Luminous Landscape Forum

Raw & Post Processing, Printing => Other Raw Converters => Topic started by: beneix on September 07, 2012, 12:16:19 pm

Title: Just launched: Photo Ninja
Post by: beneix on September 07, 2012, 12:16:19 pm
Just a heads-up that the folks at Picturecode (http://www.picturecode.com/index.php) have followed up on their Noise Ninja standalone/plugin with a full RAW converter, Photo Ninja.  Apparently a plugin for use with Photoshop is in the works.

I will download the trial as soon as I have some spare time to play around.  Meanwhile, if anyone else has some feedback please post it here.  There's some gushing praise from a couple of beta testers on a number of forums, especially with Nikon gear. I'd like to see more use cases.
Title: Re: Just launched: Photo Ninja
Post by: Tejpor on September 07, 2012, 12:44:50 pm
Sadly, the version available for download (1.0?) crashes frequently on a 64-bit Win7 platform. The scrolling produces odd artifacts, like the screen does not update.  This version does not appear to be useful for me, at least.

Otherwise there are a few interesting options worth to explore, like the manual and zoned CA removal tool.
Title: Re: Just launched: Photo Ninja
Post by: stormyboy on September 07, 2012, 02:12:59 pm
I tried it also.  I can't find an easy before/after toggle for the image being corrected.  Also, the lens corrections are non-automatic.  Otherwise, it worked ok on my Win 7, x64 system.
Title: Re: Just launched: Photo Ninja
Post by: Jeff Kott on September 07, 2012, 05:29:42 pm
I tried it also.  I can't find an easy before/after toggle for the image being corrected.  Also, the lens corrections are non-automatic.  Otherwise, it worked ok on my Win 7, x64 system.

Right click on the thumbnail in the browser section and then select the "Show camera preview" option. This brings up a pop up view of the file with no adjustments having been made. Click on the preview and it disappears.
Title: Re: Just launched: Photo Ninja
Post by: Jeff Kott on September 07, 2012, 05:34:06 pm
Note, I've tried PN with my RX100 files and distortion corrections have to be done manually. I wouldn't call this "support" for RX 100 raw files.

The distortion correction tool is easy to use and you can save distortion correction recipes, so if I find I get better results than with C1 (after Phase One provides support), I will shoot a grid at different focal length and aperture combos and make a bunch of distortion correction recipes for my RX 100.

Photo Ninja color, detail and noise handling are outstanding!
Title: Re: Just launched: Photo Ninja
Post by: Keith Reeder on September 07, 2012, 06:13:31 pm
Seems robust on my Win 7/64 bit box, converting Canon 7D files.

I like the lightweight footprint; the highlight recovery is excellent, and obviously the NR is pretty effective. It's fast, too.

A bit strange that - as far as I can see - it's only possible to resize a converted file to one of the preset sizes in the relevant drop-down - no option to type in a required size.

Some highlights go a bit pink, I notice - subtle adjustments are the order of the day.

All in all though, I'm liking it so far. Thanks for the heads-up, Beneix.

Added: The "Colour Recovery" tool does a pretty good job of correcting false-colour highlights.

I can't find a way  to auto-increment the names of saved files: I'm prompted to overwrite a previous file, but the only options are yes/no - no auto-rename option, which is a bit silly. I'm sure the option will be in there somewhere, but I haven't found it yet.  

I really like the way Photo Ninja demosaics files: I don't know if it's a unique algorithm or (given that DCRaw is given a nod in the credits) something like HPHD (although given how well it also brings out fine detail, AMaZE came to mind too), but it's good, renders cleanly, and Luma noise is treated very nicely, with a smooth, unobtrusive rendering that responds well to the NR and sharpening.

That said, surprisingly it's not that good with high ISO files - the NR is far too destructive of detail, regardless of how I drive the NR dialogue.

Still a bit miffed that I can't specify my preferred image dimensions in the "Render" dialogue though, and really pissed off about the introductory pricing structure: I don't see why, having had NN since 2009, I should only get a 25% discount, whereas if I'd bought it a couple of months ago I'd get a 50% discount - what about showing some appreciation for customer loyalty?

Naaah, I'm sticking to Lightroom and Capture One.
Title: Re: Just launched: Photo Ninja
Post by: Jeff Kott on September 08, 2012, 05:04:16 pm
Keith, what do you mean by "high iso"? 3200 and above. 1600 with my NEX 7 looks pretty good.

i also noticed from your website that you're a proponent of Raw Therapee. How do you think Photo Ninja and Capture One compare to Raw Therapee?
Title: Re: Just launched: Photo Ninja
Post by: Keith Reeder on September 08, 2012, 06:26:58 pm
Yep, 3200 ISO and upwards (didn't try with 1600 ISO files, but I don't think of 1600 as high ISO for the 7D).

