Lightroom: LR4.1 RC2 messing up Olympus RAW files

  • 14
  • Problem
  • Updated 4 years ago
  • Solved
  • (Edited)
After updating to LR4.1 RC2, I noticed some serious issues with my Olympus E-PL1 RAW files today.

Usually I have my camera set to 3:2 aspect ratio (the standard on this camera is 4:3). But since I shoot RAW only, I can always go back to the original aspect ratio and recrop in postprocessing. That was fine with LR3 and even 4.0.

Now, in LR4.1 RC2 I noticed I cannot go back to the original aspect ratio anymore. LR seems to recognize now that the shot was taken in 3:2 and doesnt let you go back to the 4:3 even though the cropped information is in the RAW file of course.

Now, here is how LR3.6 will render the RAW file without making any adjustments:

But when I open and export the same RAW file from LR4.1 RC2 without making any adjustments(!) I see this:

This show that LR4.1 RC2 crops the image to 3:2 aspect ratio. And I cannot find any way of returning to the full information.

Unfortunately, however, the story doesnt end here. It get's much worse. I work with a dual monitor setup. When I view the file in LR4.1 RC2 - again, without any adjustments, the main window streches/squeezes the 3:2 information into a 4:3 aspect ratio. The secondary screen doesnt stetch or squeeze anything:
Note: It's a bit hard to notice in this screenshot. But you can measure it and will see that the photo on the left is 3:2 and on the right (my main window) is 4:3 (squeezed together). If you peek into the buildings you may see that the are sqeezed together a bit.

Further observations:
1) The problem only occurs with files that very not edited with a previous version of Lightroom. If I look at files that I edited in LR3.6, I can retain all information in 4:3.
2) The problem of cutting the image to 3:2 and not be able to go back to the original even though it's RAW, also occurs in Camera RAW 6.7.
3) On the last screen you might notice a diference in color rendition on both screens. That might be another color management inssue that I still have to look into (I work with two calibrated monitors).

I'm really surprised by the change of how LR4.1 RC2 handles the Olympus RAW files. For me, at this point this is a real bummer because not only LR is now dropping RAW information that I don't find a way to get back but also it messes with my whole workflow. Not to mention that the streching/squeezing of images on two screens is more than annoying.

I hope this gets fixed until the final. Otherwise it will be unusable for me.



P.S: If you need anymore information, pls let me know.
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Timo S.

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Posted 7 years ago

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Eric Chan, Camera Raw Engineer

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Official Response
The discrepancy of aspect ratio probably has to do with stale previews. Rebuilding the previews should fix that. As to the default aspect ratio, Lr will now set the crop of the image to whatever was set in the camera. If you want full flexibility to crop later, set your in-camera aspect ratio to 4:3.
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Eric Chan, Camera Raw Engineer

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Official Response
Hi folks,

I have a brief update on this. First, I want to say that I appreciate the feedback and understand what you are looking for. It is conceptually quite straightforward.

On the implementation side, things are a bit more complex. At present we do not have a mechanism for specifying a default crop rectangle that is different from the full uncropped raw image area. So, with all the cameras we've supported so far, we've had to make a decision as to whether to show the full uncropped image area (regardless of the in-camera aspect ratio / crop setting), or to honor the user's choice of in-camera aspect ratio / crop (at the expense of recovering the full image area later during editing). Neither option is ideal, obviously, but we had to pick one. In our testing, we found that users preferred the latter option: that is, the image you see in ACR/LR should match the aspect ratio & crop of what you saw on the back of the camera LCD when composing the picture.

Going forward with newly supported camera models, we plan to have a more flexible approach which provides the best of both worlds: the default rendering will honor the in-camera crop, yet users will be able to get back to the full uncropped image area (*). Unfortunately, gracefully handling already-supported camera models is more complex. This is because these images may have existing user-edited crops applied in ACR/LR, and we need to be sure we respect this as well (i.e., we must take care to avoid changing crops that users may have already applied). I am not saying we won't tackle this, but it may take more time to get there.


(*) Keep in mind that not all camera models support this. Some vendors actually crop the raw image data in the camera (i.e., they actually record fewer pixels when you change the aspect ratio), so it will not be possible to retrieve the "full" image area for these cases.