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12-10-2015, 12:25 PM   #1
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What camera monitor setting to best view RAW ?

Having used my k-3 for nearly two years I've got reasonably well accustomed to what the processed RAW outcome will be. I find that a +.7 exposure compensation works well as my default and that I can generally ignore small areas of blinkies on the monitor. To the extent that I don't use the monitor that much as I don't think it represents the final image very well...

BUT, I wonder if that's because I use the default of Bright ?

If I used Muted or Natural would the review on the monitor reflect the tonal range achievable when processed in ACR more accurately ? I'm not bothered by the colour, only the highlights and shadows really.

What do other RAW users have the review set to ? I'll probably continue only to give the monitor a cursory glance in most cases, but if I trusted it more maybe this would change ...

Many thanks

12-10-2015, 12:55 PM   #2
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RAW isn't a picture format you can view. What you see on your camera screen is the embedded jpg which is processed according to your chosen settings..
12-10-2015, 01:00 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve.Ledger Quote
RAW isn't a picture format you can view. What you see on your camera screen is the embedded jpg which is processed according to your chosen settings..
Hi Steve, I know that ! Obviously, I didn't explain myself clearly enough ...
12-10-2015, 01:14 PM   #4
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Obviously, with a title like that

I only use the camera monitor to review if my image was captured the way I wanted it and is sharp at the point I wanted it.

12-10-2015, 01:14 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by BarryE Quote
Having used my k-3 for nearly two years I've got reasonably well accustomed to what the processed RAW outcome will be. I find that a +.7 exposure compensation works well as my default and that I can generally ignore small areas of blinkies on the monitor. To the extent that I don't use the monitor that much as I don't think it represents the final image very well...

BUT, I wonder if that's because I use the default of Bright ?

If I used Muted or Natural would the review on the monitor reflect the tonal range achievable when processed in ACR more accurately ? I'm not bothered by the colour, only the highlights and shadows really.

What do other RAW users have the review set to ? I'll probably continue only to give the monitor a cursory glance in most cases, but if I trusted it more maybe this would change ...

Many thanks
This all depends on the monitor. An excellent monitor with a high contrast ratio will calibrate a lot closer to a print than a cheap monitor. Although I envy the low prices of Windows/PC monitors, with a Mac monitor, or even better Retina 4K or 5K, getting a tonal range that matches is easier. Of course you can buy a better monitor for any computer....with more $$$.

Another thing to keep in mind is the app you're using to view the RAW files. In Adobe Bridge, when I preview RAW files as a slideshow for rating, the resolution and color are depressingly poor, probably to help the computer keep up with large files. This is not the case with the now discontinued Aperture, and less so with LR. So ACR could be part of the issue if you're unhappy with the dynamic range of the image with blown out highlights or inky shadows.
12-10-2015, 01:23 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by BarryE Quote
BUT, I wonder if that's because I use the default of Bright ?
That's what I've been doing for a few years. The histogram and preview use the exaggerated colors, the RAW is maybe not so exciting until I process it. The idea is to be aware of overexposure in important areas. I still will look at reds or blues if I'm shooting flowers. If I ever intend to use the JPG for something, I reset it. I have never checked to see if doing this actually works the way I think it does. That shouldn't be that hard.
12-10-2015, 01:39 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
That's what I've been doing for a few years. The histogram and preview use the exaggerated colors, the RAW is maybe not so exciting until I process it. The idea is to be aware of overexposure in important areas. I still will look at reds or blues if I'm shooting flowers. If I ever intend to use the JPG for something, I reset it. I have never checked to see if doing this actually works the way I think it does. That shouldn't be that hard.
Yes Dave, not too hard I agree. I just wanted to get a sense of what RAW shooters used across a range of shooting styles.

I'm thinking Natural is the best setting.

For the other's who've replied. Thanks but I'm not sure I must have asked the question clearly. The screen on the back of the camera is called a monitor. To avoid confusion with a computer monitor I wrote camera monitor.

To get a succinct title was hard thus view RAW was, I hope, expanded on ...

Dave, has got what I was curious about. What do others use ?

Thanks again
12-10-2015, 01:40 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
This all depends on the monitor. An excellent monitor with a high contrast ratio will calibrate a lot closer to a print than a cheap monitor. Although I envy the low prices of Windows/PC monitors, with a Mac monitor, or even better Retina 4K or 5K, getting a tonal range that matches is easier. Of course you can buy a better monitor for any computer....with more $$$.

Another thing to keep in mind is the app you're using to view the RAW files. In Adobe Bridge, when I preview RAW files as a slideshow for rating, the resolution and color are depressingly poor, probably to help the computer keep up with large files. This is not the case with the now discontinued Aperture, and less so with LR. So ACR could be part of the issue if you're unhappy with the dynamic range of the image with blown out highlights or inky shadows.
The OP is talking about the 'camera monitor' (the LCD screen).. Not his computer monitor.

12-10-2015, 01:57 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by BarryE Quote
Having used my k-3 for nearly two years I've got reasonably well accustomed to what the processed RAW outcome will be. I find that a +.7 exposure compensation works well as my default and that I can generally ignore small areas of blinkies on the monitor. To the extent that I don't use the monitor that much as I don't think it represents the final image very well...

