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03-11-2014, 10:25 PM   #1
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Need advice for SOOC settings

Looking for advice from others who (almost always) shoot JPGs in preference to RAW. Not looking for a lecture on RAW advantages. Here, I'm looking for tips from others who have found that it's just faster and easier to get a reasonably good JPG Straight Out Of the Camera (SOOC) than to spend a lot of time post-processing in Lightroom, etc -- to end up with roughly the same thing. Looking for advice and tips that might translate into the K-5 USER modes.

If you have any USER 1-5 settings that are helpful, please let me know! I'm starting with USER 1 on TAv, HDR Auto, D-Range highlights and shadows On. For indoor pix, like below (both handheld).

Image 1 is a JPG (spot-exposed for the bright menu board) that I then saved as a RAW file during Playback. On screen, the RAW file looks just like the JPG, and would need extra work in Lightroom to bring up the shadow areas.

Image 2 is SOOC, from my new USER 1 settings. Spot-exposed same as above... with the JPG the result of the K-5 IIs' in-camera processing. Will use this for ambient-light interiors, where the processing time inbetween shots doesn't matter.

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03-11-2014, 11:39 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by jon404 Quote
Image 1 is a JPG (spot-exposed for the bright menu board) that I then saved as a RAW file during Playback. On screen, the RAW file looks just like the JPG, and would need extra work in Lightroom to bring up the shadow areas.
You are not looking at the RAW file *on screen* Jon, you are looking at the JPG preview image (with applied camera settings). RAW is not a picture you can see, it's data you process.
I think I've mentioned this somewhere else to you before

Think of it like a box of cake mix. It has a preview of the baked cake printed on the box, but inside are just the RAW ingredients.

Last edited by Steve.Ledger; 03-11-2014 at 11:45 PM.
03-12-2014, 12:14 AM   #3
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Sure, I know that. Am looking here to see if others are trying to avoid the whole RAW>Lightroom slowdown. Not in some cases of course... but for most pictures where you just don't need time-consuming post-processing.

It also occurred to me that a USER-mode-tailored JPG, processed in-camera like #2 above, could be the best starting place for any simple, very fast post-editing -- like with the Xara Designer Pro or Xara Photo & Graphic Designer software that both Steve (above) and I use.

This isn't a RAW vs JPG discussion... that doesn't make sense. Am just thinking that RAW is time-wasting overkill for 90% to 95% of the pictures we take... but truly necessary for the remaining 5% to 10%.
03-12-2014, 12:45 AM   #4
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Get real. This *is* a RAW vs JPEG discussion.

Anyway, for me at least, post-processing isn't time-wasting overkill; it's FUN! To some extent it depends on how much time you have to get everything exactly right at capture, and how much you care about the output.

03-12-2014, 01:17 AM   #5
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Sandy -- I don't think of it as one vs. the other. For instance, i would definitely want RAW for any B/W images, to be able to output a JPG with as full a range of tones as possible.

Maybe it has to do with our personal styles. I like to take a lot of pictures, and have found dealing with them in Lightroom too time-consuming. Although, as Steve has pointed out to me in the past, it doesn't help that I'm using a small Acer netbook for all this!

But again, it's not a RAW vs. JPG thing. My camera easily lets me use RAW/Fx One Push File Format, to take a RAW image at any time... or to save all images as RAW + JPG. At my end, I'm just trying to simplify things as much as possible -- and I keep coming back to JPGs with an occasional RAW image for difficult scenes.
03-12-2014, 01:41 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by jon404 Quote
Maybe it has to do with our personal styles. I like to take a lot of pictures, and have found dealing with them in Lightroom too time-consuming. Although, as Steve has pointed out to me in the past, it doesn't help that I'm using a small Acer netbook for all this!
What do mean by a lot of pictures? At an all-day music festival I may take 4000 images. All RAW. The website which buys my access to these gigs expects me to have a gallery of 300+ jpegs up within 24 hours. I could save some time shooting jpeg, but then my output wouldn't look *better* than the pros with their FF CaNikons.

Last edited by Sandy Hancock; 03-12-2014 at 02:20 AM.
03-12-2014, 01:45 AM   #7
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Here's a special JPEG setting I use sometimes when I want to tackle a high-contrast scene such as a dark interior lit by a
sunny window, and I can't use HDR because of motion in the scene:

highlight protection on, shadow protection on max
high/low key +4
contrast +3
saturation -1
EC -2 (adjust to taste)
centerweigted or matrix metering

The setting combo is a form of extereme shadow lift.
Alternatively, you can use EC +2, spot metering and meter the bright part of the scene.

