RAW and JPG and all that again

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engbert Senior Member • Posts: 2,916
RAW and JPG and all that again

For about 15 years I have accepted the dogma, well supported by theory, that it is usually best to shoot RAW. but contemplating the switch from the a7r3 to r4, with its 61mp images and probable huge files, I pondered changing this.

Downloading some of the A7R4 sample jpegs on DP review, I was surprised at how much could be recovered in the shadows, as well as the amazing quality of the images generally.

With my A7r3 I took about a few pictures in a very poorly lit room, saving them as both compressed RAW and extra fine JPG. The compressed RAW were about 40 to 50 mb, and the JPGs were from 5 to 11 mb, depending on content.

They were all imported to Lightroom Classic. Lightroom converted the .ARW files to DNG, not deleting the originals, and was surprised to find that they were mostly a bit bigger as DNGs and in some cases nearly double the size. Perhaps the conversion undid the compression. So I will not save space by converting to DNG!  I will spend some more time on this.

The biggest surprise was comparing the ARW images to the JPGs. I think the jpegs were better. As intended, they were underexposed, and I had to raise the exposure and shadows. But I could not get the RAW images to look better than the sooc jpegs. The iso was 10,000. Raising the shadows produced more noise in the RAWs. I suppose the in camera jpeg converters have improved over the years.

I hope to hear from anyone who has made observations like these. Just opinions will not help much.

 engbert's gear list:engbert's gear list
Sony a7R III Sony a6400 Sony FE 50mm F1.8 Sony FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 Sony FE 24-105mm F4 +1 more
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