Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Image Preservation Through Open Documentation

Hemos posted more than 9 years ago | from the the-right-step-to-take dept.

Announcements 193

OpenRAW Group writes "The OpenRAW Working Group launched a website today at http://www.OpenRAW.org designed to solve issues crucial to the future of photography. Digital technology is revolutionizing the photography industry, and an emerging part of that technology is the set of RAW camera file formats. Most professional photographers prefer using RAW image capture because it offers the highest quality and the greatest creative control. The grass roots OpenRAW group arose out of photographers' frustration with camera manufacturers' refusal to openly document their proprietary RAW file formats. That lack of file format information inhibits innovation, limits image processing choices, and endangers the long-term accessibility of millions of photographs. The goal of the new website is to obtain complete documentation by manufacturers of their RAW file formats."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

I have the solution... (4, Funny)

LegendOfLink (574790) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338482)

...a camera that will etch the image into a chunk of granite!

Let's see somebody try to encrypt stone, baby!

*off to the USPTO

Re:I have the solution... (5, Funny)

pavon (30274) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338588)

  1. Patent encryption method in which, you
    • Cut stone into million pieces.
    • For each piece pick a randomly assigned unique number between 1 and a million.
    • Carve number on back of piece.
    • Record order of numbers on seperate rock (key).

  2. Start rock etching service.
  3. Profit.

Re:I have the solution... (1)

fireduck (197000) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338651)

...a camera that will etch the image into a chunk of granite!

*off to the USPTO


don't the flintstones have prior art on that one?

prior art (2, Informative)

morcheeba (260908) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338713)

Here are some examples... [camtech.ca]

I first saw this on the Korean war memorial [nps.gov] in Washington DC (see images at top of that page). That one is low resolution, but a really neat effect. closeup of surface [americanfa...itions.com]

Nikon White Balance Encryption (4, Informative)

Hulkster (722642) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338486)

For those interested in the recent related Slashdot stories that are very relevent to OpenRAW's efforts, there was discussions last week [slashdot.org] and also this weekend [slashdot.org] about Nikon encrypting the white balance information. Michael Reichmann asks a rhetorical (IMHO) question of Do You Really Own Your Own Raw Files. [photoshopnews.com]

Enjoy my fun little christmas hoax [komar.org] - help me do it for real in 2005! ;-) [komar.org]

Re:Nikon White Balance Encryption (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12338585)

Acording to the author of dcraw [cybercom.net] it's not only Nikon who are encrypting their metadata...

Re:Nikon White Balance Encryption (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12338617)

FYI: Regardless of how fun your xmas hoax was, I don't think it's appropriate to put ads (or other off-topic links) in a slashdot post. It detracts from the actual content of a discussion. Be content with the knowledge that by writing good posts, people will occassionally follow your website link.

--Your friendly neighbourhood anon coward

Re:Nikon White Balance Encryption (1)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338776)

FYI: Regardless of how fun your xmas hoax was, I don't think it's appropriate to put ads (or other off-topic links) in a slashdot post. It detracts from the actual content of a discussion. Be content with the knowledge that by writing good posts, people will occassionally follow your website link.

--Your friendly neighbourhood anon coward


I was not aware there was a specific "what you can post on slashdot" policy. Please link it, so that I too may be enlightened.

Re:Nikon White Balance Encryption (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12338895)

The words "I don't think it's appropriate" were used to indicate an opinion of etiquette, not to suggest that there was some rule or law to be followed.

What about ... (2, Interesting)

foobsr (693224) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338498)

...taking the position that manufacturers deprive photographers of the proper future use of their IP if the format is not open? IANAL etc ...

CC.

As long as DMCA lives... (0, Troll)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338500)

... it will not be "possible" for manufacturers to open up their RAW standards.

End of argument.

Re:As long as DMCA lives... (-1)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338612)

Perhaps if your statement made any sense then it would be the "end of argument".

What you said makes absolutely no sense at all as the DMCA just allows corporations to hoard their Intellectual Property and sue anyone that even thinks about using it.

What it doesn't stop is companies from making the correct descision to open their formats so that people/companies can easily interoperate w/o using ridiculous proprietary/closed utilities.

Re:As long as DMCA lives... (1)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338750)

You have a headache ONLY if you have a head.

Cut off the head, and the headaches will vanish.

Drastic? Yes.

Does it work? Yes.

Re:As long as DMCA lives... (1)

AviLazar (741826) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338621)

why not?

Adobe DNG (5, Informative)

shirai (42309) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338509)

I know the story is about getting manufacturers to open up their RAW formats but I think the preferred goal is to have camera manufacturers standardize on ONE format.

Note that Adobe has already developed an open raw format called DNG (Digital Negative). They have a good track record with open formats with PDF files. You may or may not like them, but you they certainly can be generated by non-Adobe products and as far as I'm aware, nobody pays any license fee for that.

Another plus for DNG is that Adobe has a free DNG converter which will convert RAW files from many popular cameras to the DNG format.

You can find more info here about DNG [adobe.com] .

Note that Photoshop (the most common photo processor) supports RAW formats for over 80 cameras. You can See a complete list here [adobe.com]

Re:Adobe DNG (2, Interesting)

Bluesy21 (840772) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338577)

Yeah that would be nice. Forget it though, we can't even get ALL camera manufacturers to agree on one format for memory cards and there's only a few types out there. I haven't looked at camera's in awhile, but when I bought my last Canon, they were still using Compact Flash, SD was almost a standard, but Fuji and Olympus were using xD.
I can only imagine what excuses we would hear if we try to get they to standardize their RAW format.

