RAW Troublemaker Again

Started Aug 30, 2013 | Discussions
OP Gary Eickmeier Veteran Member • Posts: 3,479
Re: So the next time,

VirtualMirage wrote:

The RAW image still could use more sharpening. What settings are you using?

100%

The JPEG has too much sharpening as evidence of the halos around everything. What unsharp mask settings did you use for this? And why did you feel it needed even more sharpening than how it appeared out of camera?

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Paul

I don't remember all of the settings. I sometimes use Unsharp Mask when I think it helps. I use the lowest in camera sharpening in JPGs.

Honest, I was trying to compare RAW sharpening to JPG sharpening. Seems fair to me.

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Gary Eickmeier

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

AceP wrote:

Gary Eickmeier wrote:

Some of these wedding shooters shoot 2000 images that they then have to go through and process afterwards. Think about it.

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Gary Eickmeier

Actually if you think about it, they will spend the least amount of time that will achieve the highest quality so most of those guys have set up their presets in Lightroom on some test shots where they fix the CA, saturation etc. for a custom starting point. Their "style" if you will. It appears your starting point in the illustration was to apply nothing except to make the RAW file visible!

Then these wedding shooters import the 2000 images with their choice of preset applied as they come in. That was step 1. Step 2, they click on the pull down menu and select "export to jpeg". Then go surf the web and reply to some DPReview comments while their computer churns out the processed jpegs, processed the way they like it rather than the way their camera jpeg processing choices happened to be set at during the shoot. With RAW, if they want to apply some different style to certain photos, they can create as many versions in LR as they wish before exporting another fresh from the original RAW file, jpeg.

Sounds preposterous to me. The whole point of processing RAW is to make all of those fine corrections that JPG cannot do right. And how can there be ONE set of presets that would apply to all of the pictures shot in one full speed ahead wedding shoot?

'Spain.

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Gary Eickmeier

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

ovrebekk wrote:

Gary Eickmeier wrote:

New social rule: Never discuss religion, politics, or RAW vs JPG.

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Gary Eickmeier

Hi Gary

The issue here is that you don't seem to know quite how the RAW format works, and you make statements about RAW vs JPG that are wrong because of it.

A RAW file can always give you equal or better image quality than a JPG file, if you process it correctly.

The reason the JPG looked better in your example was that you did absolutely no processing on the RAW file, but the JPG file had processing applied by the camera to make it look better. With the RAW file you can always repeat that processing at a later time and get equal or better results.

The RAW file is exactly what the name implies, the raw sensor data straight from the sensor with no contrast/coloring/effects applied. The JPG file is based on the raw data, but applies some effects in camera to make it look better and compresses it to reduce the file size. Because of the camera applied effects the JPG will often look better straight out of the camera, but because of the compression and the applied effects you will have a lot less flexibility in editing the image.

I hope this didn't come across as too rash. I am not trying to claim that shooting RAW is right for everyone, we all have different shooting styles and preferences, I am just trying to clarify the difference between the formats

Kindest regards

Torbjørn

I appreciate your kindness, but would everyone please stop telling me what RAW is and how JPGs are made from them?

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Gary Eickmeier

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

Chris59 wrote:

All you have shown here is your inability to make a good JPEG from RAW. Instead of posting to tell us about your ignorance, learn what RAW can do and improve your post processing technique.

Did you bother to read ANY of this thread?

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Gary Eickmeier

Claudio Galli Contributing Member • Posts: 562
Re: Excellent example, stevo23. For years I stuck to...

Dear Alan,

on the left is your jpg image a little tweaked with Photoshop. It doesn't seem so bad compared to the raw one on the right.

Claudio

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TrojMacReady
TrojMacReady Veteran Member • Posts: 8,729
This should work, doesn't get easier.

Gary Eickmeier wrote:

TrojMacReady wrote:

...do we get to play with the original RAW file ourselves, to show what a high quality conversion can do, relative to the out of camera jpegs.

Words can only do so much in these heated discussions.

So I ask, what would be the best way to send you my RAW file? I wonder if I can post it on another site and then post a link.

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Gary Eickmeier

This should work, no signing up, just select your file, upload and share the link here or in a PM.

Thanks.

