Still Trying to Convince Myself on RAW

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

The point of RAW is that it gives you more possibilities to work on the image after the image is created in the camera.

Accurate.

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... 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... why? because in a JPEG file all the information is lost. you can't recover anything. you just have what you have.

Gross exaggeration. JPGS can be tweaked and adjusted quite a bit (athough not as much as RAWs). Let's keep it factual.

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realgeek
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Said slightly differently ...
In reply to Gary Eickmeier, Jun 30, 2013

I'll just say what a number of others have been saying in a slightly different way.

It is impossible to argue that a JPEG file is better than a RAW file.  The RAW file is what the camera captures.  In order to generate the JPEG, the camera has to interpret and process the RAW file.  So the real question is this: would you rather let the camera process your RAW files or do it yourself?

It's certainly convenient to let the camera do it.  That's JPEG's big (and only) advantage.  However, before you come to that conclusion, let me raise a few issues.

First, after the camera processes the RAW file to create a JPEG, it throws away any excess data.  So  you can't undo the camera's choices.  You can further process the JPEG, but you're pretty severely limited because so much data has been thrown away, and doing so actually degrades image quality.  By contrast, if you have a RAW file, you can reprocess it as many times as you want to create very different looks -- without any loss to image quality.

Second, there is nothing that can be done in the camera's JPEG that can't be done in post-processing a RAW.  After all, the camera is simply acting as a computer and processing the RAW file. You can do the same thing on a computer yourself.  It is possible that the camera manufacturer may have some proprietary techniques on its camera that it doesn't make available in software.  Sony's DRO techniques would be a good example, except for the fact that Sony makes DRO available in its proprietary software, IDC.  Moreover, Sony's JPEG processing isn't all that amazing anyway, and it's likely that Adobe software (for example) can lead to better results.

Third, when the camera does the processing, it does so in an entirely automated fashion.  It's very likely that even a moderately-talented photographer can get better results in post-processing simply because they would be able to tailor the processing to the needs of the image.  When you throw in the ability to process locally (e.g., sharpen hair but smoothen skin), it becomes a no-brainer.

Fourth, RAW files have more data than JPEG, allowing you to do much more extreme processing.  For example, it's easier to correct an exposure mistake in RAW than JPEG.  That's probably even more true of white balance mistakes.  Not only can you fix mistakes more easily, but you also have more room for creative changes as well.

Fifth, JPEG isn't that much more convenient than RAW, unless you use images OOC.  Once you start doing minor post-processing, you're at the point where you might as well use RAW.  Programs like Lightroom make processing a RAW as simple as processing a JPEG.  All you need to do is create a preset that does some basic automated processing (like what your camera would do) and you're at the same starting point!

Sixth, RAW processing software keep getting better all the time.  So I can go back to RAW files I took years ago and make better images now than I could then!  (This is especially true with respect to things like noise reduction.)  But once the camera has made a JPEG, you've lost the ability to do that.

Finally, you may not care about RAW now, but you may in the future.  If you don't shoot RAW, you'll never be able to get the RAW file back.

All of this suggests that you should shoot RAW.  But even if you are not convinced, I would seriously urge you to consider shooting RAW+JPEG.  Just use the JPEGS and put the RAW files away for the day that you may want to come back to them.  At least, I wish I had.

To wrap up: there is no argument that JPEGs are better than RAW.  The only argument is that they are more convenient and good enough.  Maybe that's good enough for you.  But it shouldn't be.

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

Where are the RAW files?
All I see are two JPG files...

That being said, RAW is entirely dependant on the processor in which your files are developed in. In this case, the magenta cast in your high ISO images isn't corrected which usually means your shot is underexposed then pushed in processing(see shutter speed). Aside from that I'd say both images seem about right, though that doesn't mean there isn't room for improvements either. Such as with WB, and noise reduction etc etc.

Hope this helps

PS. getting good results in RAW takes time. Knowledge, and understanding of the processor and it's functions as well as with the files that are going into it. ie. I'm still learning about the A99's files characteristics in Raw Therapee. I've become familiar with some of it's characteristics though I still have lots to learn about it.

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Steve Cohan
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In reply to realgeek, Jun 30, 2013
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sybersitizen
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Re: Said slightly differently ...
In reply to realgeek, Jun 30, 2013

realgeek wrote:

It's certainly convenient to let the camera do it. That's JPEG's big (and only) advantage...The only argument is that they are more convenient and good enough.

