Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Don't update to iOS 8

For those of you that are PhotoRaw users, I'd recommend not updating to iOS 8 just yet.

There is a significant bug in iOS 8 that will prevent PhotoRaw from importing images that were shot as raw+jpeg. The details are as follows:
  1. If you import an image from an SD Card onto an iOS 8 device that was shot as raw+jpeg (so there is an xxxx.raw and xxxx.jpg file present), the import operation onto the device will go fine.
  2. However, when you try to open the raw file in PhotoRaw, you'll get an error.
  3. What is happening is that despite the raw file being present on the device, and PhotoRaw correctly asking for the raw file, iOS 8 only ever provides the jpeg file to any apps that request it.
The only know fix for this that I'm aware of right now is to shoot raw only (or use iOS 7!). If only a raw file is on your device, iOS will correctly provide that to PhotoRaw, and the import operation will be fine.

I'm in contact with Apple on this issue, but so far they have only said that they will get back to me "when an engineer is assigned to the bug". Which given the number of other bugs in iOS 8, may take a while.

So, if you have the choice, and shoot raw+jpeg, you should hold off on updating to iOS 8.

I'll update this post when the issue is fixed.

Updated: This bug is not fixed in iOS 8.1.0. If you're not happy with this, please email Tim Cook, asking him to fix bug #18581425

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Nikon D750 support for AccuRaw and PhotoRaw

I've received several emails asking about the status of support for the new Nikon D750. Here is the state of play: the latest versions of both AccuRaw and AccuRaw Monochrome on the App Store have D750 support already. The version of PhotoRaw with D750 support is complete, and already with Apple - it should be available on the App Store in 4-5 days.

The new versions also have support for the new Leica cameras  - the Leica M-P, Leica M-60, Leica X (Type 113) and Leica S (Type 007).

Thursday, July 31, 2014

AccuRaw and AccuRaw Monochrome 2.2.1 - Nikon D810, Sony A7S, A77 M2, etc support

AccuRaw and AccuRaw Monochrome 2.2.1 for the Mac are now available on the Apple App Store. There was a bit of delay between the availability of the PhotoRaw version that supports these cameras and the AccuRaw version (due to Apple having a sudden fit of insanity around some the technicalities of a particular app entitlement). But it's out now - version 2.2.1 adds raw image support for new cameras including the Nikon D810, Nikon 1 J4, Nikon 1 S2, Panasonic DMC-FZ1000, Sony Alpha 77 II and Sony Alpha A7S. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

PhotoRaw 4.0.7 - Nikon D810, Sony A7S, A77 M2, etc support

PhotoRaw 4.0.7 for the iPhone and iPad is now available on the Apple App Store. Version 4.0.7 adds raw image support for new cameras including the Nikon D810, Nikon 1 J4, Nikon 1 S2, Panasonic DMC-FZ1000, Sony Alpha 77 II and Sony Alpha A7S.


Friday, April 25, 2014

Leica T (Typ 701) raw file (DNG) analysis

I just took a quick look inside a DNG from one of Leica's new Leica T cameras:
  1. The camera still appears to be using beta software - no firmware version number shows, etc.
  2. The camera name shows as "Leica T (Typ 701)"
  3. The image data is 12-bit. There is no compression used in the DNG I looked at. Somewhat unusually, the data is appears to be packed, four 12-bit values in 6 bytes, rather than the more typical one 12-bit value in a 16-bit location. This is allowed by the DNG spec, but isn't often used. This means that the file size is approximately 24.5 MB vs. what would otherwise be approximately 33.6 MB.
  4. The DNG version is 1.3, a higher revision that that the 1.1 that most previous Leica cameras have used. There is a reason for this - DNG 1.3 allows for opcodes, which Leica use for lens correction.
  5. In the DNG I looked at, which was shot with a 18-56 Vario-Elmar lens, lens correction is done by a single "WarpRectilinear" operation in the DNG. Other lenses (or the same lens at a different focal length), might use other codes.
  6. There is a single Leica makernote.
Generally, the DNG seems to be quite standard - it happily works with current versions of all of my software - PhotoRaw, AccuRaw, AccuRaw Monochrome and Cornerfix "out of the box".

