Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

Sign up for a weekly email of the latest drone news & information

Benefits of DNG/RAW for the layman

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision Discussion' started by Super-D, Jan 20, 2014.

  1. Super-D

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2013
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can someone explain the benefits of DNG/RAW in layman terms? I see a lot of people wanting this feature and from what I gather this format keeps the GPS and telemetry information in the file... is that correct.

    Does this benefit the average Joe who just goes out flying and capturing a few pictures of the landscape? Should a novice be using it for some reason? Is it more for the users who use the Phantom for business and professional reasons? Does it make editing easier or give you more detail?

    Just curious. When I could get out and fly (weather issues now) I would just take some videos and a few stills for myself, family and friends so would someone like me really have a use for this?

    Thanks
     
  2. GainfulShrimp

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2014
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you're just taking snaps for fun and especially if you never bother doing any post/Photoshop work to your pics, then DNG/RAW will not be of any benefit to you.

    Essentially, it's just the raw data from the camera sensor (hence the name), stored in a file. DNG stands for Digital Negative, and is Adobe's (relatively open) format for RAW files.

    When you save as Jpeg, the camera's processor takes the raw image data and applies some algorithms for sharpening and compression, etc, to give you an 8 bit (per channel) RGB image that can be viewed on any PC and any browser. This process involves making several compromises to the overall quality of the image (such as using lossy compression to balance file size against quality).

    With RAW, you are avoiding this step and opting to do the processing yourself later. You are taking back full control over the image, but at the cost of significant amounts of data (roughly 14MB per image for the Vision camera, I hear) and of course time/effort to convert the image and apply sharpening etc yourself.

    I use a DSLR camera and always shoot in RAW, so I'm used to it. If you are happy with the quality of the Jpegs from the Vision, you will probably not gain much by using RAW. But if you are after the best possible quality, then you should use RAW - at least for 'special' images.

    Raw is especially useful when you want to adjust exposure etc in post (perhaps to create HDR images from a single shot). You get significantly more room for manoeuvre with raw than from Jpeg, because Jpegs only have 8 bit colour depth by their nature, so you will see banding in the highlights and shadows if you 'push' the image too much.

    Hope that helps! :)
     
  3. iResq

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2013
    Messages:
    545
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Annapolis, Maryland
    Agreed. I'm a DSLR shooter as well and only use RAW for troublesome lighting conditions. However with the Phantom I will use raw (thought it also produces a jpg) as the compression used by DJI is pretty severe.

    Raw workflow is different and adds another step to photo processing.
     
  4. Drone7

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2013
    Messages:
    123
    Likes Received:
    0
    Then i have also a question. When you shoot in jpg with a DSLR, then you get enough MP for a descent photo.
    Isn´t it that the MP of the jpg from the Vision camera is not too low for a descent picture? You need raw anyway for a descent picture?
     
  5. iResq

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2013
    Messages:
    545
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Annapolis, Maryland
    Pixel count does not equal picture quality. Pixels are not created equally. In fact, many are created in code so the camera can be marketed with a high pixel count. You need a lot of quality pixels if you are printing larger prints or cropping a photo.

    I have had 3-4 meg cameras take outstanding photos.

    The problem, as I see it, with the Vision is that the camera just is not that good. So having access to the raw photo will allow us to squeeze out every bit of information to make the best possible photo.
     
  6. Drone7

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2013
    Messages:
    123
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ok, thank you for answering
     
  7. Super-D

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2013
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you gentlemen for the explanation.
     
  8. Nvr2fst

    Joined:
    May 14, 2013
    Messages:
    300
    Likes Received:
    0
    Is there software that will automatically spruce up a RAW image? It is understood that this may not have been the original intention of RAW but nonetheless.
    I have a, Now older, G10 that I used to take a lot of RAW images for future manipulation/correction. I believe I may shoot in RAW with the Vision too. Just so all of the information is there. I just prefer spending my time on other things. Like my work, other hobbies, video editing etc. Sprucing up pictures isn't one of them.
     
  9. iResq

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2013
    Messages:
    545
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Annapolis, Maryland
    Adobe's raw processor has an "auto" button.
     
  10. Nvr2fst

    Joined:
    May 14, 2013
    Messages:
    300
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ever try it? reasonable results or does it vary wildly with each picture?
     
  11. iResq

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2013
    Messages:
    545
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Annapolis, Maryland
    I usually push it just to see what the software recommends. But I adjust manually. RAW processing is not part of my normal photography workflow. I only use it for difficult lighting situations (though I almost always shoot raw + jpeg).
     
  12. jimre

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2013
    Messages:
    371
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    North Bend, WA
    JPEG is much more convenient. RAW is a lot more work, but can produce better final image quality.

    The P2V camera is always capturing around 23 MB of raw image data. In JPEG mode - your camera processes all that raw data automatically - it adds default sharpening, sets the default contrast and colors, and then compresses the hell out of it. What's left is usually around a 3 MB JPEG file.

    In RAW mode, you get the full, original 23 MB of data to work with. And you do have to *work* with it - since raw camera data doesn't look like *anything* until it's processed. It has no sharpening applied, no processing of any kind. You need to process - aka "develop" - the RAW file in your favorite image software. So there's always at least one extra step vs. JPEG.

    RAW - Pros:
    Full original image data retained, not compressed away
    Much greater latitude for making adjustments
    RAW adjustments are non-destructive (in most apps)
    You choose sharpening amount/method
    You choose final compression/amount/format

    RAW - Cons:
    Much bigger file size (23 MB vs 3 MB)
    Extra step - you have to process each image, cannot use "as-is"
    Slower camera response speed, takes a while to write larger file to SD card