Re:Adobe DNG (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12338609)

what's wrong with TIFF?

Re:Adobe DNG (2, Insightful)

myc_lykaon (645662) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338654)

but I think the preferred goal is to have camera manufacturers standardize on ONE format.

How can camera manufacturers standardise on one raw format, unless they all agree to use exactly the same technology to capture the image in the first place? I thought the idea of raw was that it's what is pulled off the CCD (or whatever other technology is there) with no preprocessing? Unless all manufacturers agree to have a set of given 'constants' in camera manufacture it ain't gonna work.

Re:Adobe DNG (1)

alteridem (46954) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338741)

I would expect that a company like Adobe that currently supports over 80 RAW formats would have thought of that and built it into the file format. Plus the DNG page states that the format is extendable to allow it to contain camera specific meta-data.

Re:Adobe DNG (1)

LtOcelot (154499) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338805)

Yep. Hardware differences are already a problem with DNG -- the only compression scheme it allows for is one that Canon cameras already do but Nikon's current in-camera processors can't. (Nikon also uses RAW compression, but by a different method.)

Re:Adobe DNG (1)

shirai (42309) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338836)

You are perhaps confusing a standard method of encoding with a standard method of getting the best photo out of a RAW file. Certainly most cameras can encode a RAW file in the same format but each would require a different set of decoding curves to get the best picture out of it. But that is where great tools and a community willing to share processing files can be a great benefit.

With few exceptions, all digital cameras use the same type of CCD where the pixels are read in an RGBG square (red green blue green). I believe Sony has an encoding with an extra color and the Foveon sensor used in Sigma cameras reads RGB all in the space of one pixel (very cool technology and produces great results).

So a standard, at its most basic, would simply encode a certain number of brightness levels (probably set variably) for each pixel and define the color square (RGBG, RGBC (I think for Sony) and RGB in a single pixel for Sigma).

Then they could probably encode most of the rest of it as meta data like in JPEG images except the naming conventions should be standardized. For example, ISO, shutter speed, etc.

And for the guy that mentioned TIFF, TIFF has none of the encoding details like the color square needed to encode a RAW image.

By the way, the reason you want the RAW image format is that as soon as you apply any processing to a JPEG image, you lose all the quality. You can't do more than a small amount of processing (brightening/darkening/curves) before you throw the detail out of the image. If you ever did a "levels" and then saw a bunch of peaks and valleys where the missing data was stretched out, THAT is the problem with processing JPEG images.

With RAW, you might be able to pull a whole slew of details out of a part of the image which, when transferred to JPEG, all turned into a 255 brightness white pixel or a 0 dark black pixel. With proper curves, you could simulate different film stocks more easily. Doing it after its been made into a JPEG gives you sub-standard results.

Re:Adobe DNG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12339015)

>>And for the guy that mentioned TIFF, TIFF has none of the encoding details like the color square needed to encode a RAW image.

DNG is a flavor of TIFF, and defines tags that describe exactly this (and provide extensibility mechanisms for future sensor flavors)

Re:Adobe DNG (1)

doofusclam (528746) | more than 9 years ago | (#12339248)

With few exceptions, all digital cameras use the same type of CCD where the pixels are read in an RGBG square (red green blue green). I believe Sony has an encoding with an extra color and the Foveon sensor used in Sigma cameras reads RGB all in the space of one pixel (very cool technology and produces great results).


Off the top of my head I can think of Fuji as a reason why this is more complicated than you think. Fuji cameras have hexagonal (I think) 'pixels' and some of their resolution claims assume that the conjunctions of these in a honeycomb fashion means there is 'more' data to interpolate. It's a matter of discussion just how much extra apparent resolution this makes, but it's also completely different to process than the other cameras. The Foveon CCDs too are different than anything else - the stacked arrangement of colours means the actual captured data is very grey, and again needs special processing.

It's not too easy to accommodate all these requirements in a format that provides data in a uniform manner from all sorts of odd hardware in a way that allows software to manipulate it generically.

Standardized RAW = non-sequitor (4, Insightful)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338729)

Standardized RAW files don't make sense precisely because they are "raw".

Each camera, particularly as technologies progress, has its own peculiar nuances regarding how the image is captured. It's up to the manufacturer to decide the appropriate way to store that data in a "raw" format. Complying with a standard for unprocessed data will add unnecessary bulk and/or change data values (wrecking the point of "raw" image files).

I don't want a standard RAW format; I want the camera to give its data unmodified. If I need a camera-specific driver to interpret that data into a useable form, fine. If I want the camera to produce standardized formats, pick TIFF or JPG or such from it's menu. There is a place for standards; unprocessed data is not it. I want the unprocessed data unprocessed.

Re:Standardized RAW = non-sequitor (2, Interesting)

shirai (42309) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338907)

I answered this in a separate post but don't confuse a standardized format with a format that cannot adjust to the capture parameters of a camera.

For example, DTS (for home) is a digital encoding system for sound but it is very flexible. You can specify the bit depth, the encoding rate, the number of channels and the amount of compression. In other words, you can encode anything from AM radio to 6.1 (and higher I think) all in the same format.

In the same way, a RAW format could easily support multiple bit depths to match the bit depth of the camera. It could also support multiple color square patterns (though almost every camera manufactured uses the RGBG square with the exception of Sony's new camera and the Foveon sensor in Sigma cameras. Don't flog me if I missed one.).

The rest of the data could be encoded as meta data and basically are *hints* on how to decode the image anyways and are not part of the bitmap image. By hints I mean readings from ISO, shutter speed, etc.

