Open Camera RAW Files in Paint.NET!

Excellent collection of file type handlers and effects plugins for Paint.NET. Not the fastest ever at loading camera RAW images (takes about 5-8 seconds to load a CR2 from my Canon 30D), but it’s definitely helpful.

According to the website, it supports the following image types:

*.dcr DCR Digital Camera RAW Images
*.dng DNG Digital Camera RAW Images
*.eff EFF Digital Camera RAW Images
*.mrw MRW Digital Camera RAW Images
*.nef NEF Digital Camera RAW Images
*.orf ORF Digital Camera RAW Images
*.pef PEF Digital Camera RAW Images
*.raf RAF Digital Camera RAW Images
*.srf SRF Digital Camera RAW Images
*.X3F X3F Digital Camera RAW Images
*.crw CRW Digital Camera RAW Images
*.cr2 CR2 Digital Camera RAW Images

via Paint.NET – Megalo Effects & FileTypes Plugins

ICK! Color Profile FAIL!

Update: Here’s the link to the Samsung 225BW driver and color profile:
Samsung 225BW Driver

ICK! Color Profile FAIL

I’ve been having ridiculous problems with the color profiles on my Samsung SyncMaster 225BW. I’m pretty sure that it’s not Samsung’s fault, since the monitor is by far the best I’ve ever had, but any color-profile aware application ends up looking like crap (see screenshot above, or this blog post).

Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to get the original CD/software for the monitor if you’ve lost it, but it seems that the best workaround for this is to remove the existing (faulty) color profile and replace it with a working color profile, such as one from Adobe:

http://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/iccprofiles/icc_eula_win_end.html

To do this:

  1. Download the Adobe ICC Windows Color Profile from this link:
    http://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/iccprofiles/icc_eula_win_end.html
  2. Unzip the archive and navigate to the folder “RGB Profiles”
  3. Right click on “AdobeRGB1998.icc” and choose “Install Profile”
  4. To ensure that the profile is enabled, right click on the desktop, choose “Properties”, click the “Settings” tab, then the “Advanced…” button.
  5. Once in the Advanced Properties, click the “Color Management” tab.
  6. Remove any existing profile by clicking remove, then click “Add…” and choose “AdobeRGB1998.icc” from the folder displayed and click “Add”
  7. Click “Set as Default”, OK, then OK again to close the window.
  8. Then restart Windows.

For reference, your color profile dialog should look like this:

2008-07-23_154156

Hope this helps!

True-Color GIF Example

The mistaken belief that GIF has a limit of 256 colors probably comes from the way GIF was first used when it came out. In the late 1980’s, PC video cards generally supported no more than 256 colors. Image exchanges were becoming popular among BBS systems and the Internet and viewer programs were quickly produced. No one tried or needed to generate images with more than 256 colors since they could not be viewed on anything less than high priced graphics workstations. Programs that converted images to GIF worked up a number of methods to reduce the number of colors to 256 or fewer. Some actually did a very good job. GIF files were constructed with just a single image block, even though the GIF standard placed no limit on the number of blocks. Since there was no use for more than 256 colors, there was no use for more than one image block. This practice became effectively ingrained into the computer culture and eventually everyone “knew” that GIF supported no more than 256 colors. The fact is, the programs that generated GIF files supported no more than one image block, and thus didn’t have a means to deal with more than 256 colors. The top image shows that a GIF file really can have more than 256 colors.

(via http://phil.ipal.org/tc.html)