The only slightly interesting thing I noticed is the color rendering in the DNG. When I looked at Sean Reid's images in his review of the camera, I commented to him that the colors looked over saturated, especially the reds. Interesting, looking at a DNG alongside a JPEG preview, the JPEG preview is much more subdued than a DNG rendering using the Leica embedded color profile, especially in the reds. However, this is probably nothing that couldn't be fixed with a custom camera profile.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Importing raw images into Lightroom Mobile

A lot of people have found out that, contrary to what they might have assumed, you can't import raw files into Lightroom Mobile on the iPad. Only JPEGs are supported. To import raws, you need to go via a desktop machine. Which is not much use if you're in the field with only an iPad.

Fortunately, there an easy work-round with PhotoRaw - here's the step-by-step instructions:

  1. Install PhotoRaw on your iPad. Note that PhotoRaw Lite won't work for this.
  2. Import the raw files stored on your iPad into PhotoRaw.
  3. Batch export them - touch the batch button (the gears), select all the files, then touch the action button (the arrow), select JPEG quality, and touch save.
  4. Your images are now saved on the iPad as JPEG at full resolution, and can be imported into Lightroom Mobile just as you would any other JPEG

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Adobe Lightroom Mobile and Lossy DNG

Adobe's Lightroom Mobile is out. There are numbers of "first looks" and reviews on various sites, e.g. at MacWorld. I won't go into what Lightroom Mobile is and is not - the mainstream sites are doing that already - but there is one thing that the mainstream haven't picked on. That thing is that Adobe's Lossy DNG format finally starts to make some kind of sense. Well, sort of.

In a post back in January 2012, when Lossy DNG was introduced, I discussed the new format in not very complimentary terms. In fact, as a replacement for raw formats, I called it an "engineering abomination". But I also noted that as a replacement for JPEG rather than as a replacement for a raw format, it had some useful features. But the format remained a bit of a puzzle - for archival purposes, it was a dog, as Adobe themselves acknowledge, but as a replacement for JPEG, the question was who was going to adopt it? One obvious possible adopter would be the cameras companies as an in-camera format, but the camera companies, at least the significant players, were always unlikely to adopt something with an Adobe label on it.

The answer to this puzzle appears to be that Adobe themselves had plans for it. It appears the Lightroom Mobile uses lossy DNG as its format on the iPad. So when Lightroom Mobile talks about "raw", what they actually mean is Adobe lossy DNG as created by one of the Adobe desktop products. Aka, what is really a JPEG format on steroids rather than a raw format. Which in some ways is actually quite clever. It's not at all clear that this was the plan all along, but if it wasn't good long term planning back then, it's sure good improvisation now.

But is this clever in the long term? In the short term, this is certainly going to be good for Adobe - at least for Adobe's share price, which of course is very good for all of the employees on stock option schemes. The market loves the cloud, and Lightroom Mobile is very obviously designed to drive cloud adoption; signing up for one of Adobe's cloud based subscription schemes is the only way to get Lightroom Mobile. In fact, if I was in my Herm├Ęs-silk-tie-wearing-strategy-consultant role, I'd probably recommend this as a strategy, at least in the short term. But I'm not so sure that this is clever in the long term. It's already possible to run a full raw converter on an iPad. The early versions of my product, PhotoRaw, was frankly a novelty on the iPad 1; it was just too slow to be useful outside of niche situations. But a current version of PhotoRaw, which is way faster than the early versions even on an iPad 1, running on an iPad Air - the combination is a practical way of editing images in a lot of situations. In a few years, stand-alone raw developers on tablets will be mainstream. At that point, Lightroom Mobile may well look like a distraction rather than a smart idea.