Why Doesn't Canon/Nikon License RAW Converters to Adobe, Apple, etc.?

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by rishij, Nov 4, 2008.

  1. It is well accepted now (I hope) that different RAW converters vastly differ in their interpretation of colors coming from the same RAW file.
    For example:
    • Lightroom interprets reds as oranges, whereas Canon DPP keeps reds red
    • Lightroom tends to render skin tones with a greenish cast, whereas Canon DPP doesn't suffer from this problem
    Those are just two examples; there are many other differences. I myself have noticed this in Canon RAW files coming from 2 different Rebel XTi's and 2 different Canon 5D's. It's not a camera problem; it's just that Adobe Camera RAW just doesn't know what it's doing when it comes to interpreting the colors from Canon RAW files. I've heard similar complaints re: its handling of Nikon RAW files.
    Yes, using the ACR 'Camera Calibration' *can* help; but it really doesn't give you as 'rich' or 'nice' colors as Canon DPP. And it causes other artifacts. For example, every time I use the ACR calibrator & a Gretagmacbeth color checker card to come up with my values for the ACR calibration sliders, invariably the results indicate that I need to up the red saturation and move its hue 'to the left' (toward magenta). This causes magentas in the image to become overtly magenta, gaudily so. What happens is one gets patches of fully saturated magenta, which look unnatural. I will try and post some visual examples shortly.
    The recent release of the 'beta DNG profiles' from Adobe (here: http://labs.adobe.com/wiki/index.php/DNG_Profiles), changes all that and finally gives colors & renditions similar to the manufacturer's software (e.g. Canon DPP).
    My question is this: why don't camera manufacturer's (i.e. Canon, Nikon) license out their RAW converters, or at least their color interpretation component, to software companies such as Adobe (for ACR), or Apple (for Aperture), etc.? Camera manufacturer's aren't in the market for their software; in fact, photographers avoid their software like the plague. Camera manufacturers themselves could make money by licensing out these RAW conversion algorithms, and software developers wouldn't have to waste time trying to shoot color charts with test models of new cameras to extrapolate the color response of these cameras for their own RAW converters. Since time=money, this would mean that the software companies could also save money by buying the license from the camera manufacturers.
    At any rate, my bottom line is this: I don't understand why their isn't more communication between camera manufacturers and developers of photo editing software when it comes to RAW conversion. It's almost universally accepted that people like Canon DPP's rendition of colors in comparison to ACR (in Lightroom or Photoshop)... the people that don't even realize there's a difference: please open a RAW file in Lightroom vs. DPP & witness the color difference. Or, you've probably seen that when you first load up RAW files in Lightroom, the colors look great & saturated, then within seconds as Lightroom 'reads' the files, the colors become dull & ridiculous. That's because you're first seeing an embedded JPEG (processed by the camera, so, using the same RAW conversion as the manufacturer software) first, which is then replaced with a preview generated by Lightroom and the ACR engine.
    Anyway, just wanted to get some thoughts on this & what people think.
  2. It's simple: some software vendors don't want to spend what other vendors are asking in order to license their technology. Nikon, for example, has spent a lot of money evolving their own image handling and editing software. They're going to keep evolving that software. Adobe is a competitor that would like to have all of that business for themselves. What would be Nikon's motivation for letting someone else take away more of their software business, at no charge? So, they ask a price. And Adobe doesn't feel the need to pay, because they know they've got most people locked into using their products.
  3. i totaly understand your point.

    on the other hand, i find personnaly that all the canon image are a bit too red and a bit to saturated. So i simply use and create a preset that *fix* this, and get the file where i want it..without even really using the canon profile.

    I think it will be a good thing for all user that keep complaining that there DPP or Caputre is better out of the box, but for me that use Lr everyday and really know it..it will only save me a 1-2 second per image at best. Still, it will be nice to save them, as second make minute pretty fast.

    So yes, i think it could be a good idea for camera developper to give there recipe to Adobe..but maybe they are affraid that Adobe release a camera that shoot like a canon or nikon : )
  4. Matt, my argument did presuppose that Canon & Nikon don't, nor do they intend to, make money off of their software. My entire argument falls apart if they do.

    But, do they? Canon certainly doesn't sell their software; DPP is free. So, heck, why doesn't Canon just GIVE Adobe their RAW converter? In fact, if they did this, then, since most people want to use Adobe software anyway, Canon would have an edge in digital camera sales because consumers may CHOOSE a Canon digital camera over a Nikon digital camera simply because Adobe software conversions would be better for the Canon.

