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Do Sony a7riii Picture Profiles bake into the RAW Files??

New Here ,
Oct 17, 2018

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I can't seem to import ARW files into lightroom without huge changes to the image.

Here is an example:

IMG_3748.JPG

IMG_3749.JPG

This is exactly the same image as seen on camera and after the import into LR. I haven't applied an import preset and changing the quick develop preset to default doesn't change anything. Why is the histogram so different once I bring it into LR? How do I get to see the image without the Picture Profile applied? I just want to see the RAW file to edit from.

Any help would be appreciated!

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Do Sony a7riii Picture Profiles bake into the RAW Files??

New Here ,
Oct 17, 2018

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I can't seem to import ARW files into lightroom without huge changes to the image.

Here is an example:

IMG_3748.JPG

IMG_3749.JPG

This is exactly the same image as seen on camera and after the import into LR. I haven't applied an import preset and changing the quick develop preset to default doesn't change anything. Why is the histogram so different once I bring it into LR? How do I get to see the image without the Picture Profile applied? I just want to see the RAW file to edit from.

Any help would be appreciated!

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Oct 17, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 17, 2018

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The image that you see in you camera display is the in the RAW file embeded jpeg preview picture. This contains all settings that you made in the camrea menue (sharpen, contrast, assigning picture styles and so on). The picture that shows after import in Lightroom is the preview of the original RAW file without these assignments.

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Oct 17, 2018 1
New Here ,
Oct 17, 2018

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Thanks Matt, that makes sense. Here is where I find it challenging:

I recently took a Milky Way timelapse at f2, 25s, 3200 ISO which showed a well exposed image in camera. When I import the image after the conversion, all I see is a black image. I have to push the exposure by 4 stops before I see anything which ruins the image when I know that all of the information is actually there to process the image well.


Am I understanding that correctly?

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Oct 17, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 17, 2018

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Most camera settings only apply to jpegs, not to raw. You may want to check one particular camera setting, however. Many cameras have a special setting to increase dynamic range and protect the highlights. As you cannot really increase the dynamic range of a sensor, the camera applies an underexposure and then corrects for that by cranking up the shadows. As a result, a jpeg (and so also your preview) will look fine, but the raw file really is underexposed. Lightroom will not automatically correct for this, so Lightroom will show you the image as it really is (without edits).

-- Johan W. Elzenga, http://www.johanfoto.com

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Oct 17, 2018 2
New Here ,
Oct 17, 2018

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One question on that - The exposure on my camera is acceptable (if a little underexposed) but when I import it, the image is clipping quite badly. How do I go about exposing for stills then? Do you have a picture profile you recommend to use?

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Oct 17, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 17, 2018

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seanv80504890  wrote

One question on that - The exposure on my camera is acceptable (if a little underexposed) but when I import it, the image is clipping quite badly. How do I go about exposing for stills then? Do you have a picture profile you recommend to use?

If you shoot in raw, picture profiles are irrelevant. Do you know how to make a proper screenshot? Make a screenshot of the image as seen in the Develop Module. The Quick Develop block in the Library module is not the place to seriously edit pictures and because it doesn't show any settings, it is useless to troubleshoot your problem.

-- Johan W. Elzenga, http://www.johanfoto.com

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Oct 17, 2018 1
New Here ,
Oct 17, 2018

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Yes, completely agreed and I suppose that is what I am finding frustrating. Picture profiles should be irrelevant but I thought I was exposing correctly when taking the image in camera and bringing it into LR - it looks to be clipping in the shadows. Does it mean that I just need to overexpose more to compensate, as I've heard one should do for Sony?

Here is a screenshot of the same shot, no import presets were applied.

Screen Shot 2018-10-17 at 17.37.23.png

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Oct 17, 2018 0
Advocate ,
Oct 17, 2018

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This is a problem that photographers who shoot primarily or only Raw have been wrestling with forever, or at least for the last 20 years that I've been doing digital photography. It stems from the nature of a Raw file and the way that camera sensors work. Sensors react only to the intensities of the light coming through the lens, not colors. The Raw sensor data is greyscale (black and white) and linear (which makes it dark and flat). Simply put, it is not fit for viewing without at least a bare minimum of processing: Demosaicing to interpolate in computer generated color, gamma correction to boost midtones and highlights and increase contrast, and  White Balancing because sensors are more sensitive to green light than red and blue.

