Jpeg vs Raw with Sony SLT A65 and SLT A77

Started Apr 10, 2012 | Discussions
acdtech
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Jpeg vs Raw with Sony SLT A65 and SLT A77
Apr 10, 2012

I have been comparing the output of regular jpeg files during the daylight versus shooting in raw for the same shot. I am impressed with quality right out of the camera with jpeg. Probably the only way I will shoot raw is I plan to do a lot of tweaking or possibly printing out photos for others. The jpeg's are very quick to transfer to my pc even with a bunch of photos. Jpeg's at best quality are a lot smaller with a 24.3 megapixel sensor to transfer and store on my pc's hard drives. Sony raw files are a lot larger for storage and transfer time. I was wondering if other users that have have the A65 or A77 are going jpeg only or raw?

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Karl Scharf
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Re: Jpeg vs Raw with Sony SLT A65 and SLT A77
In reply to acdtech, Apr 11, 2012

I shoot JPEG with my A77 most of the time and am quite happy with the results. Have even been shooting 'fine' lately instead of x-fine, since the difference between the two does not justify the nearly double MP count as far as I am concerned.
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jacksond
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Re: Jpeg vs Raw with Sony SLT A65 and SLT A77
In reply to acdtech, Apr 11, 2012

I have been shooting jpeg with the A77. I shot a couple of raw the other day but haven't done anything with them yet. I'm very pleased with the results. I haven't seen any great difference between fine and xfine for smaller size prints.
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eastriding4310
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Re: Jpeg vs Raw with Sony SLT A65 and SLT A77
In reply to acdtech, Apr 11, 2012

I shoot Jpeg extra fine with my A77. I am happy with the results. I often shoot in the 12mp setting if I don't need a full image. I often use the smart teleconverter. I rarely print, but when I do, the prints look better than my screen.

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danny006
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Re: Jpeg vs Raw with Sony SLT A65 and SLT A77
In reply to eastriding4310, Apr 11, 2012

I recently switched from RAW to JPEG. When comparing side by side, the camera does a better job in sharpness/color/noise than me in post production.
Untill ISO1600 I use Xfine JPEG, above that I use MFNR with very good results.

I am quite happy about this actually, shooting JPEG allows the in body corrections to be applied.

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busch
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Re: Jpeg vs Raw with Sony SLT A65 and SLT A77
In reply to acdtech, Apr 11, 2012

I almost always shoot JPG.
Shoot whatever gives you the images you want/require.

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dhomi
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Re: Jpeg vs Raw with Sony SLT A65 and SLT A77
In reply to eastriding4310, Apr 11, 2012

I wish I had time to do more Post processing. Having a 24Mpx sensor means large RAW files, longer transfer, more space in the buffer...
Nonetheless, I love the ability to crop pictures.

I was wondering about the 12Mpx settings, this might be a stupid question but if one needs to shoot in very poor low light condition with or without MFNR, would going down to 12Mpx make sense?

I have no idea how the sensor manages that resolution. It would probably capture less details but I was hoping it would not generate as much noise...

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splashy
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Re: Jpeg vs Raw with Sony SLT A65 and SLT A77
In reply to dhomi, Apr 11, 2012

Friedman says about this in his 65/77 book

The result of a jpg picture made the right way, straight out of the camera, is so good that when using Raw, most people won't be able to PP the Raw file and make it look that nice.

What the camera does in seconds will take a human much longer, not to mention the space needed for the (too) large files and the time to handle these giant files.

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Alan_S
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Re: Jpeg vs Raw with Sony SLT A65 and SLT A77
In reply to acdtech, Apr 11, 2012

This is a personal choice, and the a77's JPG output is so good that it can be a tough call. As with every new body I acquire, I initially shot RAW+JPG with the a77 to answer this very question for myself. As others have said, the JPG output is impressive and for the most part I could be "happy" with the results.

However, without exception, for every file I've compared (and I've only compared those that were at least a bit challenging -- harsh light, twilight, high ISO... if only lighting were always "perfect"!) I'm able to get significantly more satisfying results by processing the RAW file in ACR. (In particular, the freedom to apply just the right amount of Recovery, Fill Light, Clarity and Vibrance for each situation.. yes DRO and other settings will adjust for this in-camera, but for me, there's nothing like being able to apply just the "right amount" of each with the ACR sliders... and same for sharpness & NR.) So, my personal choice, after a couple of weeks of experimenting, was to switch my setting to RAW for the vast majority of my shooting. Part of it, too, for me, is making the final image my personal creation that I have taken the time to get the way I intend. Photography is an art form and I take great satisfaction in perfecting it to the best of my ability.

