raw+jpeg, a challenge for rx100 owners

Started Sep 2, 2012 | Discussions
nordic_light Regular Member • Posts: 172
raw+jpeg, a challenge for rx100 owners

I have not decided yet if I will shoot in raw with my RX100. So far I have only shoot jpeg. The reason is that jpeg-files is normally very good, and that is also what dpreview says in their test.

So before I decide whether I will go for Lightroom4 and shoot raw, I have a challenge for rx100 owners.

Please shoot a pic in raw+jpeg in a motive with a strong contrast between light and darkness, then do your best in LR4 (or another program) with these two files. I really want to se if there are any major difference in the end between them, or if raw are only marginally better, or perhaps, not visibly better at all.

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FocalPoint_L Regular Member • Posts: 230
Re: raw+jpeg, a challenge for rx100 owners

Nordic_light,

Okay I'll bite. Using an ordinary photo of a sunrise (not a good composition, but one that's good to show you what you've requested):

Photo #1 - OOC JPEG - only change is resize to 1024 pixels wide:

Photo #2 - Same photo from Raw. Used the latest ACR to "develop" 2 exposures, one for the sky, one for the landscape below:

Details: RX100 at 31mm (equiv.), F3.5, 1/500th, 125 ISO.

You could have gotten something like this result using the camera's HDR, but you wouldn't have as much control. For example, you can use a different amount of contrast for the lower part of the photo than the upper part, etc.

I think this shows the RX100 has a decent amount of DR available. And while you can't see it in these 1024 px files, the original file at 100% has some noise in the pulled-up bottom portion. But it's not too bad, and with a little NR, you could make a reasonable size print.

What do you think? Worth shooting Raw sometimes?

LR

Dutchpepper
Dutchpepper Senior Member • Posts: 1,505
Re: raw+jpeg, a challenge for rx100 owners

Sorry wrong post

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OP nordic_light Regular Member • Posts: 172
Re: raw+jpeg, a challenge for rx100 owners

Thank you!

Impressing indeed.

But it was not really what I was requested. But it can be!

If you will do your best to edit also your jpeg-file, that would be really great. Because as it is now it is impossible to compare your OOC jpeg-file with your edited raw-file. I can now only see what you can do with a raw-file, but not what you can do with a jpeg-file. Because your jpeg-file is what you wrote OOC.

So please, do your best with the jpeg-file also in editing it, and then publish it together with your edited raw-file, that would be great and exciting. Only then can I decide if it is worth to use raw instead of jpeg.

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ParietalPenguin
ParietalPenguin Senior Member • Posts: 2,928
Re: raw+jpeg, a challenge for rx100 owners

Nordic, I was thinking the same thing. In my view, after editing, the jpeg was not quite as good, but pretty close, considering I was using a downsized image:

Karen

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EinsteinsGhost
EinsteinsGhost Forum Pro • Posts: 11,977
Impressive!

FocalPoint_L wrote:

Nordic_light,

Okay I'll bite. Using an ordinary photo of a sunrise (not a good composition, but one that's good to show you what you've requested):

Details: RX100 at 31mm (equiv.), F3.5, 1/500th, 125 ISO.

Impressive!

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ericwestpheling Forum Member • Posts: 57
Re: raw+jpeg, a challenge for rx100 owners

Perhaps you could spend an hour and try it yourself?

You may end up learning something inspiring in the process. Adobe has free demo versions available for 30 days of non-commercial use.

http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop-lightroom.html

The resounding answer to any question of overall image quality and ability to make high quality manipulations/transformations to the image will be YES to working in RAW. Will it be labor intensive, involve more data, more software, more time? Possibly, and most likely, yes.

I would hands down say that shooting raw+jpeg is worth doing- IF you intend to WORK on them. If you are satisfied with your Jpegs then keep them, and keep living your life and shooting. The jpegs are great because they are DONE. They aren't really designed to be revisited and tweaked.

If your intention is to make adjustments because you are after a different rendering of the scene than the camera can provide, then it behooves you to work with the raw files to facilitate these adjustments in a non-destructive way.

I even have switched my family to shooting raw+jpeg, knowing that they will never touch the raw files- but if they were ever inclined they could deliver me a raw to develop and make a fine-art print for them.

Here is an example of raw vs jpeg in my personal workflow:
Sony JPEG with Standard colors:

RAW File processed in Lightroom with a custom DNG Profile:

FocalPoint_L Regular Member • Posts: 230
Re: raw+jpeg, a challenge for rx100 owners

Karen,

That's pretty good working from the JPEG!

I went back to the original full-size JPEG and did a quick levels adjustment (not posted here). What I found compared to my Raw version (posted above) is that the JPEG manipulation had much more noise and the tones were becoming posterized. After all you only have 8-bits of data in a JPEG and far less is allocated just to the deep shadows, so this is to be expected. Using Raw you gain access to more bits and a more natural photographic outcome.