BUT, I wonder if that's because I use the default of Bright ?

If I used Muted or Natural would the review on the monitor reflect the tonal range achievable when processed in ACR more accurately ? I'm not bothered by the colour, only the highlights and shadows really.

What do other RAW users have the review set to ? I'll probably continue only to give the monitor a cursory glance in most cases, but if I trusted it more maybe this would change ...

Many thanks
Maybe I can add a little to the discussion: Given that the camera LCD (that's what I've heard it called here in the US almost exclusively) displays the embedded JPEG, you MIGHT be able to customize the LCD display of the JPEG to match your RAW image PP routine, but that seems like a lot of work. Additionally, the camera LCD is a high contrast display, meaning lights and darks are seriously over displayed, with midtones lost in the wash. It would take applying some kind of curve to bring out the subtler tones, if its even possible.

What I do sometimes is pull up the 4 part histogram where Reds, Greens and Blues are shown. I WILL use this when shooting flowers and sometimes vibrant sunsets. You can still ETTR based on the RGB histograms and it has helped me avoid some situations where I'd normally get a slight color cast in my extreme highlights.

Other than that, I'll never rely on the LCD image for anything other than composition. I trust my ETTR methodology and chimp for the histogram only. If anything, I'd LOVE the ability to magnify the histogram in the LCD.
12-10-2015, 02:46 PM   #10
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As noted above, the rear LCD display in review mode uses the embedded JPEG, which, in turn, is based on the JPEG custom settings. I have found that the "natural" setting best reflects what I see on import into Lightroom using the Adobe defaults. A closer match to the rear LCD might be had by using the PDCU software that shipped with your K-3. It respects the "custom" settings for its initial RAW processing.


Steve
12-10-2015, 03:20 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve.Ledger Quote
Obviously, with a title like that

I only use the camera monitor to review if my image was captured the way I wanted it and is sharp at the point I wanted it.
Yup, sorry, it's right there in the title. Now I understand. I'll bow out of this conversation. Even with the best of LCD camera displays, I would never use it for more than composition, checking focus, and looking at the histogram. Tethering via wifi is nice when in the field.
12-10-2015, 03:28 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
As noted above, the rear LCD display in review mode uses the embedded JPEG, which, in turn, is based on the JPEG custom settings. I have found that the "natural" setting best reflects what I see on import into Lightroom using the Adobe defaults. A closer match to the rear LCD might be had by using the PDCU software that shipped with your K-3. It respects the "custom" settings for its initial RAW processing.


Steve
Thanks Steve.

So in summary, using Natural, does not overemphasise the range of tones (tones meaning levels of brightness) shown on the LCD display (as Bright tends to), which in turns means the highlight blinkies will best reflect the ability of post processing to hold the brightest regions from the RAW capture. Agreed ?

I will start to experiment with this setting and see how it correlates. It has to be better than Bright, which is, I have experienced, to be just too aggressive.

Maybe I'll be able to learn to love the LCD display and trust the blinkies ( and histogram) a little more as a useful quick guide. I will probably still bracket when there is uncertainty. How I wish bracketing worked with MUP and the remote ...

As an aside I am constantly amazed at what the K-3 can do. With careful technique (MUP, remote) low ISO, quality Pentax glass, methodical post processing and printing to A2 on fine art papers I would be very surprised if there was ANY real perceptible difference between the K-3 and any other manufacturer - for MY needs. It fits my niche very well ...and I love it more when it rains ;-)
12-10-2015, 05:02 PM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by BarryE Quote
which in turns means the highlight blinkies will best reflect the ability of post processing to hold the brightest regions from the RAW capture. Agreed ?
That would be hard to say. I don't use the blinkies, but that may be a reasonable assumption. The question of whether the blinkies or in-camera histograms are of much use for ETTR shooting in RAW has been discussed on this site before, but with no clear consensus in the end. For high contrast stationary subjects, my approach has been to bracket exposure, process to HDR. I use HDRMerge to cook DNG to TIFF and then finish out in Lightroom.

QuoteOriginally posted by BarryE Quote
Maybe I'll be able to learn to love the LCD display and trust the blinkies ( and histogram) a little more as a useful quick guide.
Yes, as a quick guide, they are very useful. Short of always carrying a true narrow angle spot meter as part of the kit, it is hard to visualize the range of light in a scene. I have found that the histogram is fairly conservative and with basic attention, highlight blocking is fairly easy to avoid.

QuoteOriginally posted by BarryE Quote
As an aside I am constantly amazed at what the K-3 can do.
I agree. A few months ago I did some night shooting with another forum member on a bridge in downtown Portland. The bridge has dramatic lighting as part of its design and I was expecting most of the shots to come out fairly poor. I was pleasantly surprised at how well both the metering system and sensor handled the light with very little intervention on my part.

To see:
Tilikum Crossing at Night Sampler


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 12-10-2015 at 05:15 PM.
12-11-2015, 01:01 AM   #14
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Thanks Steve. The bridge shots are impressive. The lime greens work especially well in the graphic compositions ...
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