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01-06-2010, 11:08 AM   #181
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QuoteOriginally posted by UnknownVT Quote
However my crude "non-destructive" was to not touch the original -
and anytime I need to do something else - I do have to go back to the original - most of the time this is not a disadvantage for me and my usage - but just knowing I can do that may open vistas for me -
although my modus operandi is to PP my image post it and forget about it -
I hardly ever revisit the image because I am dissatisfied with it, or its PP.
I'm the same way. The actual advantages of "non-destructive" editing are more subtle but also far more powerful than that, and this is why trying to make stopwatch comparisons on load time can be misleading.

To put it simply, it's not about finishing your processing, then revisiting the processing at some point in the future. It's about being able to take a more piecemeal approach to the processing in the first place - doing some very processing to a file, moving on to the other files, then maybe just minutes later coming back to some of the ones quickly processed on the first pass. You might wonder why you'd want to do this rather than just finish up each file one at a time, but there is a real sense of freedom that comes from knowing there is no harm in moving on and potentially coming back later. There tends to be *much* less worry about getting things "perfect" the first time, so you end up moving along pretty quickly. As a result, there is a very natural flow that happens where the most valuable images get more attention - these are the ones you *do* spend the time to perfect - but others can be improved significantly in very little time. And what you learn from spending time on a few iamges may give you ideas on ways to go back to already-processed images and improve them further.

Couple that with the actual batch & setting copying facilities - spend a lot of time getting one image perfect, then copy the exposure, wb, and nr settings (for instance) to a bunch of simialr images, getting them *very* quickly to a *very* good state (from which you might still want to custom tweak curves or whatever). And it's the same non-destructive" (again, "parametric", really) that makes these facilities possible.

So it's not about coming back to an image months later - it's about being able to gradually build up your processing on an image, coming back to it perhaps several times during the course of a single session. It does take a while to get the hang of this, but that's where the real value of non-destructive/ parametric image editing comes from. Not on what you can do one image at a time, but from the fact that you don't have to work that way, and can often realize pretty incredible time savings by utilizing these alternatives.

As I've said several times now, the actual value of this is going to depend on how much PP you tend to do. The more you tend to do, the more time you save in this workflow. In the case where you do *no* PP at all, then there is of course no time saved - but also no additional time spent either (not even the extra second or two per image).

Actually the last part is a slight lie, one that might seem less slight to some. In order to share you RAW images, you *will* of course have to convert them to JPEG. Whether you do PP first or not, this would be accomplished by a batch convert. In the case where you did *no* PP, this would seem an unnecessary step, although for other reasons, I'd argue it isn't, really: you're usually better off resizing images before uploading. Plus the desire to keep smaller versions of your files on your laptop (for instance) while the originals get moved off to an external drive - that's something most people are probably going to run into sooner or later anyhow.

Anyhow, kicking off that batch conversion as opposed to a batch resize of JPEG images takes no additional time from the user perspective, but if you shoot RAW as opposed to JPEG, it does take an extra few seconds per image of the *computer's* time. It's time you are free to go eat lunch or otherwise be productive, but anyone looking for an opportunity to say, "hah, I told you RAW would be slower", this is your chance! :-).

Still, it's very likely that the time you saved earlier is going to make up even for this. And it's also going to come down to how you decide to time things. Again, the stopwatch might say this one operation is slower for RAW, but if you measure your productivity instead by the time *you* have spend in front of the computer, it's a non-issue.

QuoteQuote:
Thanks for the reference to ACDsee -
I downloaded the trial of ACDsee Pro 3.0 - 386 - and I am very impressed - like you said to open/process a DNG only takes a few seconds - on my PC it varied between 4 to 7 seconds - I watched the progress bar for it to finish - the longer time appears that the progress bar goes through its motions twice - don't know why - since I've only just become acquainted with ACDsee -
I think what happens is that applies its processing in a couple of passes. Not sure why they felt the need to provide that feedback, but whatever.