Still if a person had to rescue an important JPEG, and didn't shoot Raw, you show that you can pull more out of the shadows than some would think.

LR

The Skipper Contributing Member • Posts: 872
Re: raw+jpeg, a challenge for rx100 owners

ericwestpheling wrote:

I would hands down say that shooting raw+jpeg is worth doing- IF you intend to WORK on them. If you are satisfied with your Jpegs then keep them, and keep living your life and shooting. The jpegs are great because they are DONE. They aren't really designed to be revisited and tweaked.

I believe the OP's real question is: It is definitely better to post process using RAW, but is post processing with jpeg good enough ? Please correct me if I am wrong.

The answer is not clear cut. When I shoot in raw+jpeg, I lose some very valuable functionality, such as multi-frame noise reduction, multi-frame movement reduction, multi-frame dynamic range expansion, clear image zoom, panoramic, and less effect scene modes.

I also lose some less valuable (for me) features such as portrait auto-framing, illustration/water-color, but it may be important for the OP.

I too am trying to reconcille this. Until I make that decision, I am using the memory function, one for raw+jpeg, and another for jpeg+MFNR.

Amateur Sony Shooter Veteran Member • Posts: 5,417
RAW is better

To me the biggest advantage of shooting RAW s the ability to recover highlight loss, total control of noise/sharpness. This is one of my early tests hot with partially blown out highlight. By using RAW I am able mitigate some of them which is impossible to fix in jpeg.

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gteague
gteague Senior Member • Posts: 2,091
Re: raw+jpeg, a challenge for rx100 owners

The Skipper wrote:

[del]When I shoot in raw+jpeg, I lose some very valuable functionality, such as multi-frame noise reduction, multi-frame movement reduction, multi-frame dynamic range expansion, clear image zoom, panoramic, and less effect scene modes.

is this true? since i switched to jpg+raw i haven't actually taken any shots involving any of the above, but my dro settings were still there and the panorama mode was not locked.

i would definitely not use raw+jpg if i lost hdr, dro, and pano modes as a consequence. is there a section of the manual that states this expressly, or is it scattered out through each pertinent section?
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Liz Z.
Liz Z. Senior Member • Posts: 1,267
Re: raw+jpeg, a challenge for rx100 owners

I hope this is enough contrast to give you another example of what you're looking for. I have three versions of the same image, all reduced in size: one is out of the camera .jpg; one is RAW, edited in Adobe Camera Raw (it was edited by the program's own parameters--I didn't even tweak it); and one is the .jpg, edited in Photoshop. It seems to me I was able to recover a lot of detail from the .jpg, but that the RAW converted to .jpg is better in that respect, though not amazingly so. I was using the bounce flash at a reduced intensity, and I am also not sure this picture is even perfectly focused (the shutter was at 1/30 second--I should have have raised the ISO).

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Liz

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The Skipper Contributing Member • Posts: 872
Some important functionality missing when using RAW

gteague wrote:

is this true? since i switched to jpg+raw i haven't actually taken any shots involving any of the above, but my dro settings were still there and the panorama mode was not locked.

i would definitely not use raw+jpg if i lost hdr, dro, and pano modes as a consequence. is there a section of the manual that states this expressly, or is it scattered out through each pertinent section?

On my RX100, when I am in raw+jpg, the DRO setting is available, but if I try to select HDR-auto (the multi-frame dynamic range enhancement), I get the error message "RAW/RAW+J invalid with this image quality setting". But if I change it to jpg, then it is available.

The clear image zoom and digital zoom are both greyed out.

If I try to select ISO-auto (multi-frame noise reduction), I get the same error message.

When I switch to the pano mode, the Quality setting is not available at all. It just goes to jpg.

If I choose the anti-motion-blur scene mode (multi-frame noise reduction), I cannot choose RAW or RAW+jpg. Same with hand-held twilight scene mode.

So on the RX100, I believe that if you shoot RAW+jpg, you no longer have access to any of the multi-frame features (HDR, ISO-auto, anti-motion-blur, twilight, pano), and you also lose the clear image & digital zooms.

This is at the very top of my wish list for a firmware update - enable these features for RAW+jpg.

gteague
gteague Senior Member • Posts: 2,091
Re: Some important functionality missing when using RAW

The Skipper wrote:

gteague wrote:

is this true? since i switched to jpg+raw i haven't actually taken any shots involving any of the above, but my dro settings were still there and the panorama mode was not locked.

i would definitely not use raw+jpg if i lost hdr, dro, and pano modes as a consequence. is there a section of the manual that states this expressly, or is it scattered out through each pertinent section?

On my RX100, when I am in raw+jpg, the DRO setting is available, but if I try to select HDR-auto (the multi-frame dynamic range enhancement), I get the error message "RAW/RAW+J invalid with this image quality setting". But if I change it to jpg, then it is available.

The clear image zoom and digital zoom are both greyed out.

If I try to select ISO-auto (multi-frame noise reduction), I get the same error message.

