Wolfgangs answer
-his thoughts about RAW file differences and Raw-Conversion

His answer was to long (more than 4k). So he could not load it as an answer to my blog article. It may be interesting for anybody who is thinking about buying a new camera / beginning with working in Raw-Coversion!

So I started a new blog posting with his detailed words. Any comments are welcome for sure!

 Hi Thorsten,

first, about the raw files from different cameras and sensors: of course
they differ. A Leica (with Kodak sensor), a Nikon (with Sony sensor),
and an Olympus (with Panasonic sensor) will definitely show differences
from the raws - just go to Imaging Resource, and download some from
different cameras (they have the same studio scene, so you can really
see the differences). Same with the DPReview studio scenes, which you
can also download as raw files once a camera is officially tested by them.

That's why we need profiles for these cameras, and that's also why
people are waiting for these cameras to be 'supported' by their raw
converters of choice (for an overwhelming majority, that would be Adobe
Camera Raw, which is used in both their Lightroom and Photoshop software
products). RawTherapee also uses such profiles, which are close to the
ones of Adobe. Plus you can load any other profile (I used to use some
'Huelight' profiles from Colin, but didn't with these last versions of
RT (RawTherapee)).

What Olympus does in their in-camera processing as well as in the
Olympus Viewer 2 raw converter is also to use such a profile, and
Olympus baked their own 'special sauce' right into their camera firmware
- which is what all camera makers do, but somehow they get the colours
very nice and very right. A bit oversaturated in the reds (and slightly
less in the yellows), but very close to what lots of people like. That's
why the OOC jpgs from Olympus are famous, and what differentiates them
from other makers who are even using the same chips, like Panasonic.
Only in Panasonic's latest models (like the G3, GX-1, GH-2, and so on)
they came closer to what Olympus can do. Close, but no cigar, as Groucho
Marx would have said.

Second: your photos and conversions here. Like said above, it's all a
matter of taste of course, but starting with real pictures is the most
difficult way to do it. What I mean is: first, this photo is/was
slightly underexposed on Julian's face - the background was so bright
that it fooled the camera's metering. You can try to get around this
with spot metering, and a lot of experience - or with using an incident
light meter. This is better than having to work with gamma curves and
exposure in post-processing to "save" a photo (for this one, the cap
darkened the boy's face, and to get a 'correct' photo is really
difficult without using reflectors or even flash).

Some have a green tint - reflections from the grass I suppose, enhanced
by different post-processing modes. You corrected that in the last two;
bravo! Maybe I like No. 5 the most here.

But let's be honest: we're not trying to get professional fashion shots
here, are we? For a family album, does it really matter if a photo is a
bit too dark, or too green, or even unsharp (I don't mean your photos
here)? I think it isn't, and that is why Mitchie for instance never
post-processes any of her photos - she takes those OOC jpg files and is
happy with them. That 45mm she loves so much also makes focusing a bit
more challenging - not like a D800 would, but also not P&S-easy, if you
know what I mean.

I guess in the end all of a discussion like this is more or less
pointless, and it's a matter of taste if we like an image or not. About
the cameras and sensors: look at what <a
href="http://www.mikekobal.com/blog/?p=5139">Mike Kobal</a> just did
with two very different cameras and sensors. And he can do absolutely
the same with one of his Sony or Nikon DSLRs. The same is true for Ming
Thein; doesn't matter much if he's using an E-PM1 or even a Leica. This
is their style, yes, and it's very appealing (means I like it). But I'm
not going to copy it - I will show (and probably enhance) blacks if
there were any in the original scene (in yours here, that's probably
only true for the underside of the cap, and portraits are difficult and
sensible to this anyway), but I will not try to 'improve' a photo if
there were no stark contrasts anyway, or if it just doesn't fit the
'mood' (or anything like this; hope you know what I mean).

About these photos again: yes, skin tones are what Olympus does very
well. But for this example, I think your last one is indeed better than
the straight OOC one. So you achieved a good result from a difficult
photo to start with; bravo!

1 comment:

  1. Here is my e-mail answer:

    Hallo Wolfgang,

    Danke für die sehr ausführliche Antwort:

    In der Tat habe ich heute vormittag überlegt, unter das Bild Nr. 5 ungefähr die Worte einzufügen: Na, war es den ganzen Aufwand wirklich wert??? Und ebenfalls verdammtes ja: eigentlich müsste man einen schönen Aufhellschirm überallhin mitschleppen, damit sich alle Photos von den Familienbildern der anderen unterscheiden. Und ein etwas interessierteres Weib, das beim Licht support macht und kooperativere Kinder.... naja, im nächsten Leben vielleicht...
    Stafan (der Nikon Mensch) hat übrigens mit mir gestern telefoniert (ich habe meinen Blog ja erst gestern bei facebook geoutet!) und fragte, ob wir nicht mal wieder eine schöne session machen könnten, wie das letzte mal vor 8 Jahren oder so und ob Julian nicht das Licht machen könnte (meine Reflektoren sind ja wieder aufgetaucht!)... also mal sehen...