SonyPixelShift2DNG (Beta 0.8): Convert Sony A7R-III Pixel Shift Mode Shots to DNG

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The new Sony A7R-III has a new mode in it, the Pixel Shift Multi Shooting, in which the camera takes 4 consecutive shots applying a one-pixel shift between the shots. By performing one-pixel shifts of the sensor during the shoot, we can sample information about all four color channels at each pixel location.

Thus, we don’t need to demosaic during the conversion anymore, which decreases moiré, improves resolution and color accuracy, and we have an option to average the green channels for every location, improving the dynamic range in the combined channel by approximately half a stop (obviously, one can only shoot static scenes in such a mode).

Sony A7-III pixel shift multi shooting mode

The workflow for processing files taken it Pixel Shift Multi Shooting mode suggested by the manufacturer (Sony) is as follows: combine four ARW files into one ARQ file using the Sony Imaging Edge Viewer application and process the resulting ARQ file in the Sony Editor.

Aside from Sony programs, ARQ files are supported by beta versions of RawTherapee, RawDigger and FastRawViewer (this list may be incomplete). However, it isn’t supported by some very popular RAW conversion applications like Adobe Camera Raw/Lightroom, Capture One,…

SonyPixelShift2DNG Beta 0.8

In order to streamline the workflow with the raw shots taken in the new Pixel Shift Multi Shooting mode offered by the new Sony A7R-III camera, and provide a way to use popular RAW converters (Adobe Camera Raw/Lightroom, Capture One, and some others) for processing these shots, we’ve developed the SonyPixelShift2DNG application, which converts Sony A7R-III shots taken in Pixel Shift mode to DNG, supported by most (but not all) programs that process RAW files.

SonyPixelShift2DNG Main Screen

SonyPixelShift2DNG performs the two following tasks:

  • Combine 4 source ARW files taken in Pixel Shift Multi Shooting mode and save the result as a DNG;
  • Convert the ARQ files resulting from Sony’s Imaging Edge Viewer software (so, already-combined quartets of ARW files) to DNG

The resulting DNG files can later be processed in familiar applications like Adobe Lightroom and Camera Raw, CaptureOne, Iridient Developer, Luminar, and others.

Download Links (updated to beta 0.8.5)

This is time-limited beta version. It will expire on May 01, 2018

System Requirements

  • OS and Processor*:
  • Windows 7 – Windows 10, 64-bit;
  • Mac OS X/macOS 10.6-10.13, 64-bit processor (so, all Intel Macs, except for some models from 2005-06 with Core Solo and Core Duo processors).
  • Screen resolution no less than 1600x900.
  • 50MB of disk space for the application.
  • Disk space for writing DNG files (110-140MB per file)

Feedback

Please send us feedback regarding this application here or via contact form.

If you have files that the SonyPixelShift2DNG isn't working well with, please share them with us via dropbox/google/WeTransfer and send a link to s4s-feedback@libraw.com

Aside from errors and anything unclear, we’re looking for examples of Pixel Shift Multi Shooting shots of the following types:

  • Correct sets of 4 ARW files that have been wrongly identified by the program as suspect (highlighted pink in program Analyze Window)
  • Incorrect sets of 4 ARW files that have been wrongly identified by the program as good (highlighted green)
  • Unsuccessful Pixel Shift Multi Shooting shots of various types:
  • Moving objects in the shot
  • Camera/tripod shaked/moved between separate shots (original ARW shots are in-focus, but composite DNG/ARQ is not)
  • Light changed during exposure

A Little More about Sony Pixel Shift Multi Shooting Mode

Please see below a couple of examples of shots made with Sony a7R-III in Normal mode (left) and in Sony Pixel Shift Multi Shooting mode (right)

Sony a7R-III normal mode vs Pixel Shift Multi Shooting mode
Sony a7R-III normal mode vs Pixel Shift Multi Shooting mode

* There is no 32-bit version right now: to work, the program needs 700+MB of free RAM, which is unlikely on a 32-bit system.

Comments

It would be super handy if the original ARWs could be stored in Lightroom, and then opened in SonyPixelShift via some kind of plugin.
 
I've tried using photogrpahers' toolbok "open directly" but even when four are selected, PSS only recognizes one file. It's not hard to then navigate the file system and find the correct folder after which all is well, but it would be better if there was an immediate way to select files in LR and have them all analysed by PSS  (or if it's easier, just alalyse the finder directory a file is in)

If several files could be passed to external app (not sure, BTW standard Lr 'pass to external editors' provides rendered TIFFs, not RAW, LR's ability to interact with external apps is very limited), the second step you need after the 4xARW => DNG merge is import this resulting DNG back into catalog, so this is always not very streamlined process.

BTW, if your files are already in Lr, you may use this trick:

  • Use Show in Explorer (PC)/Show in Finder (Mac) right-click option on any image to open folder with images
  • Drag folder name from Explorer/Finder window onto SonyPixelShift2DNG application icon
  • Use same or another folder as destination of converted DNGs
  • Import generated DNGs into Lr catalog after conversion.

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