Alan_S
Alan_S Senior Member • Posts: 1,831
Re: Excellent example, stevo23. For years I stuck to...
2

Have to disagree, Claudio... (I, too, have tried editing the jpg, can improve it, but simply cannot reach the caliber of the image processed from RAW). While your tweak dramatically (over) sharpened it, it also amplified tons of chroma noise...

Regardless, even if one COULD bring the in-cam JPG to the same level with additional processing, that defeats the purpose and argument of shooting JPG in the first place -- if you have to PP the OOC jpg to get similar quality, it's a no-brainer that you will be better off with all the information of the RAW file rather than crippling your PP efforts by starting with a compressed image.

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- AlanS

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RichV Veteran Member • Posts: 6,176
Re: Do you really have to RAW??

Gary Eickmeier wrote:

RichV wrote:

As an exercise I downloaded the full-size JPEG Gary posted of the building and the traffic light. But it was already "JPEG'd" so there wasn't a lot I could do with it. Gary's comment was about sharpness, and at a 100% view (which is a minimum you'd use when sharpening) it's smeared; once you've lost detail you can't get it back.

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Rich

Now I am going to have to take exception. No, nothing is "smeared" in that picture. It was taken on a tripod, SSS turned off, manually focused to perfection with double magnification, and fired with a 2 sec timer. I have already posted a sharp as a tack crop of the street lights with every little red LED visible at that great distance - about a block and a half - well, you can see how small they are in the original. Every brick is countable, every sign readable, a perfectly sharp image.

I hope my statement doesn't offend but ... well, shoot a JPEG and you GET a JPEG (just kidding!).

Don't even use your PP software, just look at the original view of the large one you posted; move toward the back of the building and also look at the sky.  I only saw this because I downloaded it and cropped it similarly to your traffic light clip - and then easily saw what was there. Since I haven't seen your RAW yet I can't tell if it was just the camera's JPEG, the lens or something else. Would this show up on most prints? No. But now you could perform a test against a well-converted and processed RAW to see if there's a difference. In a way, it's not that it wouldn't normally be noticed in a print; it just happens to be in the much-less-noticeable area it's in just because you did such a good job of taking it. In some ways the RAW vs. JPEG issue is about the lattitude you have when editing, but you could also get one of those "not quite perfect" JPEG shots where the issues are more easily noticed - and I think they'd be much less so in the RAW version.

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Rich

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stevo23 Forum Pro • Posts: 17,375
Re: Excellent example, stevo23. For years I stuck to...

Alan_S wrote:

...jpg-only, but reading many similar threads like this one intrigued me. During a June 2010 trip to Yellowstone National Park I decided to give RAW+JPG a try, to see if RAW would work for me. This is the shot that convinced me (and I've posted it a few times before, "bear" with me if you've already seen it ). Happened upon this rare close/safe opportunity at about 30 meters, with the 70-400G mounted to my brand new a850, on a monopod. Shooting wide open f/5.6 on a dark, cloudy, misty, morning I had to bump the ISO up to 1600 to muster a shutter speed of 1/320 @ 400mm. This is a 100% view of the OOC jpg + the image I was able to process from the same RAW file.

Left: OOC JPG ... Right: processed from RAW in ACR & Photoshop

Have conducted repeated similar comparisons, and repeat the process with the acquisition of each new camera body (a55, a77, a99), always with the same results.

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- AlanS

And clearly this small image gives only a fraction of what you personally see. Thanks for the post!

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stevo23 Forum Pro • Posts: 17,375
Re: Do you really have to RAW??

Clayton1985 wrote:

splashy wrote:

I didn't read the whole thread, but in the A99 book Gary Friedman writes about the Raw question,

only use Raw when you need a backup or if something goes wrong (lighting)

Chapter 15 of my A99 book doesn't say that at all. In fact, it does a pretty good job of explaining the differences and the pros and cons of shooting raw or jpg.

There are certainly valid reasons for shooting jpg but it hasn't nothing to do with the jpg magically being better. It has to do with time, file size, desire to PP, lack of PP skill, etc.

A photographer of Nat Geog. got complains of the people processing his RAW images, they had a hard time producing the same quality of jpg's out of a Raw, the camera makes in seconds.

No one is saying you have to shoot raw to get results you are happy with. And if the Nat Geog. photographer can't get people to process his raw images to equal or surpass the jpgs then either fire them and hire someone else or use the jpgs....... it's really not that complicated. Raw only gives you the potential to produce equal or better results... if you screw it up then don't blame the raw file. But the "people processing his RAW images" shouldn't be confused with any and all people.

