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| p.1 #8 · Sigma DP Merrills now supported by Iridient Raw Developer |
Tariq Gibran wrote:
Thanks for the more detailed information...and thanks for supporting these cameras! I have been using your great software for many years.
I was curious about how your software deals with noise in Foveon Merrill files as compared to how SPP does so. At first, I thought SPP simply crushed the blacks to hide noise but it appears there is further noise suppression going on automatically with SPP in the shadows. Sean Reid recently posted an example showing this - much more noise showing up with Iridient Developer versus SPP.
As an aside, maybe I missed the change, but just wondering why the change in name from Raw Developer to Iridient Developr. Perhaps to avoid confusion with all the current developers with "raw" in their name?
I changed the name to Iridient Developer for a couple reasons:
1) It's no longer just for RAW images anymore. Many standard image formats (TIF, JPG, PNG, PS, others) and a couple HDR formats as well (OpenEXR and Radiance HDR) are now supported.
2) Yes, the RAW Developer name was just way too generic and when people mentioned "RAW Developer" it often was mistaken for any old raw processor not specifically the RAW Developer program from Iridient.
There are complex noise issues with these Sigma cameras due to the way the Foveon sensor design works. I have a number of completely unique Foveon specific noise processing options available in Iridient Developer to help deal with the noise. I do make different noise tradeoffs in my processing than SPP does, and its just the nature of RAW image processing in general that no 2 programs will ever be exactly the same in output, but there are a number of ways for the user to adjust noise reduction to best suit there personal preferences in Iridient Developer.
In particular for Foveon noise:
1) Don't completely disable all noise reduction, this just makes no sense with these cameras. This is like cranking sharpening all the way up as high as it will possibly go and saying their are sharpening artifacts. I repeat do not completely disable noise reduction for these cameras.
Same goes for sharpening, Iridient Developer offers some wonderful sharpening options. Completely turning off sharpening just tosses this functionality out the window and is not generally recommended with any RAW file from any camera. I leave this up to the user, but if you turn off sharpening and then find the images look soft compared to another program the reason is most likely because you turned sharpening off.
I think I mentioned the RL Deconvolution option before, if you have a fast processor this sharpening option can give amazing results, some users absolutely love it. Sharpening looks are a personal preference and that's why I offer 4 options. There is also a great high quality (floating point LAB colorspace based) unsharp masking option available for a more traditional sharpening appearance and can give a bit more "edge" than RL Deconvolution does. The other 2 are nice too...
Many raw processors even with sharpening set to none or zero or -2 or -100 will still apply some default amount of "sharpening" type processing automatically to images regardless.
1) The Early Stage Noise Reduction slider --> this slider is completely customized for Foveon sensor. My personal preference with noise tends to allow for more noise than many other processors and my own primary output target is print which will tend to mask noise much more than closeup viewing on a computer monitor.
If you are going to be primarily viewing images on computer monitor at very close range. Go ahead and turn this adjustment way up, it's not going to radically destroy detail even at a value of 20.
2) Even the above still doesn't take care of the noise enough try enabling the "Soft Look" checkbox. With Bayer cameras this uses an alternate demosaic method. With the Foveons this changes color processing to a lower noise option. You may prefer the lower noise option and this processing will automatically vary based on image ISO.
3) If the above 2 still aren't enough there are both chroma and luminance smoothing sliders. Nothing specific here for Foveon, the same processing is available for Bayer and TIFF/JPEG files, but this can allow for some even further noise reduction as well.
Turning off absolutely all of this noise reduction and then claiming the processing is noisy is kind of pointless, but in the example you mention from Sean Reid this is what he did.
Yes, these cameras are noisy (very) I think just about everyone is in agreement on that. SPP applies a whole bunch of noise reduction and other processing that cannot be turned off by the user. Iridient Developer does a lot of this too, however in some areas like sharpening and noise reduction I may allow a little more user level control over the process than other software. This extra user level control can allow for some ugly results in some cases, but I tend to leave more of the decision making up to the user for better or worse.