Re:Standardized RAW = non-sequitor (2, Informative)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 9 years ago | (#12339150)

It can't just support "multiple" bit depths and patterns, it would have to support arbitrary ones. In other words, the bit depth and pattern would have to be described in the file, not just identified.

Re:Standardized RAW = non-sequitor (1)

Chirs (87576) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338996)

It would be pretty straightforward to standardize on a single format. You just have to have a header that explains how the data is encoded:

manufacturer
camera model
bits per sensor
colour sensor order
number of layers (foveon, fuji's highlight sensor,etc)
camera settings (iso, WB, etc.)

It should be doable.

Re:Adobe DNG and GPL compatibility (2)

acb (2797) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338812)

The DNG specification may be patented [adobe.com] . Adobe grant a license to those wishing to implement DNG-compliant code, though the license (in particular, the revocation clause) may be GPL-incompatible. (Disclaimer: IANAL)

DNG not RAW for all cameras (3, Informative)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 9 years ago | (#12339195)

If you read the DNG spec carefully, you'll note that some camera data is normalized into plain old RGB values - still logarithmically arranged to keep the most of the sensor data, but still not the exact RAW data obtained from the sensors.

This is because the DNG file format can essentially hold two kinds of sensor data - Bayer grids, and RGB values as mentioned before. If you start to do anything different (like the diagonal arrays of the Fuji cameras or stacked sensors of the Foveon chip, the format just has no way to hold the "real" RAW data and has to transcode it.

For that reason I think the OpenRAW group is a much better idea, because as sensors evolve open specs are the only way to get real raw processors built. DNG is just not enough to handle a space that is still evolving very quickly.

Professionals GO HOME! (5, Insightful)

disposable60 (735022) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338539)

These camera makers obviously don't want professional photographers buying their equipment. If I (hobbyist) can't use the Industry Standard photomanipulation package (PhotoShop; my own money, too) with my prosumer camera's highest-quality-mode's files, I ain't buying the camera.

Pinhead control freak MBAs have ruined everything.

Re:Professionals GO HOME! (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338616)

You CAN use Nikon digital images with Photoshop, you just have to run Nikon's software first to convert the images into a form that Photoshop can read (possibly losing information in the process.) Obviously Adobe would prefer to read these images directly. Couldn't Nikon make a plugin for Photoshop that would handle reading their RAW format, thus making it possible to use Photoshop easily without giving away their proprietary format?

Re:Professionals GO HOME! (2, Informative)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338901)

Nikon's plugin costs $100. While that's a pittance compared to the cost of the camera, it's an extra cost I probably can't afford after buying a camera that expensive.

Re:Professionals GO HOME! (1)

bigpat (158134) | more than 9 years ago | (#12339186)

Professionals won't go home they will just buy a more expensive camera. Which might be exactly what the "pinhead MBAs" want.

A lot of times when you pay for a device that has more features, what really costs extra is to disable those features on the cheaper version.

That is why competition is so important, because a company will always try to upsell you on one of their other products, even if that means that they intentionally create lower quality versions of a product which don't actually cost any less to manufacturer than their higher quality versions.

With competition hopefully those camera companies that open their formats will get a competative advantage, but it is up to the consumer to demand it otherwise you will only see this on professional and higher end versions.

OpenRAW? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12338545)

Somehow I'm feeling a little uneasy about clicking on a link which points to www.openraw.org.

Re:OpenRAW? (1)

mfarah (231411) | more than 9 years ago | (#12339156)

I did, and the stupid filtering policies in our company's proxy wouldn't let me enter a "nudity" site.

Oh, well... it's not the best name for the domain, is it?

Film versus Digital? (2, Interesting)

John Seminal (698722) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338546)

Most professional photographers prefer using RAW image capture because it offers the highest quality and the greatest creative control.

I won't argue the second point, that there is more creative control on a computer, be it a jpeg or anything. To do minor editing in a film lab takes great skill, anyone can edit with photoshop.

But what about quality? Will digital ever come close to the quality film when blowing up an image to full page size or more? Will digital ever be as true as film, can an algorithm on a camera that converts colors and images to zero's and one's be as good as film which reacts naturally to the light?

Re:Film versus Digital? (1)

PSargent (188923) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338594)

errr... Yes. High end digital exceeds film for resolution. Stop being a grey bread.

When? (2, Interesting)

John Seminal (698722) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338715)

Yes. High end digital exceeds film for resolution

When does digital exceed film? 5 megapixels? 6 megapixels? More? It seems when digital cameras came out, the sales people said 2 megapixel is better than film for 4 by 6 prints, and 3 megapixels is better for a full page.

Then they came out with the 5+ megapixel cameras, and they changed their docs to say 3 megapixels for brilliant 4 by 6 prints, 5 megapixels for a full page.

The quality of film was never measured by how large the print would be, the way they do with digital cameras. Instead film is more concerned with lighting conditions, the time of the exposure.

So I am asking, at what point does film do worse than digital? And who is programming those digital programs to say what "ones and zeros" equals an image. With film it is all natural.

One last quick comment. What will last longer? Film or digital content? What can you be 100% certain to be able to view in the future? CD's get rot, and go bad. Many programs and games that used to run on my 386 will not run on my PIII. Technology changes, maybe we will need some emulator to view those digital images. Or maybe the standard will change and our old 3 megapixel jpegs will be considered crappy, like it came from a childs toy. Film will always have it's place as the elite method for taking quality pictures.