As to Raw Therapee, I'm actually pretty much done with that converter (it went from being a lean and effective converter to something slow, bloated and unstable - going open source, it turned into a developer's testbed/playground), and so I much prefer Photo Ninja - the high ISO thing isn't a barrier (I've got Lr for high ISO), and everything else about it (apart from the niggles above) is very good, especially its highlight handling (although having just done some side-by-side testing of a couple of very challenging files in Lr and Photo Ninja, Lr's actually a lot better) .

Capture One has something about its colours that I haven't been able to recreate in other converters, which is why I come back to it: Photo Ninja is better in a lot of ways (probably most ways that matter to me, actually - Cap One's highlight treatment is pretty lacklustre, and its demosaicing algorithm tends to be noisy and prone to generating a chequerboard pattern), but those colours: and (I know people say this about Photo Ninja too, but I see it a lot in Cap One conversions) there's a depth, a 3-D quality to some Cap One conversions that I haven't seen in conversions from other software.

I do like Photo Ninja, and although I've had a bit of a strop above about the pricing I probably will end up buying it, because I have a strong preference for converters that are just converters - I'd like Lr a lot more if it wasn't also a DAM solution - and Photo Ninja has a lot to recommend it.

  
Title: Re: Just launched: Photo Ninja
Post by: Jeff Kott on September 08, 2012, 08:26:19 pm
Keith, thanks for your insights!
Title: Re: Just launched: Photo Ninja
Post by: Keith Reeder on September 09, 2012, 04:50:21 am
Just as a follow-up on the high ISO point: as I say, I don't consider 1600 ISO to be "high" on the 7D, but you're right Jeff - Photo Ninja does a nice job on 1600 ISO 7D files. I'll have another look at the higher ISOs - maybe profile them myself - and see if I can improve on my earlier attempts.
Title: Re: Just launched: Photo Ninja
Post by: Keith Reeder on September 09, 2012, 07:34:38 am
Another plus point for Photo Ninja...

My workflow is heavily dependent on selective sharpening (on a duplicate layer in Photoshop, erased from where it's not needed before flattening the layers - I apply additional NR the same way when it's needed): I've noticed that Photo Ninja conversions at "normal" ISOs (say 400) are so clean that I can apply pretty high levels of sharpening globally without the background showing any evidence of whole-image sharpening.

That's potentially a very useful benefit - for me, anyway. I think this is down to the way that Photo Ninja's demosaicing algorithm renders at the pixel level - at 100% view, the grain is very uniform and smooth (unlike say, Capture One's "cross-hatch" rendering) and the lack of "edges" to the grain (for want of a better way to put it) means that there's not much for sharpening to grab hold of in smooth background areas, but the detail in the image still responds very well to sharpening.

I've also had another look at some 3200 ISO files, and yeah, with a bit of additional selective sharpening tweaking in CS5 (which, to be fair, is where they'd end up regardless of converter) they're not bad at all, without the need for additional PP NR - although I think that it's generally reasonable to be thinking of some Topaz Denoise on converted 3200+ ISO files.

I'm still not entirely certain I've reached the point of it being the next "killer app" for me, but I'm getting there: and the idea of it eventually being usable as a Photoshop plug-in suggests lots of advantages. I've never really been able to get away with ACR, for some reason - I know that in terms of results it's the same as Lr, but I just don't enjoy using it. Photo Ninja as a functional alternative is an appealing prospect.  

Added: Just a heads-up for Canon users - the Picturecode/Photo Ninja website makes it clear enough that Photo Ninja does not support the sRaw format but it turns out that it doesn't support mRaw either.

I don't like that it takes no less than four mouse-clicks to close the program once you've rendered a few files, and there's an annoying bug in the render/naming dialogue whereby it randomly forgets to apply the naming convention you've chosen (based on user-selected "tokens") and instead retains the name of the previous rendered file, which means either that a previously rendered file is overwritten (no auto-increment of file names, remember) or nothing gets saved until you reapply the naming convention you've decided on.

I also don't know why it doesn't retain slider positions from one rendered file to the next - that's irksome - and even with "colour correction" selected, I'm still seeing false colours in some recovered highlights (not bad - and easily fixed in Photoshop - but it's there).

