Still Trying to Convince Myself on RAW

Started Jun 29, 2013 | Photos thread
EinsteinsGhost Forum Pro • Posts: 11,977
Re: Still Trying to Convince Myself on RAW

Gary Eickmeier wrote:

EinsteinsGhost wrote:

Gary Eickmeier wrote:

I suppose we all do this comparison stuff between RAW and JPG to try and convince ourselves of the vast superiority of RAW, but I am still a work in progress. Shot a band camp recital in RAW and JPG. Shot from 1600 to 6400 jut to stretch the limits. Opened up the RAW images, a little shocked at the noise at 6400. Opened up the JPG image, AMAZED at the smoothness and perfection of the image. At 1600 there is not much difference, would say no problem whatsoever up to 1600.

I picked the first two. RAW is grainy, as expected whereas JPG is smooth... to the extent of being smudged badly.

With RAW, you can smooth out some of the noise and retain the details. With JPG, you have what your camera gave you. Also remember that RAW processing is more than simply accepting default settings in the software.

Now, here is an overlooked advantage of shooting RAW. Instead of ISO 6400, you could have used ISO 1600 and increased the exposure in RAW conversion by 2-stops.

NO, you cannot - and that is what I am saying. The exposure and WB settings are applied in camera before the RAW file is created. If you underexpose, you have lost that many bits of information and cannot get them back by some processing magic.

Stop assuming. If you want to be honest to self, you should at least try. Here is an example:

Sony NEX-3 + Minolta 200mm f/2.8 G APO HS (via EA2), ISO 800, 1/640s, f/2.8

Typically, you would be shooting such basketball action at ISO 1600. And you will HAVE TO if you choose JPEG. I shot at ISO 400 or 800 (latter often chosen simply to make reviews easier).

But, you're missing the point of RAW. The WB settings you speak of, for example, is not set in stone with RAW. The RAW processor will default to the setting you chose, but you can simply switch to a different setting. You simply have all those bits you presume to be lost with RAW that you give up with JPEGs.

BTW, over-aggressive in-camera NR is a major reason I would highly recommend using RAW. Your RAW output has room to improve. You JPEGs have the noise suppression resulting in major smudging.

With both RAW and JPG there is a lot of wiggle room with exposure and WB, but no, you cannot set a 1600 ISO, purposely underexpose, and then get it all back in post. Yes, it is better to under than overexpose, but this is not a RAW vs JPG difference.

Anyone else on this?

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Gary Eickmeier

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