RAW heresy?

Started Sep 6, 2013 | Discussions thread
mike winslow
mike winslow Contributing Member • Posts: 561
Re: RAW heresy?

Digital Nigel wrote:

FuzzyQball wrote:

I beg to differ. I suspect Sony analyses the image and applies different processing as appropriate. For me, whether I use RAW or jpeg depends what I feel the potential for a great picture is, and if I think it is a challenging lighting situation. Picture for my records are Ok in jpeg. If I want to squeeze the most ouit of it, then RAW.

I wonder how much analysis and process selection is possible in the tenth of a second that the camera has to read the 24mpx image off the sensor, process and convert it to JPEG, apply lens distortion corrections, and store the file on the card? And all of this is done by a low powered CPU that can't use too much battery power or get hot.

Conversely, the post-processing software can take much longer, runs on a much faster, probably 64-bit multi-threaded CPU, and has gigabytes of RAM at its disposal. You'd think that with all those extra resources it ought to be able to do at least as well. On my water-cooled, overclocked PC, DxO takes around 10 secs to process an NEX-7 image, which is fine, as I can be editing the next one as it does so, but I can hear the cooling fans speed up as it does so. It's hard to imagine that the tiny, low-powered camera CPU can do more in a hundredth of the time.

I like the thinking, but that's the secret sauce - the algorithms also the order of processing. And it's probably not entirely a serial process, but a parallel process.  It's really amazing how years of processing experience are embedded in firmware..

A JPEG is a derivation from the original with less information. Some of the in-camera processes are irreversible to get back to the original. The JPEG engine doesnt have the eye that a photographer has. It just does what it does. It's a machine . Sometimes it doesnt do what you want it to, other times, you might have had the wrong mode selected, and it could have done it right.  RAW or JPEG isnt all or nothing. Do both, do one or the other. I dont care. Be happy..  But that's not going to change that a JPEG  isnt the original exposure, and you cant get back to the original exposure from a jpeg, in some cases anyway.  You can shoot stationary white walls which are uniformly lit - Then there is little difference..

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