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M8 goes uncompressed DNG

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Hello fellow M8-Users,

 

I finally had time to implement a working M8 .RAW => .DNG conversion.

(Info: you have to enter the service menu once, then the option RAW+Jpeg Fine is visible until next power down.)

 

Basically this is similar to the M9 uncompressed/compressed thing. But on M8 this option firmwarewise is still not available... Now it is. Somehow

 

You get 14bit color-depth + some more Pixels on the image (3964x2643 vs 3916x2634) => tiny bit wider fov...

 

Drawbacks as of now: larger filesize (obvious); lightroom (or other converters) camera calibration confusion; RAW writes fast to SD-card, but the Fine JPG takes some time; no Leica Additional Magic Correction (e.g. lens profiles, UV/IR correction) (I guess)

 

I only have one M8, so far I can only guarantee it works with mine.

 

You can find two consecutive shots (1st RAW=>DNG, 2nd Original DNG) showing the same scene for comparison here:

 

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/yc3ts3ujpv0357r/VmAtr2F_tm

 

I'm not sure what an ideal test shot for the difference would be.

 

Having been discussed on a regular basis the improvements might not be visible...

 

Nevertheless I would be grateful if you had a look at the files and tell me your findings. Furthermore I would appreciate getting a RAW+JPG pair from another M8 for advanced testing. Maybe showing a better test scene...

 

I hope anyone is interested and I'm appreciating any feedback. You can rant if you want, too...

 

Möge die M8 mit dir sein,

Arvid

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Cannot open it with C1v7, C1v4, LR4, CS3, Silkypix v4, Silkypix v3.

Too much magenta with RPP.

OK with Raw Converter and profile RDv162... but greens look oversaturated.

Hope that helps.

Edited by lct

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Hard to put a value on it as it is a flat day. Frankly they are the best M8 files I have ever seen all things considered. I will guess it is because the Leica people have not put their imprint on them as it is raw, plain raw. I have to use the Adobe Profile editor to get my M8 to behave this way.

 

The greens are not over saturated. They look normal with nice separation of tones.

 

The only thing is the sky is overexposed.

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Thanks for your replies!

 

I only checked in Lightroom 3.6 and opening the files gave me no problems. I'll give it a try in LR 4. I know that the colors are not behaving the "normal" way but this could be adjusted in postprocessing in my opinion. Anyone got any idea for a better testcase?

 

Cheers,

Arvid

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There are some problems with the file format, e.g., the EXIF IFD is malformed, which is why most raw processors don't like the file. Some tolerant ones will open it, e.g., AccuRaw, but e.g., CornerFix, which uses Adobe's DNG SDK to decode DNGs, won't deal with it at all.

 

In AccuRaw the colors are definitely off; the conversion matrixes need some work.

 

Sandy

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Hello Sandy,

 

that is really weird. I use Adobe DNG codec for the windows preview, they open fine. Also both LR 3.6 and LR 5 give me no problems. But if you could further specify the problem with the EXIF IFD, I could fix this.

I didn't touch the Conversion Matrix yet as I didn't completely understand their meaning. The DNG specification is not very information exhaustive on that specific topic.

 

 

But again thank you very much for your help!

 

Arvid

 

PS: just checked CornerFix 1.4.2.2 and it opens L1004525.DNG without problems. Do you have the up to date version of the DNG file from the dropbox server?

Edited by bla

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CornerFix is complaining about "Exif IFD has unexpected non-zero NextIFD". You should be able see the analysis if you set verbose mode and open the log window. It's also not very happy about the embedded thumbnail.

 

Sandy

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Hi!

I fixed the issue

Forgot to write the 4 zero bytes for the NextIFD. I found the error by using dng_validate of the SDK. No I don't get any errors neither in CornerFix nor in the DNG SDK.

 

I uploaded the new version to the dropbox folder if you want to give it another try. (The modification date is: 2013/08/21 09:57am, 21,271,567 bytes)

 

Greetings,

Arvid

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Just opened in wth C1v7. No problem. Needs a bit of PP but i don't see any color cast so far. Did you put an IR-cut filter?

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Hello!

Yes this image was taken with IR-Cut filter. I'm currently in correspondence with another forum-member who did a RAW+jpg pair on his M8. Let's see if I can convert those, too...

 

@all: feel free to contact me if you did your own test-shots and want them converted.

 

Cheers,

Arvid

Edited by bla
typo

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Hi!