This doesn't mean I won't occasionally switch to one of the a77's JPG modes, in fact, I have one of my pre-sets ready for MFNR when the situation warrants (but if I have time in those situations I will also shoot that scene RAW with exposure bracketing for PP layer processing in Photoshop), and that Handheld Twilight mode can be incredible under certain conditions. But other than rare situations, my choice is to shoot RAW.

Also, with modern computers and a fast card, the transfer time is not an issue at all (depends on your equipment). Neither is storage an issue with today's large inexpensive drives (again, equipment dependent).

That's my personal conclusion. Others will differ, each should find what works best for individual needs.
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VirtualMirage
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Re: Jpeg vs Raw with Sony SLT A65 and SLT A77
In reply to acdtech, Apr 11, 2012

I'm currently shooting in RAW+JPEG with my A77 but will probably be switching to RAW only soon.

The JPEGs were mostly for the wife to use when uploading via Facebook and for me when I was initially trying to match the color of the JPEG in my RAW photos. But with Lightroom 4's Facebook upload plugin and it seeming to handle the RAW files better than past versions, the need for my JPEGs have become less and less. So to save space, I'll probably be going to RAW only.
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JudyN
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Re: Jpeg vs Raw with Sony SLT A65 and SLT A77
In reply to Alan_S, Apr 11, 2012

I just want to comment that I find jpgs to be very editable. With LR, you edit RAW and JPG basically the same (the WB sliders are different). With Photoshop, yes you can load JPG files into ACR.

So in these cases you much improved the RAW in Post, did you try to improve the JPG?

So I don't agree that jpg is only for people who aren't going to edit their files. I edit everything that I intend to use in any way (online or print). I know other people see enormous differences between their ability to edit jpg and raw, but I don't. There are a few more bits of information so theoretically you can do more, but in actual practice, for me it isn't worth the down sides. Most of the time...

Alan_S wrote:

However, without exception, for every file I've compared (and I've only compared those that were at least a bit challenging -- harsh light, twilight, high ISO... if only lighting were always "perfect"!) I'm able to get significantly more satisfying results by processing the RAW file in ACR.

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Alan_S
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JudyN, Re: Jpeg vs Raw with Sony SLT A65 and SLT A77
In reply to JudyN, Apr 11, 2012

JudyN wrote:

I just want to comment that I find jpgs to be very editable. With LR, you edit RAW and JPG basically the same (the WB sliders are different).

Yes different, applies a color cast to a JPG rather than controlling the WB of the RAW file.

With Photoshop, yes you can load JPG files into ACR.

So in these cases you much improved the RAW in Post, did you try to improve the JPG?

Hi Judy, yes I have done that, and I agree you can do a fair amount of adjustment to JPGs. Where I've found the RAW advantage most dramatic is the challenging situations I eluded to (and these are the situations I love to work with!). For example, wildlife at dawn or dusk, shot at ISO 800-1600, particularly when I'm wanting to crop a portion of the image to get even closer than the 70-400G will bring me (and also print large). With elements like bright reflections of the morning's first rays of colorful sunlight hitting water in a stream, coupled with combinations of direct light and deep shadows in surrounding vegetation and on the animal's fur... with the RAW file I can truly adjust WB and apply just the right combination of sharpness, noise reduction, highlight recovery and fill light. Yes I've tried applying similar adjustments to the in-camera JPG, with its pre-applied sharpening and NR (or lack thereof), and for me it makes for an image that is really OKish from a distance but once I do any cropping and enlarging the finer details always show me a dramatic difference.

So I don't agree that jpg is only for people who aren't going to edit their files. I edit everything that I intend to use in any way (online or print). I know other people see enormous differences between their ability to edit jpg and raw, but I don't. There are a few more bits of information so theoretically you can do more, but in actual practice, for me it isn't worth the down sides. Most of the time...

I agree it is not apparent in all situations. But, the RAW file does, in fact, leave intact much more than a few more bits of information to work with. For my particular shooting style it makes a big difference. I come from working in the chemical darkroom of decades past and enjoy taking the time working with the images to create the best that I can.

As I said originally, it's a personal choice. We each need to find what works best for our particular needs. For me, for most of my shooting, I'm able to get significantly more satisfying results by processing the RAW files in ACR.

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danny006
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Re: Jpeg vs Raw with Sony SLT A65 and SLT A77
In reply to splashy, Apr 11, 2012

splashy wrote:

Friedman says about this in his 65/77 book

The result of a jpg picture made the right way, straight out of the camera, is so good that when using Raw, most people won't be able to PP the Raw file and make it look that nice.

That's indeed what my findings are. The JPEG engine is very good if you ask me, untill ISO1600.

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Ralic
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Ford vs Ferrari
In reply to acdtech, Apr 11, 2012

If you shoot JPEG, you let a japanese engineer do the editing for you.... If you shoot raw you have tons of options and if you lack HDD space, upgrade....... Seriously? does anyone shoot JPEG with this fine equipment?? why dont you all get a compact camera instead, you dont drive Ford(JPEG) when you can drive the ferrari(RAW) if you have both cars.