Re:When? (2, Interesting)

Inkieminstrel (812132) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338796)

My understanding was that 35mm film ~= 10 Megapixels resolution.

How much of that resolution you actually need for a 4x6 print is up in the air, though.

Re:When? (3, Interesting)

jtev (133871) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338852)

Realy, then why is slide film more expensive than 400 speed color negitive? Eventual print size DOES matter, even with film. The film captures a certain amount of information based on the size of the film grains. The faster the film, the larger the grains, and the lower the resoultion of the picture. The way around this is to use medium format or large format cameras instead of 35mm, in other words more film to get more inforamtion. No, digital cameras do not come close to matching a 12x8 negitive, and I don't realy know how they compare to 35mm, because that also depends on speed. If you have subjects who stand still, it may still be preferable to use that 35mm slide film. Anyway, your argument about the size of the print is utter bullshit. The film may not be advertized that way, but it is one of the factors one must take into account when determining the film to use.

Re:When? (2, Interesting)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 9 years ago | (#12339052)

Certainly, someday 3 megapixel jpgs will be thought of as something from a kids toy. We will all be using holographic displays then ;)

Seriously though, I just got done scanning in a few thousand old family photo's, mainly from the 60's and 70's. A lot of the photos were very faded and overall the colders on many had shifted toward red or yellow. It took a good bit of photoshop'ing to bring things back closer to the way they originally had been. Old prints don't last forever, and neither do negatives. So if you've got old family photo's, I'd start scanning/rescuing them now into electronic versions. If jpeg becomes outdated, you can always keep converting them to the next big file type.

jpeg?! (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 9 years ago | (#12339247)

if you are going to do this you may as well go the whole hog and use a lossless format like png

scanning your photo library into jpeg is like ripping your cd collection into mp3. You can't change from one lossy format to another without losing even more quality.

Re:When? (2, Insightful)

BrianJacksonPhoto (825904) | more than 9 years ago | (#12339135)

When does digital exceed film? 5 megapixels? 6 megapixels? More? It seems when digital cameras came out, the sales people said 2 megapixel is better than film for 4 by 6 prints, and 3 megapixels is better for a full page.

Megapixel does an image not make. Judging based on megapixels has ZERO bering on the quality of the image. That's like comparing Mhz/Ghz in CPU speed. Does the higher the number always equal a faster system? NO.

I have 2 different 4 megapixel cameras(from the same manufacturer even). Canon 1D, and Canon S400. Now the battery of my 1D is larger than the entire S400. You want to tell me that these 2 cameras will produce the same images? I think not! I'm not saying that battery size determines the quality of an image, but the sensors on these 2 cameras are no where near each other. Megapixel is NOT a good indicator of image quality.

I'll put my 4 megapixel 1D up against a 6 megapixel P&S camera anyday.

Instead, film is more concerned with lighting conditions, the time of the exposure.

So, you're saying that I don't care about lighting conditions nor my exposure? Are you NUTS!! Properly exposing digital is the same as exposing for chrome. Just because you're shooting digital doesn't mean you no longer care about lighting and exposure.

What will last longer? Film or digital content? What can you be 100% certain to be able to view in the future? CD's get rot, and go bad.

Never hear of negatives crumbling? I have. Heck, I had a printfile get stored in the wrong place and those negatives are gone. That was only a 15 year old roll of film. Negatives are useless from that shoot. Now, they're gone because of my fault granted, but still...they're gone.

Sure, CD's and DVD's will eventually need to be replaced, but that's easier to convert than the thousands of rolls of film I've shot over the years, esp when they start to degrade. Film is NOT permanent. Not saying that digital is, but film not either.

Re:Film versus Digital? (1)

Donny Smith (567043) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338637)

>Will digital ever be as true as film, can an algorithm on a camera that converts colors and images to zero's and one's be as good as film which reacts naturally to the light?

Not an expert, but analog pics ARE no diff from digital - it's just that they come at a very high resolution (20mpix IIRC, so we're about half-way there).
20 years ago we had the same discussion of CD vs. LP - sampling, interpolation and all that crap.
To "image nazis" it'll never be the same, to most folks who don't print it already is.

Re:Film versus Digital? (1)

transfixed (444217) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338668)

Film does not have infinite resolution...

Guess it depends on what you mean (3, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338689)

Good digital cameras already exceed teh resolution of 35mm film. You can blow their images up to 8x10 or larger and they look flawless.

Well digital ever look the SAME as film? No, probably not. They deal with light in different ways. However that doesn't mean film is better, just different.

Re:Film versus Digital? (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338703)

The problem is not with the digital algorithms, the problem is with the resolution an color accuracy of the CCD capturing the image. I beleive you can create digital images with the same resolution as film, but then each of those images takes over 200MBytes of disk space to store... meaning for now you're still better off using film if your intention is to blow up just a small portion of the picture.
My rough estimates say that humans can't perceive a resolution greater than about 16 million pixels anyway -- that is, if the entire image is within your field of view, you can't see the individual pixels unless you just focus on one small part of the picture.

Re:Film versus Digital? (1)

kebes (861706) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338709)

Much of what we finally see as images (be it in movies or magazines or billboards, etc.) already goes through a digital processing step, anyway. It doesn't really matter that it was captured in analog and printed out in analog because it went through a digital step (for photomanipulation, color balance, special effects, whatever). By acquiring directly in a digital format, we can lower the quality losses inherent in the analog-to-digital conversion.

