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OV3.....From ORF to JPG.

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by Dave in Wales, Jan 16, 2015.

  1. Dave in Wales

    Dave in Wales Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 5, 2011
    West Wales
    I'm a RAW convert, using OV3 with access to PSE 9, Picassa, Gimp, Rawtherapy and Lightbox.

    I'm confused, all users and others agree that the best RAW converter for ORF is OV3.

    It's the subsequent editing that causes me confusion.

    From those in the know......The advise I've received, and opinions from internet articles.

    The procedure that comes across is as follows.........

    Load up ORF in OV3 and tweak as necessary the WB, temperature, tint and exposure.
    Save the developed ORF as a 16bit tif.
    Load up the 16bit tif into another photo editor (Photoshop, LR etc) to finish the editing, crop etc.
    Save the edited tif as a JPG

    Questions...
    Why is it necessary to do the final editing in an editor other then OV3 as it can do all that stuff anyway.

    If all the converting and editing is done in OV3 is it necessary to save the converted ORF as a 16bit tif before doing the final editing (in OV3) crop etc.

    I cannot understand why it can't ALL be done within OV3.

    Any advice gratefully received.

    Dave
     
  2. Carbonman

    Carbonman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 10, 2014
    Vancouver BC
    Graham
    Note that I use OV3 for almost everything I work on, so my experience is very limited regarding other programs. I don't do a lot of modification of my images yet.
    OV3 doesn't let you work on layers for more advanced photo editing. Photoshop, LightRoom and other photo manipulation programs let you add and remove details, dodge and burn, work with noise reduction and retouching, and generally do all the things that you end up seeing in print advertisements.
    OV3 is also painfully slow, a major consideration if you're working with a lot of photos in a session. It's a memory/processor hog.
     
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  3. Dave in Wales

    Dave in Wales Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 5, 2011
    West Wales
    Thank you Graham, user expeience is invaluable.
     
  4. Carbonman

    Carbonman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 10, 2014
    Vancouver BC
    Graham
    Dave, sorry I missed commenting on the last bit. If you can do everything you want to do in OV3, do it. The basic functions that are available work well, if not quickly. What I do is make all the changes in OV3 ORF, export to a folder as an 8-bit TIF for possible future printing, then add my sig to the ORF and export to another folder as a resized JPG with EXIF data for upload to Flickr. I can then revert or continue to play with the original file in OV3.
    My understanding of TIF is that you don't get appreciable benefit from saving TIFs in 16-bit if all you're going to do is direct conversions to JPG or send them off for printing.
    I'm willing to be corrected on any of this by more knowledgeable users.
     
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  5. RichardB

    RichardB Snapshooter

    441
    Nov 19, 2012
    Maryland, US
    Richard
    I like OV3, but I would not agree that it is indisputably the best processor for all ORF files. I have half a dozen raw processors, and I process a lot of shots completely in OV3, and a lot of others completely in some other program. Sometimes I process in stages, moving a 16-bit tiff from program to program. I may want a look that I get from a plug-in that works with only one image editor, or I may choose a program for sharpening, or color adjustment, or noise reduction, or some other particular strength. Sometimes I process multiple versions of an ORF and compare the jpegs to pick my favorite. Some people choose a primary processor because it organizes their image libraries, but I just use my hard drive directories so I'm untethered to any particular software.
     
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  6. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I don't know about best - it's best at keeping original Olympus flavours of noise, tone, colour, etc. It's dog slow, however, and the interface just generally feels clunky. It also doesn't give very fine grained adjustments for many things, and you can't use grad filters and local masks when making adjustments. Now that I have a GM1 as well, it's nice to just have profiles set up in ACR for both E-M5 and GM1 in order to make the initial outputs and subsequent workflow similar.

    If you can do everything you want in OV3 and can live with its interface, there's no sense to use anything else. If you do want to edit further, however, it makes sense to adjust the unrecoverable stuff (white balance), extreme highlights and shadows) in OV3 and export at maximum bit depth for further editing so you don't get blocking. Internally in LR and ACR the RAW development is done in 32-bit, 16-bit is still reasonable though. Just as a side note, when I do stacking for astrophotography, DeepSkyStacker stacks RAWs to 32-bit TIFF as the output needs a lot of post processing adjustment. You couldn't really get away with 16-bit in that case.
     