More inaccuracy. There are other advantages that some RAW shooters are not aware of or are forgetting about.

Maybe that's good enough for you.  But it shouldn't be.

People shouldn't be telling people what they shouldn't do. But the other stuff you wrote about RAW is accurate, so that part is fine.

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

The self appointed photography Expert Mr. Ken Rockwell never shoots raw  so I guess you don't need to either.

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Josh152
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Re: Said slightly differently ...
In reply to realgeek, Jun 30, 2013

realgeek wrote:

I'll just say what a number of others have been saying in a slightly different way.

It is impossible to argue that a JPEG file is better than a RAW file. The RAW file is what the camera captures. In order to generate the JPEG, the camera has to interpret and process the RAW file. So the real question is this: would you rather let the camera process your RAW files or do it yourself?

It's certainly convenient to let the camera do it. That's JPEG's big (and only) advantage. However, before you come to that conclusion, let me raise a few issues.

First, after the camera processes the RAW file to create a JPEG, it throws away any excess data. So you can't undo the camera's choices. You can further process the JPEG, but you're pretty severely limited because so much data has been thrown away, and doing so actually degrades image quality. By contrast, if you have a RAW file, you can reprocess it as many times as you want to create very different looks -- without any loss to image quality.

Second, there is nothing that can be done in the camera's JPEG that can't be done in post-processing a RAW. After all, the camera is simply acting as a computer and processing the RAW file. You can do the same thing on a computer yourself. It is possible that the camera manufacturer may have some proprietary techniques on its camera that it doesn't make available in software. Sony's DRO techniques would be a good example, except for the fact that Sony makes DRO available in its proprietary software, IDC. Moreover, Sony's JPEG processing isn't all that amazing anyway, and it's likely that Adobe software (for example) can lead to better results.

Third, when the camera does the processing, it does so in an entirely automated fashion. It's very likely that even a moderately-talented photographer can get better results in post-processing simply because they would be able to tailor the processing to the needs of the image. When you throw in the ability to process locally (e.g., sharpen hair but smoothen skin), it becomes a no-brainer.

Fourth, RAW files have more data than JPEG, allowing you to do much more extreme processing. For example, it's easier to correct an exposure mistake in RAW than JPEG. That's probably even more true of white balance mistakes. Not only can you fix mistakes more easily, but you also have more room for creative changes as well.

Fifth, JPEG isn't that much more convenient than RAW, unless you use images OOC. Once you start doing minor post-processing, you're at the point where you might as well use RAW. Programs like Lightroom make processing a RAW as simple as processing a JPEG. All you need to do is create a preset that does some basic automated processing (like what your camera would do) and you're at the same starting point!

Sixth, RAW processing software keep getting better all the time. So I can go back to RAW files I took years ago and make better images now than I could then! (This is especially true with respect to things like noise reduction.) But once the camera has made a JPEG, you've lost the ability to do that.

Finally, you may not care about RAW now, but you may in the future. If you don't shoot RAW, you'll never be able to get the RAW file back.

All of this suggests that you should shoot RAW. But even if you are not convinced, I would seriously urge you to consider shooting RAW+JPEG. Just use the JPEGS and put the RAW files away for the day that you may want to come back to them. At least, I wish I had.

To wrap up: there is no argument that JPEGs are better than RAW. The only argument is that they are more convenient and good enough. Maybe that's good enough for you. But it shouldn't be.

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Best post in this entire thread!

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RedFox88
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Wow, you like the JPG better?
In reply to Gary Eickmeier, Jun 30, 2013

Wow, you like the JPG better from what you posted?

I view the full size of the JPG to have a lot of detail smearing, aka noise reduction/removal.  The RAW file, clearly converted with only default settings which is why it looks so "weak", has more details, clearly.  And I don't see any "noise" in the RAW file converted to JPG, what I see is where noise was removed but it did not smear the detail like the camera JPG did.

Once you understand how to develop RAW files, you will shake your head ever thinking the camera JPG at ISO 6400 was better than you developing the RAW file. And once you learn how to do it, it will not take much time at all because you can copy settings from one image to another.

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OldClicker
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Re: Said slightly differently ...
In reply to realgeek, Jun 30, 2013

realgeek wrote:

I'll just say what a number of others have been saying in a slightly different way.