Raw + jpeg setting was created for journalists specifically for this reason. They save the Raw for awards, cover shots etc. The jpeg is "good enough" and requires less bandwidth to transmit overseas as well as being easier for service bureaus to process at the 11th hour. They don't have time to make it better, just good enough. In fact, this is a great example of why one would shoot one or the other.

But to the OP - it was implied that sometimes, jpeg is better, so shoot both - as if the jpeg somehow contains something that the RAW does not. This is incorrect. The jpeg that you get comes from that very RAW and noise reduction, CA reduction etc. is all being applied in camera. With the RAW, most of those things are not being done. It can be better straight out of the camera and one would expect so. But the potential is always greater, by definition, that RAW can at least match that jpeg. In reality, I've always found it possible to beat the jpeg. There isn't enough headroom in the jpeg. So you take your 11.5 stop DSLR and chop it down to something like 8? I don't know exactly.

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stevo23 Forum Pro • Posts: 17,375
Re: Do you really have to RAW??
1

Alan_S wrote:

splashy wrote:

I didn't read the whole thread, but in the A99 book Gary Friedman writes about the Raw question,

only use Raw when you need a backup or if something goes wrong (lighting)

Splashy, this is absolutely false. I really don't want to step into this, but I respect Friedman's work too much to let you misrepresent his views here (and I've called you on this before). I challenge you to provide the above quote to support your statement (it simply doesn't exist)... you may have drawn that conclusion, based upon your needs/use, after Gary presented pros/cons for different scenarios, but to imply such a quote is a total, 100% fabrication.

Instead, what I do find in Gary's a99 book, in Chapter 15, page 536, is:

"if my light is good and my exposure is right for that light then I sometimes will shoot only FINE or XFINE .jpg since the benefits of RAW in that scenario are not compelling."

This is total opposite of what you've represented above.

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- AlanS

And I would also disagree with him in that his reason isn't a good reason to shoot jpeg.

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Chris59 Forum Pro • Posts: 15,436
Re: RAW Troublemaker Again
3

Gary Eickmeier wrote:

Chris59 wrote:

All you have shown here is your inability to make a good JPEG from RAW. Instead of posting to tell us about your ignorance, learn what RAW can do and improve your post processing technique.

Did you bother to read ANY of this thread?

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Gary Eickmeier

No. I am responding to your post.

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sybersitizen Veteran Member • Posts: 9,458
Re: RAW Troublemaker Again
1

Chris59 wrote:

Gary Eickmeier wrote:

Chris59 wrote:

All you have shown here is your inability to make a good JPEG from RAW. Instead of posting to tell us about your ignorance, learn what RAW can do and improve your post processing technique.

Did you bother to read ANY of this thread?

No. I am responding to your post.

Another very good lesson learned for the OP (probably even more important than any RAW vs. JPG lesson learned): Most posters here do not read any existing replies in threads unless it is required to conduct an argument.

Michel J Veteran Member • Posts: 4,009
Thanks for sharing this Gary !

Unfortunately, like all prudent professionals, I shoot raw+jpeg.

But, after about 15 years as a reprographer, I can confirm that the in-camera .jpeg is the state of the art of demosaicing from factory. And that can be explained easily. It's only from the field that the camera can get the best optimization with all parameters (in PP is sometimes to late to optimize all parameters, according to DR of the sensor imho, because it's simply impossible to do a sort of real time photon-race behind your computer ahaha...)

Sure — except if it's required — I don't do "Art" when I demosaicing in PP, only trying to see and reproduce what I get from the main scene at his best.

And I tell that after a waste of time of thousands hours in PP, trying a lot of different methods, all what I conclude, is that the in-camera jpeg (when all is perfect about exposure) are REALLY FAT compared to demosaized raw in PP, yes, fat and full of details, colours and extended DR.

But I assume some .raw shooter can get the best from them workflow (when they PP a few and use CIE-lab or something), it's just a question of skills and time you want to spend for... no?

Regards,

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Michel J
« Having the latest gear is nice, but great photographers don't have to have it. They can shoot good stuff with anything »

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JamieTux Veteran Member • Posts: 4,071
Have you
1

Processed the jpeg the same way in IDC, THEN sharpened that jpeg the same way?

