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07-07-2016, 09:07 PM   #1
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Who gets in-camera JPEGs they like, even if they PP RAW files at other times?

Who manages to get in-camera JPEG image files that you are pretty happy with? C'mon 'fess up!

I know a lot of the reasons why RAW offers much more potential for those who like and understand post-processing. Here's a link to an interesting thread that, though heated at times, unpacks a lot of the comparison between RAW and JPEG: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/6-pentax-dslr-discussion/311541-jpeg-less...-than-raw.html

Still, even for persons who prefer RAW+PP, it might be unnecessary or inconvenient for some sets of pictures. So how do you (if that happens to you) get the best results from the in-camera JPEG? Which settings do you use to get what you think of as the best of the in-camera image development? Don't leave out which camera you are using, as some Pentax dslrs might offer more (or different) control than others or even better automatic in-camera processing than others. Also, what limitations do you find: is this less successful with certain kinds of exposures, for example?

Of course, any guidance in this area could help others still confused about or otherwise reluctant to go the RAW + PP route. Even for old slide film shooters who expect the exposure to be complete when the button is pushed, after which the processing isn't supposed to be fiddlly.

07-07-2016, 09:13 PM   #2
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I used to take RAW photos all the time. In recent months i have switched to mostly JPGs just to speed up processing. Very happy with results. Also I'm taking greater care to get exposure correct from the start. Still do minor PP.
Most commonly use M setting on K5iis.

Last edited by beachboy2; 07-07-2016 at 09:14 PM. Reason: expanded
07-07-2016, 09:16 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by goatsNdonkey Quote
Who manages to get in-camera JPEG image files that you are pretty happy with? C'mon 'fess up!

I know a lot of the reasons why RAW offers much more potential for those who like and understand post-processing. Here's a link to an interesting thread that, though heated at times, unpacks a lot of the comparison between RAW and JPEG: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/6-pentax-dslr-discussion/311541-jpeg-less...-than-raw.html

Still, even for persons who prefer RAW+PP, it might be unnecessary or inconvenient for some sets of pictures. So how do you (if that happens to you) get the best results from the in-camera JPEG? Which settings do you use to get what you think of as the best of the in-camera image development? Don't leave out which camera you are using, as some Pentax dslrs might offer more (or different) control than others or even better automatic in-camera processing than others. Also, what limitations do you find: is this less successful with certain kinds of exposures, for example?

Of course, any guidance in this area could help others still confused about or otherwise reluctant to go the RAW + PP route. Even for old slide film shooters who expect the exposure to be complete when the button is pushed, after which the processing isn't supposed to be fiddlly.
In camera jpegs these days are so good it is a challenge to beat them when you start out on the raw path. It is often a good reality check to do Raw+ and see how your effort stacks up. However it is the autosharpening of jpgs that I don't like. I prefer the softer base of the raw and apply smart sharpening to the key areas. This can significantly boost the 3d of an image. Being able to also selectively applying colour/tone enhancements to parts of the image is better from the raw.
07-07-2016, 09:22 PM   #4
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Just curious... how do you manage ro get good jpegs in high-DR situations?
Like a half-shaded, half full-light street in the middle of the summer? or a night scene when underexposing at base ISO is the only thing tha allows you to preserve tge detail in the highlights without the high-ISO DR loss?

For me there are situations where shooting RAW is indispensable, of course since I have little experience in shooting jpegs I'm willing to learn and be corrected if proved wrong :-)

07-07-2016, 09:45 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by GUB Quote
In camera jpegs these days are so good it is a challenge to beat them when you start out on the raw path. It is often a good reality check to do Raw+ and see how your effort stacks up. However it is the autosharpening of jpgs that I don't like. I prefer the softer base of the raw and apply smart sharpening to the key areas. This can significantly boost the 3d of an image. Being able to also selectively applying colour/tone enhancements to parts of the image is better from the raw.
GUB, would you advise the jpeg shooter to try the lower sharpening settings in the camera menus, and not assume that the middle or the highest setting will be best? This would not carefully ad sharpening selected areas as you describe, of course.

In my K110D there are five possible settings each for in-camera Sharpening, Contrast, and Saturation, but when I upgrade models perhaps there will be different options and number of settings. I never thought of setting the sharpness to Low-low, but maybe I should try it.
07-07-2016, 09:46 PM   #6
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Excuse my bold and somewhat blut answer to this question. When high quality printed photos are concerned the only way to have a jpeg that rivals Raw quality is if you don't know how to develop a raw file or if you have 100% control of metered light. The only time I don't shoot Raw is if I am shooting print on location portraits where I have 100% control of the metered light. I shoot Raw+ just to have jpegs to preview and select prints to process. That being said I have worked extensively with PhotoShop since version 4 back in 1995. So I have been doing digital photo editing since before digital cameras were around.
07-07-2016, 09:46 PM - 1 Like   #7
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Lately I have been shooting a lot of Raw+, instead of just Raw like normal, partly because I think my PP had gotten off track and I didn't like the results. Turns out that I was getting a lot of good jpg images. I think getting good jpgs is a lot easier with natural outside daytime images, of course because exposure is easier. But it was all better than I expected.
07-07-2016, 09:49 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by LensBeginner Quote
Just curious... how do you manage ro get good jpegs in high-DR situations?
Like a half-shaded, half full-light street in the middle of the summer? or a night scene when underexposing at base ISO is the only thing tha allows you to preserve tge detail in the highlights without the high-ISO DR loss?

