Nikon D3 and D300 NEF raw files now supported by Dave Coffin'sdcraw

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by Floyd L. Davidson, Nov 6, 2007.

  1. I just discovered that yesterday Dave Coffin released
    version 8.79 of dcraw.c, which among a number of other
    updates includes code to handle Nikon's soon to arrive
    D300 and D3 model DSLR's (announced for release in
    November, and apparently rumored to be available on or
    about the 27th).

    http://www.cybercom.net/~dcoffin/dcraw/dcraw.c

    It is safe to say that UFRAW, the graphical interface
    that uses dcraw.c code and provides a plugin for The
    GIMP, will soon have an upgrade to include the new dcraw
    code, and will also likely be available before the
    actual cameras are on the shelf.

    http://ufraw.sourceforge.net/
     
    Floyd L. Davidson, Nov 6, 2007
    #1
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  2. Floyd L. Davidson

    Paul Furman Guest

    I'll be interested in hearing some more objective evaluations of the
    noise performance on these models, perhaps.
     
    Paul Furman, Nov 6, 2007
    #2
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  3. I tried it with some NEF files I downloaded from one
    of the demos a few weeks ago, and found the results
    quite interesting. It's mighty hard to adjust things
    precisely using a command line utility, but I did get
    fairly close output from dcraw compared to what the
    embedded JPEG image was. The surprizing thing was
    that the noise on ISO 25600 images was better from
    dcraw. At ISO 6400 it was about the same.

    It will have to wait until UFRAW upgrades for it to be
    easy enough to really experiment much.
     
    Floyd L. Davidson, Nov 6, 2007
    #3
  4. Floyd L. Davidson

    newsmb Guest


    UFRAW is pretty cool. Between UFRAW and The GIMP you can do an awful
    lot with your Nikon DSLR and Free Software. :)
     
    newsmb, Nov 6, 2007
    #4
  5. Floyd L. Davidson

    frederick Guest

    There's some interesting stuff coming out on DPreview's
    forums re the D300:
    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1039&message=25515548

    I note his comments about how well Noise Ninja works on D300
    high ISO noise. David Kilpatrick also posted samples of
    ISO6400 raw converted with no NR. I played with those using
    Noiseware, and got much better results than the in-camera NR.

    There's a consistent pattern appearing where it seems that
    the D300 IQ is excellent - sharp, some moire with lenses
    like the 24-70, at least 2 stops better high iso noise
    performance than D2xs, more than a stop improvement over the
    D200/D80.
    The impression of good low noise performance might be
    further boosted by a consensus of opinion that the D300
    exposes less conservatively than the D200, but more
    accurately than D80.

    The ISO 200 shots I've seen have been extremely good -
    seeming to have noticeably better shadow detail and low
    noise when playing with levels.
     
    frederick, Nov 6, 2007
    #5
  6. Udi Fuchs just release UFRAW 0.13, based on Dave
    Coffin's dcraw version 8.80. There is a significantly
    long list of changes adding new features. Included are
    a few bug fixes and of course hidden in it all is that
    the dcraw code includes support for the soon to be
    released Nikon D300 and D3 cameras.
     
    Floyd L. Davidson, Nov 13, 2007
    #6
  7. Floyd L. Davidson

    ejmartin Guest

    I've made a preliminary analysis of the Nikon D3's dynamic range,
    using the Nikon D3 raw samples posted here:

    http://aaronlinsdau.com/gear/articles/d3.html

    The latest build of the raw converter dcraw can indeed understand D3
    raw files though it seems there are some bugs with some of the
    conversion options, the -D option doesn't seem to work; but I was able
    to get a linear 16-bit conversion without bayer interpolation that I
    could analyze. I should stress that it is important to take the raw
    converter out of the equation as much as possible or else you are
    testing the raw conversion software as much as the camera. The
    linear conversion w/o bayer interpolation does that; to be specific
    the options used were
    dcraw -v -h -4 -T -k 0 -H 1 -o 0 -r 1 1 1 1 filename.nef

    Looking at the ISO 200 sample, I analyzed a few regions of the image
    in the red and blue channels, measured the noise in IRIS and
    extrapolated the result to vanishing luminance. The dynamic range
    seems to be about 11.7 stops (read noise is about 4.9 in 14-bit raw
    levels, and the highlights clip at 16383 in those units).

    I had to extrapolate down to zero raw level from a bit above since
    Nikon clips their blackpoint and so the noise is not a Gaussian
    distribution but a half-gaussian at the bottom end, and fluctuations
    are thereby clipped as well; using the absolute lowest exposure levels
    underestimates the noise.

    This is a *very* rough, preliminary measurement. A proper measurement
    would use a blackframe image, shot at a high shutter speed with a lens
    cap on the body. That will take a lot of sloppiness out of the above
    analysis, but I would be surprised if the dynamic range is more than
    12 stops. A similar analysis at ISO 1600 yields about 10 stops DR.
    Thus it would appear that the D3's dynamic range is about the same as
    Canon 1 series DSLR's.

    Unfortunately the sample images are not appropriate for determining
    the quantum efficiency of the sensor, which to my thinking is one of
    the determining factors in high ISO performance.

    The raw was shot in 12bit mode rather than 14-bit mode (all raw levels
    were multiples of four in 14-bit units). It will be interesting to see
    whether an image shot in 14-bit mode has more dynamic range, since the
    12-bit sample here has a quantization step which just about equals the
    noise. Theoretically that could get you a very tiny fraction of a stop
    more, but I don't think quantization error is the limiting factor
    here. Anyway, DR appears to roughly equal the Canon Mark 3 at ISO 200.

    BTW, pattern noise (banding) seems fairly well controlled (though
    visible in the deepest shadows if you boost them enough).
     
    ejmartin, Nov 13, 2007
    #7
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