There is something else I should point out here in the interest of full disclosure. The current version of ACDSee Pro has a "feature" that I don't like at all, and assume you won't, either. In previous versions, when you finished (if just temporarily) working on a RAW image and wanted to move on to another, the actual work of "processing" the image you just finished (generating a JPEG preview for future quick display) was done in the background, so you could move on to another file quickly. In the current version, presumably because of some other changes to the architecture of the program, you now have to wait a few additional seconds for that processing to be completed before it even starts loading the next image. Thus, you end up getting incentive to "finish" each image one at a time after all, as it's a bit more painful to move from image to image than it used to be. i've complained about this to the "right" people, so I know they are taking this seriously, but have no idea if/when they'll get the background processing restored.

QuoteQuote:
I actually find my JPG "workflow" to be quite enjoyable since I know my editor well and the stuff I do has more less become second nature
Understood, and as I've said, there *is* pain and cost associated with any change like this. Whether it ends up being worth it for you I of course cannot say. From everything you've said - not seeing problems with JPEG, not doing that much PP - I tend to suspect you *won't* find much improvement. Indeed, you may well reach legitimately reach that conclusion before you've even come close to fulfilling the potential that does exist, so I wouldn't be surprised if you never do reach to the point where RAW ends up being as fast as JPEG for you. that might require sticking with the exercise longer than is actually necessary for you to be able to decide you're just as well off sticking with what works..

However, since ACDSee Pro 3 supports this non-destructive / parametric workflow for JPEG as well as RAW, you may well find you do like that aspect of it enough to make the switch to ACDSee worthwhile even if you don't decide to shoot RAW. Something to consider, at least. You end up getting the advantages of the parametric approach without whatever drawbacks you might feel still exist to switching to RAW for the amount of PP you do. And as you become more familiar with the basic workflow, if your PP "needs" eventually increase, you can easily just switch to RAW without disrupting anything in your workflow. I put "needs" in quotes, BTW, because often what happens is, you get addicted to the PP possibilities and start *wanting* to do more...

Anyhow, I at least like to have the cards on the table, so I think this was a good discussion to have in any case. Someone else following this discussion might end up trying the same things and come to a different conclusion. The topic of JPEG versus RAW does comes up often, of course, and can become tiresome, but it's nice when sometimes something useful comes of it, as I think is happening here.

01-06-2010, 11:13 AM   #182
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I was very impressed with the speed of ACDsee Pro 3.0 386-
I eventually figured out that the ACDsee gets its speed from developing making changes on on the visible displayed image - and keeps a file of changes apart from the image (this is the way the editing is non-destructive) - however if I want to save a JPG - it takes a while to do that as it applies those changes on the fly for the JPG - so kinda like - can't have your cake and eat it.....

However I ran across an almost immediate problem - the default rendition of my K-x RAW/DNG -
the best is just to show them here -
I took DNG+JPG so these are the paired photo:

First the JPG (IMGP3965.JPG) - EXIF should be still attached - check the timestamp -


(the paired) RAW/DNG (IMGP3965.DNG) ACDsee Pro 3.0 386 converted default settings -

as can be seen quite a bit different rendition -
of course this is RAW and one can manipulate to heart's content........

This caused me to write PM to Marc Sabatella - who very kindly gave me a very good explanation (thanks Marc for being so helpful) -

The underexposure was because I had the K-x Highlight Correction On -
as Marc explained the K-x underexposes the shot and in camera adjustment boosts the brightness etc.

This basically means that ACDsee Pro 3.0 386 - the latest version still does not understand the Pentax K-x - and may not do so as HL correction is not a JPG attribute......

Obviously Pentax's own software Digital Camera Utility (based on SilkyPix) does understand and can convert/develop close to the JPG rendition.

But I found even Adobe Camera RAW 5.6 (current version which supports the K-x) will give a close rendition even with the Highlight Correction On -

Here's the ACR via Elements 7 default converted version -

the same DNG (IMGP3965.DNG) ACR 5.6 default conversion -


However to give ACDsee a chance I shot another DNG+JPG with Highlight Correction Off (all other corrections were also Off)

DNG ACDsee default conversion -

better - not as underexposed but still pretty horrible green color cast compared to the paired JPG

(paired) JPG -


well this is RAW I can adjust and correct white balance and tint.......
OK I am just a novice in ACDsee but I could not remove the green cast in the shadows without turning the rest of the shot pink - and I really tried, I have 3 saved JPG attempts - but this shows what I mean -
DNG ACDsee converted WB and Tint adjustments -


another try - same DNG -

better, more neutral overall - but notice the green cast in the shadow area.

of course one can argue the the straight JPG is not always necessarily the "best" - that's why there is RAW - to make the necessary corrections - but this is a good illustration that with my admittedly limited ACDsee skills I could not get a shot even close to the JPG rendition - which in this one case is at least as good if not better than any of the others I got from RAW......