In terms of resolution, I see no reason why a digital camera with sufficient pixel density wouldn't out-perform a conventional film camera. In terms of response to light, a CCD array obviously doesn't have the exact same response that film has... but AFAIK one of the advantages to working with digital images in their raw format is that you can re-balance them to simulate different types of light-responses. I'm pretty sure you can reproduce the feel of whatever type of film you want to. I honestly don't think that the quality of a full page printout will be any lower. In fact, I think the future of zooming into photos got alot better when digital came onto the scene!

Re:Film versus Digital? (4, Insightful)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338716)

This is the same argument that goes on in every other area where there are digital and analog ways of storing data.

Just remember -- you don't see the same colours with your eyes that I see with mine; even the colour skew will be slightly different.

As for quality of enlarged photographs, digital images have pixel halos, but these can be compensated for with digital algorithms; with a digital camera, *every* aspect of what has been recorded is a fixed known value.

With Film-based photographs, there are many uncontrollable variables that go into the recording process; not all films are identical, film is not 100% even across its surface, and most importantly, film is not your retina. When enlarging images recorded on film, there will be a grain effect caused by lack of information in the film. To combat this grain effect, many people *digitally scan* the film and use a computer algorithm to reconstruct the lost pieces. Sound familiar?

The main thing is that film and digital imaging are *both* lossy, and store different bits of visually captured information. Both can be of exceptionally high quality (much higher than the human eye can detect), but both have different limitations on what data actually gets recorded. Film has been around long enough that we accept it, with all its flaws, as "standard". Eventually, this spot will probably fall to digital imaging/storage, as a new generation of people who aren't used to seeing film-based images grow up.

Re:Film versus Digital? (1)

he-sk (103163) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338738)

Will an analog camera ever give me instant feedback on what I just shot? I think not. (Polaroids aside.)

I mainly shoot analog, simply because I do not yet own a digital camera. I can't wait do buy one though, simply because of the great learning effect instant feedback can provide. Certainly there are some things that digital will never be able to do (cross-processing and other lab tricks come to mind), although with Photoshop you can emulate a lot. And I'll definately won't stop shooting film, because nothing beats presenting slides on a huge screen. Still, digital has many uses and arguing about its trueness is really, well, stupid.

The right tool for the job, I say.

PS: What's more natural about a chemical reaction of some silver-oxides to light than the photoelectric effect that CCDs utilize? It's all physics and/or chemistry, nothing unnatural about it.

PPS: Thinking about it, is there anything that you can't do in Photoshop that you can do when shooting analog? Maybe someone can enlighten me.

Re:Film versus Digital? (2, Interesting)

Inkieminstrel (812132) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338883)

I can't wait do buy one though, simply because of the great learning effect instant feedback can provide.

I have a friend who is a photographer and refuses to use digital (he's also a programmer so it's not because of some fear of modern electronics). His claim is that with regular film you have to learn how to take a picture and get it right the first time, whereas with digital you get instant feedback and can therefore afford to be sloppy.

He laughs about the behavior of digital photographers which he calls "chimping," that is taking a few of the same shot until you get the right one, then hovering over the LCD screen going "ooh oooh oooh."

If you're going to pose every shot, then by all means go digital, but if you want to be sure to catch a particular moment just right, film is the way to go.

Re:Film versus Digital? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12338968)

Thats the stupist thing I ever read. I am a professional photographer.

Re:Film versus Digital? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12339327)

Does he also refuse to compile his software more than once? He does never make mistakes it seems, so he should make it work the first time...

Re:Film versus Digital? (1)

netsphinx (619340) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338743)

Short answer: Yes, digital can be as good as film.

Long answer: No, digital can never be as good as film.

The real question is, "Can digital images ever capture as much information as format X using film Y?" Digital has -already- surpassed the level of information that can be captured on cheaper brands of film, particularly high-ISO (high light sensitivity), in 35mm or smaller formats. Pro-level SLR cameras (of the kind built for 35mm lens mounts) are producing images comparable to decent 35mm film. I can point you to some sites (phot.net is a good place to start) where some photographers hold forth that the pro-level 35mm-mount SLRs have now equalled 35mm film as a whole. However, in the medium format (2.25 inches square, or rectangles of about the same area) film still gets the nod most of the time, and in large format (shooting 4x5 inches to 8x10 inches, or even larger) I haven't seen anyone claim digital has the lead.

Re:Film versus Digital? (1)

John Seminal (698722) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338801)

Short answer: Yes, digital can be as good as film.

Long answer: No, digital can never be as good as film.

Hello, post-sales tech support?

However, in the medium format (2.25 inches square, or rectangles of about the same area) film still gets the nod most of the time, and in large format (shooting 4x5 inches to 8x10 inches, or even larger) I haven't seen anyone claim digital has the lead.

This is what I believe to be true. For daily shots, a digital camera might be okay. But for a family portrait you want to pass down for the next 10 generations, you want film.

Digital quality might keep improving, but so will scanning continue to improve. What is a better format to store an image?

How would a very good digital camera image compare in 10 years to a film image, with the negative scanned with whatever future technology they have? Say you take a picture with a 7 megapixel camera, and you take a photo with a good film camera. Will the image from the 7 megapixel camera be good in 10 years like a film photo negative scanned with a scanner from the future?

Re:Film versus Digital? (1)

Kiryat Malachi (177258) | more than 9 years ago | (#12339067)

The upper limit on film resolution is not in scanning, but in the physics and chemistry behind the film.

Digital will eventually surpass film.

Re:Film versus Digital? (1)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 9 years ago | (#12339104)

Do you really think film will make it over 10 generations with less degredation than a digital image will? I've got my doubts about how good those negatives will look after 200 years. The prints are definitely going to look bad.

