Image viewer for Mac

Started Feb 6, 2020 | Questions
UncoyDP
UncoyDP Forum Member • Posts: 65
Improve the lives of sports photographers instead
1

Iliah Borg wrote:

We would be happy to implement this feature but we have no means to check that we interpret the information correctly.

I'm sorry Iliah, but your answer comes across as excuses and weasel words.

  • Should I send you a Canon or Nikon camera against which you could check those focus points?
  • Are you unable to run Canon's DPP (which also shows focus points) on your computers?
  • In the worst case, you could install a copy of ApolloOne and see how and where Albert shows the focus points you've spent five years ignoring.

You have no idea how much it would have helped my development as a sports photographer if you'd just put in focus points in a timely way.

FastRawViewer still wins over ApolloOne on speed (Albert, it probably makes sense to cache everything as ApolloOne has no developer functionality: photographers are working on four to twelve core machines so there's lots of latent processing power which could be deployed in the background at no cost to responsiveness in the active application window) in but otherwise is behind on every major front:

  1. focus points
  2. metadata filtering (allows one to mine the maker data very well)
  3. interface (better layout and workflow)
  4. design (more attractive)

If you won't support users with advanced functionality – mainly because you personally could care less about focus points as you are not a sports or action photographer – it's time for most Mac users to move on from FastRawViewer and over to ApolloOne.

I'm withdrawing my buy recommendation above from FastRawViewer. Photographers should just go straight to ApolloOne as we can't hope for significant improvement from FastRawViewer. When I get a moment I'll go back through some of my other public recommendations of FRV and let people know about how ApolloOne has overtaken FRV as the most useful, affordable Mac triage application

Thanks for laying out your cards so frankly. FastRawViewer was ground-breaking software in the day. Thank you for offering photographers an alternative to Lightroom when Apple closed Aperture down, and having the foresight to leverage the file system and XMP. It's a great pity to see FRV rest on its laurels and atrophy.

****

PS. It would have been so easy to have reacted to that forum post in a positive way and slowly start to lay in focus point support as a feature in development. On the other hand, the FastRawViewer website was atrociously ugly from the beginning and you've taken no steps to improve its appearance over the many years I've been a customer. Resistant to change and improvement doesn't start to describe your approach. A pity, as the concept behind FastRawViewer was very strong. Every time I open FastRawViewer now, all I see is you sitting there telling photographers that since you have no use for focus points we can't see them either.

PPS. I see there are two people who upvoted Iliah's comment. I'm genuinely curious about these upvotes. Is the message despite DPP being freely available you believe Iliah cannot check the focus point data if he were to implement? Or are you voting for less functionality in FastRawViewer? Or are you saying that you don't care about sports shooters?

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Iliah Borg Forum Pro • Posts: 28,665
Re: Improve the lives of sports photographers instead
9

UncoyDP wrote:

Iliah Borg wrote:

We would be happy to implement this feature but we have no means to check that we interpret the information correctly.

I'm sorry Iliah, but your answer comes across as excuses and weasel words.

And now you resorted to insults.

You think that running DPP or Nikon Capture over a limited number of shots taken with a handful of cameras clears it all? No, it doesn't.

I don't see merit in discussing this any further.

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Xasan Senior Member • Posts: 1,079
Re: Some great application recommendations here
2

Iliah Borg wrote:

UncoyDP wrote:

Iliah Borg wrote:

These decisions are close to "all or nothing" choice. To add a feature, we need "all", meaning supporting about 80% of popular cameras across all brands with 90% accuracy.

Iliah, that's nonsense.

Not from where we stand.

We would be happy to implement this feature but we have no means to check that we interpret the information correctly.

I realize it's a separate voluminous project, but can't you look into firmware to get the necessary information out?

UncoyDP
UncoyDP Forum Member • Posts: 65
Re: Improve the lives of sports photographers instead
1

Iliah Borg wrote:

And now you resorted to insults.

No insults here, just a frank evaluation of your behaviour. What is insulting is how you are trying to deceive your paying users and your advocates by feigning that adding focus information is particularly difficult.

Not only does ApolloOne offer this information as a simple overlay, so does ReallyFastRaw (a Finder preview plugin).

You think that running DPP or Nikon Capture over a limited number of shots taken with a handful of cameras clears it all? No, it doesn't.

I don't see merit in discussing this any further.

That's the whole point. You aren't interested in focus point technology as you are not a sport or wildlife photographer so photographers can't have it either.

Step up to the plate Iliah and fix your failings. It's about two weeks work. Don't dig yourself a deeper hole.

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Iliah Borg Forum Pro • Posts: 28,665
Re: Some great application recommendations here
1

Xasan wrote:

Iliah Borg wrote:

UncoyDP wrote:

Iliah Borg wrote:

These decisions are close to "all or nothing" choice. To add a feature, we need "all", meaning supporting about 80% of popular cameras across all brands with 90% accuracy.