    Is it time for me to call up a Canon PR rep? :)

  5. BTW, I know this is my personal opinion, but for me Lightroom's conversions are so bad that I opt to first output the RAW files as TIFFs from Canon's DPP using a contrast of (-4) and the 'faithful' setting, then import these (62MB or more each) files into LR for post-processing.
    Pathetic, I know. But I know there are others out there like me (most of my friends that I've helped 'see the light' by forcing them to do their own comparisons, as well as others that discovered the color issues themselves). So I do think there's room for some improvement...
    Let me reiterate, though, that the new DNG profiles from the ACR team are quite amazing. I'm just wondering why the heck they have to even waste their time, money, & resources developing them when Canon should really just give it out for free or for a nominal fee.
  6. I have to say I think third parties licensing profiles or raw processors is a really, really bad idea.

    In short, it poisons the well of competition. If every third party software provider was using Nikon's raw converter, there would be no competition to produce the best image from a Nikon raw file. Such competition has almost certainly furthered the quality we get even from Nikon's own software.

    In general it has a negative effect on research. It shouldn't be that surprising that a third party could get better quality from a raw image file than the manufacturer of a sensor. You don't expect the maker of a violin to be the best player, and to use a photographic analogy Polaroid didn't anticipate or even encourage the kinds of uses people got from their products.

    Poorly implemented standards, bodged algorithms, and scattered knowledge are vastly preferable to unvarying, definitive implementations of converters from companies who are not actually known for their software quality. The former will continuously evolve through the pressure of competition and the thirst for innovation. The latter will stagnate like APS and disk film.
  7. "photographers avoid their software like the plague"

    I for one like DPP, their interpretation, their lens correction feature etc. I can copy style and paste it to
    the group etc. I've no use for lightroom. If I need to edit more extensively I convert the CR2 to either TIFF
    or DNG and edit in PS, or just use the JPG out of camera since I shoot RAW + JPG sometimes.

    I understand where you're coming from and who knows what's going to happen down the line but for now
    I trust the manufacturer rather than the 3rd party.
  8. for what reason then im staying with Ligthroom? dam, i should get DPP rigth away and start getting better image for my client..all this time i tought my image look good...


    I think a software is as good as the operator; if pro, real pro, have switch from C1Pro (or others) to Ligthroom..there must be a reason? why then those pro ditn use DPP or Capture instead?..maybe because they can get a better or similar quality out of it, as fast as anyone can do it with the manufacturer software.

    Thats not to start a argument about apple vs orange, it just to let people know that serious user get amazing result as today with Lr, sure a littler preset would be a nice addition (they already start doing some for nikon and canon) but if i can develop a canon or nikon raw in 10sec in Lr..im sure other user can also.
  9. on the other end, i keep my workflow simple by knowing only 1 raw converter and master it well, instead of having to get capture, dpp, c1pro and others existing, since im working for photographer and therefore have acces to a lot of different brand and model raw everyday. It would be insane to have all of those software and tried to fully understand them.
  10. Patrick,

    Do you shoot any landscapes? It's not just that I can't, in 10 seconds, get pleasing results from LR. I can spend countless hours in LR & NEVER get the right colors. Because the RAW conversion is just plain wrong. Reds should not be orange and oranges should not be yellow. When I shoot Velvia film, an orange sunset comes back orange, not yellow/green (& yes I have a profiled monitor & have intensely studied color management).

    I'm not doubting it works for you. I'm just saying that, objectively, reds should be red. And btw I scored perfect on the following Color IQ test :)


    And Michael: wow, I gotta say, in your one posting you've convinced me that you're right & I'm wrong :) I guess I'm also more willing to concede defeat now that the ACR team has put out pretty damn good profiles as of the October 22nd update that I linked to above.

  11. The algorithms the various raw processors use are part and parcel of a company's intellectual property. Thye have a great deal invested in it.

