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01-13-2007, 11:59 AM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by slipchuck Quote
now with raw, and all the great things I can do with it, I kind of feel like to much manipulation is like cheating..... but the other half of me says it isn't.

any one else feel this way on their conversion from slides/ negatives to digital? I am sure it is going to go away the more I shoot digital
A couple of clarifications might be useful. I don't think any of these should be controversial.

First, the issue of whether or not you should shoot Raw is completely different from the issues that arise when folks start talking about post-processing their photos on the computer. There is nothing that can be done with a Raw file that can't and hasn't also been done with JPEGs.

Second, there is no question - none at all - that a Raw file contains much more information about what the camera saw than a JPEG file does. If that was all there were to it, then anybody who didn't shoot Raw would be a fool. Unfortunately, that's not all there is to it and there are perfectly valid reasons for using your camera's output-to-JPEG option some or all of the time.

Third, whether you like it or not, if you're shooting digital, you are already shooting Raw, in a very real sense. Your sensor perceives or registers the same amount of data no matter what shooting mode you have your camera in. So the technical question is whether your images are converted in the camera using the camera's built-in software for Raw-to-JPEG conversion, or whether you download all of that data to your computer and do the conversion later on.

Fourth, it follows from the preceding observation that, whether you like it or not, you are already post-processing your images on a computer. Many people have a much too limited idea of what a computer is. The process of converting the data gathered by your camera's sensor to a file that can be viewed on an LCD or a computer screen or printed, is digital from the get-go. And it's not just a matter of information between stored in binary format: your digital camera has software on it. So, if you're saving your files in-camera to JPEG, you are willy-nilly using computer software to post-process your images very dramatically and with no opportunity to undo or go back to what the camera "actually saw."

In short, those who think they are purists because they don't shoot Raw have simply grabbed hold of the stick at the wrong end. If we restrict the issue strictly to the matter of file formats, then it's the Raw shooters who are the purists and the JPEG shooters who are the compromisers.

Photography isn't "moving to the computer". It moved to the computer the day the first digital camera was released. If you don't like the idea of having a computer translating what you see, then stop using a digital camera.

Will

01-15-2007, 09:54 AM   #47
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Hi Trog
I can't understand your position regarding PP. When you shoot JPEG the camera itself does PP, based on the parameters you program into the camera. (size of file, sharpness, neutral or bright, contrast etc etc) How is this different than having more control? Even with JPEG?, I shoot approx 50/50 JPEG/RAW. I almost always PP to some extent, crop, resize, clone out a dust spec, at the least. I just don't see the difference between me doing it and letting the camera do it.

edit: I wrote the above before I read Will's excellent post on the same topic. Thank you Will, for succinctly expressing what I believe also. I couldn't agree with you more.

NaCl(just confused that's all)H2O

Last edited by NaClH2O; 01-15-2007 at 10:18 AM.
01-15-2007, 10:49 AM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by slipchuck Quote
Back when I used film and slides only, my best shots were controlled mostly by the exposure of the slide, so I knew if it was a great shot, it was because of my (limited ) talent.
now with raw, and all the great things I can do with it, I kind of feel like to much manipulation is like cheating..... but the other half of me says it isn't.

any one else feel this way on their conversion from slides/ negatives to digital?
I am sure it is going to go away the more I shoot digital

any thought on this matter is welcome!

cheers
I guess if you shot slide film and the piece of film in the camera was the final product then shooting raw would feel like cheating. I did not shoot slide film that often. I loved it, but I prefered prints and it is easier to get a print from a negative than from a slide. Not impossible, but it was a different process and a little trickier one.

I shot negative film and did my own processing and printing for black and white. Some of my friends did their own color as well. Most raw apps don't do too terribly much more than you could do with creative darkroom practices. Controling contrast, color cast, cross-processing (my primary reason for shooting slides), white point, black point, etc, were all available long before digital. Even basic color printing from a color negative requires some amount of post-processing. If you let a lab do it you don't see it, but it's there.