Because what you've dome there just looks like you're being deliberately silly or obstructive...

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JamieTux Veteran Member • Posts: 4,071
Chet

The opening line from the OP data that sometimes jpeg is better.  That's the whole point of this thread, no one is trying to tell anyone to shoot in raw, just that jpegs are not better than raw files with explanations to back it up

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tom Senior Member • Posts: 2,724
Why I use Raw + Jpg - because when I don't, I screw up

I recently had a visit from relatives (and very young nieces and nephews) I haven't seen for a few years.  I met them at the Air and Space museum in DC.  Since this was not a photo trip, I just popped a P&S (that I also hadn't used in a few years) in my pocket.

I took some very nice photos of the group, at least on the LCD.  When I got them home I found out that the camera I had used did not have raw, and it was set on auto ISO.  Now the area where I photographed did not appear dark, but the camera set a very high ISO.  I did have the camera set for highest quality with minimum NR and sharpening.  But when I looked at the images full screen (the way they will when they open them in windows photo viewer), I could see that there were lots of artifacts.  And of course the artifacts were on the women's and girls' faces.  Minimum NR and sharpening were built in to the camera at much higher levels than I would ever use.  Unfortunately, it made all of them look like different versions of Quasimoto.

I was able to salvage some of them using selective bluring, sharpening, blending etc. and a heck of a lot of time and trial and error.

I have taken shots in similar situations with cameras that had raw +jpg, and after throwing away the jpg, I could complete the raw processing in 5 minutes or less (just copy the settings of the first one into subsequent images).

I've red tagged the offending camera and have all my other cameras set for raw+jpg.

tom

Ron Poelman
Ron Poelman Veteran Member • Posts: 6,268
Chillax, Gaz,

the post wasn't directed at you.
Just another correspondent who say's they are all over Forum debate on
RAW vs JPEG, but insist on posting their rant yet again.
That inconsistency gets tiresome and makes it harder to remain polite.

FWIW, I use JPEG only when forced to
by some of the you-beaut modes available on the Alphas.
RAW is just so much safer than locking in on JPEG.
When your workflow matures, and you have a few profiles and shortcuts to use,
you will wonder what all the fuss was about.

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AceP Regular Member • Posts: 385
Re: RAW Troublemaker Again
1

Gary Eickmeier wrote:

AceP wrote:

Gary Eickmeier wrote:

Some of these wedding shooters shoot 2000 images that they then have to go through and process afterwards. Think about it.

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Gary Eickmeier

Actually if you think about it, they will spend the least amount of time that will achieve the highest quality so most of those guys have set up their presets in Lightroom on some test shots where they fix the CA, saturation etc. for a custom starting point. Their "style" if you will. It appears your starting point in the illustration was to apply nothing except to make the RAW file visible!

Then these wedding shooters import the 2000 images with their choice of preset applied as they come in. That was step 1. Step 2, they click on the pull down menu and select "export to jpeg". Then go surf the web and reply to some DPReview comments while their computer churns out the processed jpegs, processed the way they like it rather than the way their camera jpeg processing choices happened to be set at during the shoot. With RAW, if they want to apply some different style to certain photos, they can create as many versions in LR as they wish before exporting another fresh from the original RAW file, jpeg.

Sounds preposterous to me.

Really???

And how can there be ONE set of presets that would apply to all of the pictures shot in one full speed ahead wedding shoot?

Seriously do you not understand that jpegs are also based on:

"ONE set of presets that would apply to all of the pictures shot in one full speed ahead wedding shoot?"

As you said, RAW gives you the opportunity to apply a whole range of fine tuning options, not just the colour saturation, contrast, and sharpness that you can preset your camera to do in regards to the jpeg processing styles. They don't have to be different for every shot. And you don't have to do it before you take the shots under pressure but at your leisure while checking results on a full sized monitor.

You really are just being a troublemaker as you stated, aren't ya?.

Chet Meyerson
Chet Meyerson Regular Member • Posts: 211
Re: RAW Troublemaker Again

I appreciate your kindness, but would everyone please stop telling me what RAW is and how JPGs are made from them?

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Gary Eickmeier

They can't Gary! They have to show how smart they are and clearly can't read! Your a gem putting for up with all this!!

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