JPG + good glass or RAW + good glass?

Started Apr 26, 2012 | Discussions
fakuryu
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JPG + good glass or RAW + good glass?
Apr 26, 2012

Hello,

I was just wondering since the Pentax JPG engine is one of the best out there with regards to dynamic range and highlight correction and since the JPG vs RAW has it pros and cons plus with the advent of improvements with regards to sensor technology; would you still shoot RAW or JPG for paid work and would your clients really notice after PP?

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awaldram
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Re: JPG + good glass or RAW + good glass?
In reply to fakuryu, Apr 26, 2012

Not an easy on size fits all answer

At low ISO jpgs are fine but imo Pentax jpg engine is not the best or even close to it, At least from a client expectation point of view.

Given this PP is required whether shooting RAW or Jpeg, In the case of jpg detail and saturation will require tweaking.

So given I will be PP'ing whether I shoot RAW or jpg and RAW will give me 14bits to play with I shoot RAW.

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fakuryu
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Re: JPG + good glass or RAW + good glass?
In reply to awaldram, Apr 26, 2012

Thanks for the answer, was just thinking about it ever since the D3200 came out and how the other camera manufacturers will react to it (Canon and the upcoming K-r and K-5 replacements) and how photographers will utilize it.

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pundit
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Re: JPG + good glass or RAW + good glass?
In reply to fakuryu, Apr 26, 2012

Would you take a boat trip without a life jacket?

If you're shooting for $$ you owe it to your client and yourself to provide the best results you can.

Some will argue that shooting RAW means you are automatically going to increase you're workload in post. This is not necessarily true.

I shoot RAW + JPG.
I try to aim for a 'perfect' in camera JPG but use the RAW file in post.

If the client wants some shots (proofs) while on the job I can give them/let them view the JPG's

There is much more information stored in the RAW file and the white balance is not 'baked in'.

RAW can invariably get you out of jail by allowing you to recover highlight or shadow details that may be lost in the JPG file or correct for off white balance. The K5's auto white balance is good but not perfect and mixed lighting can cause problems for any camera.

RAW allows you to extract every last detail out of an image. I use Nik software's suite of plugins and their U-Point technology allows you to selectively lighten or darken regions of an image. Once you've managed to pull detail from an image five stops underexposed using RAW you will never look back.

A client may not notice the difference between a properly exposed colour balanced version of the same shot in RAW and JPG but you definately will when things don't go quite to plan.

fakuryu wrote:

Hello,

I was just wondering since the Pentax JPG engine is one of the best out there with regards to dynamic range and highlight correction and since the JPG vs RAW has it pros and cons plus with the advent of improvements with regards to sensor technology; would you still shoot RAW or JPG for paid work and would your clients really notice after PP?

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Gerry Winterbourne
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Re: JPG + good glass or RAW + good glass?
In reply to fakuryu, Apr 26, 2012

fakuryu wrote:

I was just wondering since the Pentax JPG engine is one of the best out there with regards to dynamic range and highlight correction and since the JPG vs RAW has it pros and cons plus with the advent of improvements with regards to sensor technology; would you still shoot RAW or JPG for paid work and would your clients really notice after PP?

The K-5 sensor has a maximum raw DR (at ISO80) of about 14 stops; the JPG DR using all the D-range options might be about 11 stops. If you know that the DR of your scene is 11 stops or under you might not see a benefit using raw, provided that ...

If you get WB absolutely perfect in camera you won't need the extra flexibility raw gives you for tweaking ...

If you get exposure absolutely perfect in camera you won't need the extra flexibility raw gives you for tweaking ...

No photo is a perfect representation of the scene. If you produce two versions from the same file your client may see a difference and, if so, may have a preference. That preference has nothing directly to do with file type.

PP always causes some degree of degradation in the quality of an image. The degradation gets worse the more PP you do; for a given amount of PP the degradation is worse in JPG than in raw. Even if you client can't se the degradation are you comfortable offering it?

Get your raw converter properly set up as an integral part of your workflow and the extra effort using raw is negligible if all your shots are perfect, because you won't need to do any PP. If you do need PP, it will be easier shooting raw.

