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Thu
Nov
08

2007

After conversion, only a very dark, unusable image results?!?

What are those different kind of RAW conversion methods I see? It was suppossed to deliver the best quality possible, but after conversion, only a very dark, unusable image results!

You’ve chosen linear output; that has to be processed by another program tailored for linear processing.

At a glance, there are three kind of processing methods, depending on the image the program outputs:

  • 8 bit non linear
  • 16 bit non-linear
  • 16 bit linear

The higher the bit counts, the more data the image has.

Consider a single pixel. It will be recorded using an specific value for the Red color, another for Green, and another for Blue.

With 8bit output, each primary color has to be represented choosing from 256 different values. With 16 bit output, there are 4096 different values to choose from for each R, G and B values: color transitions and gradients will be much more smooth.

Linear refers to the brightness of the image. Non-linear images have been corrected so that they look as we saw our world, not as sensors see it (linear), where everything is very dark.

16 bit linear images are considered the best prime matter for extracting the max out of your camera. But you need to work with it using specific software.

Some programs do that linear conversion internally, then calibrate the result and output a normal, non-linear image

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