In-Camera RAW Processing
Old 02-11-2011   #1
shashinka-ichiban
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Question In-Camera RAW Processing

Maybe, I've never had a camera that can do this before. I know none of my Nikon big D's can do this, so why would I want to shoot in RAW (RAF format) in the X100, then process the raw file in camera opposed to using LR or PS? And what would a processed RAW in camera save as TIFF or JPG? If it were JPG, why wouldn't the camera take every image as a RAW, process and save as JPG?
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Old 02-11-2011   #2
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I too am interested in an answer to S I's question. What's with processing the RAW file in camera rather than in PS or LR? Is it for those that don't have RAW processing software?

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Old 02-11-2011   #3
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I shoot NEF out of my Nikons, and RAF out of my Fuji S2 and S5, then just process in Lightroom or Photoshop as time permits, or as dictated by my photo editor. I simply never heard of shooting in RAF, then letting the camera process the RAF file in camera. If by most regards can't trust a camera to process a JPG, then why would I trust it to process a RAF file.
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Old 02-11-2011   #4
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Yeah- I don't get the point of In-Camera RAW processing. If you are trusting the camera to do it for you, in the end isn't it that the same as shooting a jpeg, as the OP points out? And isn't the whole point of shooting RAW so that you can control all the variables to processing yourself? As in, later on, with your large (calibrated?) screen, fast processor, and powerful software? So why would I want to do that in camera, or let the camera do it for me? Are we- or am I- missing something here?
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Old 02-11-2011   #5
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I'm also curious about this issue, because when you opt for the camera to output a jpeg, it certainly must be generated from the RAW, which might not be written to the card, saving just the jpeg. I can only guess that in-camera RAW processing refers to some way of having more control over exactly how the jpeg is generated. And is there an option to save the result as TIFF... I recall there was a TIFF output choice on my wife's old Nikon digicam.
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Old 02-11-2011   #6
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The only thing I can see this being useful for would be if we could have a bunch of presets for RAW processing - kind of like a user set/uploadable film simulation mode - kind of like the presets in LR.

I like to shoot RAW most of the time for the reasons listed above - but if I'm gonna be shooting B&W its nice to see immediately what the light is looking like in B&W - now here you an shoot RAW+Jpeg and set monotone in-cam knowing you'll get the RAW too, but often the in cam B&W is crap compared to what you can get from the RAW after the fact.

For me I could see user preset RAW conversion in cam being really cool but I imagine this is way beyond what is planned - maybe a firmware update or the x200 - best start saving (again)
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Old 02-11-2011   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shashinka-ichiban View Post
Maybe, I've never had a camera that can do this before. I know none of my Nikon big D's can do this, so why would I want to shoot in RAW (RAF format) in the X100, then process the raw file in camera opposed to using LR or PS? And what would a processed RAW in camera save as TIFF or JPG? If it were JPG, why wouldn't the camera take every image as a RAW, process and save as JPG?
I think this is in fact what every digital camera is doing if "not" shooting in raw: it always shoots in raw (that's just the data coming straight from the sensor), stores this info in memory, then it starts working on it (depending on the camera settings), saves in JPG and clears the memory with the raw data.

If you're shooting in raw, it saves the raw data from internal memory as a raw-file to the memorycard without processing it any further.

If you're shooting in raw+jpg mode, it does not discard the raw-data from memory, but saves it as a raw-file along with a jpg.

Stefan.

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Old 02-12-2011   #8
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Talking about RAW post processing, anyone know of anywhere good to learn about the potential of RAW?
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Old 02-12-2011   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gliderbee View Post
I think this is in fact what every digital camera is doing if "not" shooting in raw: it always shoots in raw (that's just the data coming straight from the sensor), stores this info in memory, then it starts working on it (depending on the camera settings), saves in JPG and clears the memory with the raw data.

If you're shooting in raw, it saves the raw data from internal memory as a raw-file to the memorycard without processing it any further.

If you're shooting in raw+jpg mode, it does not discard the raw-data from memory, but saves it as a raw-file along with a jpg.

