Previous page Next page

Software - RAW conversion

Supplied software

Kodak has put a lot more effort into providing a usable RAW converter than many of its competitors, and although it doesn't offer anything like the fine control of something like Adobe Camera Raw, it does at least allow you to tweak exposure, contrast, sharpness, noise reduction and white balance. One neat touch is that once you've made the changes you can save the result as a new RAW file (.kdc format), and go back and tweak the settings in the future as all the original RAW information is still contained in the file. Interestingly, the copy of EasyShare supplied with our review camera wasn't actually able to open the RAW files - we had to download an update from the Kodak.com website.

So then, a far better effort than the likes of Panasonic and Samsung provide with their RAW -capable cameras - in functionality terms at least.

Kodak's EasyShare software has developed over the last few years into a fairly well-specified application offering browsing, printing, sharing and a decent smattering of simple image editing tools. And naturally, it's very easy to use. RAW images appear as thumbnails like any other file.
Double click on a raw file and it opens full screen in the raw developer. The preview image is low res, but there's enough detail to work with. Buttons along the top of the window take you to various editing options; rotate, picture detail, 'one click enhance, scene balance (shadow & highlight exposure), white balance and scene effects.
Selecting the correct white balance is a simple case of clicking on one of the presets, or going 'manual' and choosing your own gray point. As with all corrections the preview image is split vertically, showing 'before and after'.

Scene balance lets you adjust overall exposure, and also has sliders for shadow and highlight levels, plus a 'flare correction' slider (essentially a contrast adjustment).
'Picture detail' has two sliders - noise suppression and sharpness. A small rectangle can be moved around the preview frame, the contents of which are shown at full resolution in the left hand panel.

JPEG & RAW Resolution compared

As the crops below show, the P850 is capturing a little more resolution than the out-of-camera JPEGs would suggest, and that both the in-camera processing and the EasyShare raw converter use a lot of heavy-handed sharpening. The Adobe Camera RAW result shows just how soft the images from the P850 are, when viewed without all that sharpening (though, as is often the case, ACR has managed to eke a little more resolution out of the files too).

Adobe Camera Raw
RAW -> TIFF (Default)
Manual White balance
ACR 3.3

JPEG from camera

EasyShare Raw -> TIFF (Default)
Manual White balance

Studio shot comparison

Looking at our studio shots it's obvious that you can get a little more detail out of raw files than JPEGs, but not using the supplied software (you need Adobe Camera Raw). The reason is simple - the files produced in-camera have fairly heavy noise reduction and sharpening applied. Looking at these shots you can see just how noisy the ISO 400 images are, and just how much detail has been sacrificed to noise reduction. What you don't get with ACR are those lovely 'Kodak' colors, though by playing with the controls you can at least get a cleaner, more natural file - and one that responds well to post-processing.

So, not a lot in it when it comes to detail, but in truth, the real appeal of raw capture for P850 users is that you can alter white balance, exposure and sharpening / noise reduction after the shot has been taken, and that you aren't stuck with the rather 'over the top' image processing.

Adobe Camera Raw, RAW -> TIFF (manual white balance, all other settings default) ACR 3.3 Beta
ISO 50 studio scene 100% crops
EasyShare software , RAW -> TIFF (manual white balance, all other settings default)
ISO 50 studio scene 100% crops
JPEG out of camera, Fine quality setting
ISO 50 studio scene 100% crops
Adobe Camera Raw, RAW -> TIFF (manual white balance, all other settings default) ACR 3.3 Beta
ISO 400 studio scene 100% crops
EasyShare software , RAW -> TIFF (manual white balance, all other settings default)
ISO 50 studio scene 100% crops
JPEG out of camera, Fine quality setting
ISO 400 studio scene 100% crops
Previous page Next page
6
I own it
0
I want it
6
I had it
Discuss in the forums

Comments