Developing α7 RAW images

Started Mar 17, 2014 | Discussions thread
Timothy S Broadley
Timothy S Broadley Senior Member • Posts: 2,328
Re: Developing α7 RAW images

This is always somewhat of a contentious topic:-)  I suppose one of the things to be considered is what is the baseline for compariosn especially when it comes to color and sharpness as there is a great deal of perception that goes into these factors. WRT to baseline, a typical question is why does the RAW image compare to the SOny JPG or why does the converter match the Minolta sense of color? Then there is the factor of what it is the photog thinks he saw in the scene!  Is the concept to replicate what he/she things he saw?

I am always a little reluctant to comment as my taste in image processing is probably not the same as yours.There may be simularities but in general I like things to pop and have a sense of "drama" if you will. Not always possible but that is my taste.

I recently did a shoot on Big Sur but on the second day, the weather was stunning. I had never seen the Pacific that blue. So I shot a lot of Raw & JPG and spent some time comparing IDC with DxO and ACR. I use LR on occasion but mostly Bridge/ACR as I cannot stand LR import process. That is just me and I recognize that.

So using the the JPG whihc was set for for standard and 0,0,0 as I recall, the JPGs had mush more vibracy and Pop as would be expected. I should note that the Sun for the most part was South and when one looked north, that was when you got this magnificent Blue ocen, when shootong back into the sun, then it turned into a silvery blue with obviously much less pop.

So I had two points of comparison, the JPGs and what I think I saw whihc was this glorious blue.

The IDC with certain adjustments to the settings such as really zeroing out sharpness and noise probably came closest. The colors in ACR with the default setting were much more muted; again as might be expected. For DXO, I have a preset for my A99 that zero's out all noise reduction and sharpness but applies the module settings for the camera; in this case the A99. This came closer. With ACR, I also have the sharpness/noise  zero'd out to start.

I know that Sony IDC is clunky, but it has its features that, to me at least, are useful. I really do like DxO because of the optics module and the corrections it makes for my camera body..

What I have found in both ACR and DxO, that the use of the vibrancy and/or clarity add a lot. I also use the HSL panel in both to bring out select colors. When I do that with ACR, I get pretty close but there is still a difference but now it more one of taste.  DXxO gets me alittle bit closer to my two reference points. As noted elsewhere in this thread, ACR is very powerful. I suppose at the moment my go-to is DxO but that changes. I still will use IDC  because of the  digital optimization feature. I should note that with IDC it is important IMO to totally zero outsharpness (all the way to the Left) and turn off noise reduction. Noise reduction in IDC is about useless. There is a thread around here on how to maximize detail in IDC.

If I may be so bold, I strongly recommend "The Digital Negative" by Jeff Schewe. It is really useful on extracting the most from ACR. The basic principles can also be applied to DxO except there one needs to basically make sure to referenece similar sliders.

Just one final comment in summary as I have rambled; i also need to check my thinking when I go "well that is not what I saw so why is this program not giving me that?" I need to clarify what it is that my vsion for that particular image was?

Anyway, apologize for rambling so you all have a good day


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