    Part of the problem is that they fear that too much transparency with a second party like Adobe may somehow inadvertently result in a leak of their proprietary information over to their more direct competitors (Canon v Nikon v Sony v Pentax v etc.) and from that raw raw code it might be possible to glean intimations of where a company plans to go in the future. While of course the competitors can (and do) buy each others cameras and software and take a good hard look at it it doesn't make competitive sense to make it easier for company A to company B's life easier.
  12. "It's simple: some software vendors don't want to spend what other vendors are asking in order to license their technology." It's simple, but it has nothing to do with the issue at hand. Both Nikon and Canon provide their raw converters in a form that others can link to (SDKs with DLLs). Where does that leave Adobe? They have to hope that linking the Nikon and Canon code doesn't cause any additional stability problems with Lightroom, in addition to maintaining their own code base for Pentax, Sony, Hasselblad, Leaf, Fuji, etc.. Then they have to figure out how to send the parameters to the Nikon and Canon SDKs so that the Lightroom sliders do the same thing if you move hue 12 degrees and set sharpening +25 for a Sony through the Adobe engine, a Nikon through the Nikon engine, a Canon through the Canon engine, etc. That means a whole lot of reverse engineering and experimentation. So, the basic argument is wrong: it's not that Adobe can't get Nikon and Canon engines, it's that they don't really want them. p.s. Rishi, if your standard for getting colors right is Velvia, then your entire argument about which converters do and don't get colors right has and unstable foundation and will collapse.
  13. Bascially as Matt Laur said, Nikon, in particular has an interest in protecting a market for their imaging software.
    I find that both Lightroom, and Aperture tend to make the skin tones on my D200 orange. But I also discovered PhaseOne Capture 1 and so far that does a nice job on the skin tones of my D200 Neff files.
  14. IBM at one time, did'nt take their software seriously. Now all they can do is look out their WINDOWS.
    IT would be a big mistake to let a software company control the future of your product. Its the interpretation of color that is sold in camera comercials. If all cameras had the same tonalities, it might limit some of our choices in creativity. And yes we can probably recreate with software almost any interpretation we see fit, but it is nice to open our minds to these interpretations. Photography is not just an act of documentation of sight but an art form as seen through the eyes of the mind and heart.
  15. Like I've always said to myself about digital camera's, you're not buying a lens and camera body, you're buying software and a
    CMOS, Foveon or Bayer sensor.

    There's no way around it.
  16. Rishi, which DNG profiles do you find useful? I have a Canon 20D and I've yet to really figure out how to use the DNG profiles in a useful way. All the camera presets have a magenta cast- Adobe standard looks the best of them. Camera standard has some odd colors but I like that it compresses the shadows.
  17. Even using the various profiles available in ACR, none match the file when it's opened in Capture NX/NX 2. ACR opened files are darker
    overall, including the colors, especially reds. If there's a way to make a preset in ACR to make it match NX/NX 2 I'm not aware of how to
    do it.
  18. Carl, you know the little right panel with exposure, recovery, fill etc..on the side of the screen? this is where you *fix* it : )

    As previously said, just create a preset, a base preset for ALL your image, a setting that have 1/2 or 3/4 of a stop (.50 or .70 let say) a bit of recovery, a bit of fill light, black 3, add 24 and 25 for noise luminance and color, let the sharpen at default, add 20-40 clarity, 15-25 vibrance...in color remove a bit of saturation for the red, add a bit or majenat to it and BAM BAM a newly base preset for many CANON camera.

    im too good for the rest of the mortal or what..i dont think so?! If it work for me on 8 image a day..it should work for any of you..i cant see why not?!

    dam, just give it a try..its free.
  19. heres, for the lazy one : )
  20. That doesn't display, Patrick, and I shoot Nikon anyway.
  21. nothing to display its a zip file, you just have to click on it to make it download on your desktop.

    same settign apply to nikon also, in any case, you will certainly have to refine some setting, thats normal..then you save it as a new preset for you.

    the point is, user open a image in Lr, take a look at it, close it and rant about Lr without trying most of the time just to do basic corrections..it take me generally around 10-20 sec to *fix* 1 images, then if the other are similar, applied the setting to them also and then refining the setting for each of them...just do 8 studio shot (could have been nature, car, trees..but it append it was a girl over a gray background) from a P45, with the export, a 125meg file x 8 it took around 5min to import / correct / export.
  22. Patrick, I did download the file, but it would not open. Here's the error message.

    Safari can’t open the file “*BASIC_NOSHARPEN.lrtemplate” because no available application can open it
  23. its a lr 2 file compress in a zip format.

    so you double click the desktop file, it will open as a folder, inside a lr 2 file, double click it or put it in your develop preset folder. But you probably need Lr 2.1 to read it.
  24. AHA, I use ACR 4, not LR. I don't even have LR. I should have paid attention to the file to start with, and I would have
    known it was a LR file. Can you do that for ACR 4?
  25. when i have time aroudn chrismas : )

    until then, applied what i said i ACR.
  26. Joseph, my entire argument fell apart when I decided to disagree with the entire tenets of, uh, my argument by agreeing with Michael that it would limit progress.


