Noticeable difference between LibRaw and dcraw in DNG processing


I'm experimenting with DNG images loading. I'm using LibRaw and I'm trying to achieve the same result as with dcraw processing, but I can't. White balance is different (see. image in the attachement).

dcraw command I'm using (it's dcraw 9.26 built from the source code):

dcraw -h sunset.dng

dcraw_emu command (it's LibRaw 0.20 built from the sources):

dcraw_emu -h -c 0 sunset.dng

Source image: sunset.dng
dcraw result: sunset_dcraw.ppm
dcraw_emu result: sunset_emu.ppm

Could it be that LibRaw and dcraw uses different default white balance settings? For example, different illuminants?

Image iconComparison of the processing results227.78 KB


dcraw parses DNG tags one-by

dcraw parses DNG tags one-by-one, in order (in file being processed), both ColorMatrix1 and ColorMatrix2 tags are parsed into same (cmatrix) structure. So, latest one wins.

LibRaw w/ default settings (without LIBRAW_PROCESSING_DONT_CHECK_DNG_ILLUMINANT flag) analyzes CalibrationIlluminant1/2 tags too and selects color matrix which is closer to D65/daylight.

Usually (e.g. files created by Adobe DNG SDK) the last matrix is the one that corresponds to daylight (resulting in same dcraw/dcraw_emu results), but not in this specific file (CameraMatrix1 => D65, CameraMatrix2 => Ill.A).

So, LibRaw is right in this specific case, while dcraw is not.

(dcraw is *much* worse if DNG file contains multiple sub-images w/ different color data).

-- Alex Tutubalin

Thanks for your reply!

Thanks for your reply!

Yes, I've done a side-by-side debug run of dcraw and LibRaw example, and I've found the divergence point.

Can dcraw_emu be used as a replacement of dcraw, or it is just an example program that is not intended for everyday use?

In this specific case LibRaw

In this specific case LibRaw/dcraw_emu works better (more correctly) than dcraw.

This is especially true for DNG files with multiple sub-images and different color data (e.g. DNG w/ fast-load JPEG data): LibRaw/dcraw will select correct matrix, while dcraw will always use the last one.

-- Alex Tutubalin