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Batch Processing with SilkyPix

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by pjohngren, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. pjohngren

    pjohngren Mu-43 Top Veteran

    560
    Oct 15, 2010
    Being unhappy with Adobe Camera Raw in Photoshop Elements in processing RAW files and not wanting to invest in another similar program, I explored tweaking the in-camera processing of my G1 and GF1 and discovered that these cameras can indeed produce great JPEGs. I therefore made the decision to just shoot JPEGS and have been very happy with the results.

    However, that still left me with the six months of RAW files and no desire to process them one by one. Apparently ACR in Elements will not do batch processing, so I decided to install the SilkyPix Developer that came with the camera and see if batch processing is supported - it is

    After experimenting mainly with the amount of sharpening (from zero to 500) I settled on 100 and let the SilkyPix Developer process all my RAW files into high resolution high quality JPEGs - lots of them. The results were astounding – strikingly better than Adobe Camera Raw could ever hope to do with all the custom tweaking in the world on an image by image basis - at least in my hands.

    This confirmed my suspicion that Adobe Camera Raw is not at all taylored to Panasonic Lumix G cameras and RW2 files. SilkyPix seems to consider how the camera was originally set, rather than using some arbitrary and unappealing average setting. Areas such as sky were clean and clear and without those weird squiggly artifacts I found with ACR processing. The sharpening especially did a great job with crisp edges showing very little halo effect. SilkyPix batch processing is every bit as good as in-camera processing and with regard to sharpening, perhaps even better. The colors were gorgeous, the dynamics great, and there were no artifacts. Indeed, if I were inclined to shoot RAW, I would just run everything through SilkyPix.

    SilkyPix looks like a pretty complicated affair, if you plan to use it to process each image individually, but I only read the part of the manual dealing with batch processing and pretty much let it do its thing. I did choose the output color space of sRGB (or you could choose Adobe RGB), the file type (JPEG or TIFF), the quality level of the JPEGs (up to 100% - I chose 98%, as the default is 97%), and the amount of sharpening. Once set, you just bring folders of RAW files into the program, do a “select all,” choose an output location, and click “Batch Development,” and it is off and running. It does take time, but with folders containing hundreds of images, I just wandered off and did something else while it was doing all the work. I have now processed all my RAW files and they are as if they had been processed in-camera into fine JPEGs. The results are terrific.

    If you find yourself with lots of RAW files that you wished were JPEGs or Tiffs, give it a try. It seems totally at home dealing with Panasonic RW2 files – something that Adobe Camera RAW definitely is not, even with the latest updates.

    Was wondering if anyone else is using SilkyPix?
     
  2. pjohngren

    pjohngren Mu-43 Top Veteran

    560
    Oct 15, 2010
    Related Question:
    Does anyone feel that batch processing of RAW files with something like SilkyPix is in fact better than in-camera processing?
     
  3. flikmy

    flikmy Mu-43 Regular

    28
    Feb 20, 2011
    Hi pjohngren, I've only started using silkypix and I'm no expert at PP. One thing I noticed is that on silky pix, using the default settings might not be as good as the in camera jpeg processing for high iso. I think I needed to tweak the noise settings a bit more to suppress the high iso noise. What are your impressions on this?
     
  4. f6cvalkyrie

    f6cvalkyrie Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 12, 2010
    Brussels, Belgium
    Hi, pjohngren

    I shoot only RAW on my G1 and I use only Silkypix to process the RAW files.
    I've not used batch processing, I prefer to handpick the pics, and processing them to what I like best !
    Did you try the "tastes" ? I find them very useful

    CU,
    Rafael
     
  5. At what ISO setting do you SilkyPix default settings lower in quality than in-camera processing?
     
  6. pjohngren

    pjohngren Mu-43 Top Veteran

    560
    Oct 15, 2010
    Have only tried the batch processing using the default settings of SilkyPix. Currently I am only shooting JPEGs after using RAW for six months and not really liking RAW files and the fact they have to be processed to do anything with them - like even look at them with Windows. It is true that you realy have to be carefull in shooting JPEGs to "get it right the first time", but I am finding I like that "restriction". The exposure especially has to be near perfect.

    I got into the batch processing in order to convert all my RAW files to JPEGs and then I deleated the RAW files. I was pleasantly surprised how well they converted, except for the ones where I had not gotten the exposure right.

    I guess what I am trying to discover is the most efficient and effective way to use these cameras (the G1 and GF1), with a minimum of computer work, except on the images I want to make large prints of. I don't like to have to process each image just to look at it the way I shot it. By working at getting it right in camera, that seems to be the most satisfying to me.
     
  7. flikmy

    flikmy Mu-43 Regular

    28
    Feb 20, 2011
    I believe that from iso 800 the in camera processing might start to look better than silkypix.
    However, it could be me not knowing how to use silky pix. So I wanted to find out from others what they thought.
     
  8. pjohngren

    pjohngren Mu-43 Top Veteran

    560
    Oct 15, 2010
    The tons of files I batch processed were all lower than ISO 800 and almost all were shot at 200. As I said, they all came out fine except for those that were under exposed, and those were easily corrected in Photoshop using levels.

    If you haven't already read this article by Ken Rockwell, take a look at it. It is admittedly on the outrageous side, but I happen to agree with it.

    RAW vs JPG

    He has a similar article re: sRGB vs Adobe RGB. I have also given up Adobe RGB in favor of sRGB and am getting great results that are more useful and consistant. Check that article out here:

    sRGB vs. Adobe RGB