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[Q] SMaL .RAW Color calibration

 
 
David Phillip Oster
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      12-18-2006, 06:12 PM
I bought a Philips 3MP Retro Style Ultra-thin pocketsize camera, PT4434
because I needed a thin camera to keep in my shirt pocket. Walmart has
them for sale cheap.

http://www.google.com/search?q=Phili...ra-Thin+Camera

Unfortunately, it doesn't do .jpg encoding on the camera, instead, it
saves the images in .RAW format. The variant of .RAW it uses appears to
be SMaL.

The camera comes with Windows software to decode the images, but I only
use Mac OS X.

I found some open-source software software that decodes the .RAW to
..TIFF,

Dave Coffin's dcraw at http://cybercom.net/~dcoffin/dcraw/

The source code compiles ad runs with not problem on OS X, and it works
great. The above URL links to pre-compiled version for OS X.

However, the resulting .TIFs have rather weak reds. Currently, I fix
this using Photoshop's "Levels" dialog:

I photographed a neutral gray image, blurred it so all the pixels were
roughly the same gray level, brought it up in "Levels", and clicked on
the middle "gray" eyedropper icon. Photoshop corrected the image to
neutral gray. I pressed the "Save" button on the "Levels" dialog to save
that correction as a named file.

Then, for my other photos, I applied that same correction. ("Levels"
(Load), saved as an automation.)

The pictures done this way are OK, but I'd like to do better.

Do you have any tips generally on color correcting .RAW images from
cheap point and shoot digital cameras?

I'm tempted to print a color swatch card, photograph it with a borrowed
camera, photograph it with the Philips, write a program to compute the
best levels curve to transform the Philips image to be as close as
possible to the reference image, and edit dcraw to apply that levels
correction to all the pixels before it writes its TIFF.
 
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