    Also, no, Velvia is not a standard for color accuracy. Though I would argue that reds do stay red, oranges stay orange. Which ACR was not able to previously do. Also, let's not bust too much on Velvia -- the absorbance spectra of their dyes are incredibly broad which makes for quite comprehensive color coverage. Additionally, for properly exposed Velvia, *most* colors (ok, maybe reds get a bit gaudily saturated) do end up looking like what I remember when I shot the original scene. Open to debate...

  27. Carl, are you sure that black clipping isn't set to 5 or something like that? LR has a default setting leaving black clipping at +5, which is usually too much for me, so one of the first things I do with RAW files in LR is take the black clipping down to something more reasonable like +2, then darken shadows (if I want to) using the Tone Curve tool.

    Roger, I find 'Camera Neutral beta 2' to be quite good in color rendition, i.e. a great starting point with no observable casts nor any overly gaudy saturation. I don't see the magenta cast on my profiled monitors that you speak of. I only see that in the 'Camera faithful beta 2' profile; this same magenta cast is also seen when using the 'faithful' setting in Canon DPP. The only problem I find with 'Camera Neutral beta 2' (& some of the other 'camera' profiles) is that it does make the images significantly darker. However, I fix this by taking 'Black Clipping' down to 0.

    Joseph, your analysis is interesting & I thank you for that. I guess I was kinda thinking that the image manipulation algorithms (e.g. a shifting hue, increasing saturation) would be applied on top of RGB values that are derived from the Canon or Nikon RAW converters (like working on a 'flattened' TIFF file of a RAW file output from Canon DPP), which would then decouple image manipulations from the color derivation process of a RAW file. In other words, Canon's RAW converter would only be used by Adobe to really get an input device profile (like a scanner profile), in which case subsequent edits to the image would not be run through the Canon engine at all. Is this possible and, if so, shouldn't software companies such as Adobe, Apple, Phase One, capitalize on it?

    In fact, is that what the ACR team did to get these 'Camera Neutral beta 2', 'Camera Faithful beta 2' profiles? Because these profiles mimic the same ('Neutral', 'Faithful', etc.) names of settings in Canon's own DPP software...

  28. Here is some solution http://labs.adobe.com/wiki/index.php/DNG_Profiles
    Best regards,

  29. Edgar, thanks, but, uh, c'mon -- did you read the original post all the way through?? :)
  30. "Photography is not just an act of documentation of sight but an art form as seen through the eyes of the mind and heart."

    Point duly noted, David. However, when I do landscapes, sometimes, more often than not, I want documented exactly what I see b/c the colors of a Pacific Northwest sunset in the winter are stunning in & of themselves. At the very least, accurate reproduction of the colors that I witness gives me, arguably, the best & most unbiased starting point from which to create my vision, no?
  31. As a landscape photographer, nature gives us quite the scenery to literally document if we are brave enough to venture out and find these dramatic scenes. Color accuracy & HDR both strive to recreate what the human eye sees. I don't think either are an un-worthwhile pursuit.
  32. Rishi, it is the prerogative of the photographer to capture any subject as he sees it, whether or not it appears the same way
    in Nature. That is why Velvia has been a huge hit with landscape photogs. For many folks it's about interpretation, not
    about an exact copy. That's what art is all about.
  33. Adobe doesn't use the Canon / Nikon SDK (or SDKs of other manufacturers, generally) for several reasons. One of the primary ones is that raw
    conversion via these SDKs is generally treated as a black box. This makes it difficult or impossible to insert specific kinds of functionality, such as
    highlight recovery or fill light. Scene-referred color profiles are another example. The application of these image processing steps need to be done
    on the raw data at specific stages; applying them to the rendered data obtained from an SDK is no good.

    On the subject of color, it's very subjective. Many folks find Canon's Standard Picture Style very pleasing. Colorimetrically, it is very, very
    inaccurate. (None of their Picture Styles are that accurate, actually.) But many users like it because the images look nice, and ultimately that's what
    counts in the vast majority of cases. Velvia is also pretty much as far as it gets from colorimetric accuracy and we all know how popular it is among
    landscape photographers.

