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Aperture D600 Raw Files too dark?

8101 Views 92 Replies Latest reply: Dec 22, 2013 4:52 AM by dcl78 RSS
  • anonymous_support Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jun 19, 2013 1:16 PM (in response to Keith Barkley)

    Highlight Optimization is turned off. Seems like it's the way the RAW files are being processed in Aperture, Lightroom and Photoshop on my Mac. The only app I can get to process them right is the Canon software that came with the camera. But then I have to convert it to a JPEG or a TIFF (which is five times the file size of the RAW file). All the images are way too dark and heavily vignetted. This isn't the best example but it's the most current one I have that doesn't have faces in it. Still pretty obvious. Aperture on the left, Canon Digital Photo Professional on the right. No changes made to either file except importing them. You can see that the JPEG preveiw in Aperture is accurate and then you click on it to full-screen preview it and you see it display correctly for a second (guessing it's just the JPEG preview) and then it processes the RAW file and it show up dark. Sounds like the same problem a lot of people are having. I've spent hours troubleshooting this with no success.


  • James Merwin Level 1 Level 1 (65 points)
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    Jun 19, 2013 2:57 PM (in response to anonymous_support)

    Not sure about correcting a vignette but try adjustining the RAW exposure by exactly +1 in Aperture (or Lightroom) to solve the darkness.  What I've learned is highlight correction on most cameras intentionally produces a 1-stop underexposure and then boosts the shadows to compensate.  Many software packages, such as Aperture, don't know to adjust so you have to manually correct the 1-stop underexposure (which is done by the camera automatically when it outputs the JPEG).  Though sometimes tedious, give it a try.

  • Ernie Stamper Level 8 Level 8 (37,455 points)
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    Jun 19, 2013 5:37 PM (in response to anonymous_support)

    I have seen references to this problem, with Lightroom, linked to use of a Custom Whitebalance.  What WB setting are you using?



  • anonymous_support Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jun 19, 2013 7:24 PM (in response to James Merwin)

    To me it seems like something I shouldn't have to adjust for. Seems like Aperture should process my RAW files accurately like the Canon Digital Photo Professional software that came with the camera does. Also seems like making the adjustments will hurt the quality of the photo when quality is the whole reason I'm shooting in RAW in the first place.

  • anonymous_support Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jun 19, 2013 7:25 PM (in response to Ernie Stamper)

    Auto White Balance (AWB).

  • James Merwin Level 1 Level 1 (65 points)
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    Jun 19, 2013 8:30 PM (in response to anonymous_support)

    Yeah, I felt like Apple should have fixed this, too, but the reality is it's mostly just manufacturer's software that handles highlight protection correctly.  It was pointed out to me later that if you're shooting in RAW you don't want highlight protection turned on anyway.  It's basically a feature that helps JPEG images.

  • Keith Barkley Level 5 Level 5 (5,140 points)
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    Jun 20, 2013 7:28 AM (in response to anonymous_support)

    Only Canon knows the exact algorithms used to turn raw files into jpegs. (Which is what you essentially see in DPP after raw conversion.) I would say that it is *impossible* to exactly reverse engineer this process, so if you want a conversion that looks like DPP, you will have to use DPP.

  • James Merwin Level 1 Level 1 (65 points)
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    Jun 20, 2013 9:19 PM (in response to Keith Barkley)

    The problem of the dark RAW image when highlight protection is enabled is not one of algorithms.  It's simply non-recognition of a tag that indicates the photo was shot one stop underexposed (typically by cutting the ISO in half) and to compensate by boosting the exposure by one stop.

  • Uby Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 10, 2013 8:55 PM (in response to Mike Bisom1)

    Just back from a small vacation in San Francisco and I noticed immediately the same dramatic darkening problem after rendering the RAW generated by my brand new Canon 6D. I'm using Aperture 3.4.5 and the last Digital Camera Raw 4.0.6 so everything updated to the last release. 


    I also checked the Highlight Tone priority and this was disabled so this is not the point.


    I made a test because I was curious to understand if this was a general issue of this Aperture release or if it was related to the RAW generated by the different Canon cameras so I went to check if the same darkening problem was happening on the old Canon RAWs created by my older Canon 40D and to my surprise the darkening problem is not happening.

    So this issue seems really linked to the RAWs of the 6D and like suggested in the former posts could be linked to the OS X Raw conversion and not to Aperture in itself.


    Pretty frustrating at the moment... especially because the JPEG generated by the 6D are excellent (moving from the old 40D the improvement is amazing... ) and after the rendering of the RAWs all the pictures become definitely underexposed...


    I don't even consider Lightroom because I find it really awful compared to Aperture but this rendering issue is a top critical item for being able to use correctly Aperture.



  • Uby Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 10, 2013 9:10 PM (in response to Mike Bisom1)

    Ok sent the feedback to Apple. Hope it will help.

  • emeu1 Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)
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    Aug 11, 2013 4:38 AM (in response to Mike Bisom1)

    Hello to all,


    I own a Nikon D600 myself and have this 'darkening' effect also.

    A couple of weeks ago, I had a series of pictures imported and two pictures did not darken in Aperture.

    I wondered why and going back in what I had done, I realized I had previewed and done some basic editing in ViewNX before importing the pictures in Aperture.

    To make a short story long, if, after taking the picture's disable the:


         "Auto Lateral Color Aberration"


    in the Adjustments section of ViewNX, save the picture and then import the picture in Aperture and you willl see that the darkening effect does not occur and details stay visible.


    Best regards,



  • FM11 Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 14, 2013 6:18 PM (in response to emeu1)

    Hi Emeu


    I nave a d600 and i have the  same dark raw image problem. After reading tour post i downloaded ViewerNx2 and tried to follow your process. Unfortunately  opening the  saved file with aperture and Nx2 i can still see the difference ( the aperture one is more dark). Any suggestion?


    One question : the fact that the image with aperture is darker means that increasing the exposure I can loose some " information" and decrease the image quality ..or is just an annoying issue but will not affect quality image? What i mean is...reducing black point....increasing exposure...+ other modification can i get same quality that i can have Starting directly with a goodlooking RAF file ?



    Whist is Apple positivo non this issue?




  • anonymous_support Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 15, 2013 2:12 PM (in response to anonymous_support)

    I've tried everything. Seems like it might be the way OSX 10.8.4 processes RAW files from my Canon 6D. Not only happens in Aperture. It happens in Preview as well. I started shooting RAW + JPEG. Here's a recent import with no adjustments to either image. Not even close to acceptable. Apple, Hello? Are you aware of this problem?



  • James Merwin Level 1 Level 1 (65 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 15, 2013 2:55 PM (in response to anonymous_support)

    How do they compare if you boost Exposure on the RAW image to exactly +1?

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