Blending signature wines...and the P7700

Started Feb 28, 2013 | Discussions
Ben Herrmann
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Blending signature wines...and the P7700
Feb 28, 2013

Hello all:

Hope things are going well for all of you wherever you are.

One of the fastest growing segments of production in specific states is the domestic wine industry.  In North Carolina, the state where I live, we now have over 130 wineries, with an average of 5 new ones coming on line every three months.  Of particular note are the wineries in the Yadkin Valley region (Piedmont area) where close to 50 wineries/vineyards can be found.  We're talkin' world class wines.

Although my wife and I are not drinkers, we do enjoy a nice glass of wine with each meal, and when we were informed that one particular small winery - Round Peak Vineyards in Mt. Airy, NC - was holding a "Blend your own Signature Wine" event, we knew that we had to sign up.  So for $300 USD a couple, the winery would teach you how to blend various wines to come up with your own signature wine.  You would then get involved with the blending, bottling, corking, labeling, etc.  After it was all done, you got to take a full case (12 bottles) of your signature wine collection with you.

We spent this past week in this particular region and I took along two cameras - the P7700 and the Fuji X10 (which I will be selling....read on).  The weather both Friday and Saturday was horrible - heavy rains mixed with snow, poor visibility, and temps in the 30's (F) - not exactly the perfect picture-taking weather.

The P7700 did a superb job, and I was astounded at how poorly the Fuji X10 did in comparison.  When you shoot both cameras side by side, you see the superiority of the Nikon sensor, and although both cams have 12 MP's, the images captured by the Fuji resembled more like 8 - 10 MP models (and I always liked the X10).  But enough of that.

Weather conditions - temps in the 30's (F), rainy/overcast.  All P7700 images shot in RAW, AWB, Aperture Priority Mode (from f3.5 to f5.6).  ISO's ranged from 100-1600 depending on environment.  Flash images were captured using the older SB-700 in bounce mode with the Stofen Omnibounce cap attached.  Images were converted with Lightroom 4.4 RC1, digital frames were added in batch mode using IDFramer software, and all were then converted to JPG (web usage) using Irfanview.

This first winery is Sanders Ridge Winery located on Boonville, NC - and we're talkin' in the boondocks.  Their wines are superb, especially their reds (Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Savignon, and Chambourcins).  The wine tasting area and their superb 4 star Bistro is located in a hand-built post and beam construction building (the owners built this by hand and it took 1.5 years).  Once you've been here, you keep coming back for more.....  Just for your info, their website is:

http://www.sandersridge.com/?www.catchwine.com

ISO 400 - Image taken by standing in the covered Gazego area (overlooking the pond) and looking upwards at an angle.

ISO 400 - a different angle.

ISO 1600 - converted with Lightroom and removed the little noise I found by adjusting the Luminance NR slider.

The next winery (the following day) was the Round Peak Vineyards located in Mt. Airy, NC.  For those of you not familiar with Mt. Airy (the town), it is where the actor Andy Griffith was born and his Andy Griffith TV series (Mayberry) was based on Mt. Airy.  This winery is on the outskirts of Mt. Airy and it is here where we went through the Wine blending class.  The Round Peak Winery website is:

https://www.roundpeak.com/#top

ISO 200

ISO 200

ISO 200

ISO 200



Taken at ISO 800 - the wine tasting area at Round Peak Vineyards.

Taken at ISO 800 - this winery had several exceptionally friendly and playful dogs that greeted all those who were arriving.  They were so lovable that even if you weren't a dog person, you felt inclined to want to adopt one.  This particular female dog just wanted to be around you all of the time.

My wife learning to blend various wines based on preferences after tasting a dozen different categories of wines.  Image taken at ISO 400 with the SB-700 in bounce mode.

After the classroom session, you then went into the barrel storage area and removed the wines for precise blending before heading to the bottling area, etc.  ISO 400 with the SB-700 in bounce mode.

After purging the empty bottles with Nitrogen, the bottling process begins.  ISO 400 with the SB-700 in bounce mode.

Now on to labeling your special blend - that's the owner of the winery on the left and my son on the right.  This whole process was a great learning experience.

And finally, putting the signature blend name on special labels and then the case goes home with you!  Can't wait to try these - but they have to sit in the bottle for a good month or so before opening.

