Home > Photography > Tips & Techniques > Silkypix 2 Intro

Photographic Tips & Techniques

RAW conversions using Silkypix version 2


Silkypix 2 is a full-featured program for converting RAW digital camera data into useable TIF and JPEG image files.  Version 3 & higher 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 and executed using version 2.0Silkypix 3 & higher include more features and will operate on RAW, TIF and JPG files.  Settings on the following examples best emulate the look of images taken with Fujichrome Velvia 50, minus film grain.

RAW Files incompatible with Silkypix - free fix

If your camera's native RAW files are incompatible first convert to the DNG file format.  If you haven't already, download and install the free Adobe DNG Converter.  Run the converter on your original image folder and save or move the DNG files to a new folder.  You can now manipulate the DNG files with Silkypix.

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 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.