RAW conversions using Silkypix version 4


Silkypix is a full-featured program for converting RAW digital camera data into useable TIF and JPEG image files.  Version 4 is also capable of image corrections on TIF and JPG's.  After testing various RAW converters on the market I consider Silkypix the best.  You can download a free demo from www.silkypixusa.com

Some folks say such a program is unnecessary since Adobe Camera RAW and camera manufacturers already provide conversion software.  They also say most adjustments can be made later with Photoshop or the like.  I find that the extra time and expense using Silkypix is well worth it when comparing results side-by-side.  As its name implies, the program produces outstanding images with a smooth silky look.

This tutorial includes basic procedures and settings that work quite well for underwater photography.  Settings on the following examples best emulate the look of images taken with Fujichrome Velvia 50, minus film grain.

Camera Settings

For best results you should already have a calibrated monitor.  For more information see this page.

The sRGB colorspace is is the industry standard for images viewed on-screen & the web.  It has a limited color range so printed images may not look as good as on-screen.  I recommend outputting files with the Adobe RGB colorspace if you print or sell your work.  Colorspace may also be selected during development.

Daylight or Auto white balance produces the best representation in-camera but you will likely change it using Silkypix.  You should also set saturation, contrast, and sharpness levels to normal and use the lowest ISO possible. 

In-Camera Exposure

Digital files are similar to slide film when it comes to proper exposure.  Err on the side of underexposure if necessary since blown-out highlights cannot be recovered.  Fortunately RAW files underexposed up to 3-stops or 1-stop over can produce acceptable results.  This flexibility makes the use of TTL flash less important for those cameras and housings that lack it. 

Text and photographs are copyrighted property of Keoki and Yuko Stender unless otherwise indicated.  No part of this website may be used without permission of the authors.  Images may not be used for any purpose without express permission of the photographers.