I'm starting to think that this could've done with some more - and more thorough - beta-testing (which is ironic, given that one of its beta-testers was Über Nit-picker Rob Galbraith!): aside from the bugs and niggles I've mentioned, there's too much repetitive and unnecessary button-clicking...

 ???

No batch mode, either.
Title: Re: Just launched: Photo Ninja
Post by: jrp on September 12, 2012, 02:57:47 pm
$129 for a  time-limited license seems a little rich for a new application.
Title: Re: Just launched: Photo Ninja
Post by: Keith Reeder on September 12, 2012, 04:07:38 pm
I agree - especially for an application that's rather buggy and pretty feature-poor...
Title: Re: Just launched: Photo Ninja
Post by: Gothmoth on October 03, 2012, 06:49:40 pm
$129 for a  time-limited license seems a little rich for a new application.

afaik it is not time limited. but you get updates for only one year.

if you want updates after this year you have to pay again an update fee for another year.

but if you donīt want updates you can still use the software.
adobe is not so much different with forcing us to new CS versions with itīs ACR updates.


other then that im impressed by the color, noise and detail handling.
i would say it beats LR in all these aspects.

colors who are not correct in LR (no matter what camera profile i choose) are rendered nearly perfect out of the box with Photo Ninja.
i have tested a few of my tricky images and i was suprised how good Photo Ninja renders them without any tweaking.

from foliage to metallic paint the colors look more natural and closer to their real appearance.
sure i can tweak colors to my liking in LR.. but itīs time consuming.
and i have the impression that even with a lot of tweaking Photo Ninja will have an edge.
maybe because the photo ninja demosaicing renders color graduation different?

i notice that where foliage in LR shows just one green, photo ninja shows more color variance and therefore detail.

sorry, i donīt know how to say it better.. im from germany and my english is not that good.

i also like that the influence on shadows and highlights sliders is more limited then in LR.
when i push the shadows in photo ninja the middle tonal values are less affected then in LR.
same goes for the highlights.
 
photo ninja sure has some workflow issues. for example that you have to press "apply" all the time is annoying.
but they are easier to fix then a bad RAW engine.

not that LR has a bad raw engine. :)

im curious to hear what you "fineart pixelpeepers" have to say about this RAW engine.
in the end image quality is more important then some workflow issues... not?

and itīs v1.02... there is a lot of potential.
the foundation is there.. an excellent demosaicing engine.

now it needs some polishing on the user interface, workflow and it needs good batch processing.

since LR i was not so exited about a new RAW converter.... that says a lot.
 

ps:

in this thread in the first post is a picture that shows what i mean:

http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1075979?tstart=0
Title: Re: Just launched: Photo Ninja
Post by: Keith Reeder on October 05, 2012, 06:23:05 am
other then that im impressed by the color, noise and detail handling.
i would say it beats LR in all these aspects.

That was my initial impression too - but LR's flexible enough, colour-wise, that any differences there can be corrected easily enough; I've already expressed my view that PN is behind Lr in noise handling terms (and I'm even more of that view since I initially wrote about it); and Lr can can easily match PN's detail rendering - and then some - by invoking deconvolution sharpening, by pushing the "Detail" slider to the right.

Suffice to say, having heavily tested PN since its release, I'm not buying it. Too expensive for what it is; too buggy; too quirky, workflow-wise; delivering no significant IQ benefits; and spoiled by frequent false-colour artifacts in highlight recovery.

I'm not a "fineart pixelpeeper" - I'm a bird photographer - but I'm demanding enough to know that PN, on balance, is a disappointment to me, despite initial good impressions.

Even though I like converters that are just converters, I can see no argument for this over Lr, especially given all the local adjustment benefits that Lr provides and the relatively slick workflow and UI decisions it embodies...
Title: Re: Just launched: Photo Ninja
Post by: Gothmoth on October 05, 2012, 06:32:34 am
Quote
but LR's flexible enough, colour-wise, that any differences there can be corrected easily enough

yes.. but who wants to spend more time fixing things then needed?

photo ninja does it without much tweaking or offers a much better starting point.


