Tuesday, February 10, 2015

NDSR Boston choses pcdMagic for Kodak Photo CD conversion

I don't often talk about pcdMagic because, well, there's seldom much new to say about it. For those that don't know, pcdMagic is my software package for converting old Kodak Photo CD images to modern formats. It's available for both Mac OS X and Windows, and runs on the latest 64-bit versions of both OS's. Photo CD was very popular in the early 90's and a LOT of images were converted back then. Unfortunately, Kodak subsequently abandoned the format. Today, it's actually quite hard to convert Photo CD images. Most of the major packages (e.g., PhotoShop, Lightroom, etc) no longer support Photo CD at all, and the packages that do still have some kind of support have really bad support - they typically only support low resolution images, they blow highlights, and get the color wrong. Take a look here and here for more detail on why these problem exist.

pcdMagic is custom built just for Photo CD images, and incorporates equivalents to Kodak's original proprietary color profiles, so pcdMagic gets color, highlights, etc., exactly right, the way Kodak intended back in the day. To my knowledge, pcdMagic is the only software package available for modern operating systems that can do so. As such, pcdMagic is frequently used by museums, art galleries, etc to convert their images.

But don't take my word for it. NDSR Boston recently performed a very detailed comparison of the various options for converting Photo CD images. To quote from their website, "The National Digital Stewardship Residency is a program designed to develop the next generation of stewards to collect, manage, preserve, and make accessible our digital assets by building a small cohort of residents."

While the comparison is very detailed, complete with histograms, color comparisons, etc, the result was simple - to quote from NDSR Boston, "pcdMagic is our tool of choice". You can read the whole comparison here.

Friday, February 6, 2015

PhotoRaw 4.2.1 is available with lots of new camera support

PhotoRaw version 4.2.1 is now available on the Apple App Store with new camera support including the Sony A7 II (ICLE-7M2), Sony QX1 (ICLE-QX1), Panasonic DMC-CM1, Pentax K-S1, Olympus E-PL7, Fuji S1, Kodak C330, Leica D-Lux (Type 109), Leica V-Lux (Type 114), Samsung NX300M, Samsung NX3000

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The iOS 8 raw+jpeg bug is fixed

I previously wrote about a nasty bug in iOS 8 that prevented PhotoRaw from accessing any images that were shot as raw+JPEG.

Apple haven't fixed the bug - indeed, they have shown no interest at all in either fixing it or providing a workaround - but I'm pleased to say that as of version 4.2.0 of PhotoRaw, this shouldn't be a problem anymore. I've rewritten a large portion of PhotoRaw's image importing code to use an entirely different mechanism for importing under iOS 8. Of course, that mechanism doesn't exist under iOS 7 and earlier, so PhotoRaw now has a separate code path for iOS 8.

The version of PhotoRaw with the fix is on the App Store now, and a fixed version of PhotoRaw Lite will also be there as soon as Apple approve it.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

dcpTool and the DNG SDK on Linux

While Adobe's DNK SDK has been a great asset for the imaging world, allowing all sorts of useful open source software, including my CornerFix and dcpTool packages, as written it only supports Windows and OS X. This is for good reason - Adobe is a commercial organization, and the vast majority of software for commercial use is one of either Windows or OS X.  So there wasn't much point in Adobe spending a lot of time and energy getting the SDK running on Linux.

Fortunately, there are folks that are willing to take on challenges like this. "Cellstorm" has documented how to get dcpTool up and running on Linux in an article: DNG tools in Linux. This ported version can be used with Elle Stone's dcraw-float package. The dcraw-float package has a number of improvement relative to the base version of dcraw, including the ability to use DNG camera profiles.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

AccuRaw support for the Canon 7D II, SX60 HS, G7 X and Fuji X100T

So you can stop emailing me :)

The versions of AccuRaw and AccuRaw Monochrome on the App Store as of this morning (V2.2.8) have support for the Canon 7D Mark II, Canon SX60 HS, Canon G7 X and Fuji X100T.

PhotoRaw will also have support for all those cameras in a few days; this time round PhotoRaw is lagging by a few days because of some user interface tweaks to better support the iPhone 6 and 6+.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Mini Comparative Review of AccuRaw, Lightroom, Capture One and RawTherapee

Erik Kaffehr just posted a short comparative mini-review of four raw developers - AccuRaw, Lightroom, Capture One and RawTherapee.

Erik's focus in the mini-review was primarily on demosaicing performance using an image from a Phase One P45 medium format back, but there's also some discussion of color rendering.

Given that the P45 is a Phase One product, you'd expect Phase One's Capture One product to sweep the field, but not so. The review is well worth the read if you're interested in how various raw converters behave with "difficult" images.

You can read the review here: Four raw converters, handling demosaic errors

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Don't update to iOS 8

Updated: It's now safe to update; Apple have not fixed the bug, and show no signs of ever doing so, but as of version 4.2.0, PhotoRaw has a workaround.

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

Updated again: This bug is also not fixed under iOS 8.1.1.