GRD2 JPEG NR and color bleeding

Discussion about Ricoh GR Digital II

GRD2 JPEG NR and color bleeding

Postby odklizec » Thu Dec 13, 2007 2:24 pm

Unfortunately, the GRD2 JPEG NR seems to be a serious problem. Yes, it affects only the people who uses JPEG. RAW is just RAW without any (known) prostprocessing. But because the Continuous and Bracketing modes are not available in RAW, some of us photographing in RAW are from time to time forced to use JPEG. And here is the problem. Look at these crops:
colorbleeding.png
colorbleeding.png (537.75 KiB) Viewed 6795 times


As you can see (in the first row), we are now suffering a serious color bleeding, so familiar from the Panasonic cameras. See for example this older (but still valid) GX100/LX2 comparison, made by Bjorn Utpott:
Image
Yes, the GX100 is noisy, but hey! There is not even a single trace of color bleeding and any other strange NR artifacts even at ISO400! Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about GRD2 JPEG files, and what's worse, even at ISO100! One would expect white letters from RAW to be white also in JPEG. Unfortunately, it's not the case of GRD2 JPEG. And It's definitely not a problem of red/white color combination. I can see the same problem also with other colors and on many other JPEG shots. See for example this GX100/GRD2 JPEG comparison:
download/file.php?id=706

And this is, I believe, a serious problem! I would not expect this performance from a high class camera! Not to mention, the problem is not present in GX100! Simply, the new GRD2 "smooth engine" is just the same evil as the "famous" Panasonic's "Venus III" engine. But while the Panasonic is known for playing a dead horse and ignoring their customers, I really hope Ricoh will listen the voice of customers and allow us to turn the NR completely OFF. Just one little additional switch and we all would be happy again.

The second row in above example shows another weird JPEG behavior, which I'm not quite sure it's NR related. There seems to be lost or significantly reduced some colors. It may be caused by a NR or JPEG compression. But my personal tip is that it's caused by a chromatic aberration removal procedure, which is apparently done over the JPEG files. And I have to say, it's quite effective on some kind of chromatic aberration colors! Unfortunately, in many cases it appears to be too effective and removes also "correct" colors.
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Re: GRD2 JPEG NR and color bleeding

Postby pmun » Thu Dec 13, 2007 8:37 pm

Thanks Pavel for all of your hard work in reviewing this camera. I agree it is important that Ricoh sort this problem out. But do you think the problem is 'serious' considering you have to enlarge so many times to see it? I wonder how many people enlarge to this extent. Or do you think it is still apparent at less magnification such A3+?
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Re: GRD2 JPEG NR and color bleeding

Postby odklizec » Thu Dec 13, 2007 9:57 pm

Hi Pmun. Sure, you are right that not many people are printing large prints. But what if one want to crop the picture? Anyway, I think the color bleeding is definitely bad behavior, especially in camera of GRD class. And it's just another proof of too strong NR in GRD2. If the DPreview complained about to strong NR in GX100, what will they say about GRD2?

Fortunately, this color bleeding problem and NR as such can be avoided by shooting in RAW. But it's only a workaround, which is not usable in continuous and bracketing mode. And there is still a large group of people who don't like using RAW and who were pretty happy with GRD JPEG look. And these guys are not very happy about the "cleaner" GRD2 JPEG look. I'm reporting both problems to Ricoh and I really hope they will act ;)
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Re: GRD2 JPEG NR and color bleeding

Postby buzzard » Fri Dec 14, 2007 5:06 am

how far in are you zooming to see these issues?
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Re: GRD2 JPEG NR and color bleeding

Postby odklizec » Fri Dec 14, 2007 3:23 pm

I see this issue even at 25%-30% scale because it's pretty evident on red/white color combination. Sure, it's not that visible on smaller zoom. But the problem visibility is only a part of this issue. Too high JPEG NR means problems with postprocessing and the NR artifacts will become more evident with any additional editing. The images without in-camera NR are easier to edit.
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Re: GRD2 JPEG NR and color bleeding

Postby buzzard » Fri Dec 14, 2007 5:19 pm

Switching the NR off would be a great upgrade! I think it should be available. But honestly, with a fast card this camera writes so fast RAW. IMO pixel peeping is not worth it on a jpeg... bleeding/loss of colors OR noisy... pick your poison (or don't since we can't switch it off).
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Re: GRD2 JPEG NR and color bleeding

Postby odklizec » Fri Dec 14, 2007 5:29 pm

Yes, complete "NR OFF" switch in JPEG would be just great! The problem is, that we are all from time to time forced to use JPEG. While we cannot use RAW in continuous and bracketing modes, we have no other option than to use JPEG. Also, there are is still large group of GRD users, who are perfectly happy with GRD JPEG output, mainly because of characteristic and almost unprocessed noisy look. And these users are hesitant to upgrade to GRDII because of somewhat "broken" GRD look.
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Re: GRD2 JPEG NR and color bleeding

Postby buzzard » Fri Dec 14, 2007 5:41 pm

odklizec wrote:Yes, complete "NR OFF" switch in JPEG would be just great! The problem is, that we are all from time to time forced to use JPEG. While we cannot use RAW in continuous and bracketing modes, we have no other option than to use JPEG. Also, there are is still large group of GRD users, who are perfectly happy with GRD JPEG output, mainly because of characteristic and almost unprocessed noisy look. And these users are hesitant to upgrade to GRDII because of somewhat "broken" GRD look.


Who do we contact at Ricoh to ask for this in the next upgrade? Can this be accomplished by a firmware upgrade at all? :?
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Re: GRD2 JPEG NR and color bleeding

Postby odklizec » Fri Dec 14, 2007 5:56 pm

I'm contacting Ricoh via my Ricoh Europe contact. But you can send them a note via their web form. see this post:
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=254&p=925&hilit=form#p925

The NR is just the additional SW process and there already is an attempt to do less aggressive NR (using NR OFF). So I don't see any reason why it should not be doable via FW upgrade? They just have to add an option to turn the NR procedure OFF. It might even a bit improve the processing speed! The only possible problem I see in the increased amount of data to save. Noisy images are larger, because of more image data to save. But I don't see it as a problem, because even with added noise, it should not make the file larger (not even close) than RAW, because it's still compressed by JPEG algorithm. So let's say it would increase the size of JPEG for about 0.5-1MB?
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Re: GRD2 JPEG NR and color bleeding

Postby buzzard » Fri Dec 14, 2007 8:37 pm

I contacted them, lets see if I get a response.
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