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Author Topic: Digital Image too dark on CRT display.  (Read 1748 times)
Lou
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« on: June 23, 2009, 03:07:17 AM »
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Hello all. I have just bought my first digital SLR, a Sony A900. Prior to this I was shooting 6x9, 6x12 and 6x17 film which I would scan via a calibrated Minolta Multi-Pro scanner, into Photoshop CS2 and then print via a HP Designjet 130.
 I use a CRT monitor that has been calibrated and the images that I print (via scanned film) are very close to what is on the screen.

But what I am now finding when I load images from my digital camera into my PC, they are way too dark. On the camera's LCD they look fine, but once loaded into the PC, they are too dark requiring quite a deal of correction via RAW conversion. Once this correction is done, they print out fine, but hopefully someone can explain why they initially appear so dark, especially since when I was scanning film, I did not have this problem.

Thanks
Lou
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Czornyj
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« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2009, 04:04:18 AM »
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Quote from: Lou
On the camera's LCD they look fine, but once loaded into the PC, they are too dark requiring quite a deal of correction via RAW conversion.

The problem is the LCD of the digital camera - it's poor quality display, and it lies like a rug.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2009, 04:05:16 AM by Czornyj » Logged

Mark D Segal
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« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2009, 06:31:26 AM »
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No, that is most likely NOT the problem. The camera's LCD is showing a low resolution JPEG protrayal of the raw image data according to how the camera is programmed to process raw data into JPEG format, which bakes-in a lot of corrections under the hood. The result may well be completely different from the raw image data. When you download the raw image to Camera Raw or Lightroom, the appearance of the image on your display is directly affected by the default settings you have either made or not made for those programs. To start the process from scratch, leave "White Balance" to "As Shot" and set everything else to "0" and the Tone Curves at Linear (i.e. straight-lines sloped 45 degress from the lower left corner to the upper right corner). Now, the first thing you should do is look at the histogram of the image in Camera Raw or Lightroom. If you see a lot of empty space at the right-hand end of the histogram (no data) and much of it bunched-up toward the lower half to left-end of the histogram, this means that you are under-exposing the images and that is why they look dark. This is a very common occurrence for people getting newly accustomed to digital imaging. You may read further about "ETTR" (Expose to the Right) in articles Michael has prepared on this website.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
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