-1 Troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12338766)

Come on mods, can you not smell the obvious here?

Re:Film versus Digital? (2, Interesting)

BrianJacksonPhoto (825904) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338882)

But what about quality? Will digital ever come close to the quality film when blowing up an image to full page size or more? Will digital ever be as true as film, can an algorithm on a camera that converts colors and images to zero's and one's be as good as film which reacts naturally to the light?

Uhh, Yes. Most professional photographers shoot digital now. Photojournalism, sports, wedding, editorial, even the commercial studio guys. Full page size? You mean a single page or a double truck at 11x17? Oh, you'd be suprised as to how many of the images you see published are shot digitally.

Digital is being used for billboards and large (4' x 5') display prints. I personally have around 15 20x30's for display prints and they are amazing. And I shoot with a camera that 3 1/2 years old (the original Canon 1D)

Digital doesn't mean printing on some home inkjet. Most pros, don't produce images that way, they still send them to a pro lab to be printed if making physical prints. Offset printing does their own thing.

The capture on the latest crop of cameras is amazing. The colors are beautiful, and crisp.

You think film captured colors true? Wow, where have you been? Film manipulates color all over the places. Ever wonder why there are so many types out there? Provia, Velvia, Astia, NPS, NPC, NPH, E100G, E100GX, E100VS, etc, etc. Each capture the image in a different manner.

Just like there are different types of paper. Each delivers slightly different results. All present color differently. Which one is true? Which combination of paper and film is true? Seems rather subjective if you ask me. But what do I know, I just do this for a living ;p

Re:Film versus Digital? (1)

kwalker (1383) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338977)

Decent digital cameras already have the same visual resolution as film cameras, and in many cases, their color fidelity, saturation, hue, tone, and dynamic range are better than all but the most expensive film and development processes.

Now, as for blowing up a picture to "full page" or more, any 6-8Mpx DSLR camera will generate magazine-quality images at 8x10, assuming you've got a decent photographer who is reasonably adept at working his/her camera.

And what about quality? Will film ever be as versitile as digital? If you don't develop the latent image on the negative correctly--or gods forbid, fuck it up--how will you ever recover that image?

Re:Film versus Digital? (1)

flibberdi (800264) | more than 9 years ago | (#12339074)

Quality...

If you take an ordinary SLR with an prosumer tele on it and shoot in good light, how big can you make that picture before sharpness becomes an issue... (that ofcourse depends of a far away from the picture you are...)?? I use an 300D with good lenses, not the $3k lenses but $300-$500 lenses, and I assure you that befor I hit the "pixel-wall" I run into the "sharpness-wall", so is 6M pixel enough?? Until I get some $3k lenses I won't "upgrade" the body...

A new fenomen is that people are starting to return lenses -"it's not sharp wide open" -"it's something wrong with the lens", as icmp posted on dpreview [dpreview.com] people are blowing up their pictures like never before... so to sum it up, the quality of the digital SLR cameras has given the lensmakers headache (some make both cameras and lenses ofcourse...). Me... I calibrate the darn things myself (latest is my "old" 100-300 USM which became VERY nice :) :)

Digital meets film (1)

nuggz (69912) | more than 9 years ago | (#12339088)

Digital can be at the same quality level as film.
Look at the images from a high end digital SLR.

Consumer digital cameras aren't a fair comparison, most of them have smaller lens and sensor sizes making it impossible to have the same quality image.

Re:Film versus Digital? (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 9 years ago | (#12339356)

Will digital ever be as true as film, can an algorithm on a camera that converts colors and images to zero's and one's be as good as film which reacts naturally to the light?

Yes. Analog is just digital with a poor resolution. The grainy photos are grainy because of the chemical limits of analog photos. The minimum resolution (and there is a minimum resolution) is the "grain." Sure, it isn't the same every time, and it can be changed and corrected for to some degree, but there are already pictures out there that are digital with resolution that exceeds the capabilities of analog photos. Often they are compilations of multiple digital photos, but that is another thing that is easier in digital than analog.

Analog is digital, even if the resolution is down to a molecular level. There comes a point where it is either on or off.

Nits... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12338559)

If I may pick a nit, "raw" is a word, as in "raw data from the sensor." It's not an acronym.

Re:Nits... (1)

Andrewkov (140579) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338632)

Also, proprietary raw format doesn't make sense ... which is it? Talk about an oxymoron.

Re:Nits... (1)

berj (754323) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338694)

It's not an oxymororn at all. I'm not sure which part of the word 'raw' you figure means open but a raw digital file is simply the direct dump of all of the data that the sensor (CCD or CMOS as the case may be) reads, without conversion or processing. Throw in the data about the exposure (shutter, white-balance, etc) and you have a raw-format image. This most certainly can be (and is) proprietary.

Re:Nits... (1)

jspoon (585173) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338707)

Also, proprietary raw format doesn't make sense ... which is it? Talk about an oxymoron.

I don't know, it seems like the format would have a lot to do with the specific components that make up the camera. So each manufacturer might design the best way to capture all the data on their cameras but it wouldn't work on a competitor's device. Or, perhaps, it would just be less efficient.

Re:Nits... (2, Informative)

AviLazar (741826) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338642)

Actually, RAW is also an acronym "Rules As Written" :)

Re:Nits... (1)

Relic of the Future (118669) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338842)

How does that acronym apply to photography?

Does your acronym actually apply in this context, or is saying "No, it's Read After Write!" just as appropriate?

