Still Trying to Convince Myself on RAW

Started Jun 29, 2013 | Photos
Atgard
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Re: Still Trying to Convince Myself on RAW
In reply to dlkeller, Jun 30, 2013

When you shoot in JPG, the white balance you chose (or that the camera selected in Auto) is "baked in" to the shot. You can try to adjust it from there, but it's like making a copy of a copy, and any missing data is lost forevermore.

In RAW, the white balance chosen in camera is NOT yet "baked in." You will see it pre-set as an option, but you are free to adjust it any way you like, and it will affect the RAW data, not an already-once-processed JPG.

One example: I handed the camera to someone and they accidentally hit the WB button and shot at 2500K. The file was totally washed out in blue. Luckily, I was in RAW + JPG. The JPG was unsalvageable. You could try to adjust it more yellow, but you were basically turning a blue image yellow, NOT undoing all the blue. But in RAW, it is a very simple process to set the WB however you want, meaning it makes zero difference how it was originally set when shot in camera. The shot was completely saved, exactly as if the WB was shot right in the first place.

RAW processing is a difficult skill to master (I know I am not there yet), but even at my level I see noticeable improvements by taking the time to individually process RAW files. Fixing white balance, boosting shadows or reducing blown-out highlights to recover detail, and setting just the right mix of sharpening or noise reduction based on the look you want. (Are you shooting a textured rock or a soft portrait? The camera doesn't know.)

If JPG were as good as RAW, no one would bother with the extra time, effort, and hard drive space to bother with RAW. The question is whether that time is worth it to you.

If you could post the RAW file, I'm sure some of the wizards here could come up with something that blows the JPG away, just to show you what is possible.

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Ed at Ridersite
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In reply to Atgard, Jun 30, 2013

Very well explained.

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dlkeller
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Re: Still Trying to Convince Myself on RAW
In reply to Atgard, Jun 30, 2013

I stand corrected on two issues.

1.  You know, I do believe you have that correct about the WB being "baked in" although I'm not clear yet as to the way this happens.  I am assuming in the code for the "amount" of each of the colors.  I went back and looked at some of my photos in LR and, if the WB is off too far it can also be difficult to fully correct--just as exposure is.

2. I also don't believe this particular aspect of RAW has been previously discussed, if so I missed it.

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Draek
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Re: Still Trying to Convince Myself on RAW
In reply to Gary Eickmeier, Jun 30, 2013

Perfection? I'm not a pixel-peeper, but that's hardly how I'd describe such images; it's likely an effect of shooting a primarily black image partially underexposed at ISO6400 under awful artificial light, but still; knowing why hardly makes it look any better.

Still, from my experience post-processing ISO800 and 1600 shots from my Samsung EX1's 1/1.7" sensor, a few tips that could help:

  • First, get rid of that awful purple color cast in your RAW editor. It's fairly common with tungstens and halogens due to having to boost the blue channel beyond its nominal ISO6400, and it'll cause serious problems in our later steps so correct it first; probably by messing with the WB tools until people look natural and the background looks roughly black.
  • Then, attack the noise. If your RAW developer doesn't have Noise Reduction functions (Lightroom does), use a separate tool such as NoiseNinja or Neat Image. You'll probably want Chroma Noise Removal at the maximum, but adjust Luminance to taste; in my experience, higher settings look better in smaller prints (noise resizes poorly on some print drivers), but lower ones are best for larger prints (where it takes on the appearance of 35mm film grain). Don't worry about the noise present in the darkest areas, focus on people's faces and such; you'll see why in a minute.
  • Then, adjust the contrast curve (or the RAW developer's black point setting) so the shadows are a solid black; this will get rid of most of the shadow noise, which is the most problematic of all. This is also one of the foremost ways your camera's hiding away the noise; if you compare the two shots side by side, the musicians' shirts look just as bright in each, but the JPEG's background is noticeably darker than the RAW's.
  • Finally, sharpen to taste; but be aware any noise remaining from step #2 may be brought back up in this, so experiment with the settings carefully. If all else fails, though, grain/noise subjectively adds to one's impression of sharpness already, so there's not much need to go as far as you'd go with a regular ISO100 shot.

