No RAW on G7 not that big a deal

Started Sep 15, 2006 | Discussions thread
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Lee Jay Forum Pro • Posts: 51,849
No RAW on G7 not that big a deal

I shoot with a 20D and 5D and often shoot RAW. I love RSP and was very disappointed when it was killed by Adobe. I've been contributing to the LR forums just as I did to the Pixmantec forums. In short, I'm far from anti-RAW.

When I bought my S3IS, I was most disappointed by the lack of RAW (lack of 24-28mm was a close second). But I've had it now for a while and, I am surprised to say, it's not that big a deal.

The P&S cameras have much more agressive auto white balance than the dSLRs. In incandescent light, the dSLRs like to leave a lot of warmth in the image. The P&S cameras don't.

The P&S cameras have another advantage - they use the imaging sensor as the exposure meter as well. That means, on my S3, I have 6 million exposure zones (35 on the 20D and 5D, IIRC). That means the S3 rarely misses exposure. Plus, it has live histogram so you can force it to nail the exposure if you need to in tough conditions.

Finally, the new P&S cameras from Canon (I'm hoping this holds true for this batch too) have very limited in-camera processing and a lot of options for altering the processing done on the JPEGs. I have my S3 set at -2 contrast, -2 sharpening, -1 saturation and -1 green. I find that these settings give me about all the latitude the little sensor is capable of anyway (without bracketing, of course).

The newer RAW converters like Lightroom are starting to allow you to apply raw-like processing workflow to JPEGs. As long as you get exposure and white balance close at time of exposure, you can do a lot with JPEGs with modern tools. I find that the files from my S3 respond very well to noise reduction from Noiseware Community.

So, unlike the dSLRs which have less-accurate exposure, less-agressive white-balance and much more DR latitude because of their larger sensors, I don't think these little P&S cameras would benefit much from RAW. I know I don't miss it nearly as much as I thought I would in my S3IS. I know if it were missing from the 20D and 5D, I wouldn't own them.

So, if you want to complain about the G7, I'd suggest complaining about the f2.8-f4.8 lens versus the G6's f2-f3 lens. Now that's a serious limitation!

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Lee Jay
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