RAW does not match preview

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by benlonghair, Jul 1, 2010.

  1. benlonghair

    benlonghair TPF Noob!

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    So I've got an issue.

    The image I see on my review screen and the histogram that I see do not match the RAW I see when I download.

    I want to know if there's a way to make the JPG thumbnail or rider or whatever match the RAW more closely. Things that look perfectly exposed in the reveiw screen are sometimes as much as 1.6 stops under exposed while the preview looks great. Which sucks.

    Am I missing something in my camera?
     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Do you mean that the histogram changes from when reviewed on the camera and when viewed on your computer?

    Have you tried shootin RAW+JPG and comparing the images?

    What RAW editor are you using?
     
  3. benlonghair

    benlonghair TPF Noob!

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    Yes, the histograms don't match. Often the RAW will be significantly to the left of where it shows on the camera.

    I have not tried RAW/JPG, but I will the next time I shoot.

    I'm using UFRaw and GIMP.
     
  4. crimbfighter

    crimbfighter No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'm by no means an expert, but what I've noticed with my camera is the in camera editing done to convert the RAW to jpeg will adjust the exposures, contrast ect. which, correct me if I'm wrong, will then also alter the histogram.

    Have you tried applying the same adjustments to the RAW that the camera applies to make the jpeg and see if the histograms match then? Again, might be wrong on this, but I don't think the LCD actually displays the true RAW file. :spank: me if I'm wrong! :lol:
     
  5. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    What about the RAW processing program that shipped with the camera?
     
  6. benlonghair

    benlonghair TPF Noob!

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    AFAIK it didn't ship with a raw converter. It shipped with the Nikon Transfer and ViewNX and a 10 day trial of CaptureNX. Capture is their RAW converter I'm pretty sure.

    I'm aware of what it's doing. I want to know if I can stop it from doing it.
     
  7. j-digg

    j-digg TPF Noob!

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    This seems to be correct.
    I recall reading a similar thread on POTN ... It seems the LCD image is indeed the display of whatever in-camera PP is set to, more or less it is showing you the JPG.. So whatever "picture style" you have applied will show up in the preview in the camera. I.E. "Landscape" this will boost sturation and sharpness ( or whatever ) of the photo, until you open up the RAW on your comp...

    And to "stop" it from happening Ive read that to get the preview to have a similar look in comparisson to the RAW file you may want to have picture style set to "Neutral" ( Not sure if this is what its called on Nikon.).. that way no extra contrast or anything is applied, giving you a more "untouched" look thus appearing closer to the RAW file.
     
  8. g-fi

    g-fi TPF Noob!

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    In camera editing/ JPG preview x2. Do you by any chance have your camera settings set to a "mode" like Vivid, etc? It can be frustrating to see the difference between a RAW and the JPG preview, but the flexibility of processing a RAW image makes up for it, imo. I shoot RAW=JPG and I like to underexpose a bit to preserve highlight detail, and I've learned that if it looks "right" on my LCD, it will be where I want it to be in RAW when I go to pp. BTW, this is where a batch editor comes in handy, I love LR because when I'm dealing with a set of images, once I edit one the way I want it, I can import and apply those settings to an entire batch and be done with the initial editing. Super easy!

    I think when it comes to RAW, you really have to let go of the expectations you learned shooting in JPG, and just learn the rules of shooting in RAW. It's totally worth it.

    Edit to add: As far as I know, there's no way to really get around the RAW/JPG difference when it comes to previewing your pictures, other than to just learn the difference and not rely completely on your preview. It's like learning the subtle differences of your camera, does it habitually overexpose, etc. If your RAW histograms are always significantly different than your JPG, learn what it is you need to do to compensate.. or buy a new camera!
     
  9. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    This is not a valid statement. You can not view a RAW file, not in the camera and not on your computer.

    What is happening is that the camera is doing a RAW to "camera's internal display format" (this is NEVER JPEG, but is usually an 8 bit bitmap format similar to BMP). The conversion is done using the camera settings for ISO, contrast, saturation, noise reduction, & various other in-camera options. It then uses this bitmap to generate the histogram and the display image.

    When you "view the RAW" on your computer you are viewing a different RAW-to-bitmap conversion performed by the viewing software. In most cases, the viewing software will not have access to image processing routines that are identical to those in the camera's image processor. The computer based conversion software also doesn't usually have access to all of the image adjustment settings (these are not applied to the RAW data but are listed in the EXIF data and/or proprietary header data). As a result the computer's software must use its own default settings and its own judgment (for auto functions) to create the initial display image, which means it won't match the one seen in camera.

    If you want the initial computer display to be a near match (they will never match exactly as the camera's display screen will not match the computers in tonal range and other attributes) you must use software provided by the camera manufacturer that does replicate the camera's image processor. That, or you have to accept a modestly close match and spend quite a bit of time adjusting both the camera's display and image processor settings and you computer software's conversion defaults to achieve the close match.

    With most cameras that shoot RAW, software that matches the camera is not offered. Nikon does offer a software package which has image processing routines that are an excellent twin to the in camera processor and that has full access to those settings stored in Nikon's proprietary data fields. That software is Capture NX.
     
  10. benlonghair

    benlonghair TPF Noob!

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    That's the answer I was looking for, I guess.
     

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