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Software Discuss Olympus Master, Studio and Viewer software applications as well as third party programs like Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, Apple Aperture, and others.

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Old 15th November 2015
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Digikam and Gimp not seeing eye to eye

I haven't posted anything in ages as I have been trying to get to grips with a new laptop, new OS and new software.

I run Linux (Mint cinnamon flavour) and have been trying to get used to using digikam as my main management software as it has some really useful features. One thing that has bugged me is that the previews have looked soft. I think I have sorted this by delving into the settings and changing my preview options (any more advice on this would be great as I have my doubts). Whilst comparing raw files between digikam and Gimp I noticed that there is a distinct difference between the two in brightness as illustrated in the screenshot below:



same file, different brightness. This was even more noticeable with a different raw file where digikam showed the highlights blown where Gimp was showing a fairly balanced image. Could this just be down to different software processing the file in a different way or is some setting within one or the other which can be adjusted?

I find this frustrating as, for someone who hasn't done much editing but wants to learn, it is hard enough getting one's head around colour accuracy, calibration, interpolation etc without finding out that the two programs that I want to use can't even agree on how to display the same file. It's enough to make me want to give up and just go and take photos (possibly with one of those old-fangled film cameras) which is where I get all the pleasure at the moment. I have to confess that I am really missing the Oly software as it was so simple but that could the rose tinted specs talking.

Thanks for looking.

Will
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Old 15th November 2015
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Re: Digikam and Gimp not seeing eye to eye

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Originally Posted by Willom View Post
Whilst comparing raw files between digikam and Gimp I noticed that there is a distinct difference between the two in brightness as illustrated in the screenshot below:

Will
Hi Will.
You cannot view raw files on a display, they have to go through a raw conversion process first. The previews that you are looking at will actually be unsaved JPEGs and possibly low resolution unless you are looking at a magnified view. GIMP uses the "UFRaw" programme as a plug in to do raw conversion and this programme is based on one called "dcraw" but has some differences. "digicam" can use dcraw as a plug in but it may well give different results due to different defaults etc.
There is another possibility. A raw "file" consists of the raw data from the camera sensor which has no adjustment made for white ballance, exposure compensation and other camera settings. This data is included in the raw "file" as a suplementary file together with the other EXIF data and a small low resolution JPEG is also included. It could be that your "digicam" does not have or is not usng dcraw and is displaying the low res file. This would explain why you get blown highlights in digicam previews. Trying to compare an image converted from raw in two different raw converters is fraught with all sorts of problems.

I am not familiar with digikam but looking it up it is primarily a Digital Asset Management tool for cataloguing and organising images rather than post processing. A better workflow may be to do raw conversion and most post processing in GIMP and then, if there is some pp feature in digicam that is not in GIMP, save a high quality JPEG (minimum compression) and use the digikam feature last.

Hope this helps.

Regards.
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she looked at me and said "It's official. I hate your camera. It's just so amazing and perfect I want one!"

E-M10 MK II, E-M5, E-PL1, E-PM2, mZ 12-50, mZ 14-42mm EZ, mZ 17mm f 1.8, mZ 25mm f1.8, mZ 45mm f1.8, mZ 75-300mm II.
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Old 15th November 2015
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Re: Digikam and Gimp not seeing eye to eye

Have you tried Rawtherapee? I don't use it but it looks pretty good and has been around for some time.

Jim
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Old 15th November 2015
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Re: Digikam and Gimp not seeing eye to eye

Digikam is brilliant as a photo manager and quick editor. But I don't use it for raw conversion. I go "Open in Raw Therapee" instead. Then "Open in Gimp" for serious layer edits. All from inside Digikam. Which is the no. 1 Linux photo manager.
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Old 19th November 2015
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Re: Digikam and Gimp not seeing eye to eye

Thanks for all of your replies. I am using digikam primarily for DAM but in so doing I discard any photos that look too soft or are poorly exposed so I need to be able to trust that I am seeing a reasonable representation of what was taken. Will having the histogram up help or will that only indicate the exposure of the jpeg I'm seeing or the underlying raw file?

As I said earlier I think I have cracked the softness problems by changing the preview option to raw or some such however does this mean what I see on the screen is still a jpeg? Is the same if I opened the file in raw conversion software like raw therapee or Gimp?

I haven't tried raw therapee but I will give it a go as gimp looks quite daunting. I did really like Oly viewer as it was fairly simple. It looks like I still have a lot to learn about the non-photography side of photography.

Thanks again

Will
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Old 20th November 2015
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Re: Digikam and Gimp not seeing eye to eye

Quote:
Originally Posted by Willom View Post
Thanks for all of your replies. I am using digikam primarily for DAM but in so doing I discard any photos that look too soft or are poorly exposed so I need to be able to trust that I am seeing a reasonable representation of what was taken. Will having the histogram up help or will that only indicate the exposure of the jpeg I'm seeing or the underlying raw file?

As I said earlier I think I have cracked the softness problems by changing the preview option to raw or some such however does this mean what I see on the screen is still a jpeg? Is the same if I opened the file in raw conversion software like raw therapee or Gimp?

I haven't tried raw therapee but I will give it a go as gimp looks quite daunting. I did really like Oly viewer as it was fairly simple. It looks like I still have a lot to learn about the non-photography side of photography.

Thanks again

Will
You cannot ever view a raw file it has to be "developed" in a raw converter either in the camera "JPEG engine" or raw development software to produce a viewable image. A DAM programme is useful for weeding out images with poor framing/composition etc. or ones that are obviously horendously badly exposed or badly out of focus. A raw converter enables you to actually change the exposure by a useful amount and other things like white ballance which are only applied in the raw development process based on the information in the EXIF which records the camera settings. You may be discarding images that are actually quite useable.

