In camera RAW processing

Started Jul 14, 2012 | Discussions thread
Kawika Nui Contributing Member • Posts: 673
Re: In camera RAW processing

Amen.

Another problem with JPEG: JPEG "compression" is really deletion, since much color data (among other things) is simply thrown away.  Instead of a smooth gradation from light to dark, or through a spectrum of color, several levels of light or color are reduced to a single level.  The result is often severe posterization or banding, especially if you increase contrast or saturation in post.  You can get some interesting effects by taking advantage of this fact, but if you want to replicate the scene, RAW always gives more accuracy and more options.  Also RAW will allow you to recover over- and under-exposed areas far better than JPEG (since JPEG will have already deleted tonality in those areas).  The differences are vast in extreme contrast situations, many night shooting situations, dawn situations, etc.  Here is an example of banding (JPEG photo of a low-intensity light source, with contrast increased to heighten the effect); a sunrise would show the same banding effect in the dawn sky:

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