1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

NEX raw file conversion

Discussion in 'Sony Chat' started by Zou, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    Just wondering what the Sony supplied raw converter software is like. My PC is still XP so I won't be able to use the latest Adobe/C1 type software if I do get a NEX camera. Is the supplied software good enough or does it lack significantly in any way? Thanks.
     
  2. Bob Maddison

    Bob Maddison Well-Known Member

    Just use Adobe DNG Converter. The latest version (which works in XP) is compatible with all the latest camera RAW files and gives you DNG files that most editing programs (except the camera mfrs.) can open.
     
  3. Mosstrooper

    Mosstrooper Well-Known Member

    Just use the Jpeg file you will end up with anyway, no conversion needed.
     
  4. Wheelu

    Wheelu Well-Known Member

    The bundled software is very limited compare to say Canon's DPP or Lightroom, but it does the conversions. Not sure that I could live with it to be honest, but then I don't have to.

    I bought LR4, which is powerful but seriously weird, it wants to take over your filing system, computer and the world ........ ;)
     
  5. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the info. I've just got a second hand Win7 PC so in due course I'll be looking at the options. I've used and loved LR in its earlier incarnations so at the moment that's the obvious choice, but Capture 1 looks good too.
     
  6. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    Of course it does. It is meant to take over your filing system. The problem is that it does not do that well enough. In the ideal world all the imported files would become owned by the system and an ordinary user would not be allowed to touch them except through Lightroom or an editor called by lightroom. If you just want an editor then I would suggest Elements, Photoshop or Gimp plus one or two others. Lightroom is mainly a database application for organising images.
     
  7. Bob Maddison

    Bob Maddison Well-Known Member

    Precisely
     
  8. Wheelu

    Wheelu Well-Known Member

    Thought that I had replied to this thread last night, but maybe I pushed the wrong button?

    It's not that simple. PS costs about 7x more than LR, so PS is a non starter for many. It's a long while since I last used Elements, and it may have improved greatly since then, but it didn't offer anything like the same range of "development" tools as either PS or LR back then.

    Wanting the latest version of ACR my only viable choice is LR. However I don't need or want the database. A cut down version of LR would suit me fine.
     
  9. Bob Maddison

    Bob Maddison Well-Known Member

    It's called Photoshop Elements. Although the organiser is included, you can open only the editor if that's all you need.
     
  10. Wheelu

    Wheelu Well-Known Member

    I haven't used the recent versions of Elements, are the conversion tools the equivalent of those in PS and LR?
     
  11. Bob Maddison

    Bob Maddison Well-Known Member

    The latest PS Elements uses the same Adobe Camera Raw as the other programs. Until about 3 years ago, Adobe supplied ACR as a separate file to be copied to a program folder. Nowadays it is an integral part of PS (in all its guises) and so it is no longer obvious that you are actually using ACR. The only real difference between Elements and the current full Photoshop lies in some of the the facilities for image manipulation. I have Elements 10 and also PS(CS2) and the former is the more comprehensive of the two and in fact uses more memory when in use! Over successive generations, Elements has incorporated more and more of the facilities offered by the full Photoshop. The downside is that it uses more and more HD space (not a real problem) but also more and more memory when in use. (Oddly PSE10 seems more efficient than PSE6 in that respect!) The organiser in particular seems very bad in this respect compared to programs like Picasa and Fast Stone Image Viewer which are very much more compact and hence very much faster.
     
  12. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    Answer - non-existent. ;) At least in the sense that it isn't actually supplied with the camera, they just point you to their website to download it. Cheapskates! Surprised to see a printed instruction book though - thought those went out of fashion.
     
  13. Wheelu

    Wheelu Well-Known Member

    Take it you've bought one then?
     
  14. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    Yes (3n), and initial impressions are mostly excellent. And you're right, the raw software sucks. I'll be doing a LR4.4 trial after my hols at the end of this month I think. Also want to try Capture One Express.
     
  15. Wheelu

    Wheelu Well-Known Member

    Congrats on your purchase, hope you enjoy.

    You can update to the latest version of the Sony software here

    It still leaves a lot to be desired, but they do appear to be intent on upgrading.
     
  16. Bob Maddison

    Bob Maddison Well-Known Member

    We seem to be losing sight of the fact that whenever a new camera is produced, the independent software suppliers don't have instant access to the relevant information to update their programs. However, there are easy way round this. Whatever its shortcomings, the Sony software (IDC) is available and up to date with every new camera. It will open (i.e. demosaic) the RAW files and it can save them as a tiff or jpeg. The former can be opened in almost any photo editing program and processed the same as any RAW file. It is as well to remember too that the Sony software is only intended to allow the new camera owner to get started immediately. It is pointless complaining that IDC isn't as good as CS6 or LR4: it was never intended to compete.

    As a sensible alternative (although suffering from a short delay after a new camera is introduced), why not simply use Adobe's DNG converter. This is a up to date as any editing program from Adobe and the DNG file can be opened in almost any older Adobe program. There is no good reason to buy a new Adobe program such as CS6, LR4 or Elements 11 if your present program cannot open your newest camera files, but is otherwise satisfactory.

    If I have a complaint about Adobe it is that there is a distinct lack of a sensible instruction manual. To use their software you need to either be familiar with an earlier version, or to buy an independently published book on the subject. GIMP, whatever its failings, sets an good example here; its user manual / help files are as comprehensive as possible. The biggest problem with GIMP is that it is perhaps too comprehensive and, apart from the user manual, not very user friendly and not intuitive to use.
     
  17. Wheelu

    Wheelu Well-Known Member

    There are those of us afoot who have been spoilt by Canons's excellent, free, and often upgraded DPP. If they can do it why not the other manufacturers? I continue to use DPP in preference to LR4 for renaming, sorting and deciding which Canon images to take through to PS.
     
  18. Bob Maddison

    Bob Maddison Well-Known Member

    There are plenty of free programs that will also do this efficiently. In fact, even Sony's Image Data Lightbox (IDL) doesn't do a bad job here. However, when it comes to more complex editing, there are very few programs, free or otherwise, that are as comprehensive as Adobe (in its various guises). I suspect that the real criticism of Sony's IDC is that it can't be compared to Photoshop. The problem with all of these camera maker's programs is that, when it comes to RAW files, they can handle only the RAW photo files from their own cameras!

    I believe in the simple approach. Yes, I do use DPP. But for basic image viewing and sorting IrfanView is difficult to beat. For renaming, Fast Stone Image Resizer is about as good as it gets. However, my advice to someone with their first digital camera is always to use the supplied (or downloaded from the manufacturer) software. Other software comes later. Likewise, I wouldn't suggest that a novice starts off taking only RAW files that must be manipulated in the computer to produce usable, practicable images, no matter how much better they are than jpegs! For the novice, a jpeg file can be manipulated in almost any photo software even though this might be very limited; it is only when he realises that so much more can be done using Adobe and with RAW files that he might move on.

    Incidentaly, I have heard that Canon's software is no match for Nikon's, but the latter is only available to a Nikon owner!
     
  19. Wheelu

    Wheelu Well-Known Member

    and you have to pay extra for it! (seen no evidence to suggest that it is better than Canon's DPP, but a difficult call to make when these OEM converters only process their own raw files).
     
  20. Bob Maddison

    Bob Maddison Well-Known Member

    The Nikon software costs about twice as much as Photoshop Elements 11. As it costs more then it MUST be better surely. (Even though it is only compatible with RAW files from Nikon cameras).
     

Share This Page