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RAW Format

Supplied software

Unusually Ricoh doesn't supply any software at all for opening or processing raw files. OK, that's not strictly true; there is a trial version of Photoshop Elements in the box, but you'll still need to pay for a copy if you want to use it long-term. The GR-D uses Adobe's DNG format for raw files, meaning Photoshop or Elements have no problems opening them.

JPEG & RAW Resolution compared

As the crops below show there is a real, measurable resolution advantage gained by shooting raw, and the output is considerably cleaner (no moiré, no sharpening halos). Whether you're prepared to live with the huge file sizes and painful shot-to-shot delay that come with shooting raw is up to you, but there is no doubt that, particularly if you want to post-process, you'll get the best results if you do.

Adobe Camera Raw, RAW -> TIFF (Default), Manual White balance , ACR 2.4
Camera JPEG

Studio shot comparison

Although, as mentioned above, there is a visibleS resolution advantage over JPEG, the big difference is the one common to all raw files; the ability to control the processing of images yourself, to set the white balance after the shot is taken, to choose how much (or how little) sharpening and noise reduction is used. As the 100% crops below show, the GR-D is doing some fairly strong noise reduction (and sharpening) in-camera - and that even at ISO 64 there is a significant amount of noise to be dealt with in raw files. It's interesting that the ISO 1600 raw result (according to the documentation you can't use ISO 1600 in raw, but you can!) doesn't look that much noisier than the JPEG (which has some heavy NR), but has considerably more detail. Again; if you can live with the slow operation, raw files offer a real advantage over JPEGs.

Adobe Camera Raw (ACR 2.4)
manual white balance, all other settings default
ISO 64 studio scene & 100% crops
JPEG out of camera, Fine quality setting
ISO 64 studio scene & 100% crops

Adobe Camera Raw (ACR 2.4)
manual white balance, all other settings default
ISO 1600 studio scene & 100% crops

JPEG out of camera
Fine quality setting
ISO 1600 studio scene 100% crops
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