So you do have to know what you are doing in RAW and there are some difficulties that may be well - difficult to overcome.

Certainly for me with ACDsee in spite of the fact I was very very impressed with the speed of operation - it just cannot give me the results I want quickly - it seems I may have to work/tweak at it to get the color/white balance right and save as a preset - and heaven forbid if I need one for every different lighting condition - that would be intolerable.

At least Pentax DCU/SilkyPix and Adobe Camera RAW (ACR) 5.6 can and do develop/convert reasonably well that I am more than willing to accept their results to work from.....

But we're back to my argument that to develop the RAW/DNG takes finite amount of time at about 10.5 secs extra per photo using ACR via Elements where at least I have managed to get an acceptable workflow.

Pity I cannot figure out ACDsee -
as I really liked the speed.......

Last edited by UnknownVT; 01-06-2010 at 11:28 AM.
01-06-2010, 11:19 AM   #183
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QuoteOriginally posted by UnknownVT Quote
This is right for Vista - for those still on XP - well you're sool (think about it) -
not really there was an old dp Magic Community Edition - which worked well on XP
- it is now discontinued by the originator - but can be found using Google via some Korean or Japanese sites search on dpMagicCeSetup.exe.
ACDSee Pro 3 runs on XP, Vista, and Windows 7, and provide one click full screen previews. And as others have mentioned, quite a few other programs do this too - FastStone, etc. But the advantage of a program like ACDSee (or LR, or Lightzone, or Bibble 5, or Picasa) is that if you then decide you do wish to process the image, you are *already* in the application you need to do the processing - no separate program to have to launch. The problems mention by zxaar are issues using older software, to be sure, but the assumption here when "we" say RAW is no harder is that you will be using modern tools.
01-06-2010, 11:26 AM   #184
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QuoteOriginally posted by UnknownVT Quote
This is right for Vista - for those still on XP - well you're sool (think about it) -
not really there was an old dp Magic Community Edition - which worked well on XP
- it is now discontinued by the originator - but can be found using Google via some Korean or Japanese sites search on dpMagicCeSetup.exe.

This will display .PEF files at least from my K100D -
I'll have to see if the .PEF from the K-x is OK -
it ought to be, as these only show the embedded JPGs in the RAW files.......
As well as FastStone. On my XP machines it is faster, provides much more than the picture viewer, and it is virtually transparent to use when you associate the PEF files with it.

01-06-2010, 11:29 AM   #185
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QuoteOriginally posted by UnknownVT Quote
however if I want to save a JPG - it takes a while to do that as it applies those changes on the fly for the JPG - so kinda like - can't have your cake and eat it.....
True.

QuoteQuote:
However to give ACDsee a chance I shot another DNG+JPG with Highlight Correction Off (all other corrections were also Off)
...
better - not as underexposed but still pretty horrible green color cast compared to the paired JPG
I'd guess is this a function of the K-x not being supported yet, and hence not having custom color profiles for it. In theory, the camera embeds something in the DNG file that RAW processing programs can use, but I'm convinced ACDSee uses this, and suspect it's using a "generic" color profile. That was my experience with the K200D before it was supported by ACDSee. Some people have managed to get ACDSee to use a custom profile by hand editing the default profile in the ACDSee's "RAW Defaults" folder, but I'm not sure I trust this as a general workaround.

