Editing a RAW image

Started Aug 22, 2022 | Discussions
cheddarman Senior Member • Posts: 1,656
Editing a RAW image
1

Heres a RAW image taken on Skomer island on a recent trip. How "good" can you make it look? This is my best effort but looks a bit "flat" I think.

RAW image

Hope it's accessible......

Guy Parsons
Guy Parsons Forum Pro • Posts: 41,480
Re: Editing a RAW image

The raw file was a different frame. Anyway, here's my take with Photolab5 and DeepPRIME plus a few minor fiddles.

Your posted jpeg left, my Photolab5 fiddle with the raw file right.

It's a screen grab with both at 50% so best to look at original size.

Tremendous amount of noise in the raw file and attempts to remove all of it make it look bad, best to leave DeepPRIME at default and allow some noise and retain detail as much as possible.

I like the bird's pose better in the raw file version. If needed the bird could be "moved" down a bit to be closer to the landing area like on the left and give a little more context to that 2153 pixel wide crop.

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Digital Nigel Forum Pro • Posts: 19,503
Re: Editing a RAW image
2

cheddarman wrote:

Heres a RAW image taken on Skomer island on a recent trip. How "good" can you make it look? This is my best effort but looks a bit "flat" I think.

RAW image

Hope it's accessible......

Indeed it is, but it would be better if the raw file and the JPEG weren't apparently from different images!  Or have you very heavily edited your JPEG?  The bird seems to be elongated vertically, the wings look truncated and it's lower over the ground. If they're different images, it might be easier if you could show your JPEG for MJD09924.ARW.

Anyway, I put your raw file through DxO PhotoLab, and then Topaz DeNoise AI for an extra polish:

DxO PhotoLab 5, 100% cropped

PhotoLab 5, then DeNoise AI (Clear Model )

FWIW, comparing them:

Comparing a small crop from Michael's apparently heavily edited JPEG with similar crops from renderings from what may be a different raw file

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Digital Nigel Forum Pro • Posts: 19,503
Re: Editing a RAW image

Guy Parsons wrote:

The raw file was a different frame. Anyway, here's my take with Photolab5 and DeepPRIME plus a few minor fiddles.

Your posted jpeg left, my Photolab5 fiddle with the raw file right.

It's a screen grab with both at 50% so best to look at original size.

Tremendous amount of noise in the raw file and attempts to remove all of it make it look bad, best to leave DeepPRIME at default and allow some noise and retain detail as much as possible.

I like the bird's pose better in the raw file version. If needed the bird could be "moved" down a bit to be closer to the landing area like on the left and give a little more context to that 2153 pixel wide crop.

Yes, I thought they were different frames, too, but the odd thing is that they were both apparently shot at exactly the same time (2022-07-27 15:01:50), and the camera settings are the same, too. So there's something funny going on: either the exif has been altered, or Michael's JPEG image has been heavily edited. It might be better if Michael also posted the corresponding OOC JPEG.

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Guy Parsons
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Re: Editing a RAW image

Nigel, I'm suitably impressed with the Topaz difference, maybe that new AI suite may be in my future for those difficult higher ISO shots.

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sherman_levine
sherman_levine Forum Pro • Posts: 14,063
Re: Editing a RAW image

Guy Parsons wrote:

Nigel, I'm suitably impressed with the Topaz difference, maybe that new AI suite may be in my future for those difficult higher ISO shots.

I believe that Topaz was used to spruce up the DXO PL5 output. Topaz as a raw processor has neither DXO's reputation nor its scope of features.

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Guy Parsons
Guy Parsons Forum Pro • Posts: 41,480
Re: Editing a RAW image

sherman_levine wrote:

Guy Parsons wrote:

Nigel, I'm suitably impressed with the Topaz difference, maybe that new AI suite may be in my future for those difficult higher ISO shots.

I believe that Topaz was used to spruce up the DXO PL5 output. Topaz as a raw processor has neither DXO's reputation nor its scope of features.

