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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 12:02 am 
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I had a quick play with RawTherapee but there's so many options I have no idea what I'm doing. Maybe I'm doing it all wrong. Sometimes I can get finer noise grain than with ACR, but I don't get any better looking noise with reduction turned up. I'll have to find somewhere to stick it later and let the more experienced have a go. Until then I'm wondering about looking at Lightroom again to see if the less castrated versions of ACR than with Elements have something useful to give here.

While on the subject of raw conversions, when I originally did it, I found to get optimum right end histogram coverage without clipping highlights, I had to exposure compensate +1 on 50D and +1.5 on A350. Given that the exposure times are the same or longer on the A350, and that it had more headroom, does that imply it has more highlight range than the 50D? Or is half a stop too small to be significant?

Sometimes I think I think too much. I should get to bed...

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 6:39 am 
The Sony A200/A300 are known to underexpose by 0.7 EV. Not sure about the other Sony cameras but it's quite likely that they do the same thing.This is especially obvious in low light conditions and this is the most likely reason why people keep complaining about the Sony noise performance. If you try to recover shadow detail in an underexposed image, you get some really nasty noise artefacts.

I'll wait for you to host the RAWs some place. The nice thing about RawTherapee is that the RAW settings for each photo are all stored in .pp2 files which can be transfered easily.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 3:28 pm 
If you need temporary web space, I can give you up to 1 GIG on my webserver. You can upload via FTP. Let me know.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 11:19 am 
C'mon popo, host them files :P.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 12:13 pm 
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Sony ISO3200 raw here. Hit my quota so no more there for now.

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 1:49 pm 
Here's the result of my tweaking the RAW file that popo has posted. You can click on the images to view the full uncropped image. Remember to click on the link at the top to view the image at the original size. Each of those JPEGs is over 5 MB so it might be a slow download.

#1 RawTherapee
Image

This was all done in RawTherapee (RT). I loaded up the file, made some white balance changes so that it would be similar to the warm tones found in the original set of images, pumped up the chroma noise reduction and then saved to disk. I've left the luminance noise alone since RT's luminance noise reduction isn't all that hot. The key thing to note is that those ugly blotches that were present in the ACR version are no longer there, and instead you have a very fine grained noise.

#2 RawTherapee + Neat Image
Image
This image went through all the previous steps. In addition to that, I put the image through Neat Image in order to reduce the luminance noise. The default neat image noise profile was used, so nothing fancy there.

Personal remarks

That was about a minute spent tweaking the photos. I spent far longer preparing them to be hosted online, and writing this post than I did making any edits. In addition to that, this does show that the Sony JPEG engine is rather crummy and that ACR is quite possibly the worst RAW converter for Sony's high ISO files. None of these should come as a surprise since these are well known to Sony users ;)

It would be interesting to see what I can do with the Canon RAW files too, but I guess we might have to wait until April for that.

p.s. The problem with all high ISO shots is that you lose all fine detail even if your image doesn't appear noisy. The crops no longer look like soft toys. It looks more like a photo of a 馒头(mantou, chinese bun), a pink marshmallow and some cheetos.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 3:54 pm 
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The combination of processing does seem to bring it back roughly on a par with the 50D jpeg at same ISO. But the food comparison made me hungry!

On the files I could zip selected ones up and put it on a file share site. Would just the ones from 50D at 3200 and higher do?

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 4:28 pm 
the noise suppresant of 50D work pretty well to suppress the chroma noise


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 5:01 pm 
Just the ISO 3200 and higher ones from the Canon will work fine.

And yes, thee Canon's JPEG noise suppression is pretty good but then you are comparing it against the Sony!


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 9:18 am 
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Just a quick follow up to this. I overlooked one factor in the previous test - that the A350 high ISO NR reduction also applies to raw. I made the mis-assumption that raw is raw, which is not the case here. Anyone know if this is the case on 50D too?

The test this morning is to take a shot using ISO3200, the difference being the high ISO NR setting on and off. Other processing as previously.

camera jpeg NR on, jpeg NR off, raw NR on, raw NR off

Image Image Image Image


camera jpeg NR on, jpeg NR off, raw NR on, raw NR off
As above but put through Neat Image, profiled on image, remove all noise and sharpen preset

Image Image Image Image

The NR setting does what it says, with lower noise levels compared to when it is off. However some chroma noise is still present. The cost of the NR setting is a reduction in detail and contrast.

What does Neat Image do to help? It does well at further removing chroma noise, but can also start introducing spurious artefacts if noise is sufficient to be interpreted as a feature. Playing with the settings may help optimise this.

Which is best? I can't decide, other than to avoid ISO3200 on the Sony. So no change there.

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:07 pm 
I know I'm harping on this again, but get a better RAW converter ;). ACR smudges high ISO shots. I used to think it was just Sony RAWs that got smudged but this happens with the RAW files from my 40D too.

You should trial Bibble, DXO or RawTherapee and you'll see a great difference.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:36 pm 
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Some day I'll find one that'll integrate with my style. RawTherapee isn't it.

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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