RAW and UFRaw (don't use it!!)

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Adam
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RAW and UFRaw (don't use it!!)

by Adam » Sat Apr 28, 2012 2:05 am

I'm not sure if anyone has any experience with UFRaw. I can't get a better image than what my camera (Canon G11) produces for jpegs..
Last edited by Adam on Sun Apr 29, 2012 8:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: RAW and UFRaw

by Steve_D » Sat Apr 28, 2012 6:00 am

Because your photos are so good, I've just begun experimenting with having the camera take RAW images instead of JPEG's myself. I installed RAWtherapee on my Ubuntu Linux computer and it seems like a great standalone RAW image editor. I'm going to try to learn to "develop" the RAW images like professional photographers do, after learning some of the features and techniques of editing RAW images. UFRaw works well with the GIMP image editing program in Linux or Windows, and RAWtherapee is available for Windows, Mac OSX and Linux, already in the Ubuntu Linux repositories for quick installation.

Although you are complaining about your results, to me your photos look really great, so I'm going to try to use your photos and those of PeatMoss and others as a standard to aspire to, in learning to edit the RAW images as the cameras sensors actually see them. RAWtherapee automatically does the initial processing such as demosaicing (interpolating pixel colors from the red, green and blue filters in the Bayer-pattern sensors).

Anyway, yours was the final push I needed to begin to dig into the wonderful and mysterious world of developing and processing RAW images. Thank you, Adam. :)

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Re: RAW and UFRaw

by Adam » Sat Apr 28, 2012 7:38 am

Thanks for the kind words :)

Posts like this http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showpost.php?p=2208481&postcount=58 convinced me of switching to RAW. Or at least keeping both, so later I could get a better print if I wanted to.

You have to have a nice crisp photo like the pear blossom to use as an experiment. Zoom in so it's at least 1:1. Then have the different versions side by side just to see how much is missing. Unless I find some issue with how I'm using UFRaw, I'm not going to use it any more as I'm losing detail. I don't think I should have to resort to using GIMP to sharpen the image.. I may be wrong and this is what my camera is doing to make that nice jpeg.

So much to learn, so little time :)
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Re: RAW and UFRaw

by Steve_D » Sat Apr 28, 2012 2:03 pm

Adam wrote:Then have the different versions side by side just to see how much is missing. Unless I find some issue with how I'm using UFRaw, I'm not going to use it any more as I'm losing detail. I don't think I should have to resort to using GIMP to sharpen the image.. I may be wrong and this is what my camera is doing to make that nice jpeg.

I think that one reason photographers like to shoot in RAW mode (exactly what the sensors see, including the red, green and blue filters in the bayer pattern that allows an essentially black and white light sensor to capture enough information for software to interpret and interpolate the color) is to avoid the white balance and automatic sharpening that the camera applies before saving the final JPEG or TIFF file.

I know that I've shot some photos before in which the white balance was set much too far to the red or blue side, and editing the JPEG to try to bring the color balance back the other direction was difficult without looking artificial. In RAW mode, no red or blue color shift (white balance) nor sharpening is applied, giving photographers absolute control over all aspects of dynamic enhancement (compression), color and sharpening.

A person experienced and skilled at editing in RAW can make a final JPG or other format image that is at least as good as any JPG produced by the camera's own automatic processing, although at the expense of some work and time, and can possibly make a version of the image that he or she likes better than the JPG that the camera can produce from its own internal processing of the RAW file (before it throws the RAW file away).

So I guess it's just a matter of whether a person wants the camera to use automatic algorithms to process its own RAW image data direct from the light sensor, or whether the photographer wants to look at that RAW data himself and make all his or her own adjustments and corrections. At the very least, working with the RAW data gives one every last bit of information that the sensor picked up about the scene being photographed, while an in-camera-processed JPEG will already have quite a lot of that information removed and lost, if a RAW version of the photo is not also stored on the memory card. Most cameras allow the photographer to store both the RAW version and a camera-auto-processed JPG version on the memory card.

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Re: RAW and UFRaw

by PeatMoss » Sat Apr 28, 2012 3:14 pm

My slr has about 10 different settings for quality, I shoot on regular raw right now but edit in jpeg. I need to start reprocessing in raw to keep quality.
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Re: RAW and UFRaw

by Adam » Sun Apr 29, 2012 7:46 am

Steve_D wrote:Most cameras allow the photographer to store both the RAW version and a camera-auto-processed JPG version on the memory card.


I know this. The images I'm comparing is the RAW one and the jpeg the camera produces at the same time. I can't get the amount of detail out of the raw format than what the autogenerated camera jpeg has. I *know* that the camera used the same RAW data to generate that jpeg, so I'm wondering what I'm doing wrong in the RAW processing software. Saving the image as TIFF with no loss/compression, I'm not getting the same detail.