Done correctly, you should be left with a photo that looks just as 'clean' as the JPEG one, but more pleasing and 'film-like' instead of the vaguely watercolor-ish appearance of the in-camera noise reduction routines.

Oh, and next time, I'd shoot at a slightly lower shutter speed, and preferably with a faster lens; a manual 135/3.5 can be found for peanuts on eBay, same for the M42-to-alpha adapter you'll need to attach it to your camera, and if shooting at f/4 and 1/200 you can drop the ISO down to a much more manageable 1600. Using manual lenses can be a pain sometimes, but with the A77's focus peaking you should be able to get perfect focus, and since classical musicians typically don't move during a concert, you don't need to readjust every other shot as you would in motorsports or the like.

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Gary Eickmeier
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Re: Still Trying to Convince Myself on RAW
In reply to sybersitizen, Jun 30, 2013

sybersitizen wrote:

Gary Eickmeier wrote:
I would do any amount of work on a file to make it look better. The question is, will all of that work on RAW really result in something visibly better.

Then yes. RAW was made specifically for folks like you. (Not me! I shoot JPG for several reasons, only one of which is that I find the results satisfactory.) But why would a bazillion - or whatever the number is - forumites support the RAW shooting process if they didn't see something worthwhile in it for themselves?

And has been mentioned already, some of your assertions about what RAW can't do are just wrong, like this one:

And no, the RAW file was not created without the WB... settings you put into the camera.

Read up and try things before posting such stuff. If you are really as fanatic about doing 'any amount of work' as you say you are, I'm sure you'll be sitting on the other side of the fence soon.

From an Email from Gary Friedman:

I said:

Then there is RAW once again. I discovered that Photoshop Elements 11 can import RAW files directly and process them just fine without the IDC or any other converter program. That makes it very easy to shoot RAW only now, and not have to shoot RAW + JPG all the time. But the question is, what camera functionality do you lose if you don't let the camera process the images all the way to JPG?

Other Gary replied:

No DRO.
No lens corrections (distortion, vignetting, or CA corrections)
No MFNR, HDR, or other multi-frame features.
No picture effects (no great loss there!)
No panorama mode

This is all I can think of off the top of my head.  (Mind you, my head is spinning right now with issues relating to a funeral and liquidation of an estate.)

I continue:

Such as the noise reduction functions, maybe some of the scene settings, sharpening, color modes, White Balance settings?

Friedman:

Those don't go away; you're expected to do those when you open the RAW file.  Lightroom tends to look at the notes the camera made and apply them for you.

I know that when you open the RAW file it says one of the options for white balance is "As Shot." It may adjust the exposure some for you, but basically you can't shoot even in RAW without setting exposure properly.

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Gary Eickmeier
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Re: Gary - Bit OT but --- Still Trying to Convince Myself on RAW
In reply to dlkeller, Jun 30, 2013

dlkeller wrote:

You could simulate HDR by processing the RAW as bracketed exposures then combining them as HDR.  Probably would have a bit more control than the in camera HDR but quality of results, as with all other RAW processing would depend on skill, eye, and monitor of the individual doing the processing.

I shoot RAW+JPEG to give me the freedom of recovering shots I want but missed the exposure, WB, ETC. on.  I use the JPEGs for a quick review and discard of "throwaways"  in My Pictures on Windows, move the RAW files of shots that are worth or need extra effort to a LR folder, and delete the rest.  I often export my processed RAW files as JPEGs to replace original JPEGs that didn't look as good.