JPEG is good for vacation snapshots only. I have tested JPEG+RAW to see the difference and RAW is always better, the only thing JPEG is good for is for the automatic lens correction and my/all sal1650 needs a lot of correction, specially on 16mm. but PP can fix that too with presets in LR4 for example...

Have some respect for the A77 and treat it like the Semi pro it is... If you can see the benefits(google it), you will end up shooting raw.

I have been talking to many a77/65 users and not one of them shoots JPEG(cept all you here in the forum who do)..and if one of them had, i would not take him seriously....go buy a compact...

Hope i did not hit a nerve.....

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digititus
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Re: Ford vs Ferrari
In reply to Ralic, Apr 11, 2012

Ralic wrote:

If you shoot JPEG, you let a japanese engineer do the editing for you.... If you shoot raw you have tons of options and if you lack HDD space, upgrade....... Seriously? does anyone shoot JPEG with this fine equipment?? why dont you all get a compact camera instead, you dont drive Ford(JPEG) when you can drive the ferrari(RAW) if you have both cars.

JPEG is good for vacation snapshots only. I have tested JPEG+RAW to see the difference and RAW is always better, the only thing JPEG is good for is for the automatic lens correction and my/all sal1650 needs a lot of correction, specially on 16mm. but PP can fix that too with presets in LR4 for example...

Have some respect for the A77 and treat it like the Semi pro it is... If you can see the benefits(google it), you will end up shooting raw.

I have been talking to many a77/65 users and not one of them shoots JPEG(cept all you here in the forum who do)..and if one of them had, i would not take him seriously....go buy a compact...

Hope i did not hit a nerve.....

You did hit a nerve, so let me say it for a lot of people. You're comments are nothing but a bunch of condescending, pompous BS. Maybe you should have saved this arrogance for your second or third post on this forum!

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Karl Scharf
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Re: Ford vs Ferrari
In reply to digititus, Apr 11, 2012

digititus wrote:

Ralic wrote:

If you shoot JPEG, you let a japanese engineer do the editing for you.... If you shoot raw you have tons of options and if you lack HDD space, upgrade....... Seriously? does anyone shoot JPEG with this fine equipment?? why dont you all get a compact camera instead, you dont drive Ford(JPEG) when you can drive the ferrari(RAW) if you have both cars.

JPEG is good for vacation snapshots only. I have tested JPEG+RAW to see the difference and RAW is always better, the only thing JPEG is good for is for the automatic lens correction and my/all sal1650 needs a lot of correction, specially on 16mm. but PP can fix that too with presets in LR4 for example...

Have some respect for the A77 and treat it like the Semi pro it is... If you can see the benefits(google it), you will end up shooting raw.

I have been talking to many a77/65 users and not one of them shoots JPEG(cept all you here in the forum who do)..and if one of them had, i would not take him seriously....go buy a compact...

Hope i did not hit a nerve.....

You did hit a nerve, so let me say it for a lot of people. You're comments are nothing but a bunch of condescending, pompous BS. Maybe you should have saved this arrogance for your second or third post on this forum!

Yes, you did hit a nerve, your arrogance reflects your raw ignorance.
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Yezariael
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Re: Ford vs Ferrari
In reply to Karl Scharf, Apr 11, 2012

I usually shoot JPEG, but when it is very important and can't be done again I shoot RAW+JPEG... but in general I am very happy with JPEG

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ranger604
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In-camera processing
In reply to digititus, Apr 11, 2012

First time poster here, so flame if necessary ;

I have a question regarding the RAW files. Are things like DRO and Chromatic Aberation adjustments ignored when shooting RAW?

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NPPhoto
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Check these pictures out. JPG on Sony is MUCH BETTER than my earlier CaNikons...
In reply to acdtech, Apr 11, 2012

In my previous CaNikon experience, the jpgs when compared to RAW clearly lacked and I always relied on RAW to make the photos shine. With my A65, I rarely shoot RAW and simply apply saved curves from CS3 and spend very little time to get satisfactory results.

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VirtualMirage
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Re: In-camera processing
In reply to ranger604, Apr 11, 2012

ranger604 wrote:

First time poster here, so flame if necessary ;

I have a question regarding the RAW files. Are things like DRO and Chromatic Aberation adjustments ignored when shooting RAW?

Yes.

The DRO I believe Sony's IDC software can simulate when post processing, but lens correction stuff is JPEG only.

Having said that, you can do Chromatic Aberation corrections in Lightroom as well as some other RAW editors. Lens corrections can be done too via those editors if they have a profile for the lens you use.
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