Old 07-26-2011, 05:06 AM   #1
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Default Frustrating Problem with RAW Images

I went out and took some great night exposures of a parked VIA train, and on the camera they turned out great! Right colors, and the right amount of light for each general area of the photo. BUT once they are on the computer, they are significantly darker, the color has drained alot, and the quality has decreased. Picasa immediately darkened the images with no option for undoing its action. I uninstalled it, and installed a program called Total Image Converter. I searched for the folder with my RAW images in it, and they show up like they do on the camera, just the way they should. The preview (and subsequent convertion result) show the shot to be alot darker, once again. I can't seem to pinpoint a visible way around the problem. And for those of you shooting in RAW, what programs do you use to convert it for editing?

Any help is appreciated. I feel that if the problem cannot be fixed, than the shots are a waste.

Bill

As well, if you feel that you may be able to solve the problem, or think that the program you are using (if any) will not cause this problem, let me know and I can send you the original (RAW) and JPEG version through email.
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Old 07-26-2011, 09:39 AM   #2
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I didn't know Picaasa did raw, if you got a CD with a raw converter run them in that first. Look to change them from raw to jpeg as a copy, Save the raws.
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Old 07-26-2011, 10:54 AM   #3
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Old 07-26-2011, 02:57 PM   #4
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I didn't know Picaasa did raw, if you got a CD with a raw converter run them in that first. Look to change them from raw to jpeg as a copy, Save the raws.
I have the RAW files still yes. for the converter's I was using the ones mentioned above. Picasa was recommended to me a little while ago. Couldn't use it for these pictures though.
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Old 07-26-2011, 03:15 PM   #5
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PSE 7.0 opened my RAW files from my XTi, but won't with my 60D. I use DPP to do some initial processing, then convert it so I can finish the processing in Elements. Keep in mind that your images on the camera may be using whatever settings you chose -- brightening, added contrast or saturation -- but when you open it on the computer, it might not be reading all of that. It's still there. It's a digital negative, you just have to bring it back out. Another way to look at it is that it's a perception problem between camera and computer.
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Old 07-26-2011, 03:17 PM   #6
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Did you use the software that came with the camera?
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Old 07-26-2011, 03:24 PM   #7
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The only thing I can say with certainty is that camera LCD screens lie. I would advise making sure the histrogram is right, and pay no attention to the virtual reality that comes from looking at oversaturated bright LCD's at night.

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Old 07-26-2011, 04:04 PM   #8
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Joe - What is DPP? And I didnt do anything with the shot after I took it. When you mention how its a digital negative, and I have to bring the light back out, do you mean like brightening in photoshop? I have done that but the quality decreases greatly since so much lightening is needed. You mentioned as well that the computer could be an issue too... mine is 6 years old now, and isnt the greatest. LCD screen though (apparently that is crucial for viewing such pictures properly?).

Hatchetman - Yes I tried the software. The thumbnail for the RAW image shows it the way the camera screen does, but the preview for its conversion (and the actual conversion result) show the darkened picture.

For editing, I use Elements 6. A friend of mine uses that same program, but the RAW files from his Canon are accepted into PSE with no problems.

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Old 07-26-2011, 04:33 PM   #9
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DPP is the photo processing software that comes with the camera. And you can download the latest version, even if you have an older camera. It will convert the raw file.

BTW, what camera do you have? Whether or not PSE 6 reads your raw files depends on whether your camera is sufficiently newer than the software. So your friend probably simply has an older Canon (or a newer version of PSE, 9 is the latest). The latest, and final, version of Adobe Camera Raw for PSE 6 is Camera Raw 5.5, which supports the Canon 1Ds3, 5D2, 50D, and T1i (500D), and older cameras in each of those product lines. So a free upgrade may help you, may not.

http://www.adobe.com/support/downloa...jsp?ftpID=4580
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Old 07-26-2011, 04:50 PM   #10
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I have the Nikon D3100. Its relatively new I think. My friend has a T2i IIRC. I'll try out the Adobe program. Thanks for the link
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Old 07-26-2011, 05:10 PM   #11
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I have the Nikon D3100. Its relatively new I think. My friend has a T2i IIRC. I'll try out the Adobe program. Thanks for the link
The link shows that the most recent Nikon supported is the D3000, so you will have to upgrade to a newer PSE if you want it to read the raw files coming out of your camera. Otherwise, check out the Nikon equivalent to Canon's DPP.
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Old 07-26-2011, 05:50 PM   #12
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J,

The Nikon software included (View NX2) is pretty simplistic according to DPReview:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond3100/page13.asp

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Old 07-26-2011, 07:34 PM   #13
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If you've got to pay for a RAW converter or a new version of PSE, check out DX Optics Pro, I now use it instead of DPP for my Canon and wouldn't consider going back.
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Old 07-26-2011, 08:14 PM   #14
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I'll take a look at it. I dont know if its in my budget though. If I just shoot in JPEG fine (like I normally do) will the shot just turn out darker from the start for the night exposure? And will it capture the lighting like RAW does? If I can get my hands on a converter (like the one Wizzo mentioned) I'll keep shooting in RAW. Otherwise it might be back to JPEG shooting.