    Camera makers often regard their color rendering as a matter of branding, i.e., product differentiators. These are "Canon colors" and those are
    "Nikon colors." They do not regard it in their interest to divulge how they render the colors from the raw data.

    On a technical note, the orange/red issue that has often been mentioned regarding Adobe's old profiles was due to a limitation of the color profile
    format used by Camera Raw and Lightroom in earlier versions. The older profiles were __deliberately__ hue & sat shifted to deal with excessive
    infrared sensitivity on some cameras, which would cause skin tones to turn a nasty shade of pink; the side effect was that deep saturated reds
    would often go orange, more so on some cameras than on others. That is all old news (and largely irrelevant now), because our profile format has
    been greatly expanded in the DNG 1.2 spec, which is used by CR and LR starting with CR 4.5 and LR 2.0, and has made possible the new beta
    profiles currently available on the Adobe Labs site.

    BTW, we have received feedback from those who actually __prefer__ the old-style Camera Raw colors because, in their words, "they are more
    accurate" (which is generally true). So it goes to show how subjective this is.

    And it's one reason we built the DNG Profile Editor. So folks who have their own opinions about how they want colors from raw files to be appear
    can build their own profiles to their hearts' content.

    Eric Chan

    p.s., Disclaimer: I work on the Camera Raw & Lightroom engineering teams and was responsible for building the new color profiles and DNG
    Profile Editor.
  34. Thanks for joining in Eric. Great of you to share your knowledge in this way. Two things:

    (1) I use both CS4 and LR2. I have often praised the beauty of DPP color rendition (while lamenting its interface). And I think Adobe is on the right track with the new DNG profiles. I've tried 'em on lots of CR2 files. I usually prefer the Adobe Standard rendition to that of original ACR 4.4. And I can't wait until they are perfected and finalized. (They seem darn close to me already, despite "beta" status.)

    (2) You seem to be agreeing, at least in part, with the premise of Rishi's original question: it's the camera manufacturer's who are hamstringing the utility of their own cameras by keeping Adobe in the dark about how best to wring the last drop of image quality from their raw data. They have the "right" to do that. But they are shooting themselves in the foot. It's rather like a maker of color film keeping secret from photo labs how best to develop their film products. That would be ridiculous. And it seems to me that - assuming Adobe has no plans to start selling cameras - Canon and Nikon are being just as ridiculous. (Have these people never heard of non-disclosure agreements?)
  35. Hi Bill, thanks for your comments.

    Regarding point #2: I understand the point you're making, but I don't agree entirely with the premise. While it is true that in theory the
    camera makers should have the most detailed knowledge regarding the behavior of their own optics & sensors, that does not
    automatically mean they know how best to "wring the last drop of image quality from their raw data" -- or, even if they do, that they choose
    to do so by default.

    For example, I noted earlier how DPP's default color renderings (via its Picture Styles) are "pleasing" but not "accurate"; this is a deliberate
    (and understandable) choice made by Canon, but whether it is "best" is in the eye of the beholder. While many users find these renditions
    very nice, others find them extremely heavy-handed and over the top (to be practically useless), while others still actually do need
    accurate scene-referred color for some applications. So some users would argue that Canon is actually providing a bogus starting point
    with respect to color. Again, color is highly subjective and depends on the user's needs.

    As another example, DPP also generally applies a higher level of baseline noise reduction (at default settings) compared to Camera Raw
    and Lightroom (also at default settings). So the common thinking is that a moderate-to-high ISO CR2 file processed in CR/LR will look
    noisier than the same file processed in DPP at default settings. The natural conclusion reached is that CR/LR has no idea how to process
    CR2 files because they don't have the same knowledge about CR2 files that Canon does.

    The more truthful reason is that Canon spends a good amount of time tuning the default DPP settings (and hence results) for their
    cameras, probably a lot more time than we do with CR/LR. This is understandable: many users form deep impressions about a camera
    from the first view of the image they see -- at default settings, without touching any knobs. So it is in Canon's interest to make sure that the
    first impression is as good as possible, since most users just use the defaults, and reviews by most sites are also conducted with defaults.
    This observation applies generally to all camera makers, not just Canon.

