The Raw v JPEG challenge (RX100)

Started Jan 28, 2013 | Discussions thread
YiannisPP Senior Member • Posts: 1,621
Re: Let me clarify...

Docno wrote:

YiannisPP wrote:

Docno wrote:

YiannisPP wrote:

Docno wrote:

Shamatt wrote:

I still don't see the attraction of RAW.

If I go on holiday and take 500 sots (As I easily do) It would take weeks and weeks to process them all in to jpg's. I can't see how people do this?

You don't need to individually process every image. Simply get the settings right in one image, then copy them to the others taken in the same conditions (basically copy, select, paste) and batch process. Takes less than a minute.

Not all photographs have the same optimal conversion settings I have found with my limited time with RAW. Batch processing with the same parameters for all you'd end up with some of your photos looking inferior to the corresponding OOC jpegs, especially in good light with the RX100.

The way I see it, batch-processing RAW files and then leaving them as they come out, would only make sense if a camera's jpeg engine is sub-par in general and you know that the conversions are going to be a clear and easy improvement with no need to fine tune each case. Not the case with the RX100 though.

Quoting from DPR's RX100's review:

"The RX100's processing isn't perfect - it looks a lot like some noise reduction is being applied and then the results sharpened, but the overall effect is a lot more pleasant, realistic and detailed."

That's exactly what I've found myself, but it still seems like the jpeg engine doesn't apply exactly the same combination of NR and kind of sharpening for each photo, even if they are at the same ISO. It seems smarter than that as I need to alter those parameters to match the pixel look of the jegs. I spent hours the other day trying to mimic an outdoor good light OOC jpeg using the RAW file in LR. I finally made it, using luminance NR +60 & detail 80, sharpening +40 with radius 1.7 and detail 50, clarity +10, contrast +10, etc... I ended up with more fine details in buildings when looking at 100% and only marginally more grain on a face in the scene, otherwise matching the very pleasing jpeg in every aspect. Plus retrieving some highlights, brightening shadows...Then I saved it thinking I had found the RX100's jpeg recipee! Then I applied to other similar light photos and the horror, it didn't match them equally well! Then I tried to impove on a portrait in good light and I just couldn't without increasing fine grain in the face...

At the end of the day I think that shooting RAW+jpeg is the best for me with the RX100. In some cases you can improve with RAW (especially at high ISOs) so it's good to have it. But shooting only RAW not so sure about it.

EDIT: I only touched on noise/details/smoothness. I need to add that of course RAW can retrieve more highlights (though not much imo) and fix WB issues a lot better.

I wasn't meaning to suggest that one should use the same set of develop settings for all photos. I said that you can do this for ​photos taken under the same conditions. ​That is, if you take a series of shots of a building, for example, there may be no need to have unique settings; but you may need to have different settings if you move to a different environment.

I saw your distinction but that's still quite some work if you're say a traveller/tourist, you just don't take series of buildings shots. They're most quite a bit different to one another. So still need to fine tune as I said for every few shots I'd say.

Most of my shots are travel shots (I'm fortunate enough to be able to cross borders at least once a month). And I find that I can usually apply the same settings to batches of photos. Anyway it works for me. In fact, you just go with the defaults for all the images and basically get what (in an approximate way) what the OOC jpegs would give you. Of course, if you really what to get the most out of your images--and you go to the trouble of shooting Raw--you won't do this.

I don't know Doc, using the default settings as you're suggesting yields nothing close to the OOC jpegs in my eyes when you look at them at 100%. I've used both Sony's IDC and LR4.3.

What the jpeg engine does might not be for the purists (it seems to apply first a fair amount of sharpening and then a fair amount of luminance NR, but not the same mount for each shot), but it results in visually very pleasing jpegs almost every time, I always find that they strike a better overall than the default RAW conversions for low ISOs.

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