RAW Troublemaker Again

Started Aug 30, 2013 | Discussions
Gary Eickmeier Veteran Member • Posts: 3,479
RAW Troublemaker Again

Just an observation, OK? Sometimes the JPG is better.

I shot some outdoor shots of people at a meeting. RAW + JPG. In editing, I notice that the JPG looks so much better! The camera processing took much better care of noise, sharpening, but most of all automatic lens correction for Chromatic Aberration! Take a look at these 100% crops:

The fence shows it fairly well, but the back of his shirt outlined in red (plus several other objects in the rest of the frame) all showed it. The RAW has a lot of CA and the JPG is perfect!

Not sure what the moral of the story is except take a look at both when editing, and always shoot both, not just RAW. Sometimes the RAW can save your butt, sometimes the JPG is better.

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Gary Eickmeier

Yemble Senior Member • Posts: 2,305
Re: RAW Troublemaker Again

The shortcomings of the in camera JPEG engine are best show with red woolly cardigans, where a good deal of the fine detail is always lost. Red cardies can also be tricky in RAW, where you have to take special care of the NR parameters.

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RichV Veteran Member • Posts: 6,179
Re: RAW Troublemaker Again
4

Hi, Gary. In short, this shot is a mess. In just a little more length, you've got major contrast differences between the two images, so I don't really see much difference. Lens correction can be easily learned and applied (if that's the basis for your determination that the JPEG is better, I suggest a re-think). RAW will always begin with more detail (subject-dependent, of course); the rest is up to your choice of converter and processing. And these are not both 100% crops, as evidenced by the size difference.

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Rich

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dennismullen
dennismullen Veteran Member • Posts: 9,019
No comment
6

I've been here a lot of years so I no longer respond to posts about Raw vs jpg or whether you should use filters for protection.

Cheers,

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OP Gary Eickmeier Veteran Member • Posts: 3,479
Re: RAW Troublemaker Again
1

RichV wrote:

Hi, Gary. In short, this shot is a mess. In just a little more length, you've got major contrast differences between the two images, so I don't really see much difference. Lens correction can be easily learned and applied (if that's the basis for your determination that the JPEG is better, I suggest a re-think). RAW will always begin with more detail (subject-dependent, of course); the rest is up to your choice of converter and processing. And these are not both 100% crops, as evidenced by the size difference.

OK, well, just this reporter's observation. But I have heard it said before. The main reason I am posting here is to get others' opinions on this. Bottom line is shoot RAW + JPG, not just RAW.

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Gary Eickmeier

RichV Veteran Member • Posts: 6,179
and ...

I just downloaded your "RAW" JPEG and took a look at it. Underexposed and definitely not the kind of image sample worthy of a comparison (was this also shot at the widest FL of a zoom? it looks it). And which converter was used? (and how much experience with that converter do you really have?)

If you really want to compare images, start with good ones - where your lens and camera are actually capable of resolving something and where you're able to make a good exposure (if it's darker, certainly don't under-expose); also use a good lens - and don't stop it way down like that; it can tend to be a detail killer, even with RAW.

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Rich

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phaedin
phaedin Senior Member • Posts: 1,634
Re: RAW Troublemaker Again

Hi Gary,
Can I ask some silly questions?
Is the RAW and JPEG images of the same shot ( did you shoot JPEG + RAW and use the results here)?
Did you do any processing of the RAW image besides just converting it to JPEG?
What lens did you use?

Thanks

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JusLookN Veteran Member • Posts: 4,291
Re: RAW Troublemaker Again
5

Hi Gary!  I'm not gonna knock your pics or processing.  I'll just say that those of us who are proficient with raw processing could have made those pics exactly identical; even get rid of the purple fringing.  The tools are in Lightroom and some other raw processors.  Even the lens corrections software.  Good day, and keep shooting! 

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Glenn
I'm kinda partial to video, but I'm hangin!

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thebustos Veteran Member • Posts: 3,355
Re: RAW Troublemaker Again
5

From that previous lengthy RAW vs. JPEG discussion, everything that was said still stands. The real debate is over work flow not image quality. The JPEG comes from the RAW so the JPEG vs. RAW quality comparison isn't really valid. It's like saying the Cliff's notes are better than the novel. The real question (in this metaphor) is whether or not you can make a better summary than the Cliff's notes given the same novel.

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Good luck and happy shooting!

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VirtualMirage
VirtualMirage Veteran Member • Posts: 3,956
Re: RAW Troublemaker Again
8

I fail to see how your example makes a valid argument in favor of the JPEG.

  • You used only crops instead of displaying the full image.
  • Both are cropped differently.
  • It is unknown if the crops have been enlarged, downsized, or 1:1.
  • You don't explain what RAW converter you use.
  • You don't explain what settings were done, if any, in the RAW converter.

