Why Shoot RAW with an HS50EXR + Differences in RAW Converters. . .

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Orion12
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Why Shoot RAW with an HS50EXR + Differences in RAW Converters. . .
9 months ago

Anyone that owns a Normal Working HS50EXR Knows these cameras are capable of shooting some decent shots under a Fairly Wide Range of Shooting Conditions. . .

However the SOOC Jpegs can be Poor to Excellent depending on the Settings Used and Scene Type.

When I 1st got my HS50EXR I shot Several Thousand Jpegs and wanted nothing to do with "Raw" processing. . . This was instructional and did give me a decent handle on some limits of the Lens & Sensor.

During this "Phase" I shot quite a few Perfectly Fine Photographs but started Noticing Certain Characteristics in MY Photos. . . The Main "Missing Element" was "Detail in the Shadows" or in the Less Illuminated Portions of My Photos. . .

Here's an Example. . . ( Tech Note: The Following have Been ReSized to 1392x1050 for Comparison )

SOOC Embedded Jpeg from RAW File. . . 
( Un-Edited Except for Resize / a Light Breeze caused some Blur on Certain Branches )

The Above SOOC Jpeg LOOKS LIKE it's Later into the Evening then it Actually Is ( DARK Branches )
Also Note the Moon ALREADY has BLOWN Highlights so Cutting Back the Exposure to Correctly Exposure the Moon Would Result in EVEN DARKER Foliage Features. . .

Here's an EXCESSIVE ( For Illustration Purposes ) Jpeg Attempt to Push-Up the Shadows Gain. . .

You can See that the "Differentiated Shadow Details" were Largely MISSING so You Get LARGE Grey/Black Areas

To Be Fair, this is an EXTREME Example and For Sure SOME Improvements could have been achieved Without Pushing this Photo OVER the Ledge !
BUT it does Clearly Show LIMITED Dark Detail !

Now We'll Experiment with One of the "Better (imho) FREE Raw Converters" RawTherapee. . .

NOW You can at least SEE the Branches are GREEN and their are some Subtle Hues in the Shadows. . .
( I was Able to Restore the Moon's Exposure with RawTherapee BUT the Scene was Quite DARK - This is the BEST Trade-Off I Could Accomplish on Short Notice )  It Much More Accurately Shows the Actual Foliage Colors.

I happen to LIKE RawTherapee but will Admit that I'm NOT Even Close to a RT Expert. . .

The Raw Converter in LightZone was Also Tried but was NOT an Improvement so I'm Not Posting it.

As a Last Resort I processed the SAME RAW File in Photo Ninja Raw Converter. . .

Photo Ninja AUTOMATICALLY Recovered the BLOWN Moon Highlights WHILE Letting Me Easily Tweak the Foliage & Bring Up the "Dark Details" WHILE Further Reducing the NOISE in the Sky. . . Color & Detail Wise this is Pretty Close to How this Scene Looked in the View-Finder at the Time of the Shot !

This is likely OVER-Sharpened for some but I tend to Error on this side as it suits My Tastes. . .

For Easy Comparison - Here's a 3-Panel Display. . .

IF You Still Think In-Camera JPEGS & ALL RAW Converters are THE SAME. . . Do a Double Take & Wake Up !

Onward & Hopefully Upward with Good Shooting & Cheers from Orion 

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Fujifilm FinePix HS50 EXR Pentax K10D +4 more
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