Thursday, December 27, 2012

X-Pro raw conversions from AccuRaw Beta 5

In a previous post, I has mentioned the existence of a "new product". Well, AccuRaw is now in a closed beta. AccuRaw isn't of course aimed at the X-Pro specifically. AccuRaw is, as its name suggests, intended to deliver technically accurate raw conversion rather than the "Hollywood colors" conversions that most current raw developers deliver by default. But one part of what AccuRaw does to to give very fined grained control over the internal operation of the demosaic process. Specifically, it has sliders that control artifact suppression in luminance and chrominance, and post-demosaic chroma filtration. So you can tune the demosaic to suit your camera, the nature of the subject, etc, rather than have the one-size-fits-all of the mainstream raw developers.

Of course, this makes AccuRaw potentially useful to owners of camera with X-Trans sensors. So here's a quick comparison showing AccuRaw vs the other guys:

ACR and SILKYPIX versus AccuRaw

Just for reference, here are the various contenders from previous posts:


Adobe Camera Raw V7.1 beta

ACR beta 7.1  - Lots of chroma smearing, and the letters are quite desaturated.


SILKYPIX conversion

SILKYPIX - best of the breed so far, some chroma smearing, saturation down, resolution appears slightly reduced


AccuRaw Beta 5: Maximum resolution settings, 400% crop


AccuRaw Beta 5: 60% luma and chroma artifact suppression, 
20% post demosaic filtering, 400% crop


In the first crop, set for maximum resolution, AccuRaw gives very good results on the red letters, but has some artifacts. However, with AccuRaw, you can tune the result to what you want. The second crop shows moderate artifact suppression settings - still nowhere near as much chroma smearing as the other raw developers, but much reduced artifacts.


31 comments:

Fede said...

Looks great!
Sandy, i've tons of X-Pro 1 and XE-1 raws: it's possibile to test the closed beta?

Sandy said...

Fede,

The beta is closed, but if you PM me (sandymc) your details via the getdpi.com forums, I'll see what I can do

Royi A said...

Hello Sandy,
With your expertise in Adobe ACR Profiles, could you address this:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/50550210

Thank You.

Sandy said...

Royi,

The short answer is that you can come close using custom DNG Camera Profiles. However:

a) You won't get exactly the same result - the processing pipelines that a camera manufacturer and Adobe use are always going to be somewhat different.

b) There are no tools available to create "matched" DNG Camera Profiles automatically - you have to create something manually. Not easy.

Royi A said...

Hi Sandy,
Do you have an email or something I could contact you?
I looked for you on Google+ with no success.

Anyhow, How can I get as close a possible using ACR Profiles?
Could I do it using MATLAB?

I guess you say this tool isn't suitable for that.

Sandy said...

Royi,

You can direct message me on twitter @sandymcguffog.

Matlab is possible; you'd probably need use dcpTool to convert an existing profile to XML, use Matlab to modify it, then convert back using dcpTool again. I'm assuming you've tried Adobe's profile editor?

Royi A said...

Hi,
Don't have Twitter / LinkedIn, only Gmail :-).
Do you have an email?
Would you prefer me to write mine?

No, I haven't tried the editor.
I thought the X-Rite product automates the process.

I guess I need to learn the degrees of freedom DNG Profile gives (I guess some kind of a matrix).

Sandy said...

Publishing my email address on this blog would be a invitation to spam(!). But post a comment with your email address, I'll email you, and not publish the comment.

The Adobe PE offer the ability to customize color rendering; its probably you best bet for a relatively user friendly way to create a custom profile.

Mark Ford said...