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Russ Houston
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Re: JPG + good glass or RAW + good glass?
In reply to fakuryu, Apr 26, 2012

Always raw+ for me. I still screw up exposure or white balance often enough that raw comes in handy.
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familyogre
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Re: JPG + good glass or RAW + good glass?
In reply to Russ Houston, Apr 26, 2012

Just interested in why people shoot raw+jpg, rather than just raw and then convert to jpeg in lightroom or similar?

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Jim Beverlin
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Re: JPG + good glass or RAW + good glass?
In reply to fakuryu, Apr 26, 2012

fakuryu wrote:

Hello,

since the Pentax JPG engine is one of the best out there

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Hmmm.......interesting statement. Maybe it is ok on the K-5 but I thought the jpg engine was pretty poor on older Pentax DSLRS. Anyway, I shoot RAW exclusively on my K-5, 1stD and DP2X and take extra efforts to make sure the exposure is correct. I try to do as little PP as possible out side of sharpening.
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MonkRX
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Re: JPG + good glass or RAW + good glass?
In reply to Jim Beverlin, Apr 26, 2012

I own the K-x. One of the awesome things about the K-x, K-5, and K-r is its HUGE dynamic range (as mentioned before). These have so much reach in the shadow range that you can shoot under exposed, and correct later.

Why is that a good thing? Well. I shoot RAW. Often with older manual lenses. Between manual focusing, composing, and setting exposure, its often one too many things to fiddle with. If I need to capture something immediately, I know I can fire off a shot without caring for exposure. Focus, Compose, Shoot. Expose later. JPEG is significantly less forgiving with exposure changing. RAW is extremely forgiving (so long as you don't overexpose).

The JPEG engine on the K-x and newer are great. Depending on your use, it should be good enough. Personally, I don't think its noise reduction is very good starting at 2000 and up (On the K-x*.. For the K-5, add a stop). Lightroom's noise reduction is better. I'd say its at least half a stop better. So if you need another half stop of performance, or more effective resolution at higher ISOs (because of better NR), you need to shoot RAW.

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MaxIso
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Re: JPG + good glass or RAW + good glass?
In reply to fakuryu, Apr 26, 2012

fakuryu wrote:

Hello,

I was just wondering since the Pentax JPG engine is one of the best out there with regards to dynamic range and highlight correction and since the JPG vs RAW has it pros and cons plus with the advent of improvements with regards to sensor technology; would you still shoot RAW or JPG for paid work and would your clients really notice after PP?

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im not sure what these pros and cons r, ive heard others claim such but i dont agree. jpg taks up a bit less space, but today they have massive cards for not much cost. today sd cards r as low as a dollar per gig, why anybody would worry about space is beyond me. the only real advantage with jepegs is buffer issues with raw, which could also b accomplished with a smaller resolution picture. i started out never shooting raw, and within 6mo i was shooting raw only. once i realized how easy it is to convert, there was no excuse for me to not shoot raw. better resolving power, better DR, better iso performance, better colors. small trade off imo, but to each his own. i will say if u dont have access to a conversion program its obviously going to b jpegs.

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Pentax_Prime
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Re: JPG + good glass or RAW + good glass?
In reply to fakuryu, Apr 26, 2012

I'll stop you there ... JPEG engines have absolutely nothing to do with Dynamic Range or any other property of sensor performance. Shoot RAW - forget JPEG.

fakuryu wrote:

I was just wondering since the Pentax JPG engine is one of the best out there with regards to dynamic range

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fakuryu
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Re: JPG + good glass or RAW + good glass?
In reply to Pentax_Prime, Apr 26, 2012

Pentax_Prime wrote:

I'll stop you there ... JPEG engines have absolutely nothing to do with Dynamic Range or any other property of sensor performance. Shoot RAW - forget JPEG.

fakuryu wrote:

I was just wondering since the Pentax JPG engine is one of the best out there with regards to dynamic range

So if the JPEG engine does not influence the DR during the in-camera PP, what does?

I also feel that I'm being quoted out of context here or was I just not that clear? What I meant was comparing the JPEG engine of Pentax comparing it to lets say Canon when handling DR and not really JPEG vs RAW.

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Gerry Winterbourne
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Re: JPG + good glass or RAW + good glass?
In reply to fakuryu, Apr 26, 2012

fakuryu wrote:

What I meant was comparing the JPEG engine of Pentax comparing it to lets say Canon when handling DR and not really JPEG vs RAW.

