Nightstalker wrote in post #13986139
What software are you using for RAW conversion?
What colour space is your camera set to.
Is your computer / monitor calibrated and what monitor do you have?
laptop monitor, calibrated it a while back ... the weird differences seem to show up on all monitors though
Dan Marchant wrote in post #13986229
Actually your brain is just fooling you on those occassions when you think the RAW file is the same as the applied setting (or the applied setting is minimal in nature).
In camera profiles have no effect on RAW files. They are only used to tell the camera how to display/process JPEG files. To show this set your camera to monochrome (as it is very easy to see if this style is being applied or not) then take one photo in JPEG format and another in RAW. Open both images in Photoshop and the JPEG will be in monochrome, while the RAW will be in colour. This is because the camera has discarded all the colour data for the JPEG file because you told it you wanted the image in monochrome. However, it keeps the all the data for the RAW file because that is the point of RAW files. They have all the raw data so you can decide how to precess later or can do multiple versions with different processing.
right, I mean that I'm applying the camera profile while editing in RAW within Photoshop itself. For both Nikon and Canon cameras, CS5.1 has built-in camera profiles which (supposedly) match the camera preset processing. Just as the JPEG automatically 'processes' the file in a certain way, CS5.1 can use apply the exact same processing (supposedly) as the 5D2 used on the original JPEG.
The only exceptions to this are when you open a RAW file in the camera makers own RAW processing software. This will often apply the in-camera style to the RAW as the default. However unlike JPEG these are not permanent changes and you can still change these settings to alter the processing because the RAW file still has all the data.
Does Canon have special RAW processing software? The RAW files are CR2 and CS5.1 seems to have no problem with processing them ...
In any event, I feared that my question would be misinterpreted; I'm aware that RAW files have no processing applied to them normally. My point is that when I use CS5.1 to apply the same "JPEG" processing to the RAW photo that my camera applied (CS5.1 uses the same presets that the 5D2 used to create the JPEG), the photo looks horrendous. It takes a huge amount of ingenuity and adjusting levels/curves in ten different sub-menus just to get the RAW file's processing up to the basic mediocre standard of the JPEG created by the 5D2.
Is the problem perhaps that the CS5.1 camera presets (in the drop-down menu in RAW processing) aren't actually equivalent to the 5D2 camera presets? Everything I've read about CS5.1 claims that if you apply the presets in RAW, it should match your JPEG; but it's nowhere close (again, see the example photos). There's always a "lossy" aspect to the RAW file, and my workarounds just make it look off.