X10 LR4 RAW to JPEG comparisons (New sensor, firmware 2.0)

Started Nov 23, 2012 | Discussions thread
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eltocliousus
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X10 LR4 RAW to JPEG comparisons (New sensor, firmware 2.0)
Nov 23, 2012

All comparisons are done with RAW on the left, JPEG on the right.

I made a thread a month or so back asking if if the X10 is the right street camera for me, as I process all my pictures in RAW and would find it difficult to use JPEGs. The response was that the camera really doesn't belong in RAW, and there was a thread demonstrating this, aswell as Dpreview's review, showing that sharpness/detail is quite a lot worse in RAW exported to JPEG, compared to a JPEG straight from camera.

So I ended up getting the X10 anyway, a brand new one from Fuji UK with the new sensor and firmware 2.0 natively installed, and decided to do a comparison using the most up-to-date version of Lightroom 4, and to my surprise, RAWs are near-identical to out of camera JPEGs minus the processing that happens to the JPEGs which you can't avoid on any camera, I'm quite pleased with this as now I can shoot in RAW knowing I'm not losing any detail.

The comparisons were done in Aperture priority, F11, ISO 100 with a shutter speed of 1.2 seconds, the camera was tripod mounted, I then shot the camera in identical settings at JPEG and RAW, these RAWs (.RAF) have been loaded into Lightroom then exported, full resolution, no editing done whatsoever other than when I demonstrate RAWs capability in a few of the later images, the JPEG settings were fully default, DR100, all settings on "0", standard film simulation.

I first noticed that the JPEGs were slightly wider, you simply get more in frame which is strange as I'd expect the opposite, the RAW looks to have been slightly stretched with the sides cut off, I'm not sure which is more accurate, but you can see here, that the JPEG has just a bit more room on the edge of the frame (the left side of the frame is the edge):

I noticed two other things when comparing RAWs to JPEGs, JPEGs tended to be slightly colder with brighter highlights, and had  a little less noise, most likely due noise reduction (which was set to 0, this is the default "standard" setting), here's an example of the slightly less pattern noise, and colder/brighter highlights:

My main concern with wanting to shoot RAW is the lack of detail compared to JPEG, it looked as though RAWs just weren't handled well, and I'm not sure what changed this, whether it was the newer Lightroom 4, the new sensor (doubtful), or firmware 2.0, however you can see here that neither have more detail, again the JPEG has a colder colour to it, here's a ridiculous zoom:

Now, I wanted to see how the JPEGs handled editing and bringing out detail in the shadows/highlights, as this is the main reason that I use RAW, along with better temperature adjustment and other such things, here I put both the RAW and JPEG into Lightroom 4, increased shadows +80, you can see the RAW handles this much, much better, extremely well in-fact I was very surprised, the RAW simply has much more detail, the JPEG has much less detail, with colour noise just about everywhere at the same setting:

So there we go, it seems the only benefit to JPEG is the noise, which you can quickly re-create in Lightroom by doing a little bit of noise reduction yourself, other than that RAWs seem to work perfectly as of now, and I feel happier knowing that I'm not losing fine detail when I shoot RAW, and yet I'm still able to get that lovely editing transparency that JPEG just simply can't offer.

Fujifilm X10
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