It is impossible to argue that a JPEG file is better than a RAW file. The RAW file is what the camera captures. In order to generate the JPEG, the camera has to interpret and process the RAW file. So the real question is this: would you rather let the camera process your RAW files or do it yourself?

It's certainly convenient to let the camera do it. That's JPEG's big (and only) advantage. However, before you come to that conclusion, let me raise a few issues.

First, after the camera processes the RAW file to create a JPEG, it throws away any excess data. So you can't undo the camera's choices. You can further process the JPEG, but you're pretty severely limited because so much data has been thrown away, and doing so actually degrades image quality. By contrast, if you have a RAW file, you can reprocess it as many times as you want to create very different looks -- without any loss to image quality.

Second, there is nothing that can be done in the camera's JPEG that can't be done in post-processing a RAW. After all, the camera is simply acting as a computer and processing the RAW file. You can do the same thing on a computer yourself. It is possible that the camera manufacturer may have some proprietary techniques on its camera that it doesn't make available in software. Sony's DRO techniques would be a good example, except for the fact that Sony makes DRO available in its proprietary software, IDC. Moreover, Sony's JPEG processing isn't all that amazing anyway, and it's likely that Adobe software (for example) can lead to better results.

Third, when the camera does the processing, it does so in an entirely automated fashion. It's very likely that even a moderately-talented photographer can get better results in post-processing simply because they would be able to tailor the processing to the needs of the image. When you throw in the ability to process locally (e.g., sharpen hair but smoothen skin), it becomes a no-brainer.

Fourth, RAW files have more data than JPEG, allowing you to do much more extreme processing. For example, it's easier to correct an exposure mistake in RAW than JPEG. That's probably even more true of white balance mistakes. Not only can you fix mistakes more easily, but you also have more room for creative changes as well.

Fifth, JPEG isn't that much more convenient than RAW, unless you use images OOC. Once you start doing minor post-processing, you're at the point where you might as well use RAW. Programs like Lightroom make processing a RAW as simple as processing a JPEG. All you need to do is create a preset that does some basic automated processing (like what your camera would do) and you're at the same starting point!

Sixth, RAW processing software keep getting better all the time. So I can go back to RAW files I took years ago and make better images now than I could then! (This is especially true with respect to things like noise reduction.) But once the camera has made a JPEG, you've lost the ability to do that.

Finally, you may not care about RAW now, but you may in the future. If you don't shoot RAW, you'll never be able to get the RAW file back.

All of this suggests that you should shoot RAW. But even if you are not convinced, I would seriously urge you to consider shooting RAW+JPEG. Just use the JPEGS and put the RAW files away for the day that you may want to come back to them. At least, I wish I had.

To wrap up: there is no argument that JPEGs are better than RAW. The only argument is that they are more convenient and good enough. Maybe that's good enough for you. But it shouldn't be.

Very well said except for the very last sentence - that is not your call.

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sybersitizen
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Said more accurately ...
In reply to sybersitizen, Jun 30, 2013

sybersitizen wrote:

realgeek wrote:

It's certainly convenient to let the camera do it. That's JPEG's big (and only) advantage...The only argument is that they are more convenient and good enough.

More inaccuracy. There are other advantages that some RAW shooters are not aware of or are forgetting about.

Maybe that's good enough for you.  But it shouldn't be.

People shouldn't be telling people what they shouldn't do. But the other stuff you wrote about RAW is accurate, so that part is fine.

For anyone who might be wondering what the other advantages of JPG are...

JPG files are processed and stored internally by your camera faster than RAW files are. This typically provides a dramatic improvement in responsiveness - things like a faster frame rate and improved buffer clearing time.

JPG files take up less storage space than RAW files. This means... a) you can own and carry fewer and/or lower capacity memory cards, which can be a money saver and reduce card swapping; and b) you can work effectively with less RAM, less computer storage space, less backup space, and less disaster recovery space. This can save you not only money, but time as well during file transfers, backups, and restores.

JPG shooting allows you to scale down your in-camera images when the sensor's full resolution isn't needed. This again improves responsiveness throughout the entire shooting and processing chain, and reduces storage requirements even further. (A couple of our A-mount cameras allow scaling down RAW files as well, but the majority do not.)

