Are these controls really useful?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Bob D., Sep 7, 2003.

  1. Bob D.

    Bob D. Guest

    I notice that my Olympus C-4000 has Sharpness/Contrast/Saturation controls
    in the menu. Do these controls do something special with the CCD, or do they
    simply manipulate the picture already captured? If these controls only do
    what you can already do with your photo editing software, then they're
    worthless. What I would really like to do is extend the dynamic range by
    tuning down the contrast.
    Bob D., Sep 7, 2003
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  2. Bob D.

    FOR7b Guest

    I notice that my Olympus C-4000 has Sharpness/Contrast/Saturation controls
    No they are not worthless because if you can get acceptable contrast,
    sharpness, and saturation right out of the camera then you could conveniently
    go straight from the camera to the photofinisher/ photo lab and get prints made
    just as with film. Not everyone wants to sit with their pics in a photo editor
    making corrections and not everyone is making them prints with an inkjet.

    If your camera can have it's sharpening turned off or down then do it.

    FOR7b, Sep 7, 2003
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  3. The dynamic range of the image is fixed by the CCD characteristics. You
    True, but if the dynamic range is further compressed before it's saved to
    the memory card, then there would be advantages to manipulating the image
    in-camera, before it's saved. But again, I don't know if the in-camera
    options on the C-4000 are actually working on a higher-quality image (more
    bits) than is saved to the memory card.

    On some newer cameras, you have the option of saving images in a "raw" file
    mode, sending pretty much the exact sensor image to the memory card, for
    processing later in your own computer. My Oly 5050 does this, although I
    haven't yet played with it.

    --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles
    Mike Jacoubowsky, Sep 9, 2003
  4. Bob D.

    John Russell Guest

    I have the general (possibly mistaken) impression that most people use
    RAW for dealing with uncertainties in white balance or when they're in
    "shot-of-a-lifetime" situations (for amateurs) or
    "gonna-sell-this-shot" situations (for pros).

    I hadn't considered turning it on in situations where there was danger
    of blown highlights or lost shadow detail, or both. Might be a useful
    habit to get into, at the expense of more post-processing time and
    more frequent memory-card changes. I wonder how productive it is in
    those kinds of conditions, vs. spending more time checking histograms,
    fiddling with exposure compensation, and changing ISO?

    John Russell, Sep 9, 2003
  5. Bob D.

    Mxsmanic Guest

    Yes, IF the camera actually works that way. But since it is easier to
    do it after all the front-end conversions have been made, I suspect it
    isn't done that way.

    In theory, you could manipulate the CCD signal even before it is
    converted to digital form, but that's a lot more expensive than simple
    software changes, so I doubt that anyone is doing it, at least in
    anything other than the most expensive pro cameras.
    But is it _really_ the "raw" image from the CCD? CCD signals have to be
    processed a lot before analog-to-digital conversion, and a lot of
    choices can be made at that stage. What you get in the "raw" image is
    downstream of that, so the utility of the raw image depends hugely on
    that processing.
    Mxsmanic, Sep 9, 2003
  6. Marvin Margoshes, Sep 10, 2003
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