Jpeg or RAW ( & Why) June 2013

Started Jun 8, 2013 | Photos thread
gardenersassistant Veteran Member • Posts: 3,854
Re: The JPEG Post Processing Challenge

Detail Man wrote:

gardenersassistant wrote:

Detail Man wrote:

This shot contains both of the two elements where JPG s fall short (fine-detail and high contrast scene). Enough in the way of talk. Grab your 8-bit image-editors, go at it, and prove me wrong.

Here is the 10 Mpixel OOC JPG (CONTRAST=0, SHARPNESS=-2, NR=-2). Feel free to post process this JPG, and then post your result (at the same 1600 pixel-height, 1200 pixel-width that I have):

I see that the wizards at DPReview continue to demonstrate their incredible technical prowess.

Download the Original at:

Here is the best that I have been able to accomplish using an 8-bit JPG post-processing approach:

Download Original here:


Here is the best that I have been able to accomplish using a RAW processing (DxO) approach:

Download Original here:


Good luck. Many have tried - but none (IMO) have managed to equal the RAW processed version using JPEG post-processing approaches where it comes to both fine detail as well as tonal range.

OK DM, I'll bite. I love working on your images with all those sumptuous greens and browns and a myriad little details, so I couldn't resist. You might as well see what I came up with (this was the one that appealed most to me of the seven goes I had at it). I suspect there are personal taste issues which are likely to confuse things as to any conclusions one might draw, and also quite probably "what the reality actually looked like" issues (we ran into that one last time as you'll recall. ).

And not having access to the RAW version to work on, any comparison between your and my versions will presumably tell us more about our comparative preferences and PP skills, and the capabilities of the software we are using, rather than telling us much one way or the other about whether one can get better results from RAW than from JPEG, although you know what I think about that of course.

OK, fine detail and tonal range. Over to you.

Hi Nick !

Looks nice, my friend. I notice that it is very similar to the version that you came up with in October of 2011 (when I first conducted a "roll your own home-grown post-procerssing facade contest"):

... but the newer version appears to have a lower overall output brightness (which I personally like).

Well spotted DM. I had forgotten about that. This time I kept getting versions where the greens shouted too loud for my taste (in light level and colouration), especially in comparison to your overall much darker versions. My versions seemed disconcertingly brash.I tried various things to get rid of that effect but they all seemed to "take the life" out of the picture; very frustrating. Eventually I worked out how to move a little towards your light levels/balance - I ended up giving it some negative Vibrance, which is something I haven't done before.

I have to say though that in now comparing this one and the previous one, I too prefer this one. Not so much for the detail level, which looks rather similar, but the light balance. For example, the colours of the bark on the tree look richer, and the tangle of stuff in the background looks "deeper"/less "flat".

I also liked Julio's effort (though it goes a bit wild on color saturation and sharpening) here:

Yes, a bit wild for my taste too, but it's always good to see different people's interpretations and preferences, which can sometimes nudge (or shove) one's own approach and preferences to a different flavour, which can be very refreshing/inspiring. Like the effect of studying your versions had on mine in this case for example.

Regarding the order of the smoke and mirrors conjurati. I see that runaround has had yet another unctious moment in which he experienced a supernatural vision that the best results must surely arise out of already quality degraded source material. The final concretization process will be complete as soon as the enema truck can manage to maneuver it's delivery apparatus into that tight urban space. Another well known luminary bore forth yet another massive ostrich egg, each offering seemingly more endearing than the last. Were would the world be without these erudite pontificates ?

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