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CHDK RAW workflow

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Offline e2b

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CHDK RAW workflow
« on: 15 / December / 2007, 06:33:11 »
I am interested in ideas regarding workflow for processing CHDK RAW images. For example, this is what I have been doing:

1. Record RAW images (in the camera) with prefix CRW and extension CRW in separate folder (so it is easier to review the JPG images in the camera).
2. Copy all image folders from the SD card to computer - I copy them into a 'CHDK###' working folder), preserving folder names as used in camera.
3. Copy all the JPGs (which may be in more than one folder) to the folder that holds the RAW images (in my system this is '100CANON') - I copy the JPGs because they are smaller than the RAW files.
4. Run DNG4PS (I use DNG4PS-2) to create DNG versions of the RAW images in a new sub-folder ('DNG'), at the same time copying the Exif data from the (copied) JPG images, and changing the file extension to DNG.
5. Copy the full set of JPG files from the RAW folder to the new DNG sub-folder - the filenames are the same, just the extensions are different.
6. Run DownloaderPro (from to read from the new 'DNG' sub-folder to automatically copy the DNG and  JPG files (onto another disk) using the folder structure 'Camera_Name\Year\Month\Day\image_file_name', and adding my details to the ITPC field.
7. Delete the DNG sub-folder and delete the (copied) JPG files from the RAW folder, so that I just (temporarily) keep the original files (exactly as copied from the camera) for safety in case anything goes wrong before I back-up the final files.
8. Proceed to process/manage files as per usual.

This takes less time to do than it does to describe, but it involves a lot more steps than downloading from a camera that is designed to produce 'standard' RAW files with Exif data included. It would be nice if all this could be done in CHDK, but I guess it would make things far too slow :(.

I haven't used Allbest's 'Extra Photo Operations' yet, but when I do I suppose I will have to add an extra step between steps 3 and 4 to extract the 'real' exposure and ISO data from 'Makers Notes' into Exif as detailed by Barney Fife (see CHDK forum > CHDK Development > General Discussion and Assistance > Converting CHDK EXIF info to Standard EXIF).

Any ideas for improvement/doing things differently, etc?



Offline e2b

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Re: CHDK RAW workflow
« Reply #1 on: 17 / December / 2007, 07:49:49 »
Thanks for the feedback.

You are right about the CHDK RAW processing being a small price to pay. I know that compact digital cameras have limitations compared to full-frame digital SLRs, but (at low ISO) I much prefer the results from my S3 to what I can get from 4000 dpi scans of the slides I used to take with my film SLR - and the work that scanning involves makes RAW processing an easy option. It's easy to forget what a fantastic bargain these cameras are, especially with CHDK.

BTW, I keep the JPGs together with the DNGs because they are color balanced according to the camera setting. I find that this makes it a bit easier to judge the quality of the image, compared to looking at the uncorrected DNG that I get from DNG4PS.

Do any of the other free CHDK RAW processing software options embed an auto-color-balanced thumbnail in the DNG?


Re: CHDK RAW workflow
« Reply #2 on: 26 / January / 2008, 04:01:08 »
first of all I must outline I own and use an A640 and I am an "occasional" RAW shooter. I usually save this files only when shooting macros, buildings, landscapes, particular light conditions. In my opinion the bottleneck of "long" time saving of this big files makes it useless in other situations (animals,  action etc.). Moreover anyone can make his own consideration about SD and disk space use, I have made mine and decided it is useless to save RAWs of ANY image I take.
From the software point of view I recently switched to Ubuntu linux. Used to PP on an old PS 6.something on win, actually starting my first steps on the Gimp.

outlined this my own workflow is hugely more simple:

set CRW prefix and JPG extension
copy all saved files from card to date folder (i.e. 2007_12_01)
browse JPGs (eye of Gnome) to locate file names  of pics that might take a benefit from RAW file PP
open each of this files in Rawtherapee using basic option "save as..." to obtain a (BIG!) 16 bit tiff file (that I usually subject-related  rename and save in same folder)

that's all folks!
have a nice day!!!

Re: CHDK RAW workflow
« Reply #3 on: 27 / January / 2008, 12:48:33 »
Has anyone given the free FastStone Image Viewer a look over?  It reads DNG files and allows for color enhancements -- with savable settings and a batch mode.  Appears to have potential...

I have only just started experimenting with CHDK RAW images on my A720, as the newest beta of the firmware now works properly on my camera.  So I am not speaking with much experience.

My initial observations is that a RAW image converted with DNG4PS-2 requires decreased green, higher blue and lower saturation to look like the "original" on my monitor.

Re: CHDK RAW workflow
« Reply #4 on: 28 / January / 2008, 03:17:26 »
From the software point of view I recently switched to Ubuntu linux.

Have you tried Lightzone? From a photography point of view it's very ambitious and very thoughtful. And it's free for Linux users.
« Last Edit: 28 / January / 2008, 03:22:03 by dvornik »

Re: CHDK RAW workflow
« Reply #5 on: 31 / January / 2008, 16:07:02 »
From the software point of view I recently switched to Ubuntu linux.

Have you tried Lightzone? From a photography point of view it's very ambitious and very thoughtful. And it's free for Linux users.

that's really way too heavy for my actual computer... 2Gbs RAM recommended... I am miles away!


about a2b's problems with different colors from RAW and JPG there are 2 different points to consider:
1. Raw files has no processing applied (even no dark frame subtraction, if you wantand nothing about "My colours" settings), colours and white balance are "as they are", and DNG4PS requier specific color profiles for each camera to work "properly"
2. If we start considering as "properly" level the  Canon's original Jpgs settings, from my personal point of view (i think is commonly shared, tho)  those settings gives images with a too warm, reddish cast. I have been taking shoots of a lot of statues in the center of my city over the last year, and we have white stones here, basically. So I could make my comparisons, about white balance and colour settings, and the workflow I described gives me the most "workable" files in PP

by the way...

what are the basic variations you apply to the DNG/TIFF files you obtain? any suggestion about values, effects, any batch elaborated or anything else will be highly appreciated!

thx in advice for you attention and have a nice day you all!



Offline PS

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« Reply #6 on: 31 / January / 2008, 17:42:54 »
« Last Edit: 26 / January / 2009, 12:42:22 by PS »

Re: CHDK RAW workflow
« Reply #7 on: 01 / February / 2008, 02:39:42 »
that's really way too heavy for my actual computer...

It is insanely resource-intensive.  It's like smart objects in Photoshop - live all the time. Even more complex because it allowes vector masks with feathering for adjustment layers or whatever they call them in Lightzone. But it's really advanced and aware of the photographic workflow.

Personally i don't use it - my main camera is not a Canon and my workflow is completely different. But it did stand out when I was looking for software to process CHDK files.
« Last Edit: 01 / February / 2008, 02:53:40 by dvornik »


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