Iliah, that's nonsense.

Not from where we stand.

We would be happy to implement this feature but we have no means to check that we interpret the information correctly.

I realize it's a separate voluminous project, but can't you look into firmware to get the necessary information out?

Meaning, with each new firmware we need to run a new set of tests.

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Jerry-astro
MOD Jerry-astro Forum Pro • Posts: 17,524
That quite enough!
5

UncoyDP wrote:

Iliah Borg wrote:

And now you resorted to insults.

No insults here, just a frank evaluation of your behaviour. What is insulting is how you are trying to deceive your paying users and your advocates by feigning that adding focus information is particularly difficult.

Not only does ApolloOne offer this information as a simple overlay, so does ReallyFastRaw (a Finder preview plugin).

You think that running DPP or Nikon Capture over a limited number of shots taken with a handful of cameras clears it all? No, it doesn't.

I don't see merit in discussing this any further.

That's the whole point. You aren't interested in focus point technology as you are not a sport or wildlife photographer so photographers can't have it either.

Step up to the plate Iliah and fix your failings. It's about two weeks work. Don't dig yourself a deeper hole.

OK, I’m putting this to a stop NOW as it’s getting personal. If you want to exchange your grievances via PMs, that’s fine, but please take it out of the forum as the tone of this discussion (your comments in particular) is well beyond civil. Next step will involve Mod actions... I don’t think you want to go there.

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Jerry-Astro
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a l b e r t
a l b e r t Senior Member • Posts: 1,684
Re: Some great application recommendations here
  • ApolloOne (€25 I believe, I can't see current pricing as I own it and it's Apple app store only) just coming into its own. The lack of Retina support and its previous glacial speed. Albert seems to be pushing us to shoot RAW + JPEG in order to enjoy fast culling. As a sports shooter, that's an issue. RAW + JPEG cuts buffer depth by almost half. The only workaround would be to create full-size JPEGs on ingest. An annoying extra step but I might try it. ApolloOne remains very slow with full size NEF RAW files in comparison to FastRawViewer.

The part about ApolloOne not supporting Retina Display is misleading - it always has, it is just that the 100% view is the same as Preview.  So before the 1:1 Pixel mapping was available as a setting, you can always zoom at 50% and it'll be shown the equivalent of pixel per pixel mapping on a Retina Display.

The next release of ApolloOne (2.8.2) will have a beefed up RAW engine.  It'll use the built-in RAW engine from macOS, which is a lot faster than LibRaw.  It's only when a RAW file cannot be decoded by the macOS, it'll resort to LibRaw.

If you don't want to shoot JPEG, it is fine to use the RAW engine, just try not to enable Full Resolution RAW Decode to speed things up.  I think FRV is doing the same so that the RAW images can be rendered so quickly.

The Show AF Points functionality is tricky to implement, and it does take a few iterations to get things right.  And one of the recent adds was to support AF points for all Olympus cameras.

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UncoyDP
UncoyDP Forum Member • Posts: 65
Re: Some great application recommendations here

Thanks for the updates, Albert. About Retina support, you wrote:

The part about ApolloOne not supporting Retina Display is misleading - it always has, it is just that the 100% view is the same as Preview. So before the 1:1 Pixel mapping was available as a setting, you can always zoom at 50% and it'll be shown the equivalent of pixel per pixel mapping on a Retina Display.

Apple Preview doesn't support Retina display either. Supporting Retina in terms of images doesn't mean pixel mapping it means offering one to one pixel display. You've got proper pixel to pixel mapping now, that's the most important part.

The workaround with 50% display is interesting. I believe that technique doesn't work in Preview: it's still interpolated pixels.

The next release of ApolloOne (2.8.2) will have a beefed up RAW engine. It'll use the built-in RAW engine from macOS, which is a lot faster than LibRaw. It's only when a RAW file cannot be decoded by the macOS, it'll resort to LibRaw.

Speed remains the one weak point of ApolloOne, even now. It's much better but I catch myself going back to FRV for its instant switching between images and instant zoom. At this point, ApolloOne is mostly milliseconds on each change. But a sports shooter with 2000 files per match really feels those milliseconds.

Strangely, creating jpeg previews at 100% didn't solve the issue, at least for D850 files (45 MP). It was almost the same speed as switching with RAW files. The speed issue is better with D5 images (20 MP).

It would be worth closely analysing how FRV manages its cache to stay on top of image display – I rarely feel any wait or hesitation at all.

