S3 IS RAW comparision photos

Started Dec 25, 2006 | Discussions
Rotareneg
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S3 IS RAW comparision photos
Dec 25, 2006

I managed to get the RAW hack (from http://digicanon.narod.ru/ ) working on my S3 IS, but after spending some time testing I've decided it isn't worth the hassle most of the time. The only useful differences are that there's more fine detail due to the lack of noise reduction, very dark areas don't get desaturated, and there's no in-camera sharpening. The extra highlight range isn't terribly useful as one or more channels often end up clipped anyway. Anyway, here's two 100% crops, first the original JPEG ( -2 contrast, saturation, and sharpening) with the saturation turned up a bit, no other post-processing:

Next, the RAW image, converted to a 16 bit TIFF with dcraw, contrast and saturation adjusted, and a bit of sharpening applied:

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BravoBrown
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Interesting!
In reply to Rotareneg, Dec 25, 2006

Hi Rotareneg,

Very interesting comparison! I was curious about that Russian hack, but all of my cams have RAW, so nothing needing testing. Your observations pretty much can be said of any RAW/jpg comparison, although I assume the hack is not quite as easily implemented as an already built in RAW mode. The extra detail is quite obvious. Of course, it also shows all the inherent sensor noise, but that can be dealt with specifically afterwards. The extra highlight range in RAW is never a fix all. It just gives a little bit extra headroom. You still have to properly expose for highlights just like for jpgs. That being said, if you still have at least one of the channels with some info, it can be worked with more easily than completely BH in jpg. Don't forget about the ease in changing WB

Thanks for sharing your findings! I'm sure there will be lots of curious folks eager to see this. How difficult was the hack to set up, and how difficult is it to actually access once employed?
Best regards,
Mark

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GaryP
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Re: S3 IS RAW comparision photos
In reply to Rotareneg, Dec 25, 2006

I am surpised by the lack of attention of this post. I think it is a very interesting post.

Please share how difficult it is to take a RAW picture from this hack.

thanks!

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dougorama
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Re: S3 IS RAW comparision photos
In reply to Rotareneg, Dec 25, 2006

The RAW file is easily superior- so much JPEG "smear" in those bricks...

How do you convert to TIFF? Can files be mixed (some JPEGs, some RAWs)? Can it be done on a mac? Are they working on a 640 or G7 hack??
This is significant- the S3 IS is a great cam, save missing RAW.

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indusbreed
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Re: S3 IS RAW comparision photos
In reply to dougorama, Dec 25, 2006

S3is with RAW Droooooooo...l.

Please share some more information about this whole RAW thing.
I would be interested in hacking DIGIC II to get RAW.

If need be, i can be reached via email.

Thanks in advance

SB

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Rotareneg
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Re: S3 IS RAW comparision photos
In reply to GaryP, Dec 25, 2006

It took me several days digging through a thread linked on that site ( http://forum.ixbt.com/topic.cgi?id=20:11661 ) to figure out how to get the hack on to the camera, which required using a hex editor and few other programs I found in that thread. Once it's on the camera you just run the firmware update when you want to switch to RAW+JPEG mode. The raw files can't be loaded directly into an editor, so you've got to convert them, with dcraw for example. When I get off work I'll put a couple of the raw files up somewhere if anyone wants to see what's required to process them into a real photo (it's a lot more work than regular raw files that "proper" raw capable cameras output.)

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Kaplaucius
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Re: S3 IS RAW comparision photos
In reply to Rotareneg, Dec 25, 2006

Very interesting!

On top of the questions from other posters, is it possible to go back to the original frimware if you decide so?
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Lee Jay
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Well, what a big surprise (NOT!)
In reply to Rotareneg, Dec 25, 2006

Rotareneg wrote:

I managed to get the RAW hack (from http://digicanon.narod.ru/ )
working on my S3 IS, but after spending some time testing I've
decided it isn't worth the hassle most of the time.

"So, unlike the dSLRs which have less-accurate exposure, less-agressive white-balance and much more DR latitude because of their larger sensors, I don't think these little P&S cameras would benefit much from RAW."

from: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1010&message=20037290

P.S. I got seriously flamed for that comment by some people, as you can see if you read the rest of the thread and the other threads on the G7 RAW issue, to which I contributed.

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Lee Jay
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Rotareneg
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Re: S3 IS RAW comparision photos
In reply to Kaplaucius, Dec 25, 2006

It doesn't actually change the firmware on the camera. I'm not certain on the specifics, but apparently the normal updates contain the new firmware to flash and a program that actually stores it in the camera. The "firmware" for these raw hacks apparently just loads a program that runs in the cameras RAM: when you turn the camera off it's back to normal.

