Raw v Jpeg


Roy3

Link Posted 08/05/2011 - 08:41
I'm still experimenting with all the settings on my K-5.
Recently, after comparing identical shots taken first using Raw and then Premium Jpeg, I decided to switch to Jpeg.

Taking advantage of the early morning light this morning, despite the overcast sky and the fact that it was raining, I took two shots, one Jpeg, one Raw.
Both shots were over saturated with highlight & shadow clipping.
I adjusted the saturation on both images to the same value in Lightroom.
The difference in image quality has totally changed my mind about using Jpeg.
I have switched back to Raw, permanently!

I suggest that if anyone wishes to do a comparison test between Raw & Jpeg, then choose shots taken when conditions are as described as above.
It's no use trying to compare images taken when there are nice blue skies and puffy white clouds as the differences in the images will be less noticeable.

I'd like to hear views on this by others more experienced than myself.

I know that this Raw v Jpeg issue has already been chewed to death, but I'm anxious to learn from you guys.

Regards,
Roy
Last Edited by Roy3 on 08/05/2011 - 08:45

i-Berg

Link Posted 08/05/2011 - 09:23
If you have Lightroom, then you may as well get the most out of your images and shoot RAW.
FWIW, DNG works best for me.
That said, there are some in-camera settings that may have improved your jpg results on the day too.
http://www.pbase.com/iberg

Roy3

Link Posted 08/05/2011 - 10:01
Hi i-Berg,

Agreed.
Roy

Anvh

Link Posted 08/05/2011 - 10:12
Even with perfect shots you see the difference.

In the middle there is a comparison.
http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/K5/K5IMAGING.HTM

RAW has a lot more fine details and less halos from sharpening.
Stefan


K10D, K5
DA* 16-50, DA* 50-135, D-FA 100 Macro, DA 40 Ltd, DA 18-55
AF-540FGZ
Last Edited by Anvh on 08/05/2011 - 10:12

johnriley

Link Posted 08/05/2011 - 11:22
To draw any conclusions from the OP's comments though, we would need to see the two images, complete with EXIF.

The first thing I do with JPEG capture is to change the setting from Bright to Natural, and already you would have a less severe result. Then set daylight as the WB, to retain the natural colour of the ambient light. +1 sharpness in camera. Then expose correctly and we have it.

Done properly, RAW and JPEG capture will both yield superb images and it will be very difficult to tell the difference.
Best regards, John

Sandehalynch

Link Posted 08/05/2011 - 11:44
johnriley wrote:

Done properly, RAW and JPEG capture will both yield superb images and it will be very difficult to tell the difference.

I'd almost agree, and for many types of shot in typical shooting conditions this may be true. Two caveats though. Firstly, in conditions of mixed lighting RAW must surely give most post-processors greater latitude to render the seen as it was. And secondly, RAW gives greater latitude for the post-processor to render the scene as they want it.
www.sandehalynch.com

johnriley

Link Posted 08/05/2011 - 12:06
Interesting points.

The first one is I think not quite relevant as mixed lighting remains mixed lighting regardless. You can warm or cool an image, but the relationship between the differently lit components will still remain. Mixed lighting is always tricky, but it's more a matter of making decisions and using a variety of techniques to balance out the lighting. One such technique might be fill-in flash.

The second one is about pre-visualisation. The image in your mind can be the one at the point of shooting, as per Ansel Adams. Then the techniques applied have this end result in mind. This would be inclusive of decisions about white balance and exposure, for example. I don't always shoot this way, but quite often do. With an end result in mind, the exposure is tailored accordingly. It doesn't really matter whether the capture mode is RAW or JPEG.