So there it is gang - nothing particular mind-boggling - but I must say I was impressed with how the P7700 handled.  Yes, there were high levels of purple fringing in certain high contrasy scenes, but I easily removed the PF in Lightroom.  Love the color tonality of the P7700....I think I'll keep it  

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Have a great one....
Bernd (Ben) W. Herrmann
North Carolina, USA
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tomjar
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Re: Blending signature wines...and the P7700
In reply to Ben Herrmann, Feb 28, 2013

Hi Ben. Obviously you had a great time at this winery! A very nice set of pictures too - it illustrates the whole event perfectly. A couple of questions if I may:

When you say that you used Lightroom to convert P7700's RAWs and that you later used Irfanview to convert to JPEGs - what conversion are you speaking of in case of Lightroom? Not RAW-->JPEG then? RAW-->DNG? Or do you use Irfanfview just to downsample JPEGs for the web?

I noticed that you tend to use ISO 400 with SB700. Wouldn't a combination of a lower ISO with more output from the flash work just as well (especially since you're using that omnibounce cap anyway)? The photo with your wife in the lab for example, which was taken from a close distance - wouldn't it work better at ISO 100 (less noise)? I know noise is not an issue at all at this size, but still...

Just curious: why are you getting rid of the Fuji? Because you're getting an X20 instead (I know you simultaneously own a huge selection of cameras)?

Kind regards, Tomaz

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Sunshine_boy
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Re: Blending signature wines...and the P7700
In reply to Ben Herrmann, Feb 28, 2013

A superb documentary Ben!... Complete in every aspect of your great experience at the wineries. I wonder how you managed to keep a clear head with all those wines around you!...

In a recent posting of mine about flash photography with the P7100 + SB-400 I made reference to your old P7100 flash pictures, about their natural look and even lighting. These new series of your P7700 confirm my comments (in my thread).

Can I ask some questions please:

1. What flash mode are you using? Auto, Fill or Manual?

2. Do you vary the flash compensation from shot to shot? If 'yes', based on what criteria?

3. What color setting do you use, Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Custom?

4. Any fine adjustment on the Auto WB?

5. I assume you are using Auto iso and Aperture priority mode?

Your overall color tones look very pleasing indeed. I always go for a little punchier colors (but not vivid) which I like but sometimes give a little too contrasty results. That is why I am asking about your color and WB settings. I would appreciate your comments on the settings (and results) I use as written in my thread.

Also, if you have any comparison images of the P7700 and X10 (taken at the winery), please post some examples and comments.

Thanks for your time

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Sunshine
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ps If you see someone without a smile on, give him one of yours...

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mallbuedel
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Re: Blending signature wines...and the P7700
In reply to Sunshine_boy, Feb 28, 2013

Sunshine_boy wrote:

-snip-

3. What color setting do you use, Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Custom?

4. Any fine adjustment on the Auto WB?

5. I assume you are using Auto iso and Aperture priority mode?

Your overall color tones look very pleasing indeed. I always go for a little punchier colors (but not vivid) which I like but sometimes give a little too contrasty results. That is why I am asking about your color and WB settings. I would appreciate your comments on the settings (and results) I use as written in my thread.

-snip-

Ben Herrmann wrote that the shooting was done in RAW.

I think that the settings you mentioned above haven't any influence on the RAW data itselves, but could provide side-information for the RAW-Converter you use (if the latter can read them). A while ago I read that  the proprietary ViewNx2 can read them, but I don't know to which extend these are taken into account in the developping process as I don't use this program.

I use DxO, and the only explicit setting there with a reference to cam settings is white balance. I can leave it "As Shot" or choose among among several light conditions.

I haven't done any tests comparing the influence of cam settings to my RAW-pictures and won't do in the future. But for an investigating mind who has more time on his hands than a retiree, it should be interesting to do a field-test 

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Sunshine_boy
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Re: Blending signature wines...and the P7700
In reply to mallbuedel, Feb 28, 2013

mallbuedel wrote:

Sunshine_boy wrote:

-snip-

3. What color setting do you use, Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Custom?

4. Any fine adjustment on the Auto WB?

5. I assume you are using Auto iso and Aperture priority mode?

Your overall color tones look very pleasing indeed. I always go for a little punchier colors (but not vivid) which I like but sometimes give a little too contrasty results. That is why I am asking about your color and WB settings. I would appreciate your comments on the settings (and results) I use as written in my thread.

-snip-

Ben Herrmann wrote that the shooting was done in RAW.