Another small distinction is that FRV handles the switch from Retina/HiDPI to normal 1:1 screen resolution automatically. If I have the Retina checkbox checked, when I move ApolloOne to a non-Retina monitor the magnification is not accurate (on a 2560 x 1600 monitor 100% on a 5584 x 3728 image is only about 10 or 15% larger). ApolloOne should probably always work in Retina/HiDPI mode on HiDPI monitor resolutions and always at 1:1 pixels on non HiDPI resolutions. It's tricky of course, especially when you started with Apple's Preview (the worst behaved of the important OS X image viewers) as your model.

Now that I've figured out how to get non-Retina zoom on normal monitors (just now), I'm considerably happier. As Steve Jobs said, though, about interface design: where possible decisions not preferences.

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Iliah Borg Forum Pro • Posts: 28,665
Re: Some great application recommendations here
2

a l b e r t wrote:

try not to enable Full Resolution RAW Decode to speed things up. I think FRV is doing the same so that the RAW images can be rendered so quickly.

No, not with default settings.

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a l b e r t
a l b e r t Senior Member • Posts: 1,684
Re: Some great application recommendations here

The part about ApolloOne not supporting Retina Display is misleading - it always has, it is just that the 100% view is the same as Preview. So before the 1:1 Pixel mapping was available as a setting, you can always zoom at 50% and it'll be shown the equivalent of pixel per pixel mapping on a Retina Display.

Apple Preview doesn't support Retina display either. Supporting Retina in terms of images doesn't mean pixel mapping it means offering one to one pixel display. You've got proper pixel to pixel mapping now, that's the most important part.

The workaround with 50% display is interesting. I believe that technique doesn't work in Preview: it's still interpolated pixels.

I think it is unfortunate that Apple choose the words "Actual Size" in Preview.  This Actual Size will present the image in the same size whether you have Retina Display or not.  If you try to zoom an image in Preview with approx. 50% size from the Actual Size, you'll find that it is doing 1:1 pixel mapping, same as the image you see in ApolloOne.

The next release of ApolloOne (2.8.2) will have a beefed up RAW engine. It'll use the built-in RAW engine from macOS, which is a lot faster than LibRaw. It's only when a RAW file cannot be decoded by the macOS, it'll resort to LibRaw.

Speed remains the one weak point of ApolloOne, even now. It's much better but I catch myself going back to FRV for its instant switching between images and instant zoom. At this point, ApolloOne is mostly milliseconds on each change. But a sports shooter with 2000 files per match really feels those milliseconds.

One way to work around the problem would be increasing the cache size in ApolloOne to the max value of 16.  This caches 16 images (+ the current one) and if all images are RAW (no JEPG), switching images within the +/- 8 images should be instant.  What FRV does is that as soon as you scroll the filmstrip, it'll dispatch the threads to decode the RAW images even before you click on any of them.  ApolloOne doesn't do this and will only start to cache when you click on an image.  It does so by caching equal number of images before and after the current image.  So if you scroll a few images, click on one, and then scroll a few and click on another one, you'll find that it is also decoding images instantly, like FRV.

Strangely, creating jpeg previews at 100% didn't solve the issue, at least for D850 files (45 MP). It was almost the same speed as switching with RAW files. The speed issue is better with D5 images (20 MP).

It would be worth closely analysing how FRV manages its cache to stay on top of image display – I rarely feel any wait or hesitation at all.

Another small distinction is that FRV handles the switch from Retina/HiDPI to normal 1:1 screen resolution automatically. If I have the Retina checkbox checked, when I move ApolloOne to a non-Retina monitor the magnification is not accurate (on a 2560 x 1600 monitor 100% on a 5584 x 3728 image is only about 10 or 15% larger). ApolloOne should probably always work in Retina/HiDPI mode on HiDPI monitor resolutions and always at 1:1 pixels on non HiDPI resolutions. It's tricky of course, especially when you started with Apple's Preview (the worst behaved of the important OS X image viewers) as your model.

Code is actually in place when you drag the window to a non-Retina display and back.  I suppose I can hook up my old Dell 24" monitor as a 2nd monitor and take a look at the problem again.

Now that I've figured out how to get non-Retina zoom on normal monitors (just now), I'm considerably happier. As Steve Jobs said, though, about interface design: where possible decisions not preferences.

So what you have just figured out?

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ninjagowoo
ninjagowoo Regular Member • Posts: 188
Re: Image viewer for Mac

XnView XP - very similar to FastStone but there is no zoom option with the scroll well.

Actually there is. By default you have to hold down cmd, though you can change that. Just have to go into preferences to set it up the way you want it.

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UncoyDP
UncoyDP Forum Member • Posts: 65
Speed Test: FastRawViewer vs ApolloOne on D850 files | Zoom

Changing cache settings: I've already done that and enabled 16. It doesn't really improve ApolloOne performance. Increasing the number of cached images does not immediately or clearly improve performance.