The example, I am afraid to say, is a terrible representative and I don't understand why you are backing this particular JPEG.

With this JPEG, the contrast and saturation have been bumped way up and the noise/noise reduction has destroyed a lot of detail. It also looks like in camera sharpening is too high too. The pin striping is all but gone on the shirt (especially the color), it looks more like noise and aliasing than it does striping. There is haloing everywhere and the leaves in the bushes are gone too.

The RAW file looks like there was little to no effort put into it with all setting zeroed out, even ones that are usually pre-adjusted by default. You do not, I repeat, DO NOT use RAW files this way. At least the details missing or destroyed in the JPEG are visible in the RAW despite it being poorly handled.

While the in-camera processing did take care of the CA, this could have been easily fixed in post processing. Only few instances have I seen it to be a challenge (purple fringing on a glittery purple shirt, for example), but not impossible.  Lens corrections is possible too, whether it is from canned presets or manually.

Film negatives don't look print ready out of the camera, why expect RAWs to? Even the prints didn't come from the negatives untouched. Either a computer or person added saturation, contrast, etc. People forget this, choosing to ignore the "man behind the curtain".

If you fail to understand this, then by all means stick to JPEGs. JPEGs can produce great images, I am not arguing that. But the idea that you can't make the RAW picture look as good or better than the in camera JPEG is just ignorant. Remember, the JPEG you are seeing came from the same RAW image you are deeming as inferior. The in camera JPEG doesn't have more information or detail than the RAW. In fact, it has less.

Sorry, it's a terrible example making a poor argument.

P.S.

Other than to stir the pot, why must people continue to bring this topic back up?

If you do decide to bring this debate back up, at least put some effort into it and have the evidence to back it. Also try and contribute something new that hasn't been discussed before.  Put a different spin or perspective on it.

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Paul

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VaBoater Contributing Member • Posts: 741
Re: No comment WHAT?
1

dennismullen wrote:

I've been here a lot of years so I no longer respond to posts about Raw vs jpg or whether you should use filters for protection.

Cheers,

Didn't you just comment?  

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tom Senior Member • Posts: 2,724
Re: RAW Troublemaker Again

I've been struggling with purple fringing, and I'm trying to find out how other people handle it.  I would appreciate it if you would provide your recipe.

Thanks in advance

Tom

JamieTux Veteran Member • Posts: 4,079
Re: RAW Troublemaker Again

Hi Tom,
If you use the Sony software it happens automatically (as it uses the same processing as in camera) or in Lightroom you open the lens correction bow, go to colour, pick up the pipette and click on the purple fringe - the purple fringe then goes!
Simples!

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VirtualMirage
VirtualMirage Veteran Member • Posts: 3,956
Re: RAW Troublemaker Again

tom wrote:

I've been struggling with purple fringing, and I'm trying to find out how other people handle it. I would appreciate it if you would provide your recipe.

Thanks in advance

Tom

Are you using Lightroom?

You can first start by checking the remove CA option.  If that doesn't reduce or remove the fringing, you can use the fringe selection tool and click on the fringe offender.  Most of the time it will acknowledge the selection and will automatically apply settings it thinks is best.  If you feel the results are too weak or strong, you can adjust the strength sliders.  You can also tweak the fringe color range.  This comes in handy if you are trying to remove fringing on a color that is similar to the fringe.

There is an alternative way via layers in PS or PSE that is a little more demanding of your skills, but I never had to go that far.  The tool within Lightroom has handled just about all my fringing issues.

Also keep in mind how big or small the picture is going to be displayed at.  The fringing might not even be noticeable depending on its final output size.

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Paul

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JamieTux Veteran Member • Posts: 4,079
Not really a trouble maker...

Gary Eickmeier wrote:

Just an observation, OK? Sometimes the JPG is better.

Better than what?  If you use the Sony software you'll see exactly the same image on screen as you took in your camera if that's what you want.

I shot some outdoor shots of people at a meeting. RAW + JPG. In editing, I notice that the JPG looks so much better! The camera processing took much better care of noise, sharpening, but most of all automatic lens correction for Chromatic Aberration! Take a look at these 100% crops:

They don't seem very 100% as they are different sizes...  But if you used the Sony software you'd see the same image, if you used lightroom you'd have a different starting point but you could get very similar (or better) in well under a minute - send me the raw if you want and I'll have a go - my own time limit in photos is 2 minutes - most get a default applied in Lightroom and that's it.

The fence shows it fairly well, but the back of his shirt outlined in red (plus several other objects in the rest of the frame) all showed it. The RAW has a lot of CA and the JPG is perfect!

