It all began in July 2013 when I stumbled upon a post at l-camera-forum.com by romanvail who had discovered that after entering the M8 service menu to read his camera’s shutter actuations he was presented a new option for compression in the standard menu, namely JPG fine+RAW.
I was curious what was in that file and set to work in examining it. Soon I could confirm what others had speculated: the RAW file contains the uncompressed unchanged sensor output data! That is the raw before raw…
The included image covers 3968×2642 pixels in a 16-bit container with 14-bit of data. That makes black=0 and white=16383. The standard M8 DNG only has 3920×2638 pixels with 8bit of information (0-255).
But the files were pretty useless as no one could read them. So I sat down and wrote a conversion tool that takes the RAW+JPG fine image pairs and creates standard DNG files that are readable by all the RAW converters.
After having created the first working version I started to optimise the process by including fixes and features like lens exif correction and inclusion or dark frame correction. And more is yet to come! So keep an eye on my progress or subscribe to my mailing list…
The tool is command line based, but don’t be afraid! Once it is correctly set up, you can just use it with drag and drop. It’s really simple!
Just try for yourself! You can download the tools and the droplet files for Mac, Windows and Linux. Check out the documentation for starters. And feel free to contact me whenever you run into problems or feel like you have an idea for a feature that should be implemented.
As you can see below especially the dark levels of an image contain much more information with 14-bit files… This is from exactly the same image compressed vs. uncompressed.