If you are saying FRV takes the whole RAW folder and caches it for quick display in some kind of slightly compressed jpeg, cycling some of it in and out of RAM (not all of thousands of photographs could be kept in RAM), then Iliah is doing that caching very well, as my Mac Pro doesn't seem to take a big hit at any point and browsing anywhere in the folder is very quick.

ApolloOne previews are much more attractive than the very flat FRV ones. ApolloOne previews have more contrast and colour but when checking some at the edge of the exposure envelope, FRV's preview shows accurately shows reclaimable blues where the sky in the ApolloOne version almost looks blown out. This is not a big issue: I can test a few images to find out where the boundaries are with ApolloOne previews.

Speed however is a huge issue. Let's quantify it:

Leafing through a folder of 55 D850 images (I happen to have one handy) with the arrow key on ApolloOne and FRV as fast as I can yields the following result:

  • FRV = 12 seconds, i.e. as fast as I can press the arrow key.
  • ApolloOne = 50 seconds, i.e. about 1 second per image.

I'm leading the browsing by two or three clicks. If lead the browsing by ten or twenty clicks, ApolloOne drops me back in the contact sheet.

Whatever Iliah is doing is slightly more accurate if an uninspiring way to browse one's images (even very good exposures look washed out and dark in FRV). Of course when shooting RAW + JPEGs (which I used to do with Canon as there was almost no buffer penalty at 5fps with the 5DIII and 5DSR), FRV previews look great (they are Canon's excellent jpegs).

More concerning is the responsiveness of the application. For artistic or personal photography, ApolloOne's middling responsiveness is fine (1 second per image) but for sport photography it's just slow enough to be frustrating. There are routinely twelve to thirty shot bursts where only two or no frames should be kept. In FRV, these bursts can be dealt with at speed. At one second per image, rating throwing out images is a big slowdown for each burst.

There's another peculiarity of ApolloOne for which I've found a workaround. Undo does not bring deleted images back (they come back instantly in FRV). In FRV I delete huge quantities of images: if I make a mistake, I just undo the delete. With ApolloOne, I have to rate images to delete as 1 star and then delete them at the end. That's fine, but you may want to consider your own cache for deleted images as FRV does rather than putting images directly into the less co-operative OS X trash.

Now that I've figured out how to get non-Retina zoom on normal monitors (just now), I'm considerably happier. As Steve Jobs said, though, about interface design: where possible decisions not preferences.

So what you have just figured out?

If I turn off the Preferences > Advanced > Use 1:1 pixel mapping for Retina Display, zoom works as expected on a non-Retina monitor. I.e. at the example 5584 x 3728, the image doubles in size when I zoom in to 100% from fit.

Before I unchecked this box, the 100% zoom in was about 15% when going to 100%, even on a non-Retina monitor. Same thing happens with a D850 image where I get about 30% zoom instead of 3x bigger image on what are 8288 x 5520 images on a 2560 x 1600 pixel monitor (HP LP3065). With the "Use 1:1 pixel mapping for Retina Display" preference unchecked I get the expected 3x larger image with 100% zoom.

The 100% zoom seems underpowered on Retina as well with the D850 images but I'll have to play around with that later.

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Iliah Borg Forum Pro • Posts: 28,665
Re: Speed Test: FastRawViewer vs ApolloOne on D850 files | Zoom
4

UncoyDP wrote:

If you are saying FRV takes the whole RAW folder and caches it for quick display in some kind of slightly compressed jpeg

He shouldn't be saying this, as it is incorrect. Raw is always displayed from raw data. Thumbnails may be cached (defaults: only for TIFF/PNG). Single view always displayed from original data (may be cached/prefetched). For RAW/JPEG/RAW+JPEG, thumbnails caching is off by default.

Raw display is faster than the display of a JPEG with the equal pixel count, given the computer is relatively modern.

FRV previews look great (they are Canon's excellent jpegs)

Not sure how do you mean. By default, if there is a raw, in single file view FastRawViewer presents raw.

even very good exposures look washed out and dark in FRV

With default settings the difference in image lightness between raw and embedded / external JPEG should be rather small, unless the lens vignetting is strong and compensated only for JPEGs. If that is not so, reports to support@fastrawviewer.com are most welcome.

There is a chance that you've changed some settings. Please check your "Image Display" and "Exposure" settings in FastRawViewer Preferences. By default, in "Image Display" section "Contrast curve type" drop-down is set to "Variable contrast"; in "Exposure" section "Apply Adobe hidden exposure correction" checkbox is checked, to account for camera typical metering calibration. The settings are explained in detail in the manual that comes with FastRawViewer (main Menu - Help - "PDF Manual") and is fully searchable. You can also download it separately from https://www.fastrawviewer.com/download - direct link is http://updates.fastrawviewer.com/data/FastRawViewer-Manual-ENG.pdf

For my personal needs I turn all that off, to see the effect of the exposure without "beautification". For "Contrast curve type", I use "gamma 2.2" setting; and leave "Apply Adobe hidden exposure correction" unchecked.

