Sony Software Discussion Area(s)?

Discussion in 'Help and Feedback' started by cooltouch, Dec 18, 2014.

  1. cooltouch

    cooltouch TalkEmount Rookie

    Dec 17, 2014
    I'm brand new here, so maybe I'm just missing something and I need y'all to help steer me in the right direction. But I'm trying to find discussions here on the "Image Data Converter" software that came with my NEX 7 (and I presume it comes with other NEXes too) -- and Play Memories Home, too, far as that goes.

    So, trying to find discussions on the IDC, first thing I do is plug its name into the search routine here, which generates this:

    The following words are either very common, too long, or too short and were not included in your search:
    "image data converter"

    I tell you what, I am not filled with confidence that I'm gonna find what I'm searching for when the name of the software product I'm trying to find more information about results in an error message being generated. So, given the content of this post's subject area, is there even any interest here in discussing the ins and outs of the Sony software that came with our cameras? At first blush, it would seem to me that there isn't. Since my searches turn up error messages instead of hits.

    But just in case there might be interest in discussing the Sony software that came with our cameras, does it seem like it might merit its own discussion area?

    Anyway, moving on, since I do have questions and comments about Image Data Converter and my NEX 7's menu function's specifically, I was looking for a way to control things like sharpness and contrast from within the camera. This is something that EOS DSLRs have, plus the software that comes with them, Canon's Digital Photo Professional, also offers contrast and sharpening routines, as well as other useful things.

    Well, I think that I've answered to my own level of satisfaction that the NEX 7 does not have any camera based contrast or sharpening routines, but that the IDC software does, and it would appear at least, that IDC offers quite a bit of control over contrast, several aspects of sharpening, and a whole lot more. However, when I go to actually use this product on images I am underwhelmed to say the least. In this case I'm referring specifically to its sharpening routines.

    It began like this -- I was struggling with getting as much detail as possible from some test images I was shooting and was puzzled why the final images that were converted just didn't seem very sharp. Certainly not 24.3 mp worth of sharp. More like 5 mp worth of sharp. The test images I was shooting were made using two legacy 17mm manual focus lenses, each of which has an excellent reputation. One of them is new to me, but the other one isn't, and I have film files I can call up, taken with this lens, that exhibit more resolution that I seem to be getting with my NEX 7 right now. And yes, I've defaulted the camera to ISO 100 just to be sure, and have been shooting at high enough shutter speeds to eliminate blur.

    At one point, I noticed significantly more detail being displayed on the LCD screen than was being displayed in the converted image (raw to jpg). I had left the conversion compression routine at the default, reasoning that the default should not result in a significant loss of image detail. But now I guess I must question this as well.

    Anyway, so yesterday, I go back and load some raw images up into IDC so that I can adjust sharpness and see what sort of improvements I can expect to see. And this is where I was underwhelmed. I mean, setting the slider to a maximum of 100% results in an almost undetectable improvement in sharpness. Yes, there is some improvement, but it is vanishingly small. I played around with the three other settings. None of them seemed to do much of anything either.

    So I guess I'm wondering at this point, does this sound about par for the course for you? If so, what do you do to improve output such that it at least resembles what you see on your LCD screen immediately after capturing the image?

    Thanks for any feedback you might be able to offer on this. I am really quite puzzled. And disconcerted.
  2. José De Bardi

    José De Bardi Assistant in Virtue Subscribing Member

    Aug 31, 2013
    Dorset, UK
    Short answer, nobody discusses them as nobody uses them...
    We all use Lightroom, Photoshop, Aperture etc...
  3. xXx1

    xXx1 TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 15, 2013
    I have been using Raw Therapee for raw converting for several years now. Worth checking if you have 64-bit operating system and at least 8 GB memory.
  4. chrid

    chrid Super Noob

    May 5, 2014
    Isn't it said that the nex-7 has issues with ultra wide lens's ? could this be the issues for lack of sharpness ? Have you tried any other adapted or native lens's? I don't think I ever even looked at the cd that came with my nex-6 and I use light room and dxo optics.
  5. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    IDC is a POS.

    Capture One is free for Sony users, and C1Pro upgrade is just $30, it's far superior to IDC.
  6. cooltouch

    cooltouch TalkEmount Rookie

    Dec 17, 2014
    I was wondering about this . . . So how's subscribing working out for you? I haven't bothered to check out the deals Adobe is offering until just now. Hrmm . . . $9.99 a month is tempting. If I used Photoshop more -- or Lightroom at all.