    Adobe's position & philosophy are different here. With CR/LR, Adobe aims to provide a fairly deep set of tools that allows the user to craft
    the raw image into the final rendered image. That's it. Yes, we do try to provide decent default settings, but we don't attach much
    significance to how the images look at their defaults. The defaults are just a starting point within CR/LR, not the finished product. It is really
    up to the photographer to use the available tools to render the final image to match his/her vision (on an image-by-image basis). This is,
    after all, the fundamental idea behind shooting raw: the raw files allow significantly more room for post-processing than a baked JPEG
    does; if little to no post-processing is desired, then shooting JPEG is really the best route.

    We do make it pretty easy for users to define their own defaults, so if they don't like the CR/LR defaults they can simply use their own;
    however, there are 2 drawbacks of this approach: (1) Most users are not familiar with how to set their own defaults, and (2) it doesn't get
    around the fact that the deepest impressions are still formed from the original Adobe-created defaults.

    The advantage of Adobe's approach is that I feel we have provided a pretty good set of tools (with more to come, of course). The
    disadvantage is that we're assuming users are willing to learn how to use those tools. Many users are, but many aren't (or aren't aware
    that they're supposed to).

    In summary, the camera makers tend to produce default images as close to the final output as possible (based on assumptions on how
    photographers want their output to look) whereas Adobe tends to produce a fairly neutral baseline from which to perform additional
    adjustments (based on assumptions that the photographers understand how to use tools to do so). In most cases, this philosophical
    difference is the primary reason for the difference in default renderings between CR/LR and the camera makers' software, much more so
    than any specific technical know-how.

    That said, some camera makers have been willing to work with Adobe and provide information on how their camera systems behave,
    which do aid in our image processing. This is a welcome step.

    Also, we've recognized the importance of first impressions and defaults, which is partly why we have the new camera profiles. The older
    profiles were based on accurate scene-referred colorimetry, the idea behind to provide a neutral and (reasonably) accurate baseline and
    let the users figure out how to map the colors using the available controls. That ended up not being really what users wanted.
  36. Hi Rishi (et al),

    I use neither Nikon nor Adobe software to convert .NEF files. I use DxO Optics Pro (www.DxO.com). It does far more than just converting raw files. Every supported camera and lens has been calibrated in an optics laboratory. It aims to correct all the defects in a body, and all the aberrations in lenses, and the results are very visible.

    As a professional in image processing, I can immediately see what it is doing, even though DxO Labs give very little away on their web site (would you expect them to?). It is not particularly fast, even on a fast multiprocessor, but that is because its algorithms are very advanced and processor intensive.

    In terms of results, it is like the difference between fast 35mm film and slow medium format film.

    I have produced a 600x800mm print from a Nikon D80 with the 18-70mm lens. At the time, I did not know that the customer wanted a print that size, otherwise I would have digitised from medium format. It does not have the biting crispness that I would have got from pulling a Cibachrome from 5x4, but it is perfectly acceptable, and the customer ordered further work.

    DxO Optics Pro supports a very respectable range of camera bodies and lenses, including third party lenses.

    It does have one defect. Its perspective correction facility is no better than Photoshop’s, which means that it is utter crap (I do know a little about perspective control).

    If you are a serious digital photographer, it would be worthwhile running a free trial. However, do not expect results as spectacular as those illustrated on their web site, because they have obviously chosen very bad cameras and lenses.
  37. ted_marcus|1

    ted_marcus|1 Ted R. Marcus

    Lightroom interprets reds as oranges, whereas Canon DPP keeps reds red
    Try the "DNG profiles" download from the Adobe Labs site. Although they're still (second) beta, the "Adobe Standard" profile renders reds far more accurately than the "ACR 4.4" profile (at least for my 350D; I have to assume they've made similar improvements for other Canon models). It's now my default setting.
  38. One of things I learned at the Epson Print Academy yesterday (11/8/08)
    http:http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/PrintAcademy/pa_home.jsp (And I highly recommend Track 2 for serious
    amateurs and pros) is that ACR's default color rendering and sharpening is based on the Canon EOS 1Ds Mark 2.
    Different models of cameras, even from the same manufacturer have different characteristics. once you have a
    profile (adjusted settings) or series of profiles you like you can make new presets for different shooting
    conditions ( different lighting , different white balances, or different ISO settings or any combination of the
    above ) and choose one of those as your default.
  39. Uh, because LR cannot read NEF in-camera settings and did not even have an effective USM in its first iteration, so I am told. Meantime, Capture NX delivers the best results that emerge from Nikon DSLRs, with most of what 'real photographers' want, and more importantly need.

