynamics of light, contours and shadows - and they are badly rendered in Affinity Photo. Flat. Highlight and shadow recovery is the worst I have ever seen and none of the features have any positive characteristics worth mentioning. On top of it when you press develop it takes forever to process the image. Image rendering of Windows version is the worst - it is based on an open source component. Mac version utilizes some built in OSX libraries and results should be better. But the RAW module in Photo still lies on top of those libraries. Once you are in the main program though Photo is an okay program - minus highlight and shadow recovery.

I have a feeling Photo is build on many open source components - and it shows in the RAW development module. 

You could also try open source RAW converters - there are quite a few. But please check out at least DxO Photolab. You will save hours and hours of trial and error and get consistent excellent results. Well worth the money.

If there is a RAW converter from your camera manufacturer available also give it a try. It mimics the rendering of the camera - often a little slower - but delivers same results. User interface is rarely great but image output is.

But... RAW is not for everyone. Many good JPGs can be improved with good results. YMMV.

🙂

 

Wow, thank you for that comprehensive answer! I looked into Dx0 and it looks very promising especially when it comes to sharpening. However, it is kinda expensive for my use now. I think I will try this workflow: do basic raw development and sharpening with the free capture one then head over to AP for local adjustments and manipulations (where needed).Thanks again!

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1 minute ago, peanutbutter said:

Wow, thank you for that comprehensive answer! I looked into Dx0 and it looks very promising especially when it comes to sharpening. However, it is kinda expensive for my use now. I think I will try this workflow: do basic raw development and sharpening with the free capture one then head over to AP for local adjustments and manipulations (where needed).Thanks again!

Why not just using NX-D?. You easy can correct the basic things, you can set some u-points and direct set the tiff into Affinity.
I also have bought DXO as part of Nik Tools, but I don't use it. I just needed some less load of pc performance for RAW, and I'd really like the raw conversion from Nikon.


 

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19 minutes ago, peanutbutter said:

Wow, thank you for that comprehensive answer! I looked into Dx0 and it looks very promising especially when it comes to sharpening. However, it is kinda expensive for my use now. I think I will try this workflow: do basic raw development and sharpening with the free capture one then head over to AP for local adjustments and manipulations (where needed).Thanks again!

DxO is discounted from time to time. Capture One whatever edition is awesome so you are fine as of now. Focus on taking great images. 

Happy to help 😉


I gave up using Designer for hobby use - a "professional" vector drawing program without actual vector features. Customers waiting for five years in vain is more than any company can ask for.

Maybe if Affinity Designer 2.0 gets real and advanced vector features I can it use. Until then... I am a customer, a potential upgrader and an active observer with an opinion. Currently I am slowly finishing a project I started in Designer.

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11 minutes ago, WMax70 said:


I also have bought DXO as part of Nik Tools, but I don't use it.

Then you have the Essential version. I would not use it ether. It's in the Elite version all the good stuff  are.

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4 minutes ago, Jon1 said:

Then you have the Essential version. I would not use it ether. It's in the Elite version all the good stuff  are.

That's true. But would that affect the RAW quality or the editing options. 
I edit in Affinity. I guess, just for RAW elite is enough.

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4 hours ago, Old Bruce said:

 I doubt I could find a new camera which is bad.

Almost. I did.

The hunt for technical sharpness means that some cameras oversharpen by default and because of removed AA filters. Consumer grade cameras. To please reviews based on measurements. Reviews performed by "independent" reviewers illustrated by charts, tables and uninspired test photos. Seriously, it takes a year to understand a lens properly if you are a good photographer. Some day in the future you just feel it... understand its limit and strengths. And from then images shine. Comments from some YouTuber or self-proclaimed reviewer are mostly useless.

I purchased one for my daughter believing the reviews - many! I couldn't believe the output. Branches on trees have JAGGED edges with neutral or low sharpness settings. In RAW converters I HAVE to zero all sharpness to get rid of the jagged edges and after ANY type of sharpening they will reappear. Only Capture One Pro render most edges smoothly. The reason why I love it for use with all cameras. The RENDERING of details, surfaces and edges. DxO does its best, but still.... nah.

I gave her a better camera and kept it for own use. Sensor and JPGs suck but with a RAW converter I can apply ZERO sharpening and enhance micro contrast, textures and reduce noise. So I have to develop all RAW files manually... the previous generation of same camera brand made much more organic and pleasing images. I purchased a cheap Chinese lens and use the weakness of both to produce... interesting images. Film like. So I used the flaws creatively. I really enjoy USING the camera. 

The camera is awesome besides that. But almost ruined for anything else than vacation snaps because of massive (!) oversharpening from firmware and the filterless sensor. Still, all other cameras I have purchased and used (MANY) are awesome!

The hunt for sharpness among amateurs is worrying though. It is depressing when the camera itself is manipulated beyond repair to please the Internet.

 

 


I gave up using Designer for hobby use - a "professional" vector drawing program without actual vector features. Customers waiting for five years in vain is more than any company can ask for.

Maybe if Affinity Designer 2.0 gets real and advanced vector features I can it use. Until then... I am a customer, a potential upgrader and an active observer with an opinion. Currently I am slowly finishing a project I started in Designer.

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4 minutes ago, WMax70 said:

That's true. But would that affect the RAW quality or the editing options.

In my opinion yes. DxO is known for it's fantastic PRIME noise reduction. No one out there is even close to it. For high iso - noisy images it can just do miracle. There's been lots of threads in the Dpreview/Retouching forum about this.

And there is the Clear View Plus , almost similar to dehaze function , but DxO has just taken it  a step further.

Here is a list of what's differ the two versions :

 

 

 

2020-03-05_233239.png

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Posted (edited)

So whats the situation like at the moment?  Are we going to see improvements in RAW (batch) processing ? I think not being able to edit multiple RAW Files at once is a dealbreaker for me. I know Affinity Photo is not really a Lightroom alternative, but it certainly could be! Or maybe there will be an Affinity RAW application or something like that?

Edited by leochras

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