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Author Topic: JPEGS or RAW  (Read 18617 times)
Schewe
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« Reply #20 on: November 11, 2007, 01:18:22 PM »
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There's a HUGE difference between "good enough" and great...yes, one can certainly produce a good print from a JPEG...and yes, one could prolly produce a better print from the same image shot in raw. If you know what you are doing with the raw...which apparently Mr. Rockwell doesn't. But if you DON'T know what you are doing with raw captures and you are not capable of producing better images from raw, then the odds are you won't be seeing any difference anyway.

So, the question is, do you want "good enough" or great? Personally, I go for great (I'll leave "good enough" to the likes of Mr. Rockwell).
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kaelaria
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« Reply #21 on: November 11, 2007, 01:36:30 PM »
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I can take the bus to work, but I'd much rather drive my own car.
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Graeme Nattress
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« Reply #22 on: November 11, 2007, 03:40:11 PM »
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And all but the very best jpegs show compression artifacts....

RAW is what, to me, digital photography is about. I don't want the camera deciding the processing for me, there and then, when I press the shutter release. I want control, and I crave that control.

Graeme
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #23 on: November 11, 2007, 03:44:43 PM »
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Everyone on the 'RAW' side seems to talk about control. And I fully accept that.
But my thinking was more fundamental than that - can the output of a JPEG picture be just as good as the output of a RAW picture.

Sort of like the saying "even a blind squirrel will find an acorn once in a while".

A jpeg can be OK sometimes, decent sometimes, and every once in a while may approach being perfect ... nothing you can do with the RAW file would exceed it.

But that will be the result of luck as much as anything ... while you can do some things to make it happen more often, you don't have enough control to make it happen every time or even most of the time.  Net result is most of the time you get something less, and quite often get something far less.
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #24 on: November 12, 2007, 12:36:32 AM »
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Don't forget that with in-camera JPEGs, you're usually throwing away about stop of DR compared to RAW, and you're limiting yourself to the narrow color gamut of sRGB or possibly the somewhat wider Adobe RGB if you have a higher-end camera. But with RAW, you have access to 100% of the DR of the sensor, and can choose the color space you convert to, so you can use much more of the camera's color gamut. On top of that, with RAW you have complete control over white balance (color casts are harder to fix with JPEG) and can customize the color processing so you get more accurate color from RAW than you will from JPEG.

The ONLY advantage of shooting JPEG is that the camera buffer clears faster, which can be an issue when shooting in very fast-paced situations. But those are not very common, and are getting less so as cameras get faster.
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Schewe
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« Reply #25 on: November 12, 2007, 12:45:27 AM »
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And camera JPEGs ain't 8/bit/channel...JPEG compression tries to preserve the luminance data while compressing the heck out of the color data and you end up with more like 7.5 bits of real data even with the best JPEG compressors...
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jjj
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« Reply #26 on: November 12, 2007, 12:39:54 PM »
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Shooting JPEG is like shooting with an automatic camera - with no choice of focus, aperture, shutter speed or ISO. Shooting RAW is like shooting manual - you get to choose how the tones you've captured generate the final look.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=151767\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Actually not true anymore, with Picture Styles you can get very nice files straight out of Camera and with colours that even ACR struggles to get right. And you can customise them too. So I shoot both. I have Jpegs for when I need images quickly and RAW for when I have more time to tweak. And even then I still sometimes use the JPEg via PS/LR.
I should point out I only do that with a 5D. I use just RAW with cameras that do not have customisable picture styles or equivalent.

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And all but the very best jpegs show compression artifacts....
Never seen any compression artifacts when using camera JPEGs and why would you not use the best setting anyway? If you were the type to use a high compression, then you aren't going to even know what RAW is, let alone be able to use ACR to it's best advantage.

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RAW is what, to me, digital photography is about. I don't want the camera deciding the processing for me, there and then, when I press the shutter release. I want control, and I crave that control.
Control freak alert!!  
« Last Edit: November 12, 2007, 12:46:18 PM by jjj » Logged

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Graeme Nattress
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« Reply #27 on: November 12, 2007, 12:42:38 PM »
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JPEG usually sub-samples the chroma.....

Graeme
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digitaldog
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« Reply #28 on: November 12, 2007, 12:44:22 PM »
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Actually not true anymore, with Picture Styles you can get very nice files straight out of Camera and with colours than ACR struggles to get right.

