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Sigma Quattro series - Enduring issues

tagscuderia

New member
N.B, thanks Quentin for going out of your way to produce some samples.

Thanks Ted, glad that I checked to see if there'd been any updates!
I'm guessing that neither image would show the highlight clipping issue in 20MP mode so it's difficult to conclude that 5MP RAW would negate the issue.
You seem happy with the output however, do you think that SPP will treat it as per Merrill data and allow 1EV+ highlight recovery? Or is this impossible to even presume without a more suitable file?
One thing I learnt, my Mac much prefers the 5MP RAWs!
I rarely print nowadays so would be happy to play with Lo-Res mode albeit it's a shame given the 20MP output that it's capable of.
Tom.
 

xpatUSA

Member
N.B, thanks Quentin for going out of your way to produce some samples.

Thanks Ted, glad that I checked to see if there'd been any updates!
I'm guessing that neither image would show the highlight clipping issue in 20MP mode so it's difficult to conclude that 5MP RAW would negate the issue.
That would be difficult, I agree.

You seem happy with the output however
Remember that I don't have a Quattro, so all I know comes from other people's shots.

do you think that SPP will treat it as per Merrill data and allow 1EV+ highlight recovery?
I am not one who thinks that 1EV+ highlight comes automatically with any Sigma, so you're talking to the wrong guy ;) For example, I only shoot in manual exposure mode and my ISO knob is super-glued in the ISO 100 position.
But, SPP should indeed treat a LO res Quattro as a "normal" X3F file.

. . . or is this impossible to even presume without a more suitable file?
I don't understand what is meant by a "more suitable file", sorry.
 

tagscuderia

New member
Hi Ted,
I shoot in aperture or shutter priority, predominantly spot meter but also never shoot at anything other than base ISO (be it 100 or 200).
The Quattro's limited highlight DR will pose a problem however and the way it clips (with a grey boundary) is ugly. I see S-Raw as a fall back for high contrast scenes when hopefully SPP utilises the lower 2 layers to recover highlights.
Wrong to try and quantify the gain but also why I wrote "more suitable file" i.e, identical (within reason) 5MP and 20MP shots of a scene that exhibits the highlight issue, to confirm the theory.
Also your analysis of Quattro 5MP channel saturation seemed positive - that's all I meant by "you seem happy with the output."
Appreciate you digging into the RAW data, cheers.
Tom.
 

Quentin_Bargate

Well-known member
Just posted a thread over on Luminous Landscape about the X3F tools demonstrating improved highlight retention AND improved resolution, had to try it out after I saw the results I discuss from the DPR thread.

What Sigma can't do for Quattro, perhaps X3F Tools and Kalpanika can.
This looks a million times better, but normal mortals like me can't use it, so although it is great work, its just a tease.

Either Sigma needs to incorporate the code in SPP, or it should be built in to another program.

Either way, it could be the salvation of the entire Quattro concept - if it can be made user friendly.
 

tagscuderia

New member
This looks a million times better, but normal mortals like me can't use it, so although it is great work, its just a tease.
I'm not command line conversant but it's normally more straight forward than it looks and the developers are answering queries on the thread so, give it a try.
Wasn't sure where claims of greater resolving power were coming from but apparently there's zero sharpening happening which is very good news! Contrast does seem lower but then the NR looks like a breakthrough.
Linear DNG has great potential if there are no colour casts. Set it up as an action and hey presto, a workable workflow with great results.
I wonder if Brian could be persuaded to add it to Iridient Developer, perhaps as a plug-in given the open-source release.
P.S, Sigma should definitely be paying attention to the highlight recovery, they can't afford to keep the status quo!
 
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Quentin_Bargate

Well-known member
I'm not command line conversant but it's normally more straight forward than it looks and the developers are answering queries on the thread so, give it a try.
Wasn't sure where claims of greater resolving power were coming from but apparently there's zero sharpening happening which is very good news! Contrast does seem lower but then the NR looks like a breakthrough.
Linear DNG has great potential if there are no colour casts. Set it up as an action and hey presto, a workable workflow with great results.
I wonder if Brian could be persuaded to add it to Iridient Developer, perhaps as a plug-in given the open-source release.
P.S, Sigma should definitely be paying attention to the highlight recovery, they can't afford to keep the status quo!
So long as its Windows compatible. I'm not interested in messing around with command lines and for business reasons, I'm also not interested in apple computers (save my iPad... :p). Life is too short.
 

Daniel Forsman

New member
So long as its Windows compatible. I'm not interested in messing around with command lines and for business reasons, I'm also not interested in apple computers (save my iPad... :p). Life is too short.
Hi Quentin!