Early DSLRs had narrow DR, not even reaching 8 stops, so their JPG engines just used what there was and DR was effectively the same as shooting raw. However, once DR gets much beyond 8 or 9 stops the image can start to look flat when using a normal tone curve.

I suppose that makers could have opted for much more sophisticated JPG engines using different curves for different DR (which the engine itself would have had to measure). However, in practice they all seem to have decided that 8 or 9 stops (roughly) is as wide as they want to go. This is pretty much the same across the board: Pentax JPGs don't have wider DR than any others. In fact, DPR measured the K-r DR as narrower than D1100 and 3100D. This is true for ordinary JPGs and using DR expansion - a user-selectable option that does use a different tone curve.

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Pentax_Prime
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Re: JPG + good glass or RAW + good glass?
In reply to fakuryu, Apr 27, 2012

I think you are confusing DR for the basic application of tone curves ... Dynamic Range is a measure of sensor performance ... what the sub-par Pentax JPEG engine does with it isn't going to improve DR. Want the most DR out of your sensor? Shoot RAW. No, shooting JPEG is never going to be the solution for getting the most IQ out of your camera and lenses ... no matter how you word it.

fakuryu wrote:

So if the JPEG engine does not influence the DR during the in-camera PP

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KentG
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Re: JPG + good glass or RAW + good glass?
In reply to fakuryu, Apr 27, 2012

If I was shooting for journalism I would be shooting Jpeg. Or personally for vacations and travel. For almost any other purpose I would be shooting RAW. No matter how good the Jpeg engine is in camera I would always want to try and improve my images.
Kent Gittings

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fakuryu
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Re: JPG + good glass or RAW + good glass?
In reply to Pentax_Prime, Apr 27, 2012

Thanks for the information. Another question is, would this be beneficial for half body portraits with bokeh in where I don't need the DR given I have good lighting, proper exposure and WB?

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MaxIso
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Re: JPG + good glass or RAW + good glass?
In reply to fakuryu, Apr 27, 2012

fakuryu wrote:

Thanks for the information. Another question is, would this be beneficial for half body portraits with bokeh in where I don't need the DR given I have good lighting, proper exposure and WB?

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i can tell u from my experience switching from jpeg to raw, its not only DR that is improved. sharpness, or resolving power, less noise at all iso, and better color. all were at least slightly improved. u r talking about going from around 8 bit files, to up to 14 bit files for some cameras. this is a huge advantage for every part of the code, not just the DR. will it cause your hair to glow and your eyes to water? no, but to somebody with a keen eye it will b an obvious improvement in all areas. i never do PP, all i do is convert from raw to jpeg using PS and i see a lot of improvement. the largest difference to me is less noise, but i also shoot a lot at night.

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JohnBee
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Re: JPG + good glass or RAW + good glass?
In reply to fakuryu, Apr 27, 2012

fakuryu wrote:

Hello,

I was just wondering since the Pentax JPG engine is one of the best out there with regards to dynamic range and highlight correction and since the JPG vs RAW has it pros and cons plus with the advent of improvements with regards to sensor technology; would you still shoot RAW or JPG for paid work and would your clients really notice after PP?

There's no denying the advantages in RAW, though it really all comes down to ones needs and expectations. Likewise, with the clients. Having said that, I find the K-5 does quite with fine tuned JPG which makes RAW+ the perfect solution imo.

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MonkRX
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Remember in camera RAW to JPEG conversion
In reply to JohnBee, Apr 27, 2012

Also another option:

You can shoot RAW then convert it into JPEG in the playback menu of the camera. This is far slower (since you're going image by image looking for things to convert into JPEG), and you'd have to be doing some of your PP in the camera's tiny screen, but its far more space efficient.

I also heard that the K-5 can shoot JPEG, and then if you like your last picture, you can save the corresponding RAW file before it is flushed from the buffer. Also a great option.

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fakuryu
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Interesting point
In reply to MaxIso, Apr 27, 2012

Thanks for the info. Since I'm not really doing any paid work as of yet for portraiture and could be in a few weeks for a friend's friend, will try to shoot in RAW + JPG and do some comparisons.

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