Regards,
--Anders.
03-12-2014, 02:33 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by asp1880 Quote
Here's a special JPEG setting I use sometimes when I want to tackle a high-contrast scene such as a dark interior lit by a
sunny window, and I can't use HDR because of motion in the scene:

highlight protection on, shadow protection on max
high/low key +4
contrast +3
saturation -1
EC -2 (adjust to taste)
centerweigted or matrix metering

The setting combo is a form of extereme shadow lift.
Alternatively, you can use EC +2, spot metering and meter the bright part of the scene.

Regards,
--Anders.
You have time to think about this, and jiggle through the menu each time the conditions change? When the pressure is on I would rather concentrate on capturing the moment, then spend the time in post when the pressure is off.

03-12-2014, 02:59 AM - 1 Like   #9
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Exactly, fiddle with the camera picture style settings and get a lossy JPG, or fiddle in Lightroom and get what you really want and save the untouched RAW for re-development later when the fancy takes you.
Remember, Jon - you can rattle off a dozen shots of the sunset with the surfliner training by, open all 12 in Lightroom - develop ONE then sync the other 11.
Fast, easy and you haven't lost anything. It's a win-win.
03-12-2014, 03:09 AM   #10
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@Anders -- thanks! Up to now, have dealt with that scene by exposing for the window, then adding flash to brighten the room. Takes time. Will try your settings tomorrow, should be a real help -- particularly by letting us avoid HDR because of the motion problem you mentioned.

@Sandy -- I'm retired, not doing this for a living -- so no requirement from others for RAW, like your concert pix. 4000 RAW images in one day -- that's a lot indeed. With a filesize load like that, I'd write my Congressman to get some storage space on one of those NSA servers that my tax money is paying for!

@Steve -- I think for Christmas I'll get a faster computer, which would go a long way to help with Lightroom. And, by then, my Congressman will have freed up 100 terabytes on an NSA server for all the RAW files I'll be generating...
03-12-2014, 03:35 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by jon404 Quote
@Sandy -- I'm retired, not doing this for a living -- so no requirement from others for RAW, like your concert pix. 4000 RAW images in one day -- that's a lot indeed. With a filesize load like that, I'd write my Congressman to get some storage space on one of those NSA servers that my tax money is paying for!
What I may not have spelled out is that my live music work is pro bono. I get free tickets and fantastic access, but no payment. I am a strictly amateur photographer with a (fortunately) very well paid day job.

There is no way tonedeaf.com.au could afford me at my usual hourly rate. I spend the time I do on post processing because it makes a material difference to the quality of my output. If you don't care, don't bother.
03-12-2014, 05:27 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
You have time to think about this, and jiggle through the menu each time the conditions change? When the pressure is on I would rather concentrate on capturing the moment, then spend the time in post when the pressure is off.
So would I. And I do. I shoot RAW when I think I can't finish the shot well enough in camera for my personal standards because of time pressure, importance or difficult light. But often I find there is plenty of time to analyse (contrast, colours, white balance etc) and set up accordingly.

Besides, I have those JPEG settings in a USER mode so it's not all that fiddly.

I also sometimes redevelop the latest, buffered shot with variations in contrast or colour settings. If there is time.

Regards,
--Anders.
03-12-2014, 06:22 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by jon404 Quote
Looking for advice from others who (almost always) shoot JPGs in preference to RAW. Not looking for a lecture on RAW advantages. Here, I'm looking for tips from others who have found that it's just faster and easier to get a reasonably good JPG Straight Out Of the Camera (SOOC) than to spend a lot of time post-processing in Lightroom, etc -- to end up with roughly the same thing. Looking for advice and tips that might translate into the K-5 USER modes.

If you have any USER 1-5 settings that are helpful, please let me know! I'm starting with USER 1 on TAv, HDR Auto, D-Range highlights and shadows On. For indoor pix, like below (both handheld).

Image 1 is a JPG (spot-exposed for the bright menu board) that I then saved as a RAW file during Playback. On screen, the RAW file looks just like the JPG, and would need extra work in Lightroom to bring up the shadow areas.

Image 2 is SOOC, from my new USER 1 settings. Spot-exposed same as above... with the JPG the result of the K-5 IIs' in-camera processing. Will use this for ambient-light interiors, where the processing time inbetween shots doesn't matter.
Jon, if you seek a user preset to deal with especially challenging light situations to get a good JPEG then I think you won't find it. Every difficult scene is unique so there can't be a single preset that's going to produce what you likely want.

OTOH, there are some non-default settings that I think are better than the Pentax default for JPEGs. There have been many threads on the subject and no consensus but, lately, I've tended toward Portrait with a little reduced saturation and boosted sharpness. Add a couple points to Amber on the WB. Give it a try and tell us what you see.
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