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RAF (FujiFilm) & DNG Thumbnail images...


Blue Wizzard
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Hi.

I am now ramping up my usage of Daminion as an ideal replacement of my aging Extensis Portfolio DAM cataloguing software :-)

 

I am trying to understand my ideal workflow...

- Currently I import (ADD) my RAF (FujiFilm raw) images.

- Do a Batch rename

- Then Copy/convert to DNG file

- Thus giving me TWO versions of the same image (RAF & DNG) :-)

 

1)

Just looking at the normal thumbnail view of the images, I can see a distinct difference between the original RAF thumbnail & the DNG thumbnail.

- Usually the DNG thumbnail is a few shades darker!

 

Any ideas why this happens??

 

 

2)

If I double-click on a thumbnail I get a full screen view of the thumbnail.

When I compare the fullscreen view of the RAF thumbnail, with the fullscreen view of the DNG thumbnail...

- There is a definate image quality difference :(

- The DNG thumbnail is a lot lower in quality, than the RAF thumbnail :(

- I have the Adobe DNG Converter set to generate a "Full Size" JPEG preview!!

 

Is there any way of increasing the quality of the DNG preview??

- I would have thought that the RAF & DNG thumbnails should be identical!!

 

I have generated DNG files form within Daminion, and from outside (using the Adobe DNG Converter)

- I get the same results !

 

3)

If I open the DNG and the RAF images in Photoshop, then there are NO differences with the full-sized original images. They are identical. As I would expect :-)

- Thus the problem (difference) is with the JPEG previews !!

 

 

Any solutions or comment greatly appreciated...

 

Ta KW

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Welcome to Daminion coomunity, Blue Wizzard!

 

 

Just looking at the normal thumbnail view of the images, I can see a distinct difference between the original RAF thumbnail & the DNG thumbnail.

- Usually the DNG thumbnail is a few shades darker!

Any ideas why this happens??

 

It's because each RAW editing (converting) tools use it's own functions for interpreting (visualizing) RAW images. After converting your RAF file to DNG format the DNG converter generates JPEG previews from your RAW files, and do it using it's own RAW rendering function that is different from what your Fuji camera did and embedded into your RAF files.

 

 

2)

If I double-click on a thumbnail I get a full screen view of the thumbnail.

When I compare the fullscreen view of the RAF thumbnail, with the fullscreen view of the DNG thumbnail...

- There is a definate image quality difference :(

- The DNG thumbnail is a lot lower in quality, than the RAF thumbnail :(

- I have the Adobe DNG Converter set to generate a "Full Size" JPEG preview!!

 

Is there any way of increasing the quality of the DNG preview??

- I would have thought that the RAF & DNG thumbnails should be identical!!

 

I have generated DNG files form within Daminion, and from outside (using the Adobe DNG Converter)

- I get the same results !

 

Something is wrong with your DNG converted or its conversion settings. Can you please send me a sample RAF file for testing?

 

 

 

3)

If I open the DNG and the RAF images in Photoshop, then there are NO differences with the full-sized original images. They are identical. As I would expect :-)

- Thus the problem (difference) is with the JPEG previews !!

 

Any solutions or comment greatly appreciated...

 

This is because PS ignores JPEG previews when visualizing RAW images and use its own RAW rendering funtcion that applies for both DNG and RAF files equally.

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I have further observations...

 

When exporting images (Copy to Folder - F7) I get the following results...

 

Export .DNG file to a .jpg

- The file (.jpg) opened in Photoshop is THE SAME (Contrast/Brightness/Resolution/etc)as the ORIGINAL .DNG and ORIGINAL .RAF

 

Export .RAF file to .jpg

- The file opened in Photoshop is now DIFFERENT (Brighter/Lower resolution/Cropped!!) from the original .DNG & .RAF files!!!

 

Observations from within Daminion...

- The Thumbnail view of the .RAF file is 'Brighter' and slightly 'Cropped' when compared to the Thumbnail view of the .DNG file

- The fullscreen view (double-click) of each image, shows the SAME differences as above!!

 

To me, it looks like Daminion is not giving me a true representation between the 'Thumbnails' and the 'Embedded RAW" image for '.RAF' files!!

- ie, The Daminion Thumbnail of a .RAF file is Cropped & Brighter than the RAW data

- When exporting a RAF file to a JPEG file, it looks like the JPEG is generated from the 'Thumbnail' within Daminion, and NOT the RAW image!!

 

 

Any idea what is going on??

...

