Is ACR Not using full 12M of the X10?

Started Jan 2, 2012 | Discussions thread
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AdamJRed
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Is ACR Not using full 12M of the X10?
Jan 2, 2012

With my last post I exclaimed how I did not care for how my RAW images processed in ACR were turning out compared to the OOC JPG from my X10. There were many posters who seemed to agree and a few dissenters, both seemed to provide valid reasons for their respective viewpoints.

My primary problem was from noise reduction and/or sharpening. The noise reduction algorithms in ACR seemed to operate a 'larger' pixel basis thereby wiping away more detail in any attempt to control noise, while the sharpening seemed to be incredibly overpowering - I had to dial down my sharpening routines significantly to using a level of 40 with a radius of 0.9 detail 30 and masking at 60 for my 'first-pass' RAW sharpening.

All of that said I still could not seem to extract the same level of detail from my ISO 1600+ RAWs that I could from the OOC JPG.

(Note: I'm using NR on LOW for the JPG settings)

I spent the holidays happily shooting JPG, and I've certainly come to love the output I get from this camera, the JPGs are not heavily compressed and they allow for more post processing than I could do with from the Canon S95/G12 JPGs (which had significant JPG compression applied OOC). For shots I was worried about WB or dynamic range I pressed the RAW button (that I thought I'd never use) to ensure I had a spare RAW file to use if needed.

After processing those RAW+JPG shots, anything shot under ISO 400 I've found I can get very good detail and in my opinion reach 99% of the same level of fine detail as the OOC JPG. But for those ISO 1600, 2000, 3200 photos the JPGs just have much better detail than anything I can get from the RAW file.

In a few of those I found some fabric that had a definitive high resolution pattern and I noticed that the pattern was nearly absent in the RAW file. I change my processing settings in ACR many different ways and I could get some of the pattern to show with NR reduced to nearly absent levels (while the rest of the photo suffered heavily under noise) but I still couldn't get the level of detail from the 12M L JPG.

As a test I shot some photos of microfiber towels this morning in RAW and then also in 12M JPG and M (6M) JPG. What I notice is that the RAW images processed through ACR can essentially match the M (6M) JPG files for details (and rarely beat it at the very low ISOs) but can never really match the 12M JPGs (especially at the higher ISOs).

When I take into consideration how the NR in ACR seems to be so rough and 'granular' compared to other 10-12M RAW images I have (for example from a Canon G12 and a Nikon V1) combined with my sharpening issues and the seemingly difficult to achieve level of detail - I've come to suspect that ACR is either only processing HALF of the sensor data and upscaling it to 12M OR it is simply not interleaving the 2 sensor halves together prior to the normal ACR processing pipeline.

I'm considering opening a bug report on ACR to see what kind of response I can get, but I'd like to hear from anyone else as well. Thanks!

 AdamJRed's gear list:AdamJRed's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 Lytro Light Field 8GB Fujifilm X-E1 Sony Alpha 7 Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R +5 more
Canon PowerShot G12 Canon PowerShot S95 Fujifilm X10 Nikon 1 V1
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