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Dave

Thanks - most informative. I must try some HDR soon - it is something that I just don't think about during a shoot. I try to figure out THE exposure setting to "expose to the right" and get the main subject just right without considering the pssibility of HDR to bring everything a little closer together. In my band stuff above, it never ocurred to me to expose for the background in a separate shot and try and HDR it in post. Had a similar problem shooting the moon. The moon requires reduced exposure to see the features on the surface, but the foreground scene usually needs more exposure. I did have the camera locked down on a tripod, and I did expose a few times for each part, but I haven't looked to see if I could HDR them. I was going to try and expose my scene subject for the sunrise a little later, but didn't stick around long enough.

A lot of food for thought. Thanks again.

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sybersitizen
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Re: Still Trying to Convince Myself on RAW
In reply to Gary Eickmeier, Jun 30, 2013

Gary Eickmeier wrote:

sybersitizen wrote:

Gary Eickmeier wrote:
I would do any amount of work on a file to make it look better. The question is, will all of that work on RAW really result in something visibly better.

Then yes. RAW was made specifically for folks like you. (Not me! I shoot JPG for several reasons, only one of which is that I find the results satisfactory.) But why would a bazillion - or whatever the number is - forumites support the RAW shooting process if they didn't see something worthwhile in it for themselves?

And has been mentioned already, some of your assertions about what RAW can't do are just wrong, like this one:

And no, the RAW file was not created without the WB... settings you put into the camera.

Read up and try things before posting such stuff. If you are really as fanatic about doing 'any amount of work' as you say you are, I'm sure you'll be sitting on the other side of the fence soon.

From an Email from Gary Friedman:

I said:

Then there is RAW once again. I discovered that Photoshop Elements 11 can import RAW files directly and process them just fine without the IDC or any other converter program. That makes it very easy to shoot RAW only now, and not have to shoot RAW + JPG all the time. But the question is, what camera functionality do you lose if you don't let the camera process the images all the way to JPG?

Other Gary replied:

No DRO.
No lens corrections (distortion, vignetting, or CA corrections)
No MFNR, HDR, or other multi-frame features.
No picture effects (no great loss there!)
No panorama mode

This is all I can think of off the top of my head.  (Mind you, my head is spinning right now with issues relating to a funeral and liquidation of an estate.)

I continue:

Such as the noise reduction functions, maybe some of the scene settings, sharpening, color modes, White Balance settings?

Friedman:

Those don't go away; you're expected to do those when you open the RAW file.  Lightroom tends to look at the notes the camera made and apply them for you.

I know that when you open the RAW file it says one of the options for white balance is "As Shot." It may adjust the exposure some for you, but basically you can't shoot even in RAW without setting exposure properly.

I don't understand the reason for you quoting me and then quoting an exchange with Gary Friedman. Gary F. has said nothing here that we (most of us) don't already know (and I think he's actually wrong about one detail there, but that's of minor importance). Maybe just state the point you want to make?

Regardless, I have no wish to convince you to do or not do anything. As I said, I shoot JPGs for my own valid reasons, and I'm no beginner. I've been at this game a long time. Others shoot RAW for their own valid reasons, and never the twain shall meet. I don't mind.

My interest in all this is strictly limited to keeping the facts straight.

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thebustos
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Re: Still Trying to Convince Myself on RAW
In reply to Gary Eickmeier, Jun 30, 2013

Gary Eickmeier wrote:

thebustos wrote:

I think you're looking at it wrong. Jpeg and raw aren't simply different types of files independent of each other. The jpeg is the processed raw file. The raw file retains all of the photo information so that you have better control over things like white balance, brightness, contrast, etc... The raw file is better in that you have more flexibility over the final outcome than you do with a jpeg. You can process a raw file to look like the out of camera jpeg, but you can't undo that processing to make a jpeg into a raw. So the real question is which is better for you from a work flow stand point. If you don't want to do much to an image once you shoot it, then jpeg is fine. If you want to process everything yourself, then shoot only raw. If you don't want to do much to your photos, but want to be able to fix things if need be, shoot raw + jpeg... I look at the raw as a digital "negative"...

