D5100 Raw processing

Started Jun 5, 2011 | Discussions thread
Thomas Comerford Veteran Member • Posts: 9,745
Re: Update - still not solved

MrRoger wrote:

The only work that must be done is the demosaic algorithm. Most people do not alter that anyway, in fact most RAW software does not give you any choices.

The output can be placed in a 16 bit TIFF file without information loss and subsequently processed by any suitable program without the need for updates and drivers.

No, I don't think it's that simple. We're talking about raw data, and if the sensor technology changes, the raw data will change too. Different cameras have different colour response, different dynamic range, different noise characteristics, etc, so the developers need to at least see sample raw data before they can update the software to produce quality raw conversions.

Many RAW files are 16 TIFF files, but with extra information including a jpeg thumbnail and shooting info which allows the image to appear by default as the jpeg would appear.

Most raw files do use the TIFF spec for their structure but the method of storing the raw data varies. But it'll be either 12 or 14 bit data with only one colour per pixel. Asking the camera to produce 16-bit RGB TIFFs for each image would result in over 90MB of image data, which won't get that much smaller when compressed.

Personally I would be happy with the RAW info. Others who prefer ready cooked but want to retain the possibility of getting a bit more resolution or headroom can opt to have a tone curve, white balance, and sharpning applied to the image. In 16 bit TIFF or PNG format it would be ready for use out of camera, but also allow heavy editing like a RAW file does with very little or no additional information loss.

That would eliminate the mess of jpeg+RAW.

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