Quote
and Lr can can easily match PN's detail rendering - and then some

well i doubt that.

i have tried anything in LR and when the detail is not there after the demosaicing then you can not do much in LR to get that detail.
sure you can push clarity and sharpen the file and get the impression of more details.
but still PN squeezes more details out of my canon RAW files.
 
i have a series of castle pictures made last year. PN manages to get more details out of the stone structures.
without me doing anything. it renders small color varieties much better then LR as it seems.
i see mall vains in the stone structure that are barely visible with LR.

another example are small trees and foliage in the background of images.
with LR it often looks like brown mush (trees) or green mush (foliage)... with PN it looks much more realistic.
 
and photo ninja does that by default... without much tweaking.

and of course i can use all kind of sharpening tricks on photo ninja files too.
my typical workflow includes photoshop and local sharpening and local noise reduction.
the sharpening and noise reduction in the raw converter are only inital steps i build on.

Quote
spoiled by frequent false-colour artifacts in highlight recovery.

read the turorials!
that is a feature.
it is usefull for example to recover highlights on skin.
as it tries to figure out the skintones.

if you want neutral highlights you have to use another feature (i donīt remember the name of right now) together with the higlight recovery, to set the highlights back to neutral.


http://www.picturecode.com/tutorials/hr.php

Quote
The algorithm recovers both luminance and color using different techniques. While it depends on the nature of the overexposure, luminance recovery tends to be more reliable, and mistakes are usually less distracting. Color recovery tends to be technically more challenging, and mistakes are more obvious.

There is no particular adjustment for luminance recovery. Recovered highlights behave the same as properly exposed highlights when you are using the exposure and tone controls. Lowering the Exposure Offset or Highlights sliders will typically expose more highlights, and increasing them will clip the highlights.

For color recovery, there is a single slider in the Color Correction filter, labelled "Color Recovery":

 
When moved to the left, the slider desaturates recovered colors. This is sometimes necessary because color recovery is inherently heuristic and sometimes makes mistakes. In particular, color fringing and certain geometric configurations can confuse the algorithm and result in false colors. In these cases, reducing the Color Recovery slider to between 50 and 75 is usually adequate to reduce the false colors to where they are not unreasonably distracting.


i can only say i did not see any false colors when color recovery was used to get rid of them.



Title: Re: Just launched: Photo Ninja
Post by: Keith Reeder on October 05, 2012, 10:49:11 pm
i can only say i did not see any false colors when color recovery was used to get rid of them.

I imagine the beta testers didn't, either - but that just tells me they didn't push very hard...

(http://www.capture-the-moment.co.uk/tp/tfu29/upload/PN_false_colours_highlights.jpg)

Bigger here (http://www.capture-the-moment.co.uk/tp/tfu29/upload/PN_false_colours_highlights.jpg) - and this was a regular occurrence. Lightroom deals with this file - and the rest - easily.

Title: Re: Just launched: Photo Ninja
Post by: Keith Reeder on October 05, 2012, 10:59:10 pm
read the tutorials!
Don't push it - you're not on Canonrumors now, and you're not talking to some witless newbie here.

The tutorials don't change the fact that even with colour recovery applied (and be in no doubt that I used it - I'm well aware of the function, as you would have realised if you'd actually read what I've already written here about PN, instead of simply piling in on the arrogant assumption that you know better than everyone else), I got false colours in recovered highlights on a regular basis.

The swan above has colour recovery applied, and this is the best that PN could do on the file, and umpteen others.



Title: Re: Just launched: Photo Ninja
Post by: Gothmoth on October 06, 2012, 06:50:21 am
Don't push it - you're not on Canonrumors now, and you're not talking to some witless newbie here.

mhm i donīt know to whom im talking and if your a newbie or not... and i really donīt care to be honest.   :D
it was just a tipp. if you have read the tutorials.... fine.

but the image alone is pretty useless... give us the RAW so we can try ourself.
i mean, i can put up some bad LR images too and say that is the best possible with LR.


Quote
The tutorials don't change the fact that even with colour recovery applied (and be in no doubt that I used it - I'm well aware of the function, as you would have realised if you'd actually read what I've already written here about PN, instead of simply piling in on the arrogant assumption that you know better than everyone else), I got false colours in recovered highlights on a regular basis

well i did not see any issues.
and as you can read in the adobe forum thread some have experienced issues other have no problems.
could be possible that only some RAW formats are affected.


by the way.....you should really work on your temper.. as others have adviced you on the adobe forum already.
you sound like a very angry and unsatisfied guy... just saying.

i think my former posting was absolutely fine and in no way arrogant.
Title: Re: Just launched: Photo Ninja
Post by: kers on October 06, 2012, 07:14:27 am
Lets stay on topic...