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Thanks for the files you sent me. When visualizing (or exporting) RAW images Daminion works with embedded JPEG previews as this the only way to match you see in your RAW Editor and in Daminion. We don't to render RAW images cause most of the RAW editors has their own proprietary RAW rendering functions.

 

You see the different pictures when viewing RAF and DNG images in Daminion becuase you compare JPEG preview from RAW that was generated by your camera and JPEG preview that was generated by DNG Converted (that interpreted your RAW file in its own way).

 

BTW Lightroom displays the same different between your RAW and DNG files.

 

 

When exporting RAW images to JPEG Daminion will use the built-in JPEG previews so your exported JPEGs will look like your original RAW image that you see in Daminion.

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Thanks Murat for you concise update.

 

I therefore understand the following...

1)

FujiFilm camera takes a RAW photo (.RAF)

- Stores RAW data within the file

- Generates a 'Fine' JPEG Thumbnail, which is stored within the RAF file

- It looks like some processing is also done. sinch this Thmbnail is cropped & brightened!

 

2)

Daminion adds these RAF files into the database, and uses the embedded thumbnail for the images.

 

3)

If I then 'Export' (F7) a copy of my image, then Daminion uses the embedded JPEG Thumbnail as the source for the image!!

- Thus the exported files can NEVER be higher quality than this embedded Thumbnail!

- This begs the question - "Why give me the option to generate a 'TIFF - Original size' file as the exported file??"

 

4)

For the .DNG files, I use the Adobe DNG generator, through Daminion.

This generates a 'Full Size' JPEG preview Thumbnail

- NO crepping :-)

- NO image enhancements :-)

 

5)

Daminion adds these files to the database & displays the Thumbnail

- Thus I can see why the two Thumbnails (.RAF & .DNG) will disploy differently.

 

6)

An Exported file from the .DNG image, is treated the same as detailed in '3)' above...

 

====

In conclusion from above, I make the following observations...

 

7)

Only use the 'Export' function to generate low/medium quality files for use on web, or small screens :-)

 

8)

To generate Hight resolution/quality images, I MUST use the 'Open With' function :-)

- This will ignore the embedded Thumbnail & open the RAW data :-)

 

9)

Finally, from previous comments, I am hoping that Daminion has a higher functionality(priority) when dealing with .DNG files over other RAW formats ??

 

Thus - It looks like the recommended workflow with Daminion, is to convert RAW images to .DNG format for all operations within Daminion :-)

 

Many thanks for your help & feedback...

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Hi Blue Wizzard,

 

Even when Daminion has some simple functions for generating JPGs/TIFFs from RAW images you shouldn't use Daminion as a digital dark room software (RAW processing sw). Daminion is a digital asset management tool for cataloguing and indexing your negatives (RAWs) and final photos (JPGs/TIFFs) (and also other types of digital assets like music, videos etc.).

 

When you shoot RAW images you should also add into your workflow processing the images in a digital dark room software like Adobe Lightroom, RAW File Converter EX 2.0 provided by FujiFilm or some other tool available in the market. If you are not ready to take that extra step IMO it would be better to shoot JPGs. Your RAW images will always require extra steps before they can be used.

 

Few comments on your summary:

 

1) The embedded image has the image settings applied what would be applied if you were shooting JPGs. These include settings like sharpening, color settings etc. This is the same thing as in other makes.

 

3) The export functions is more applicable for the processed JPGs and TIFFs than for RAWs.

 

7&8) You should process your RAWs and store in Daminion both the RAWs and the final JPGs/TIFFs. Then you could directly export the high quality images.

 

9) Daminion is for asset management, not for raw processing so what would be the added functionality for DNGs?

 

My workflow in rough steps is following:

⨪ import images from camera into Daminioin

- browse the images through and discard the poor shots

- process the RAWs to final images in a digital dark room software (LightZone in my case)

- import the final images (and the LightZone recipes) into Daminion

- tag the imaages

 

-Juha

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Hi Juha,

 

1)

Many thanks for your expertise. As you are aware, I am new to Daminion & still getting to grips with it. Though I am not new to the principles of DAM, as I have been using ALL functionality of Extensis Portfolio (Stand Alone) for the last 14 years!

 

2)

Until recently I was mostly using JPEG digital files & Portfolio still did a decent job. I am now switching over to RAW files & need the capabilities of Daminion :-)

 

3)

Since 1980, I have been taking photos on Slide film, to give the highest quality, with little intervention from processing labs. I am trying to continue this workflow by using DNG files :-)

 

4)

I totally agree - Daminion is NOT the software to use for processing & tweeking DNG images and producing JPEG files. Though it DOES have ALL the functions I require for my DAM workflow, including Images, Audio, Video & Office files :-)

 

5)

I currently use Photoshop to fully process my images.