I´m new to this forum but just wanted to help you to try Kalpanika. I think the developers will make it a part of a Lightroom-workflow, and then one will not have to use a command prompt to convert files, it will probably be an automated process from within Lightroom. But until then, we have to use it from the command prompt. I have a suggestion if you want to try it out:
Download the Windows ZIP-file (contains the exe-file) from the link over at dpreview. Unzip it. To make it really easy, place the exe-file in the folder where you want to try the converter on the files.
Start the Command Prompt in Windows.
Drag the exe-file to the command prompt, it will show the complete folder/file-structure to the file, like below, probably with quotation marks:
"C:\Users\Quentin...ect. etc. etc.\Pictures\Actual Folder\x3f_extract.exe"
Now, without pressing the upward key, just using the sideway keys (arrows) to modify the row to add cd in the beginning and remove the x3f_extract.exe in the end, like below:
cd ""C:\Users\Quentin...ect. etc. etc.\Pictures\Actual Folder" <Press Enter>
Now you are in the right folder. Now you can again write the command and add the operators you would like, for example:
x3f_extract -denoise -color ProPhotoRGB -wb Auto "filename.X3F"
... will give you a denoised DNG (linear) in the ProPhoto-color space, with Auto White Balance. The quotes around the filename will be needed if the filename contains spaces and other "strange" letters, not otherways. You can also use:
x3f_extract -denoise -color ProPhotoRGB -wb Auto *.X3F
... to convert all X3F-files in the folder.
You can then close the command prompt.

But it will probably be easier to use in the future.

/Daniel
 

Quentin_Bargate

Well-known member
Hi Quentin!

I´m new to this forum but just wanted to help you to try Kalpanika. I think the developers will make it a part of a Lightroom-workflow, and then one will not have to use a command prompt to convert files, it will probably be an automated process from within Lightroom. But until then, we have to use it from the command prompt. I have a suggestion if you want to try it out:
Download the Windows ZIP-file (contains the exe-file) from the link over at dpreview. Unzip it. To make it really easy, place the exe-file in the folder where you want to try the converter on the files.
Start the Command Prompt in Windows.
Drag the exe-file to the command prompt, it will show the complete folder/file-structure to the file, like below, probably with quotation marks:
"C:\Users\Quentin...ect. etc. etc.\Pictures\Actual Folder\x3f_extract.exe"
Now, without pressing the upward key, just using the sideway keys (arrows) to modify the row to add cd in the beginning and remove the x3f_extract.exe in the end, like below:
cd ""C:\Users\Quentin...ect. etc. etc.\Pictures\Actual Folder" <Press Enter>
Now you are in the right folder. Now you can again write the command and add the operators you would like, for example:
x3f_extract -denoise -color ProPhotoRGB -wb Auto "filename.X3F"
... will give you a denoised DNG (linear) in the ProPhoto-color space, with Auto White Balance. The quotes around the filename will be needed if the filename contains spaces and other "strange" letters, not otherways. You can also use:
x3f_extract -denoise -color ProPhotoRGB -wb Auto *.X3F
... to convert all X3F-files in the folder.
You can then close the command prompt.

But it will probably be easier to use in the future.

/Daniel
My brain hurts :) OK,. already, I will give it a try... ;)
 

Daniel Forsman

New member
My brain hurts :) OK,. already, I will give it a try... ;)
Oh no, I made a typo! Never use two quotation marks in a row in the command promt. :cry:
The row to modify should read:
cd "C:\Users\Quentin...ect. etc. etc.\Pictures\Actual Folder" <Press Enter>
... so no double ""
Sorry for the confusion. I hope I will not find more typos.

/Daniel
 

Quentin_Bargate

Well-known member
Oh no, I made a typo! Never use two quotation marks in a row in the command promt. :cry:
The row to modify should read:
cd "C:\Users\Quentin...ect. etc. etc.\Pictures\Actual Folder" <Press Enter>
... so no double ""
Sorry for the confusion. I hope I will not find more typos.

/Daniel
I have had a few issues using the command line, but better luck dragging and dropping files on the .exe file. This of course means no modifiers, but it does do a basic decode job.

It looks like a little more highlight recovery is possible, but at the expense of some local contrast.

If anyone wants to try out the new software, here is a link to the X3F "Kitchen" file I used to illustrate the issue earlier in this thread: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/9806585/Test%20Sigma%20Files/1.X3F
 

xpatUSA

Member
My brain hurts :) OK,. already, I will give it a try... ;)
A word of caution, if I may. I would be inclined to let the DPR thread run it's course before jumping in at half-cock. For example, there are still some highlight issues that can be quite off-putting:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/56177878

Also, the DNG linear files are not supported by all viewers. Doesn't bother be too much - 16bit TIFF ProPhoto is fine for going from x3f_restore to RawTherapee.

The good news is that someone has already come up with a "front end" that gets around having to use the command-line. Haven't used it yet.