Stefan.
Exactly right Stefan. I can only think maybe this "in-camera RAW processing" is an option to generate a jpeg for any individual shot you might want in that format on a one-off (or n-off) basis, without setting the camera to output RAW+jpeg for every shot. If so, some (eg press sports photogs) might find it useful to have a jpeg to mail to a picture editor while also having the RAW file to take home, and without cluttering the card with duplicate versions of everything

Just my speculation, of course...
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Old 02-12-2011   #10
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Whatever the reason, the idea of doing RAW editing on the 3 inch monitor on the back of a camera seems silly. These little monitors aren't particularly accurate (you really can't judge exposure or color from just looking at them), so you couldn't really tell about the output, anyway.
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Old 02-12-2011   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _larky View Post
Talking about RAW post processing, anyone know of anywhere good to learn about the potential of RAW?
If it suits your learning style, Reichmann and Schewe have done extensive video tutorials that you can buy from the Luminous Landscape site . I found the "From Camera to Print" series very helpful.
But I'd say the best way is probably to get a RAW processor and try it out. Lightroom is far more intuitive than Photoshop as an image processor, and Aperture is similar I think, and currently available at a very low price from the App Store - if you're on a Mac.

If you're shooting digital it's definitely worth getting familiar with one of these apps, and they're fun to use!
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Old 02-12-2011   #12
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Thanks for that. I've been using Lightroom since release, and I always shoot RAW. It would be good to really understand it's abilities though
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Old 02-12-2011   #13
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Originally Posted by _larky View Post
Thanks for that. I've been using Lightroom since release, and I always shoot RAW. It would be good to really understand it's abilities though
RAW does not have any abilities raw is raw you get picture info complete up to you how you use it ---- if you mess it up you have the raw info to start again ---- if you use camera jpg you have NO CHOICE
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Old 02-12-2011   #14
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If this capability means that I would get to shoot RAW files which I could subsequently develop into JPGs under user control (and try out different variations), I would indeed see some obvious user benefits:

I could avoid having to lug a full-blown, powerful notebook computer, and travel just with a netbook.

Netbooks generally don't have the computing power to run performance-hungry RAW converter software, so if I could shoot RAW files and then do some RAW development in the camera after the shooting session, I could travel light without sacrificing subsequent post-processing options.

The only thing that I wonder about is whether the camera would allow the user to re-load RAW files from the computer to a memory card for a developing session. In this way, one might select promising RAW files, and generate tweaked JPGs e.g. for instant printing, or to mail them home.
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Old 02-12-2011   #15
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I can understated raw conversion in camera if the camera had the firmware or software in place to let me change the WB or other options on the LCD, but it sounds like Fuji is just going to let you look at the playback mode, pick a pictures, hit Fn, and suddenly the image is processed so I don't see any way to actually modify anything in the playback mode of raw images to make this of any value. I mean yeah it could save a RF file to TIF, but hell, all my Nikon dSLR write TIF, in fact I spent many years writing my images to TIF before going over to NEF just becasue I knew if I got on a foreign computer, or back to the office on a PC that did not have the ability to read NEF files, my arse wasn't in a sling. Still if all raw processing is, jsut re-saving the file from RAF to TIF, just let us have TIF as a save option to begin with rather than waste space for TIF and RAF. RAF files must be the only format I have ever encountered that saves larger than a TIF (or any other raw file format)
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Old 02-12-2011   #16
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SI, have you taken a look at this link? Aparently, it's in Japanese, and it offers a look into the camera's menu system.

I managed to get a rough idea about the menu's functions using Google Translate, but maybe you will be able to understand this better.

Scroll down to the set of menu pictures that have the Google Translate title 'The contents of the playback menu (example)'. The first picture below the title seems to be about RAW development - maybe you can help us to make sense of this ...
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Old 02-12-2011   #17
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The only reason I could see for it to be useful would be if you were using an Eye-Fi wireless SD card, and wanted to transmit specific .jpg files directly to Flickr or Facebook that way, without bringing a laptop / netbook with you wherever you happened to be. Of course, you'd need wi-fi!

