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Tone Curve Camera mode explanation

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  • Tone Curve Camera mode explanation

    Does anybody understand what the Camera setting provides in the Develop Mode Tone Curve tool?
    I have read the user guide but it tells me very little.
    Is it useful and if so how is it best to use it.
    I assume it shows the manipulation the camera has made to the image but I cannot see how it helps me.
    Up till now I have used the standard setting to adjust contrast (a shallow 's' curve for example).

  • #2
    I've been working on a Tone Curve tutorial for ACDSee, and as near as I can figure out, it seems that the "Camera" option is the tone curve that the camera 'saw' and set the exposure with. I guess it is embedded in the raw format in some way (either directly, or possibly derived from stored info). The standard option, which most software has, appears to be the tone curve that is set after capture. A sort of 'normalized' curve, I guess you could say. I don't know why ACDSee has this option and why it appears that no other software offers it.

    I notice that in SOME photos, there is a VERY slight (subtle) difference in how the image is presented on screen, but in the majority, I see no difference. I also notice that the luminance curve, displayed in the background of the tool is different for the two options. The "Camera" option seems to imply less dynamic range to me by generally being 'narrower' in its range from highlights to shadows.

    I personally have not found a use for the "Camera" option in general photography. I speculate that it might be useful for scientific or technical photography, but that is a guess on my part.
    Last edited by Glen Barrington; 05-09-2017, 05:03 AM.


    • #3
      Thankyou for your quick response Glen.
      I have tried manipulating the image using the Camera curve, but dragging the nodes about in Camera mode is no more useful than the Standard curve.
      Starting out with a straight line in Standard mode makes adjustment straight forward.
      I find it strange that the ACDSee user guide mentions things but does not expand on how to use them, as in this example.
      Thanks again, Dave.


      • #4
        My understaning of the Camera curve is that it only appears for Raw files. I thought it was camera specific but it always seems to appear the same for any camera I have owned. I assume it is the curve it uses to make the initial conversion from raw when you first open Develop. I have had the odd Fuji raw file look horrible when I first opened develop, so I went to the Camera curve and straightened it which gave me a very flat photo which I was able to then fix with Light EQ.


        • #5
          Thanks for the reply Larry, sorry for my tardy response.