QuoteQuote:
OK I am just a novice in ACDsee but I could not remove the green cast in the shadows without turning the rest of the shot pink
If I'm correct that this is basically a default camera profile issue, I would assume the "best" method would involve using the "Tone Curves" control and the "Camera" curve, dealing with each color channel individually, allowing you to control color in shadows and highlights independently. Then you could save that as a preset you could quickly apply to your images. I'd prefer if if a preset could be designated for use by default though. Anyhow, for the K-x - or other as-yet-unsupported cameras - I don't think ACDSee is quite ready for prime time when it comes to RAW processing. You might consider still playing with it for JPEG to get the hang of the non-destructive / parametric editing workflow to see if it's right for you, then re-evaluate it for RAW when support for the K-x is added.

QuoteQuote:
So you do have to know what you are doing in RAW and there are some difficulties that may be well - difficult to overcome.
This is of course true in general, although I do suspect this particular case is a bit unusual because you are dealing with an unsupported camera and hence the colors are off in unusual ways.
01-06-2010, 11:32 AM   #186
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This is why the path of least resistance is often the best. Lightroom is rank with online profiles that match every camera imaginable, check Mithandir's setting on this very forum.

Also, I am not sure if ACR offers this but Camera Standard is better than ACR 5.6 or whatever.
01-06-2010, 11:36 AM   #187
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
I do suspect this particular case is a bit unusual because you are dealing with an unsupported camera and hence the colors are off in unusual ways.
Thank you again for your excellent explanation
- very much appreciated.

So I may be reduced to ACR/Elements (as I have that)
or try LightRoom again - but I found that quite slow, and somewhat unfriendly -
maybe I just need someone to kindly show me conclusively that the LR workflow can be as fast as my JPG workflow.
01-06-2010, 11:36 AM   #188
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
ACDSee Pro 3 runs on XP, Vista, and Windows 7, and provide one click full screen previews. And as others have mentioned, quite a few other programs do this too - FastStone, etc. But the advantage of a program like ACDSee (or LR, or Lightzone, or Bibble 5, or Picasa) is that if you then decide you do wish to process the image, you are *already* in the application you need to do the processing - no separate program to have to launch. The problems mention by zxaar are issues using older software, to be sure, but the assumption here when "we" say RAW is no harder is that you will be using modern tools.
I am usually in Adobe Bridge when viewing my raw files for initial selection. It is pretty easy just to double-click to ACR.

One other reason I like this approach is that some of the features of ACR don't seem to be replicated well in PS. One of them is the option of adding fill to shadows. In PS, it takes me a lot of tweaking of the Highlight and Shadows function to get the quality result of simply adding a little fill to a shot in ACR.

01-06-2010, 12:17 PM   #189
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alfisti Quote
This is why the path of least resistance is often the best. Lightroom is rank with online profiles that match every camera imaginable, check Mithandir's setting on this very forum.

Also, I am not sure if ACR offers this but Camera Standard is better than ACR 5.6 or whatever.
As previously posted I have LightRoom 3 BETA.

I find the way LR opens a folder really cumbersome -
I now understand why you have to delete all the files you do not want
so that when LR accesses the folder it only accesses the photos you want -
whereas ACDsee and Elements/ACR one can look at the folder contents (via Windows Explorer) choose the files wanted and opens them for preview - this is much more friendly and intuitive (for me - YMMV).

Then there's a matter of development/conversion my stop-watch said it takes LR on average 14+ secs per RAW/DNG on my PC - ACR is faster.

So for me short of some other revelation -
LR is not yet acceptable -
ACR/Elements is tolerable -
ACDsee might be better if it only understands the K-x - but it is not acceptable for me right now.

Sorry to make you blue in the face - I took in all of the arguments for RAW workflow being faster - and the advantages of non-destructive processing -
but none of the software are yet acceptable for me to make RAW my default shooting format.

I am more than willing to be convinced - as you can see I have been trying the suggested/recommended S/W - hopefully it's evident that it is more than a mere casual try-out....

Thanks for your input though.
01-06-2010, 12:30 PM   #190
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Are you using a dual core machine? LR loves a dual core machine from memory, yours sounds considerably slower than mine.
01-06-2010, 12:40 PM   #191
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alfisti Quote
Are you using a dual core machine? LR loves a dual core machine from memory, yours sounds considerably slower than mine.

No it's not dual core -
but meets the systems requirements.

As I said ACR/Elements is faster in conversion.
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