Yes, I understood that and it would be the way I approach any difficult shot. Photolab first  then other software later to see if further improvements can be made. Beginning with a good 16 bit TIFF from Photolab5 would be a nice way to start.

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Digital Nigel Forum Pro • Posts: 19,503
Re: Editing a RAW image
1

Guy Parsons wrote:

Nigel, I'm suitably impressed with the Topaz difference, maybe that new AI suite may be in my future for those difficult higher ISO shots.

Sharpen AI is also very useful; it's the Topaz AI app I use most often of the three. The suite isn't all that new (I've had it several years), but still gets frequent enhancements.  It doesn't replace PL5, but is a useful supplement.

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Digital Nigel Forum Pro • Posts: 19,503
Re: Editing a RAW image

Guy Parsons wrote:

sherman_levine wrote:

Guy Parsons wrote:

Nigel, I'm suitably impressed with the Topaz difference, maybe that new AI suite may be in my future for those difficult higher ISO shots.

I believe that Topaz was used to spruce up the DXO PL5 output. Topaz as a raw processor has neither DXO's reputation nor its scope of features.

Yes, I understood that and it would be the way I approach any difficult shot. Photolab first then other software later to see if further improvements can be made. Beginning with a good 16 bit TIFF from Photolab5 would be a nice way to start.

Yes, that's what I did. I tried both Sharpen AI and DeNoise AI on the TIFF from PL5, and with this noisy image (even after a heavy dose of DeepPRIME), DeNoise AI did the better job.

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Digital Nigel Forum Pro • Posts: 19,503
Re: Editing a RAW image
1

sherman_levine wrote:

Guy Parsons wrote:

Nigel, I'm suitably impressed with the Topaz difference, maybe that new AI suite may be in my future for those difficult higher ISO shots.

I believe that Topaz was used to spruce up the DXO PL5 output. Topaz as a raw processor has neither DXO's reputation nor its scope of features.

Yes, Topaz is a dreadful raw processor. Always use the Topaz apps on an image first processed in a competent raw developer, ideally PhotoLab with DeepPRIME.

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Guy Parsons
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Re: Editing a RAW image

Digital Nigel wrote:

Guy Parsons wrote:

Nigel, I'm suitably impressed with the Topaz difference, maybe that new AI suite may be in my future for those difficult higher ISO shots.

Sharpen AI is also very useful; it's the Topaz AI app I use most often of the three. The suite isn't all that new (I've had it several years), but still gets frequent enhancements. It doesn't replace PL5, but is a useful supplement.

The thing that piqued my interest is the new Photo AI coming in September, from https://www.topazlabs.com/image-quality-bundle

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Digital Nigel Forum Pro • Posts: 19,503
Re: Editing a RAW image

Guy Parsons wrote:

Digital Nigel wrote:

Guy Parsons wrote:

Nigel, I'm suitably impressed with the Topaz difference, maybe that new AI suite may be in my future for those difficult higher ISO shots.

Sharpen AI is also very useful; it's the Topaz AI app I use most often of the three. The suite isn't all that new (I've had it several years), but still gets frequent enhancements. It doesn't replace PL5, but is a useful supplement.

The thing that piqued my interest is the new Photo AI coming in September, from https://www.topazlabs.com/image-quality-bundle

I'm ignoring that. It's basically an AI autopilot to drive the three AI apps. It gives access to only limited functionality of the apps.

Topaz has a poor record for buggy releases, so Photo AI will be immature when released. In any case, it won't add any functionality to the existing apps.

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AlwynS Veteran Member • Posts: 4,557
Re: Editing a RAW image

Digital Nigel wrote:

Guy Parsons wrote:

Nigel, I'm suitably impressed with the Topaz difference, maybe that new AI suite may be in my future for those difficult higher ISO shots.