For that matter, in-camera jpegs go through processing. The image engine in the camera decides where your white point, black point and mid points will be. If your exposure is off a little it will try to correct it, polish it up a little bit. Basically the same stuff your lab did when making prints from your color negs. Which means that jpegs aren't necessarily "true" either.
01-22-2007, 09:36 AM   #49
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You aren't cheating in my opinion. The camera is a tool and you are the artist. It's all about being creative and representing your experience in the way you percieve it. The camera is just a machine. Anyone can point it at something, take a picture and it will capture the image just how it sees it. It's you that turns it into something special.

It's like someone asking you if your brand new carbon fiber racing bike is fast. By itself, the answer is no but, with you on it, it is!

I feel that the digital age has brought much more flexibility and control to what we do. I also use to spend time in the darkroom and I don't miss those days at all. The camera is only part of the equation and the most important part is you in my opinion.

Have fun!
Gary

01-22-2007, 11:10 AM   #50
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"Photography isn't "moving to the computer". It moved to the computer the day the first digital camera was released. If you don't like the idea of having a computer translating what you see, then stop using a digital camera."

with the greatest of respect "rubbish" and also very controverisal..

i seem to get misunderstood a lot here.. firstly i spend many hours a day useing computers.. so i must like useing them even as a convenient viewer for my digtal photographs.. its also a recreational thing as opposed to a work thing.. so its thru choice not necessity..

what i dont like useing a desktop computer for is creating my photographs.. i much prefer a camera for that and apart from the usual darkroom stuff.. my camera contains its own darkroom and many buttons and adjustments to control what happens in that darkroom.. the desktop darkroom is a seperate issue.. and not even essential to the production of a finished photograph..

some myths in defense of the desktop and out of camera image manipulation darkroom..

its an essential part of digital photography.. wrong.. it isnt essential at all..

u cant make a bad photograph into a good one useing the desktop darkroom.. wrong.. u most cerainly can and its being done quite often..

its no different than its always been.. wrong.. it is different.. the power to manipulate a digital image is far greater than it was.. even to the point of creating a so called "photograph" that hasnt been anywhere near a camera..

i see small sized so called photographs being presented for critique as photographs that bear no resemblance to the image that came out of the camera at all.. i see the skill of the digital desktop darkroom replaceing the skill and art of useing a camera..

i see poor wide angle shots.. poorly taken.. poorly framed.. poorly exposed being severely cropped and digitally enhanced (manipulated) so as the end result looks like good "photograph"..

if other people dont see what i see it has to be because they simply dont want to see it.. he he

there are none so blind as those that wish to be.

the art of photography is being replaced by the art of digital image manipulation via the desktop computer..

and i am even prepared to admit that my photographs are not as good as the desktop manipulated ones but i can console myself with the knowledge that they were produced by my skills as photographer rather than my skills as a graphics artist and clever use of desktop imaging software..

its also pretty obvious why people dont want to admitt that excessive use of the desktop darkroom is killing the art of photography..

trog

Last edited by trog100; 01-22-2007 at 11:24 AM.
01-22-2007, 11:56 AM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dana G Quote
And, unless you know something about lighting and composition, you get a huge burst of lousy shots.

Photography is still about lighting and composition.
I agree 100% about lighting and composition
I would weigh more towards lighting as the most important element....
I have taken shots of some fairly boring subjects but because of the lighting involved, the shots turned out to be interesting.

I was once told a photography is 90% lighting and 10% subject.
I am not sure how close these numbers are, but I am sure they are not that far off, in my opinion.
action shots might be the only true exception as they are sometimes just for the record books

cheers

randy
01-22-2007, 12:26 PM   #52
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trog100,

If you are really so much against post processing, here are some examples of photographic images produced without the aid of a computer of which you may still not approve. It's fine if you don't approve of them, but don't blame computers - a computer, like a camera is a tool, not specifically a technique.

Solarisation

Posterisation

Use of lith film

I could go on...

Simon
01-23-2007, 03:36 PM   #53
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Cheating & RAW vs. JPEG

JPEG's are limited to 8-bit. With RAW you can get 12-bit, even with a DS. You're cheating yourself and wasting money if you shoot or process JPEG.
These pictures were processed (except for size) identically. But, one is to 8-bit JPEG and the second to 16-bit PNG. Look at the colour differences and clarity. The differences are apparent in 95% of shots, even without pixel-peeping.




