DP2M - jpg compared with raw

Started Dec 23, 2012 | Discussions thread
Johan Borg Senior Member • Posts: 2,508
Re: DP2M - jpg compared with raw

Yes, at ISO 100-200, JPEGs can be a good alternative for portraits. One reason they immediately look better is of course that SPP disagrees with the camera (and itself if you save to half size) about sharpening and you need to reduce it a lot in order to get the same sharpening as JPEG at 0.0.

The DP Merrills also have a weakness in rendering soft warm tones, they tend to go completely monochrome, especially (but not only) in shadows, so fill light looks worse than with the older DP series. I don't think JPEG helps much with this, unfortunately. Maybe other RAW converters will fix this when available?

A tip about shooting JPEG: Reduce contrast and sharpening settings in the camera to -1.0 (minimum). Reduced contrast is a personal thing since the Merrills are very contrasty compared to older Sigmas, but reduced sharpening is important: The in-camera sharpening is heavy-handed and creates black outlines around high-contrast edges (leaves against sky), you're better off doing this later or just leaving them as-is.

If you don't care too much about resolution, take a -1.0 sharpness in-camera JPEG and reduce it to 2352 × 1568 pixels (50%) with nearest neighbor downsampling. The resulting image has biting sharpness, yet only a tiny bit of aliasing instead of sharpening artifacts.

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