I have used PN now for a short period and like the fact that it has a totally different approach to Lightroom4( photoshop CS6) while delivering very good results...
But it differs from photo to photo what turns out best. 
In some cases the results in PN have clearly more detail in others adobe produces better detail...i find
In some cases Adobe turns flat and PN has better 3 dimensionality.
here one example 100% crop right side 24mm 1,4G nikkor d8 Nikon d800e
Title: Re: Just launched: Photo Ninja
Post by: Bryan Conner on October 06, 2012, 12:47:29 pm
Lets stay on topic...

I have used PN now for a short period and like the fact that it has a totally different approach to Lightroom4( photoshop CS6) while delivering very good results...
But it differs from photo to photo what turns out best. 
In some cases the results in PN have clearly more detail in others adobe produces better detail...i find
In some cases Adobe turns flat and PN has better 3 dimensionality.
here one example 100% crop right side 24mm 1,4G nikkor d8 Nikon d800e

I agree.  I downloaded PhotoNinja and shot a few low iso images along with some high iso ones.  I was able to duplicate the PN results in LR4 with no problem, and with a much better user interface in LR4.  PhotoNinja does seem to do a very nice job of the initial rendering using the default settings.  But, like any raw converter, some personal adjustment is needed to reach the best image for my taste.  This was much easier for me to do in LR4.  I did not see an advantage in the noise reduction in PN over LR4. 

I can see how some people could really like PhotoNinja, but I am sticking with LR4.  It is easier to operate in my opinion.  But, as always, to each his own.  If you get better final results from PhotoNinja, then that is the best converter for you.  LR4 is the best for me.
Title: Re: Just launched: Photo Ninja
Post by: robgo2 on November 29, 2012, 02:50:48 pm
I agree.  I downloaded PhotoNinja and shot a few low iso images along with some high iso ones.  I was able to duplicate the PN results in LR4 with no problem, and with a much better user interface in LR4.  PhotoNinja does seem to do a very nice job of the initial rendering using the default settings.  But, like any raw converter, some personal adjustment is needed to reach the best image for my taste.  This was much easier for me to do in LR4.  I did not see an advantage in the noise reduction in PN over LR4. 

I can see how some people could really like PhotoNinja, but I am sticking with LR4.  It is easier to operate in my opinion.  But, as always, to each his own.  If you get better final results from PhotoNinja, then that is the best converter for you.  LR4 is the best for me.

I have started a new thread regarding Photo Ninja, but I will add a comment here that I do not think that LR4/ACR comes close to Photo Ninja in terms of IQ.  The Adobe raw convertor has always produced flat, dull images that require a great deal of adjusting to make them pop, but often the end result is even worse than the starting point.  I realize that the LR user base is huge, but that does not change the fact that it is a mediocre raw convertor.  In terms of workflow and features, LR is the clear winner, which is the real reason for its popularity.  But in terms of image quality, PN smokes it.

Rob
Title: Re: Just launched: Photo Ninja
Post by: Tim Lookingbill on November 29, 2012, 05:36:06 pm
Quote
I realize that the LR user base is huge, but that does not change the fact that it is a mediocre raw convertor.

The jury is still out on whether that's a fact.

Going by Bryan's sample comparison I'm not too thrilled with Photo Ninja's sharpening induced chroma crushing effect on color seen in the green shrubs where multiple hues of green shown in the LR version on the left get turned into one hue of green. The same effect happens applying a blur layer set to luminance blend mode in Photoshop or using a high setting on Color noise slider in LR/ACR.

However, PN's uniform sharpening across the entire image is darn near magical. Bryan's LR version shows what looks like blur spots where it appears random wind is hitting some areas over others.
Title: Re: Just launched: Photo Ninja
Post by: robgo2 on November 29, 2012, 06:10:43 pm
The jury is still out on whether that's a fact.

Going by Bryan's sample comparison I'm not too thrilled with Photo Ninja's sharpening induced chroma crushing effect on color seen in the green shrubs where multiple hues of green shown in the LR version on the left get turned into one hue of green. The same effect happens applying a blur layer set to luminance blend mode in Photoshop or using a high setting on Color noise slider in LR/ACR.

However, PN's uniform sharpening across the entire image is darn near magical. Bryan's LR version shows what looks like blur spots where it appears random wind is hitting some areas over others.

Where is Bryan's sample comparison?  I have not seen it, nor have I seen the effect you describe in my own images, although I must confess that I have not been looking for it.  I am finding that color rendering in Photo Ninja is strongly affected by the preset that is chosen.  In particular, the Scenic presets markedly enhance the separation of green and yellow colors.  If anything, they are a bit exaggerated, and I frequently have to dial down saturation and detail. 