JPG files load into memory faster and process faster than RAW files, making all your software more responsive for viewing, editing, and managing.

JPG files are compatible with everything. There are no concerns about them not being properly supported by computer software or other devices, either today or in the future. There are in fact a geat many nice cameras that don't even offer RAW format; but few cameras that don't offer JPG format.

JPG files are understood by everybody. When you yourself are not available (dead, for example) others with access to your images but without an understanding of the RAW format will have no difficulty accessing and enjoying them.

One more possible factor is that shooting JPG teaches some things about photography that shooting RAW does not teach. JPGs provide an incentive to consider everything that's going on and everything you're doing before the shot. Lighting, exposure, white balance, etc. are best addressed and dealt with before you press the shutter button. You can't always rely on fixing every mistake in post, so you eventually learn to make fewer mistakes when behind the camera. I personally learned about all that as a young man shooting Kodachrome, which was far less forgiving than modern JPG files, and definitively 'set in stone', unlike JPGs. Working with slides - not negatives - for decades set me on a particular path, with the result that I personally am not very interested in the digital negatives provided by the RAW format.

I'm sure that many of you will be tempted to say these factors are not important to you, so you personally disregard them - 'Memory is cheap' is one favorite so-called counterargument - but don't bother doing so, because I won't argue points of view. Factors are factors, and they may very well be important to somebody. Many of the RAW workflow's known advantages are not important to me personally, but I don't deny they exist.

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tko
tko
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RAW is named that for a reason
In reply to Gary Eickmeier, Jun 30, 2013

Think about it. RAW. Needs processing.

RAW. An unfinished work by the photographer.

JPEG. A finished work by the camera.

Having said that, RAW can be set up to get good default results.

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

If you need to get convinced to shoot raw, then why bother? If you are happy with the jpegs straight from the camera, then stick to it! The point is that YOU are happy with your pictures (unless it is a paid job...

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Tan68
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Re: smooth gradients
In reply to Gary Eickmeier, Jun 30, 2013

This may have already been mentioned, but color/tone gradations could be a reason to use RAW. I use a Canon SX230 and the in-camera JPG will sometimes show posterization of smooth color gradients like sky or whatever. I haven't ever seen posterization when I work with RAW. Perhaps the JPG prepared by some cameras are better than those of the SX230 and wouldn't show posterization. I don't know. Also, I think RAW can be beneficial with high dynamic range subjects.

Here is a picture from the SX230. It shows posterization of the smooth gray background of the.. poster of hands making a heart. You can still see some. It was worse, but I used Gaussian blur to smooth things out.

Posterization is visible in the transition from light to medium gray at the top of the 'hands' poster.

PS

No, I didn't use Gaussian blur on the whole image.  I saw the girls walking up.  By the time I turned the camera on, it woke up and extended the lens, and I had 'zoomed' it in a bit that was about it.  I didn't have the proper shutter set for this picture and I pulled a bit raising the camera.  I like the composition, though.

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

Gary Eickmeier wrote:

Can RAW do HDR without the need for multiple exposures? I suppose the theory is that since it has 12 bits instead of 8 for RAW, then I should be able to go deepr into the noise to retrieve detail in the black areas, and conversely I should be able to go deeper into the whites to retrieve highlight detail.

Hi Gary,

here you are on to something. At least from the "potencial" of the wider data range. However, when there's nothing to detect/record in the low bits, they remain zero and in this situation the RAW data as is wouldn't provide you an advantage. But this can be changed to some amount if the fact "nothing to detect" isn't absolut (no true black) but dependant of the exposure time, i.e. when there is something to detect when you increase the exposure time, then the low bits perhaps aren't zeroed anymore = data to work with = a chance that details start to reveal. Given that 12bits (or 14bits on the A99) are quite "smaller steps" than the 8bits of JPG, and adding the digital nature of the information processing, it's understandable that in the lower bits of a RAW file a weaker (light) information is able already to change the bit from 0 to 1 (smaller step / signal what generates the "1") as if it was the larger step of the low bit of the 8 bit JPG. Again, as long as those low bits remain zero there's no structure, no data to work with. Now transfer this to the high bits where the bright light info is stored. With the "smaller step size" anything exceeding the value of 255 in the JPG file is blown, lost data forever and not recoverable. It's because of the digital nature which knows only "yes" or "no". In RAW there are 4,096 steps (12bits) or 16,384 steps (14bits) so what can go beyond step 16,384 is a proportionally much smaller amount of data. Data kept = data available to work with - at least in theory.

