LX7 RAW Adobe Lightroom fix works

Started Aug 14, 2012 | Discussions
dkojevnikov
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LX7 RAW Adobe Lightroom fix works
Aug 14, 2012

I just tried to do the old trick with modifying the LX7 RAW files to look like LX5 RAW files and it worked.

The quality of RAW converted in Lightroom is much improved comparing to jpegs posted. Even ISO3200 and ISO6400 look pretty good after minimal noise reduction is applied. And I see plenty of dynamic range too. Looks like Sony sensor is pretty good in LX7, maybe even comparable to RX100 but I was not able to do the same trick with RX100 RAW files to compare. Jpeg engine in RX100 is much better than LX7 but it really looks to me that there is nothing more left in RX100 files. LX7 RAW file is so much better than jpeg that I would never use jpeg on that camera. Maybe Panasonic is going to improve it in release firmware.

So in brief, you will need a free Hexedit application which you can doenload from here:
http://www.hexedit.com/

Open LX7 RAW file and replace string -LX7 with string -LX5

Basically, there are two instances of strings "DMC-LX7" which should be replaced with "DMC-LX5" so I chose "-LX7" as a shorter string to search. There is another "LX5" string in RAW file but I decided not to touch it and it worked. If you don't change Hexedit's parameters, it will complain that the file is open in read-only mode, just accept changing it into read-write mode and save the modified file. Then it will be recognized in Lightroom.

LX7 RAW files can be downloaded for example from here:

http://www.photographyblog.com/reviews/panasonic_lumix_dmc_lx7_review/sample_images/
and here:
http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/panasonic-lx7/panasonic-lx7A7.HTM

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Sony RX100
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dkojevnikov
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Re: LX7 RAW Adobe Lightroom fix works
In reply to dkojevnikov, Aug 14, 2012

Just to warm up the appetite, these are original jpeg and RAW converted in Lightroom:

ISO100 jpeg:

ISO100 RAW:

ISO3200 jpeg:

ISO3200 RAW:

ISO6400 jpeg:

ISO6400 RAW:

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etoastw
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Re: LX7 RAW Adobe Lightroom fix works
In reply to dkojevnikov, Aug 15, 2012

Interesting findings -- It'd be good to up the exposure comp a bit to see what's lurking (or not) in the shadows. That's my main problem with the LX2, the shadows are completely smeared, so you can never fix an underexposed area.

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dkojevnikov
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Re: LX7 RAW Adobe Lightroom fix works
In reply to etoastw, Aug 15, 2012

etoastw wrote:

Interesting findings -- It'd be good to up the exposure comp a bit to see what's lurking (or not) in the shadows. That's my main problem with the LX2, the shadows are completely smeared, so you can never fix an underexposed area.

RAWs from LX7 is very flexible, a lot of details in both shadows and lights. In first example there are absolutely no details in clouds in out-of-camera jpeg.

But everything above ISO100 has noise in shadows.

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etoastw
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Re: LX7 RAW Adobe Lightroom fix works
In reply to dkojevnikov, Aug 15, 2012

Sounds promising; noise I can handle. Smearing is another story.

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in_focus
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Re: LX7 RAW Adobe Lightroom fix works
In reply to dkojevnikov, Aug 15, 2012

Talking the appetites, I'm already drooling, LOL.. very inspiring post, thanks ..

All the best,
--
Bruno

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David25
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Re: LX7 RAW Adobe Lightroom fix works
In reply to dkojevnikov, Aug 15, 2012

Many thanks, the colours look much richer in the RAWs, can you tell what processing (if any) you did?

Thanks

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dkojevnikov
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Re: LX7 RAW Adobe Lightroom fix works
In reply to David25, Aug 15, 2012

It is just my preferable simple processing, I like rich photos. To tell the truth, even simple "autolevels" makes LX7 pictures pretty colorful but not colorful enough for my taste.

First I press "autolevels" then move highlight and shadow recovery to their maximum values (or a little less if I see that it is too much, but maximum is my starting point). So I recover all the shadows and all the highlights. Then I increase brightness and contrast to my liking (move them pretty far to the right from standard position). Then I do slight adjustment for darks if darks are too deep. I guess it makes my picture "vibrant" but I like it that way for vacation and leisure photos. Sometimes I have to do a click color if standard or auto-color don't work.