Last edited by Mr. The Guy; 01-23-2007 at 03:40 PM. Reason: Embedded images instead of having link.
01-23-2007, 07:49 PM   #54
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QuoteQuote:
i can console myself with the knowledge that they were produced by my skills as photographer rather than my skills as a graphics artist and clever use of desktop imaging software..
I respect your opinion but your argument seems to be that a photograph should only be created in a camera that you exercise your mastery over - only to exhibit your mastery of the camera.

Kind of reminds me of the former tennis pro trying to stage a comeback in the carbon-fiber racket age - using his favorite wood racket. You can guess the results.

I shoot RAW but do very little manipulation - I've already manipulated the contrast (-2) and sharpness (+2) settings in the camera so it is mostly tweaking the shadows or highlights, or the odd white-balance change - that's it. The result is just flat out better than jpgs.
01-23-2007, 08:43 PM   #55
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"The result is just flat out better than jpgs"

is it.. how about some side by side examples to prove it.. to be honest i have never seen any.. lets not forget jpegs can be tweaked afterwards if required and similar settings put into the camera when useing jpegs..

i accept raw for greater flexiible for unknowns but kinda doubt the "flat out better" factor..

i do have a k100 which produces relatively good six mega pixel jpegs.. from what i read the earlier pentax cameras and the k10 are a bit jpeg lacking so to speak so the difference might be greater with raw..

thow it does seem from your sign off u have the k100 as well.. but i would still like to see some "flat out better" examples..

trog

ps.. then we have the already slow pentax buffer crippled by having to move huge raw images.. and a highly efficient piece of hardware in the camera that isnt being used.. in some ways i think your anlogy can be reversed.. it might well be the raw shooters that are back in the wooden racket days..

Last edited by trog100; 01-23-2007 at 09:06 PM.
01-23-2007, 09:02 PM   #56
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Yes I have a K100d.

As I can not shoot jpg and RAW simultaneously I do not have any identical side-by-side comparisons. Perhaps I can can find a subject and take 2 similar shots this weekend. However, I've maxed my image posting limit so it will eventually have to go in the "test" folder of my Photobucket collection.

I already have a side-by-side RAW sample there (of former president Nixon's house).
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q78/KylePix/Tests/RAWRoseHouse.jpg
One had nothing done to it, while the other had the shadows opened a bit, which saved the shot - though I should have reduced the highlights a little bit. Also, the jpg processed though RAW is larger which I believe is due to less compression, which is a good thing image-wise. Further, as we have all been told, manipulating jpgs degrades the image. Finally, I can change the contrast or sharpness to a higher or lower number in the software than the camera, or "fix" lens aberrations, though I have not had an occasion to do so.

All I can say is my shots seem much better after going to RAW, though I suppose the in-camera sharpening (which I changed about the same time) could be a factor.

Last edited by SpecialK; 01-23-2007 at 09:08 PM.
01-23-2007, 11:45 PM   #57
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it will be interesting to see your results but my sons findings useing the pentax software produced iindistinguishable results.. he was not just comparing tweaked raw with auto do everything scene bright mode.. he did set his camera to produce decent jpegs in the first place..

basically simple conversion to jpeg without any raw tweaking produced identical results to the cameras jpegs..

his testing did not show up any dfferences in.. dynamic range..tonal content.. moire.. contrast.. or anything..

he was expecting to see better dymanic range and less moire and was rather surprised to find no difference at all between camera produced jpegs and raw conversion jpegs..

at iso 200 he could not find any detectable jpeg artifacts either..

his conclusions were.. on grounds of image quality raw was not justifiable.. the slow write times when shooting raw were too restrictive in the field.. the extra flexibility offered by raw was not worth the loss of picture taking speed..

firing of lots of pictures from different angles etc was far more likely to produce more "keepers" than less but more flexable raw images..

we both conclude the raw trade off (flexibility for speed) is not the way to go for us..

for others it might be different..

trog
01-24-2007, 07:09 PM   #58
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Hi all:

I looked at my earlier posts and I need to clarify a point (should have earlier) which may have been misleading.

