Converting raw to DNG changes histogram (Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II)

New Here ,
Oct 16, 2021 Oct 16, 2021

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     I now have a Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II camera, and my Windows-based Lightroom 5.7.1 does not read its RAW files (*.orf). I can no longer get a newer version of Lightroom perpetual license. On the advice of other threads in this forum, I instead installed the latest 64-bit Adobe Camera Raw 13.4 and converted some *.orf files to *.DNG files. However, the DNG files are noticeably different in color and brightness, and their histograms show that difference, too.  Obviously, I would prefer if the DNG files were identical to the RAW files. 
      Can anyone suggest a fix to this problem? I don't want to buy the subscription version of Lightroom. 

      Thanks.

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Adobe Community Professional , Oct 17, 2021 Oct 17, 2021
ACR 13.4 won't run in Elements 2018, so I don't know what you've been comparing.  https://helpx.adobe.com/camera-raw/kb/camera-raw-compatible-applications.html Downloading ACR 13.4 won't help you without a newer Photoshop or Photoshop Elements version. In any case, if you're comparing the camera jpeg with the default rendering from ACR/Lightroom, they're not supposed to match. There is no such thing as an "original" version of a raw file. It has to be processed in a raw converter to produce a ...

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New Here ,
Oct 16, 2021 Oct 16, 2021

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I forgot to say that I compared the look of the RAW (.orf) file and the DNG file using Photoshop Elements 2018.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 17, 2021 Oct 17, 2021

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ACR 13.4 won't run in Elements 2018, so I don't know what you've been comparing. 

https://helpx.adobe.com/camera-raw/kb/camera-raw-compatible-applications.html

Downloading ACR 13.4 won't help you without a newer Photoshop or Photoshop Elements version.

 

In any case, if you're comparing the camera jpeg with the default rendering from ACR/Lightroom, they're not supposed to match. There is no such thing as an "original" version of a raw file. It has to be processed in a raw converter to produce a recognizable image, and a lot of parameters need to be set. That's what the Lightroom/ACR sliders, and different camera profiles, are for.

 

This happens inside the camera too, but with automatic processing you have no control over, and with the aim of producing a pleasing image that makes people want to buy the camera.

 

Lightroom/ACR is a completely different processing engine. It doesn't need to impress anyone, and the default settings are conservative. The rest is up to you.

 

That said, some cameras have "camera-matching" profiles, reverse-engineered to match the camera processing as closely as possible. I don't know if that exists for this Olympus model.

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New Here ,
Oct 17, 2021 Oct 17, 2021

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D. Fosse,

      Thanks a lot for your very informative response. Here are some additional points about my procedure.

1. I compared an Olympus raw (.orf) file with the DNG version in the following way.

   a. I downloaded the Adobe DNG converter, AdobeDNGConverter_x64_13_4.exe.

   b. I used it to convert my raw file into a DNG file.

   c. I then loaded both the raw and DNG files into Photoshop Elements 2018. You are right that Elements 2018 uses Camera Raw 10.3 to import those files.  

   d. The resulting two versions of the photo had different colors and brightness in Elements 2018.

 

2. So I did NOT compare any JPG with any other file. Instead, the Elements 2018 display showed that the orf and DNG files were different, even though they were imported into Elements via the same Camera Raw 10.3.  That told me that the DNG converter 13.4 had different parameters for converting the raw file than Camera Raw 10.3.  Does that make sense?

 

3. Is the DNG converter software simply Adobe Camera Raw except with a routine that saves the converted file to disk instead of loading it directly into a photo editing program?

 

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

 

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LEGEND ,
Oct 17, 2021 Oct 17, 2021

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Perhaps you need to upgrade to PSE 2022.

 

Personaly I would give up being pissed at Adobe and subscribe with the Phtography Plan.

 

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 17, 2021 Oct 17, 2021

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On the advice of other threads in this forum, I instead installed the latest 64-bit Adobe Camera Raw 13.4 and converted some *.orf files to *.DNG files.


I suspect you mean the free standalone Adobe DNG converter.

 

Camera Raw is a plugin for Photoshop. Lightroom has its own Raw processing engine so it does not use the Camera Raw plugin.

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New Here ,
Oct 17, 2021 Oct 17, 2021

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John,

     Yes, that is correct. I installed the standalone AdobeDNGConverter_x64_13_4.exe and used it to convert my Olympus raw files (*.orf) to DNG files.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 17, 2021 Oct 17, 2021

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You need to check all your settings.

 

A DNG contains the exact same sensor data as the proprietary raw file, only the wrapper and metadata organization is different. There is no sensor data change when converting.

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New Here ,
Oct 17, 2021 Oct 17, 2021

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So if there is no change to the sensor data when converting the raw to DNG file, then what you are saying is that the difference in how those two files look is due to the "wrapper". Could you please explain what that means?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 17, 2021 Oct 17, 2021

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No, I'm saying check all your settings, camera profiles etc.

 

I have a hunch it might be the camera profiles. Lots of inconsistencies can happen there when you start mixing old processing versions with new processing versions (which is what you're doing here).

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 17, 2021 Oct 17, 2021

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You are trying to use a version of Lightroom that is so out of date and the process version is so old that you can't possibly expect to get optimal results. It will never happen. Don't subscribe to Lightroom Classic, that's your choice. But don't come here asking for help to get optimal results and up to date output from software that isn't up-to-date, is no longer supported by Adobe, and doesn't have anywhere near the features the Lightroom Classic has. Save a little money (perhaps) over upgrading every couple of years like we used to do, but simply let the technology leave you behind.

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