A simple example is a brightly lit flowerr against a dark background. We want the background to remain dark and the flower not to be blown out, so we dial in -0.7 or -1EV of exposure compensation and we have a correctly exposed image. If this decision is made after the exposure there is a problem in terms of optimising quality.
Best regards, John

Sandehalynch

Link Posted 08/05/2011 - 16:23
Fair comment, but in the first case my thought was prompted by the fact that the brain adjusts what the eye sees; we're not always visually aware that a scene might be lit by tungsten, neon and daylight and may not always be prepared for filtered flash techniques. I think White Balance 'repairs' are easier in RAW than in JPEG - though perhaps this is no longer the case with the latest versions of, say, CS.

In the second case, I had in mind more of a creative post-processing situation, for example where someone deliberately creates a moonlit effect from a daylight shot. Can't say I have personal experience of this approach but I'd have expected it to be more easily controlled with RAW tools.
www.sandehalynch.com

Roy3

Link Posted 08/05/2011 - 16:49
With regard to mixed lighting, having regard for the direction of light and White Balance, perhaps the first choice to consider is where to meter from followed by the type of metering to use. It is pointless using fill-in flash when the subject is at a great distance from the camera.

Choice of aperture is dependant upon what you are trying to portray, along with knowledge of the lens capabilities. I have yet to meet a Zoom Lens that is as sharp wide open as it is at f/8.
In reality, only three choices are available when selecting the aperture to use, apertures larger than f/8-f/11, aperture between f/8 & f/11 and apertures smaller than f/11.

Knowing your camera is vital, how much headroom is available at a given ISO and any EV requirement to protect highlights.

Shooting Manual Mode will always be the best and easiest way to achieve correctly exposed images.

The accomplished creative professional knows instinctively how to set up these numerous camera variables, almost without thought.

The equipment that Ansel Adams used was far less sophisticated than even the point and shoot cameras of to-day and very much easier to use. Thus, he was able to concentrate on his creativity unhindered by thoughts of equipment complications.

When I started in this game, I used to drool over the Leica rangefinder that was in the Camera Shop's window alongside beautifully crafted mahogany bodied plate cameras.

Regards,
Roy

Roy3

Link Posted 08/05/2011 - 17:00
johnriley wrote:
To draw any conclusions from the OP's comments though, we would need to see the two images, complete with EXIF.

The first thing I do with JPEG capture is to change the setting from Bright to Natural, and already you would have a less severe result. Then set daylight as the WB, to retain the natural colour of the ambient light. +1 sharpness in camera. Then expose correctly and we have it.

Done properly, RAW and JPEG capture will both yield superb images and it will be very difficult to tell the difference.

Hi John,

The premium Jpeg settings that I used exactly matched the settings that you advise.
The images, unfortunately now deleted, were viewed on my Apple iMac 27" computer screen. I used Lightroom v 3.4 to edit the images then compared the results with images edited with Apple Aperture v 3.12, results were identical.

I'm still on a learning curve with my K-5 and it's entirely possible that a camera fault exists.I wish now that I had also taken the same shots with my Sigma SD14, This would rule out some of the variables.

Regards,
Roy
Last Edited by Roy3 on 08/05/2011 - 17:06

johnriley

Link Posted 08/05/2011 - 17:36
It may be helpful to suggest never delete anything. I have all the exposures I have ever made with digital cameras and you never know when even a sub-standard shot may not be needed for something. The obvious case might be illustrating a common error and then showing how to avoid it. I might use such shots in a camera club talk.

I'm not sure I agree that Ansel Adams's kit was easier to use, it probably required quite a bit of knowledge. Modern camera on the other hand can be used with great success by just pointing and shooting. However, I was really referring to his thought process, where he pre-visualised the end result and used the equipment accordingly.

It's a good exercise to try - think of what we are trying to achieve and then work towards it when shooting the images. It's more constructive than shooting first and asking the questions afterwards, although sometimes that approach too can work out quite well.
Best regards, John

DOIK

Link Posted 08/05/2011 - 18:21
johnriley wrote:
It may be helpful to suggest never delete anything. I have all the exposures I have ever made with digital cameras and you never know when even a sub-standard shot may not be needed for something.

