RAW file size - details - coverage

Started Apr 11, 2012 | Discussions
Ron Zamir Senior Member • Posts: 1,308
RAW file size - details - coverage

I have started to use my new Olympus E-PL1 camera with RAW files.

I was not so pleased with the results in PSE ACR and Lightroom so I have decided to try THE SAME RAW file in Capture One Express and Raw Therapy.

I was shocked to discover that the area covered with Capture One Express and Raw Therapy is larger than ACR and Lightroom - to my astonishment it is like having a wider lens - in all four corners of the image there more details and objects that cannot be seen in ACR! - notice a red car on the right side and a blue boat on the left side - it looks like either from a wider lens or like another file!

I have checked both in Photoshop ACR and Lightroom and the Lens Correction option is turned OFF.
Still kind of a small mystery to me...

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joey_B
joey_B Veteran Member • Posts: 3,080
Re: RAW file size - details - coverage
Peter Szymiczek Regular Member • Posts: 368
Re: RAW file size - details - coverage

RAW images usually contain capture area of the entire sensor, while the intended viewing area is smaller. While capturing the image, both sets of dimensions are recorded with it. From what I have seen so far it is just a few pixels on each side, but your examples show quite substantial difference. The purpose of that is to simplify the conversion from RAW to Jpeg as the edges require different algorithms, as well as to discard the areas with the most quality issues (i.e. vignetting, CA, poor sharpness).

I've seen an utility that was making the full captured image available - simply by copying the tag describing the physical sensor dimensions into the image dimensions field, but I'm not sure if it would cover your camera's format. If I remember correctly it was working with .dng files only.
--
Peter

OP Ron Zamir Senior Member • Posts: 1,308
Re: RAW file size - details - coverage

Peter Szymiczek wrote:

RAW images usually contain capture area of the entire sensor, while the intended viewing area is smaller. While capturing the image, both sets of dimensions are recorded with it. From what I have seen so far it is just a few pixels on each side, but your examples show quite substantial difference. The purpose of that is to simplify the conversion from RAW to Jpeg as the edges require different algorithms, as well as to discard the areas with the most quality issues (i.e. vignetting, CA, poor sharpness).

I've seen an utility that was making the full captured image available - simply by copying the tag describing the physical sensor dimensions into the image dimensions field, but I'm not sure if it would cover your camera's format. If I remember correctly it was working with .dng files only.
--
Peter

If this is the case this a big minus point for Adobe - why one has to work so hard to convert files to DNG and then reopen when other programs (RAW converters) can just read the files!!!

BTW, I have asked Phase One support the same question and they reffered me to ask Adobe...

 Ron Zamir's gear list:Ron Zamir's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-R1 Olympus E-1 Olympus OM-D E-M10
Peter Szymiczek Regular Member • Posts: 368
Re: RAW file size - details - coverage

Don't blame Adobe - blame Olympus: looks like they have decided what is the intended size of the image, the Adobe software has only executed their will. Apparently the other apps have chosen to ignore it.
I wonder what you get when you output Jpegs straight of the camera?
--
Peter

OP Ron Zamir Senior Member • Posts: 1,308
Re: RAW file size - details - coverage

Peter Szymiczek wrote:

Don't blame Adobe - blame Olympus: looks like they have decided what is the intended size of the image, the Adobe software has only executed their will. Apparently the other apps have chosen to ignore it.
I wonder what you get when you output Jpegs straight of the camera?
--
Peter

I am getting the same cropped image. Still fail to understand why Capture One and Raw Therapy can open the whole image...sure to blame Adobe.

BTW, tried the same with old RAW files from my old Olympus E-1 and the same phenomena repeats.

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richardplondon
richardplondon Forum Pro • Posts: 10,973
Re: RAW file size - details - coverage

Ron Zamir wrote:

If this is the case this a big minus point for Adobe -

It's a funny thing: whatever you think about them, in fairness, Adobe really can't win! Recently there was a thread where someone was complaining that the particular aspect ratio set in-camera was NOT being respected in the raw converter. He wanted the image area seen in a Raw conversion to exactly track the varying image shapes and framings seen when he took JPG pictures using the same camera menu options, and didn't think he should have to crop it down to that himself

I expect that is all that LR is doing here, and was failing to do for that other poster. It could be tested by comparing the subject coverage, in each program, from a Raw+JPG pair. If those are the same, then the program is simply doing what the camera - or, better, the camera's user - has told it to do .

Where a camera imposes a particular aspect ratio, by cropping down the complete sensor data, it does so both horizontally and vertically. The full sensor area might not itself be intended for output - perhaps its extreme corners are optically degraded or vignetted in any case. So various (different aspect ratio) images can be output as JPG which avoid using these extreme corners. And the corresponding Raw file includes information to that same effect; and particular software will then either pay attention to that, or not.

It used to be that one aspect ratio was always considered "native" - such as, 4:3 - and all other ratios were trimmed progressively narrower out of that. Some more recent cameras have tended to use "independent" aspect ratio crops so as to make best use of the good quality image circle inside the sensor data - allowing a 16:9 to attain a wider horizontal angle, than a 4:3 does, as a tradeoff against having a smaller vertical angle.

