This shot is what convinced me to shoot in RAW (RX10)

Started Mar 1, 2014 | Discussions thread
Michael Fritzen Veteran Member • Posts: 5,484

Chris59 wrote:

Truth is that RAW will produce better JPEGs when processed by the software in your computer than that in your camera, even if you make NO adjustments to the image. If you do make any adjustments to the RAW file, the resultant JPEG is far superior.


well, yes and no. I'm a RAW shooter myself but based on a different reasoning. The point is that an in-camera JPG and a conversion-program-produced JPG are essentially equal since both have the same 8-bit of data per colour channel. And when these files are visualized on a screen device which is able to reproduce/show essentially only JPGs (most probably: exceeding the gamut of the file that one of the screen) then there's no wonder that possible differences won't show up.

There's no doubt that under many circumstances the in-camera JPG engine is able to produce a pretty high quality and nice looking output.

Again the point here is that (perhaps or probably) useful data is discarded, litterally thrown away in this process in-camera. So IF / WHEN the camera did get it right, fine. If not, bad since at least for the in-camera processing there's only that one attempt. Not so with the RAW file where the photographer as ALL recorded data at his/her disposal for as many attempts as he/she likes to give the output the desired look. So there's always a way back, material for another try to improve - and then add to this equation the fact of the constantly improving RAW converter software - while the in-camera processing software almost can be considered outdated (at least under the POV of software devellopment) at the date of the first release of the camera.

RAW or JPG output right from the camera is no right or wrong question. They are options which have clear differences and consequences but much more from the "data-collection-POV" than from any idea about grossly visible differences on screen or even in print. The visible part of the differences may occasionally increase as a result of the amount of corrections and adjustments applied. But one shouldn't forget that even looking a RAW file on the computer screen it's a JPG-representation of the viewed file because there's simply no way to VIEW RAW. However the DATA is there which can be manipulated / adjusted to one's liking - and if the mood changes or the SW gets updated and brings new features, again and again, always reaching at MINIMUM at the data-quality-output-level of an in-camera generated JPG file when hitting the convert command in the RAW converter.

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Michael Fritzen

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