Initial, momentary rendering in DxO

I’m shooting raw with a Nikon Z8. I have two exports here, one from NX Studio on the left and one from PL7 on the right. I have not applied any changes to either other than crop.

The curious thing is when I first click on the thumbnail for this image in PL7, it looks much closer to the NX Studio image. Then after a couple of seconds it changes and gives the less contrasty image shown here. From this point forward, every time I click on the image again in PL7 it look the same. It is only the first time on a new image that it has this “before and after” kind of automatic switch.

My question is, what is actually happening here? What is causing that initial preview to look closer to the Nikon one and then why does it switch over to this other appearance? And is there a way for me to stick with that initial look? I have “No correction” selected as my default processing. And if I switch on the Active Corrections it shows nothing (other than crop).


During the first RAW load PL shows briefly the embedded thumbnail and then it generates it’s own thumbnail and preview, which are used later. NX Studio uses whatever PictureControl was set in your camera, so the rendering is different than PL ‘No corrections’ rendering. PL does not understand (yet ?) standard Picture Controls, except possibly the ‘Effects’ ones.


Ah, ok, so there is an embedded thumbnail. That makes sense why it would look exactly like the Nikon rendering.

Thanks for the info. Sounds like there is no easy way to start off with that same look at this time.

Initially you are seeing the JPEG that’s embedded in the RAW, which will include all the in-camera Nikon renderings. That image looks exactly like what you see when you open the RAW file in NX Studio because NX Studio will read and act upon all the Nikon specific metadata within the RAW file.

PL though ignores the Nikon specific metadata and renders the RAW file according to whatever preset you have chosen as your default. Once it’s done that what you see in PL will update and show the result of that processing. That image will not look like the in-camera JPEG.

I don’t think there is a simple way to get PL to process a RAW file that is identical to the in-camera JPEG. With experimentation you can probably get close. If you then save those settings as a custom preset you can then set that custom preset as your default rendering.

However, I think you’ll find many people don’t work lie that. They start from a fairly minimalist preset, e.g. ‘optical corrections only’ plus DeepPrime noise reduction.


You can still extract the thumbnail and probably full resolution jpeg from the raw file using the exiftool. Capture NX stored edits directly in NEF, so that way I have extracted some pictures from my ancient D700 photos. For example:

exiftool -JpgFromRaw -b DSC_5545.NEF > DSC_5545_JpgFromRaw.jpg
exiftool -PreviewImage -b DSC_5545.NEF > DSC_5545_PreviewImage.jpg
exiftool -ThumbnailTIFF -b DSC_5545.NEF > DSC_5545_ThumbnailTIFF.tiff

This worked for D700, D4, and D780, not sure about Z8. Maybe ‘OtherImage’ will also work.

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Getting the same look is close to impossible imo, but you can probably get close by experimenting with different presets, color rendering and individual settings for contrast, HSL etc…or you could try to create a few looks that you like. After all, what good is it to shoot raw, only to try to mimic an ooc jpeg look?

Manufacturers tend to keep their recipes under cover, they don’t document their metadate fields and so on. That’s why all third party apps only get close to original looks and that different apps produce different looks with “no correction”. :person_shrugging:

I agree in most cases where I’m doing significant edits I don’t mind starting from scratch. But I’m finding situations where I would have been satisfied with the look right from the camera (perhaps just with a crop) and that’s where I was hoping to avoid having to recreate that look in PL. I suppose in these situations I can just export from NX Studio and skip PL altogether.

… and you can get that easily if you set your camera to store the raw plus the jpeg file. That’s what I do when traveling. Get the 24 Megapixel raw plus a quarter size (6 Megapixel) jpeg for instant use in email etc.

(Demosaicing to a quarter image size is trivial and takes almost no time or power, but not all cameras support that sizing)


You may also try to use dcp files installed by (free) Adobe DNG Converter under “C:\Program Data\Adobe\ CameraRaw\CameraProfiles\Camera\Nikon Z 8” and “C:\Program Data\Adobe\ CameraRaw\CameraProfiles\Adobe Standard\Nikon Z 8.dcp”. In the former directory you will find dcp files named like standard Picture Controls. For D700 the older versions were horrible, the newer ones were more close to Nikon. Maybe for Z8 they got it more or less “right”. You have to set Rendering ‘Type’ to ‘DCP Profile’, then in ‘Rendering’ choose ‘Import DCP Profile’ to provide the path to relevant DCP file. My advice is to check if color transitions are not too harsh for these profiles. I had this problem with LR5.7, maybe partially because it applied quietly some additional ‘Clarity’ behind the doors. I’m not sure about the possible legal issues, though. Personally I don’t use ACR profiles in PL and I still use NX Studio in exceptional cases (it’s soo slow and unergonomic…).