That said, I think that we can all agree that there is no perfect piece of software.  All contain certain weaknesses.  The trick is to know what they are and then find ways to work around them or live with them.

Rob
Title: Re: Just launched: Photo Ninja
Post by: Tim Lookingbill on November 29, 2012, 07:35:03 pm
Sorry about that. I meant kers' post #19. That image sample comparison.

And a correction on the blend mode Photoshop effect I described where I meant to say blurring a Color blend mode layer instead of Luminance layer.

I saw the same effect posted on another image comparison test over at the Adobe Forums linked discussion...

http://i.imgur.com/8b72x.jpg

From here:

http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1075979?tstart=0
Title: Re: Just launched: Photo Ninja
Post by: robgo2 on November 29, 2012, 08:02:35 pm
Sorry about that. I meant kers' post #19. That image sample comparison.

And a correction on the blend mode Photoshop effect I described where I meant to say blurring a Color blend mode layer instead of Luminance layer.

I saw the same effect posted on another image comparison test over at the Adobe Forums linked discussion...

http://i.imgur.com/8b72x.jpg

From here:

http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1075979?tstart=0



I'm a bit mystified, because Kers' example in this thread and the one in the link you provided show opposite effects, i.e. the former shows slightly less green tonal/color variation with Photo Ninja, while the latter shows much more variation (and detail) with PN.  I think that it may vary from image to image and with the particular settings that are used, but overall, I find that PN more than holds its own in terms of color and tonality.  Beyond that, images just look better right out of the box and require very little adjusting.  I would prefer a bit less contrast and saturation in some of the Scenic presets, but I suppose that I can make my own to suit my taste.

Rob
Title: Re: Just launched: Photo Ninja
Post by: Tim Lookingbill on November 29, 2012, 09:36:39 pm
Quote
...Kers' example in this thread and the one in the link you provided show opposite effects...the former shows slightly less green tonal/color variation with Photo Ninja

You are misunderstanding my description of the appearance of the green shrubbery on both.

I see on both the PN samples lowered saturation of green which reduces the appearance of richness AND depth. Whenever you reduce saturation of a cluster of colors representing a 3D object with texture such as a shrub which has various hues of the same color green that gives this 3D effect, that cluster of varying color loses its variations thus its perceived depth.

This de-saturated appearance looks butt ugly on a print due to its reduced dynamic range and reflective behavior of color compared to how it looks on a transmissive light display.

See below and judge which version of the same image you'ld want to print. People who describe this "Natural" look which almost certainly appears de-saturated don't seem to share the same depth perception as mine.

View that image in a color managed browser or drap & drop and load in Photoshop. It should have an embedded sRGB profile.
Title: Re: Just launched: Photo Ninja
Post by: robgo2 on November 29, 2012, 10:12:44 pm
You are misunderstanding my description of the appearance of the green shrubbery on both.

I see on both the PN samples lowered saturation of green which reduces the appearance of richness AND depth. Whenever you reduce saturation of a cluster of colors representing a 3D object with texture such as a shrub which has various hues of the same color green that gives this 3D effect, that cluster of varying color loses its variations thus its perceived depth.

This de-saturated appearance looks butt ugly on a print due to its reduced dynamic range and reflective behavior of color compared to how it looks on a transmissive light display.

See below and judge which version of the same image you'ld want to print. People who describe this "Natural" look which almost certainly appears de-saturated don't seem to share the same depth perception as mine.

View that image in a color managed browser or drap & drop and load in Photoshop. It should have an embedded sRGB profile.

I guess that I am missing your point as it applies to the sample from the Adobe Forum, in which the PN image may be less green, but at the same time shows vastly more detail and definition.  In comparison, the Lightroom image shows featureless green blobs representing trees.  I cannot understand how that contributes to a 3D effect.  Besides, it is a simple matter to dial up saturation, while it is impossible to do the same with detail.  Color differences between raw convertors can simply be the result of different profiles.  I may be wrong, but I fail to see that PN has a deep problem in this regard.  As I have said previously, my experience so far suggests that Photo Ninja, if anything, tends towards excessive saturation requiring downward adjustment. 

Looking at images as a whole, not as clumps of pixels, I think that PN really delivers outstanding quality.  Anyone who wants to judge for himself/herself should download a free trial.