What does get right mean? If you can't produce a color rendering in a Raw converter, OK, you may have an issue here. So you're saying using Picture Styles and a JPEG in camera processing, you are able to produce a rendering thats impossible in a Raw converter?
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« Reply #29 on: November 12, 2007, 12:54:40 PM »
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What does get right mean? If you can't produce a color rendering in a Raw converter, OK, you may have an issue here. So you're saying using Picture Styles and a JPEG in camera processing, you are able to produce a rendering thats impossible in a Raw converter?
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ACR has known issues with some colours. For some reason I've shot alot of flames of late. ACR is not too good with flames, whereas the JPEGs look much nicer - not just a single shade of orange. Annoyingly I didn't shoot RAW +JPEG for a lot of those shots [there is the small JPEG preview though].
A friend put a RAW file through C1 and it looked much better than via ACR.
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digitaldog
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« Reply #30 on: November 12, 2007, 12:57:38 PM »
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ACR has known issues with some colours. For some reason I've shot alot of flames of late. ACR is not too good with flames, whereas the JPEGs look much nicer - not just a single shade of orange. Annoyingly I didn't shoot RAW +JPEG for a lot of those shots [there is the small JPEG preview though].
A friend put a RAW file through C1 and it looked much better than via ACR.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=152171\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

And you've calibrated your camera using say the fors script?
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Andrew Rodney
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mistybreeze
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« Reply #31 on: November 12, 2007, 02:48:38 PM »
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There's a HUGE difference between "good enough" and great...Personally, I go for great.
Here, here! Why drive a Mazda when you can just as easily drive a Mercedes?

Inevitably, the art and, to some degree, the business of photography incorporates taste, style, and substance. I guess in fairness, to each his own.

I've never heard of Mr. Rockwell and I'm not compelled to check out his love of jpegs. I've seen enough printed jpegs to know where my quality standards lie. When I see the words "pro" and "jpeg" used in the same sentence, I tend to chuckle. But, hey, I'm from the old school. With artists like Patrice Elmi on the rise, it seems there's room for everyone. I think an open mind is a good thing.
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John Camp
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« Reply #32 on: November 12, 2007, 04:38:46 PM »
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Something not mentioned so far is that many (even good) cameras have somewhat wonky WB, not to mention sharpening programs and noise reduction programs that overdo it. If you shoot .jpg, you're buying that white balance and that level of sharpening and noise reduction. The Leica M8 forum, for example, has frequent discussions of weird behavior of the M8's WB -- people will put a camera on a tripod using auto WB, shoot four successive shots, and get four different WB readings when the light didn't change at all. Picking white balance is sort of an art, on the part of both the camera and the photographer, but ultimately, you have to rely on your eye, not the camera, to get it precisely right. If it's baked in the cake -- well, it's somebody else's cake, and that guy never stood looking at the scene you shot.

Another thing not mentioned is that whatever you shoot, you're almost certainly going to run it through some kind of processing program, if only to choose which photos to print. I know, there are cameras that will download directly to printers, but few here routinely do that. If you're going to run even your .jpgs through some editing program, why not shoot RAW? You could do a couple easy batch edits, tweak some white balances, rescue a few shots that would be terrible in .jpg...and spend fifteen minutes doing that instead of three minutes with .jpgs. If your photos aren't worth the extra few minutes, then maybe .jpg is okay.

JC
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sojournerphoto
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« Reply #33 on: November 12, 2007, 06:51:02 PM »
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Fair point, Schewe.
 

Everyone on the 'RAW' side seems to talk about control. And I fully accept that.
But my thinking was more fundamental than that - can the output of a JPEG picture be just as good as the output of a RAW picture.

Suppose you set your custom settings accurately and know from experience exactly what you are doing with your camera and how those settings will respond under certain lighting conditions. Then if the final JPEG picture is damned good, does processing the RAW equivalent make a better picture or does it allow you to make it different.

Could you, as an experienced picture-processor make a print ftom a jpeg original and convince everyone it was a RAW original with the final print?

If the answer is 'yes' my presumption would be that people shoot RAW just in case the picture needs more 'rescue' than JPEG allows.
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I was recently asked to include a shot from another photographer ina wedding album. He has shot in camera jpegs and I shoot raw. When I viewed his image at 100% it was significantly softer than my raw conversions before any sharpening. Now it also had lower resolution, but the sharpness point remains. There were areas where detail that would have been available from a good raw capture was lost. This may be because he uses Nikon equipment and I use Canon (sorry, don't believe that) or possibly that he has a less sharp lens, but the degradation looked to me to be at least in part a result of the rendering of the data.