Here is the comparison (make sure you view the image in 1:1 mode). I've zoomed in on the one flower.

On the left is what the G11 generates as the jpeg. On the right is what UFRaw generates (tiff and lossless output).

IMG_4020_compare.jpg
IMG_4020_compare.jpg (938.31 KiB) Viewed 19505 times


Inspect the images. Does the G11 apply sharpening when making those jpegs?? Also what's with the colours?

If so, do I need to now batch my workflow to first use UFRaw to export to tiff. and then use gimp and apply sharpening and then optionally crop and export to jpeg?

UPDATE: UFRaw is useless. RAWtherapee is amazing compared to it. I was able to get this image to come out better than the jpeg that the camera produced. It was slightly overexposed so now you can see all the details of the petal's texture!

Take a look at the third image:

IMG_4020_compare_3.jpg
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Re: RAW and UFRaw

by Steve_D » Sun Apr 29, 2012 3:26 pm

The third image looks great, Adam. Rawtherapee has several tools for sharpening the details including unsharp mask. A feature I just discovered and really like the effect of, to bring out fine detail using Rawtherapee, is in the Exposure tab--> Shadows/Highlights--> Local contrast.

Anyway, the overall color and detail in the white petals of the third image above looks great. Rawtherapee has so many features, and they interact with each other in so many ways, that it's going to take me a while to learn each feature and what it does and how to use it alone and in combination with other editing features. But the Rawtherapee manual describes each one fairly well, so it's just a learning process involving and investment of some time and attention, that's all. :)

Thanks for starting this discussion.

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Re: RAW and UFRaw

by Adam » Sun Apr 29, 2012 8:49 pm

This is untouched with any of the features of RAWtherapee. I don't think I should need to do much monkeying if I feel the picture was taken with optimal camera settings. It was disappointing and frustrating to go though learning UFRaw because the outcome was always sub par, but not entirely useless. I did learn a bit about profiles.

Thank you for trying the same and luckily you ended up using a RAW processing program that is vastly superior than the one I landed on. How did you come across it? You must have googled using superior terms :)
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Re: RAW and UFRaw (don't use it!!)

by Steve_D » Sun Apr 29, 2012 10:21 pm

Adam wrote:Thank you for trying the same and luckily you ended up using a RAW processing program that is vastly superior than the one I landed on. How did you come across it?

I've heard a lot of people say good things about RAWtherapee on some of the digital camera forums (like dpreview.com forums) and I was curious if there was a version for Linux. Luckily, there is! I've tried to use the UFRaw plugin for the image editing program GIMP before, and found it difficult to understand, but RAWtherapee is easy to get an initial grasp of, does most of the mandatory preprocessing necessary (like demosaicing) and using the camera's own white balance settings (that the photographer set), so the initial product of RAWtherapee looks a lot like the JPEG that the camera would produce anyway, without the sharpening or contrast applied. It's easy and a good starting point. :D

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Re: RAW and UFRaw (don't use it!!)

by Adam » Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:11 am

Someone said that Darkroom was also good on Linux.
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Re: RAW and UFRaw (don't use it!!)

by bananaman » Mon Jun 03, 2013 12:38 am

I find UFRaw works great, it just has a crappy UI which makes it hard to use. My camera had a lot of bad pixels which makes it even harder to fix. If you do it right, UFRaw makes it really easy to get the perfect color.
After getting color balance and other things just right, I use GIMP for sharpening and other improvements. Most cameras do sharpen when they convert to JPEG.

This is all using Ubuntu 12.04, just so you know.

I've gotten used to dealing with crap UI's as I've used Linux, as the open source versions never have good UI's.

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Re: RAW and UFRaw (don't use it!!)

by Adam » Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:05 am

I'm back. I've done some more photography and got way more into it. I sold the G11 and got the Sony NEX-7 and then the Sony a6000. Both amazing. I'll be posting more photos shortly!
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Re: RAW and UFRaw (don't use it!!)

by cyph3r_gfy » Fri Jun 13, 2014 3:31 pm

Don't give up on RAW... While I can't recommend a Linux tool. I personally use Canon's Digital Photo Pro for initial post, I'm not sure if there is a Linux version available.

That said, you could look into an emulator like Wine... which will let you run Windows apps in Linux. Could potentially give you tons more options.

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Re: RAW and UFRaw (don't use it!!)

by Adam » Sat Jun 14, 2014 8:38 am

I'm currently running Sony's RAW program through wine. It allows you to adjust the sharpness, etc like you would in-camera before you take the shot. Sony's missing the boat not allowing this adjustment after you take the shot in-camera. Anyway, love the Sony cameras. Have some great lenses. GIMP does 32-bit/channel now. All is good! :)

Here's some with an ok Canon macro

greendragontrap.JPG
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sundew_curl.JPG
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