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Old 07-26-2011, 09:29 PM   #15
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Otherwise it might be back to JPEG shooting.
If you go back to JPEG, shoot both JPEG and RAW. You'll thank yourself when you eventually go back to RAW. You might want to consider whether it could the brightness of the screen on the back of the camera. Your shots might be darker than they appear.
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Old 07-26-2011, 10:11 PM   #16
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I'll try that mode, see what it does. I have never changed the brightness at all of the screen, and in the camera's preview (on the screen), the blue of the night sky shows up perfectly, and the whole unit is visible. Whereas when the shot turns out darker on the computer, the unit does not stand out against the sky, and the sky is black.
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Old 07-26-2011, 11:32 PM   #17
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You might want to consider whether it could the brightness of the screen on the back of the camera. Your shots might be darker than they appear.
On the D3100, should be under the setup menu, LCD brightness is +3 to -3.

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond3100/page8.asp

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Old 07-27-2011, 01:11 AM   #18
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On the D3100, should be under the setup menu, LCD brightness is +3 to -3.

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond3100/page8.asp

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Thank you for that tip. They are showing up on the camera like they are on the computer. So I know the pictures are fine. But, the thumbnails still show a brighter picture in the ViewNX 2, and in Total Image Converter. Thats not the true color level the picture is it?

Bill
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Old 07-27-2011, 03:03 AM   #19
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I've noticed the same thing, I always thought my camera had either a really high resolution screen, or it was just the small size.

One thing I may suggest, if your RAW editor has profiles you may need to change the profile.

For example:

I use PSE9, and when photos open, it opens them using Adobe Standard. If I change it to Camera Standard or another Camera Option, it gets brighter.
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Old 07-27-2011, 11:49 AM   #20
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One thing I may suggest, if your RAW editor has profiles you may need to change the profile.

For example:

I use PSE9, and when photos open, it opens them using Adobe Standard. If I change it to Camera Standard or another Camera Option, it gets brighter.
Just a random thought, some image programs do not show proper brightness on thumbnails or "low quality" previews - one of them is the Windows "Preview" program. I use the program if I need to print something off or get a locomotive number out of a photo, but for checking to see how good a shot is, it's virtually useless.

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Old 08-16-2011, 09:58 PM   #21
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What's happening is that the LCD screen on your camera doesn't display the RAW image. Instead, what it displays is essentially a JPEG image processed according to what your camera settings are. So, for instance, if you've set up custom settings in your camera to increase saturation and brightness, that shows up on the LCD, and would be reflected in a JPEG if you were shooting JPEGs. However, those settings have no effect on the RAW image, which is just the RAW data with no "processing". That's why you need the RAW converter and post-processing. Your computer is doing essentially the same thing when it creates the thumbnail images.

As far as RAW support for various cameras in PSE, go to Adobe's website and check in their downloads section. If your version of PSE doesn't already have the RAW converter for your camera, you may be able to find the plug-in there, and they don't charge you to download it if they have one available.

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Old 08-19-2011, 07:17 PM   #22
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Interesting. I've gone back to shooting JPEG, since its easier to edit and I can see the direct results on the camera. Someone had recommended that I use RAW for night/low light images as it takes in the contrast and details of the scenery better. Others said that was false. So I've been shooting in JPEG since the previous post in this thread. Worked out better anyways. Still havent been able to do nightshots though lol
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Old 08-19-2011, 09:20 PM   #23
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Interesting. I've gone back to shooting JPEG, since its easier to edit and I can see the direct results on the camera. Someone had recommended that I use RAW for night/low light images as it takes in the contrast and details of the scenery better. Others said that was false. So I've been shooting in JPEG since the previous post in this thread. Worked out better anyways. Still havent been able to do nightshots though lol
One could argue that JPEGs are easier to edit only because there is so much less you can do with them. Those familiar with film will tell you that the best way to think of RAW vs. JPEG is to think of RAW as the equivalent of the film negative and JPEG as the equivalent of a print. While that's not entirely accurate, it gives you some idea of the difference. Another way to think of it might be to think of RAW as a cabinet full of all the ingredients you need to make cookies, and JPEG as the ready-made Pillsbury cookie dough that you just cut up and bake. Which one gives you more options?

Thinking of it that way helps to explain the issue of night shooting. It's not that RAW takes in the contrast and details "better" than JPEG. RAW is all of the information that was available to your camera sensor during the time that the shutter was open. The JPEG is the processed version of that information based on the in-camera settings - but it's also compressed using an algorithm that "removes" some of the information from the file when the JPEG is saved, and then when you open the JPEG later whatever program you're using has an algorithm to assume what that "missing" information is supposed to be. Thus, when you shoot JPEG only and go to edit that, you're not working with all the data that your camera recorded in the first place - just what remains after it has been processed and condensed into that JPEG file. The advantage to editing the RAW file, whether dealing with a night or day shot, is that you have more data to work with in terms of recovering blown out highlights or underexposed areas in shadow. You also have more flexibility in color correction and white balance correction with RAW than with JPEG. It's more complicated only because there is more that you can do.

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Old 08-21-2011, 04:53 PM   #24
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The RAW file is a 100% unedited file from the camera. The JPEG file has been edited by the camera and that is the difference. The Camera's LCD screen also uses the JPEG version.
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Old 08-22-2011, 10:58 AM   #25
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Quote:
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PSE 7.0 opened my RAW files from my XTi, but won't with my 60D. I use DPP to do some initial processing, then convert it so I can finish the processing in Elements. Keep in mind that your images on the camera may be using whatever settings you chose -- brightening, added contrast or saturation -- but when you open it on the computer, it might not be reading all of that. It's still there. It's a digital negative, you just have to bring it back out. Another way to look at it is that it's a perception problem between camera and computer.
Joe go to Adobe and get a update to elements under RAW for 7.0 it needs updating.
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