    I'm typing on a lapbop I borrowed from my daughter. She's a graphics artist and this one, although a good performer, is too far behind the curve for her anymore, what with the heavy use she makes of Photoshop, CDS Max, and a few other animation programs. She's left Photoshop loaded on it -- CS5, I think -- and I haven't really used it much at all. I've used Paint Shop Pro for years and the latest releases of the product do everything I need -- except it still doesn't support 16 bit color in many operations.

    Yep, I have both. Okay, so I'll give RT a looksee.

    I'm not prepared to state that the NEX--7 doesn't handle ultra-wides just yet. I just took a few more comparison shots, and I will be taking a closer look at them shortly. The problem doesn't seem to be the camera, though, because the images look sharp in the viewfinder, with good detail, even when I zoom all the way in. The problem appears to begin when I translate the images from raw to jpg. I've been avoiding tiff files because of their size. One aspect of the conversion I need to modify is to change to jpg compression rate to "best image" (or words to that effect). I left it at the default, which might be part of the problem, if default is being optimized for file size over image quality.

    Yes, I've shot at some length with various other focal lengths, ranging from 50mm to 300mm. They tend to come out very well, although I did have some learning curve issues with a couple of them.

    I'm beginning to agree with your assessment regarding IDC. Okay I'll check into this one also.
  7. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    FWIW, Lightroom is still available in non-hostageware form, and I'm still using Photoshop CS5. My plan is to sign up for Adobe's cloud-based options when it starts snowing in hell. :rolleyes: 
  8. José De Bardi

    José De Bardi Assistant in Virtue Subscribing Member

    Aug 31, 2013
    Dorset, UK
    I also still use PS CS5. Although I have the latest CC DNG Converter which is FOC.
  9. cooltouch

    cooltouch TalkEmount Rookie

    Dec 17, 2014
    I just d/l'd Raw Therapee -- a bit like trying to take a drink from a firehose right now. This program is loads more than just a raw file converter, isn't it, Looks to me like it would give Lightroom a good run for the money. With my Canon, I pretty much use the DPP software for batch conversions of the raw files. I'm assuming I can do the same with RT. But since it does so much more, I think I'll hold off on doing any batch conversions just yet and instead try putting it through its paces, one file at a time.

    Amamba, it's coming back to me now. Years ago, I tried a version of Capture One, and to be honest, I didn't care for it. But that was like five years ago or so, so things could have changed a lot. I'm gonna go ahead and d/l a copy anyway. Who knows, maybe my attitude will be totally different now.
  10. cooltouch

    cooltouch TalkEmount Rookie

    Dec 17, 2014
    Ok, first of all, José, I didn't follow your second sentence at all. I don't know from a CC DNG called FOC. Could you translate please?

    Ok, those of you using CS5, are you using older cameras as well? Problem I ran into with it was that it couldn't recognize my NEX-7's raw file format.

    I played around with Raw Therapee quite a bit, and had converted about a dozen files, when it crashed. And now, every time I fire it up, it crashes. So I go over to their website and follow the links for getting the program to uncover from crashes. Turns out there's a major tutorial there on how to fix the system. Geez, why don't they fix it, so I don't have to? Well, I really don't feel like having to dig all into a bunch of files and create temp directories, etc., right now, so I guess I'll load up Paint Shop Pro and convert the files over with it. I should probably give Capture One another look, while I'm at it.
  11. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    First off, if I missed saying it before- Welcome!

    Adobe has a standalone DNG converter (get it here) that you can download and use to convert RAW files to DNG, which older versions of Photoshop should be able to read. So, you should be able to use your NEX-7 files with CS5 if you convert them to DNG format first.

    hth ;) 
  12. José De Bardi

    José De Bardi Assistant in Virtue Subscribing Member

    Aug 31, 2013
    Dorset, UK
    Free Of Charge :) 

    I meant Adobes latest 'Creative Cloud' DNG converter. As bimjo is referring to anyway.
  13. cooltouch

    cooltouch TalkEmount Rookie

    Dec 17, 2014
    OK, thanks guys. I'll d/l that Adobe tool. It's been a while, but I recall working on some of my Canon's raw files with CS5, and I liked the control it afforded me. In some ways it was better than Canon's DPP, which is a decent product.

    Geez, Adobe's servers must really be overloaded. 14KB/sec d/l speed. Three hours to go. Hopefully, it speeds up.
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