The Monica lesson. LINK

John

Pentaxophile

Link Posted 08/05/2011 - 19:17
Roy3 wrote:
Both shots were over saturated with highlight & shadow clipping.
I adjusted the saturation on both images to the same value in Lightroom.
The difference in image quality has totally changed my mind about using Jpeg.
I have switched back to Raw, permanently!

I dunno if it's just me, but I have found that changes made to jpegs in lightroom have a more drastic effect than they do with RAW shots.

I took an overexposed shot the other week, and it gave me the chance to compare how I could recover the highlights both in RAW (Lightroom) and Jpeg (CS3).

Original shot (1:1 crop):


Edited Jpeg:


Edite RAW:

[link=https://500px.com/will_brealey/[/link]

Roy3

Link Posted 08/05/2011 - 22:11
Hi John Riley,

We all work differently, at the present time I am just getting a handle on all of the K-5 features. Most of these fantastic features are wasted on me, as I am a real control freak.
I decide the aperture, the shutter speed, the ISO etc, not the camera.

Perhaps if you get hold of an old Plate camera you will discover how very easy and simple they are to use?

But then, I go back to the time when this type of camera was in vogue.
My Grammar School class photos were taken with such a camera with the Photographers assistant gingerly holding the Flash, nervously waiting for the flash powder to ignite!

To date, I have hand made several authentic copies of these old cameras. The only bought in parts I permit are the Lens and the Shutter. I cast all the brass fittings and Lap plate glass turning it into the ground glass.
My lathe comes in handy for turning screws and gear making duty. The job I like the best is making the bellows that requires accurate draughtsmanship.
I do cheat a bit, using modern sheet film that I cut to size.

Once I get stronger after my recent illnesses, I will start using my K-5 seriously. The best I can do at present is to shoot through a window or an open door. I have to be within 4 meters of the bathroom, just in case! Blasted medication!

Thankfully, my GP is reducing the medication that I take, gradually in case of flareups.

The chickenpox I had when I was seven years old laid a virus in my Spinal Cord. This vile infection waited 70 years before biting me in the butt
Shingles symptoms vary from the soles of the feet feeling like one is standing on a pebble beach or a sharp metal grating. Nettle stings so real that they bring back childhood memories of being stung. These nettle stings that cover the body hurt like hell. Leg pains that feel like a dozen tooth nerve endings being probed by a dentist. Unimaginable pain. I was put on morphine during this episode.

The medication also causing hallucinations, one wakes up to realise that the papers one was shuffling on the desk were in fact, a dream,. My wife used to sit and watch my antics. How we now both laugh at these memories.
Shingles is a cruel disease.

The worst thing is when I look in the mirror expecting to see me, but all I see is this old fart's image in the mirror!
There's something wrong with all of the mirrors in my house as his image is in every single one. First thing I'm going to do when I'm able is to change all of these mirrors!

Thankfully I am now on the mend and I can't wait to go out on my first shoot with the
K-5.
How I love this Pentax K-5 camera, my personal birthday present from me to me, to celebrate my 78th year (and to cheer me up)
It brings a smile to my face every time I take it out of the camera bag.

Regards,
Roy
Last Edited by Roy3 on 08/05/2011 - 22:12

johnriley

Link Posted 08/05/2011 - 22:22
I have used every type of camera that you could imagine, but nothing over 10" x 8", and that was in itself a project that ran over many years.

When I said that a plate camera would be difficult, it would to the new digital photographer. Many excellent photographers know nothing about photography, but they do kinow how to use the various possibiloities of a compact camera.

My 8-year-old Grandaughter is a real whizz with her Pentax T30 and her special effects. But she would be mystified by a 10" x 8" Gandolfi....

I'm delighted though to hear some of your history and that you're enjoying your photography on many different levels.

There is one huge disadvantage to your K-5 of course - you can't make it yourself like you could make a large format camera.
Best regards, John
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