Why can't Adobe and Nikon work to have LR/CC/PS process Nikon color profiles?

Started Oct 24, 2016 | Discussions thread
Simon Garrett Veteran Member • Posts: 5,580
Re: Why can't Adobe and Nikon work to have LR/CC/PS process Nikon color profiles?

Kaj E wrote:

Simon Garrett wrote:

Neila1975 wrote:

Simon Garrett wrote:

Neila1975 wrote:

iainlea wrote:

Subject says it all...

Why can't Adobe/C1/etc. process Nikon NEF images with the in camera specified profile ?

I am interested in a streamlined workflow so why can't Nikon give/licence the part of their View* software code that parses the in camera profile to Adobe and other raw convertor companies?

Nikon! you should be making our lives easier and not adding extra steps to get the most out of your gear.

To be fair to Nikon their software is still superior to Adobe for IQ and colour quality when viewing and part processing NEF's

I would say that's a personal preference and not a fact. There is no single "right" rendering of a raw image. You may prefer Nikon's rendering - perhaps many people do - but I don't think one can say as a matter of objective fact that either Adobe or Nikon is "superior" in quality.

For example, with my D300, Capture NX2 used to over-sharpen at times at default settings, to my judgement. Sometimes I could see ringing artefacts on sharp edges. Adobe Camera Standard profile applied less sharpening by default. However, some people prefered the Nikon sharpening, regarding it as giving a crisper image. I don't think one could say either was "right".

(I say part processing because I prefer the UI of Adobe ACR and its functionality to Nikons rather rigid and user unfriendly inteface!). If I were them, I wouldn't be too happy giving away years of hard work in order for Adobe to become an even stronger player. FWIW I still use CNX2 save to TIFF and finish in ACR/Photoshop.

I find NX2 rather clunky. I have done a lot of tests over the years comparing NX2 and LR. On a very few images the NX2 rendering was more pleasing to me, but for most LR was the same or in some cases better. However, highlight and shadow recovery are (to me) much, much better in LR than NX2 (or NXD).

Again, I'm not claiming to be "right", only that this is a matter of subjective choice.

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Indeed it is a personal preference. That said I would always expect a manufacturer to have the edge when it comes to the rendering of their own designed electronic files as opposed to a software company that has to rely on reverse engineering.

There's not much to reverse engineer. The output from the raw sensor is as easily measured by a third party as by the camera maker.

It is not the poutput from the sensor that is the secret, but the difference in the "colors" ( spectral absorption) of the particular R,G and B color filters of the sensor.They are known and measured by Nikon for their individual sensors and then they develop the appropriate algorithms to process the colors correctly.

I suspect Adobe does not bother to take apart the sensor of each camera and spend time developing the individual color algorithms for them. It seems to me they apply general algorithms applied to all cameras.

I'm sure Adobe don't take the sensor apart, but I rather doubt that would be as useful as measuring the output of the sensor against a colour chart, which is what I'm sure both Adobe and Nikon do.

The "appropriate algorithms" are the same for any RGB Bayer array.  It is the spectral characteristics of the colour filter array that varies, and that's best determined by measurement of the output of the sensor in the camera.

What is secret (i.e. proprietary) are the profiles Nikon apply in camera or in NX-D such as "Standard", "Landscape" etc, but there is no benefit in them keeping that secret.  In fact there's a penalty to Nikon.  If those profiles really are better than anyone else's (which I doubt) then why limit use of those profiles to those using NX-D?  It means the majority of Nikon users, whoc don't use NX-D, won't get the best results.

Perhaps I'm missing something: what possible benefit can Nikon get by keeping this processing "secret", so only those using NX-D get the benefit from it?

I find Nikons software renders the images crisper, cleaner and with more naturally looking colour compared to Adobe rendering, which is why I used NX2 for basic adjustments before I send to ACR/PS for final refinement.

I agree; Nikon applies more sharpening by default than Adobe (on the cameras I've looked at) so the images look "crisper", though at times that results (to my taste) in over sharpening, sometimes with visible ringing on edges.

In answer to the original question, the answer is a business one. It does not make any sense whatsoever to give away secrets that make your own products unique.

What benefit is there to Nikon in keeping that secret? Nikon has no revenue stream that depends on keeping that secret. On the contrary: it has a strong interest in giving those secrets away so Nikon camera users can benefit from a wide range of better software (which is not competing with any Nikon product line) and thus enhance Nikon cameras.

Very simply: Nikon cameras become more valuable if users can get better images more easily. PS/LR are the industry standards for post processing. The easier it is for users to get good results from Nikon cameras using PS/LR, the more value there is in Nikon cameras.

I've seen this before in corporates that keep things secret "just in case", when it would actually benefit them financially by giving them away.

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Kind regards
WSSA member #13
It's about time we started to take photography seriously and treat it as a hobby.- Elliott Erwitt

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