I think that the settings you mentioned above haven't any influence on the RAW data itselves, but could provide side-information for the RAW-Converter you use (if the latter can read them). A while ago I read that the proprietary ViewNx2 can read them, but I don't know to which extend these are taken into account in the developping process as I don't use this program.

I use DxO, and the only explicit setting there with a reference to cam settings is white balance. I can leave it "As Shot" or choose among among several light conditions.

I haven't done any tests comparing the influence of cam settings to my RAW-pictures and won't do in the future. But for an investigating mind who has more time on his hands than a retiree, it should be interesting to do a field-test

I disagree!... The color settingsDO affect both jpegs and raw. To prove it, I just did a quick test. 4 shots (crops) at Monochrome, Neutral, Standard and Vivid. Faststone can display the raw files (NRWs) but obviously cannot analyse P7100 parameters. You can see what Faststone 'sees' below:

They are obviously different... 

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ps If you see someone without a smile on, give him one of yours...

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Steinhansel
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Re: Blending signature wines...and the P7700
In reply to Ben Herrmann, Feb 28, 2013

Hi Ben-

Great shots!  you managed to document the events very completely and well.

You're right, wines are a growing thing in North Carolina.  My niece and her husband bought a winery in North Carolina when they returned from the service in Iraq.  It is called Old Stone Winery and Vineyard and it's located in Salisbury on Route 52.  They produce some very interesting varieties with typical NC overtones.

It was good to see your posting.

Hans

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Ben Herrmann
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Here is my image conversion pattern....
In reply to tomjar, Feb 28, 2013

I use Lightroom 4.4 to convert my RAW files (since I still have CS-5).  I then import the file as a TIF image into Photoshop to view the final image.  I then save my TIF Images as my master files.  From there I create another folder if I want to add digital framing (for effects).  From there, I'll take the digitally framed TIF's (which are in a separate folder), and then I use Irfanview to make web-ready JPG files.  I typically convert to JPG using around a n 85 - 90% quality setting with a resolution size of 975 x something (depending on camera).  The reason I enjoy using Irfanview is because it gives me the most options available - more so than many image conversion programs on the market.  But that's just me.

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Have a great one....
Bernd (Ben) W. Herrmann
North Carolina, USA
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Ben Herrmann
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Flash....
In reply to Sunshine_boy, Feb 28, 2013

Sunshine_boy wrote:

Can I ask some questions please:

1. What flash mode are you using? Auto, Fill or Manual?

In this case I kept my camera in Aperture Priority Mode and the flash was in TTL mode.  It kept the shutter speed at 1/30 (VR engaged of course).  If the rooms are ideal - meaning, white ceilings that are 8-10 feel high (no higher than that), then traditional bouncing techniques will prevail with superb results.  However, if the ceilings are higher - or, if they are not white in color - then I attached 3rd party devices like the Stofen Omnibounce cap or better yet (although a larger item), Gary Wong's Lightsphere dome.

2. Do you vary the flash compensation from shot to shot? If 'yes', based on what criteria?

Yes and no - meaning, that every environment will dictate a different scenario.  The key to this type of photography is to make adjustments on the flash head only.  Luckily (with the exception of the SB-400), you can adjust flash exposure compensation (FEC) on the flash head, which is what you want,  In one scene, I had to up the FEC to +1.0 to achieve the desired effect.  In others, I had to dial down to -.07 or -.03.  If you are forced to have to go into the camera each and every time to make adjustments (i.e. like with the SB-400), then it can become a bit frustrating - but the SB-400 is a superb flash that I use often, but in more confined scenarios.

3. What color setting do you use, Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Custom?

I always keep my cameras set to Standard (but remember, I shoot in RAW only).  But just in case, for the P7700, I keep contrast set to -1, color saturation to neutral (0), and sharpness to either standard (middle setting) or -1.  Considering that you shoot in RAW, you can make a wealth of adjustments after-the-fact, if need be.

4. Any fine adjustment on the Auto WB?

Well, I've been lucky in that I use AWB - but then again, you can always make intricate adjustments to WB when converting from RAW.  But in the case of these images, I didn't have to make any WB adjustments at all after-the-fact.

