For use with monochromatic cameras, the RAW file should not go through Demosaicing, and it would be useful to have an option to turn off Demosaicing. Currently, I use an application called Monochrome2DNG that produces a DNG file. But then, the AI products do not open the mono DNG file. It would be useful to just open a RAW file without demosaicing and skip the DNG file altogether. And to then output a TIFF file as a mono file.
I’ve been reading about the Leica Q2 Monochrom dedicated camera. This is a dedicated Black & White camera with a 47.3 megapixel full frame monochrome sensor that has no CFA. It’s ex camera RAW format is DNG
I was interested to see what software was recommended to handle the 14 bit RAW files it produces. It seems Leica supply a common app called Leica Fotos to connect both that camera and other Leica color models to a smartphone or iPad, and it integrates with Lightroom.
I also downloaded a “ex-camera” DNG RAW sample image from the Q2 Monichrom. Though probably not officially supported in either, it opens nicely in both Affinity Photo’s Develop persona, and in ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate 2021’s Develop mode. There is no Lens correction information in either of those apps for the Q2 Monochrom and Summilux 1:1.7/28 ASPH lens combination, so any lens correction at the moment would need to be applied using the manual adjustments, but the image in question visually didn’t appear to need geometric correction.
As the on screen images in the Develop modes in both these apps look very close to the on line example, perhaps the normal demosaicing process either doesn’t take place if there is no CFA data, or it has little or no visible adverse effect.
Unfortunately none of the Topaz apps Studio 1, Studio 2, Denoise AI or Sharpen AI can open the DNG file.
Unfortunately at AUD $8990 it’s out of my league.
I decided to go the “Poor Mans” route to a mono camera, and so far, just love it. I had a Sony A6300 that wasn’t being used much since I had a couple other Sony cameras - A6500 and A7iii. So I decided to have Monochromeimaging.com do the conversion and to remove the CFA. The conversion turned out perfect and I now have a mono camera and the results are just incredible.
With a converted camera, it makes no sense to capture JPEGs since the camera doesn’t really know that its a mono camera and there would be demosaicing done in camera to produce the JPEG defeating the original intent of the camera. The Leica doesn’t have this limitation, but for the savings, I decided it was a don’t care.
I do shoot in RAW and the RAW files contain all the separate pixel information. But I have to preprocess the RAW file to get a mono file that has not been subjected to demosaicing. For this, I use an application called Monochrome2DNG which produces a monochrome DNG file. And this file can be loaded into Lightroom and Photoshop and tweaked as desired.
For lens correction, the only option I have found is PTLens that can be invoked manually at any point I want.
I like DxO Photolab a lot, but it is not much of an option for the mono DNG files since Prime Noise Removal and Deep Prime only work off the RAW file and if I use it on the original RAW file, then demosaicing is done, and detail is degraded.
Topaz doesn’t work on the mono DNG files which means that the file has to be first loaded into something else such as Lightroom or Photoshop and converted to RGB and then later back to mono.
But the results are incredible. So much better than just converting a color image to B&W. The grey tones are so much better.