Rob
Title: Re: Just launched: Photo Ninja
Post by: Tim Lookingbill on November 30, 2012, 12:41:09 am
Quote
I may be wrong, but I fail to see that PN has a deep problem in this regard.

I didn't say PN has a deep problem in this regard.

I'm saying I don't see this more "Natural" better quality rendering from its default settings. I do see a different starting point than ACR/LR's but I haven't seen enough images to tell if it's consistent or if it will be consistent with my own images.

I'm not downing Photo Ninja. I'm being real.

I read their demosiacing methods on how they remedy lateral chromatic abberation, zipper artifacts which I do encounter using ACR on some images. Very informative and a useful improvement.

http://www.picturecode.com/showcase/demosaicing.php

http://www.picturecode.com/showcase/ca.php

I just wish someone would show a 100% crop of an image that actually possesses this "Natural" better looking image quality. Everyone that says this prefaces or back peddles saying it's subjective to where it's just getting a bit disingenuous.


 
Title: Re: Just launched: Photo Ninja
Post by: Tim Lookingbill on November 30, 2012, 01:14:48 am
If Photo Ninja can give me better Raw defaults than what I get in ACR, then I'll buy it. But I don't see anything wrong with ACR's color compared to Photo Ninja's.

First image is default 100% crop out of ACR downsized a bit, second shows typical tweaks I have to apply to bring out definition after making the image look normal without creating halos and HDR like solarization.
Title: Re: Just launched: Photo Ninja
Post by: kers on November 30, 2012, 04:18:42 am
If Photo Ninja can give me better Raw defaults than what I get in ACR, then I'll buy it. But I don't see anything wrong with ACR's color compared to Photo Ninja's.

First image is default 100% crop out of ACR downsized a bit, second shows typical tweaks I have to apply to bring out definition after making the image look normal without creating halos and HDR like solarization.

Did you try it ?
the program works without costs for two weeks to give you an idea..

What i like about it is that it gives sometimes more detail- less moire and seems to have a different approach to the RAW creating an alternative to Lightroom/ACR.
It seems to use all the information in the RAW to keep highlights and shadows and tries to keep a nice microcontrast in all parts.  So your example could be done well in PN is my guess
A stone wall for instance will come alive as 3D in PN because of this...
For me it goes wrong with images with special light like concerts and night photography... Were we want a different outcome than usual.
Also it has some little problems because they are at 1.03  - I think I will wait a little longer before buying it...
Title: Re: Just launched: Photo Ninja
Post by: robgo2 on November 30, 2012, 10:54:11 am
Did you try it ?
the program works without costs for two weeks to give you an idea..



I will second this suggestion.  Try it for 2 weeks and then make your own judgements on the PN's strengths and weaknesses .  Unfortunately, the free trial version will not permit processing to output, but I have heard that if you contact Picture Code, they will give you a temporary license which enables processing.

I have gone ahead with the purchase of Photo Ninja, which will replace Capture One as my main raw convertor.  I may still use RPP for selected images, but I will have to gain more experience with PN to see if it can equal RPP's quality.  If it can, then RPP will go up on the shelf as well, even though I really love it and will miss it.

Rob
Title: Re: Just launched: Photo Ninja
Post by: StephaneB on August 21, 2013, 05:00:12 pm
In some cases the results in PN have clearly more detail in others adobe produces better detail...i find
In some cases Adobe turns flat and PN has better 3 dimensionality.
here one example 100% crop right side 24mm 1,4G nikkor d8 Nikon d800e

There is no more detail. There is more sharpening. Very good sharpening, yes, but that is totally doable in LightRoom.
Title: Re: Just launched: Photo Ninja
Post by: robgo2 on August 27, 2013, 12:37:47 am
There is no more detail. There is more sharpening. Very good sharpening, yes, but that is totally doable in LightRoom.

I have run more head to head comparisons of Photo Ninja and ACR than I can count, and in my hands, ACR cannot equal the output from PN no matter how much I manipulate sharpening.  PN does show more detail, and it doesn't take much effort to bring it out, contrast is far better, and colors are superior.  And yes, the sharpening (deconvolution) is very good, the best that I have seen in any raw convertor.  Also the recently released PN v1.1 has the brand new Noise Ninja 4 that is a huge leap beyond NN 3 and ACR.  Not even a contest.

I'm surprised that Photo Ninja doesn't get much love here at LuLa, but this is very much an Adobe-friendly site.  I use Adobe products (CS6) all the time, but ACR is no longer the class leader in raw conversions, a distinction it lost quite some time ago.