I would do any amount of work on a file to make it look better. The question is, will all of that work on RAW really result in something visibly better.

And no, the RAW file was not created without the WB and exposure settings you put into the camera. It doesn't contain the Scene settings, if any, or the lens corrections, or sharpening and noise reduction, but it is not a TOTALLY unprocessed "negative" like in the good old film days.

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Gary Eickmeier

1.) I didn't say that the RAW file was created without the WB and exposure settings. What I said is that you have better control over them in PP with a RAW file. But I will say that if you get the white balance wrong with a JPEG you can't correct the way you can with a RAW file.

2.) as far as talking about RAW as a "negative", I was commenting on the relationship of the RAW to the JPEG. The JPEG is a compressed form of the RAW which is uncompressed. When you shoot JPEG only the camera is still using the RAW data to make the JPEG, it just isn't saving the uncompressed data for you.

3.) As far as better IQ, that's subjective. You may be able to work on a RAW file forever and not be able to figure out how to get it to look better than you think the JPEG looks. But that is completely dependent on your personal tastes and talent with PP. However, there isn't any detail or color info in a JPEG that isn't also present in the RAW file. There aren't any corrections that you can make to a JPEG that you can't also make to a RAW file, but there are corrections you can make to a RAW file that you can't make to a JPEG.

4.) I would say in terms of sheer possible IQ, RAW is superior to JPEG. Actual IQ though is completely dependent on whoever is doing the processing of the RAW file.

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Gary Eickmeier
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Re: Still Trying to Convince Myself on RAW
In reply to Atgard, Jun 30, 2013

Atgard wrote:

When you shoot in JPG, the white balance you chose (or that the camera selected in Auto) is "baked in" to the shot. You can try to adjust it from there, but it's like making a copy of a copy, and any missing data is lost forevermore.

In RAW, the white balance chosen in camera is NOT yet "baked in." You will see it pre-set as an option, but you are free to adjust it any way you like, and it will affect the RAW data, not an already-once-processed JPG.

One example: I handed the camera to someone and they accidentally hit the WB button and shot at 2500K. The file was totally washed out in blue. Luckily, I was in RAW + JPG. The JPG was unsalvageable. You could try to adjust it more yellow, but you were basically turning a blue image yellow, NOT undoing all the blue. But in RAW, it is a very simple process to set the WB however you want, meaning it makes zero difference how it was originally set when shot in camera. The shot was completely saved, exactly as if the WB was shot right in the first place.

RAW processing is a difficult skill to master (I know I am not there yet), but even at my level I see noticeable improvements by taking the time to individually process RAW files. Fixing white balance, boosting shadows or reducing blown-out highlights to recover detail, and setting just the right mix of sharpening or noise reduction based on the look you want. (Are you shooting a textured rock or a soft portrait? The camera doesn't know.)

If JPG were as good as RAW, no one would bother with the extra time, effort, and hard drive space to bother with RAW. The question is whether that time is worth it to you.

If you could post the RAW file, I'm sure some of the wizards here could come up with something that blows the JPG away, just to show you what is possible.

OK, the majority opinion is that WB is completely correctable in RAW. I am just thinking of an RGB histogram and having one of the colors not recoverable in post. I must try shooting a grey card with the full gamut of WB settings and see if it is correctable.

I know there are shots in JPG that cannot be white balanced in post if you screw them up. If RAW can overcome that, then that alone makes it worth it.

But I must get a lot more skilled in RAW processing than I am, which is why I bought this book. He goes through every setting in ACR and Lightroom and tells us what they do and how to go about it. It has been really bothering me the juggling act between noise reduction and sharpening. Push noise reduction up and get less sharp images. Push sharpening up some more and get more noise. Soon you have overdone both of them and you hav to start over again. Then I read some text that says to do sharpening only after all Photoshop corrections have been made.

