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01-15-2009, 11:04 AM   #1
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Instant JPEG from Raw

Apologies if this has already been posted but I saw this on Scott Kelby's blog and now use this utility any time I need a straight out of camera JPEG instead of a RAW file.

Every Raw file has a high quality JPEG automatically embedded in it when shot. It's what you see when you look at the image on your camera's display. That JPEG can be extracted with this utility in seconds without having to do anything but right click and choose the option. It's essentially the same as shooting RAW + JPG after the fact. It's lightning fast and virtually effortless.

I now shoot RAW almost exclusively, even for the quicky snapshots. If I really don't need the RAW files later I just select the directory, right click and extract the JPEGs then toss the RAWs in the recycle bin. I hope someone else finds it as useful as I have.

01-15-2009, 11:07 AM   #2
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Oh yea, forgot to mention that it's free!
01-15-2009, 12:55 PM   #3
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Make sure that you have your camera configured to process jpegs to your liking. If you have the jpegs configured to give a more accurate view on the rear screen for RAW photography, you may not like what you get.
01-15-2009, 02:27 PM   #4
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Sorry but I'm not sure what you mean by, "If you have the jpegs configured to give a more accurate view on the rear screen for RAW photography."

I've only done limited testing but the JPG embedded in the RAW file doesn't appear to be influenced by the JPG specific settings on the camera, only the settings that also affect the appearance of the RAW file display such as brightness, contrast and sharpness.

For example, on my K10D it yields a high res 2meg JPG regardless of the JPG quality and compression I set in the menu but if I adjust the menu settings for saturation, sharpness and contrast it does influence the appearance of the extracted JPG. Bottom line, if you like the look of the image on your preview screen you will probably like the look of the extracted JPG on your computer.

01-15-2009, 02:56 PM   #5
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Well, you can shoot raw+jpeg, or you can use the supplied Pentax software to extract the embedded jpeg. I used this as an alternate "raw+jpeg" on my K100D since the K100D didn't create raw+jpeg.

I like Kelby, but I didn't see the use in this particular suggestion when I read it in his book. I think Pentax already has it covered a couple of different ways.
01-15-2009, 02:58 PM   #6
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Pentax Photo Browser has an Extract JPEG feature in the Tool menu. It uses the camera settings (image tone, sharpness, contrast, saturation etc) to create the jpeg.
01-15-2009, 03:42 PM   #7
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What I was trying to say: If you have the jpeg settings on the camera set for low contrast (so that the histogram is more accurate per the RAW exposure limits vice jpeg) then you will not like what happens to the jpeg that is embedded in the RAW data.
01-15-2009, 03:59 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by rfortson Quote
...I think Pentax already has it covered a couple of different ways.
I wasn't aware of that but then I deleted the Pentax software pretty quickly after trying to find some use for it that justified the level of frustration I felt every time I tried to use it. No offense if you really like it, but Ugh! Camera Raw for me, thanks...

If there is an advantage to this utility it is simply that the process is instant. Pick the file or directory, right click, done. Sure there are other ways of doing the same thing but why not spend the extra time smelling flowers or something?

01-15-2009, 04:12 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by mithrandir Quote
What I was trying to say: If you have the jpeg settings on the camera set for low contrast (so that the histogram is more accurate per the RAW exposure limits vice jpeg) then you will not like what happens to the jpeg that is embedded in the RAW data.
Ah, I see - it never occurred to me to try that. I shoot RAW and review the histogram all the time but I know my final histogram is usually going to look a lot different when I'm done with it so I interpret it accordingly. I do add a bump to the contrast and saturation to flavor the embedded JPG to taste because I know that's probably where I'm going with the RAW most of the time.
01-15-2009, 06:16 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by GoldenWreckedAngle Quote
Every Raw file has a high quality JPEG automatically embedded in it when shot.
Don't know about the "high quality". According to my understanding this embedded JPEG is intended for previewing RAW file contents and it is not high quality.

It definitely is "low quality" with a Nikon D40 (so an owner told me).

Have you compared the file size of an extracted JPEG with one that came out of the camera (at the highest quality setting)? Is the embedded file not smaller?

I don't have a JPEG and a RAW of the same scene handy but I did the following:
  • extracted embedded JPEG from RAW -> file size = 1531 KB
  • converted RAW with PhotoLab to JPEG, medium quality -> file size = 1307 KB
  • converted RAW with PhotoLab to JPEG, high quality -> file size = 2239 KB
  • converted RAW with PhotoLab to JPEG, highest quality -> file size = 3647 KB
Purely judging from the file size (which is a good indicator of detail captured for JPEG), the embedded image is between "medium" and "high" quality.

It is lower in quality than the JPEGs that come out of the camera when using the best JPEG setting and also lower in quality than the optimal RAW -> JPEG conversion result.

So I personally wouldn't really recommend this method if quality is a concern.

Last edited by Class A; 01-15-2009 at 07:10 PM.
01-15-2009, 09:02 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by GoldenWreckedAngle Quote
I've only done limited testing but the JPG embedded in the RAW file doesn't appear to be influenced by the JPG specific settings on the camera, only the settings that also affect the appearance of the RAW file display such as brightness, contrast and sharpness.
I'm not sure what distinction you are making here. Brightness, contrast, and sharpenss *are* JPEG-specific settings. they may provide some sort of defaults that some RAW processors use when converting RAW images to JPEG, but they don't affect the image data. The JPEG embedded in the RAW file reflects all the parameters that normally affect only JPEG - brightness, contrast, and sharpness included, but also WB, etc.

Or by "JPEG specific settings", maybe you mean, the quality and resolution settings? True, the embedded JPEG doesn't reflect those.
01-17-2009, 11:34 PM - 1 Like   #12
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It is a little smaller than the highest quality JPG option in the camera but any time I find myself needing JPGs directly from the camera it's more than I need. For me, when quality really matters, the RAW file is going to get the works and the JPG I end up with will exceed the camera's best JPG by a sweet little margin.
01-17-2009, 11:40 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Or by "JPEG specific settings", maybe you mean, the quality and resolution settings? True, the embedded JPEG doesn't reflect those.
I did dance around it a bit but yea, there ya go.
01-18-2009, 12:59 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by GoldenWreckedAngle Quote
It is a little smaller than the highest quality JPG option in the camera
I contest that. More likely, 60% of it.

QuoteOriginally posted by GoldenWreckedAngle Quote
but any time I find myself needing JPGs directly from the camera it's more than I need.
Everyone's mileage varies. In terms of quality, normal out-of-the camera JPEG is not worse than RAW for most intents and purposes. That is not true for the embedded JPEGs, AFAIC.
01-18-2009, 01:30 AM   #15
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Another piece of software

For quick preview jpeg extraction I use an also free and very fast piece which can be found here: PEF2JPEG : Extract L* jpeg from *istD / K series raw data
Best and happy previewing, JR
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