Compared to...

Studio scene comparison (JPEG vs. RAW)

This is our standard studio scene comparison shot taken from exactly the same tripod position within minutes of each other. Lighting: 2 x 800W studio lights with dichroic daylight filters bounced off a white ceiling reflector. All crops are 100%. Ambient temperature was approximately 22°C (~72°F). Camera settings:

  • Pentax *ist DS: Pentax 50 mm F1.4, Aperture Priority,
    ISO 200, 1x JPEG Large/Fine, 1x RAW, Manual WB, Default Parameters, Self-Timer
  • RAW: Adobe Camera RAW 2.4
Pentax *ist DS, JPEG
Pentax *ist DS, RAW
ISO 200, 0.6 sec, F9
ISO 200, 0.6 sec, F9
2,492 KB JPEG (3008 x 2000)
1,776 KB JPEG (3008 x 2008)

First of all there's a noticeable difference in both tonal response and color saturation between JPEG from the camera and RAW converted in Adobe Camera RAW. It would be relatively straight forward to tweak ACR's default settings to match the output from the *ist DS but I wanted to keep the number of modified variables to a minimum. Here I think you can see that the *ist DS is actually capturing more detail than is being revealed in its JPEG images. Adobe Camera RAW does a very good job of producing a crisp and sharp image, we could have gone further by increasing ACR's sharpness setting.