If you do not want to shoot RAW + JPEG, save your card and disk space WITH THIS

The result would be the same as with exiftool -JpgFromRaw -b .
Maybe it’s just a GUI wrapper for exiftool?

You’re correct. I’m not sure about the program as I’ve never looked at it.

If the embeded jpg in raw uses the picture control chosen in camera when shooting, then what is shown briefly when PL discover an image is not the embedded jpg, or at least not this embedded jpg read in the right color space.

I very often shoot RAW + JPG and I’ve had time to compare out of camera jpg and this briefly show image when discovering raw very often.
And those are not the same even if lot of people here say it is.
Maybe what we see is this embeded jpg in raw but not read in the right color space. If not, it is something else.
Unless this embeded jpg in raw does not use the picture control choosen when shooting.

I use nikon cameras.

Sorry, I don’t understand, but English is not my native language.

What shows the image?

Which ones are not the same?

I also shoot NEF+JPG, the JPGs are for initial selection only. The “standalone” JPG has the configured Picture Control applied, but I’m not sure about the jpegs embedded in NEF. The embedded full image jpeg is usually much smaller than the “standalone” version and has no shot info in exif. I never bothered about jpegs embedded in NEF (full image, thumbnail, other), until I saw them briefly when DPL didn’t find the thumbnail/preview in the cache while reading the directory during startup. These were generated by old Capture NX software, which embedded its jpegs in NEF (it was a “destructive” RAW editor).

me neither.

I try to explain again what I said :

The image photolab shows briefly (less than 1 second) when dicovering a new raw file is not the same as the jpg from camera when shooting raw + jpg seen in photolab too.

When using other softwares (not demosaicers) and comparing those raw file and jpg file, I see exactly the same image.

So either photolab does not show the embeded jpg when discovering a new raw file (because it should be the same as the jpg from camera), or photolab shows the embeded jpg with an error of color space when discovering a new raw file (the second option is probably the right one).

In my case, with my workflow at least.

In my case the image shown briefly when loading NEW raw is the same as embedded one. If DPL finds the preview in cache, it will probably use that one, which is a product of DPL. I’m not sure about colorspace, as I prefer to stay in sRGB, unless there is a special requirement. The embedded jpg does not have color space information in metadata, unlike the “standalone” one, so if you shot in Adobe RGB, DPL probably will assume sRGB and colors get wrong. You may try something like the following, done for D780:
exiftool -JpgFromRaw -b DSC_5545.NEF > DSC_5545_JpgFromRaw.jpg
exiftool -s DSC_5545_JpgFromRaw.jpg
… (starts with general file info generated by exiftool)
ImageWidth : 6048
ImageHeight : 4024
EncodingProcess : Baseline DCT, Huffman coding
BitsPerSample : 8
ColorComponents : 3
YCbCrSubSampling : YCbCr4:2:2 (2 1)
ImageSize : 6048x4024
Megapixels : 24.3

Note that ColorSpace is not present, although it is present in the NEF file and the “standalone” jpeg generated by the camera:

exiftool -ColorSpace DSC_5545.NEF
ColorSpace : sRGB

exiftool -ColorSpace DSC_5545.JPG
ColorSpace : sRGB

This was exactly my thought.
But this embeded jpg is read the right way in viewers I use (no problem with adobe rgb choice in camera).

In my case, it was displayed for a fraction of a second, so I can’t tell.

Same here, but I perceived sometime something I liked, this is why I tried to see it better.

So to see it better I create a virtuel copy from the raw file, so this first view appears and I immedialty select the jpg camera version to compare, before PL has computed its generally too much saturated preview (I find PL good for retaining details, but not good for colors). Then, doing fast enough back and forth selection between those 2 images it is possible to compare.

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Things people don’t realize is, a Raw file has no ‘correct rendering’. Every program will render it differently.

Sometimes they don’t even try to get close (DP is in that category in my opinion). But other raw converters all have their methods, algorithms and look.

There is only one that can match what your camera is doing internally, and that’s the software made by your camera manufacturer. NX studio in your case.

So NX studio can match exactly what your camera did internally when generating the JPG (when you took the shot).

Now, DP (and other raw processors too sometimes) will show you the jpg-preview that’s inside the raw file, while the raw file is being loaded and rendered.

You’ll see questions like this (‘it briefly shows something different’, ‘why does the image get worse after loading’, ‘why is the image not the same as on my camera display’, …) for every raw processing software out there.

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