Panasonic rw2 not right (not!)

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Panasonic rw2 not right (not!)

Postby jt4474 on Fri Dec 18, 2009 3:18 am

The rw2 files from my panasonic lx3 are not displaying properly in FPV pro, just bought license.

FPV thinks the files are 1920 x 1280 but windows clearly indicates they're 3982 x 2250, as I expected them to be. Abode photoshop displays them in full resolution, so why does FPV crop them so much? Why can't it show my image data? Thanks
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Re: panasonic rw2 not right

Postby Axel on Fri Dec 18, 2009 4:42 am

FPV use the embedded JPEG to preview raw files. If the camera puts 1920 x 1280 JPEGs in the raw files then this is what the program shows (the image is not "cropped", just of a lower resolution on this particular camera model, and the images are displayed properly).

If your pictures are sharp, well exposed and well composed, this will be perfectly clearly visible on the 1920 x 1280 created by the camera, and the colors will be faithful and accurate (unlike what usually comes out of ACR without extensive tweaking 8-))
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Re: panasonic rw2 not right

Postby jt4474 on Fri Dec 18, 2009 12:11 pm

Thanks for the reply, but I don't get it. FPV can display my canon raw files correctly, why can't it show my panasonic ones?

I have a 2560x1600 monitor. I'm not interested in a 1920x1080 version of an image, I want the full thing, with all the data. The current crop looks pathetic on my monitor.

Can I teach FPV to treat the rw2 in the same way that it treats the canon cr2: don't hunt for an embedded image, just create a full resolution preview on the fly.

Surely what I'm witnessing can't be an intentional design feature can it?
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Re: panasonic rw2 not right

Postby Axel on Fri Dec 18, 2009 12:49 pm

FPV uses the embedded JPEG preview if there is one and avoids converting the raw data. There is not much to explain beyond the fact that it just displays the jpeg image that the camera created and which was put in the raw file for previewing purposes.

If your camera writes a 1920x1080 preview image, this is what the program is going to show. Again, FPV displays all images correctly, including your Panasonic images and yes, this behavior is by design, it's even a distinctive trait of this application. You are looking at an image that your camera manufacturer thought was sufficient to judge the qualities of the pictures taken by this particular camera. This is actually a design feature of the camera itself and the size of the previews varies among brands and models, and possibly even across firmware versions on a given model. DSLRs and newer cameras tends to include a high quality, full-size preview image.

Besides that, converting the raw data is something like 20-30x slower than extracting the JPEG, which can typically be done in about 0.2 seconds or so. If FPV was converting the raw data that would thus make it up to 30x slower and ruin its whole purpose. Additionally I can see from here the long string of comments along the line of "my colors don't look like the camera-produced JPEG", and "why my camera picture settings ignored" etc, like one can see everyday in pretty much every discussion related to raw conversion. The JPEG preview, on the other hand, reflects all camera settings and usually looks great as-is.

The previewing of raw files is explicited at several places on this site, including on the formats compatibility page, the pro photo page and the FAQ, and as such I consider the topic closed.

EDIT: I'm thinking of adding some logic to fall back to full raw conversion when the existing preview image is smaller than some user-definable threshold, or smaller than the monitor dimensions. Currently the program performs a (slow) full conversion only when the preview is smaller than a pre-defined (and arbitrary) value of 480 pixels in it's shorter dimension (or when there is no preview at all). It would be easy to extend this mechanism and make it smarter. Of course the resulting image will be influenced by the actual raw codec used to perform the conversion: manufacturer codecs will tend to produce images looking just like the jpeg, but 3rd party ones, including ours, might show some color and white-balance differences as they ignore camera-specific settings.
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