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Gary Eickmeier
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Re: Still Trying to Convince Myself on RAW
In reply to sybersitizen, Jun 30, 2013

sybersitizen wrote:

Regardless, I have no wish to convince you to do or not do anything. As I said, I shoot JPGs for my own valid reasons, and I'm no beginner. I've been at this game a long time. Others shoot RAW for their own valid reasons, and never the twain shall meet. I don't mind.

My interest in all this is strictly limited to keeping the facts straight.

That's good, real good. As I have said, this is not a position paper or argument, and I have not solidified my workflow v RAW yet. I am of your mind in shooting JPG mostly, but I want to know more about RAW. A lot of the guys can't handle a technical discussion and think it is a Hatfield and McCoys matchup. As I said, still trying to convince myself in FAVOR of RAW when some of them think I am against it.

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Draek
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Re: Still Trying to Convince Myself on RAW
In reply to Gary Eickmeier, Jun 30, 2013

Gary Eickmeier wrote:

OK, the majority opinion is that WB is completely correctable in RAW. I am just thinking of an RGB histogram and having one of the colors not recoverable in post. I must try shooting a grey card with the full gamut of WB settings and see if it is correctable.

I know there are shots in JPG that cannot be white balanced in post if you screw them up. If RAW can overcome that, then that alone makes it worth it.

Well... to a point. See, if you shoot with a WB setting of 5500K then realize that no, the proper WB would've been 2800K, when you adjust the RAW image's WB setting you'll get exactly the same image you would've gotten if you'd shot at 2800K, with the same exposure. That point is key; if the original exposure at 2800K would've blown one channel, you're screwed(*); but then chances are you would've been screwed with JPEGs regardless, as I don't think any light meter considers individual channels before suggesting an exposure. Beyond that caveat however, yep, RAW really is as magical as they make it sound.

(*) This is... not quite correct, as RAW files have a bit of leeway in recovering blown exposures compared to JPEGs, particularly when it's just one channel, but the methods, scope and limitations are beyond this discussion.

But I must get a lot more skilled in RAW processing than I am, which is why I bought this book. He goes through every setting in ACR and Lightroom and tells us what they do and how to go about it. It has been really bothering me the juggling act between noise reduction and sharpening. Push noise reduction up and get less sharp images. Push sharpening up some more and get more noise. Soon you have overdone both of them and you hav to start over again. Then I read some text that says to do sharpening only after all Photoshop corrections have been made.

From what I've read, Lightroom is designed so that you get the best results if you start modifying settings from top to bottom. I'm often guilty of ignoring that, but I do strive to follow it in general and it's worked well so far.

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Rexel99
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Re: Still Trying to Convince Myself on RAW
In reply to Gary Eickmeier, Jun 30, 2013

I would do any amount of work on a file to make it look better. The question is, will all of that work on RAW really result in something visibly better.

And no, the RAW file was not created without the WB and exposure settings you put into the camera. It doesn't contain the Scene settings, if any, or the lens corrections, or sharpening and noise reduction, but it is not a TOTALLY unprocessed "negative" like in the good old film days.

Totally understand the reluctance or reasons not to step into raw after getting decent results in jpg... but.. Simply RAW has better range kept in the file, to add to this adjustments are required for every image once you go to raw (exclusively at least).

I can apply general default settings for my RAW images because they are all A77, it varies with lens corrections depending on the lens, but this too is done in Lightroom automatically. Depending on the ISO I shot with I vary the noise reduction amount as required.. But yeah, all getting to be a manual process that in JPG the camera just does..

Next is highlights, shadows, whites, blacks and clarity.. These I always adjust to the image depending on need.. and in some cases more extreme adjustments are needed.

A wedding would be a great example, white dresses next to black suits... If the shot is right (well exposed) then the dress is all white and the suits are all black. With RAW you can pull these back and begin to get some shading in them, from a JPG there is little movement to work with.

