As I import my C3 .RAW files (happens in Canon .RAW2 and also happens in Fuji .RAF raw files) into Capture One, there's an automatic color / curve application to the file itself which can't seem to be removed once applied, unless deleted and re-imported (or opened in another application). Any help in stopping this as I want the pure RAW file if possible while still using Capture One Pro (latest build).

Link to example here; https://www.dropbox.com/s/vgglnplyvef3kyj/CaptureOneDarker.mov?dl=0

  • \$\begingroup\$ Only the camera manufacturer's own app (Digital Photo Professional, for Canon) knows how to process the RAW file exactly as indicated by the proprietary EXIF data that hold the camera settings. \$\endgroup\$
    – xenoid
    Commented Feb 22, 2021 at 8:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ In addition to what Michael C has said, RawTherapee (open source) claims to have an option where the software attempts to automatically adjust the initial settings for the processing of the RAW file such that the RAW file appears as close as possible to the embedded JPEG file. The assumption with this setting is that you are starting off with what the camera "thought" was best. Note, this is just one option for initial processing, and you can always change it after the RAW file is loaded and first viewed. I have not tried this feature yet. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 10, 2023 at 4:57

1 Answer 1


There's no such thing as a "pure RAW file" that you can see on your computer's screen as a viewable image. Ditto for your camera's rear LCD screen. What you see on the camera's screen is a JPEG preview generated using the in-camera settings at the time the image was taken. What you see on your computer screen is one of several possibilities, but in all cases the raw data has to be processed significantly to create a viewable image.

Raw image files contain enough data to create a near infinite number of interpretations of that data that will fit in an 8-bit jpeg file.¹ Anytime you open a raw file and look at it on your screen, you are not viewing "THE raw file." You are viewing one among countless possible interpretations of the data in the raw file. The raw data itself contains a single (monochrome) brightness value measure by each pixel well. With Bayer masked camera sensors (the vast majority of color digital cameras use Bayer filters) each pixel well has a color filter in front of it that is either red, green, or blue.² For a more complete discussion of how we get color information out of the single brightness values measured at each pixel well, please see RAW files store 3 colors per pixel, or only one?

How the image you see on your monitor when you open a raw file will look is determined by how the application you used to open the file chose to interpret the raw data in the file to produce a viewable image. Each application has its own set of default parameters that determine how the raw data is processed. One of the most significant parameters is how the white balance that is used to convert the raw data is selected. Most applications have many different sets of parameters that can be selected by the user, who is then free to alter individual settings within the set of instructions used to initially interpret the data in the raw file.

What you are initially seeing is the JPEG preview image that is attached to the raw file. Once Capture One Pro has time to apply it's own instructions to the data in the raw file, it changes both the thumbnail and the preview window to show the result of processing the raw image data with the instruction set which you've told it to use to open your images. This display of the preview JPEG until the raw data can be processed is common in many raw processing applications.

The reason your raw images look different when you open them with Capture One Pro is that whatever default parameters are being used by Capture One Pro differ from your in-camera settings at the time you shoot the images. You should be able to modify the default parameters to more closely resemble the way your camera is interpreting the information in the raw files.

¹ Sure, you could take a picture that contains a single pure color within the entire field of view. but most photos contain a wide variation of hues, tints, and brightness levels.

² Except the "red" filter is really more of a yellow-orange color, the "green" filter is more a yellowish-green color, and the "blue" filter is a violet-tinted blue color. In other words, the colors of the filters in a Bayer mask do not correspond to the three colors our RGB monitors emit and blend to reproduce the response in our retinas that many other colors do. In fact, the colors of the filters in a Bayer mask are much closer to the three colors that each of the three types of cones in our retinas are most sensitive to than they are to the three "primary" colors we use for our RGB color reproduction systems.

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    \$\begingroup\$ There is definitely no shortage of incredibly good technical writers in this forum. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 10, 2023 at 4:51

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