Sony Alpha DSLR-A100 Review
Image Data Converter SR Ver 1.1
Sony's proprietary RAW conversion application, Image Data Converter SR (IDC from now onwards) is provided with the DSLR-A100 for the purpose of manipulating and converting RAW files (in the Sony .SR2 or .ARW formats). Since the DSC-R1 IDC has made a jump in version from 1.0 to 1.1. Processing adjustments (such as changes to white balance, digital exposure compensation etc.) are written back into the RAW file after changing, the original camera settings are always available.
The default viewing mode for IDC is File Browser mode, a window of thumbnails from a selected folder, there are three different view modes available; Thumbnails, Details and Report. I found it frustrating that you can't directly navigate folder (directory) structure from the browser, you have to repeatedly click on the 'Browse For Folder' icon. Double click on an image to open it in Edit mode, right-click for an options menu where you can copy and move images between folders, copy processing settings and paste them back onto a group of images.
Below is an example of Details view mode which includes a luminance histogram of the image along with basic exposure information (aperture, shutter speed, ISO sensitivity, exposure compensation, model). Additionally there's also a listing type report view mode.
Edit / development mode
Open an image into edit / development mode and you are provided with a default view and the floating master palette bar. Click on any button on the palette bar to display a palette window for adjustments to be made (see detail below). Below you can see an example of a typical setup with the histogram, EV adjustment and White Balance palettes displayed, the image at its default view (note how fuzzy and unsharp the overview image, we assume this is because IDC uses the embedded magnification JPEG for a fast preview).
Edit double view
IDC provides a side-by-side 'Double View' feature which provides a synchronized (zoom / position) comparison of the original image and as it appears after the currently selected image processing adjustments have been applied.
There are three information palettes, ten processing adjustment palettes and one for storing image processing settings. You can display or remove a palette by clicking on any button on the master palette. The settings themselves are stored in the .SR2 (RAW) file itself.
Other Edit features
* I'm not sure if it's by design or a bug but the clipped highlights / shadow options only indicate the edges of clipped image areas, this is both odd and confusing in equal measures.
IDC has a very basic provision of settings, essentially only selection of 'registered external programs' and color management options.
As we have mentioned before there are two types of RAW converter, those which are written natively for the platform on which they run (Windows, Intel/AMD for instance) and those which are based around an emulator of the camera's own DSP processor. Most manufacturers supply the later type because it is capable of producing results identical to the cameras JPEG mode (some supply both types).
I'm happy to report that although IDC is the 'emulator type' that Sony appear to have fixed at least the speed of the 'user experience' so that it now feels much snappier and easier to work with. Make a setting adjustment and this adjustment is reflected in the image within a second (on a fast PC), processing of the entire image takes a little longer as indicated by the progress bar at the bottom right of the window. If you scroll around while IDC is still processing it can take a second or two to update the area you have scrolled to. Below are timings made on our test PC (AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800, Windows XP SP2).
Time to update
Time to complete
|Open, view at 'actual size' (100%)||2.8 sec||8.4 sec|
|Contrast to 100||0.9 sec||6.6 sec|
|Adjust EV compensation||0.9 sec||6.6 sec|
|Save RAW as JPEG (high quality)||n/a||1.9 sec|
While IDC provides a good platform for the conversion of A100 RAW images I was disappointed that it hasn't been developed much beyond its first incarnation with the DSC-R1. This version does not include the ability to apply any Dynamic Range Optimization to RAW images or to select the 'DEC' image processing mode both of which are available in-camera. It seems like a quick-fix tool with the final solution waiting around the corner.
|Carla... by lickity split|
from Beautiful caucasian female faces
|Lunar New Year Fireworks by Michael L NYC 99|
|Vatican Basilica by wam7|
from Street lights
Canon just unveiled the largest 12-ink printer on the market. The new imagePROGRAF PRO-6000 printer can make prints from 17 all the way up to 60 inches wide.
"Standing in one of the holiest places on earth, I felt uneasy," writes Wired's Jason Parham. "Most of my fellow visitors, I realized with a brief bloom of nausea, were taking selfies."
Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk has been receiving great reviews, but it's a challenge to see it in its full glory. This handy infographic reveals the aspect ratio chaos that is wrought as the industry retreats from film.
Anti-bullying organization Ditch the Label's Annual Bullying Survey 2017 reveals yet again that Instagram, more so than any other social network, has a the worst effect on youth mental health.
It's been a crazy day for innovative patent news. Apparently Sony is thinking of developing a medium format curved sensor camera.
An update to the Silkypix Raw converter fixes some bugs and adds support for several popular new cameras.
This crazy custom-built underwater camera shoots 8x10 large format film. It's supposedly "the first successful underwater 8x10 ever made," and it can be yours for $5,800... plus shipping.
Blackmagic just reveled a new accessory for their Cintel Film Scanner. The Cintel Audio and KeyKode Reader can capture KeyKode data and high-quality audio from film in real-time as it is being scanned.
A new Nikon patent shows a lens designed for a curved full-frame sensor. Could this be the high-end Nikon mirrorless camera people are hoping for?
The ability to shoot images at 1,000 fps first appeared in a Sony smartphone sensor. Now the Japanese manufacturer is using the same feature for industrial applications.
Astronomy expert and photographer Dr. Tyler Nordgren thinks you should "see your first eclipse, photograph your second." But if you do plan on taking photos this August, here are a few tips from someone who's been there.
How confident are you that you can spot a manipulated photo? A recent study at the University of Warwick shows that many people are pretty bad at it.
If you purchased a Leica TL2, do NOT attach Leica's Visoflex electronic viewfinder. Leica is working on a fix, but for now, it's possible the viewfinder will break your camera.
Google just released Motion Stills for Android. Unlike the iOS version, the Android app uses a redesigned video processing pipeline that processes each frame of a video as it is being recorded, creating instant results.
A huge copyright lawsuit between photography firm VHT and Zillow Group is heating up again, as both sides appeal a court ruling that granted VHT $4 million in damages.
European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet spent 6 months on board the International Space Station where he worked with Google capturing spheric panorama images that are now available in Street View.
It's official. PDN has confirmed with parent company Aurelius that 94-year-old lighting company Bowens is indeed going out of business.
The newly launched firmware version 1.06 fixes AF-issues that can occur with some lenses that are not officially compatible with the MC-11 converter.
Voyager is a waterproof smart light stick you can control entirely from your phone. The light has already blown past its $300K funding goal on Indiegogo.
2018 is the last year Photokina will take place during the traditional end-of-September dates. In 2019, Photokina will take place from the 8th to the 11th of May.
The Canon IXUS 50 (known as the SD400 Digital ELPH in North America) was one of a string of high-performing, pocketable PowerShots of the mid-2000s. In this week's throwback Thursday, Barney casts his mind back to 2005.
A close look at the EOS 6D II's Raw files suggest its dynamic range has taken a significant step backwards compared with the company's recent DSLRs. We look at how much difference this might make for your photos.
With a full-production review unit in our hands, we've got over 100 production samples from the new Canon EOS 6D Mark II to share.
Need a break from your day? Kick back and watch the making of a somewhat unconventional mojito filmed on Canon's new EOS 6D Mark II.
The Bonfoton Camera Obscura Room Lens can turn any room into a camera obscura, projecting the view from your window onto the walls of your room.
Adobe just released version 2015.12 of Lightroom CC, adding support for several new cameras and lenses, and baking in several important bug fixes while they were at it.
In this interview, Chiara Marinai, photo editor for VanityFair.com, explains exactly what she looks for in new photographers and photo submissions. Take notes.
Massive corporation P&G is being sued by a Cincinnati photographer for serious copyright violations. If the courts rules against P&G, the company could pay as much as $75 million in damages.
Snapchat's camera-equipped 'Spectacles' aren't so difficult to get anymore. You can now pick up a pair through Amazon for $130.
A group of thieves has made away with tens of thousands in camera gear through a carefully orchestrated scam through Venmo and Facebook Marketplace.