Optimal exposure for raw and JPEGs usually needs to be different, right? The difference may be quite significant. Here is a couple of examples with raw+JPEG pairs:

OOC JPEG, the red channel is severely clipped

Raw for the same shot: turns out, exposure for raw could be higher, +1 stop at least

Embedded JPEG, blue channel is clipped

Raw: no clipping problems

In the first case, if one is guided by JPEGs and histograms derived from JPEGs, the exposure would be decreased, making it even less optimal. In the second case, optimal exposure would be given a second thought and the resulting exposure will become suboptimal.

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a l b e r t
a l b e r t Senior Member • Posts: 1,684
Re: Speed Test: FastRawViewer vs ApolloOne on D850 files | Zoom

UncoyDP wrote:

Changing cache settings: I've already done that and enabled 16. It doesn't really improve ApolloOne performance. Increasing the number of cached images does not immediately or clearly improve performance.

If you are saying FRV takes the whole RAW folder and caches it for quick display in some kind of slightly compressed jpeg, cycling some of it in and out of RAM (not all of thousands of photographs could be kept in RAM), then Iliah is doing that caching very well, as my Mac Pro doesn't seem to take a big hit at any point and browsing anywhere in the folder is very quick.

ApolloOne previews are much more attractive than the very flat FRV ones. ApolloOne previews have more contrast and colour but when checking some at the edge of the exposure envelope, FRV's preview shows accurately shows reclaimable blues where the sky in the ApolloOne version almost looks blown out. This is not a big issue: I can test a few images to find out where the boundaries are with ApolloOne previews.

I've actually applied a contrast filter to the RAW image, which explains why.

Speed however is a huge issue. Let's quantify it:

Leafing through a folder of 55 D850 images (I happen to have one handy) with the arrow key on ApolloOne and FRV as fast as I can yields the following result:

  • FRV = 12 seconds, i.e. as fast as I can press the arrow key.
  • ApolloOne = 50 seconds, i.e. about 1 second per image.

I'm leading the browsing by two or three clicks. If lead the browsing by ten or twenty clicks, ApolloOne drops me back in the contact sheet.

Whatever Iliah is doing is slightly more accurate if an uninspiring way to browse one's images (even very good exposures look washed out and dark in FRV). Of course when shooting RAW + JPEGs (which I used to do with Canon as there was almost no buffer penalty at 5fps with the 5DIII and 5DSR), FRV previews look great (they are Canon's excellent jpegs).

More concerning is the responsiveness of the application. For artistic or personal photography, ApolloOne's middling responsiveness is fine (1 second per image) but for sport photography it's just slow enough to be frustrating. There are routinely twelve to thirty shot bursts where only two or no frames should be kept. In FRV, these bursts can be dealt with at speed. At one second per image, rating throwing out images is a big slowdown for each burst.

On the next version, the max cache size is increased from 16 to 32. I've done some cache tuning when dealing with RAW images.  This particular design only works in the photo viewing mode.  When you scroll the filmstrip, and as soon as new thumbnails are exposed, ApolloOne will attempt to decode and cache the "exposed" RAW image file; this improves the speed of random clicking of RAW images to nearly instant as long as you don't scroll very fast and then click immediately.

The second part is the use of macOS RAW engine.  This engine uses the GPU and is much faster than LibRaw.  Despite the speed, there is a small penalty and is that it does all sorts of default filtering to make the images look nice.  So you get richer color and contrast as a result of that.  Only when it encounters a RAW file that is not recognized, it'll fall back to use LibRaw.

There's another peculiarity of ApolloOne for which I've found a workaround. Undo does not bring deleted images back (they come back instantly in FRV). In FRV I delete huge quantities of images: if I make a mistake, I just undo the delete. With ApolloOne, I have to rate images to delete as 1 star and then delete them at the end. That's fine, but you may want to consider your own cache for deleted images as FRV does rather than putting images directly into the less co-operative OS X trash.

Currently, there is no undo feature in ApolloOne.  But you can install a script in ApolloOne and that uses Finder for the delete.  This allows the Trash "Put Back" feature so that you can recover the files much easier from the Trash.

Now that I've figured out how to get non-Retina zoom on normal monitors (just now), I'm considerably happier. As Steve Jobs said, though, about interface design: where possible decisions not preferences.

So what you have just figured out?

If I turn off the Preferences > Advanced > Use 1:1 pixel mapping for Retina Display, zoom works as expected on a non-Retina monitor. I.e. at the example 5584 x 3728, the image doubles in size when I zoom in to 100% from fit.