Rob
Title: Re: Just launched: Photo Ninja
Post by: kencameron on August 27, 2013, 03:19:03 am
...and in my hands, ACR cannot equal the output from PN...

Are you confident that you are highly, and equally, skilled in both programs? I am always a bit sceptical about comparisons like this, because I can't be certain that the difference is in the programs and not in the relative expertise of the person using them.

That said, I certainly intend to give Noise Ninja a try.
Title: Re: Just launched: Photo Ninja
Post by: robgo2 on September 01, 2013, 01:39:37 am
Are you confident that you are highly, and equally, skilled in both programs? I am always a bit sceptical about comparisons like this, because I can't be certain that the difference is in the programs and not in the relative expertise of the person using them.

That said, I certainly intend to give Noise Ninja a try.

In answer to your question, yes, I am quite confident in my skills in both programs.  I first used ACR in Lightroom 1, and I have kept up with every update through CS6, constantly comparing it to other raw convertors.  To be perfectly honest, I have never been satisfied with the output from ACR regardless of how much effort I put into it, which is the reason for my ongoing quest for an alternative.  Over the years, I have used DxO, Capture One and RPP, but Photo Ninja is the ONE.  If you do try it, give yourself about one week to learn the presets and adjustment modules.  Do head to head comparisons with ACR, and have fun.

BTW, the majority of PN users are converts from ACR/LR.

Rob
Title: Re: Just launched: Photo Ninja
Post by: barryfitzgerald on October 03, 2013, 03:40:55 pm
I was looking at this myself PN looks interesting. But does it support lossy DNG if not then that's out the window then
Title: Re: Just launched: Photo Ninja
Post by: robgo2 on October 19, 2013, 11:56:24 am
I was looking at this myself PN looks interesting. But does it support lossy DNG if not then that's out the window then


I'm not sure what "lossy" DNG is, but Photo Ninja can open DNG files.

Rob
Title: Re: Just launched: Photo Ninja
Post by: Bryan Conner on October 20, 2013, 03:25:42 am
I just downloaded the trial version of Photo Ninja.  It does not have the option to save a file as a lossy dng, only dng.  It also will not open a lossy dng file created in Lightroom 5.
Title: Re: Just launched: Photo Ninja
Post by: jfwfoto on October 20, 2013, 11:25:36 pm
I bought PN at launch and thought it very good but continued to use ACR mostly out of familiarity and of course it is not bad. When I processed my first Ricoh GR DNG in ACR I was disappointed in the result. There was a lot of CA and loss of detail. After a run through PN it was a whole new image. All of the IQ I had read about was there and beautiful and it took very little effort to get it there. There have been other lenses that were a CA struggle in ACR that came out good in PN with the automatic settings. I am a little disappointed that I am paying for an upgrade already but at least it is not expensive. I think they may have a stealth subscription sales model. I have to say that it is worth every cent.
Title: Re: Just launched: Photo Ninja
Post by: G* on October 25, 2013, 05:52:45 am
I played around with the trial version of Photo Ninja for some days and in general I am very happy with what I see. The results are positively different from what other raw converters could do for me until now. The highlight-color recovery, though, looks pretty underwhelming on my D800E files (compared to RPP, that is). Will I buy a licence for PN? Probably yes, soon. It will give me the feeling of supporting a sympathetic start-up business and at the same time being entitled (as a stake holder) to write them long mails with complaints give them feedback on possible improvements.  :)
Title: Re: Just launched: Photo Ninja
Post by: kers on October 25, 2013, 06:50:53 am
I bought PN at launch and thought it very good but continued to use ACR mostly out of familiarity and of course it is not bad. When I processed my first Ricoh GR DNG in ACR I was disappointed in the result. There was a lot of CA and loss of detail. After a run through PN it was a whole new image. All of the IQ I had read about was there and beautiful and it took very little effort to get it there. There have been other lenses that were a CA struggle in ACR that came out good in PN with the automatic settings. I am a little disappointed that I am paying for an upgrade already but at least it is not expensive. I think they may have a stealth subscription sales model. I have to say that it is worth every cent.
I also bought PN some time ago. I like the different approach that sometimes leads to a better developed NEF ( d800). But on the whole i must say i like ACR more ( CS6 version). Using both gives me enough choices to get a good result.
It is interesting to see that corner sharpness can be very different with the two. sometimes ACR is better and sometimes PN... the highlight recovery is a weak point in PN - I think it should stop working when there is no data instead of trying to guess what could have been there...