Now it comes to a critical point. In practise the OOC JPG derives from the same RAW data as does the final result of a specific conversion done on a computer which is generally also a JPG file "only". And it needs to be because normal visualization devices represent only that gamut (some specialized ones somewhat more). So no wonder that it may be hard to tell them apart. This is particulary true when one shoots JPG+RAW and tries to get out of the RAW data a better looking image than the camera already created based on exactly the same RAW data. In many normal shooting situation with no specially challenging circumstances considering DR, WB or so the differences in the final JPG file may be so subtile that they can get impossible to identify. In addition, one can bet that the in-camera JPG engine is developped with the specific purpose the generate a "pleasantly looking image" (or as an overly critical may stand: to trick the eye of the observer). It's a bit about "good looking" vs. "quality" - which may be, or not, antagonic.

When shooting situations gets more challenging though considering DR or the camera has diffulties to match the right WB, not only the work afterwards based on the RAW data may provide significant advantages. In reality however the differences start already when shooting because taking the shot in RAW should be considered as a task of "maximimized collection of light information", having in mind that a zeroed bit info is a lost bit info since no workable data was collected. The principle of ETTR (expose to the right) follows this philosophy. And the exposure process adapts to this since there would be no point in having highlights perfectly inside the data range, not a single clipping, when this exposure setting would mean zeroed bits in the shadows. So one goes for a compromise by shifting the exposure to max possible values for the highlights (just short from clipping) in order to gather some information in the shadows. And then one of the tasks of the conversion process afterwards is bringing the exposure levels back to their natural look - however now with a chance for some detail recovery in the shadow areas when the ETTR was able to record some data there. In the conversion process itself this increased amount of information can be written into the JPG file. But finally, when the output JPG is generated it's still an uncertain whether the viewing device is able to reproduce (show) this additional data. It's not all that different of reproducing a high quality music CD on a kitchen's cheap CD player being this the limiting factor (but the data / the "quality" is there). The highest quality ouput device for photos would be the high quality printer.

Hope this long winded story helps you in your evaluation process.

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Michael Fritzen

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

Gary Eickmeier wrote:

busch wrote:

Why keep trying? If you are getting the reults you want, don't fight it! Seriously!

I believe a properly exposed shot is the key to good JPEG's. I also think a poorly exposed shot can be better worked on if it is RAW. I shoot almost 100% JPEG. With the a77 and some of the others, there is really not much excuse to not properly expose a shot.

This JPEG vs RAW has been going on for ages and will continue for a long time. JPEG engines get better but some don't seem to take that into consideration.

There are those that swear by RAW and those that swear by JPEG. Simply do what makes you happy.

This isn't a feel good question, it is a technical question. I am not seeking approval or permission to shoot either way, just trying to figure out whether it is possible to outprocess the camera and how to do it.

First off, your original statement appeared to be that OOC JPEG is 'better' because untouched RAW requires manual processing (aka 'work'). That's going to be a nonstarter to those with even a smattering of post experience. Perhaps to the your eye, the simplified, 'all purpose' heavy handed processing in your camera is 'good enough' but don't expect those with more demanding or nuanced needs to feel the same.

Second, busch was being supportive of your 'statement posed as question' that image processing is best left to the camera, if it works for you. So it seems odd that you'd fire off such an entitled, needlessly assertive reply about not 'seeking approval'.

Nobody here is going to hold your hand through every facet of RAW processing to 'prove' how it can yield more exacting, flexible results. YouTube, Google and Lightroom tutorials exist. Utilize them.

As for RAW being like a camera negative, well not completely.

Nobody said RAW is exactly like negative film. But the parallels are significant.

The RAW image still has the ISO amplification in it, and I believe still has the white balance that you put into the settings. In the film days, you shot at the recommended ISO or else had to push process the negative.

Yes, RAW image is boosted and shows noise, grain. The same way higher ISO film did.

In digital you can specify the ISO and the "negative" will be exposed properly. In the film days, the White Balance was either daylight or tungsten, and if the actual light was different the printer would compensate with filters.

You're talking about two entirely different things, ISO and WB. Handling noise, detail retention and dynamic range requires a bit more than a tonal shift.

