If the intention was to, as much as possible, shove the ADC output octets that were present in the camera right up the framebuffer and out the HDMI cable - possibly truncating LSBs, if possible discarding (or averaging) one of two green channels and simply mapping the three remaining pixels of a bayer quad to the rgb channels of a monitor pixel each (no advanced demosaicing) - ... how would one have, in general terms, to set up a camera, typical software (Rawtherapee, LR etc), and the computer?

I admit this question is half academic, but could help clarify the confusion about what is most unaltered in a digital workflow, and help with lens comparisons etc.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Sounds like you're asking how to get an image file in which every pixel is either pure red, pure green, or pure blue, depending on whether the pixel corresponds to the location of a red, green, or blue filter in the sensor array. Is that right? I don't know if you can do that using existing software, but it doesn't sound like something that very many people would want. It will look dim for one thing because even in the brightest parts of the image, no more than 2/3 of the available backlight will come through your LCD screen. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 15, 2019 at 13:46
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Unless I misunderstand you, the examples in my answer to the question linked as a duplicate are as close as you can get to this. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Jul 15, 2019 at 13:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ "shove the ADC output octets that were present in the camera right up the framebuffer and out the HDMI cable" - It would look something like this. \$\endgroup\$
    – xiota
    Jul 16, 2019 at 3:50

1 Answer 1


dcraw -h -4 will probably come closest to what you want to achieve.

-h produces a half size colour image, which is the most direct demosaicing possible much like specified in the question.

-4 requests a linear 16 bit image with no gamma correction (and presumeably no white balance?)

You can look up the other options and play with them to get other output adjustments.

You will need to shoot RAW images, obviously.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Options that seems to be missing is "just use the 8 most significant bits instead of multiplying stuff etc." :) \$\endgroup\$ Jan 19, 2020 at 13:51

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.