I fixed the issue

Forgot to write the 4 zero bytes for the NextIFD. I found the error by using dng_validate of the SDK. No I don't get any errors neither in CornerFix nor in the DNG SDK.

 

I uploaded the new version to the dropbox folder if you want to give it another try. (The modification date is: 2013/08/21 09:57am, 21,271,567 bytes)

 

Greetings,

Arvid

 

Yes, that fixes the problem. The file also now correctly shows a preview in OS X finder, opens in Preview, etc. Haven't tried, but that should sort out the issue for other raw converters that people had trouble with.

 

Sandy

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BTW, as regards the color matrixes, probably the easiest way to deal with that is to generate a custom camera profile using Adobe's DNG profile tool, and just copy the matrixes in the profile to the DNG you're generating.

 

Sandy

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I opened them in ACR attached to CS5. Both opened without issue.

 

Better test object is an American flag, green grass and blue sky. Mine is a studio set up with color patches and grey scale and a doll with white lace blouse with very fine detail and pleated black skirt. Been using her for 30 years and she has not aged a day.

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This is very interesting.

The originally posted raw files though don't tell me much so far in Lightroom 5 (open fine without problems).

 

I would be interested in three test scenarios:

 

ISO 1250, stopped down lens to f8 with a subject with lots of tonal variation from white to black.

 

ISO160, stopped down lens to f8 with a subject with plenty of detail and fine texture in focus.

 

ISO160, stopped down lens to f8 with subjects at various subject distance from medium to infinity and plenty of detail.

 

 

I am interested to see, how the potentially higher bit depth of the files might or might not provide more flesh to work with at high ISO (the one true weakness of the M8).

I am also interested, if this higher bit depth indeed provides improved tonality and potentially a difference in detail.

 

I am exclusively interested in monochrome conversions, so colour shifts do not bother me per se, as long, as tones can be properly converted in Lr 5.

 

The larger file size to ~20MB is not a concern, as the M8 files actually have an edge in detail and per pixel sharpness over the M9 files, which is why I still prefer the M8 over the M9 for long lens use, as long, as sufficient light is available.

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The per pixel sharpness is only valid at the same enlargement, which means the M8 will produce slaightly more acuity than the M9 cropped. As soon as one compares images using the full sensor (which means either another focal length or a little walk), the M9 will forge ahead due to the higher resolution.

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Hello everyone,

I have successfully tested files from a different M8 and different lenses and all worked fine. (see dropbox from 1st posting)

I did an ISO test noting something curious: it seems ISO on the M8 is only a digital gain.

 

At base ISO 160 there are ~16k unique brightness values. At 320 only ~8k, 640: ~4k, 1250: ~2k, 2500: ~1k. That means (if I my thoughts are correct) that you could for example either take a dark image (half as bright) at 160 ISO and multiply every value by 2 or set the camera to ISO 320. We will have to test what yields better results.

 

@tobey: feel free to send me an image your test scene in RAW+JPG and a DNG for comparison.

 

Greetings,

Arvid

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Hello fellow M8 users,

 

I had time to do a quick ISO-test to show my last findings. I shot the same scene with 1/125s, f/4.8 @ISO1250 DNG, @ISO1250 RAW and @ISO160 RAW.

The results are in my dropbox folder in the subfolder "ISO-test".

 

To my eye the RAW files have less noise (especially color noise) than the DNG. Additionally the 1250 and the 160 with +3 stops exposure correction looks more or less the same.

 

If you want you can try for yourself and post your findings here.

 

Greetings,

Arvid

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Hello fellow M8-Users,

 

I finally had time to implement a working M8 .RAW => .DNG conversion.

(Info: you have to enter the service menu once, then the option RAW+Jpeg Fine is visible until next power down.)

 

Arvid

 

Arvid,

 

Would please advise how I can duplicate your accomplishment?

 

Only "DNG+JPEG fine" is visible on the menu, cannot find "service menu" in M8.

 

Thanks a lot!

 

Thomas Chen

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Hello!

 

@lct: that's not banding but uncorrected erroneous pixels from the sensor. This can be corrected easily.

But good that you also noticed less noise. Any difference between ISO 160 and 1250 RAW?

 

@Thomas: switch on the camera, hit 4 times right button, 3 times left button, 1 time right button and info. A menu should appear. Touch the shutter button to make it go away. Now the selection should be available.

 

Greetings,

Arvid

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