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  7. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    You got that wrong. I won't buy into an argument about whether it is the best RAW converter or not but I will tell you that not all users agree. I for one don't, and there are a hell of a lot of other Olympus shooters out there who use other applications instead of OV3. I can't imagine that all of them believe that OV3 is the best converter for ORF files as well.

    The big difference between OV3 and other RAW converters is that OV3 knows what the "secret sauce" is in the Olympus picture modes and can apply them to RAW files. Other converters don't know that because Olympus don't divulge that information. What that means is that if you like the look of Olympus JPEGs, OV3 is the easiest way to get that look if you want to shoot RAW. You're going to have to do a lot of work to get a similar result if you're working in a different application.

    And it can all be done within OV3 but you don't seem to understand RAW conversion completely.

    What all RAW conversion software with editing capability do is to store your edits as a series of instructions which are applied whenever you're viewing the ORF file within the application, and you don't need to save the file as a TIFF or JPEG to do that, and also before export of a converted file. Converted files are exported on 2 occasions, when you want to export the image to some other application for processing, and whenever you want to create a file of the processed image for some purpose such as e-mailing it or posting it online. So, if you are going to do all processing within OV3, which is certainly possible, then you don't have to save the file in any format until you want to do something with it outside of OV3 like sending it to someone. If you are only going to view the file yourself, and only view it within OV3, there's no need to save it at all. What you will have is the untouched RAW file in your photo library, and a set of editing instructions within OV3's database which it saves automatically, and whenever you view the file within OV3 those editing steps will be automatically applied so you get shown the edited result.


    So, why use a different application to OV3? First, as Carbonman said above, other applications can do things that OV3 can't do, and they can work faster also. Second, not everyone prefers the Olympus JPEG look so having that as a starting point isn't a big deal for many, and in fact, many people prefer a different sort of starting point to the Olympus JPEG look and that brings up a big point you need to understand.

    What you see when you open a file in OV3 or another RAW converter is not the "converted file". It's the RAW file with some editing applied by default by the application but that editing is only affecting the screen display, there is no "converted file" at that stage. As you further edit the image, new editing instructions are applied in addition to the default ones and the image you see displayed on screen changes, but you still only have an ORF file and a set of editing instructions. The point at which RAW conversion actually takes place is when you save a file in a specific format like TIFF or JPEG. The converted file includes all of the edits you made to the RAW data and it is saved as a separate file leaving the original RAW file untouched. What you are doing when you edit a RAW image in OV3 or some other application is not editing a file after RAW conversion, you are actually making edits which will eventually be applied when the actual RAW conversion eventually takes place.

    And the reason you have to export the image as a TIFF or something else if you're going to do some processing in another application is simply because each application can only read it's own editing instructions. If you want to take your image in OV3 and then do a couple of things in Lightroom, you have to create a file in some format other than the original ORF file for Lightroom to work with because Lightroom can't read or use the data OV3 saves for the edits made within OV3.
     
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  8. Dave in Wales

    Dave in Wales Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 5, 2011
    West Wales
    Yipeee...!

    I'm starting to understand, many thanks Guys :drinks:

    Does it make an awful lot of difference whether the converted ORF is exported from OV3 to another editor as an 8bit or 16bit.

    If so would I really notice the difference in the final JPG.
     
  9. Brian Beezley

    Brian Beezley Mu-43 All-Pro

    • Like Like x 1
  10. mpg01

    mpg01 Mu-43 Regular

    154
    Oct 21, 2012
    I find that I when I really want to see an image as it appears in camera, I go grab a copy through OV3 and convert it. But for the bulk of the images I simply work within LR and apply saved presets that I have worked out before hand. My biggest gripe with OV3 is the lack of color noise adjustment. There may be a way but I have not identified it myself.
     
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  11. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    621
    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    It all depends on how much and what type of editing is done in the other editor. JPEG is an 8bit only format so the edited 16bit TIFF has to be converted to 8bit during the JPEG export. If you've done a very large amount of curve manipulation or a lot of color vibrancy and/or saturation adjustment there might be a slight advantage to using a 16bit TIFF as the interim format as opposed to and 8bit TIFF.

