6

I tried to get the answer on the official forum here but it was non-conclusive for me. I am trying with a more concise question here:

When I import the RAW files from my Panasonic Lumix LX100 into Capture One 8, lens corrections are automatically applied upon import. I am guessing this is the lens correction from the manufacturer and not from Capture One.

Right after import the image looks like this:

Crop

And when I disable "Hide Distored Areas" it looks like this:

Crop + Distortion

As you can see in both images, besides the distortion correction a seemingly useless crop is also applied. In both images the crop could have been less. But Capture One or Panasonic thinks that it is a good idea to degrade image resolution/quality even more by applying some additional crop.

Why is that so? Why does Capture One or Panasonic think hat this is a good idea? Wouldn't I get better image quality if I remove that crop? Wouldn't it have more image information?

  • My guess is that this is a special case for the LX100 which has a multi-aspect ratio sensor. It extends a little beyond the image circle of the lens in order for different crops to retain the same diagonal angle-of-view. – Itai Oct 4 '15 at 19:42
5

More image information? Yes. Better image quality? No. The parts being truncated don't scale well because of the rectangular pattern of your sensor's pixel wells versus the curved shape of the correction. So a lot of artifacts can show up in those areas.

Like many products intended for mainstream consumption (as opposed to niche products used by experts in a particular field), the designers of your Panasonic Lumix L100 have apparently decided to automatically apply the fix that works best most of the time. Giving pro level options to consumer level products almost inevitably leads to criticism from buyers/users who don't have the skill and knowledge to properly use the tool in their hands when given advanced options. Instead of recognizing their own limitations are to blame, they loudly criticize the product for being defective.

  • How much influence do you think the designers of the camera have over Capture One's behavior here? – mattdm Oct 4 '15 at 19:48
  • 2
    Whoever wrote the lens profile is who decided the behavior. – Michael C Oct 4 '15 at 20:11
  • So, putting that comment together with your answer, you believe that in this case it is the Panasonic designers? – mattdm Oct 4 '15 at 20:25
  • If there is an existing lens profile created by Panasonic, either for in-camera distortion correction or provided by Panasonic for producers of editing applications, then it is the likely source for the profile used by Capture One. – Michael C Oct 4 '15 at 22:06
  • I marked this as answer because of these sentences: "The parts being truncated don't scale well because of the rectangular pattern of your sensor's pixel wells versus the curved shape of the correction. So a lot of artifacts can show up in those areas." I was not aware of the fact that this can happen. The lens correction algorithm probably tries to makes bet that is fairly safe. This means for me, I should never rely on that crop and inspect and decide for each image myself. – bitbonk Oct 5 '15 at 8:24
7

The answer is probably more profane than you think: Instead of developing a real sophisticated algorithm to get the best resolution out of the source image, the software developers went the "safe" way: add enough crop that will always and under all circumstances deliver an image that is "properly cropped" (whatever that means).

I'm saying this as a professional programmer. You would not believe how such stupidities usually come together in software development.

  • 2
    I know that feeling, being a programmer myself. That's why I usually don't do "Auto" or let it happen if I can help it. – unsignedzero Oct 5 '15 at 4:52

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