The result is that you are always seeing a processed image, either produced the way the camera maker thinks best or produced the way that Adobe thinks best (camera makers tend to go for a more "finished" look and Adobe defaults to a more "starting point" look). But neither directly tells you what the Raw was like, although indirectly it is possible to make some guesses. In order to make the guessing easier Raw photographers shut off the enhancement processing and override their camera's jpg defaults to make the in-camera processing minimal - low contrast and low saturation. And for ages they have been pleading for a histogram derived from the pre-processing Raw data. To no avail.

But there is software available so that at least when you get home and review your shots you can see the Raw histogram and actual exposure data, and with experience you learn to make the mental correlation between the jpg histogram and the Raw reality. I use this:  https://www.fastrawviewer.com/about-and-features

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Oct 17, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 17, 2018

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I would reset your camera to factory defaults. It seems to be doing something that affects the raw exposure, because the image in the screenshot shows severe underexposure. And a Milky Way shot that was taken with f2, 25s, 3200 ISO should not need a four stops exposure correction in Lightroom.

-- Johan W. Elzenga, http://www.johanfoto.com

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Oct 17, 2018 1
New Here ,
Oct 17, 2018

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I didn't think about that... Maybe there could be some sort of calibration issue. I'll do a few more tests and do a factory reset and see if that helps. Thanks Johan!

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Oct 17, 2018 0
New Here ,
Oct 17, 2018

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So I'm not crazy after all!


Thanks for the really thorough explanation - I had a rough idea of the principles but no understanding of the logic behind them.

I'm not sure how familiar you are with the Sony a7riii (and their .ARW files) but the challenge I've been having is that the picture profile I've been using is as flat as possible (low contrast and low saturation) and in camera, the exposure looks correct and the histogram reflects it. But then once I import the photos into Lightroom, the Adobe version of RAW conversion seems to completely change my image. In a case (as seen in the screenshot and comparison to my camera above) where exposure was acceptable, after import it showed that the image was clipping in the shadow. It feels like the difference is too large to be normal.

I have not applied any import presets, my profiles within the develop module have been set to Adobe colour or Adobe neutral. JohanEl54​ has suggested that I reset my camera to factory default settings which is a good suggestion and perhaps there is some sort of calibration issue? Do you have any thoughts on the issue?

That said, I think the software you suggested will do a great job of showing me which RAW exposure is actually accurate. I'll do some tests in the morning. Thank you for the help! 

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Oct 17, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 17, 2018

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The picture profile you are using, and the image you are seeing in-camera are the result of the in-camera settings and the JPEG preview that is part of the raw image. The camera cannot display the raw image data. And Lightroom cannot read all of the camera settings that are applied by in-camera picture profiles. This is a unique to Sony cameras, that's true for any model from any manufacturer. I think your best choice would be to work with a newly imported image and set it to how you want images to appear when they are first imported. If you want them flat then adjust the image to look that way. Then save new defaults for the camera. That way whenever new images are imported, or you resent images, they will have that appearance and you can work from that point. From what you are describing, the defaults in Lightroom right now are adjusting your images unsatisfactorily.

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Oct 17, 2018 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 17, 2018

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When shooting raw, turn off all special settings in the camera. They won't carry over. A raw file is just a data dump from the sensor.

I have an a7r II, and the Lightroom defaults match the camera-processed jpeg fairly well. They're not supposed to, and indeed cannot, match perfectly, but basic exposure is pretty close.

I see more of a difference with my Nikon D810 and D800, where the difference is about 1/3 to 1/2 stop.

This is important to remember: it's the same data from the sensor. If the camera version is brighter, it's only because they stretch the available data further. There isn't "really" more exposure there.

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Oct 17, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 17, 2018

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There is one exception to this rule. Long Exposure Noise Reduction does carry over, because the principle behind it (dark frame subtraction) works on raw files too.

-- Johan W. Elzenga, http://www.johanfoto.com

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 17, 2018

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Yes, good point, that is an exception. Some "processing" actually does occur - ISO setting is another. It's not a completely passive recording then dump record to disk.

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