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How to NOT use dcraw

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Assigned keywords: Computer, Foreign Language

There exists this one great converter for camera RAW images called dcraw. It is a tiny little command line program, which does a really great job of converting a multitude of RAW images to something fit for further processing. So it is of little wonder that there is a growing list of software incorporating dcraw to do the conversion job, like the HDRI programs I know. In theory, this speeds the workflow as they can directly process RAW images, so I don't have to mess with my camera's software.

Now the problem is that Olympus E-400 RAWs have a certain, however simple caveat, that is using the -f option when using dcraw. Otherwise, really bothersome "meshes" will appear on the final image. The next problem was that I had an opportunity to shoot a brand new E-510. I had to download a newer version of dcraw that knew about this camera, which was not a great deal.

But when it comes to third party software, they tend to hard wire dcraw's sourcecode into their own product. Doing so, they also tend to narrow down the plethora of parameters that dcraw offers to a few most common. And if there is a new RAW that dcraw could not handle at the moment the software was issued, then you have to wait until the company makes a new release. Given that especially commercial software usually has far longer release cycles than a small open source program like dcraw, this can take an indefinite amount of time.

I downloaded a small helper program called RAWdrop to ease up the workflow a little bit, which did it just right. It came with an outdated version of dcraw which could be replaced by a newer one. That's the way to go.
Now as it is somewhat reasonable to not confront the end user with every setting dcraw offers, it would be suitable to at least allow for finetuning by the way of eg. a configuration file. So the perfect solution would be to have dcraw residing as a single file in the system directory accompanied by a camera profile file that hints third party software on how to treat certain RAWs.


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