When I switch to the pano mode, the Quality setting is not available at all. It just goes to jpg.

If I choose the anti-motion-blur scene mode (multi-frame noise reduction), I cannot choose RAW or RAW+jpg. Same with hand-held twilight scene mode.

So on the RX100, I believe that if you shoot RAW+jpg, you no longer have access to any of the multi-frame features (HDR, ISO-auto, anti-motion-blur, twilight, pano), and you also lose the clear image & digital zooms.

This is at the very top of my wish list for a firmware update - enable these features for RAW+jpg.

it seems like you can still shoot panorama, but you won't get a raw image, just a jpeg one. this sounds reasonable to me. but raw+jpg will lose you some major features that are quite useful to me, such as hdr and clear image zoom and especially hh twilight mode which, being nocturnal, i usually live in.

after i read your original post, i saved out my raw+jpg settings to mem#3 and set my defaults back to jpg only and saved those to mem#1. i figure this way i can just choose mem#3 if i think i'm going to need the raw files more than the features. and it leaves mem#2 open for a custom mode.

many thanks for the informative post(s).

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The Skipper Contributing Member • Posts: 872
Re: Some important functionality missing when using RAW

gteague wrote:

many thanks for the informative post(s).

Glad I was able to help.

normsmith Veteran Member • Posts: 3,372
Re: raw+jpeg, a challenge for rx100 owners

Thanks Liz, interesting to see that the edited jpeg comes up pretty close to the raw, I am guessing that since you can see the full uncompressed files, your comment that they are close, says a lot forthe Jpeg in your view.

When considering the raw / jpeg decision, with this particular camera, I am swayed by the number of features available in jpeg that are not there in raw. I feel inclined to stick with jpeg and just use raw for the more critical shooting situations - though that really goes against my 'raw is better' instict and is just one of the new things I am learning with this camera.l
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OP nordic_light Regular Member • Posts: 172
Re: raw+jpeg, a challenge for rx100 owners

Liz, thank you. I think you have, so far, given me the best examples. And you confirm what I was suspecting, namely that the cameras jpeg-processing is (almost) even to what you may get from a raw-fil.

I havent yet seen any evidence that shooting raw with RX100 should be far better than shooting jpeg.

Before RX100 I did have Canon 40D and I did always shoot raw, but so far I dont see any strong reason to shoot raw with this new toy.

I know, that generally, cameras raw-files is, more or less, better than jpeg-files, but some cameras could handle jpeg-files almost even to what you may get from raw-files, and I tend to believe that RX100 belong to that category.

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Liz Z.
Liz Z. Senior Member • Posts: 1,267
Re: raw+jpeg, a challenge for rx100 owners

One thing that was noticeable is that ACR "spontaneously" corrected the RAW file to render a color balanced, well exposed image. I had to teak the .jpg a lot, and even still I felt I had more work to do to get the skin tones to look right to my eyes. Eventually I just said "well, it's good enough for this thread!"

I agree it's a trade off to give up HDR, clear zoom, etc. It will be worth it for me to consider the exposure challenges of the setting and make a decision on that basis about whether to shoot RAW + .jpg or simple .jpg (I have image quality set on the F button). The restaurant was clearly a challenging situation.

normsmith wrote:

Thanks Liz, interesting to see that the edited jpeg comes up pretty close to the raw, I am guessing that since you can see the full uncompressed files, your comment that they are close, says a lot forthe Jpeg in your view.

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Robert Deutsch Forum Pro • Posts: 10,163
Another jpeg vs. RAW comparison

OK, here's my attempt at the jpeg/RAW comparison. For the jpeg, I started with the in-camera Contrast and Saturation set at -2 and Sharpness at -1. I've found these parameters to yield the most natural results after post-processing. For both jpegs and RAW files, I opened them in Camera Raw ACR, adjusted all the parameters for what I judged to be the best results (which had to be different for each image file), then opened in CS6, made any sharpness adjustment as necessary, and saved it at level 8. The first three images are resized: first the OOC image, then the camera's jpeg processed in Camera Raw, anth third the "real" RAW processed image. The last two images are full-sized crops, first the jpeg-processed-in-Camera-Raw and then the jpeg=processed-from-RAW.

In general--and I've done this sort of comparison many times--the suitably-processed RX100 jpegs were excellent, and the difference between the results from these jpegs vs. RAW files was smaller than I've found with any other camera where I did this comparison (several Canon DSLRs, Panasonic m4/3, and the Canon and Samsung high-end compacts). For me, the major incentive to shoot RAW is that you can always go back to the original image file and change the processing if new methods become available, whereas with jpegs some of the important parameters (NR, sharpening, etc.) are "cooked," so you can't fully reverse them.

Bob

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OP nordic_light Regular Member • Posts: 172
Re: Another jpeg vs. RAW comparison

Thank you Robert! Your test also confirm what I have already written. I cant see any difference (worthy of mention) between the two. RX100 is really worth a credit for its great jpeg-processing.

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