 

Though I am looking for a simpler way to 'Batch Process' a collection of DNG files to generate reasonable JPEG (or TIFF) files for uploading to my online work-related photo gallery??

- PhotoShop / LightRoom / LightZone / RAW File Converter / Other ???

 

6)

Regarding your comments to my Q's...

- 1) Ah - Thanks for the update. I had not appreciated that the JPEG thumbnail was tweeked in-camera! I thought it was just a JPEG version of the RAW image!

- 3) Still not convinced : It still looks like Daminion would Export form the embedded Thumbnail, even from a JPEG or TIFF source image??

- 7&8) - As with '3)', How does Daminion 'Export' the full JPEG or TIFF image, as generated by Photoshof (for example) ??

- 9) Agree totally : Daminion IS for DAM, NOT for image processing. I specifically like Daminion for this very reason :-) I just need to understand my complete workflow!!

 

7)

Regarding your workflow...

- I assume you import from camera in RAW format??

- What RAW/Camera do you use??

- To process your RAW's do you use Daminion to Open a batch of images in LightZone??

- Do use the 'Version Control'??

 

 

Many thanks for all your comments & advise during this steep learning curve :-)

...

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Hi,

 

I understand that you want your images as untouched as possible, but shooting RAW is not like shooting slides in the old analog days, it's more like shooting b&w film and having your own film development lab in the basement. The fundamental technical reason is that the RAW images contain typically 3×12 bits per pixel (R, G & B each). The JPGs contain only 3×8 bits. This means that a RAW can contain 68.719.476.736 colors compared to JPGs 16.777.216 equaling only 0,024% of the colors. The shades that will be "thrown away" are either based on your decisions during the post processing or on the RAW converters algorithm. With the RAW converters you have control over the process.

 

The digital sensors are not perfect, but with smart algorithms you can correct the errors so that they are not visible to the eye. There is interference between adjacent sensor cells and some individual cells are not working fully. The different post processing algorithms remove noise, sharpen the image and also help you to show the perceived colors. When you have the RAW images you can always (in theory) reconvert them, when there are better algorithms available.

 

A simple solution to your workflow could be to shoot JPG+RAW, most modern higher end cameras can do this. Then your camera would generate good high quality JPG, but you would also have the full power of RAW image available.

 

6.3) I agree with you. I have only used "Export Original File(s)", not Export JPG, but now when testing my 12M JPG was exported as 3M.

 

7)

– I shoot RAW only and import images in RAW format.

– I have Canon 600D and use the Canon native CR2 format.

– I launch LightZone separately. It doesn't support multiple files on command line, so it is faster to launch LZ separately and select the files in LZ's folder view (as I have my folders structure by shooting date).

– No, I don't use 'Version Control'

 

I hope my views are helpful for you.

 

-Juha

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Hi Juha

 

1)

Ah - Black & White, plus time in the darkroom. I miss those days. Watching the image appear in the processing trays :-)

 

I definately agree - RAW is more akin to B&W, with all the processing required.

- Though I did process my own slides!

 

2)

Looks like I need to search out a good RAW converter to add into my Workflow...

 

3)

Thanks for your explanation of the RAW colours vs JPEG.

 

For your info, I did a quick calculation a few years ago regarding Kodak Echtachrome slide film, with its 'T' grains. Since film has a depth(thickness) to it, and the colours are processed at different depths within the film. If you work out the film grain size for a 35mm area - Then the approximate equivalent digital (full-Frame) sensor will need to be ~85MegaPixels to give the same clarity/quality!!

- I am still awaiting these sensors...

 

At current technology & my use of images, I am happy with 8-12Mp :-)

- Though I do hire Nikon D800/D810 camera for some shoots (36Mp!)

 

4)

I think I agree, it may well be best to shoot RAW+JPEG. It would mean less initial work to get simple JPEGs.

- I will then have the RAW for later enhancements etc :-)

- Camera settings now changed!

 

5)

Ref 6.3). So, I'm NOT going mad :-) You see the same, in that exporting files actually uses the Thumbnail image to export!!!

 

6)

Thanks for your workflow info. I am looking into LightZone for my RAW conversion. I had not heard of it until you mentioned it. It looks to be good, (& FREE!). I currently use Photoshop Elements for all my image processing, but many photographers use Lightroom or similar.

- I will carry on the search...

 

Thanks for your help :-)

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