RAW mode image hazy

edited June 2016 Posted in » Nikon D3300 Forum
I have purchased a new Nikon D3300. It shoots fine in JPG mode, however, RAW mode pictures appear to be hazy. I have reset the shooting options and changed image quality to RAW. I have tried the following software to view/convert RAW images: Shotwell, DigiKam, UFRaw (all on Ubuntu), but results are the same.

When I use RAW+JPEG option, the JPEG image is fine, but the RAW image is still hazy.

I can send example image pair (RAW and JPG) if requested.


  • I can't answer completely, but if your JPG images are coming out all right, then the likely culprit is the software reading the Raw images. Some of Nikon's proprietary functions, such as Active D-lighting and noise reduction, may not be read correctly by every program.

    In Windows, I believe a Raw reading codec is part of the operating system, which other programs rely on for viewing, and it's possible that Ubuntu's does not do a good job. All programs that view a Raw file do so by interpreting the information and producing an on-the-spot JPG image. Raw files themselves carry a "sidecar" JPG image that incorporates the camera settings and simulates the in-camera JPG, but not all programs use it or use it complete.

    For starters, I'd see if you can implement Nikon's own View NX-2 or Capture NX-D programs. These are designed to read Nikon's Raw files correctly. You should have gotten a copy of View NX-2 with the camera. When you open a Raw file in View NX-2 the view you get should be essentially identical to the JPG. The difference will be that you can alter settings unavailable in JPG, and resave the file in its new form, and can revert to the original with the press of a button. In Capture NX-D the modification is done slightly differently, modifying the sidecar file but not changing the saved Raw file.

    In addition, if reading Raw files with other software, I'd make sure first of all to turn off Active D-lighting, which is known to cause problems with some, and to keep an eye on ISO speed for noise, and see if results can be improved by adding more noise reduction. As I understand it some programs such as Lightroom, leave all the noise reduction off by default, so you must add some back.

    I've had pretty good luck in Windows with freeware editors as well as with the Nikon programs. The Windows codec does a decent job of viewing the Raw file correctly as a JPG. However, I do not use Active D-lighting. The Nikon programs allow its effects to be added in post, and the freeware program Faststone Image Viewer has a fairly good implementation as well.
  • edited June 2016
    Thanks Bruto for your suggestions. I shall try my luck with Nikon's ViewNX-2 (yes, I have got a CD) on some Windows computer.

    What puzzles me that I have been using a Nikon D70 till recently, and I could view/convert all NEF files with UFRaw and Shotwell. Indeed, there are thousands of such files stored on my computer and they can be processed with those software right now.

    I have been wondering if there is any difference between RAW formats of D70 and D3300 that might have contributed to the problem, or if there is some additional setting in D3300?
  • edited June 2016
    I have worked on it further and the problem seems to be the color profile. Is the D3300 color profile (.icm file) available somewhere?
  • I don't know much about the color profiles and finer points of raw files, but I'm pretty sure that they have changed over time, as earlier versions of much software, including Nikon's, cannot read more recent NEF files. All I can recommend at this point is to keep looking and hope for someone more in touch with this stuff, and perhaps to see if there is any difference in the built in SRGB versus Adobe RGB.
  • edited June 2016
    I could solve the problem. It was indeed because of (device) color profile. Since I could not find the .icm file for D3300 to be used with UFRaw, I tried to use another open-source software RawTherapy (available for both Windows and Linux), and the problem was solved. Incidentally RawTherapy appears to provide many more editing features than UFRaw. I am yet to explore them in greater details.

  • edited June 2016
    That sounds interesting, and I have downloaded a copy of the program myself to see how it behaves. My Windows sees to handle Raw file colors all right anyway, and I generally don't do a huge amount of post processing, but the Raw Therapee program certainly looks as if it has some interesting features, and it's free.

    Right now I'm at the tail end of using an older laptop (reluctant to lose te settings and accumulated stuff), and loaded the program onto a newer Win 10 laptop that has some more drive space, which I intend eventually to migrate to. I've only glanced at it so far, but it seems to work fine.

    For those wishing to add an interesting freeware program to their arsenal, note that the name of this one is properly "Raw Therapee", and it is under constant revision, so there may be a glitch somewhere deep inside it, but it looks very worthwhile.
  • edited June 2016
    Yes. Sorry to misspell the name. It is indeed "Raw Therapee".

    All open-source software are always under constant revision by groups of enthusiasts without commercial motive, and that is their strength. They keep becoming better and better with time and often beat the equivalent commercial software, whose upgrades are guided by commercial success.
  • Ah, I see the new codec includes the D500 and the D5. Isn't it time for someone here to update to a D500 at least, if not a D5, to test it out? Come on. Sell the car.
  • edited August 2016
    I tested out a friends D3300 on the new version Nikon NX-D/NX-I. Raw works okay now.
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