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  1. #1
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    Eduard's Avatar

    In-Camera Settings & Software

    This Q&A is used with kind permission of Tim Grey. If you aren't familiar with him, he has a mostly daily newsletter related to the digital darkroom. The basic newsletter is free and a great way to learn. I personally highly recommend it.

    Regarding the Q&A for September 27th, would you please be a little more explicit regarding "most other in-camera settings." In particular, do the settings for Sharpening and "More Vivid" have any effect on the RAW capture? I ask because I thought they did not, but then I was told by a Nikon representative that I was wrong; that they affect both JPEG and RAW capture.

    Tim's Answer:

    I'd be happy to be more explicit on this subject, as this is a common source of confusion. I think perhaps the largest area of confusion relates to the final effect in the converted RAW capture compared to what is happening to the data gathered by the imaging sensor.

    To start with, let's consider what's going on inside the camera. Generally speaking, the RAW capture represents the information gathered by the image sensor, and does not apply changes to that data within the camera. What will sometimes be updated relative to camera settings is metadata, in some cases "private" metadata that is only understood by the camera manufacturer. In this general sense, the only in-camera settings that affect the RAW capture, or more specifically, the data gathered by the image sensor, would be the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO setting. The first two obviously relate to the image circle projected toward the image sensor (and thus the data actually gathered by the image sensor) and the latter relates to the amplification of the signal received by the image sensor (which assists with exposure but also increases the risk of noise in the final image).

    So, the sharpening and vivid settings you refer to (along with all the many other in-camera settings, such as white balance, saturation, color space, and other settings) do not alter the information gathered by the image sensor, and there is no adjustment made to the actual image data contained within the RAW capture. However, that information is sometimes written to metadata (sometimes private metadata), and thus may be available later.

    This may explain why the Nikon representative suggested the in-camera settings affect both JPEG and RAW captures. If you use Nikon NX to convert your RAW captures (or in general, if you use the camera manufacturer's software to convert your captures), the metadata written to the RAW capture is read (and understood) and is used to apply adjustments to the image. An example in the case of Nikon software would be the Active D-Lighting setting on certain Nikon digital SLRs. If you're not using software from your camera manufacturer, in most cases such in-camera settings would be completely ignored. And keep in mind that not all in-camera settings are written to metadata, so some would be ignored under all circumstances when it comes to RAW captures.

    Unfortunately I'm not able to provide an exhaustive list of what features of what cameras are supported by what software, but considering these sort of adjustments are really post-capture adjustments anyway, they don't provide an adjustment you couldn't otherwise achieve on your own. Of course, there is an advantage in terms of workflow to having these settings applied on a somewhat automatic basis in the RAW conversion process.

    As an aside, this sort of issue is why Adobe updated the Camera Calibration option in Adobe Camera Raw (and thus Lightroom) to include a Camera Profile option. In addition to the "standard" profile for the camera, you can also choose from options that relate to the various capture modes within the camera, such as "portrait" or "neutral". When you choose one of these options in Adobe Camera Raw or Lightroom, you're getting a result that is intended to be an exact match (and in my experience comes quite close) to matching the shooting mode that is available within your camera, but which only actually affects JPEG captures, not RAW captures.

    It is also worth noting that the JPEG preview embedded in the RAW capture will generally reflect all of the in-camera settings (just as a JPEG capture would), and in some software (such as Adobe Bridge) will initially show that embedded JPEG image for performance reasons. That's one of the reasons you'll often see a preview image that initially looks like what you saw on the back of the camera, but then updates to reflect a preview of what the converted RAW capture will look like based on the current conversion settings.


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    Last edited by Eduard; 01-07-2011 at 11:13 AM.



  2. #2
    Junior Member

    Re: In-Camera Settings & Software

    Tim

    I have to disagree with a line in your explanation.

    You wrote " the data gathered by the image sensor, would be the aperture, shutter speed, and Tim Grey"

    I was always taught and I always teach the correct exposure is subject to three items being correct - Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO"

    So can you explain why you have dropped ISO?

    fred

  3. #3
    Staff
    Super Mod
    Eduard's Avatar

    Re: In-Camera Settings & Software

    That wasn't Tim's fault but mine when I copied it. Thanks for pointing it out.
    "The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it" -Ansel Adams


    Fuji X-T3 | Fuji X-T20 | Nikon 1 J5 | Too much glass | G.A.S.

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  4. #4
    Senior Member

    Re: In-Camera Settings & Software

    "Unfortunately I'm not able to provide an exhaustive list of what features of what cameras are supported by what software, but considering these sort of adjustments are really post-capture adjustments anyway, they don't provide an adjustment you couldn't otherwise achieve on your own. Of course, there is an advantage in terms of workflow to having these settings applied on a somewhat automatic basis in the RAW conversion process."


    Here's a list of the In-Camera features which are recognised and applied when a NEF is opened in CNX2:

    White Balance - The actual Kelvin figure is only displayed when one of the in-camera presets is used. If Auto 1 or 2 are used in camera then this is what is displayed. There are options for resetting the WB to the usual Incandescent, Daylight, Fluorescent, Flash etc with sliders to make adjustments to each. There is also a "Set Gray Point" option using Single Point or marquee sampling.

    Picture Control - Any in-camera adjustments to Sharpening, Contrast, BrightnessSaturation and Hue are recognised and applied when a NEF is opened. The in camera settings cannot however be adjusted in software. To adjust in software the appropriate PC is opened and adjusted from there.

    If an older NEF from a camera such as a D70 or a D200 the user is offered the choice of Non-Picture Control (Colour Mode; Sharpening;Tone Compensation;Saturation and Hue) or the NEF can be processed using the newer Picture Controls. My preference is for the newer Picture Controls with older NEFs. Newer PC NEFs cannot be processed with the older Non-Picture Controls.

    Noise Reduction - The in-camera settings for Noise Control are recognised and applied in CNX2. They can be adjusted or turned off in software. CNX2 offers three alternatives - Faster, Better Quality and Better Quality 2012 (the best).

    Active D-Lighting - If applied in-Camera ADL can be adjusted or turned off in CNX2.

    Camera and Lens Corrections - The in-camera settings which are recognised and set are:

    Auto Lens Distortion
    - If turned on in-camera this is recognised and applied in CNX2 - the settings are Automatic or Off. If this feature is turned off in camera then the Automatic setting turns on the latest Distortion Control for the lens used providing that the CNX2 software is kept up to date.

    Vignette
    - If turned on in Camera Vignetting is recognised in CNX2. If turned off in cmaera it can be applied in CNX2.

    Image Dust Off - an Image Dust Off "reading" is taken in-camera and can be applied in CNX2 to to offset the effect of those nasty dust-bunnies.

    In short, most of the things that are set in-camera and have an effect on the image that you see in the LCD are recognised and applied to the NEF automatically in CNX2.

    DG






    Last edited by daveg; 08-07-2013 at 08:14 PM.





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