Author Topic: Low res previews of RAW files on OSX (but sharp in Finder preview)  (Read 595 times)

Offline westleyargentum

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Hey, first time posting so apologies if I forget something. I've just recently started using Photo Mechanic and I really love it except for a problem I'm having with previews.

I'm running OSX 10.14.5 on a Macbook Air from ~2015 and Photo Mechanic version 6.0, build 3331 (38ae33c)

The issue is that all of my image previews are rendered at quite a low resolution. I've seen other posts where people have brought this up and the issue turned out to be OSX lacking support for rendering certain RAW files, but in my case I can open the files in OSX Preview (or pinch to zoom in on the image preview in Finder) and see things in much greater detail (I'll attach a screenshot below).

I've gone through all the Preferences looking for solutions but nothing has worked so far:
- Preview -> High DPI Display Quality: Best
- Contact Sheet -> Generate High Quality Thumbnails: Yes
- Contact Sheet -> High DPI Display Quality: Best

I see on the Camera Bits documentation page for preferences a section that talks about RAW preferences for OSX (http://wiki.camerabits.com/en/index.php/Preferences#RAW_Preferences_.28Mac.29) but I don't see that tab in preferences at all. Does it still exist?

The only reference to RAW rendering I saw in preferences was under the Render Cache section, but that seems to just be about rendering things with edits made in adobe land. I couldn't click "Enable RAW Rendering" there without specifying a path to adobe software that I don't own.

I also see that Photo Mechanic asks OSX to "control this computer" via the Accessibility feature under the OSX Security preferences, and at first that wasn't enabled for me. I gave Photo Mechanic permission, closed and reopened it, and re imported photos from an SD card hoping that might help generate better previews but that did not seem to work.

Thanks for reading – any help is greatly appreciated!

Offline Kirk Baker

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Re: Low res previews of RAW files on OSX (but sharp in Finder preview)
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2019, 04:19:16 PM »
I see on the Camera Bits documentation page for preferences a section that talks about RAW preferences for OSX (http://wiki.camerabits.com/en/index.php/Preferences#RAW_Preferences_.28Mac.29) but I don't see that tab in preferences at all. Does it still exist?

No.  That was a PM5 setting and no longer applies in PM6.

The only reference to RAW rendering I saw in preferences was under the Render Cache section, but that seems to just be about rendering things with edits made in adobe land. I couldn't click "Enable RAW Rendering" there without specifying a path to adobe software that I don't own.

The Adobe DNG Converter is a free application.  You don't have to own any other Adobe software.

I also see that Photo Mechanic asks OSX to "control this computer" via the Accessibility feature under the OSX Security preferences, and at first that wasn't enabled for me. I gave Photo Mechanic permission, closed and reopened it, and re imported photos from an SD card hoping that might help generate better previews but that did not seem to work.

That's odd.  We've had other users indicate this too but PM has no code in it that requests controlling your computer.

What Sony camera do you have?  PM6 does not have a direct RAW renderer and either uses the embedded JPEG preview or the Adobe DNG Converter to render RAW images.

If the embedded JPEG preview in your ARW files is of low quality the previews in PM6 will also be of low quality.

-Kirk

Offline westleyargentum

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Re: Low res previews of RAW files on OSX (but sharp in Finder preview)
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2019, 05:02:59 PM »
Hey, thanks for responding so fast, especially on a holiday!

Quote
What Sony camera do you have?  PM6 does not have a direct RAW renderer and either uses the embedded JPEG preview or the Adobe DNG Converter to render RAW images.

If the embedded JPEG preview in your ARW files is of low quality the previews in PM6 will also be of low quality.

Ah, I have an a6400, perhaps it also creates low quality previews.

I've never learned that much about raw image formats – is that preview stored somewhere in metadata in the ARW file? Do you think I could write something that would run through each image, generate a higher quality jpeg using some osx renderer, and then swap out the preview jpeg? Or is that possible through Photo Mechanic? I remember seeing the options to generate high quality thumbnails, is there also a way to do that with previews?

Thanks again!

Offline Kirk Baker

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Re: Low res previews of RAW files on OSX (but sharp in Finder preview)
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2019, 09:28:16 PM »
Hey, thanks for responding so fast, especially on a holiday!

Quote
What Sony camera do you have?  PM6 does not have a direct RAW renderer and either uses the embedded JPEG preview or the Adobe DNG Converter to render RAW images.

If the embedded JPEG preview in your ARW files is of low quality the previews in PM6 will also be of low quality.

Ah, I have an a6400, perhaps it also creates low quality previews.

I've never learned that much about raw image formats – is that preview stored somewhere in metadata in the ARW file? Do you think I could write something that would run through each image, generate a higher quality jpeg using some osx renderer, and then swap out the preview jpeg? Or is that possible through Photo Mechanic? I remember seeing the options to generate high quality thumbnails, is there also a way to do that with previews?

Yes, the preview is stored in the RAW file.
I don't know of any tools that will render the RAW file and update the preview and maintain the ARW file format.  You could convert to Adobe's DNG format which will create a high-res preview, but then the file will be a DNG (RAW) file and not an ARW file.

You could check the settings of your camera and see if it has an option to create higher resolution previews.

-Kirk

Offline Odd Skjaeveland

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Re: Low res previews of RAW files on OSX (but sharp in Finder preview)
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2019, 12:37:35 AM »
...Ah, I have an a6400, perhaps it also creates low quality previews.

My a6000 certainly did. Low resolution previews are reported by users of other Sony models as well.
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