Sharpen AI is also very useful; it's the Topaz AI app I use most often of the three. The suite isn't all that new (I've had it several years), but still gets frequent enhancements. It doesn't replace PL5, but is a useful supplement.

I was also struck by the improvement Topaz achieved. I must also say I was expecting better noise reduction from PL5.

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Cheers
Alwyn

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AlwynS Veteran Member • Posts: 4,557
Re: Editing a RAW image
2

Digital Nigel wrote:

Guy Parsons wrote:

The raw file was a different frame. Anyway, here's my take with Photolab5 and DeepPRIME plus a few minor fiddles.

Your posted jpeg left, my Photolab5 fiddle with the raw file right.

It's a screen grab with both at 50% so best to look at original size.

Tremendous amount of noise in the raw file and attempts to remove all of it make it look bad, best to leave DeepPRIME at default and allow some noise and retain detail as much as possible.

I like the bird's pose better in the raw file version. If needed the bird could be "moved" down a bit to be closer to the landing area like on the left and give a little more context to that 2153 pixel wide crop.

Yes, I thought they were different frames, too, but the odd thing is that they were both apparently shot at exactly the same time (2022-07-27 15:01:50),

I do not think this is significant. The time resolution is in seconds while he was likely shooting at the high burst rate of 24fps. The frame to frame time change is therefore only like 0.04 second. It is possible to get up to 10 frames with the same timestamp

and the camera settings are the same, too. So there's something funny going on: either the exif has been altered, or Michael's JPEG image has been heavily edited. It might be better if Michael also posted the corresponding OOC JPEG.

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Cheers
Alwyn

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Digital Nigel Forum Pro • Posts: 19,503
Re: Editing a RAW image

AlwynS wrote:

Digital Nigel wrote:

Guy Parsons wrote:

The raw file was a different frame. Anyway, here's my take with Photolab5 and DeepPRIME plus a few minor fiddles.

Your posted jpeg left, my Photolab5 fiddle with the raw file right.

It's a screen grab with both at 50% so best to look at original size.

Tremendous amount of noise in the raw file and attempts to remove all of it make it look bad, best to leave DeepPRIME at default and allow some noise and retain detail as much as possible.

I like the bird's pose better in the raw file version. If needed the bird could be "moved" down a bit to be closer to the landing area like on the left and give a little more context to that 2153 pixel wide crop.

Yes, I thought they were different frames, too, but the odd thing is that they were both apparently shot at exactly the same time (2022-07-27 15:01:50),

I do not think this is significant. The time resolution is in seconds while he was likely shooting at the high burst rate of 24fps. The frame to frame time change is therefore only like 0.04 second. It is possible to get up to 10 frames with the same time stamp

Yes, thanks, that does sound like the correct explanation. He accidentally uploaded different raw and JPEG frames from the same burst.

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Digital Nigel Forum Pro • Posts: 19,503
Re: Editing a RAW image

AlwynS wrote:

Digital Nigel wrote:

Guy Parsons wrote:

Nigel, I'm suitably impressed with the Topaz difference, maybe that new AI suite may be in my future for those difficult higher ISO shots.

Sharpen AI is also very useful; it's the Topaz AI app I use most often of the three. The suite isn't all that new (I've had it several years), but still gets frequent enhancements. It doesn't replace PL5, but is a useful supplement.

I was also struck by the improvement Topaz achieved. I must also say I was expecting better noise reduction from PL5.

Yes, this was a case when a final Topaz polish was worthwhile. It's relatively rare, but the two together can sometimes do a better job than either alone.

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Guy Parsons
Guy Parsons Forum Pro • Posts: 41,480
Re: Editing a RAW image

Digital Nigel wrote:

Guy Parsons wrote:

Digital Nigel wrote:

Guy Parsons wrote:

Nigel, I'm suitably impressed with the Topaz difference, maybe that new AI suite may be in my future for those difficult higher ISO shots.

