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RAW Mode Vs. JPG

NewThis subject is now featured in Volume 1,  Number 1 of  The Luminous Landscape Video Journal

My original tests and write-up comparing the D30's RAW mode with Large/Fine JPG mode showed a dramatic difference in favour of RAW. Phil Askey of Digital Photography Review drew to my attention that this results was very much at odds with his own tests. I have consequently redone the tests and find that Phil is essentially correct. I'm not sure why these new test results are different, but I'm glad that they are.

Is it Worth The Effort?

The answer is a qualified "yes". Below are the examples. The one on the left is in RAW mode while the one on the right was shot in JPG Large/Fine mode. 

Photographed with a Canon D30 at ISO 400. 1/125th sec @ f/4.5 with a Canon 70~210 f/2.8L lens @ 120mm. 


RAW                                                                        JPG Large/Fine

In both cases the files were loaded into ZoomBrowser. The RAW file was converted to a TIFF and loaded into PhotoShop. The JPG Large/File was loaded directly into Photoshop from ZoomBrowser.  Both files had the same amount of Unsharp Masking applied by NIK Sharpener Pro. A small amount of colour balancing was done to try and get the images to match.

The enlarged sections below have been displayed here in the highest quality Internet JPG setting possible so that you can draw your own conclusions. Just remember though that you are looking at a 72 dpi screen.


RAW                                                                                                        JPG Large/Fine


RAW                         JPG Large/Fine

Some readers have asked to see a section of these images without any processing whatsoever. These two section are at "actual pixel" size and have had no sharpening or colour adjustments. Sorry, but bandwidth limitations on my server prevent me from posting larger files right now.


My evaluation is that Phil is correct. The image quality is close, though I do judge the RAW file to be somewhat sharper ‹ maybe by 5% - 10%. You'll have to decide for yourself if it's worth the extra storage space and processing to work in RAW mode. I probably will.

NewThis subject is now featured in Volume 1,  Number 1 of  The Luminous Landscape Video Journal

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Concepts: Raw image format, JPEG, Digital photography, Exchangeable image file format, Left-wing politics, Computer file, Image file formats, Photography

Entities: Canon, JPG, PhotoShop, sec, Michael Reichmann, Phil, Phil Askey

Tags: RAW mode, RAW file, Digital Photography Review, quality internet jpg, NIK Sharpener Pro, JPG mode, new test results, extra storage space, image, Phil Askey, dramatic difference, original tests, Unsharp Masking, Canon D30, dpi screen, bandwidth limitations, colour adjustments, enlarged sections, actual pixel, larger files, image quality, photoshop, write-up, Sharpener, sharper, glad, odds, TIFF, redone, sharpening, balancing, evaluation, Photography, match, small