Re:Nits... (1)

AviLazar (741826) | more than 9 years ago | (#12339085)

it applies to any context.

Quick..... (1)

notherenow (860367) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338570)

...Get me to the local patent office. I've got plans for the colors Red, Green, and Blue...

Re:Quick..... (1)

Bluesy21 (840772) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338610)

Watch out for a certain shade of yellow. Kodak already has the patent on that.

Re:Quick..... (1)

notherenow (860367) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338908)

Yeah, they tried to get rights to the sun's rays, but failed, because, well, with current camera technology, they can't prove that the sun has rays.

What's the matter... (3, Funny)

chill (34294) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338571)

...was the domain "nikonsucks.com" already taken?

Hype! (-1)

Donny Smith (567043) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338591)

Why the poster is trying so hard to hype this thing up?
What's wrong with PNG, TIFF or JPEG?

Sure, that new format may be useful for professional photographers (percentage-wise probably in low single numbers), but most of us will rarely need anything more sophisticated than 72dpi JPEG files (unless it's pr0n).

Who are they kidding? I can't even be bothered to go look at my printed/conventional photographs - any image that's not accessible via a URL or double- or single-click is to "expensive" to view :-) and this guy is talking about some new format...

The free Picasa was newsworthy (although I haven't looked at it after I installed it) but this thing is certainly not.

Shooting RAW is not so great anyway (3, Interesting)

cpuh0g (839926) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338625)

Good article here [kenrockwell.com] on why RAW is really unnecessary for almost all photographers, no matter how "advanced" you think you are.

Re:Shooting RAW is not so great anyway (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12338657)

HOLY SHIT! This post BLOWS A FUCKING WHEEL off RAW's rickety charnel wagon. I'm going to read it again, to see if it has the same impact the second time around...FUCKING HELL IT DOES. How can RAW honestly continue after these earth shattering revelations?

Stop all the clocks, and STOP THE DOG barking with its juicy bone. RAW's shiny new Pointiac has just been shown to be a tottering house of cards - cards with DYNAMITE attached, and Mike Smith has just pressed the detonator marked "Double Danger"!

This post is a brilliant swipe at those who think they're in the know, but really aren't. It destroys them, dissects them like a master scientist dissecting some kids KIDNEY against their parents wishes, rips apart their ego driven pursuit of superiority. I love the tone - it logically, coherently KICKS ASS in the most awesomely devastating way possible. How come there are no news stories about this post? How come this is not on all the news wires or telegraphed to everyone? It deserves a front page on the paper all to itself.

Is there some conspiracy to try and silence this lone voice of terrible reason? I think so, and it is clear what is to be done. Post this again and again so we can for a moment be transported back to the beautifully clear and precisely logical world of super-coherence that this post conjures up every time ......YES... I read it. It's fantastical! Christ I love this post.

Re:Shooting RAW is not so great anyway (1)

cpuh0g (839926) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338695)

Uh, OK. I think detect a hint of sarcasm, but Im just not sure. Can you be a little clearer? Sometimes sarcasm doesn't come across well in online posts.

Re:Shooting RAW is not so great anyway (2, Interesting)

smcavoy (114157) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338725)

much of his criticism is based on the fact that current cameras use proprietary RAW formats. Open RAW eliminates that.
Granted a large percentage of photographers will never need RAW, but there are plenty that would prefer processing the image themselves and not have worry if they will be locked out of their collection next adobe upgrade or whatever.

Re:Shooting RAW is not so great anyway (1)

john bigbootay (649359) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338765)

Ken Rockwell is trying to define a similarity between professional photojournalists on a deadline, and the average snap-shooter with too much money to spend on the latest gear.

I prefer to edit the RAW files rather than depend on the camera controls. I'm a control freak and like it that way. Hard drives are cheap.

Re:Shooting RAW is not so great anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12338825)

It's interesting that at no time in that article does he ever mention that JPEG is a compression format (and an inherently lossy one at that). Not to say that JPEGs can't come out looking nice. Also his mention of TIFF consists of "It's big, don't use it."

Re:Shooting RAW is not so great anyway (4, Informative)

Hays (409837) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338865)

That guy doesn't know what he's talking about. Well, most of what he says isn't factually wrong, it's just very misleading. He makes it sound like it's a bad thing to process your RAW files later instead of having your camera apply some half-baked conversion on the fly. It's like arguing that film camera's are crap because polaroids can do the conversion for you on the fly.

Shooting in RAW is very powerful.

Re:Shooting RAW is not so great anyway (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12338943)

I used to think Ken Rockwell's site was a good source of information on current photography equipment too. That is until I actually understood what he was talking about and realized he is a crackpot with his own agenda.

He writes opinions as facts and pushes Nikon despite obvious flaws in logic. FE: His main complaint against the Canon 20D? Max flash sync of 1/250. He goes on and on for pages on how this is The Suck and how his 1/500 D70 is so great because Nikon made it so. Big freaking deal. Every external flash for the past 20 years has supported a high speed sync option which just fires the flash longer than the intended exposure length. Yeah you lose more battery than necessary. You still get the picture. Then Nikon comes out with their new flagship, the D2X. It's max flash sync is 1/250. Oh but thats just a minor problem, after all the rest is Nikon.

He doesn't attempt to hide his bias. Refering to the DX sensor as 'industry standard'. Nikon's 1.5x sensor is only Nikon standard, Canon's is 1.6, others may vary.