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Rotareneg
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Re: S3 IS RAW comparision photos
In reply to Rotareneg, Dec 27, 2006

Ok, I put a .zip up on YouSendIt with some unprocessed JPEG and RAW photos, the dcraw program to convert them to something usable, and a folder with the hack and a utility to upload it onto the sd card via the camera if you don't have a real card reader. The jpegs has saturation and contrast at -2, but I accidentally has sharpness at +2 so some are over-sharpened. It's 67 megs, and is good for 100 downloads:

http://download.yousendit.com/104934E73689C751

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Bob Blount
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Re: S3 IS RAW comparision photos
In reply to Rotareneg, Dec 27, 2006

Rotareneg wrote:

I managed to get the RAW hack (from http://digicanon.narod.ru/ )
working on my S3 IS, but after spending some time testing I've
decided it isn't worth the hassle most of the time. The only useful
differences are that there's more fine detail due to the lack of
noise reduction, very dark areas don't get desaturated, and there's
no in-camera sharpening. The extra highlight range isn't terribly
useful as one or more channels often end up clipped anyway. Anyway,
here's two 100% crops, first the original JPEG ( -2 contrast,
saturation, and sharpening) with the saturation turned up a bit, no
other post-processing:

Next, the RAW image, converted to a 16 bit TIFF with dcraw,
contrast and saturation adjusted, and a bit of sharpening applied:

-- hide signature --

This is an excellent easy way to void you warranty! Screwing around with the software on your camera is not for the fain hearted.
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'We don't make a photograph with a camera; we bring to the act of photography all the books we have read, the movies we have seen, the music we have heard and the people we have loved.' Ansel Adams

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Nikon 3100

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XRay_S3
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Re: S3 IS RAW comparision photos
In reply to Rotareneg, Dec 28, 2006

Rotareneg wrote:

Ok, I put a .zip up on YouSendIt with some unprocessed JPEG and RAW
photos, the dcraw program to convert them to something usable, and
a folder with the hack and a utility to upload it onto the sd card
via the camera if you don't have a real card reader. The jpegs has
saturation and contrast at -2, but I accidentally has sharpness at
+2 so some are over-sharpened. It's 67 megs, and is good for 100
downloads:

http://download.yousendit.com/104934E73689C751

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I removed the photos to make it only 500kb
http://download.yousendit.com/4D08D1BA54C0422A

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olafmol
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Re: S3 IS RAW comparision photos
In reply to Rotareneg, Dec 28, 2006

big difference imho, more noise (top of the roof) but also much better detail in the bricks especially

Olaf

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Roger Nordin
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Re: S3 IS RAW comparision photos
In reply to Rotareneg, Dec 28, 2006

Rotareneg wrote:

I managed to get the RAW hack (from http://digicanon.narod.ru/ )
working on my S3 IS

Exciting stuff! Wonder when we can see a Digic III version supporting the G7. grin

Regards,
Roger

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Bruce Burke
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Are you kidding?
In reply to Rotareneg, Dec 28, 2006

There is a huge difference in detail between the two!

The shot processed from RAW didn't loose the building brick detail, nor the tree limb detail!

-Bruce

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Lee Jay
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Re: Are you kidding?
In reply to Bruce Burke, Dec 28, 2006

Bruce Burke wrote:

There is a huge difference in detail between the two!

There's also a huge difference in noise between the two. Is there a higher signal-to-noise ratio in the raw-converted shot? Well, I've played with it in Noiseware community quite a bit, and I have a very hard time getting more detail out of it while also keeping the noise to the same level as the out-of-camera JPEG.

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Lee Jay
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Elwood_98034
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Re: Are you kidding?
In reply to Lee Jay, Dec 28, 2006

I just ran Neat Image over the RAW, and while the detail was better after processing than the in camera jpeg, there was more noise. The less noise - the less detail.

It was a hard image to sample, and I didn't download the noise profile for the S3, which may have made a difference.

It would be interesting to see more examples posted.
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Rotareneg
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Re: Are you kidding?
In reply to Elwood_98034, Dec 28, 2006

Here's another example that was in that .zip. The raw file was converted with dcraw using the -a option to white-balance it and then saved (losslessly) as a 7.75 megabyte PNG to upload on Flickr. The JPEG is the original, no post processing at all, with saturation and contrast at -2, and sharpening accidentally set to +2.

Raw: http://www.flickr.com/photos/inghramjp/336365731/

JPEG: http://www.flickr.com/photos/inghramjp/336365734/

My gallery: http://www.flickr.com/photos/inghramjp

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stephaneonline
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Re: Are you kidding?
In reply to Bruce Burke, Dec 29, 2006

Bruce Burke wrote:

There is a huge difference in detail between the two!

The shot processed from RAW didn't loose the building brick detail,
nor the tree limb detail!

The is also a lot more noise, look at the windows !!!

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Stephane

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Rotareneg
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Re: Are you kidding?
In reply to stephaneonline, Dec 29, 2006

stephaneonline wrote:

The is also a lot more noise, look at the windows !!!

As there should be, I didn't perform any noise reduction on it AND it was sharpened a little. The camera always performs noise reduction on it's JPEGs.

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