5. I assume you are using Auto iso and Aperture priority mode?

Nope - I never use auto ISO.  I would rather set the ISO levels because I don't trust any cameras to make that decision for me.  For example, let's say I'm using a tripod in a very low-light area and I want to keep definition and clarity, but I want to keep my ISO set to ISO 100 or 200 (expecting long exposure times).  In that case if I place the camera on a tripod - but still have Auto ISO set - the camera would then arbitrarily raise the ISO (which I don't want in that instance).

Your overall color tones look very pleasing indeed. I always go for a little punchier colors (but not vivid) which I like but sometimes give a little too contrasty results. That is why I am asking about your color and WB settings. I would appreciate your comments on the settings (and results) I use as written in my thread.

Color is a very subjective scenario and no two people alike will agree - thus the endless arguments about "Olympus color" (which you hear often), or Nikon this or that.  I try to keep it real because we all want to remember a scene a certain way - even though it may not have been the case (that's the thing with digital).  I've gotten quite good at RAW conversions but I try (perhaps not always sucessfully though) to showcase the images that way I experienced them.  I keep my camera color profile at sRGB.

I've got several images - but that's all.  I immediately saw the differences and then stopped using the X10 on that trip.  And it endorses what DPReview said in their review of the X10, that it doesn't seem to match other sensors in the definition department.  I also noted that contrasts and clarity were off.  But again, the X10 is a really nice camera - especially in the body construction department.  It feels like you're shooting with a little Leica.  Perhaps the new X20 will be better - but I believe it is that EXR sensor that is given folks some difficulties.  All I say, in my opinion of course, is that the P7700 waxed the X10 and as a result, I will be putting the X10 up for sale within the next week or two.

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Have a great one....
Bernd (Ben) W. Herrmann
North Carolina, USA
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toomanycanons
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Re: Blending signature wines...and the P7700
In reply to Ben Herrmann, Feb 28, 2013

You sure know how to spend your retirement time!

1)  Raw to TIFF?  Yikes, what would happen if you just shot in jpeg?

2)  Would the P7100 have spanked the X10 as well?

3)  For awhile I thought the P7700 and P7100 had the same sensor but of course they don't.  Could you compare both sensors for me?  CMOS vs CCD, etc.

4)  You sure did download LR4.4 in a hurry.  What's the difference between that and LR4.3?

5)  Nice straight verticals on your shots.

6)  NC is a winery state, Colorado is a beer micro-brewery state.  It's all good!

7)  You say you dealt with "noise" with the Luminance slider.  I don't have LR in front of me but did you also tweak the "Color" noise slider?  That's always a necessity with my P7100 when I shoot in raw.

8)  Oh yeah, cool story!

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Ben Herrmann
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Wow....
In reply to toomanycanons, Feb 28, 2013

toomanycanons wrote:

You sure know how to spend your retirement time!

1) Raw to TIFF? Yikes, what would happen if you just shot in jpeg?

I always shoot in RAW because you have so much more headroom in those files.  Remember, JPG's are a lossy file, meaning that they are compressed to bring them down to a certain size.  So in the process of compression, the process arbitrarily removes various image data.  And if you keep working on JPG files (resaving in the process - which means even more compression), more information is lost until eventually you have a sub-par image file.  Thus I always shoot in RAW.  However, with those few cameras that  shoot in JPG only (i.e. P510), I will shoot in the JPG fine setting and then immediately convert the file to a TIF Master - where I can make tons of adjustments (if needed) without fear of further compression.

2) Would the P7100 have spanked the X10 as well?

Well, I couldn't tell you that since I never compared the two.  As I mentioned, once you hold that X10, you are highly impressed and I love the menu system.  Now don't get me wrong as the X10 can capture some really nice images - but this weekend, in those weather conditions and those locales, the P7700 "spanked (to use your term)" the X10 in a variety of ways (IMO of course).

3) For awhile I thought the P7700 and P7100 had the same sensor but of course they don't. Could you compare both sensors for me? CMOS vs CCD, etc.

Well, I'm no technoweenie, so I'll defer to somebody else who may be able to explain that more eloquently.

4) You sure did download LR4.4 in a hurry. What's the difference between that and LR4.3?

Yeah, when you're not gettin' laid, you tend to offset by doing OCD things like making sure your software is constantly up-to-date (and firmware).  Couldn't tell you the differences other than perhaps a few new RAW files being added.  I just try to keep my stuff updated.

5) Nice straight verticals on your shots.

