Remember my post describing what’s in the RAW file vs the sensor? I recommend you to read it before proceeding.
Last week I updated to the latest and greatest Capture One release, 7.1. Business went as usual, until last Sunday, when I faced a big surprise. I was processing files from the morning shoot, and wanted to check how different cropping looks on an image, so activated the crop tool. What I saw is depicted below.
Note the gray border around the image. This shows that the image is cropped, although I didn’t crop it at all at this point. You can even move the crop border to include these border areas! In this example I got a 5843 x 3867 image instead of the 5760 x 3840 default crop. That’s 2.1% more image data.
There’s a limitation, however. I was only able to produce this extra data with lenses having a lens correction profile. I suspect this “feature” is a leftover from distortion correction, and is available in cases where the correction doesn’t eat up the entire border around the default crop. Even pulling the Distortion slider to the left removes those extra pixels.
C1 3.x had a similar feature when I was able to extract more pixels than with other converters. Nowadays you can always get those pixels using dcraw, but I avoid using that for anything except research – commercial converters are that much better.
I hope this isn’t treated as a bug by Phase One, and I would like to see this feature in upcoming releases. After all, default crop is just that: default crop. If one can extract more pixels with less waste, then it’s a good thing.
Following Jeppe’s comment I examined the situation a bit deeper by closely watching border pixels while modifying distortion correction amount. Jeppe’s right, you don’t get pixels outside of the default crop. Here’s an illustration on what happens:
Gray is the original image, blue what you get after distortion correction. And what I see is the ability to increase the crop from the original image size to recap some of those pixels otherwise would be lost to distortion correction (green). Am I right, Jeppe? Anyway, it’s a nice touch as you have the option to retain more image data.