But in theory, that could work - just convert the file(s) you want to send, and once they're .jpgs they get uploaded...
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Old 02-12-2011   #18
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I imagine it is similar to the raw development on the Pentax K5 I just got. You can change jpeg resolution, white balance, ISO (changing exposure), noise reduction, highlight and shadow correction, lens distortion, colour space and format (tiff or jpeg).

In other words, a simple in camera raw developer for those rare times you do need an output quickly. Perhaps on holiday where you don't have your processor with you but do have a jpeg viewer.
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Old 02-12-2011   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjay View Post
SI, have you taken a look at this link? Aparently, it's in Japanese, and it offers a look into the camera's menu system.

I managed to get a rough idea about the menu's functions using Google Translate, but maybe you will be able to understand this better.

Scroll down to the set of menu pictures that have the Google Translate title 'The contents of the playback menu (example)'. The first picture below the title seems to be about RAW development - maybe you can help us to make sense of this ...
I'll have to take a look at it later on. I think I have skimmed it once before but I do not recall it having had much information that was really useful. I spend more time in the states than Japan now and I've become a bit sloppy with my reading of kanji over the years much to my embarrassment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JSU View Post
If you shoot one of the Nikon D3 cameras with dual CF slots, you can configure the camera to write RAW (NEF) files to one card and an in-camera processed jpeg to another card. You can have your cake and eat it too if you have a pressing need for a quick jpeg and still maintain a separate set of RAW files. Many cameras allow you to write both a RAW & jpeg as the image is shot, but this fills a card quicker than either just a RAW file or just a jpeg.
I never use the cards this way in my Nikons. I just use card two as overflow in case I run out of space on card one while shooting that way I do not need to pop out cards. I sorta got bit in the arse early on with the D3 a few years back and decided it was not worth risking again. The D3 and D3s does not have in-camera processing of RAWs like the Fuji is claiming or we are all assume it has.
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Old 03-13-2011   #20
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I will resurrect this thread and weigh in with the hope that it does not digress into a "RAW only" litany.

I extensively PP in-camera on my Nikon D90. I have an Eye-Fi card and directly upload my photos to Picasa for storage. I always shoot RAW+Fine. Some photos I upload as jpegs. Some I transfer as RAW to my computer, PP in Lightroom and save the RAW file. Many I process in-camera and then upload to Picasa via Eye-Fi. It cuts out the desktop and my D90 outputs some very nice photos when I process RAW in camera.

When doing in-camera processing, it is mostly adjusting WB on a Kelvin scale to taste and cropping. I will also +/- exposure, convert to monochrome and adjust the colour or contrast at times. But, mostly it is WB of lowlight indoor photos and cropping. It takes a photo which I like and only requires a minor tweak and gets it to where I need it. And it cuts out the desktop, speeding up workflow. I am doing this for individual photos. If I want to batch process a set, I'll just load in to Lightroom.

Each process has its place. There is not a right or wrong method. Ask some pro photogs who only ever shot OOC jpegs. I am not a pro and do not see every photograph I take as worth of my time in Lightroom, no matter how short.

Someone commented that the LCD screen on the back of camera is not appropriate. Yes and No. I do not fully agree. I can calibrate my desktop monitor, compare against prints for accuracy and then go back to my D90 lcd and adjust it until I get a close match. It's not perfect but it's pretty good. I know my tool and can mentally adjust for what I know are its deficits.

This allows me the confidence to know what I process in-camera will print or appear on the web the way I wish.

Again, for me the main value is cropping and adjusting WB, with other options also being used. It's not the place foe detailed PP work but it does have its place. There is nothing like taking a photograph I like, doing a few in-camera conversions of it, protecting it (which automatically uploads to Picasa) and sorting/culling online. No desktop. For special photographs, I save the RAW online and to desktop to PP now and in the future.

The X100 has a number more in-camera PP options than the D90, so I'm looking forward to trying it out. For those who keep an open mind, they may also find a place for it in their workflow.
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Old 03-14-2011   #21
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Quash, your post is somewhat confusing to me.