Back to the topic at hand. Even if you shoot perfect exposures and manually set your white balance perfectly every time, RAW is at least 12 bit. It allows you to recover shadow detail far better than the 8 bit contrast adjusted, sharpened jpgs the camera produced. For the rest of us that arn't perfect like Ken, pushing or pulling exposures 1 stop or more is not uncommon. It looks just fine when I do so with my 20D. Guess if I had a Nikon I could only go 1/2 stop. Looks like I made the right choice despite Ken's best efforts.

Some really bad advice (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 9 years ago | (#12339295)

Ken Rockwell is very opinionated - and not always right. This is one such case.

For a very casual user, sure, JPG is fine. But if you are starting to talk about larger prints or crops then it only makes sense to use the most computing power possible to make your JPG look as good as it can. Cameras can only have so much computer power in them and so the results from them are not always as good as what a real computer can give you.

Furthermore, using JPG only is a little like keeping only the nicest print from film and throwing away the negatives. There are casual shooters who in fact do this - but everyone knows it's preferable to keep your negatives. In the digital realm the real reason to keep RAW files around is that processing algorithms improve over time and so a program now might be able to produce a much nicer JPG than one from a few years ago.

If you care about the quality of your images at all, RAW is simply the best way to go.

Re:Shooting RAW is not so great anyway (1)

Albigg (658831) | more than 9 years ago | (#12339344)

Take his site with a grain of salt. Ken Rockwell is well known for his satire.

Prior Art (1)

GrumpyGeek (38444) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338640)

I hate to break it to you, but I am pretty sure I saw this technology in use on various episodes of 'The Flintstones'.

I guess the good news is that any patents should be long expired.

Double Edged Sword (2, Interesting)

DumbSwede (521261) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338699)

I generally applaud anything to do with opening up data standards. I have heard that several camera manufacturers include things like focal distance and exposure time, etc. to their image formats. Perhaps this is the norm, I'm not really into the specifics of digital photography. We now live in an age where it is trivial to retouch photographs for propaganda or to tamper with evidence. With adequately safeguarded setting info it becomes much harder for digital forgers to do their work. If you can easily get to all that data you can easily alter it.

Granted those with enough motivation, time, or money can circumvent any protections against forgery, but in trying to open up the standard it should be done in such a way to make it an nonreversible process, such that you can manipulate the images, but not be able to push them back into the original format.

I predict that at sometime in the future Digital Camera manufacturers may taught their cameras has having "evidence quality" data integrity. Perhaps some already do.

Granted this evidence integrity argument almost certainly has nothing to do with why most manufactures might choose to close up their data formats.

Re:Double Edged Sword (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12339180)

With adequately safeguarded setting info it becomes much harder for digital forgers to do their work. If you can easily get to all that data you can easily alter it.

you're retarded.

Estimated plan of action (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338700)

* Host a project in a country without DMCA-like rules.
* Create a utility that understands all of the RAW formats out there and translates them losslessly into a new "OpenRAW" format.
* Distribute freely

The utility would be able to interface with Photoshop and a bunch of other software so that it could be easily installed and used. The OpenRAW format should be clearly documented so that camera makers could have the option of adopting the format in their latest firmware update. :)

Is this Adobe astro-turf? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12338770)

Since we've been informed of the recent tiff between Nikon and Adobe, could this be an Adobe-organized covert way to raise the heat on Nikon? Their raw ambitions are probably obvious: one could picture Bruce Chizen seeking this sort of mechanism, given what was said in the San Francisco Chronicle article in Sunday's Business section. Not a pretty image.

RAW (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12338774)

RAW IS WAR!

Batista is a false champion!

WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12338963)

What the hell are you talking about?

inevitability (1)

motherball (514667) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338787)

-- In the end, all formats must go open source --

Re:inevitability (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338894)

The .doc format has been around in various forms and names since 1983, and it seems to be doing quite well today thank you very much, through whatever devious Microsoft business tactics. That's 22 years, so you were saying ...?

Adobe.. (1)

NekoXP (67564) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338850)


Already did this with DNG. It's derived from TIFF and works fine.

Why is everyone duplicating effort? Just to be "more open"? Jesus jesus jesus..

Not to be "more open", but to be more open. (1)

Danuvius (704536) | more than 9 years ago | (#12339050)

Already did this with DNG. It's derived from TIFF and works fine.

Why is everyone duplicating effort? Just to be "more open"? Jesus jesus jesus..


No, not to be "more open". To be more open. The quotation marks you used imply that being more open would not really make it more open.

Having said that, your post suggests that you either do not understand the issue (of openness) or consider it irrelevant. Either way, it seems odd that you should openly decry it.

DNG about container, not algoritms (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 9 years ago | (#12339328)

DNG is all about a standardized container for holding (some) RAW data, It actually has to transcode some RAW files, so it's not really a RAW container - but that's a different matter.

OpenRAW can/should be about both storage systems and algorithms used to decode RAW camera data. So it goes beyong just another way of dealing with image storage.

What is OpenRaw contributing? (1)

ishmalius (153450) | more than 9 years ago | (#12338931)

...other than their opinions, which are redundant, since that is already known. In other words, what do they give back? Software? Money? Sponsoring open standards developers? Surely this isn't just a bitch site. That would go against the spirit of "open."

Websense says OpenRAW is porn (3, Funny)

Valleye (858254) | more than 9 years ago | (#12339042)

Access to this web page is restricted at this time.

Reason:
The Websense category "Nudity" is filtered.

URL:
http://www.openraw.org/comments/?id=47

Re:Websense says OpenRAW is porn (1)

Guano_Jim (157555) | more than 9 years ago | (#12339260)

OpenRAW certainly would apply to goatse.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?