Importing RAW Images

HDR Shop includes a useful facility which allows you to import virtually any proprietary digital camera manufacturer's native image files (commonly called 'RAW' files although there is no single defined standard format as yet). To use the RAW importer, simply drag a RAW file onto the HDR Shop window (or use the 'File->Open' menu or hit 'Ctrl+O'). RAW images have the advantage that they are (usually) linear in response and are HDR in the sense that the values are more than 8-bits and less than 16-bits per channel therefore they contain more information than a typical LDR image and are unaltered by color balancing or other post-capture software processes.

[Note: HDR Shop 2.0 allowed you to assemble a subset of Canon RAW images into an HDR image by opening multiple RAW files. Assembling HDR images in HDR Shop 3.0 is done via the 'Create->Assemble HDR form Image Sequence' (HDR assembly tutorial) menu. If you open multiple RAW files in one go in HDR Shop 3.0 it reminds you of this change of functionality once in every session as a courtesy to experienced users.]

The 'Raw Image Development Parameters' dialog appears displaying a report of the image parameters obtained from the EXIF information and the header:

The dialog allows you to control how RAW images should be imported in 4 control areas.

'RAW' controls:

Checking either the 'Scaled' or 'Not Scaled' boxes causes the RAW image to be read as a monochromatic representation of the Bayer pattern. This is how the camera sensor initially records the image in 3 or 4 separate colors before it is interpolated into a full color image. eg for a Bayer pattern of RGGBRGGB the monchrome image is a repeating frid of 2 x 2 squares where the top left pixel represent the red channel, the bottom right represents blue and the other 2 pixels represent green. RAW Bayer images contain the basic information to obtain the final full color image but are significantly smaller. You can perform the interpolation manually via the 'Image->Filter->Bayer Interpolation' menu in HDR Shop.
Checking the 'Scaled' box scales the image from 0-65535 to 0-1. 'Unscaled' omits this process.

'General' controls:

'White Balance' controls.

The imported images can be white-balanced in 3 ways:

'Gamma Correction' controls:

Either choose a standard gamma curve or specify a custom profile. Note that RAW images are normally linear and do not require any gamma correction.

When you are satisfied with your choice of parameters, click 'Import'...