I am also a Nikon DSLR user (I have a D300), but I cannot recall seeing a comparable RAW-to-JPG conversion function in that camera. Yes, I can set image parameters for JPG file creation, but all these parameters are executed directly when shooting the pictures.

However, I would be very surprised if Nikon were to offer an in-camera RAW-to-JPG conversion function that could be applied to RAW files after shooting to create customized JPG copies of the original RAW files.

If I wanted to create modified copies of my existing RAW files, I would always have to perform this task in a subsequent work session on my computer, but not on my D300.

Is there something I have missed or misunderstood?

I think the capability of processing RAW files after the fact on the Fuji X100 is rather unique, and I have never seen a comparable feature in any other camera.
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Old 03-14-2011   #22
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The only thing I can see this being useful for would be if we could have a bunch of presets for RAW processing - kind of like a user set/uploadable film simulation mode - kind of like the presets in LR.

...
First let me say that I agree with all who say that PP in LR or PS (etc) will probably be better than the in-camera RAW > JPG conversion.

That said, let me tell you about the in-camera RAW > JPG conversion in the Pentax K20D. You can save an image file as RAW, RAW + JPG, or just JPG (discards the RAW file). For JPG, the camera offers six basic presets: Bright, Natural, Portrait, Landscape, Vibrant, and Monochrome. Within each of the first five, you can then refine the setting for the Saturation, Hue, Contrast, Sharpness and Fine Sharpness on a nine-point scale. For Monochrome of course there is no setting for saturation, but this is replaced with preset "Filters" that imitate the classic B&W filters: Green, Yellow, Orange, Red, Magenta, Blue, Cyan and Infra-red. So you see that there is an very extensive range of fine-tuning available to make your JPG files look just like you want, in camera.

Of course, this means you could spend a lot of time fiddling with settings, chasing a look, when you should be chasing decisive moments! To help with the setting up, the camera allows you to make another in-camera conversion from RAW to JPG after you've taken the photo, so you see the the effect of each of the JPG presets (and the various fine adjustments) on the same original RAW image file. You can save the conversion as a new JPG file, and you can do this with as many different combinations of settings as you like. For each new JPG (from RAW) you can also change the white balance, image pixel dimensions and compression, ISO (within limits), colour space and degree of noise reduction.

So you see that you actually have a very powerful RAW > JPG conversion program built in to the camera, albeit one with a very tiny monitor!

Why bother? I'd prefer to use Lightroom, but I'll admit that the in-camera conversion actually does a pretty good job, and when I'm shooting for later B&W conversion, it's nice to have the camera show me a low-contrast mono version of the file for feedback. Sometimes the in-camera JPG file is good enough (and I save all JPGs at the highest-quality settings with no compression).

Here's one from last Saturday - a "found" still-life. The first is straight from the camera; the second has had a slight adjustment to the tones and brightness (in Lightroom).


_IMG3589 by Another Chris, on Flickr


_IMG3589-2 by Another Chris, on Flickr

For in-camera conversions to mono, I think these are pretty good, and my own conversion from RAW in LR is little if any better. Those with more PP skills will do much better of course. These aren't tools you have to have in camera, or have to use all the time, but sometimes, and in some situations, they help.
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Old 03-14-2011   #23
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Hi Arjay,
Yes, the D90 has in-camera RAW to JPEG conversion after you take shots. And it works very well. Its's called "NEF (RAW) Processing.". Options are:

-Image Quality (Fine, Norm, Basic)
-Image Size (L,M,S)
-White Balance (all standard WB settings plus Kelvin scale) *
-Exposure Comp (+3/i3) *
-Set Picture Control (select any standard or customized picture control, which means all your customized tweaks can be used) *

* = watch image channge as you cycle through options but before you save to jpeg

Then, you can take the saved jpeg and crop, straighten, distortion control, etc.

Then, I protect file and Eye-Fi sends it to my computer or to any number of sites I want.

I read somewhere that working pros (I assume mostly journalists amd other pros on deadlines AND who remotely transfer pics quickly) were interested in this ability. Nikon D3s has it.
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Old 03-15-2011   #24
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Thanks Quash, that was news to me.
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