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01-15-2013, 06:32 AM   #1
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RAW versus JPEG

i would like to throw out a challenge to show your jpeg picture compared to the raw picture...i am curious to see what others see...i have taken both but end up using the JPEG because the lighting is where I want it... I don't have any pictures at the moment but would love to see if any others have the interest in showing the 2 against each other...thanks and hope to see some...amy

01-15-2013, 07:32 AM   #2
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I'd love to, but I don't ever shoot raw+jpeg. And I think most people that shoot raw don't bother with the jpeg, so you might not get a lot of examples.
01-15-2013, 08:49 AM - 2 Likes   #3
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Cross posted...

I got inspired to go run a test.

Here's the original jpg, there's no point in showing the original raw, it wasn't even supposed to look good.
It is intentionally underexposed to help keep the sky, which typically gets blown out in these types of shots.



Heres the cabin in jpeg, after a considerable amount of work, in fact, I applied the same settings to both images and then reduced the jpeg images to pull then down to raw levels. It actually took more work to bring the jpeg to a level I was happy with, than it did the raw file. The difference between the original jpeg and finished jpeg and original raw file and finished raw file was more dramatic... but it still needed a lot of work for a less satisfying result.



Heres the corrected raw file.



The raw file gave me a much better blues in the sky, there was an un-natural red to the area under the eve that couldn't be corrected in the jpeg file. It's a sort of messy red colour , that's not at all present in the raw file. That would actually be enough for me to toss the image.

The other three areas of interest were as follows.



The loss of detail (look at the blinds in the window) was surprising even for me.) This is shot in Raw + so this is absoltuely not an aberration in exposure. As well, the JPG file just looks a lot less sharp than the RAW image.



IN the bottom left corner I was able to rescue wood grain right to the snow line. The jpg has a black area.



Once again it you look at the porch post, the post is dark wood coloured in the Raw and black in the jpeg in parts of it.

That gives you some idea of why some of us would be tempted to just use RAW. But the first unaltered jpeg is still quite nice. To me this is like the same argument as k-5 IIs or D800e. You can see a difference, but what is that worth to you? For some of us nothing. SO shoot jpeg. I shoot a lot of sunsets where 1/4 of my pictures is in the area of the scale that would be black on a jpeg but a perfectly acceptable image taken in a raw file. In a full sun shot like this, there is very little of the images that is affected. For the casual shooter, I'm guessing RAW isn't worth it.

But, it should also be noted, the jpeg took as much work to process as did the raw file. In my mind, then if you're using images small enough that the lack of sharpness is rendered moot, if you don't mind losing a few images that could have been saved, and you need the space you'll save with JPEG images, then jpeg is for you.

If you're picky in your PP and you want maximum control. If you want to avoid the image degradation that occurs using jpeg, and if you spend a lot of time doing PP on your jpegs anyway, buy a larger hard drive and go for RAW.

Last edited by normhead; 01-15-2013 at 08:58 AM.
01-15-2013, 08:50 AM   #4
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Besides JPEG is a finished file while with RAW you need to develop it, so the usefullness of the comparison is not really there.
Of course you will get better photos with RAW but you also need to invest more time in it.

01-15-2013, 08:55 AM - 1 Like   #5
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Here's the first part of my RAW file...

11000101000100000011110010100101001001010101010100101001001001000101000
11100001110001101010001100101010100101010101010101010100010101001000100
111100010010010001011100011010001110001111110010101010101010101010101010
1010101001010101001000101010101010100010001001010100101010100110100...

It looked a lot better in the viewfinder. I think it needs more contrast.
01-15-2013, 09:02 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by klkitchens Quote
Here's the first part of my RAW file...

11000101000100000011110010100101001001010101010100101001001001000101000
11100001110001101010001100101010100101010101010101010100010101001000100
111100010010010001011100011010001110001111110010101010101010101010101010
1010101001010101001000101010101010100010001001010100101010100110100...