Before I unchecked this box, the 100% zoom in was about 15% when going to 100%, even on a non-Retina monitor. Same thing happens with a D850 image where I get about 30% zoom instead of 3x bigger image on what are 8288 x 5520 images on a 2560 x 1600 pixel monitor (HP LP3065). With the "Use 1:1 pixel mapping for Retina Display" preference unchecked I get the expected 3x larger image with 100% zoom.

I'll have to hook up my external monitor to see what is happening there.

The 100% zoom seems underpowered on Retina as well with the D850 images but I'll have to play around with that later.

You can hold down the command key and click the mouse to bring up the Magnifier in 2x magnification.  With the TrackPad, you just apply a higher click pressure, and the Magnifier will show the image at 2x.  There is also a shortcut key G for instant 200% magnification.

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Iliah Borg Forum Pro • Posts: 28,665
Re: Speed Test: FastRawViewer vs ApolloOne on D850 files | Zoom
2

a l b e r t wrote:

The second part is the use of macOS RAW engine. This engine uses the GPU and is much faster than LibRaw.

LibRaw is a raw decoding library, rendering is a separate task. LibRaw includes rendering mostly as a proof that raw data is properly decoded.

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UncoyDP
UncoyDP Forum Member • Posts: 65
Render Test: FastRawViewer Contrast Curves vs ApolloOne Apple + internal libraw renders

sThank you Iliah for your input on FRV display settings.

By default, in "Image Display" section "Contrast curve type" drop-down is set to "Variable contrast"; in "Exposure" section

That was exactly the issue. My "Contrast curve type" was set to "sRGB" and not "Variable contrast". This brought my images back to life.

Here's how the FRV "Variable Contrast" curve lines up against DxO Photolab's default render with no palettes active and ApolloOne's render from RAW (there's no options as far as I can tell). I've included histograms from all applications.

FastRawViewer Gamma 2.1 Curve - FRV Variable Contrast Curve - DxO PhotoLab - ApolloOne Apple + libraw renders

What's interesting is that FRV's render is very close to Photolab. DxO are sticklers for accuracy and have one of the better render engines in the business. ApolloOne who are leveraging either Apple here offer an oversaturated and too hot image. Curiously if I switch to the internal engine (libraw), the render very closely matches FRV's 2.2 Contrast Curve type render (not shown). Which makes sense as it's supposed to be the same library.

FastRawViewer Variable Contrast Curve - DxO Photolab - ApolloOne Apple render + libraw render

This second set of renders includes even hotter highlights in the setting sun and shows how very red the Apple default render in ApolloRaw can be.

Bad news about using the libraw renderer in ApolloOne: leafing through images seems slightly slower (over one minute for the 55 images) than the default Apple render engine.

As I almost exclusively develop my images in DxO Photolab, variable contrast looks like the ticket for me to a smoother process. This image makes Iliah's point though that the flat curves (sRGB, gamma 2.2) most accurately represent the histogram. Nothing here is blown out in the original Raw. The Apple render, while the most saturated and exciting, is the worst.

As very longtime FRV user who uses FRV across multiple machines. I'm not sure how I ended up with the flatter setting on this particular machine. At one point, I'd studied the manual for this section and perhaps I wanted to follow your own example of working from an unbeautified image. As I plan to continue to beautify my images in post-production, starting from "Variable Contrast" probably saves some mental gymnastics on the path.

Testing this on some images later: I shoot a lot of low light/high shutter speed/high ISO night soccer. Variable contrast offers a much better representation of the potential of an image at ISO's above 12800. Flat contrast curves show too little visual information, looking excessively murky.

Here's a couple of examples:

High ISO Render Examples D5: ApolloOne libraw vs Apple | FRV Gamma 2.2 Curve vs Variable Contrast Curve x 2

Perhaps I leaped at the mention of sRGB. I do choose to keep my files and do my colour correction in sRGB after dealing with all kinds of colour mismatch issues between Apple Aperture, Adobe, Photoshop and the web over the years. The small improvements in colour which non-sRGB spaces offer are outweighed by the neverending danger of colour mismatch and bad space conversions.*

Regarding the "Apply Adobe hidden exposure correction" checkbox, I had it checked. Checking it and unchecking it has no effect on the set of files I'm looking at now from a D850 (I'm saving and closing the preferences each time between toggling the checkbox).

In terms of the difference between jpeg and RAW, I always assume a stop of headroom over the jpeg when I move over to DxO Photolab and developing the RAW files. Sometimes I find two stops of headroom.**

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* On a side-note, first-rate very large sRGB monitors are considerably more affordable than AdobeRGB or ProPhoto capable monitors (we're talking about one third the price).

** A second side note: after moving from Canon cameras, the ability to raise shadows with minimal noise and recover from underexposure have been a revelation first on Sony cameras (A6300 and then A7 III) and then on Nikon cameras (Z6, D810, now D850, even D4 to some extent). I spent a decade ETTR and now for the last two years I'm trying to train myself to ETTL, i.e. expose for highlights. Of course it makes sense to expose for the highlights one wishes to retain. Even with the latitude of film, sometimes photographers exposed for some considerable element of the highlights to disappear into white.