See these links for explanations of what a raw file is and how it has to be processed to create a viewable/printable image.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayer_filter

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raw_image_format

Another useful (free) raw development programme you may find easier to use is FastStone.

Regards.
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she looked at me and said "It's official. I hate your camera. It's just so amazing and perfect I want one!"

E-M10 MK II, E-M5, E-PL1, E-PM2, mZ 12-50, mZ 14-42mm EZ, mZ 17mm f 1.8, mZ 25mm f1.8, mZ 45mm f1.8, mZ 75-300mm II.
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Old 20th November 2015
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Re: Digikam and Gimp not seeing eye to eye

Faststone is not capable of running on his computer. But there are plenty of other raw converters available. Raw Therapee, Raw Studio, Dark Table...

The thumbnail displayed for raw files is a jpeg. I have Digikam and they are identical to the thumbnail for the in-camera jpeg image created at the same time as the raw.
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Old 23rd November 2015
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Re: Digikam and Gimp not seeing eye to eye

Peter, thank you for your continuing assistance and patience.

So now I understand that whatever I am seeing on the screen is only that particular piece of software's impression of the original raw file. But this throws up another question. As someone who doesn't have much time to practice my hobby I try to get the picture correct at time of taking as I don't enjoy or have the time to spend ages post processing. How do I find out if I did get it right first time? Should I be shooting RAW and jpeg and use the latter for review? How do others do it?

You also talk about raw conversion software ( which I assume I dabbled with when changing exposure settings etc in Oly Viewer) and the control possible over various aspects of the image. Where do software such as Photoshop and Gimp stand? They obviously do more than purely raw conversion. I'm assuming you don't have to covert the raw to a jpeg before working with layers, they save up the changes before applying them at the final export. Is this correct?

I tend to overthink things and I expect I am guilty if doing it here. Perhaps I need to get practicing some more.

Will
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Old 24th November 2015
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Re: Digikam and Gimp not seeing eye to eye

Quote:
Originally Posted by Willom View Post
Peter, thank you for your continuing assistance and patience.

So now I understand that whatever I am seeing on the screen is only that particular piece of software's impression of the original raw file. But this throws up another question. As someone who doesn't have much time to practice my hobby I try to get the picture correct at time of taking as I don't enjoy or have the time to spend ages post processing. How do I find out if I did get it right first time? Should I be shooting RAW and jpeg and use the latter for review? How do others do it?

You also talk about raw conversion software ( which I assume I dabbled with when changing exposure settings etc in Oly Viewer) and the control possible over various aspects of the image. Where do software such as Photoshop and Gimp stand? They obviously do more than purely raw conversion. I'm assuming you don't have to covert the raw to a jpeg before working with layers, they save up the changes before applying them at the final export. Is this correct?

I tend to overthink things and I expect I am guilty if doing it here. Perhaps I need to get practicing some more.

Will
Hi Will.
No problem, happy to try and help as it can all be a bit daunting to start with.

You are correct about Olympus viewer being a "raw converter". It has long been my opinion that OV is actually the same as the firmware in your camera which produces the "out of camera" JPEGS (and IMHO Olympus JPEGS are probably the best "quality" of any manufacturers).There are many members of the group who are quite happy to use the out of camera JPEGS. When you open a raw file in OV it displays the image with the same settings that were set on the camera when you took the shot but you then have the option to change these settings. The initial settings I think of as a "vanilla" or "one size fits all" option and often, but not always the scene you have shot may have elements like a too bright sky or too dark shadows for example which you can improve by adjusting the Highlight/Shadow sliders or overall exposure to give a more pleasing result. I prefer these days to work from raw files only, not because I think I may not have "got it right" first time but because I believe that the extra amount of data in a raw file enables me to get it "even better".

Photoshop and GIMP are primarily editing programmes and their editing functions like Layers and cloning etc are carried out on JPEGS but of course if they are used with raw files they have to do the raw conversion first using a plug in. There are still a number of useful adjustments like "Levels" and sharpening etc that can be carried out on the JPEGs and many people find this is all they need. It may well be that given limited time and inclination you will be able to get the results that you need without using raw.

You could certainly set the camera to "raw + JPEG" and compare the results (in the same programme) but this will not really tell you if you "got it right" as there is no hard and fast "right and wrong", just different ways of interpreting/displaying the light the camera sensor captured. The old adage "the camera never lies" is the greatest misnomer of all time. A camera of any sort does not "see" light as our eyes/brains perceive it and has therefore to be designed/adjusted to provide images that appear to us to be the same as the scenes we see.

Regards.
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Peter

she looked at me and said "It's official. I hate your camera. It's just so amazing and perfect I want one!"

E-M10 MK II, E-M5, E-PL1, E-PM2, mZ 12-50, mZ 14-42mm EZ, mZ 17mm f 1.8, mZ 25mm f1.8, mZ 45mm f1.8, mZ 75-300mm II.
OM1n, OM 50mm f1.8.
Oly Viewer3, Dxo Pro 11. FastStone.
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Old 24th November 2015
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Re: Digikam and Gimp not seeing eye to eye

Yes. I have my EM5ii set to 'Raw + Jpeg' . If the exposure is tricky, I'll use the raw. Otherwise the jpegs are generally OK to use.
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Old 6th December 2015
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Re: Digikam and Gimp not seeing eye to eye

Thank you both for your help on this. It looks like I have to get practising.

I have downloaded Raw Therapee and it seems a lot less daunting than Gimp. I can't say that their manual is particularly helpful but I am looking for more than what a typical manual would offer. I've found the guide to raw conversion on Cambridge in colour which, very helpfully, isn't completely Adobe centric. Are there any other websites or books that are guides to raw conversion/editing and not just a guide to using photoshop?

Thank you again.
Will
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