Demosaicing Issue in Raw Files from Sony A7R III

  • 1
  • Problem
  • Updated 1 month ago
I recently upgraded from an A7R II to a RIII. Made the change right around the time that the new Texture feature was updated and the enhance details changes went live: https://theblog.adobe.com/enhance-details/

After a trip to Scotland to test the Camera I immediately noticed that in photos of bluebells the seams were jagged and color bleed was messy. Later when photographing a local Carnival parade, I again encountered issues where on zoom image quality felt like an over-compressed JPG. When asking initially in various Sony groups (concerned it was a defective camera), most wrongly assumed it was tied to issues with the lens or general diffraction. Further experimentation confirmed it was present across focal lengths, and all three of my lenses: 70-300MM, 50mm F1.8, and 24-70 F4 as well as at high and low F stops.

It was then that one user pointed out that it was a demosaicing issue, noting it was one of the worst cases he'd seen of it/explanation here: https://rawpedia.rawtherapee.com/Demosaicing?fbclid=IwAR3K9iMVH01YkJvn-e1uKXEo39bpymtfKKLu0RNb7svKyN6sVPKUwKteGJM#Introduction and the full thread with early examples here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/sonyalphacamera/permalink/912291675797921/

I just returned from photographing another trip in Colorado and am seeing similar challenges on dune shots - example here:
adobe.ly/2YkEOe8 particularly in this area:
 https://ton.twitter.com/1.1/ton/data/dm/1152913098963083273/1152913093552484352/wjbW59Gm.jpg:large

It's worst when it comes to colors, but also seems to destroy finer details that should otherwise be crisp. 

I'd love any ideas on fixes, suggestions, ideas on what to do about it, or alternative solutions. 

Would also be very curious if any other A7R III users are finding and flagging the same issue on detailed inspection of their RAWs or not.

The Camera has the latest firmware, is less than 4 months old, and all gear is in great shape / don't recall having any such similar issues on the A7R II.


 
Photo of Alex

Alex

  • 11 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
  • frustrated

Posted 1 month ago

  • 1
Photo of Johan Elzenga

Johan Elzenga, Champion

  • 2177 Posts
  • 900 Reply Likes
What profile do you use? I have seen discussions about poor quality with the Camera Matching profiles. I have a Sony A7R III myself and I always use Adobe Landscape. Results are great.
Photo of Alex

Alex

  • 11 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Interesting. The issue im focused on is less camera matching on color side by side, and more the actual handling of it.  I did run through and switched a few of the unedited shots of the dunes from Adobe Color to Adobe Landscape and the color depth/shadow/ etc. do look much better. It might help with the zippering issue etc. slightly? Hard to say.

The different profiles are more color profiles right? Not actually the demosaicing / related core data interpretation? Or are they?
Photo of Alex

Alex

  • 11 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
@Johan - Spot check the additional examples below.
Photo of Johan Elzenga

Johan Elzenga, Champion

  • 2177 Posts
  • 900 Reply Likes
The profiles that Lightroom/ACR uses are not just color profiles. There are not icc-profiles, but profiles that do indeed get used in the demosaicing.
Photo of Alex

Alex

  • 11 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Great to know. Suppose would help explain why Landscape does indeed seem to reduce it partially. 
Photo of Alex

Alex

  • 11 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Adding additional examples:
RAW 2: https://adobe.ly/2YpEE5D
RAW 3: https://adobe.ly/2K7rOQj

Screenshot examples from the above:



Photo of Todd Shaner

Todd Shaner, Champion

  • 1492 Posts
  • 504 Reply Likes
I'm not seeing any issues in the above two ARW files at 1:1 Zoom view using the Adobe camera profiles. The Camera matching profiles look quite different, which leads me to believe they may have an issue. Can you post 1:1 screenshots with a description of what we should look for.

Sorry, I see you've already done that in your last post. All I see is some out of focus areas due to depth of field. with no demosaicing issues or artifacts.

Here's Adobe Landscape (L) and Camera Landscape (R) with 'Auto' Tone applied. All other settings are at their defaults.

1:1 Zoom View

(Edited)
Photo of Alex

Alex

  • 11 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Hi Todd, thanks for taking a look.

Interesting. I see the same issues still present in both your versions. Especially upper left region. Effectively, what should be crisp and clean lines looking almost like they're missing anti-aliasing / have pixel degradation you'd expect from excessive compression algos in a .jpg - not a uncompressed RAW.  Changing to the auto tone or landscape profile helps cover that up slightly by washing the colors, but still doesn't fix the core issues with edges and texture. Wondering if it's partially the brightness of my monitor which adds to why it's extra visibile for me, or some other factor. 