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UncoyDP
UncoyDP Forum Member • Posts: 65
Re: Speed Test: FastRawViewer vs ApolloOne on D850 files | Zoom

Thanks for your notes Albert.

Currently, there is no undo feature in ApolloOne. But you can install a script in ApolloOne and that uses Finder for the delete. This allows the Trash "Put Back" feature so that you can recover the files much easier from the Trash.

Found and installed that script before I wrote the above. Undelete remains too awkward (should be instant and on undo, command-z). Iliah's workaround (not directly using the trash, not requiring additional scripts) is the right way to go here. Either that or the photographer should just use 1 star for rejects and throw them away manually at the end of the triage session, as I'm doing now. Just have to remember to gather the 1 and 2 star images and throw them away.

I do miss 1 star as I used it to keep bad images I might need for examples of focus issues for example. I'd normally discard about five of six failed images and keep just one at one star as a sample.

You can hold down the command key and click the mouse to bring up the Magnifier in 2x magnification. With the TrackPad, you just apply a higher click pressure, and the Magnifier will show the image at 2x. There is also a shortcut key G for instant 200% magnification.

I love the keyboard shortcuts in ApolloOne and use most of them.

I see what you are trying to do with the trackpad variable pressure 1x vs 2x. With a Magic Trackpad 2, I find that the difference between the different touches is too small. What I usually get is the magnification jumping back and forth between 1x and 2x. Frankly I'd be much happier to be able to set long press to either 1x or 2x than deal with getting the touch just right. This is a big usability issue. Either the pressure has to be substantially different or it would be better to perhaps make 2x command + long press. Or just let the photographer set his preference.

This is also an issue with Sony and Fujifilm cameras which require magnify 1:1 then 2:1 when magnifying for manual focus. Those extra button presses are fatal to usability. Nikon is much better where one can assign the custom top button next to the lens (Z6) to go straight to 2:1 and back. With Sony A7 III the workaround is to use a half shutter press to make the 1:1 magnification go away. Much worse. Simplicity of controls is very helpful for work at speed.

I also have a small issue with the double-click to zoom-in. I love that functionality in individual image view, especially that it zooms where I doubleclick. But when I have that selected it means that when in contact sheet view, double clicking an image opens up a sort of Quickview preview which is of no use to me (and probably no one else either). What I'd like from doubleclick is to switch to standard image view with tools on doubleclick in the contact sheet and to zoom on the clicked part of the image when in contact sheet view.

In the meantime I have to remember not to doubleclick in contact sheet view but press C every time. Haven't got that down yet as most viewing programs (including FRV) go from contact sheet view to image view with doubleclick.

Yes, I've tried doubleclick to go back and forth. But then I doubleclick for zoom and don't get that when on the image. Neither of the two existing options suit me, but the combination I described above.

My goodness, photographers are a finicky punch! Myself included.

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a l b e r t
a l b e r t Senior Member • Posts: 1,684
Re: Render Test: FastRawViewer Contrast Curves vs ApolloOne Apple + internal libraw renders

This second set of renders includes even hotter highlights in the setting sun and shows how very red the Apple default render in ApolloRaw can be.

Bad news about using the libraw renderer in ApolloOne: leafing through images seems slightly slower (over one minute for the 55 images) than the default Apple render engine.

Official version of ApolloOne is not using Apple RAW renderer.  When "Use Built-in RAW Decoder" is off, it is merely pulling off the embedded JPEG preview image from the RAW file for the display.

In fact, I'm removing the experimental Apple RAW engine support for the next release, as the rendering speed is too slow when multiple threads are competing for a single GPU resource, and I do have a Vega48 GPU in my iMac.

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a l b e r t
a l b e r t Senior Member • Posts: 1,684
Re: Speed Test: FastRawViewer vs ApolloOne on D850 files | Zoom

I do miss 1 star as I used it to keep bad images I might need for examples of focus issues for example. I'd normally discard about five of six failed images and keep just one at one star as a sample.

You can just the shortcut key X to mark the photo as throw away instead of 1-star that you may still want to keep later.

You can hold down the command key and click the mouse to bring up the Magnifier in 2x magnification. With the TrackPad, you just apply a higher click pressure, and the Magnifier will show the image at 2x. There is also a shortcut key G for instant 200% magnification.

I love the keyboard shortcuts in ApolloOne and use most of them.

I see what you are trying to do with the trackpad variable pressure 1x vs 2x. With a Magic Trackpad 2, I find that the difference between the different touches is too small. What I usually get is the magnification jumping back and forth between 1x and 2x. Frankly I'd be much happier to be able to set long press to either 1x or 2x than deal with getting the touch just right. This is a big usability issue. Either the pressure has to be substantially different or it would be better to perhaps make 2x command + long press. Or just let the photographer set his preference.