I always use the perspective distortion adjustments in Lightroom.  It's a personal pet peeve of mine when I see images where perspective distortions pull my eyes away from what I should be focusing on.  The distortion tools in Lightroom are superb and yes, I used them to adjust for perspectives.  The P7700 is no better or worse than other cameras in this regard.  In fact, if you look at any of my images - posted with any of my cameras - you will see that I've adjusted for perspective distortion.  It makes it easier on the eye (less visual conflict) and it causes you to appreciate the scene as experienced.

6) NC is a winery state, Colorado is a beer micro-brewery state. It's all good!

Hey, NC's micro-brewery operations are bustling - with many wineries now also offering micro-brews.  I love it (don't know why 'cause I'm not really a drinker - but I do enjoy an occasional beer).

7) You say you dealt with "noise" with the Luminance slider. I don't have LR in front of me but did you also tweak the "Color" noise slider? That's always a necessity with my P7100 when I shoot in raw.

I've not played with the color noise slider much to be honest.

8) Oh yeah, cool story!

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Bernd (Ben) W. Herrmann
North Carolina, USA
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mallbuedel
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Re: Blending signature wines...and the P7700
In reply to Sunshine_boy, Feb 28, 2013

Sunshine_boy wrote:

-snip-

Ben Herrmann wrote that the shooting was done in RAW.

I think that the settings you mentioned above haven't any influence on the RAW data itselves, but could provide side-information for the RAW-Converter you use (if the latter can read them). A while ago I read that the proprietary ViewNx2 can read them, but I don't know to which extend these are taken into account in the developping process as I don't use this program.

I use DxO, and the only explicit setting there with a reference to cam settings is white balance. I can leave it "As Shot" or choose among among several light conditions.

I haven't done any tests comparing the influence of cam settings to my RAW-pictures and won't do in the future. But for an investigating mind who has more time on his hands than a retiree, it should be interesting to do a field-test

I disagree!... The color settingsDO affect both jpegs and raw. To prove it, I just did a quick test. 4 shots (crops) at Monochrome, Neutral, Standard and Vivid. Faststone can display the raw files (NRWs) but obviously cannot analyse P7100 parameters. You can see what Faststone 'sees' below:

They are obviously different...

Yes, they are different, but I don't agree with your deduction. It would be right if FastStone couldn't read the cam parameters, but what makes you so sure it can't? If all those settings were already cemented in the RAW files, why bother shooting in RAW and not in jpeg?

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toomanycanons
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Re: Wow....
In reply to Ben Herrmann, Feb 28, 2013

"I always shoot in RAW because you have so much more headroom in those files. Remember, JPG's are a lossy file, meaning that they are compressed to bring them down to a certain size. So in the process of compression, the process arbitrarily removes various image data. And if you keep working on JPG files (resaving in the process - which means even more compression), more information is lost until eventually you have a sub-par image file. Thus I always shoot in RAW. However, with those few cameras that shoot in JPG only (i.e. P510), I will shoot in the JPG fine setting and then immediately convert the file to a TIF Master - where I can make tons of adjustments (if needed) without fear of further compression."

Yes, all of that is true.  But in the real world, if you had to do that photo tour shooting in jpegs, would your pics have turned out just awful?  Unuseable?  Not worthy of posting?  You see what I'm getting at here?  I shoot my P7100 in raw + jpeg and usually just work with the jpegs.  No TIFFs in my life, ever.  Is the P7700 jpeg engine just so inadequate that it would be disappointing to only shoot in jpegs?  I'm not talking saving and re-saving jpegs, I'm talking jpegs SOOC that you then work with in LR (like I do).  Just wondering.

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Ben Herrmann
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It's a personal choice....
In reply to toomanycanons, Feb 28, 2013

Just as some folks enjoy working with JPG's - I don't (and many others don't either). I enjoy RAW files because in essence, they are the digital negative and in more cases than not, having that additional headroom amounts to being able to pull more detail out of either highlights or shadows. I've been shooting RAW since 2002 and haven't looked back. So different strokes for different folks - but I will say that in some occasions (where I shot both RAW and JPG), I found detail and information in the RAW versions that the corresponding JPG files missed (meaning either blown out or underexposed that could not be recovered in those JPG files).

So hey, if JPG's for you - more power to you - it's all a personal matter and when I see the various arguments on all of the forums about this, I have to laugh. But again, in the event where I have to shoot in JPG (i.e. some P&S models or the P510), then I'll capture the images in the finest JPG setting, then I will convert them all to TIF after making adjustments and now I have lossless files to work with.