But the raw is a processed jpeg...  Run it through the Sony software and you'll get the same result...

Not sure what the moral of the story is except take a look at both when editing, and always shoot both, not just RAW. Sometimes the RAW can save your butt, sometimes the JPG is better.

But that's just a waste of space and time unless you need the jpeg for something!

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Gary Eickmeier

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Graham Best Veteran Member • Posts: 3,426
Re: Not really a trouble maker...
1

JamieTux wrote:

Gary Eickmeier wrote:

The fence shows it fairly well, but the back of his shirt outlined in red (plus several other objects in the rest of the frame) all showed it. The RAW has a lot of CA and the JPG is perfect!

But the raw is a processed jpeg... Run it through the Sony software and you'll get the same result...

I'm sure you intended to express that the other way around Jamie.

To Gary,

All images start as raw. The camera processes the raw and produces a jpeg (while embedding a small jpeg in the raw).

If one is more satisfied with the jpeg, one is saying the cameras skill at processing is greater than one's own. It's human nature to mock what one doesn't understand. I'd suggest picking up a technical manual covering the software you use to post-process, or using some of the many resources available on the web. Post-processing images is a skill like any other. No one is born with the ability.

As far as the image, there seems to be questionable exposure and composition choices aside from processing concerns.

Graham

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JamieTux Veteran Member • Posts: 4,079
Re: Not really a trouble maker...

Graham Best wrote:

JamieTux wrote:

Gary Eickmeier wrote:

The fence shows it fairly well, but the back of his shirt outlined in red (plus several other objects in the rest of the frame) all showed it. The RAW has a lot of CA and the JPG is perfect!

But the raw is a processed jpeg... Run it through the Sony software and you'll get the same result...

I'm sure you intended to express that the other way around Jamie.

You're right, I got bored of typing the same thing so many times

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OP Gary Eickmeier Veteran Member • Posts: 3,479
Re: RAW Troublemaker Again

phaedin wrote:

Hi Gary,
Can I ask some silly questions?
Is the RAW and JPEG images of the same shot ( did you shoot JPEG + RAW and use the results here)?
Did you do any processing of the RAW image besides just converting it to JPEG?
What lens did you use?

Thanks

Yes of course it is the same shot - that's the point, compare the RAW and the JPG. Processed in Photoshop Elements 11, which of course has no CA correction. I believe I do have that in Lightroom, but not a perfect program - not as perfect as the camera processing. Sony 18-135 lens.

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Gary Eickmeier

OP Gary Eickmeier Veteran Member • Posts: 3,479
Re: RAW Troublemaker Again
1

All right, enough. Just a simple observation, trying to process some shots from an assignment yesterday. I did those outdoor ones in RAW first, because I thought they might need the exposure correction. So I did it quickly with all of the adjustments I am familiar with, and thought I had it. Then today I looked at it again and saw some terrible splotching on faces and color noise in dark areas, so decided to look at the JPGs and see what they look like. I was amazed at how good they looked, none of those problems, and then I saw the CA on a building and the fence and shirt. The JPG didn't have that - which confirmed that the 18-135 is one of the corrected lenses on the a77 - a thrilling experience for me! The pix really were not underexposed. The sky caused the lower area to underexpose, but the histogram was perfect and the image looked fine in the viewfinder. Certainly within the correctable range.

So I put the tongue in cheek tiitle on this thread hoping you guys would have a sense of humor about "the old JPG vs RAW" discussion.

So I am not a RAW artiste yet, so forget about it.

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Gary Eickmeier

OP Gary Eickmeier Veteran Member • Posts: 3,479
Re: Not really a trouble maker...

Graham Best wrote:

JamieTux wrote:

Gary Eickmeier wrote:

The fence shows it fairly well, but the back of his shirt outlined in red (plus several other objects in the rest of the frame) all showed it. The RAW has a lot of CA and the JPG is perfect!

But the raw is a processed jpeg... Run it through the Sony software and you'll get the same result...

I'm sure you intended to express that the other way around Jamie.

To Gary,

All images start as raw. The camera processes the raw and produces a jpeg (while embedding a small jpeg in the raw).

However well intended, that calls for a "Duh."

If one is more satisfied with the jpeg, one is saying the cameras skill at processing is greater than one's own. It's human nature to mock what one doesn't understand. I'd suggest picking up a technical manual covering the software you use to post-process, or using some of the many resources available on the web. Post-processing images is a skill like any other. No one is born with the ability.

Kind of you.

As far as the image, there seems to be questionable exposure and composition choices aside from processing concerns.

Graham

How can a 100% crop of a corner of an image show the composition?

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Gary Eickmeier

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