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RAW Developer revisited

irakly

Well-Known Member
Today I played with two pretty interesting applications: dcraw and SharpRaw. The former one is a free open source application, which, unfortunately, works only in a command mode on PC or in X11 environment on OS X. The latter, however, is a full-featured commmercial product, currently available for Windows only, but the manufacturer Logical Designs promises a cross-platform Java version in the near future. After developing some files shot at ISO 400 and ISO 100 I became totally enraged with Kyocera. The files t ISO100 are smooth as a baby's behind (or perhaps even smoother), and at 400 they have noise that is easily desaturated with Quantum Mechanic Pro and looks just like film grain.
For those who do not have time for playing in the command mode, $99 for SharpRaw is not that bad at all, considering that it supports virtually all digital cameras.
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fotografz

Well-Known Member
Irakly, where are you? Are you still in Europe or at home?

Any word for me on my web site development?

This item you posted has me intrigued, even though I don't quite understand it. Does it develop ND RAW files?

-Marc
 
D

djg

I just downloaded the demo, which doesn't save, but it definitely reads Contax ND raw files - it even shows it on the open file type dropdown list, bless their heart.

It's definitely a slicker program than the Contax software, but does it do a better job? Consider that it's not reading the specific sensor profile. Can anybody comment (Austin?) on the advantages great or small of using this?

DJ
 

fotografz

Well-Known Member
Can you see an on screen image DJ? If so what's it look like? Who cares if it isn't using the profile if the photo looks good?
 
D

djg

You sure can see the image and play around with the image, you just can't save it. Because the tools are different than what I'm used to I haven't had a chance to see what you can do with it, just verified that it was indeed workable. What I'd like to find out is if you can indeed get better results than with CRD. Slickness is nice, but only if it delives equal or better results.

My problem right now is that I slipped on my driveway's ice like an idiot and bruised my right arm and wrist, so even typing is a chore. Thankfully I don't think I broke anything, I just hope we don't get another snowfall for a couple of weeks before I heal ... the joys of winter!

DJ
 

irakly

Well-Known Member
The image at 100% on the screen looks WAY better than the one produced by Contax RAW developer. I actually called the company and spoke to the guy. He said that the new version is due within a couple of months, and it will include custom color targets that would enable calibrating the sotware to an individual camera. We spoke about this stupid CD that comes with Contax ND and came to a mutual conclusion that most likely it is redundand because all cameras are built to the same specs and use identical Philips chips. Should any color fidelity problems arise, the custom color target will absolutely help.
 

irakly

Well-Known Member
Oh, yes... The new version that I was referring to is going to be Java based and will work on any platform, i.e. Windows, Mac OS and UNIX of all sorts. Professional version for Windows is already available.
 
D

djg

The unfortunate problem with Java is that, being an interpretive language, software takes a big performance hit in the trade-off for portability. Let's see how it works out.

DJ
 
D

djg

Irakly,

For them to say that "they use identical Philips chips" is like saying we're all buying identical cameras - there are always manufacturing variations, hence the calibration CD. However, unless they had the right specs from Contax, reverse engineering it would be a waste of time for them as an investment, so I can sympathize with their position. Having said that, let's let the results do the talking, as any other type of talk is cheap
.

Cheers,

DJ
Nursing his arm, wrist and pride ...
 

hankg

Member
I would love to hear about how the software does with the Kodak DCS back for Contax. If it brings it up to the Phase One level taht would be great. These backs refurbished or used are a fraction of the price of the Phase One H20.
 

irakly

Well-Known Member
Hank, I am not sure why would you need this for Kodak DCS ProBack 645. Photoshop CS handles its RAW files marvelously.
 

irakly

Well-Known Member
I bought this software. Image quality that it delivers is stunning. The only problem is color balance, but it seems that the software can be trained, I just have to figure out how.
I will bring some image s&les to Marc on Sunday for an impartial review
 

fotografz

Well-Known Member
Hello everyone.

Well, today Irakly came by my studio with two huge and delightful surprises:

First, a huge amount of stunning images from his recent assignment to photograph a famous Russian circus clown troupe. Words cannot convey the achievement he has created. He's outdone himself this time.

Secondly, he shared a half dozen images shot with the ND using the RAW processor mentioned above. Let me make this clear... he is not exaggerating about it's ability to transform the ND into the superior imaging tool we all expected in the beginning. The photos look to be shot with my C645 and Kodak 4X4 back... maybe ( grimace ) better.
I took them up to huge sizes on my Mac 23" cinema display and the detail was astounding. No moire' pattern at any size. NONE. No streaks in the darks. Nothing!!!!

Hats off to Irakly for this find. My only lament is that the Mac version isn't ready yet.

REJOICE ALL YOU FELLOW ND OWNERS, THE HOLY GRAIL IN TERMS OF IMAGE QUALITY HAS BEEN FOUND.
 
Irakly
This software sounds like it's the solution we've been looking for. Can you say a bit more about workflow etc? Have you tried using profiling - I use Profile Prism with the Contax RAW developer, & I'm getting good results.
I notice from the web site that a target is available - do you need this, or are you developing the RAW image, and correcting in Photoshop.
Thanks in advance.
 

albert4321

Well-Known Member
Irakly,

The ShapeRaw web-site does not list Contax is a supported camera. Can you confirm it works for the ND before I make the purchase?

Albert.
 
D

djg

Albert,

Yes it definitely does. If you download the demo you will see that Contax ND is one of the options in the drop-down list when you open up a file.

DJ
 

glarson

Active Member
I didn't know where to post this so sorry if it is a repeat!

Fellow N Digital / Photoshop CS Users-
I have exciting news for all N Digital / Photoshop CS users. About a month ago I posted a request to Adobe for Camera RAW support for the N Digital. Thomas Knoll, the lead programmer for Photoshop CS, responded to me and offered to help out. Thomas has written a beta version of the Camera RAW plugin that provides unofficial support for the N Digital. This week I sent Thomas my N Digital so that he could refine his programming. The beta testing of the new plugin is being done now. Adobe will not allow me to announce the release date of the new plugin. Please watch Adobe’s website for more details. I will of course let you know if I have any news on the progress of the new plugin. This should be a real time saver for N Digital / Photoshop CS users. Thanks Thomas Knoll! Greg "Al" Larson
 

fotografz

Well-Known Member
If this comes about Greg, I nominate you for the "Contax Gold Award with Digital Clusters" for outstanding achievement!

Do keep us informed!!!

If you need any support, please do not hesitate to ask.
 
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