Sharpen AI is also very useful; it's the Topaz AI app I use most often of the three. The suite isn't all that new (I've had it several years), but still gets frequent enhancements. It doesn't replace PL5, but is a useful supplement.

The thing that piqued my interest is the new Photo AI coming in September, from https://www.topazlabs.com/image-quality-bundle

I'm ignoring that. It's basically an AI autopilot to drive the three AI apps. It gives access to only limited functionality of the apps.

The video I saw somewhere seemed to have all the usual adjusts available if needed.

Maybe I'll trial it when it surfaces. (30 day guaranteed refund). The AI part seems to make sensible(?) decisions on what modules to use and by how much and lets the user go back and do individual adjusts in each part of the package. Can't find that video now but I think it was on the Topaz introductory page for a short while.

Found something (not what I saw) near the the bottom of https://www.topazlabs.com/learn/3-easy-tips-to-improve-your-travel-photography#video where the 18min video is mostly Photoshop and at about 9 to 12min is a bit of the Photo AI work. He mentions somewhere that he will work on a  bunch of videos to come at release time of Photo AI next month.

Topaz has a poor record for buggy releases, so Photo AI will be immature when released. In any case, it won't add any functionality to the existing apps.

It seems to make the boring legwork of noise and sharpening (and resizing as needed) much faster and easier. Either accept its auto result or step in and control it.

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OP cheddarman Senior Member • Posts: 1,656
Re: Editing a RAW image

Hey guts, some AMAZING results there, many thanks for taking the time.

I was shooting RAW + JPEG on my RX10M4. When I went to post the image to DropBox it ws in my Photos (MBP computer). I said to export original image to my desktop (without any of the processing I had done) but on my Desktop there were two images, a RAW and a JPEG. I thought I'd only loaded the RAW up to DropBox but seems they were locked together.

The only half decent software I have is the free Capture One 22 for Sony which someone on here suggested I got, but I'm still a complete novice using it.

I can understand the noise being present as it ws a somewhat cloudy day and the ISO was at 2500 having set the Shutter to 3200 to try to freeze the flight.

Again, many thanks for playing with it. Nice to see what can be achieved in expert hands.

This is just the original RAW file... or ARW as Sony calls it.

Digital Nigel Forum Pro • Posts: 19,503
Re: Editing a RAW image

cheddarman wrote:

Hey guts, some AMAZING results there, many thanks for taking the time.

I was shooting RAW + JPEG on my RX10M4. When I went to post the image to DropBox it ws in my Photos (MBP computer). I said to export original image to my desktop (without any of the processing I had done) but on my Desktop there were two images, a RAW and a JPEG. I thought I'd only loaded the RAW up to DropBox but seems they were locked together.

The only half decent software I have is the free Capture One 22 for Sony which someone on here suggested I got, but I'm still a complete novice using it.

I can understand the noise being present as it ws a somewhat cloudy day and the ISO was at 2500 having set the Shutter to 3200 to try to freeze the flight.

That's exactly why you need software that can deal with noisy images, and C1 fails the test.

Again, many thanks for playing with it. Nice to see what can be achieved in expert hands.

This is just the original RAW file... or ARW as Sony calls it.

This file was more interesting, as the puffin is slightly out-of-focus, giving more options to improve it.

Here's various versions, then a comparison:

PhotoLab 5, with DeepPRIME at 70

PL5 followed by DeNoise AI

PL5 followed by Gigapixel AI with 1:1 scaling

PL5 followed by Sharpen AI (Focus model)

I think Sharpen AI did the best job in this case, so I compared that version with the original and PL5 alone:

Comparing your original posted JPEG. PL5 alone, and PL5 followed by Sharpen AI

I think the improvement over your original (C1 version?) is dramatic.

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Digital Nigel Forum Pro • Posts: 19,503
Re: Editing a RAW image
2

Just for fun, I tried a 4x upsize using Gigapixel:

PL5 + Sharpen AI +Gigapixel 4x upscale

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