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Ray Sachs
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How does this work, given the different sensor types???
In reply to dkojevnikov, Aug 17, 2012

The results you got look really encouraging, but I'm really surprised this would work by just re-labeling the internal identifier in the files. I used to do the same sort of trick with new Olympus Pen models but they all used IDENTICAL sensors prior to the OMD, so the files were all but identical. But if you switch from a CCD to a CMOS sensor wouldn't that affect the underlying structure of the data? I don't know that much about it and I'm obviously not certain that it would, but I'm just surprised that the raw editing functions from the LX5 would work so seamlessly for the LX7.

Any thoughts?

-Ray
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http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/collections/72157626204295198/

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dkojevnikov
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Re: How does this work, given the different sensor types???
In reply to Ray Sachs, Aug 17, 2012

Ray Sachs wrote:

The results you got look really encouraging, but I'm really surprised this would work by just re-labeling the internal identifier in the files. I used to do the same sort of trick with new Olympus Pen models but they all used IDENTICAL sensors prior to the OMD, so the files were all but identical. But if you switch from a CCD to a CMOS sensor wouldn't that affect the underlying structure of the data? I don't know that much about it and I'm obviously not certain that it would, but I'm just surprised that the raw editing functions from the LX5 would work so seamlessly for the LX7.

Any thoughts?

-Ray
-------------------------
http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/collections/72157626204295198/

It is just a matter of internal data representation in a RAW file. Probably Panasonic is using some generic format. And I don't see why CCD and CMOS need different data structures.

In my examples I performed extreme corrections just to see how much headroom do we have in new RAW files. It looks like they are pretty good. But LX5 was also good enough. I wish I could load RX100's RAW files into Lightroom but unfortunately this trick does not work for them.

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Ray Sachs
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Re: How does this work, given the different sensor types???
In reply to dkojevnikov, Aug 17, 2012

dkojevnikov wrote:

It is just a matter of internal data representation in a RAW file. Probably Panasonic is using some generic format. And I don't see why CCD and CMOS need different data structures.

In my examples I performed extreme corrections just to see how much headroom do we have in new RAW files. It looks like they are pretty good. But LX5 was also good enough. I wish I could load RX100's RAW files into Lightroom but unfortunately this trick does not work for them.

Thanks - I don't understand the sensors well enough to know, but that sounds plausible enough. I guess we'll have to wait until both the RX100 and LX7 are available and raw is supported for both to really get a full picture. I have an RX100 but if the LX7 is good enough at higher ISO I may just switch. I love the sensor performance on the RX100 - kind of amazing really, but the rest of the camera could be a lot better.

-Ray
-------------------------
http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/collections/72157626204295198/

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trevmar
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Re: How does this work, given the different sensor types???
In reply to Ray Sachs, Aug 18, 2012

Sony has a free application for developing ARW RAW, rather like Sillypix. It allows you to switch of NR and adjust everything back to RAW, to get an image you can analyse easily. I also used Irfanview and Faststone viewers, both will convert Sony ARW raw, but much 'more raw' and not as well as with the Sony application.

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dkojevnikov
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Re: How does this work, given the different sensor types???
In reply to trevmar, Aug 18, 2012

trevmar wrote:

Sony has a free application for developing ARW RAW, rather like Sillypix. It allows you to switch of NR and adjust everything back to RAW, to get an image you can analyse easily. I also used Irfanview and Faststone viewers, both will convert Sony ARW raw, but much 'more raw' and not as well as with the Sony application.

That Sony application develops Sony RAW files terribly bad, much worse than jpegs at ISO > =400.

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dkojevnikov
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Re: How does this work, given the different sensor types???
In reply to Ray Sachs, Aug 18, 2012

Ray Sachs wrote:

dkojevnikov wrote:

It is just a matter of internal data representation in a RAW file. Probably Panasonic is using some generic format. And I don't see why CCD and CMOS need different data structures.

In my examples I performed extreme corrections just to see how much headroom do we have in new RAW files. It looks like they are pretty good. But LX5 was also good enough. I wish I could load RX100's RAW files into Lightroom but unfortunately this trick does not work for them.

Thanks - I don't understand the sensors well enough to know, but that sounds plausible enough. I guess we'll have to wait until both the RX100 and LX7 are available and raw is supported for both to really get a full picture. I have an RX100 but if the LX7 is good enough at higher ISO I may just switch. I love the sensor performance on the RX100 - kind of amazing really, but the rest of the camera could be a lot better.

-Ray
-------------------------
http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/collections/72157626204295198/

RX100 sensor is much better than LX7. The strength of LX7 is in its lens (wide angle and brightness). LX7 won't produce better image than RX100 but I think it will be good enough for me.

