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Please help - RAW desaturating and altering hue

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Old 04-06-2011, 02:56 PM
ysbryd ysbryd is offline
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Please help - RAW desaturating and altering hue


I use a Canon 400D, with sRGB setting. I get the image as I want it in the camera, and it looks the same when I preview it on my laptop, but as soon as I open it in RAW (in CS4 - also set to sRGB 8 bit), or select 'develop' in Lightroom, the image changes hue and washes out. It's especially bad with red hues, which turn orangey-green, and with light brown skin which end up looking unnatural and orange. It makes me wary of working with models with that lovely skin colour as it is so hideously altered in RAW. I spend so much time trying to get the colours back to what they were in real life but to no avail. I don't have this problem when shooting in JPEG, but that's not something I want to do as it will sacrifice image quality.

When I asked this question over on the Adobe forums I was told that:

No one can help you except to change your expectations.
Canon takes the RAW data and creates an image.
Adobe takes the RAW data and creates an image.
Adobe isn't Canon, so the two RAW conversions won't be the same. Neither one is an "original" that you can "get back to" from the other.
You're wasting your time getting something to look right in camera and then trying to duplicate that. Spend your time getting it right in ACR, instead.

I find it hard to understand why I'm having such difficulty if this is normal. Is there nothing at all I can do to get more faithful colours without spending hours as I have been getting nowhere even close?

Attached is an example:
left: Image in camera, in windows preview and Lightroom preview on laptop. Right: Image when opened in RAW or after selecting 'Develop' in Lightroom.
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File Type: jpg colours in raw.jpg (61.7 KB, 35 views)
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Old 04-06-2011, 04:27 PM
Alan_P Alan_P is offline
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Re: Please help - RAW desaturating and altering hu


Adobe does not recognize many of the Canon settings that Canon uses to generate jpeg images. This is why the images are different. Adjust one of your RAW images in ACR and then save the settings in ACR. You can then apply those settings on additional images.

Using CS4 in 8 bit mode is not taking full advantage of it. You are seriously decreasing how much you can adjust an image.

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Old 04-06-2011, 07:14 PM
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mistermonday mistermonday is offline
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Re: Please help - RAW desaturating and altering hu

Ysbyrd, please see the attached screenshot and check your Camera RAW settings. Here is what may be going on:
Your camera has settings which you have entered or which are default Canon settings. These are primarily for Sharpness, Saturation, White Balance, Color Space. These instruct your camera on how to process / adjust the raw image data that comes off the sensor when saving the image in jpg or tiff. When you open the image in Camera RAW, the Camera RAW module by default takes the RAW data and does not apply those camera settings but instead applies Camera RAW defaults. If you want the preview to appear the same as what the camera would process if you saved the image as a jpg or tiff, then go up to the little context triangle, as in the screenshot, and change the preview from Camera Raw Defaults to Image Settings. This should look pretty close or bang on.
Also a couple of things to remember. Make sure you properly set the color space, bit depth, and resolution seen by the arrow at the bottom center of the preview window. Also be sure that your working space in PS is set to the same color space OR (and I recommend you do this anyway), be sure to check the 3 profile preserve /mismatch warning boxes in PS Edit>Color Settings. That way if Camera Raw color setting gets changed, you will get a warning when you import the image into PS. Color space mismatches can significantly shift color and saturation.
Regards, Murray
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File Type: jpg Ysbyrd Screenshot MM.jpg (197.2 KB, 39 views)

Last edited by mistermonday; 04-06-2011 at 09:49 PM. Reason: typos
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Old 04-07-2011, 12:41 AM
ysbryd ysbryd is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2010
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Re: Please help - RAW desaturating and altering hu

I fixed it! It was such a simple thing - I just went to the 'camera calibration' tab and the dropdown was set to ACR 4.4 - I changed it to camera portrait which is what I ugenerally use and it was bang on. No fuss. Yay!

Thanks for the advice, I'm not very technical and it takes me a while to figure out the simple things. *Doh*
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File Type: jpg Camera Calibration.jpg (26.1 KB, 21 views)
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Old 04-07-2011, 08:11 AM
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andrewrodney andrewrodney is offline
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Re: Please help - RAW desaturating and altering hu

I find it hard to understand why I'm having such difficulty if this is normal.
When you shoot a JPEG, the camera takes the raw data and converts it using its own proprietary methods. When you shoot raw, a small JPEG, processed the same way is embedded into the raw so you can see it quickly. But all other raw processors, Adobe and all others have their own proprietary methods of converting from raw to JPEG for a preview. So they don’t necessary match and sometimes mismatch greatly.

When you open a raw in ACR or LR, initially you see the camera generated JPEG, but then those (and other) products replace it by building their own preview JPEG. That’s why they look different. You can mess around with the various sliders to get a closer match (DNG camera profiles accessible in Calibration help too), then set this as the new ACR (or LR) default. All subsequent images will be processed initially with those settings. You can of course alter them now to taste.

Note: setting the camera to sRGB has no role at all on the raw data. That only affects the JPEG.
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