No more dots!

Started Jan 8, 2009 | Discussions
RicksAstro
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No more dots!
Jan 8, 2009

Just upgraded the firmware and ran a series of tests (similar to previous ones with Christmas tree lights). I was easily able to duplicate the issue using extreme underexposure around the lights, and with the new firmware, I'm happy to report that I cannot find even a single black dot.

I ran the raw files through DCRAW using document mode (not demosaiced) and examined the area around the lights to look for any anomalies (pixels below the black threshold) in my astronomy image processing software (MaximDL) which shows pixel statistics for selected areas. There were none to be found, whereas in previous tests, there were hundreds.

I also looked for signs of obvious "patching" of black areas, possibly where color data would have been wiped out on the right side or some kind of smearing. I could find none. The bayer mosaic looked symmetrical around the light.

Of course, the JPGs also show no black dots either.

I've taken about 10 pics with a wide swing of conditions. I'll try some more this evening, but I'm confident this already small issue is resolved. If I find otherwise, I'll post here.

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Jaimito
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Re: No more dots!
In reply to RicksAstro, Jan 8, 2009

nice to hear. sounds like you had quite a few shots with dots before.

Care to post sample before and after pics here? Similar situations will do, doesnt have to identical.

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desmo101
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Re: No more dots!
In reply to RicksAstro, Jan 8, 2009

awesome
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guitarist
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Re: No more dots!
In reply to RicksAstro, Jan 8, 2009

good news
and that was very kind of you to post these results right away...

I have not loaded the FW yet..
but I could NOT find dots...

but maybe didn't have te same conditions..

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curious about any banding improvements RAW AND sRAW1 (was that the one?)

THANKS again for the thoughtful post for a lot of folks

TOM

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Rowan Castle
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Re: No more dots!
In reply to guitarist, Jan 8, 2009

That is really good to hear! Thanks for letting us know.

I'm not as up to speed on some of the technical stuff regarding RAW, so I wondered if you could tell me if your post means that in your opinion there is no other degradation to the image following the fix? i.e. was it a true software fix or a software 'patch' to mask a hardware issue?

I was just concerned and surprised to see Canons choice of words about 'improving and mitigating' the black dot problem? Thanks!
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submagination
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Re: No more dots!
In reply to Rowan Castle, Jan 8, 2009

Rowan Castle wrote:

I was just concerned and surprised to see Canons choice of words
about 'improving and mitigating' the black dot problem? Thanks!

I assume that it's one of those things where they're aware of some really esoteric edge cases where this might pop up and just wanted to CYA.

If they said it was 100% resolved and someone somewhere got some black dots then everyone would flip the F out. This way, if it does pop up in an exceptionally rare circumstance, it's not the end of the world - especially if 99.9% of people see immediate improvements.
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Karma Traveler
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Re: No more dots!
In reply to RicksAstro, Jan 8, 2009

RicksAstro wrote:

I ran the raw files through DCRAW using document mode (not
demosaiced) and examined the area around the lights to look for any
anomalies (pixels below the black threshold) in my astronomy image
processing software (MaximDL) which shows pixel statistics for
selected areas. There were none to be found, whereas in previous
tests, there were hundreds.

I also looked for signs of obvious "patching" of black areas,
possibly where color data would have been wiped out on the right side
or some kind of smearing. I could find none.

Your initial findings sound very encouraging! I sure hope it holds up to more exhaustive tests.

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DaveWC
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Re: No more dots!
In reply to RicksAstro, Jan 8, 2009

If you've got ACR or LR could you try bringing some RAW files in & see how they look?

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RicksAstro
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Example...
In reply to RicksAstro, Jan 8, 2009

Here's an example with the new firmware:
1/25s
f8
ISO3200
15mm fisheye (wicked sharp with little flare at the center)
RAW Processed in DCRAW undemosaiced (dcraw.exe -v -D -4 -T)

Stretched to show the issue in CS3 (black point set just above the lowest points)
upsized 200%

Took the xmas tree down, so I had to dig out the lights

Here's one from 12/8 I took...ISO3200, similar conditions, 24mm at f8 (but from farther away), similar processing. Black dots obvious.

