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Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II The second Micro Four Thirds camera that offers phase detect focusing so you can use Four Thirds DSLR lenses normally as well a Micro Four Thirds lenses.

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Old 11th April 2019
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Monochrome raw files

I was surprised to find when using the Monochrome setup that the raw file produced is monochrome. I assumed only the JPEG would be monochrome, leaving me the option of processing the raw file myself.

How can a raw file be monochrome? Surely it's not "raw" any more!
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Re: Monochrome raw files

What editor are you using to display the file? I'm sure all the raw data will be in there, however there is probably a tag somewhere in the metadata that says "Jeremy wants monochrome". If your editor takes note of this it will do the conversion before showing it to you. You can probably find an option somewhere to turn it back into colour - where exactly that is depends on which editor you are using.

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Thumbs up Re: Monochrome raw files

Thanks for that - a very good thought. I think I was using Photos on a Mac. I have PS as well, so I'll check out all the options.
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Old 12th April 2019
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Re: Monochrome raw files

Raw files are exactly what comes off the sensor, which includes colour. If any processing takes place then the result is either a TIFF or JPEG.

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Re: Monochrome raw files

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Originally Posted by Wreckdiver View Post
Raw files are exactly what comes off the sensor, which includes colour. If any processing takes place then the result is either a TIFF or JPEG.
Colour data is not recorded as such by the camera sensor - just shades of grey. The photosites are exposed through a matrix of coloured filters - red green and blue *. Colour is interpreted later in either the camera processor or computer raw processor. eg if say photosite 200 across and 100 down received 50% exposure through a green filter then the processing software will subsequently interpret the data as being 50% green.

* Twice as many green filters as blue or red, because our eyes are most sensitive to green. I guess this is because we evolved in a 'green world' where we needed to distinguish potential predators from the surrounding vegetation.

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Re: Monochrome raw files

RAW-format files are not always raw! They include additional data that inform the processor about settings relating to the lens in use and choices made by the user. Many RAW converters apply this additional information automatically, when converting to other formats so, for example, most RAW converters correct the pronounced barrel distortion produced by the Oly 17mm lenses (both f/2.8 and f/1.8). If you use the RAW Therapee converter, you have the option to show just the de-mosaiced raw data, without these additional 'corrections', which may not always be what you want!
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Re: Monochrome raw files

I've investigated further. I jumped the gun a bit, I'm afraid.

It turns out that on the em1 itself the saved raw fie is shown in monochrome. Also, on both a MacBook Pro and an iMac the raw file icon image shown on the desktop is monochrome - so there must be something in the raw file that shows this rendering intent.

But when the file is opened in Preview, Photos or PS it is coloured.

Still, an interesting phenomenon - and it got me thinking. Thanks for your responses.
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Re: Monochrome raw files

What you’re seeing is the embedded jpeg inside of the raw file. That is what the camera always displays and also uses to construct the histogram, etc. You need a raw converter that will actually process the raw data, not simply show you the preview.
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Re: Monochrome raw files

Thanks Bassman, that explains it all!
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