A real example is when I got my friends europe trip photos in jpg, I did a lot in lightroom with them and he was amazed at what I sent back but I was limited on each of these sliders as to how much I could go... In one I wanted to bring down highlights because of a bright roof area and I wanted to reduce shadows from under a bridge, I got a bit out of it from the JPG but I could have got a lot more out of a RAW.

You dont have to do this, if your happy with what the camera took for the photography or situations you work in thats great, stick with JPG, it's easier and quicker.. For me I go RAW and I have so much more to work with and get from an image.

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Gary Eickmeier
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Re: Still Trying to Convince Myself on RAW
In reply to Draek, Jun 30, 2013

Great stuff Mr. Draek - thank you very much. I don't see your purple tinge anywhere on my monitor, but my flesh tones look good and so does the white on the shirts.

Printing out your article for further study.

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Atgard
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Re: Still Trying to Convince Myself on RAW
In reply to Gary Eickmeier, Jun 30, 2013

Gary Eickmeier wrote:

OK, the majority opinion is that WB is completely correctable in RAW. I am just thinking of an RGB histogram and having one of the colors not recoverable in post. I must try shooting a grey card with the full gamut of WB settings and see if it is correctable.

I know there are shots in JPG that cannot be white balanced in post if you screw them up. If RAW can overcome that, then that alone makes it worth it.

With all due respect, it's not a majority opinion, it is a provable fact.

As someone pointed out above, Lightroom (and I assume other RAW converters) default to setting WB "as shot." But you can change it to whatever you want, before you "process" the RAW data and save it as a JPG. It's like how sharpness defaults to +25, but you can change it before applying that and exporting your JPG.

To test it, simply shoot a scene in RAW + JPG at 2500K, then Auto WB, then 9900K. All 3 RAW files will be identical once you tweak the WB slider to the same place -- they will just be "pre-set" at different values to start with. Meanwhile, the 2500K and 9900K JPGs will probably be unsalvageable.

So yes, it is a good reason all in itself to shoot RAW: just stick it in Auto WB and never worry about having a shot ruined due to the wrong WB.

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Atgard
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Re: Still Trying to Convince Myself on RAW
In reply to Draek, Jun 30, 2013

Draek wrote:

See, if you shoot with a WB setting of 5500K then realize that no, the proper WB would've been 2800K, when you adjust the RAW image's WB setting you'll get exactly the same image you would've gotten if you'd shot at 2800K, with the same exposure.

This is probably the simplest way to say it. When shooting RAW, it's like going back in time and setting the WB however you want before the image was shot.

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absentaneous
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Re: Still Trying to Convince Myself on RAW
In reply to Gary Eickmeier, Jun 30, 2013

It appears to me that you don't really understand what RAW is all about. The point is not that a RAW image is supposed to look better than JPEG. The point is that once you take  JPEG you are just limited to that.

The point of RAW is that it gives you more possibilities to work on the image after the image is created in the camera. JPEG doesn't offer that. If you screw the exposure or white balance while shooting JPEG then you can throw that picture away. You won't fix it. If you miss the perfect exposure while shooting RAW then no problem. You can fix that inside a photo editor without problems.

take for example the pictures you showed here. lets say you thought the background was too dark and you wanted to lift up the shadows a bit to show some detail. try to do that with a JPEG. a mess. you won't get any detail, simple because there is no detail left. try to do that with RAW. no problem. why? because in a JPEG file all the information is lost. you can't recover anything. you just have what you have. while in a RAW file all the information is there. you can still recover it.

if I shoot JPEG then I can get a lot of highlight clipping or lost detail in dark areas of the image. when I shoot RAW that problem is almost non-existent. you just underexpose and then lift up the shadows. in JPEG I couldn't do that.

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gardenersassistant
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Re: No Convincing Required
In reply to Gary Eickmeier, Jun 30, 2013

Gary Eickmeier wrote:

Renato1 wrote:

I'm not sure what you are trying to compare. The JPEG comes from the RAW file - the nice clean Jpeg came from that noisy RAW file.

Ten years ago it was not uncommon to have blown highlights and to have dark patches devoid of detail in Jpegs. It was fairly wise to shoot RAW if one could, as the detail could be brought back into the picture, which otherwise would have been irretrievably lost in a Jpeg. For me, that hasn't been much of an issue since Sony bought out the A100 with the then novel feature of Dynamic Range Optimization.

RAW is still handy for instances where one can expect the camera to struggle with exposure and white balance (especially indoors with all those energy saving flourescent globes around), but otherwise, unless one is really enthusiastic about getting the absolute best (by doing a stack of work) Jpegs are very satisfactory.
Regards,

Renato

OK, finally, a point that we can test. If RAW can recover blown out highlights that JPG cannot, I will be a convert forevermore. This is exactly what I was looking for, some aspect of the image that RAW could save the day with.

Is this any help to you in your search for something testable? It involves a very different type of camera of course, and much lower captured image quality than you are used to, but the example does address the specific issue you raise here, and another one to do with retaining detail at higher ISOs. (You have access to the originals, RAW and JPEG, from that link, so you can test it out for yourself.)

If you are not used to dealing with low quality outputs from P&S type cameras, this post may not mean much to you, but it does show how RAW (together with some careful post processing) lets me produce image quality that satisfies my needs using higher ISOs than most people think practical with low quality small-sensor images.

EDIT: I probably should have mentioned, in case you are unfamiliar with the technicalities of using a small sensor camera, that the f/8 you will see in these examples is the smallest aperture available on the camera concerned, and was used to provide the maximum depth of focus. As with smallest apertures such as f/22 or f/32 on larger sensor cameras, f/8 on a small sensor camera causes considerable loss of definition/detail because of diffraction. So, as well as suffering from loss of detail from the (for this type of camera) high ISOs, these images suffer from loss of detail from diffraction.

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Klimt z
Regular MemberPosts: 333
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Re: Some questions
In reply to Draek, Jun 30, 2013

Interesting info re WB. I shoot outdoors in very good light. WB seems to be right on. I mostly have been shooting Raw when I think I am going to need more DR, e.g. Snowy Egrets. If I nail the exposure or bracket EV, it is hard to beat the jpg tho. Also what about the additional bits of color present in raw, is it noticeable and is it retained in processing?

My camera is the noisy old D200.

Thnx

K

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beardedspoooon
Regular MemberPosts: 131
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Re: Still Trying to Convince Myself on RAW
In reply to absentaneous, Jun 30, 2013

Below is an example of what you can do with a RAW file.  If I just had the jpg, the areas with the blown highlights would have been gone forever.  Once converted to jpg, all that white in the image is just white.  With the RAW image, I was able to recover the picture.

Now, it is possible to improperly expose the shot to where there is no recovery.   I try to overexpose without clipping anything (though, as other posts have pointed out, it is possible to clip a particular channel) with the idea that I'll be processing them later on anyway.

Blown highlights

Highlights recovered

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OldClicker
Senior MemberPosts: 2,322
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Re: Still Trying to Convince Myself on RAW
In reply to Gary Eickmeier, Jun 30, 2013

Gary Eickmeier wrote:

I know that when you open the RAW file it says one of the options for white balance is "As Shot." It may adjust the exposure some for you, but basically you can't shoot even in RAW without setting exposure properly.

The difference is that with RAW LR looks at the EXIF and, when rendering the RAW into the visible screen image, uses that WB as the "As Shot" starting point.  You can then set it at whatever temperature you like.  The RAW is still raw and has no WB.  With a jpg, the image is the WB that was set in the camera.

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Some would have you believe that having to adapt to new technology is a workaround, but having adapted to old technology is photography.

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