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Bernd (Ben) W. Herrmann
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toomanycanons
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Re: It's a personal choice....
In reply to Ben Herrmann, Feb 28, 2013

What I didn't say was that I'm asking that question for the shooters who will not, for whatever reason, shoot in raw and go through raw processing like you do (and like I do on occasion).  Just trying to give a little hope to those potential buyers that the P7700 can actually deliver decent IQ using its jpeg engine.

If people think "what, I have to shoot raw to get good pics with the P7700?" that would probably turn off half the market.  It is just a point and shoot, after all.

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mallbuedel
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Re: It's a personal choice....
In reply to toomanycanons, Feb 28, 2013

toomanycanons wrote:

What I didn't say was that I'm asking that question for the shooters who will not, for whatever reason, shoot in raw and go through raw processing like you do (and like I do on occasion). Just trying to give a little hope to those potential buyers that the P7700 can actually deliver decent IQ using its jpeg engine.

If people think "what, I have to shoot raw to get good pics with the P7700?" that would probably turn off half the market. It is just a point and shoot, after all.

That's a reasoning I don't understand. You have to display your shots on your computer screen anyway. The proprietary WINDOWS picture viewer you use perhaps  can't read anything but jpegs. So, why restrict your possibilities to it if FastStone or IrfanView can do it too, but offer in addition the ability to open RAW files and displaying them by just clicking on the NRW-files?

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toomanycanons
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Re: It's a personal choice....
In reply to mallbuedel, Feb 28, 2013

mallbuedel wrote:

toomanycanons wrote:

What I didn't say was that I'm asking that question for the shooters who will not, for whatever reason, shoot in raw and go through raw processing like you do (and like I do on occasion). Just trying to give a little hope to those potential buyers that the P7700 can actually deliver decent IQ using its jpeg engine.

If people think "what, I have to shoot raw to get good pics with the P7700?" that would probably turn off half the market. It is just a point and shoot, after all.

That's a reasoning I don't understand. You have to display your shots on your computer screen anyway. The proprietary WINDOWS picture viewer you use perhaps can't read anything but jpegs. So, why restrict your possibilities to it if FastStone or IrfanView can do it too, but offer in addition the ability to open RAW files and displaying them by just clicking on the NRW-files?

I'm not talking about me, I'm talking about all the possible buyers to whom the word "raw" means, rightly or wrongly, more complex work if they even think that far.  "I just want to take pictures" is what they're thinking "what is this raw?"  "Do I need more software?  I never post process my pictures! What is post processing anyway, I just want to take pictures".  You get my point?

Ben Hermann takes great pics but I bet his workflow is unfathomable to a large percentage of people in the market for a point and shoot.  Why make it seem that they have to replicate his workflow to be able to get good pics out of the P7700?  No offense, Ben, I love your pics and your stories!

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Ben Herrmann
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Y'all have to keep in mind.....
In reply to toomanycanons, Feb 28, 2013

...and I hinted at this in the OP - that since (at my age) I'm not gettin' laid (LOL), I have more time on my hands for a bit more time-consuming activities, like RAW processing!!!!!!

Actually, in all seriousness, I prefer RAW processing, but many other folks don't - and yes, the P7700 takes superb JPG's, although I might warn that some JPG's can be a bit too rich and overly saturated (but it's much better than the way Nikon used to be with their JPG's).

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Bernd (Ben) W. Herrmann
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andrbar
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Re: Y'all have to keep in mind.....
In reply to Ben Herrmann, Mar 1, 2013

Very nice pictures, Ben, as usual. I appreciate very much the comments. That's very interesting, even if, while being french, I'm not a "drinker".

About raw vs jpeg, it's an endless debate. I don't own a P7700, and I don't know about the Nikon in camera converter. But I can say that without a doubt, the P7100 is way better when you shoot raw.

I've always used raw, all my cameras being raw capable (since my 1st digital, which was a Minolta A2!).

Before the P7100, I had a Canon G11, which was excellent, with much better jpegs than the P7100. But as soon as you use raw, you see what the P7100 is capable of: it is (slightly) better than the G11, thanks to its great lens.

What I don't understand is why advanced photographers don't use raw: if you batch process a whole bunch of raw files, you have your jpegs, and can stop there if you want. But you still have the raw file to play with if needed.

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