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etoastw
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Re: How does this work, given the different sensor types???
In reply to Ray Sachs, Aug 20, 2012

You've already got a good answer, but I thought I'd elaborate on it.

Raw files are (to simplify it greatly) more or less a long list of numbers of the reading from every sensor site, with some manufacturer/format specific stuff around them. The concept doesn't change for CCD vs CMOS; both sensor types just output raw numbers, and it's up to something else to interpret them.

One of the differentiators is the colour array on top -- the raw processor needs to know which values were taken behind a red filter, for example. If this is the same between cameras (and it frequently is) or the assignments are embedded in the file (DNG is an example) then between cameras there isn't much of a difference.

Another difference might be the colour response of the sensor/filter array -- e.g. what sort of "red" are the red pixels? This is one of the things that needs to be compensated for, and probably varies more between sensor types. It might just be luck in this instance that the pictures looked okay.

Given it's the same manufacturer, with a clearly similar raw format, it's not that surprising that the raw processing stuff works to at least some degree.

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dkojevnikov
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Re: How does this work, given the different sensor types???
In reply to etoastw, Aug 20, 2012

It might just be luck in this instance that the pictures looked okay.

Given it's the same manufacturer, with a clearly similar raw format, it's not that surprising that the raw processing stuff works to at least some degree.

The interesting thing was that pictures looked marvelous even without all the compensations. Maybe they store some calibration parameters in RAW files so it works fine even for new cameras. I tried the same trick with Sony RX100 and colors were really off.

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etoastw
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Re: How does this work, given the different sensor types???
In reply to dkojevnikov, Aug 20, 2012

It is a possibility; I think DNG stores enough information to make a decent colour-space conversion; perhaps the Panasonic raw format does as well.

(I'm assuming they've improved things since my LX2, they seem to have a different extension now. Their raw format in those days was a wasteful 16 bits per pixel (i.e. 25% zeros), with a short header. Easy to read though...)

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ipribadi
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Re: LX7 RAW Adobe Lightroom fix works
In reply to dkojevnikov, Aug 20, 2012

I use RAW Therapee and have gotten LX7 RW2 files from Imaging Resource.
I'm using on the "still life" shots.

So far, I can confirm it's better than the LX5, about 1/3 of a stop I suppose.

It's as noisy, but the noise pattern is much finer which cleans up better and retains more detail.

LX7 black level is way higher than that of the LX5, specifically the black level of the red and blue channels. Overall colors with RT are still out of whack too.

I then compared the LX7 @ISO800 vs RX100 @ISO3200 downsized to 10MP both converted in RT.

RX100 colors were also out of whack (in somewhat of a similar way to the LX7), but at least detail vs noise wise I can still do a good comparison.

The RX100 retains slightly better detail than the LX7; I estimate both are offset by around 2-1/3 stops, which is more than the LX7's lens is capable to compensate for.

I know the LX7 is using firmware v0.3 but I doubt any changes to the RW2 files.

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Ray Sachs
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Re: LX7 RAW Adobe Lightroom fix works
In reply to ipribadi, Aug 20, 2012

ipribadi wrote:

I use RAW Therapee and have gotten LX7 RW2 files from Imaging Resource.
I'm using on the "still life" shots.

So far, I can confirm it's better than the LX5, about 1/3 of a stop I suppose.

It's as noisy, but the noise pattern is much finer which cleans up better and retains more detail.

LX7 black level is way higher than that of the LX5, specifically the black level of the red and blue channels. Overall colors with RT are still out of whack too.

I then compared the LX7 @ISO800 vs RX100 @ISO3200 downsized to 10MP both converted in RT.

RX100 colors were also out of whack (in somewhat of a similar way to the LX7), but at least detail vs noise wise I can still do a good comparison.

The RX100 retains slightly better detail than the LX7; I estimate both are offset by around 2-1/3 stops, which is more than the LX7's lens is capable to compensate for.

I know the LX7 is using firmware v0.3 but I doubt any changes to the RW2 files.

Thanks. That's really helpful. I'm afraid I'm gonna have to stick with the RX100 for this generation. As much as I'd prefer many many things about the LX7, I'm already incredibly spoiled by the effortless IQ of the RX100 and 2+ stops is a lot.. Particularly for the kind of stuff that I do, where I often use high ISO to keep both the DOF deep and the shutter speed high, so lens speed isn't nearly as useful as sensor performance there.

Maybe next year Panasonic or Fuji or Ricoh will shove this larger sensor into a camera I really like, rather than one I just put up with...

-Ray
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http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/collections/72157626204295198/

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