It looked a lot better in the viewfinder. I think it needs more contrast.
Is that the header or the preview?

Aren't you going to post the first part of your jpeg??? How can we compare???
01-15-2013, 12:29 PM   #7
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norm you went above and beyond...this is great...would love to see any others who want to take a whack at it...i guess i need to try to do the same comparison on my next shoot...i've been shooting both but only looking at the raw if the color is off on the jpeg...amy
01-15-2013, 12:35 PM   #8
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I use only RAW. I don't do much PP because I try to do it in camera. If there are extreme exposures and contrasts involved, I run it through DxO before I bring it into Lightroom. All I do in LR most of the time is adjust the exposure to what I want. Sometimes I will dodge and/or burn, but that is an exceptional occasion. In other words, I would do just about as much work in JPEG as in RAW, and get better results from the RAW file.

01-15-2013, 12:36 PM   #9
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LOL.

I get why people use RAW. I just don't like spending lots of PP time and I'm not big fan of unnatural looking photos either.

So it depends a lot on the photographer as to want they like.

That said I will have another go at some comparative RAW / JPG shots.
01-15-2013, 12:52 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by pearsaab Quote
i would like to throw out a challenge to show your jpeg picture compared to the raw picture...i am curious to see what others see...i have taken both but end up using the JPEG because the lighting is where I want it... I don't have any pictures at the moment but would love to see if any others have the interest in showing the 2 against each other...thanks and hope to see some...amy
You are tyring to compare apples to oranges. The in camera jpeg is the raw file processed with the settings you chose for your camera (saturation, contrast, sharpness, etc.) The raw file always looks worse, as none of these have been adjusted. What you really want to compare is Camera JPEG to what you can post process in JPEG from the RAW image. The better your post processing program and you skill at PP, the bigger the difference you will find between camera jpeg and PP jpeg.

Tim
01-15-2013, 01:17 PM   #11
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Just to muddy the waters... your camera is ALWAYS shooting RAW. Always.

The JPG is a post-processed developed image using the settings your camera's computer is programmed to use. No different at all from you taking the RAW file and doing the work yourself. Except you have a lot more choices with RAW then when you preset the in-camera post-processing.

The camera either will save the RAW (perhaps with embedded JPG), RAW+JPG, or just the JPG and discard the RAW from memory.

But when you set your camera to capture a JPG instead or with a RAW, nothing different occurs between the lens and the sensor. The same light hits the sensor, goes into memory and then your camera acts like Photoshop and does all the pre-defined macros steps and saves the file.

If you like the results... awesome. Your fancy DSLR is a point and shoot with switchable lenses. if you want more control, then go with RAW.

A side note... if you're only ever shooting informal events, you might not care and it's easier to get those photos up to Facebook when you only shoot JPG. But if you're doing anything professional, you should never use JPG only.
01-15-2013, 01:51 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by pearsaab Quote
i've been shooting both but only looking at the raw if the color is off on the jpeg...amy
New compressed DNG format might interst you then, it isn't RAW but JPEG with RAW features, you have whitebalance and there is slightly more information for you to play around with.

Not sure if any camera will support this though
01-15-2013, 01:54 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by klkitchens Quote
But if you're doing anything professional, you should never use JPG only.
There are enough pro's that only shoot in JPEG because it suits their need better.
News photographer is more concerned getting the photos as quick as they can to the news for example.
01-15-2013, 01:59 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Anvh Quote
There are enough pro's that only shoot in JPEG because it suits their need better.
News photographer is more concerned getting the photos as quick as they can to the news for example.
News would be a different beast entirely as there are too many who would claim PP is "fake" and thus not accurate.
01-15-2013, 02:04 PM   #15
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Mhmm but fashion photography is also different from product photography or landscape photography so...

But no matter what you should use the format that benefits you the most and you're the most comfortable with.
More often then not that is RAW indeed but not always.
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