For me there are situations where shooting RAW is indispensable, of course since I have little experience in shooting jpegs I'm willing to learn and be corrected if proved wrong :-)
I think awareness of situations when in-camera jpegs would be inferior, is an important part of a discussion aimed at helping people know when and how to get better results for in-camera jpegs when they want or need to.

07-07-2016, 09:50 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by LensBeginner Quote
Just curious... how do you manage ro get good jpegs in high-DR situations?
Like a half-shaded, half full-light street in the middle of the summer? or a night scene when underexposing at base ISO is the only thing tha allows you to preserve tge detail in the highlights without the high-ISO DR loss?

For me there are situations where shooting RAW is indispensable, of course since I have little experience in shooting jpegs I'm willing to learn and be corrected if proved wrong :-)
Yes and all you have to do is push the slider a little bit in your Raw editor to achieve that. There is no reason why a jpg algorithm can't do the same -- isn't there a dynamic range setting? But that brings me to another plus for using raw. Things are actually simpler while you are out shooting. Don't worry about your colour temps - DR etc.
07-07-2016, 09:56 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by goatsNdonkey Quote
GUB, would you advise the jpeg shooter to try the lower sharpening settings in the camera menus, and not assume that the middle or the highest setting will be best? This would not carefully ad sharpening selected areas as you describe, of course.

In my K110D there are five possible settings each for in-camera Sharpening, Contrast, and Saturation, but when I upgrade models perhaps there will be different options and number of settings. I never thought of setting the sharpness to Low-low, but maybe I should try it.
Yes that would work but if you have those skills to selectively apply the sharpening etc then you probably have the skills to generally exceed the jpg. And see all the settings you have just described -- see my last post about not having to worry about them out in the field under pressure. Look, I get a lot of enjoyment from sitting here at the computer editting my images but that doesn't apply to everyone. So do what suits you - if you have spent all day hunched over a computer at work who can blame you for not wanting to in your own time.
07-07-2016, 10:40 PM - 2 Likes   #11
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I get in-camera JPEG's that I'm happy with and don't require large amounts of my time post-processing...

to be wholly honest: I've never shot RAW and have never felt the need to do so; I like my photos and their clarity, depth, color are all well worth the minimal time I spend on them....

I'd rather spend my time shooting and enjoying, then a majority of my time in front of my mac, processing from RAW to JPEG...
07-08-2016, 02:47 AM - 1 Like   #12
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I went to RAW because I was taking photos that were ending up in the hands of others, for which I had to throw out a lot of non-keepers due to exposure issues (there is an issue with the K-5 and P-TTL flash, but I bought the OEM unit because I needed the weather proofing and the power). RAW allowed me to rescue a lot of those shots, and also helped me tweak a hell of a lot of shots from my kids' dance recitals where the light was out of my control and shifting unpredictably.

So I'm a convert now.
07-08-2016, 03:05 AM   #13
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The only time I really use jpegs from the camera is if I am on a family vacation and I know that I am shooting too many images to really spend time post processing them. Even then, I will switch to RAW pretty quickly if I am in a not so great lighting situation or I really want to maximize the dynamic range. While out of camera jpegs look pretty good, there is an extra 10 or 20 percent dynamic range/high iso performance that gets thrown away and you can't get it back. For most images it probably isn't important, the trick is to know when it is and switch to RAW then.
07-08-2016, 03:25 AM - 2 Likes   #14
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Ok, I have to admit, I used to be a JPG fan for a number of years :-s
I used to comment on forums that JPG is fine and lot easier to deal with in post processing and storage. Well the storage bit is true at least.

A couple of times I tried to transition by taking RAW+ (both), but spent my time trying to get the RAW to look as good as the JPG. Then just gave up and went back to JPG.

The break through, was just shooting RAW, and then developing it, ignoring whatever the JPG might have have been. Over a relatively short time I starting getting results I really like. The advantages start to come obvious when you start to recover shaddows and highlights - something that I used to largely avoid with JPG (much more limited).

So if you shoot JPG try going cold turkey to RAW and stick with it for a few weeks and you probably won't want to go back!
07-08-2016, 03:39 AM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by kiwi_jono Quote
Ok, I have to admit, I used to be a JPG fan for a number of years :-s
I used to comment on forums that JPG is fine and lot easier to deal with in post processing and storage. Well the storage bit is true at least.

A couple of times I tried to transition by taking RAW+ (both), but spent my time trying to get the RAW to look as good as the JPG. Then just gave up and went back to JPG.

The break through, was just shooting RAW, and then developing it, ignoring whatever the JPG might have have been. Over a relatively short time I starting getting results I really like. The advantages start to come obvious when you start to recover shaddows and highlights - something that I used to largely avoid with JPG (much more limited).

So if you shoot JPG try going cold turkey to RAW and stick with it for a few weeks and you probably won't want to go back!
Just thought I would give you your 100th like jono But yes you are right -- the image ends up as you want it - it is much more creative.
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