There is a manual adjustable pressure setting. Look at the Help file under the section Special User Defaults, TrackPadPressureThresholdFor2xMagnification.  The default is already pretty high at 0.75, 1.0 being the maximum.  You can play around with this value, but you need to drop down to Terminal to set it.

I also have a small issue with the double-click to zoom-in. I love that functionality in individual image view, especially that it zooms where I doubleclick. But when I have that selected it means that when in contact sheet view, double clicking an image opens up a sort of Quickview preview which is of no use to me (and probably no one else either). What I'd like from doubleclick is to switch to standard image view with tools on doubleclick in the contact sheet and to zoom on the clicked part of the image when in contact sheet view.

Under Preferences > Advanced, check the setting "Switch to Contact Sheet mode by double clicking on the main window".  This will get you out of Contact Sheet when you double click on a thumbnail.

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UncoyDP
UncoyDP Forum Member • Posts: 65
Re: Speed Test: FastRawViewer vs ApolloOne on D850 files | Zoom

Hi Albert,

Thanks for your suggestions.

You can just the shortcut key X to mark the photo as throw away instead of 1-star that you may still want to keep later.

That helps, giving me effectively a rejects option (six levels). I don't much use 2 stars (if a photo is bad enough for two stars it's a reject, 1 star is to hold onto significant failures).

It would be nice if the rejected photos either had a menu item to automatically get dumped to trash or if they would be dumped to trash on changing folders. Perhaps you've already thought of that and there's a setting I don't know about.

If automatic management of rejects is not available, it's not essential. Rejects can be taken out to the trash manually if necessary. See the bottom item for an improvement which I would consider absolutely essential functionality.

There is a manual adjustable pressure setting. Look at the Help file under the section Special User Defaults, TrackPadPressureThresholdFor2xMagnification. The default is already pretty high at 0.75, 1.0 being the maximum. You can play around with this value, but you need to drop down to Terminal to set it.

I didn't know you had a significant help file. Thanks for letting me know about it.

Setting the value to .99 makes matters much better. It's possible for me to touch softly enough now not to necessarily trigger the 2x zoom very often. I'd rather just be able to turn off 2x zoom completely: that way my fingers could freely lean into the trackpad while I zip around like a loupe. Perhaps 1.0 value should turn off the 2x zoom completely and up to .99 just makes it harder to trigger.

This would be a nice touch but is not absolutely essential. See below for an improvement which I would consider essential functionality.

Under Preferences > Advanced, check the setting "Switch to Contact Sheet mode by double clicking on the main window". This will get you out of Contact Sheet when you double click on a thumbnail.

As I explained in my very detailed note above, I know about that setting. It's terrible for me as well as when I have it set, doubleclicking on an image doesn't get me zoom on the doubleclick location but dumped back to contact sheet.

What would be intuitive for me (and here I'd really to have it) is:

  • Contact Sheet doubleclick: open the photo in main viewer mode (not some pointless Quicklook view)
  • Image evaluation view doubleclick: zoom in at the spot of the doubleclick.

This option you do not have. It's either one or the other when it should be both. Then my suggestion would be to take away the other options. They are not necessary. It's intuitive to press a key to get back to contact sheet view. It is not intuitive to doubleclick in image evaluation to return to contact sheet view. Hence highly valuable GUI interface elements (doubleclick) are effectively being 50% wasted, when they could be working at 100% in both contact sheet and image evaluation view.

Making doubleclick work as described above, I consider essential functionality. The current press a key to enter image evaluation mode, press a key to exit image evaluation mode – or even worse, doubleclick an image in contact sheet mode to see some pseudo Quicklook version is awful. I'm stuck doing this wrong (one way or the other) fifty times day. Interrupting my work each time.

FRV has part of the formula right (just checked now). Doubleclick in contact sheet view takes one to the image. Once there doubleclick does nothing. I no doubt doubleclick in FRV in image evaluation mode but as it does nothing I move onto something else. Being put back in the contact sheet view without wanting to go there (ApolloOne) on the other hand is disruptive.

NEW SUBJECT: ZOOM TOGGLE KEYS CONSISTENCY

Another strange interface decision is to only make Z toggle zoom. I'd suggest all the zoom keyboard shortcuts should toggle. I.e. if I've pressed G for double size zoom, pressing it again should take me back to either fit in window or whatever I came from (take your pick). Same for D for 50% zoom. A second D keystroke should take me back to fit in window. I know I can press the F key between the two and of course I do. Z is the only one which works intuitively to me and it seems strange that it functions differently than the other zoom keys.

Maybe I've missed an advanced preference here though.

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