The leaf about 1/3 of the way down cutting in from outside the frame in your example has the issues pretty clearly. In contrast to the vertical leaf at the bottom of the frame which is also longer but standing more straight and doesn't have any such problems.
Photo of Todd Shaner

Todd Shaner, Champion

  • 1492 Posts
  • 504 Reply Likes
If you're talking about objects that are slightly out of  focus that's due the lens bokeh characteristics. Demosacing issues are most pronounced in fine-detail areas that are in sharp focus.  This may be the cause of what you're seeing:

https://www.digitalrev.com/article/hands-on-review-sony-fe-70-300-f-4-5-f-5-6-g-oss

"Even though the lens has a 9 aperture blades that supposedly give a smoother bokeh, the bokeh isn't impressive as with most lenses in this class. While the telephoto length does give the opportunity for images with a lot of depth of field, the bokeh seemed cluttered and dense."


It may be due to an issue with the sample lens they tested (and yours) or just a normal performance for the lens. Either way it doesn't appear too bad to me! The two ARW files without any adjustment are slightly underexposed. I had to apply .70 Exposure adjustment in LR with my 100cd/m2 calibrated monitor. What Exposure setting are you using to get normal brightness and do you calibrate your display?
EXIF examination shows the camera set to use 'Dynamic Range Optimizer, which may explain why it is underexposed. LR Doesn't read or use this in-camera setting. You're also shooting at ISO 50, which is one stop below the Base 100 ISO. The image quality will not be as good as using ISO 100. Just an FYI.

EDIT: One other setting I noticed that may be causing what you're seeing is the aperture setting, which is F16. Virtually all lenses provide optimum image quality at F5.6-8.0. At F16 diffraction causes softening of the image and may change the bokeh pattern. You also used a very low shutter speed of .6 sec., which may reveal movement of the foliage due to wind or camera stabilization as a demosaicing artifact.
Try shooting a similar subject at F8 and F16 at a higher ISO and shutter speed and then use LR Compare mode (C key) to compare the two images.  At 1:1 Zoom use the X><Y Swap button above the filmstrip while viewing one of the images. Any differences will easily visualized in the overlay.
(Edited)
Photo of Johan Elzenga

Johan Elzenga, Champion

  • 2177 Posts
  • 900 Reply Likes
I'm fairly sure that the base ISO is even 200 ISO, so I would indeed not use 50 ISO unless there is a good reason for it.
Photo of Todd Shaner

Todd Shaner, Champion

  • 1492 Posts
  • 504 Reply Likes
This would indicate the base ISO is 100 (i.e. Expandable to 50). The only reason for using it is if you need a lower shutter speed for some reason, but you will lose shadow detail.

https://www.sony.com/electronics/interchangeable-lens-cameras/ilce-7rm3#product_details_default
ISO Sensitivity (Recommended Exposure Index)Still images: ISO 100-32000 (Expandable to ISO 50 to 102400),
Photo of Alex

Alex

  • 11 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Really appreciate the time and input/discussion. 

Two additional examples here:
https://adobe.ly/2Y7MKvs
https://adobe.ly/2K93Mo3



For reference, these two are shot in entirely different conditions on a Sony 50MM F1.8 lens at F3.5.

I was initially concerned it was an issue stemming from the 70-300, but it's present on the 24-70 F4 and 50mm F1.8 (see above).  It's also present at both high and low aperture. The initial example at f16 was definitely not ideal for that reason. As a landscape focused photography, I do try and focus heavily on keeping shots inside the sweet spot.

"Demosacing issues are most pronounced in fine-detail areas that are in sharp focus."

In the images above, there's definitely bokeh present further back, as well as the range of the focal plane very visible across her torso etc - but the primary zipper issues are most visible on the gems. It seems to my eye that this is exactly what i'm seeing - issues in sharp areas where the fine detail falls apart, particularly where certain colors (blues?) are present.

Given the DR of the A7R III benchmarks right around the D850 and is superior to the 5D Mark IV and my old A7R II the difference between ISO 50 and even 200 should be effectively negligible in this case, right? Or is there a secondary element to it that I'm not understanding. I've previously seen some discussion on the A7RIII and for full tonal range if it's better to go with the 100 or 50. Seemed to constantly be either a tie, or that it was negligible. I'm definitely happy to pivot to 100 in general. Mainly my goals are max DR, best colors, and zero noise.  

My monitors aren't calibrated - which I know can definitely be a challenge from a color standpoint. But at the same time, it isn't a color issue i'm having so much as a line/seam/detail handling challenge. I do keep them at a high level of brightness, which is perhaps why it is "more" visible or extreme for me?