    My personal (my personal art photography along with "snapshots") and work place (images handling for an art photographer's gallery) workflows are roughly the same. New digital images are first processed through a specialized RAW converter (LR in both cases) and final edits are done in a bitmap editor (PS in both cases). The "transfer" format is 16bit PSD (since the bitmap editor is PS). In both cases the archive master files are PDSs. When the image will be only used for JPEG export or other less than critical output, the PSD is converted to 8bit to save space and make editing faster. It is rare that I can see a difference in a print from a 16bit version of the file and an 8bit, but archiving the 16bit master allows for the most furture editing. The original RAW, along with its embedded LR instructions, is also archived.
     
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  12. Carbonman

    Carbonman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 10, 2014
    Vancouver BC
    Graham
    I looked at the properties of the TIF files I've exported from OV3; they are all 24-bit. Windows says the JPG files are also 24-bit. I always export at the highest quality, so lower bit depths are possible with more compression.
     
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  13. RichardB

    RichardB Snapshooter

    441
    Nov 19, 2012
    Maryland, US
    Richard
    OV3 exports 24-bit TIF by default, but you can change the setting and export 48-bit TIF.
     
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  14. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    We're mixing terminologies here. Most things refer to per channel bit depth rather than total bit depth. That's what Photoshop calls it, and I'm pretty sure that's what OV3 calls it in the export dialogue as well.

    24-bit in that case refers to total bit depth, as opposed to per colour channel bit depth. That's 8-bits per channel (256 levels) multiplied by 3 channels (RGB). When total I say 16-bit (65536 levels) that then equates to 48-bit total, and when I say 32-bit it equates to 96-bit total. Note that usually 32-bit TIFF is in floating point format rather than integer, however, so you can't compare it directly.
     
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  15. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    As has already been said, whether it will make a difference depends a lot on how much more processing you are going to do. As a basic rule of thumb I'd recommend exporting in the highest quality you can manage, simply because it's not always possible to tell in advance just what you're going to do in the second processor and also because giving any editing program as much data to work with usually results in getting the best results out of that program.

    Will you notice the difference in the final JJPG? An unanswerable question. What we can notice is in part learnt. As we become more familiar with what we're doing, we often start to notice subtleties that we didn't previously notice so in some cases it's possible that you may not see a difference today but in a few weeks or months, with more experience, you'll start to notice things that aren't apparent to you now. Then there's all the individual differences like variations in visual acuity from one person to another, even things like differences in the accuracy of the monitor you're viewing the image on and the resolution of that screen if you're talking about screen viewing, or print resolution and colour management if you're looking at prints. And then there's the fact that we're better at noticing the things that are important to us than the things that aren't so even under the same conditions and 2 viewers with identical eyesight, one may notice something because they care about it and the other may not because they don't.

    Try it both ways and see if you can see a difference. If you can, and you like it, then you know what to do. If you can't or if you can and don't like it, don't do it. If sometime down the track you start to see a difference and it matters to you, the big advantage of RAW processing is that you can simply go back to the original RAW file which you should still have in its original form and just do it again to get the result you now want.
     
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  16. Dave in Wales

    Dave in Wales Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 5, 2011
    West Wales
    A very many thanks to all of you for passing on your knowledge and taking the time to do so.:drinks:

    I have learnt a lot, but still a lot to learn.

    I think I've settled on an editor, it's Lightroom 5.
    Although it costs, it's the one that I seem to getting along with the best.
    There are a lot of tutorials on Youtube by Anthony Morganti, which are of great help.

    Dave
     
  17. Carbonman

    Carbonman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 10, 2014
    Vancouver BC
    Graham
    Richard, how do you change OV3 to export at 48-bit ? I'd like to export at the highest quality possible.
     
  18. RichardB

    RichardB Snapshooter

    441
    Nov 19, 2012
    Maryland, US
    Richard
    Using OV3 1.4 (latest version), working on ORF, click Export. The Export Image dialog has a drop-down box for Format. There are two TIFF choices, Exif-TIFF and TIFF. It seems that Exif-TIFF always exports 24 bits per pixel (8 bits per color channel per pixel). Choose TIFF instead, and another drop-down box appears for Number of Bits, where you can change 8bit/ch to 16bit/ch.

    In earlier versions of OV3, you could not save Exif information with a 48-bit TIFF, but now there is a checkbox for Include Exif Information, so if you check that box your 48-bit TIFF file will have Exif data included.
     
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  19. Dave in Wales

    Dave in Wales Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 5, 2011
    West Wales
    Sounds good, bound to be a catch though, something for nothing?
     
  20. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    File sizes - 16-bit TIFFs are hundreds of megabytes in size.