    Does LR have control selection points? Gee, for a software company they are a little behind in software technology..make a good file system though. Maybe yours is a Canon-specific deal, but Nikon users get a very different offering, one that does not often involve Adobe, for a large number of them.

    Adobe's repulsive upgrade price and legacy body support options also rankle.
  40. Phillip,
    $99 to go from Lightroom 1 to 2 isn't unreasonable. You can also keep using LR 1 with a new camera by just converting files to DNG and then importing them.

    LR has a perfectly functional sharpening routine in both versions 1 and 2- I use it for capture sharpening instead of Photokit now.

    What is a "control section point"- are you referring to curves? Lightroom has a different implementation of curves than Photoshop and if you need the latter, export to CS3 as a smart object and you can undo any changes Lightroom made non-destructively.
  41. > ACR's default color rendering and sharpening is based on the Canon EOS 1Ds Mark 2.

    Uh, that's not what I said...Lightroom 2 has two presets for sharpening; Portrait and Landscape and THOSE presets were
    made with a 16MP+ camera in mind (yes, we did use the 1DsMII when determining those settings) but it's not accurate
    to say "ACR's default color rendering and sharpening is based on the Canon EOS 1Ds Mark 2". It isn't. Each camera has
    it's own default settings for color, sharpening and noise reduction but each of these can be changed by the user by
    creating a new default.

    Don't confuse "defaults" with "Presets"...they are not the same.
  42. >Does LR have control selection points?

    No need...LR 2 (and CR 5.x) have both local brushes and gradient adjustments.

    Seriously, if you want Lightroom (and/or Camera Raw) to render raw files like the camera maker's software, all you need to
    do is download and install the DNG Profiles for Lightroom 2.x and Camera Raw 4.6 or above.
  43. >My question is this: why don't camera manufacturer's (i.e. Canon, Nikon) license out their RAW converters, or at least
    their color interpretation component, to software companies such as Adobe (for ACR), or Apple (for Aperture), etc.?

    To the OP...Adobe COULD use the Nikon and Canon SDK if Adobe wanted to, but neither deliver true unrendered raw files
    through the SDK so pretty much ALL the controls and adjustments that Camera Raw (and Lightroom) currently use would
    NOT be able to be used. The camera makers' SDKs use their own raw demosiacing and result in rendered files-which would
    (for good or bad) match the camera makers' software...which would defeat the purpose of providing an alternative toolset.
  44. Jeff,

    Amazing to see you here, as your help on the LR fora (seems like years ago now) was always unparalleled!

    Yes, I know, the DNG profiles are amazing. I admitted that in the original post :) Minus the fact that all the camera specific ones seem to lead to darker images (but I just up the exposure/brightness, so no big deal). But the 'Adobe Standard' one itself is great. Much better than the previous ACR profiles.

    In fact, I've been so distracted going through all my previous Canon RAW files that I left to process at a later date b/c of poor LR color rendition, that I haven't had a chance to respond Eric Chan's posts.

    First, I'd like to thank you & your team for these new profiles. They give incredible results.

    Second, based on my results of shooting a Gretagmacbeth Color Checker with a Canon 5D (RAW), I have to say that it's not so simple to just say that Canon's rendition of the RAW file is 'colorimetrically inaccurate'. It depends on what color you're talking about. Using the new DNG profiles for Lightroom 2.x, the 'camera specific' profiles lead to the red patch on the ColorChecker closely matching the theoretical hue of this patch; however, at the same time, causes a hue shift (red-shift) in the rendition of the yellowish-orange patch. The ACR profile renders the yellowish-orange patch more accurately, whereas causing a huge yellow-shift (well, technically we'd call this a 'blue-shift', right?) in the red patch.

    I'd like to take some more time and actually get back to you with numbers (i.e. hue angle compared to what the theoretical value should be) and/or comparisons with Bruce Lindbloom's 'theoretical' rendition of a ColorChecker card. Rather than all this 'soft-talk' that my last paragraph consisted of.

    A little busy on another forum right now but will be back with those results.

    Thanks to everyone!
  45. Oh, sweet, thanks Jeff for your last post. This is why you are absolutely indispensable!

    That pretty much cleared up everything & fully answered my original question. I am now a firm anti-believer in my original premise :)

  46. I wonder- what sort of changes to the sharpening presets would make it more approriate for an 8MP camera?

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