That said, it does seem unfortunate that (for example) Lightroom does not give us an easy way to (if we want, and accepting the consequences) "release" or "ignore" the camera-defined aspect crop and make use of the full sensor data present in the file.

I believe there may (IIRC) be a little issue with DNG conversion, in respect of trimming sensor data considered to be outside the "effective" coverage. However I am no expert on that and don't anyway convert to DNG. I just find it necessary, as a LR user, to always set the in-camera aspect ratio as I want it... even when shooting Raw.

RP

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OP Ron Zamir Senior Member • Posts: 1,308
Re: RAW file size - details - coverage

RP,

i am not a technical person. Let me put it in simple words - if one takes RAW images and there is a program that can see or read the whole are of an image - I expect a program from THE major software company (Adobe) to do the same without being able to mess with DNG - conversions - etc. just to read the whole file!

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richardplondon
richardplondon Forum Pro • Posts: 10,973
Re: RAW file size - details - coverage

Ron Zamir wrote:

RP,

i am not a technical person. Let me put it in simple words - if one takes RAW images and there is a program that can see or read the whole are of an image - I expect a program from THE major software company (Adobe) to do the same without being able to mess with DNG - conversions - etc. just to read the whole file!

Analogy: let's say you had taken an image into Photoshop and cropped it (in a nondestructive way) and then saved it. Then let's say you open the same image file into two different editing programs, A and B. Program A shows you the cropped image the same as it appeared in Photoshop. Program B does not understand Photoshop's crop, and ignores it. So with B you see the "whole" un-cropped image including all the things that you didn't want to see, which made you go to the trouble of cropping the picture in the first place. Program B throws away the careful work you put in before, framing and composing your picture for a particular effect.

In this example, we would probably say that program A (which did respect and use the prior crop) was working properly, and program B (which ignored it) was not working properly.

IMO, when we carefully frame a shot in-camera according to a particular aspect ratio, that has a value - records a creative judgement - which it does makes sense to preserve into our Raw conversion. That's the picture we decided to take, perhaps also that we reviewed in the camera and decided was OK.

It's true that we might wish to sometimes, exceptionally, nondestructively crop a Raw a little larger as well as smaller than the initial presentation; but it's more important IMO that this initial presentation should be seen AS TAKEN.

When we take a JPG we have no opportunity to crop any larger, because there is nothing there beyond the starting image. And we don't consider that to be a fault in the system.

RP

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mistermonday Regular Member • Posts: 416
Re: RAW file size - details - coverage

Ron Zamir wrote:

RP,

i am not a technical person. Let me put it in simple words - if one takes RAW images and there is a program that can see or read the whole are of an image - I expect a program from THE major software company (Adobe) to do the same without being able to mess with DNG - conversions - etc. just to read the whole file!

Ron, the issue has to do with quality and standardization. Your auto tires have a recommended max inflation of X psi; your Intel CPU has a guaranteed clock operating frequency of 3.4GHZ, (and many similar examples). Can they be operated beyond their limits? Very often - yes, but you assume the risks. Camera sensors always have more pixels than the manufacturer recommends as the output (specified as Lenth x Height in pixels). That's because things happen at the edges and results can not be guaranteed to look good. Your camera outputs that fixed standard size. Editing programs such a Photoshop respect the specification.

Other programs will present you with every pixel that they can find - often because it makes the software easier to write. Many HDR applications will use the extra pixels around the perimeter because they can determine if they are bad or good and make use of some of them. But the bottom line is that your camera manufacturer guarantees that you will get what you see in your viewfinder, and that area will fit within the specified output size.That's what you paid for and that's what you should expect. If you want to push or exceed the limits, consider the extra bit you get as a found bonus and not something that others are cheating you out of.

kenw
kenw Veteran Member • Posts: 5,693
This is by design and is correct...

RAW Therapee and C1 are not processing the file correctly and they are giving you edge data that is not intended for final output as well as giving you a more distorted image and the incorrect field of view for the lens.

m43 uses software correction of distortion for their lenses and they have setup an automatic metadata path for RAW files to have the proper distortion correction applied. Your beef isn't with ACR/LR and Adobe - they are doing exactly what they are suppose to do. It is the other converters that are doing it wrong, they are ignoring the metadata in the file.

Think of it this way, the lens and software form the imaging system in an m43 camera - the two work together to give you the best IQ. Adobe is implementing its part of that system. This is similar to how lenses as systems of many lens elements. For many m43 lenses the RAW software is like another lens element. Adobe is providing that, the other converters aren't. Raw Therapee and C1 are effectively removing the last element of your lens - would you take your lens and break of the rear element and shoot with that lens and consider it "correct"?

Now, if you prefer the Raw Therapee or C1 workflow you can make things "right" by using an external software tool to do the lens corrections - PTLens or something like that.

Anyway, the m43 standard and distortion correction is extensively covered in a number of posts in the m43 forum by Andy Westlake who has tested its interactions with camera JPEGs and properly converted RAW files extensively.
--
Ken W
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