Viewing Raw Previews In Software

Replytoken

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
May 7, 2012
Messages
3,612
Location
Puget Sound
Real Name
Ken
I know most software used for browsing and viewing raw images tend to rely on the embedded jpeg files when viewing raw images, but was curious about the quality of the rendered file when software packages create their own from the raw image file. For instance, FastStone IV will use the embedded jpeg file when browsing, but it will also create a preview image from the raw file if one hits the "A" key. This got me to wondering if there is a noticeable difference in what is created in different browser software programs. For example, does XNView or BreezeBrowser create a better (and possibly more useful) rendering when viewing than something like FastStone or PhotoMechanic? The reason I ask is that we had a discussion in this thread https://www.mu-43.com/threads/photomechanic-faststone-questions.98067/ about switching out from FastStone when culling raw images, and this got me to wondering if some previews are better than others? I do know that some of this depends on the manufacturer's embedded jpeg file, but I am more concerned about how programs render their own previews. I know that Lightroom can render a variety of previews, but always displays (its interpretation of) the raw file in the Develop module. I realize the differences may be marginal at best, but I did want to ask the question in case anybody know more about how jpeg preview files are rendered.

--Ken
 

barry13

Mu-43.com Editor
Joined
Mar 7, 2014
Messages
9,395
Location
Southern California
Real Name
Barry
Hi,
XnView and XnViewMP always use the jpeg preview, even if doing modifications such as resizing or converting to B&W. Hitting F3 will open the raw in your external editor (I use RawTherapee) and that's the actual raw image.

DigiKam uses the jpeg preview for all DAM operations. I'm not sure what it's internal editor does, but again, you can open an external editor.

I saw some Chinese people using a viewer program that would show a quick, very low res image, and then after a couple seconds, would improve the resolution and apply a color and contrast profile. I don't know how it compared to what the jpeg would have looked like, but it did look pretty good.
The program might have been FastRawViewer, but it was in Chinese and the layout was not the same as shown on their website.
 

Julia

Mu-43 Veteran
Joined
Mar 9, 2013
Messages
481
Location
Dresden, Germany
I use FastRawViewer as well for quickly culling my files – unfortunately, LR is so slow loading/generating previews that it's too much of a pain doing it there. I honestly don't know if FRV is showing me jpg or raw previews, sorry, but it's *really* fast and living up to its name. You can customize the shortcuts (I set mine to mirror LR) and so I can quickly go through a shoot, and eliminate the photos that are so bad I won't bother keeping them around. Only after I culled them, I import into LR.
 

Mack

Mu-43 All-Pro
Joined
Jan 14, 2018
Messages
1,002
I use FastRawViewer as well for quickly culling my files – unfortunately, LR is so slow loading/generating previews that it's too much of a pain doing it there. I honestly don't know if FRV is showing me jpg or raw previews, sorry, but it's *really* fast and living up to its name. You can customize the shortcuts (I set mine to mirror LR) and so I can quickly go through a shoot, and eliminate the photos that are so bad I won't bother keeping them around. Only after I culled them, I import into LR.
Fwiw, FastRawViewer says this in their manual: "Display of the actual RAW as well as the actual RAW histogram "

I also use it to cull shots for sharpness as well as exposure (Maximizing the ETTR via the software's histogram by seeing if the RGB curves are near the +3 in the histogram.). Deleting file moves them off into a newly made folder it makes so they are never really gone, unless you delete them again later in the computer.

There is something else hidden in its Preferences>Image Display>Exposure which is checked ON by default saying "Apply Adobe hidden exposure correction" which seems to be about an EV +0.75 boost (It too is adjustable.). Didn't know Adobe had their own preferences of what images should look like by default.

Highly recommended! :thumbup:
 
Last edited:
Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Mu-43 is a fan site and not associated with Olympus, Panasonic, or other manufacturers mentioned on this site.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Copyright © 2009-2019 Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom