RAW Troublemaker Again

Started Aug 30, 2013 | Discussions
VirtualMirage
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Re: So the next time,
In reply to Gary Eickmeier, Sep 1, 2013

Gary Eickmeier wrote:

VirtualMirage wrote:

The RAW image still could use more sharpening. What settings are you using?

100%

The JPEG has too much sharpening as evidence of the halos around everything. What unsharp mask settings did you use for this? And why did you feel it needed even more sharpening than how it appeared out of camera?

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Paul

I don't remember all of the settings. I sometimes use Unsharp Mask when I think it helps. I use the lowest in camera sharpening in JPGs.

Honest, I was trying to compare RAW sharpening to JPG sharpening. Seems fair to me.

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Gary Eickmeier

100% what?  Just the amount, or everything?

In IDC you have 4 sharpness adjustments.  Just taking the amount slider to 100 and leaving the other adjustments at 0 will hardly make any difference.  The amount slider will add very little sharpening by itself.  It seems to be a bit conservative as to where it applies.  But since it is only a -100 to 100 scale and doesn't define by pixel size, etc., we don't know exactly what it is looking for.

But tinkering with the overshoot, undershoot, and threshold make a noticeable change to the level and type of sharpness you are getting.

Maybe it is just me, but I have to agree that if using IDC the sharpness is not as intuitive as the sharpening in PS and LR.  Of course I learned sharpening through the use of amount/radius/detail /masking, not overshoot/undershoot.

Due to your software and system limitations, you are probably better off doing your adjustments in IDC except for sharpening, then export a TIFF to PS/PSE and do sharpening there.  And since you usually save sharpening for last anyways and tweak it to the output you plan to present your image in (print, display, web, TV, etc.), this doesn't have a negative effect on the image.

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Paul

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Chet Meyerson
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Re: Why I use Raw + Jpg - because when I don't, I screw up
In reply to tom, Sep 1, 2013

tom wrote:

I recently had a visit from relatives (and very young nieces and nephews) I haven't seen for a few years. I met them at the Air and Space museum in DC. Since this was not a photo trip, I just popped a P&S (that I also hadn't used in a few years) in my pocket.

I took some very nice photos of the group, at least on the LCD. When I got them home I found out that the camera I had used did not have raw, and it was set on auto ISO. Now the area where I photographed did not appear dark, but the camera set a very high ISO. I did have the camera set for highest quality with minimum NR and sharpening. But when I looked at the images full screen (the way they will when they open them in windows photo viewer), I could see that there were lots of artifacts. And of course the artifacts were on the women's and girls' faces. Minimum NR and sharpening were built in to the camera at much higher levels than I would ever use. Unfortunately, it made all of them look like different versions of Quasimoto.

I was able to salvage some of them using selective bluring, sharpening, blending etc. and a heck of a lot of time and trial and error.

I have taken shots in similar situations with cameras that had raw +jpg, and after throwing away the jpg, I could complete the raw processing in 5 minutes or less (just copy the settings of the first one into subsequent images).

I've red tagged the offending camera and have all my other cameras set for raw+jpg.

tom

Why your are discussing something that has no relevance to this entirely too long thread?

What a P&S will do on auto ISO (and who even knows what P*S you were using) is not the same as a well shot image using a Sony full frame a99 (or even an a77). So why are you writing about JPEG vs RAW from some P&S camera on this thread? Save that for the point and shoot forum!

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stevo23
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Re: Why I use Raw + Jpg - because when I don't, I screw up
In reply to tom, Sep 1, 2013

tom wrote:

I recently had a visit from relatives (and very young nieces and nephews) I haven't seen for a few years. I met them at the Air and Space museum in DC. Since this was not a photo trip, I just popped a P&S (that I also hadn't used in a few years) in my pocket.

I took some very nice photos of the group, at least on the LCD. When I got them home I found out that the camera I had used did not have raw, and it was set on auto ISO. Now the area where I photographed did not appear dark, but the camera set a very high ISO. I did have the camera set for highest quality with minimum NR and sharpening. But when I looked at the images full screen (the way they will when they open them in windows photo viewer), I could see that there were lots of artifacts. And of course the artifacts were on the women's and girls' faces. Minimum NR and sharpening were built in to the camera at much higher levels than I would ever use. Unfortunately, it made all of them look like different versions of Quasimoto.

I was able to salvage some of them using selective bluring, sharpening, blending etc. and a heck of a lot of time and trial and error.

I have taken shots in similar situations with cameras that had raw +jpg, and after throwing away the jpg, I could complete the raw processing in 5 minutes or less (just copy the settings of the first one into subsequent images).

I've red tagged the offending camera and have all my other cameras set for raw+jpg.

tom

That's a novel reason! Did the camera have any histogram? It sounds like your red channel was clipping which is typical on faces.

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tko
tko
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do you eat TV dinners?
In reply to Gary Eickmeier, Sep 1, 2013

Do you compare a TV dinner to your own cooking, and proudly pronounce the TV dinner the winner?

If so, you only have yourself to blame.

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stevo23
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Re: Thanks for sharing this Gary !
In reply to Michel J, Sep 1, 2013

Michel J wrote:

Unfortunately, like all prudent professionals, I shoot raw+jpeg.

Are you a journalist?

But I assume some .raw shooter can get the best from them workflow (when they PP a few and use CIE-lab or something), it's just a question of skills and time you want to spend for... no?

It's all about what time you're willing to spend.

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ovrebekk
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Re: RAW Troublemaker Again
In reply to Gary Eickmeier, Sep 1, 2013

Gary Eickmeier wrote:

AceP wrote:

Gary Eickmeier wrote:

Some of these wedding shooters shoot 2000 images that they then have to go through and process afterwards. Think about it.

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Gary Eickmeier

Actually if you think about it, they will spend the least amount of time that will achieve the highest quality so most of those guys have set up their presets in Lightroom on some test shots where they fix the CA, saturation etc. for a custom starting point. Their "style" if you will. It appears your starting point in the illustration was to apply nothing except to make the RAW file visible!

Then these wedding shooters import the 2000 images with their choice of preset applied as they come in. That was step 1. Step 2, they click on the pull down menu and select "export to jpeg". Then go surf the web and reply to some DPReview comments while their computer churns out the processed jpegs, processed the way they like it rather than the way their camera jpeg processing choices happened to be set at during the shoot. With RAW, if they want to apply some different style to certain photos, they can create as many versions in LR as they wish before exporting another fresh from the original RAW file, jpeg.

Sounds preposterous to me. The whole point of processing RAW is to make all of those fine corrections that JPG cannot do right. And how can there be ONE set of presets that would apply to all of the pictures shot in one full speed ahead wedding shoot?

'Spain.

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Gary Eickmeier

As AceP said this is really just what the JPG is doing. It is applying a similar type of processing to all your photos.

If you want to get the simplicity of JPG's with RAW's, just do what I do: Open all your RAW's in Lightroom, set the contrast and clarity to 40-ish for added contrast, and export the whole bunch in whatever resolution you want. Then you get photos similar to the JPG's in quality, but when you review the photos afterwards you have the opportunity of going back into Lightroom to make more changes if you find a shot that doesn't look good with the default settings.

Lightroom seems pretty daunting at first, but it's really only 5-10 parameters that you need to use regularly. The majority of the features I hardly ever touch (like tonecurve, split toning, HSL ++).

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JamieTux
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Re: RAW Troublemaker Again
In reply to Gary Eickmeier, Sep 1, 2013

Gary Eickmeier wrote:

AceP wrote:

Gary Eickmeier wrote:

Some of these wedding shooters shoot 2000 images that they then have to go through and process afterwards. Think about it.

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Gary Eickmeier

Actually if you think about it, they will spend the least amount of time that will achieve the highest quality so most of those guys have set up their presets in Lightroom on some test shots where they fix the CA, saturation etc. for a custom starting point. Their "style" if you will. It appears your starting point in the illustration was to apply nothing except to make the RAW file visible!

Then these wedding shooters import the 2000 images with their choice of preset applied as they come in. That was step 1. Step 2, they click on the pull down menu and select "export to jpeg". Then go surf the web and reply to some DPReview comments while their computer churns out the processed jpegs, processed the way they like it rather than the way their camera jpeg processing choices happened to be set at during the shoot. With RAW, if they want to apply some different style to certain photos, they can create as many versions in LR as they wish before exporting another fresh from the original RAW file, jpeg.

Sounds preposterous to me. The whole point of processing RAW is to make all of those fine corrections that JPG cannot do right. And how can there be ONE set of presets that would apply to all of the pictures shot in one full speed ahead wedding shoot?

'Spain.

I don't shoot 2000 in a day - but that workflow above is almost exactly mine for any job - I have a set of presets that I use for different looks/feels/subjects/job type and I apply a preset to the whole batch and it give me my look for that job - if any need tweaking of heavier work I'll do that on an individual basis still sticking to my 2 minute rule (that's a self imposed time limit I set). I then operate the camera(s) to get the starting point I want for those presets to work.

It's no different to shooting jpegs except that it gives me more control and all the picture data that the camera records so that I can put my own personal stamp on it instead of Sony's.

As for "The whole point of processing RAW is to make all of those fine corrections that JPG cannot do right."
That may be the the whole point to some people but I am willing to bet good money that the majority of people that shoot raw don't do it for that reason.  It will be because it offers them an advantage (more control, more flexbility, a way of standardising output across different cameras) or at least no disadvantages to them (they have enough disk space and big enough memory cards).

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Gary Eickmeier

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Austinian
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Re: RAW Troublemaker Again
In reply to JamieTux, Sep 1, 2013

JamieTux wrote:

As for "The whole point of processing RAW is to make all of those fine corrections that JPG cannot do right."
That may be the the whole point to some people but I am willing to bet good money that the majority of people that shoot raw don't do it for that reason. It will be because it offers them an advantage (more control, more flexbility, a way of standardising output across different cameras) or at least no disadvantages to them (they have enough disk space and big enough memory cards).

More flexibility, yes. I think of it as 'preserving my options'; sometimes, even days after looking at an initial output image, I'll decide to try quite different settings on the RAW conversion software. It took me some thought and experimentation to realize the importance of this, and I've only recently begun to explore the exciting possibilities. Learning never ends.

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tom
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Re: Why I use Raw + Jpg - because when I don't, I screw up
In reply to Chet Meyerson, Sep 1, 2013

Because same thing happens (has happened) with a Sony DSLR/T when set for JPG only and the auto ISO goes to high, or the user has it set for some other combination of things not right for the situation.

Stupid mistakes - yes, but they do happen.  If nothing else, raw + jpg gives insurance that only costs some space on a memory card.  It is much easier to get a usable (high quality) image out of a raw than it is from a camera processed (8-bit) jpg when there is a strange lighting situation or a screw-up.  With all of the many possible settings for creative color, etc with the Sony cameras, the chance for not quite getting it right in camera is not insignificant.  Raw gives you the opportunity to try different "camera" settings at home on the monitor.

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tom
tom
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Re: Why I use Raw + Jpg - because when I don't, I screw up
In reply to stevo23, Sep 1, 2013

stevo23 wrote:

That's a novel reason! Did the camera have any histogram? It sounds like your red channel was clipping which is typical on faces.

I don't think it was red channel clipping.  One of the women had on a pale red blouse, and that color came out ok.  When I post processed the image, the red channel was not close to the right edge of the histogram.

The artifacts looked like a combination of over noise reduction (face was very smooth except for the artifacts) + over sharpening (strengthened at edges of face and different colored background) + plus jpg compression.  It looked at some of my early attempts to use a combination of 'edge protecting NR' + sharpening to clean up high ISO (400) shots in the early DSLR days.  It also looked like some of the early A700 high ISO jpgs, before Sony issued the firmware that allowed high ISO NR to be completely turned off.  (just to get this back to a-mount).  (Diverting again from a-mount), I've also seen similar,  but less intense, behavior on my NEX 7 which led me to changing that camera's default to raw+jpg, since high iso on that camera always has some NR added.

While I often use the jpgs form my a-mount cameras w/o bothering with the raws, I find that using the Sony camera profiles with the raw in LR lets me try different "creative color" settings (clear, vivid, deep, etc.) non-destructively as a starting point with the amount of NR and sharpening I like.  I also find adding a bit of "clarity" really makes an image pop by appearing to get rid of a slight haze covering the entire image.

tom

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Clayton1985
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Re: So the next time,
In reply to JusLookN, Sep 1, 2013

JusLookN wrote:

Gary Eickmeier wrote:

Thanks Rich, and I will try harder. But look at another example (couldn't resist - you guys told me that IDC does the same job as the camera processing, so I opened up a random shot that I had in both JPG and RAW, did the RAW in IDC with sharpening and - well, it didn't need anything else - but look at the RAW sharpening results vs the camera's JPG with a little Unsharp Mask applied):

Of course (as if you couldn't tell) the bottom one is the JPG. I could not get the RAW one as sharp within the IDC program. I could have applied Unsharp Mask after importing it into Photoshop, but wanted to show what each program can do by itself. These are 100% crops of a much larger image that I was shooting to test resolution.

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Gary Eickmeier

Gary, the point to be made here is ; you added more sharpening to the jpeg which has already been cooked. Your comparison should have been with it exactly as you saw it compared to the processed raw file in IDC. Let me make a statement here, because I have an uncle that went through the same thing. He uses jpegs still because that's what he likes and he knows he is not proficient with Lightroom but is still learning. At first, he thought that if he brought raw files into lightroom with the default settings, and hit the automatic button in the basic module that everything had already been done. You have to have the right camera profile and find the basic starting points that you use most often. Or, start with the basic settings in Lightroom for Sony cams, then modify them to your liking and either do this all the time, or make your own profile. What others are saying to the fact that it seems to take more time to process; is that once you have a profile tailored to the way you shoot most of the times, it only takes maybe one or two keystrokes to have your file done. All of the other settings can be synced through the whole process if you feel you haven't changed the settings. In other words, you kinda batch just like with jpegs. Most of us in this thread know exactly what you mean't with the thread title, and are trying to help explain the raw processing more since you are lacking. But, let me state that you should pick one processor and stick with it, rather than try to use all of them. Lightroom has most of the tools you need to do raw processing. And since you mentioned you have it, I would suggest you stick with that one. It is hard for some at first. Just don't try to convince yourself that you have a timetable to learn it. My best suggestion is to get the Lightroom book for digital photography written by Scott Kelby. It does a really good job of explaining what everything does and shows you by example. It also gives you some excercises to practice on. Don't let anybody get you all bent out of shape in this thread. Photography is supposed to be fun. Learning is also supposed to be fun! (kinda long-winded) But have fun shooting and processing! That's what it's all about!

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Glenn
I'm kinda partial to video, but I'm hangin!

Good advice Glenn...  unfortunately, the title and wording of the OPs original post and a few others followed up with the later "comparison" that you're replying to above suggest that the OP is not trying to learn but rather trying his best to not be wrong.  Does anyone really believe the OPs purpose of the above comparison was to PP the raw to equal the jpg?  Exactly.

What the OP should be doing:
a) working on that dropbox account so that someone can quickly show him how to process his raw files
b) observing the posts that have likes in this thread and maybe just as important the ones that don't (including his own) 
c) actually listen to the advice in many of those most liked posts and make a legitimate effort to follow it

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Atgard
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Until the RAW is uploaded, this is a waste of time
In reply to Clayton1985, Sep 1, 2013

This whole thread and all the arguments are a waste of time until the OP uploads the RAW file somewhere, so those skilled in RAW processing can show him what RAW can do. Then we can all see the camera's JPG and a well-processed RAW and everyone can decide for themselves.

Until then, it's all just arguing back and forth. If the OP isn't willing to upload the RAW (many have told him many ways to do this), then he's unwilling to have his beliefs tested and there's no point in going back and forth.

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Gary Eickmeier
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Re: Do you really have to RAW??
In reply to RichV, Sep 1, 2013

RichV wrote:

Gary Eickmeier wrote:

RichV wrote:

As an exercise I downloaded the full-size JPEG Gary posted of the building and the traffic light. But it was already "JPEG'd" so there wasn't a lot I could do with it. Gary's comment was about sharpness, and at a 100% view (which is a minimum you'd use when sharpening) it's smeared; once you've lost detail you can't get it back.

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Rich

Now I am going to have to take exception. No, nothing is "smeared" in that picture. It was taken on a tripod, SSS turned off, manually focused to perfection with double magnification, and fired with a 2 sec timer. I have already posted a sharp as a tack crop of the street lights with every little red LED visible at that great distance - about a block and a half - well, you can see how small they are in the original. Every brick is countable, every sign readable, a perfectly sharp image.

I hope my statement doesn't offend but ... well, shoot a JPEG and you GET a JPEG (just kidding!).

Don't even use your PP software, just look at the original view of the large one you posted; move toward the back of the building and also look at the sky. I only saw this because I downloaded it and cropped it similarly to your traffic light clip - and then easily saw what was there. Since I haven't seen your RAW yet I can't tell if it was just the camera's JPEG, the lens or something else. Would this show up on most prints? No. But now you could perform a test against a well-converted and processed RAW to see if there's a difference. In a way, it's not that it wouldn't normally be noticed in a print; it just happens to be in the much-less-noticeable area it's in just because you did such a good job of taking it. In some ways the RAW vs. JPEG issue is about the lattitude you have when editing, but you could also get one of those "not quite perfect" JPEG shots where the issues are more easily noticed - and I think they'd be much less so in the RAW version.

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Rich

You haven't said what you saw, so I can't comment much. But remember that I can't upload even the full JPG shot in dpreview because of all of the limits they put on the format. So the first thing I have to do is reduce the resolution from 6000 x 4000 to 5000 x 3333 or so. Then I re-JPG that so that it will go thru the system and end up as you see it on this site.

If anyone is still interested I can try Google Docs or something to upload or link the full JPG and RAW files.

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Gary Eickmeier

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RichV
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Re: Do you really have to RAW??
In reply to Gary Eickmeier, Sep 1, 2013

Gary Eickmeier wrote:

RichV wrote:

Gary Eickmeier wrote:

RichV wrote:

As an exercise I downloaded the full-size JPEG Gary posted of the building and the traffic light. But it was already "JPEG'd" so there wasn't a lot I could do with it. Gary's comment was about sharpness, and at a 100% view (which is a minimum you'd use when sharpening) it's smeared; once you've lost detail you can't get it back.

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Rich

Now I am going to have to take exception. No, nothing is "smeared" in that picture. It was taken on a tripod, SSS turned off, manually focused to perfection with double magnification, and fired with a 2 sec timer. I have already posted a sharp as a tack crop of the street lights with every little red LED visible at that great distance - about a block and a half - well, you can see how small they are in the original. Every brick is countable, every sign readable, a perfectly sharp image.

I hope my statement doesn't offend but ... well, shoot a JPEG and you GET a JPEG (just kidding!).

Don't even use your PP software, just look at the original view of the large one you posted; move toward the back of the building and also look at the sky. I only saw this because I downloaded it and cropped it similarly to your traffic light clip - and then easily saw what was there. Since I haven't seen your RAW yet I can't tell if it was just the camera's JPEG, the lens or something else. Would this show up on most prints? No. But now you could perform a test against a well-converted and processed RAW to see if there's a difference. In a way, it's not that it wouldn't normally be noticed in a print; it just happens to be in the much-less-noticeable area it's in just because you did such a good job of taking it. In some ways the RAW vs. JPEG issue is about the lattitude you have when editing, but you could also get one of those "not quite perfect" JPEG shots where the issues are more easily noticed - and I think they'd be much less so in the RAW version.

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Rich

You haven't said what you saw, so I can't comment much. But remember that I can't upload even the full JPG shot in dpreview because of all of the limits they put on the format. So the first thing I have to do is reduce the resolution from 6000 x 4000 to 5000 x 3333 or so. Then I re-JPG that so that it will go thru the system and end up as you see it on this site.

If anyone is still interested I can try Google Docs or something to upload or link the full JPG and RAW files.

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Gary Eickmeier

Gary: first statement (above) = "smeared;' next (above) = "move toward the back of the building and also look at the sky." (I could also say that absent any distance information it might also have something to do with the aperture used, but I just don't know; it's still smeared/blotchy.) The LED lights certainly are visible, which means the RAW would provide at least as much (and you'd have the ability to decrease any blooming there).

I think that a good number of posts have asked for the RAW - we know what the JPEG looks like, so let members have a shot at the RAW file. As I wrote, it might just be that the lens has hit its limit, but you won't find out without looking at the RAW. If you're not posting the RAW, then I'd guess most are tired with the circular nature of this thread; maybe you should just let it die out.

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Rich

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Michel J
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Re: Thanks for sharing this Gary !
In reply to stevo23, Sep 1, 2013

stevo23 wrote:

Michel J wrote:

Unfortunately, like all prudent professionals, I shoot raw+jpeg.

Are you a journalist?

Why journalist "only"?

For real, I'm editor-in-chief, right now. But I'm a simple man.

But I assume some .raw shooter can get the best from them workflow (when they PP a few and use CIE-lab or something), it's just a question of skills and time you want to spend for... no?

It's all about what time you're willing to spend.

Thanks you for correcting me btw

Regards.

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Michel J
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Gary Eickmeier
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Re: Do you really have to RAW??
In reply to stevo23, Sep 1, 2013

stevo23 wrote:

But to the OP - it was implied that sometimes, jpeg is better, so shoot both - as if the jpeg somehow contains something that the RAW does not. This is incorrect. The jpeg that you get comes from that very RAW and noise reduction, CA reduction etc. is all being applied in camera. With the RAW, most of those things are not being done. It can be better straight out of the camera and one would expect so. But the potential is always greater, by definition, that RAW can at least match that jpeg. In reality, I've always found it possible to beat the jpeg. There isn't enough headroom in the jpeg. So you take your 11.5 stop DSLR and chop it down to something like 8? I don't know exactly.

From a post to Gary Friedman on this subject:

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?

*************************

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.)

***************************

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

********************************

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.

****************************

Is this a good question or dumb? Everyone talks about the advantages of RAW, but no one talks about any disadvantages.

*********************************

Again, you really, really need to attend one of my seminars! All will be clear after that. (2nd best choice: Read the A77 book thoroughly, since all of that and more is discussed.)

Gary Friedman

********************************

That is when I tried to see how many in the Florida area would be interested in a seminar, but didn't get enough responses to pursue it.

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Gary Eickmeier

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Gary Eickmeier
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Re: Until the RAW is uploaded, this is a waste of time
In reply to Atgard, Sep 1, 2013

Atgard wrote:

This whole thread and all the arguments are a waste of time until the OP uploads the RAW file somewhere, so those skilled in RAW processing can show him what RAW can do. Then we can all see the camera's JPG and a well-processed RAW and everyone can decide for themselves.

Until then, it's all just arguing back and forth. If the OP isn't willing to upload the RAW (many have told him many ways to do this), then he's unwilling to have his beliefs tested and there's no point in going back and forth.

Could everyone please lighten up on me until I can get these files uploaded and linked? I have just got up after a six hour video shoot with multiple cameras and sound recorders and I need to get some equipment back to the office and maybe download the files and visit my mother in law at the nursing home and then I can try and find the pertinent files to upload. I am just as curious as you.

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Gary Eickmeier

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Gary Eickmeier
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,447
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Re: do you eat TV dinners?
In reply to tko, Sep 1, 2013

tko wrote:

Do you compare a TV dinner to your own cooking, and proudly pronounce the TV dinner the winner?

If so, you only have yourself to blame.

What a fool I've been! Thanks tko!

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seilerbird666
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Re: RAW Troublemaker Again
In reply to Gary Eickmeier, Sep 1, 2013

Gary Eickmeier wrote:

Bottom line is shoot RAW + JPG, not just RAW.

I never have shot raw and jpg and I never will. It is a waste of time and space.

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seilerbird666
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Re: RAW Troublemaker Again
In reply to Gary Eickmeier, Sep 1, 2013

Gary Eickmeier wrote:

...but the histogram was perfect and the image looked fine in the viewfinder.

There is no such thing as a perfect histogram....

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