My interest is in something speedy (7-secs for a high-res X3F on my machine) and their NR is excellent. Of course we live in different worlds. I am still Adobe-free by choice and can happily play around all day in RawTherapee to get something just right. I'm sure that you don't have that luxury . .

Ted
 

Quentin_Bargate

Well-known member
A word of caution, if I may. I would be inclined to let the DPR thread run it's course before jumping in at half-cock. For example, there are still some highlight issues that can be quite off-putting:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/56177878

Also, the DNG linear files are not supported by all viewers. Doesn't bother be too much - 16bit TIFF ProPhoto is fine for going from x3f_restore to RawTherapee.

The good news is that someone has already come up with a "front end" that gets around having to use the command-line. Haven't used it yet.

My interest is in something speedy (7-secs for a high-res X3F on my machine) and their NR is excellent. Of course we live in different worlds. I am still Adobe-free by choice and can happily play around all day in RawTherapee to get something just right. I'm sure that you don't have that luxury . .

Ted
Something very wrong using the front end. NR good, but new highlight issues..
 

Daniel Forsman

New member
I have had a few issues using the command line, but better luck dragging and dropping files on the .exe file. This of course means no modifiers, but it does do a basic decode job.

It looks like a little more highlight recovery is possible, but at the expense of some local contrast.

If anyone wants to try out the new software, here is a link to the X3F "Kitchen" file I used to illustrate the issue earlier in this thread: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/9806585/Test%20Sigma%20Files/1.X3F
Yes, command line isn't that exciting for all of us (not me either). If you drop the file on the exe-file you will unfortunately not get the very nice noise reduction. But now you have the possibility to use a front end... see Ted's post. :)
Anyway, several things could have gone wrong with the command prompt. Like if you had the pictures on another drive than C:\ Then you have to write the drive letter first, like K: <enter> before writing the cd stuff. Well, now you won't need it anyway, would you?
/Daniel
 

Quentin_Bargate

Well-known member
Something very wrong using the front end. NR good, but new highlight issues..
OK, its pretty good, if one converts to a DNG file with only noise reduction ticked.

Now the major issue is a colour cast - pink / purple right, blue left. This is presumably corrected by SPP automatically, a relatively easy task with a fixed lens camera, possibly it would be more difficult with interchangeable lenses.

Correct that cast and we might be in business... :)

EDIT: I'm using a different X3F file, with a large area of sky, where the cast is more clearly visible.

This is back to the future - I used to own a Kodak 14n, later 14nx.
 

Daniel Forsman

New member
Something very wrong using the front end. NR good, but new highlight issues..
Some of the highlights were better now:
better highlight.jpg

Still blown out bananas. But this is a territory where FOVEON has never excelled (at least to my knowledge), with indoor/mixed lighting.
What about the new issues? :(
I think that Kalpanika may open up a new possibility of using more exposure compensation, like -0.7 or even -1.0, without getting the "dreaded" noise. But that remains to be tested of course.

/Daniel
 

Attachments

Quentin_Bargate

Well-known member
Some of the highlights were better now:
View attachment 93596

Still blown out bananas. But this is a territory where FOVEON has never excelled (at least to my knowledge), with indoor/mixed lighting.
What about the new issues? :(
I think that Kalpanika may open up a new possibility of using more exposure compensation, like -0.7 or even -1.0, without getting the "dreaded" noise. But that remains to be tested of course.

/Daniel
Daniel

It's good start. Imagine where this might lead with a little development?

Bananas were over ripe anyway :eek:
 

xpatUSA

Member
Here's my take, as regards the kitchen scene.

Kalpanika's TIFF sRGB output, wb = Flash:



Much the same as previous renditions.

However, RawDigger shows that there is a fair bit of area with totally blown (well full) pixels. Ordinarily, this would not matter too much but I've already found that blown raw data is not handled gracefully by Kalpanika (see link I posted earlier).

Here's the raw histogram for a selection around the bread-bin and the fruit showing, not surprisingly, specular highlights which should render as white and which sometimes did not. Actually it looks like fully blown is reliably white but just below attracts those odd yellow colors. Roland Karlsson did explain the effect in the DPR thread in response to my post on the subject.



The tall spikes at the blown levels are, of course, the Quattro's more sensitive pixels that are used for over-exposure detection or summat.

I hope they keep at it!

Ted
 
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Still got my 14n, Quentin. It's still crap ;-)

OK, its pretty good, if one converts to a DNG file with only noise reduction ticked.

Now the major issue is a colour cast - pink / purple right, blue left. This is presumably corrected by SPP automatically, a relatively easy task with a fixed lens camera, possibly it would be more difficult with interchangeable lenses.

Correct that cast and we might be in business... :)

EDIT: I'm using a different X3F file, with a large area of sky, where the cast is more clearly visible.

This is back to the future - I used to own a Kodak 14n, later 14nx.
 
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