My "flat out better" comment is about the images I manipulate slightly, versus those right from the camera untouched. It's the manipulation, not RAW vs jpg necessarily. I have done it to both. However, as manipulating jpgs is a "lossy" procedure, I'd rather tweak first, save later, with RAW.

It may be interesting to note that dpreview of the K10D says they only got edge sharpness in the images after processing with RAW (not reported by anyone elses as far as I know).

The image link of the house up the thread is my side-by-side example of why I process in general. Here's another subtler one.
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q78/KylePix/Tests/BoatProcessing.jpg

As I mentioned, I've never shot jpg and RAW simultaneously so I don't have a direct comparison. I am going to do one, because I'm interested myself, now. However, as there are 5 processing quality levels in Photo Laboratory (vs 3 in the camera) I'm assuming the highest quality is superior to that available in the camera and accounts for the larger resulting file size. If someone has the specs I'd appreciate the info.

The write-speed to the camera is a limitation of the tiny K100D buffer, not RAW, and just about any other camera has no problem shooting more in a row that the K100D. I've never had an issue as I don't shoot sports/action too much.

Last edited by SpecialK; 01-24-2007 at 07:31 PM.
01-25-2007, 02:48 AM   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
However, as manipulating jpgs is a "lossy" procedure, I'd rather tweak first, save later, with RAW.
This is a misleading statement. Any manipulation is likely to degrade an image. The only way to limit it is by doing as few processing steps as possible - even then some types of processing are likely to introduce more degradation than others.

You are confusing this with the fact that jpeg uses lossy compression. If you get the highest quality jpeg out of the camera you are extremely unlikely to experience noticeable loss by compression (some people have done side-by-side comparisons with raw).

If you then process both the jpeg and the raw in the same way, the degradation is likely to be the same. The issue is what you do then. If you save to tiff or some other format with non-lossy (or no) compression, then there is no further loss. If you save to jpeg then the further loss will depend on the degree of compression used. If the lowest level of compression is used (I think both PS and PSP provide 100 levels) then no noticeable loss will occur again. If you intend to do further processing later then you would be advised to save in a non-lossy form (e.g. tiff) rather than applying jpeg compression on top of jpeg compression on top of... etc.

There are potential benefits in the choice of how to map raw's 12 bits per channel to an 8 or 16 bit output, as opposed to jpeg's 8 bits per channel. That is where the benefit of raw is found, though I am yet to be convinced through my own work that it is worthwhile (it may come, and I am starting to use raw now I have the capability, if only to do side-by-side comparisons).

QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
It may be interesting to note that dpreview of the K10D says they only got edge sharpness in the images after processing with RAW (not reported by anyone elses as far as I know).
The K10D's stated aim is to produce realistic images in jpeg, not the oversharpened results of some other cameras (I am told). If you select a low level of sharpening that is what you get. Sharpening is best left for the last step in editing (after resizing for a particular use) since it's effect is to heavily degrade the image and you don't want to be applying edits to such a degraded image. I therefore prefer that my camera does little or no sharpening, and leaves me to see to that if I want.

Simon
01-25-2007, 07:18 AM   #60
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jpeg compression algorithms have improved tremendously over the last few years..

i find wih my k100 the absence of noise plus the good in-camera compression algorithm means that the camera produced jpegs can be tweaked quite well afterwards if the need is felt..

this wasnt always the case and was the main reason for not starting off with camera produced jpegs.. the ability for the camera to produce tiffs was the big thing a few years back.. now its raw..

but as i see it the jpegs is here to stay and has been so well developed more so in the k100 than the k10.. which is why the k10 jpegs were knocked by some people.. they simply are not as good as they should or could be compared to the competition..

but todays jpeg quality in some ways make the use of raw or tiff somewhat obsolete.. but to sell a camera has to have features even if some of those features are worth more in the mind than in the real world..

trog
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