In fairness, I plaued with it and made a nice 8 by 6 print, but I wouldn't have wanted to do a 15 by 10.

Mike
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #34 on: November 12, 2007, 08:46:48 PM »
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ACR has known issues with some colours. For some reason I've shot alot of flames of late. ACR is not too good with flames, ................
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I 'm flabbergasted. What "known issues"? Can you point to learned discussions conclusively demonstrating these "known issues"? I process over 200 images per month in CR 4.1 (and CR 3.7 before that) and I've yet to come accross colours that CR can't handle perfectly well. Of course ya gotta know how to use the application - should I take that for granted?
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #35 on: November 12, 2007, 08:53:48 PM »
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Actually not true anymore, with Picture Styles you can get very nice files straight out of Camera and with colours that even ACR struggles to get right. ...........[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=152159\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

CR doesn't "struggle to get colours right". That is in the hands of the user. As you most likely know, raw files are typically somewhat flat and low in contrast when you open them in CR with all settings except WB at zero and both curves linear. That's the raw, raw material. From there on, it's in your hands to craft the tones you want, and between the Basic Tabe, the Curves Tab and the HSL Tab there is tons of control and adjustment capability to handle just about anything you can throw at it.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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John.Murray
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« Reply #36 on: November 12, 2007, 09:22:53 PM »
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I'm more than a bit suprised there are people defending in-camera jpegs here!  The argument only makes sense if you, uh, your camera:

 - Calculates a perfect exposure of an subject, actually impossible unless the resultant image has very limited dynamic range
 - Captures the perfect White balance for that image (whatever *that* might be)
 - Built-in software is "perfected" to the point that optimal noise reduction / sharpening / jpeg compression is being applied, knowing of course that *any* further advances in this area would be moot.

What I *do* know is that current versions of LR, ACR and PS are better tools than before, giving me the opportunity to improve the presented quality of images shot several years ago - something simply impossible if I turned that decision (and frankly, responsibilty) to some engineer's best guess . . .
« Last Edit: November 12, 2007, 09:32:29 PM by Joh.Murray » Logged

Schewe
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« Reply #37 on: November 12, 2007, 10:39:44 PM »
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I 'm flabbergasted. What "known issues"? Can you point to learned discussions conclusively demonstrating these "known issues"?[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=152277\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Mark, it's a known issue that people who don't have a clue how to use Camera Raw or Lightroom like to blame Camera Raw's and Lightroom's inability to "match' what users think their color should look like based upon a glance at the back of the LCD after shooting...obviously Camera Raw's color is terrible because it don't match the default rendering of the camera jpg...jeeesh, pay attention dooode!
« Last Edit: November 12, 2007, 10:40:51 PM by Schewe » Logged
ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #38 on: November 12, 2007, 11:36:37 PM »
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Hi!

Ideally I think that a Macbeth Color Checker, properly exposed under controlled lighting and correct white balance, should look like a Macbeth Color Checker on a calibrated monitor. Should it not?

BTW, I'm not complaining.

Best regards

Erik




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Mark, it's a known issue that people who don't have a clue how to use Camera Raw or Lightroom like to blame Camera Raw's and Lightroom's inability to "match' what users think their color should look like based upon a glance at the back of the LCD after shooting...obviously Camera Raw's color is terrible because it don't match the default rendering of the camera jpg...jeeesh, pay attention dooode!
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #39 on: November 12, 2007, 11:43:44 PM »
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Hi!

It seems that some printers can reproduce colors that are outside sRGB which is normally used for JPEG. Even if you use Adobe RGB taht would apply. To keep all information that the camera can see you need to use RAW or 48 bits TIFF with a very large gamut RGB.

Best regards

Erik

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I was recently asked to include a shot from another photographer ina wedding album. He has shot in camera jpegs and I shoot raw. When I viewed his image at 100% it was significantly softer than my raw conversions before any sharpening. Now it also had lower resolution, but the sharpness point remains. There were areas where detail that would have been available from a good raw capture was lost. This may be because he uses Nikon equipment and I use Canon (sorry, don't believe that) or possibly that he has a less sharp lens, but the degradation looked to me to be at least in part a result of the rendering of the data.

In fairness, I plaued with it and made a nice 8 by 6 print, but I wouldn't have wanted to do a 15 by 10.

Mike
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