Not what I expected: Issues shooting in RAW

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by benlonghair, Oct 28, 2009.

  1. benlonghair

    benlonghair TPF Noob!

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    Hi folks. Been kinda annoyed lately. I've taken the advice of people here and only shoot in RAW.

    That was fine at first. Minor tweaks needed and everything looked good.

    Now it seems as though I've changed a setting or something and the exposure that shows up on the preview (both in camera and using ViewNX) isn't even close. It's a difference of 2.5-3 stops. And it's not just exposure. The curves are all effed up; some I have to move the white point 50% of the way to the left. A shot that looks pretty good in ViewNX (and this isn't just the thumbnail, it's the 100% shot as well) looks like shiat in UFRaw.

    I don't have any examples since I'm sitting at work thinking about this, but I can post some later.

    Insight appreciated.
     
  2. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    you might check that you haven't gotten into the exposure compensation program and it is now making the adjustments for you.

    or, have you engaged the auto bracketing function and it is making changes as well?

    it would help to see an image with the metadata attached so we can see what is going on
     
  3. benlonghair

    benlonghair TPF Noob!

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    Thanks, ann, I'll do that when I get home.
     
  4. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I'm a little confused - just to clarify is this incamera that your getting problems or in camera and in editing or just editing.
    If it is editing chances are you enabled some preset for something that is messing up your shots as the RAW processor displayes them
    If its in camera that your getting problems then first thing I would do is reset back to factory settings through the main menu. Chances are you adjusted some exposure compensatin/bracketing as well as adjusted your whitebalance mode (moved to manual or some other setting off auto) and might even have tweaked the image processing settings as well - that might be a case since the image you get on the LCD and in previews is the JPEG ebedded in the RAW which is processed to the incamera settings for image processing. So tweaking conrast and such might be giving you odd looking previews
     
  5. benlonghair

    benlonghair TPF Noob!

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    Overread: I don't know. The histogram on the camera looks a little underexposed, but only slightly. I figure it's better to underexpose a little and not blow out highlights. When I open it in UFRaw (my RAW converter) it's nowhere near what I was seeing in previews, colors are drab.

    My first thought was that, as you said, it was just showing me a jpg conversion and it wasn't the actual RAW. But how can the preview be that far off? If I expose correctly, the preview is just going to be completely blown out. At that point, why even have a preview?

    EDIT: What I'll do when I get home is open the same photo in ViewNX and in UFRaw and screenshot them so you can see the difference.

    EDIT 2: My camera doesn't have auto-bracketing :)() and I run about 2/3-4/3 underexposed in aperture priority mode.
     
  6. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    At the moment if your previews are massivly overexposed I think you have some editing setting set in camera to cause that problem if the base RAW is working well.
    As for exposure search on "expose to the right". With digital its best to have the most image data (light) you can and thus have the histogram as far over ot the right as you possibly can - whilst of course avoiding blowing the highlights - which personally I find a real challenge when wanting to expose right.

    edit - underexposure values like that I often find myself using during bright daylight conditions to save the highlights, but its not where my meter normally lies. Normally its firmly on "normal" exposure and I balance from there in the light I have
     
  7. benlonghair

    benlonghair TPF Noob!

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    I gotta do something, cause the amount of PP I'm having to do is stupid. I shouldn't have to play with the image for half an hour to make it look even slightly usable.

    The other thing is instead of showing blown out highlights on my preview, maybe I should just leave it on histogram and say screw the preview.
     
  8. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Hmm I still think it sounds like you've done a combo of moving your whitebalance mode and your incamera editing - that is if after editing the shot its still retaining its details. In that chance the RAW procsesor is reading your incamera presets and applying them to the image direct - good if your incamera presets are well set ;)

    As for displays I normally have mine to show histogram and highlights - often as the histgram is small and its easy to miss the far edges and any over/underexposre on them. The blinking lights showing overexposed areas is much more direct and it also shows where the overexposure problems are as well which I find great. Sometimes your going to have an area over/underexpose and you can't help that (sky for example) knowing that you have overexposure by the histogram is one thing but knowing that its the sky is even better.
     
  9. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I would hope you have changed the settings because every shot is different, you can't just set up your camera and go out and shoot without changing something unless you are shooting on P
     
  10. benlonghair

    benlonghair TPF Noob!

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    Ya, in general I shoot in A, and adjust the exp comp as I go. But I adjust via highlights on the preview and (sometimes) histogram.

    I think a big part of my problem is the preview is not representative of the actual shot.
     
  11. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I recall reading recently that one of the suggested ways is to set the incamera JPEG editing to faithfull/natural or a similar setting and to have the contrast set a little lower than normal
    but that should only be affecting detection of highlights and the rough overall colour saturations and not affecting your white balance at all.
     
  12. benlonghair

    benlonghair TPF Noob!

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    My WB generally stays on auto. It's rarely wrong even if the RAW is exposed horribly. Might tinker with it a little in PP, but nothing huge.
     

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