I took a series tonight with the 15mm and the 24-105, closer and farther and through about 6 stops of range and I did not find a single issue with a black dot.

I know this is pixel peeping to the extreme, but I am an avid astrophotographer, and I stretch the heck out of images so I was a little concerned about it, although with the PS actions, the effects were quite minimal.

I've convinced myself that it's fixed.

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Taikonaut
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Re: Example...
In reply to RicksAstro, Jan 8, 2009

Do you know it is unlucky to put decorations back up immediately after taken it down?

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cyrano
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Re: Example...
In reply to RicksAstro, Jan 8, 2009

Thanks for the careful work!

Do you know if this firmware change could break Photoshop or Lightroom's ability to handle the RAW files?

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guitarist
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Re: Example...
In reply to cyrano, Jan 8, 2009

this is why I am waiting... since there is no way to 'go back' while waiting for LR to update....

I dont know the answer... but know that is a GOOD QUESTION

TOM

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RicksAstro
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Re: Example...
In reply to cyrano, Jan 8, 2009

cyrano wrote:

Thanks for the careful work!

Do you know if this firmware change could break Photoshop or
Lightroom's ability to handle the RAW files?

I ran it through both unupdated DCRAW and through Adobe's DNG converter then ACR in CS3 and all looked fine. I don't think they changed the RAW format (at least not full raw).

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RedFox88
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what about through ACR?
In reply to RicksAstro, Jan 8, 2009

Their statement about updating DPP too makes me think their "fix" is just a clever auto clone/heal with DPP and not a real fix of the RAW data fille.

What happens when you process a 5D2 shot with the new firmware with ACR?

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RicksAstro
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Re: No more dots!
In reply to DaveWC, Jan 8, 2009

DaveWC wrote:

If you've got ACR or LR could you try bringing some RAW files in &
see how they look?

Don't have LR and have CS3 only, but I did run it through the DNG converter and then ACR and the files looked fine, much as they did before.

They don't seem to have changed the format of full raw at least.

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RicksAstro
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Re: what about through ACR?
In reply to RedFox88, Jan 8, 2009

Actually, my entire OP was talking about RAW files basically unprocessed (in DCRAW), not even demosaiced!

Yours was my original fear as well (and I posted earlier today here), but I'm happy to report the issue is fixed in the raw data.

In the firmware docs, Canon gives the reason for the DPP update :

"If the existing software applications are used to display sRAW1 and sRAW2 images that were captured by a camera with Firmware Version 1.0.7, dark, low-contrast areas in the images may appear slightly magenta. If the updated software applications are used to display sRAW1 and sRAW2 images, the color of the images will appear normal, regardless of the camera firmware version."

So it looks like that need is unrelated to the black dot fix.

Rick

RedFox88 wrote:

Their statement about updating DPP too makes me think their "fix" is
just a clever auto clone/heal with DPP and not a real fix of the RAW
data fille.

What happens when you process a 5D2 shot with the new firmware with ACR?

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FashionBoy
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Re: what about through ACR?
In reply to RicksAstro, Jan 8, 2009

Thank you so much for your tests, Rick!

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shaktipalooza
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this could be a disaster
In reply to RicksAstro, Jan 8, 2009

people running out of things to complain about.

they may be forced to go take some pictures.

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Rowan Castle
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Re: what about through ACR?
In reply to FashionBoy, Jan 8, 2009

Yes, thanks again! Bravo! I would like to upgrade to this camera but the black dots were putting me off.

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Duane DeSieno
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Re: this could be a disaster
In reply to shaktipalooza, Jan 8, 2009

DARN!!! Now I can only get them by over-sharpening!

Duane

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