Which ORF converter to use?

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by tl1234, Apr 16, 2013.

  1. tl1234

    tl1234 Mu-43 Regular

    37
    Feb 5, 2013
    For some reason, LR3 will not convert RAW files from my OMD into DNG files. I have resorted to using Adobe DNG converter and importing the converted files to LR.

    My question is: am I losing some quality when I do this? What is the best converter from ORF to DNG?
     
  2. slothead

    slothead Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 14, 2012
    Frederick, MD
    You can use Adobe Camera Raw, and since you have LR3, you should be able to download the latest ACR for free. That having been said, I can't say that it is the best ORF converter. Other than ACR, I have only used Olympus Viewer 2.
     
  3. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    You cannot update ACR independently of Lightroom. The last free update to Lightroom 3 was 3.6 and does not supported the E-M5, so the DNG approach is the only one that will work without buying the Lightroom 4 upgrade. However, there's no loss of quality, so the only downside is a slightly more complicated import process.
     
  4. slothead

    slothead Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 14, 2012
    Frederick, MD
    I stand corrected. I thought LR was better than that.
     
  5. tl1234

    tl1234 Mu-43 Regular

    37
    Feb 5, 2013
    Thanks for this. For a while I was thinking that I missed and update for LR3. Good to know there's no downside on quality in this method of conversion.
     
  6. tl1234

    tl1234 Mu-43 Regular

    37
    Feb 5, 2013
    Me too. But LR4 looks like it has some neat features (and LR5 beta is out) but it's an expense that I think I'll hold off for now.
     
  7. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I use LR3.6 (with DNG as you describe) and LR4 at work (shh, don't tell) and see no difference in quality.

    Perhaps an experiment is in order ... I'll use LR4 at work and export a tiff then take the same ORF home and run it through the DNG-LR3.6-tiif export and compare tiff files.

    I can tell you right away that the camera calibration process (whatever that is) is different in the various flavors of LR. Having the 2012 process in LR4.4 but maybe not in LR3.6 (I can't recall). So I'm going to use 2003 process (I'm pretty sure that is in both LR3.6 & 4.4). If the different processes produce quantifiable differences in quality (and presuming 2012 is 'better' than 2003) then there is a difference.
     
  8. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Note that LR4.4 working on the same ORF and camera calibration process exported as tiff gives exactly the same pixel values for every pixel when compared to the same ORF converted the DNG (using the CameraRaw 6.6) and that DNG imported to LR4.4 then exported as tiff (whew).

    I chose CameraRaw6.6 as that is compatible with LR3.6 and what I use in this workflow.

    I think this comes down to exactly which camera calibration process is used and if the same process is available in the various flavors of LR (and one can tell the difference).
     
  9. tl1234

    tl1234 Mu-43 Regular

    37
    Feb 5, 2013
    Hey Rob this is what I do. If you're happy with this ill take your word for it and stick to this. I'm an OMD virgin on LR3 :)
     
  10. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    And I must say I'm not sure exactly what is going on when one selects a particular camera calibration process but this is certainly not helpful. For example in the above post I disabled camera calibration and touched no sliders or enabled any adjustment, setting or preset and yet the files were different so there is some processing applied even when disabled.
     
  11. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    That attitude will lead to ruin ... have you seen the spork photos?

    Keep your eye open for a LR sale. I got my v4 using the student discount (using my kids school ID) for a deep discount.
     
  12. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    LR3.6 versus LR4.4

    So there is a difference ... same ORF converted to DNG (v7.4 using Camera Raw v6.6) imported to LR3.6 using camera calibration process 2003 then export to tiff (16bit sRGB)

    Compared to the tiff file similarly generated by LR4.4 (even the same DNG file) actually produces different tiff files.

    The differences are subtle and slight and certainly impossible to see in a jpeg. The maximum values of the difference are <300 counts. There are broad swaths of the image where the difference is exactly zero.

    Good news is one would be very hard pressed to see any difference under even the most intense visual inspection.
     
  13. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    Camera Calibration can not be disabled in Lightroom or Camera Raw. Significant things happen behind the scenes in all raw converters before you get to the adjustment sliders. Each new version of Lightroom has improved the demosaicing algorithm applied to raw files quite considerably. The improvements in both the behind the scenes algorithms and functionality of the sliders between LR3 and 4 are large enough to be able to see differences in processing the same file with each version. The ACR 7 engine (used in LR4 PV2012) does a much better job at extracting both highlight and shadow detail than ACR 6. It also allows the use of new and more advanced controls for raw processing (shadows instead of a recovery slider, for example).

    Gordon
     
  14. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    Not exactly legal though, unless you're an educator yourself.

    Gordon
     
  15. tl1234

    tl1234 Mu-43 Regular

    37
    Feb 5, 2013
    Or unless his kid uses it too. Right, Gordon?
     
  16. tl1234

    tl1234 Mu-43 Regular

    37
    Feb 5, 2013
    This is great information. Would it be possible to convert via Adobe DNG converter using version 7 but using it later on thru LR3?
     
  17. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I fully adhered to the terms Adobe set forth and awaited their approval. All nice and legal.
     
  18. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    What I mean't was the little checkboxy tool next to camera calibration that disables the tool (I do believe it implies to disable camera calibration - but certainly that is not true). One can plainly see that different profiles can be selected and there are obvious adjustments made as seen in the histogram shifting.

    Also, not surprising, LR3.6 and LR4.4 "interpret" the same profile differently.
     
  19. Iansky

    Iansky Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    The Cotswolds, UK
    I would seriously consider downloading and trying Olympus Viewer 3 it is brilliant and exports as 16 bit Tiff - very nice quality image editing from OMD files that for me equate to those from X100 and in some cases my old D700 full frame!

    Only drawback is exported Tiffs are large (90+mb) and if batch processing can be time consuming but the end definately justifies the means..........and it's free!!
     
  20. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    It doesn't disable it. It just sets everything to the defaults (all sliders at zero). Calibration is the starting point for raw conversion. Without the original sensor demosaicing, there's no raw conversion. Also calibration is the major reason different raw converters give different results.

    That's why profiles like the Huelight ones produce such different results to the Adobe ones.

    Gordon