So the RAW file has some of the corrections already applied but not others. But I can sharpen and set levels and white balsnce and even noise reduction in JPG. Why should I have to attempt to duplicate the camera's noise processing manually before printing?

'Why should I bother doing what the camera does just as well' is not a question.

If you want to ask about specific things, like how to perform tonal adjustments in LR or the most optimal NR approach for chroma noise, then ask. Trying to get people to agree that JPEG output is better than skilled RAW processing is not going to work when you have not made the effort to learn the process.

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Elyharbour
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Re: Said slightly differently ...
In reply to realgeek, Jun 30, 2013

realgeek wrote:

Fifth, JPEG isn't that much more convenient than RAW, unless you use images OOC. Once you start doing minor post-processing, you're at the point where you might as well use RAW. Programs like Lightroom make processing a RAW as simple as processing a JPEG. All you need to do is create a preset that does some basic automated processing (like what your camera would do) and you're at the same starting point!

Late to this topic, but (apart from agreeing with everything realgeek wrote) this comment in particular is spot-on. Since moving to LR4 for all my organising, optimising and publishing, the amount of work in processing RAW files is no more than JPGs. In fact as I sometimes have a mix in my downloads, I often don't even notice whether I'm working with RAW or JPG until I look. The workflow is identical in most cases. I was mostly a JPG shooter until becoming an LR4 convert. Now it's mostly RAW. I believe it gives me more options with no downside except file size (which these days is becoming less important). All my selects are then "published" in finished form as JPGs.

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moving_comfort
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If you're getting into the hobby, take a little time to learn raw processing
In reply to Gary Eickmeier, Jun 30, 2013

raw is slightly more work, but it allows to so much more leeway with the image in post, more DR to pay with without image degradation. Consider the following jpeg, followed by edited version (shadows lifted,) followed by crop of edited version. View the crop at 'original size' and hit '+' :

Crop, view at 'original size' and '+' :

If I had taken that in raw, I would have been able to pull up the shadows (and reduce noise if desired) with very little image degradation. With the jpeg image, it doesn't look good any larger than 5x7 because of artifacts, pixilation and smearing.

Jpeg has it's uses, and the jpeg engines are very good these days, but I think everyone should shoot raw or 'raw + jpeg'. 'raw + jpeg' is a good compromise if you like the ease of jpegs - you can always delete the raws later if you don't want to work on them further.

.

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

With as much difference in exposure as with the moon shot you probably need separate exposures.  Also you need to two shots so both of them will be in focus as there is no way to get that much DOF in one shot.

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Draek
Senior MemberPosts: 2,028Gear list
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Re: Some questions
In reply to Klimt z, Jun 30, 2013

The additional bits of color information are only retained for as long as you work in a 16-bit enviroment; if a single step in your workflow involves "saving the image as a JPEG before opening it in another program" (*), or it uses The GIMP, Photoshop Elements or any other 8-bit editor, you automatically lose it from that point on.

And, people's experiences will vary of course, but in mine I've only noticed a significant difference when making B&W photos, particularly with large contrast adjustments, where changes in tonalities are more subtle and gentle than with 8-bit JPEGs. For color images, however, I haven't seen a thing.

(*) For avoiding this, in case you need to work with two separate programs on the same image, it's recommended you save it as a 16-bit TIFF as to preserve all the color information. Huge files, though, so remember to delete them after you're done.

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Allan Olesen
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I like your raw examples much better
In reply to Gary Eickmeier, Jun 30, 2013

When I look at your first two photos, these are my observations:

  1. In your raw photo, almost all color noise has been removed, pixel by pixel.
  2. In your JPG photo, the color noise has not been removed. Instead it has just been smeared around so the dark grey background has all kinds of color tones which are very visible even in the downscaled photo we see before clicking on it in your post.
  3. In your raw photo, the musicians have real faces. I can see their facial expressions and see which way they are looking. Yes, I have to "look through" a lot of grain, but that doesn't really bother me.
  4. In your JPG photo, the musicians' faces have strange splotches of smear, mixed with rather hard edges which don't exist in a human's face. So those edges are probably false detail. Overall, I don't see faces, only strange masks.

Item 1 and 2 above are actually my main reason for shooting raw. Item 3 and 4 are only visible to pixel peepers, but the bad color noise handling of most cameras is visible without any pixel peeping.

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