is it worthwhile trying to process FZ200 raw images?

Started Mar 13, 2014 | Discussions thread
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james laubscher Senior Member • Posts: 1,224
is it worthwhile trying to process FZ200 raw images?

My wife recently got an FZ200, on my recommendation and of course I've been using it quite a bit.

I've been processing the raw images with DxO pro, which offers a customised sharpening algorithm for the FZ200 (amongst others), as well as Photo Shop Elements, using the ACR functions that it offers and Raw Therapee.

DxO sharpening has been disappointing (based on previous expeirence with other cameras). FZ200 images are soft at 600mm and DxO does not pull them together the way it does with other cameras.

I've also set the camera to generate jpegs with NR at -2, Sharpening at +1 and Contrast at +1, usually at 100 iso.

I've been trying hard but have not really improved much on the OOC jpegs. I can run the jpegs through Fast Stone Viewer for a touch up (slight denoising and slight sharpening) and end up with images, which on my PC screen or on my HD TV screen, look as good as those that I create laboriously from the raw files.

The only benefit I've had so far from the raw format is that I underexpose my images to control highlight blow outs and can PP adjust highlights nicely.

With quite a lot of work, which I hope I'll soon be able to automate, I've been able to pull more detail out of the raw images with Raw Therapee than the other two raw processors but still dont have control of the colour functions.

What is the experience of other users? Is there a clear advantage to using a raw processor vs. tweaking the OOC jpegs with FSV or something similar that I am missing? I'm finding it so easy to use FSV on jpegs that the raw route to better images is more and more like a rocky road.

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200
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