Hi Sandy, I have been following the blog with great interest especially since you seem to be the only accessible 'expert' who appears to be working towards a potential improvement for the xpro and it was with great anticipation that I saw your hint at a potential 'solution in progress'. I am very much looking forward to testing AccuRaw. At the moment I have not used the xpro in my usual work (see www.blauvista.com) but rather have been using it as a 'spontaneous' 'people' camera in b/w. I am thus very interested to see how well Accuraw will do in pulling max. resolution out of camera for b/w or duotone output. Currently using jpeg only (raws saved quietly for future) output with light further mods of the jpeg in camera raw . . . :-(
Interestingly, I started using film this year after 12 years of digital and find that the native noise of the jpeg output to be quite film like (that is similar to that produced via a high end scan!) and thus, even at high iso which the camera masters quite well, not at all displeasing. It will be very interesting to see how AccuRaw deals with noise vs. 'resolution loss' at high iso (6400) especially when pursuing a b/w output. There are some motifs where low frequency patterns appear to 'interfere' with the low frequency repeat of the xtrans sensor - bark for example - whether this is accentuated by the jpeg compression or can be suppressed in the raw . . . perhaps too much of an ask . . . in any event many thanks for pursuing this! Mark

Sandy said...

Mark,

The current beta version of AccuRaw has enough testers, and I have a long list of bugs to sort out(!)

However, there will be a new beta out in probably 1-2 weeks. If you'd like to try that, drop me your email address in a comment (which won't be published)

Mohd Sharef said...

Sandy, I just bought the XE1 with the kit lens. Lightroom showed the "smearing" in one of the pics I took. Read also somewhere on the Net that this is the case. If AccuRaw can do a better job I'd like to give it a try.

I'm not a pro but like to get the best of what I shoot.

Thanks

Abdul Rahman

Sandy said...

Abdul,

The current beta is full, I'm afraid. However, there will be a new beta out in one-two weeks that will have additional slots.

I'll post about it here when it's available. Or follow me on Twitter

Blue Ridge Workshops - Photographers at Work said...

Sandy if the beta is closed then when may we expect to see it at the app store. I am using the Capture 1 beta which is very good and would really like to try yours before I commit to anything. I did email you but was not aware that the beta had been closed.

Sandy said...

The way the process will work is:

There will be another beta in approximately one week.

Then then there will be one or two RC (release candiate) versions - like a beta, except with all features that will be in the final version (the beta doesn't have all features yet)

Once the RC is debugged, it will be released. How long that will take is a bit uncertain, but it's intended to be weeks not months

Kevin Purcell said...

Will AccuRaw work as a plugin with Aperture and Lightroom as, for example, PhotoNinja does now.

This route helps people to adopt a new Raw processor into their exisiting workflow and cataloging systems and lets them use an alternative demosaicer. It requires a minor hack (assuming the RAW file has the same filename as the passed TIFF which you ignore).

If it's not a current feature then consider this as a feature request.

Thanks,
Kevin

Sandy said...

Kevin,

At the moment, there's no plan for AccuRaw to be a plug-in. As you say, it requires a hack to make that work at all. But if there's enough demand, that might change.

Regards,

Sandy

Ario Arioldi said...

Sandy,
I am with Kevin: the possibility to make a smooth round trip from LR or Aperture to AccuRaw and back will be a great addition.
Thanks for your attention,
Ario

nixda said...

Can I already make a feature request (despite the fact that I haven't seen AccuRaw in action :) )

Would it be possible to provide a function to output a file that contains data that have only been demosaiced, nothing else? Say, a linear 16-bit TIFF, or a linear DNG (if it has any advantages over the TIFF).

Sandy said...

Nixda,

Yes, actually I'm ahead of you on this(!) - Accuraw can output linear DNG, and you can configure AccuRaw to "Zero'd" settings quite easily - there's a preset that does that.

One of the design goals of AccuRaw is to work with other apps like LR, C1, etc as easily as possible.

nixda said...

Fantastic! So then please add me to the list of those who'd want to have AccuRaw work from within Aperture. But, as far as I know, Aperture does not support linear DNGs. Do you think there is a way to stay as close as possible to "zero'd" data? That's why I was mentioning linear TIFFs. Not sure, though, if linear TIFFs would provide any additional latitude compared to simply doing all the processing within AccuRaw.
One more: any plans to provide command-line tools for AccuRaw?