I haven't had an opportunity to go out and do very specific foliage tests without wind across lenses, speeds, etc. - but have seen it impacting a wide scope of images. In general, I usually edit around 10,000 images a year. So, usually, have at least an intermediate level of familiarity with when i'll be looking at Bokeh vs. motion blur vs. etc. but I suppose is always possible I'm just not adjusting to added camera dynamics.
(Edited)
Photo of Johan Elzenga

Johan Elzenga, Champion

  • 2177 Posts
  • 900 Reply Likes
The blue gems look fine to me, but if you are unhappy with the demosaicing, you could try to use 'Enhance Detail' on these images. 
Photo of Todd Shaner

Todd Shaner, Champion

  • 1492 Posts
  • 504 Reply Likes
he primary zipper issues are most visible on the gems
I'm not seeing artifacts or any other issues using Adobe Color with the LR default settings for everything else. Please paste a screenshot of your Detail panel settings in a reply here. Also try unselecting 'Use Graphics Processor' in LR Preferences. The ISO 50 vs 100 is not the cause since it would only very slightly affect the shadow detail. If that doesn't help try lowering the brightness control on your monitor and see if that's causing the issue. Like I said, on my calibrated monitor those two ARW files look very good with 0 issues.

Photo of Alex

Alex

  • 11 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
So, when I've run it now on the image - enhanced detail on the left, and original on the right - it does indeed help get the base image closer to what it "should" be. 

This would seem to support the belief it is a demosaicing issue with the basic RAW files, right? Vs chromatic abb, bokeh, etc.

Viable workaround for solving the issue in bulk, vs. having to enhance detail on every file individually? Especially as its not an issue I encountered until upgrading - so seems either to be tied to the new higher resolution camera (seems unlikely), or some quirk tied to the addition of the new texture/enhanced detail/related algos?


 

and run then side by side on part of the bluebell series.

Photo of Alex

Alex

  • 11 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Yikes. So - much to my chagrin - that's probably it. The enhance details does in fact make a difference. But, as per your request - I spot checked the Details panel. Sure enough, I'm all the way up at 40 - seems like might be a default? But just as likely it was me. And given I've been actively avoiding any over-sharping tweaks on the new files after spotting the issue, I haven't gone back and checked it to see if it carried forward from a previous catalog edit. Does still seem like there's some sort of third element inbetween the two (enhanced details / decreasing sharpening)  but at least that does help some.


Photo of Todd Shaner

Todd Shaner, Champion

  • 1492 Posts
  • 504 Reply Likes
I can confirm what you're seeing when viewing the ARW file next to the Enhanced DNG file at 4:1 Zoom View. Try shooting RAW + Full-Size, High Quality JPEG and see if those jaggies are present in the JPEG. In real-world usage I doubt you'll ever see the difference using the Enhanced DNG because at 1:1 Zoom View it's really not visible on my monitor!


The Sharpening default settings have changed in LR 8.x to what you're seeing. You can change it. Hit the master Reset button, change to the Detail panel settings to what you want, ALT click on the Reset button, and select 'Update to current settings. You can Sync the new Sharpening settings to the other image files to update them.


4:1 Zoom View (Click on image to see full-size)


1:1 Zoom View
(Edited)
Photo of Alex

Alex

  • 11 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Gotcha, great to hear I'm not just going nuts =) interesting - if they changed and were increased by default then perhaps that's why it suddenly "appeared" for me. 

I do do a ton of landscapes so the stone, forest and grass details are where I really notice it. But, by that same token, I usually won't use the lens profiles either as I dislike how they stretch and distort on those lenses.

I normally shoot RAW+JPG for IG sync anyhow, but tend to delete them and only pull down the RAWs onto desktop. Will look at doing on the next batch.

Really appreciate the time and energy from you all. Will keep my fingers crossed as well that the next profile update somehow further improves things.
Photo of Todd Shaner

Todd Shaner, Champion

  • 1492 Posts
  • 504 Reply Likes
I think this is due to the Sony A7R III camera not having a low pass filter on the sensor.

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4265267#forum-post-60906604

Because of that less sharpening needs to applied so the LR Amount 40 is exacerbating the issue. Finding the right combination of Sharpening settings should help to hide the jaggies, such as the below settings. Also interesting to see how the JPEGs look with Sony's in-camera demosaic and sharping algorithms.

Photo of Alex

Alex

  • 11 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Great, will deploy those for my regular editing. 

Thank you all for the input and help throughout. Really appreciated.