Sandy said...

Aperture doesn't support linear DNG's so it would have to be TIFF. But that's ok - AccuRaw's TIFF's are 16bit, and ProPhoto, so there's no major loss.

There are no plans at the moment for command line capabilities.

nixda said...

Following up on the 'minimalist' approach, how unprocessed can one actually develop X-Trans data? For example, is it possible to just demosaic the data, or does that have to be done with some amount of sharpening, noise reduction, or other things rolled into it? Besides aspects that are inherently linked to that specific CFA, is there anything else that 'must' be done to get an acceptable, unbiased, largest-latitude starting point for further image processing?

Sandy said...

Nixda,

You can just demosaic the data. In AccuRaw, ALL noise reduction, tone curves, sharpening, etc can be turned off. Although, frankly, the resulting image is pretty ugly.

The only thing to be aware of is that the demosaicing process itself impacts on noise level; if you have artifact suppression turned up high, that will reduce noise somewhat. That's inherent in the demosaicing process.

Стивен said...

Thank you for this very interesting series. I'm posting to ask if you have exposure details for your sample image -- I don't see this image or its details at dpreview anymore. This could be relevant in assessing the X-Trans's best RAW resolution because it's important to know if this photo was taken in the best conditions. Was a tripod used? Was the aperture optimized for resolution? And so forth.

Rico Pfirstinger has a pretty striking example about 4/5 through is excellent book, "Mastering the Fujifilm X-Pro1" that shows the loss of resolution from the camera's RAW processing versus external processing under ideal conditions. It's not difficult to imagine that assorted factors in the details of the exposure of your RAW sample could also affect the resolution you measure.

Pfirstinger:

"To get the maximum performance from the camera sensor, you need not only competent post-processing, but also proper exposure technique. This means that exposing your images perfectly with ISO 200 and ETTR isn’t enough if you want to explore the limits of the X-Trans sensor: you also need to shoot without any camera shake by using a stable tripod as well as a remote trigger or timer release, and you need to use an aperture that falls in the “sweet spot” for the lens (usually between f/5.6 and f/11). With this setup, there are noticeable differences between images created with the internal RAW converter and with a thorough external RAW development process. You can simply get more from the RAW data with an external converter—just set aside one or two hours for it. This illustration shows two callouts from the previous image: the left is a Velvia image produced directly by the camera; the right is the product of an external RAW workflow."

Sandy said...

I don't have any information beyond what's provided by DPReview

Стивен said...

Not knowing the specific conditions under which the sample photo was taken raises the question about how general your conclusions about the X-Trans sensor are. Do your posts hold for all X Trans photos, or just this one? It's difficult to say, and as I mention I don't believe that that photo or its exposure  details is currently hosted at dpreview.

I'd be very curious to see your analysis applied to a RAW macro photo taken under known ideal (ISO 200, f5.6, tripod) conditions.

Sandy said...

I've check, and the image is still available on the DPReview site. Just go to the X-Pro review (or any review for that matter), open the "studio shot comparison widget", select the X-Pro as one of the cameras you're comparing, and the image is available for download.

Стивен said...

Thanks: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews_data/fujifilm_xe1/boxshot/dscf4209.acr.jpg

That's ISO 200 and f8 on a 35 mm prime, which are ideal.

Michael Soppa said...

Hello Sandy,
Is it still possible to participate in the current or next BETA of AccuRaw?

I mostly shoot with FUJI XPro 1 (here my pics: https://www.facebook.com/365ppy) and would like to test the RAW files aginst your converter.

Would be great.

Thanks,
Michael

Sandy said...

Michael,

Send me your email address, and I'll include you in the next release.

Regards,

Sandy

Sandy said...

Michael,

Send me your email address, and I'll include you in the next release.

Regards,

Sandy