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View Full Version : Raw don't give better pics with E-510



guillermovilas
05-31-2008, 03:32 AM
I can't see any image improvement between raw and jpeg , as for sharpness issues i've always get a better result from a jpeg pic.

How can this be ? raw should show more details ?

truflip
05-31-2008, 07:19 AM
Not sure how the E-510 is set up but that should depend on how your camera is set up to handle JPG's.
Most camera's will have a "consumer-friendly" setting in which saturation and sharpness are bumped up a bit. That is probably why RAW looks different for you.

David Metsky
05-31-2008, 07:26 AM
RAW is just that, raw. If you want things sharp, and colors to pop, you have to do that yourself in post processing. In JPG the camera is making those selections for you and it applies sharpening, etc, that most people like. In RAW, you get to choose what you like and what is appropriate for your shot.

guillermovilas
05-31-2008, 02:54 PM
RAW is just that, raw. If you want things sharp, and colors to pop, you have to do that yourself in post processing. In JPG the camera is making those selections for you and it applies sharpening, etc, that most people like. In RAW, you get to choose what you like and what is appropriate for your shot.

I know all that , but like i said no matter how much i tune my raw files i can never get them better then my jpeg , so what advantage to shot much heavier raw files and tuning them for no better result ?
My jpeg files will turn out sharper then my raw files

guillermovilas
05-31-2008, 03:00 PM
Not sure how the E-510 is set up but that should depend on how your camera is set up to handle JPG's.
Most camera's will have a "consumer-friendly" setting in which saturation and sharpness are bumped up a bit. That is probably why RAW looks different for you.

For my comparaison my jpeg settings are tuned to low , by that i mean that sharpness is on -2 , no vivid colour , colour are set to normal , no saturation ,
noise reduction on 'off'.
So you see my jpeg don't come out 'bumped up' but natural and it's the post treatment which give better results then raw post treatment

truflip
05-31-2008, 04:10 PM
Ahh I see.. Sorry to hear. Perhaps an Oly enthusiast may be able to chime in on this. Good luck!

cdifoto
05-31-2008, 05:28 PM
RAW is more for easy adjustment of exposure and white balance than detail, color or sharpness, although a RAW does have more latitude to "push the colors around" if desired. Try "accidentally" shooting with the tungsten white balance setting under 5500K (aka daylight) and fixing it. First do it in JPEG, then do it in RAW.

You might be able to fix the JPEG, but it'll probably take more work and still not look quite right compared to adjusting a RAW file with the eyedropper on something that was supposed to be white in the scene.

Also try accidentally overexposing by about 1 stop and then fixing it. The burnt and lost sections of the JPEG will be retained with a RAW. Have a look at this thread: http://www.dcresource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=39254&page=6 starting with post #59.

Do you need to shoot RAW? Nah not really. But if you want a bit of a safety net "just in case" it's a good thing to do. I use it because I've shot weddings and accidentally set tungsten in the church and forgot to change it when we got outside. I didn't notice until about 50 shots later since I was too busy shooting instead of chimping. A few clicks and a couple seconds later they were all fixed. There's also more room for highlight recovery when you're working in high contrast conditions.

So basically when conditions are ideal and/or you have total control over your environment, JPEG is absolutely fine. It's those other times that it really shows its value. Some of us just get into a RAW workflow habit that we don't really see JPEG as saving time and therefore do not bother changing back and forth for any given scenario.

To simplify...you don't gain anything by shooting RAW and converting to JPEG as-is.

fotogmarc
05-31-2008, 11:13 PM
I noticed the difference with what I used to convert RAW to Jpeg. Using the camera or the Oly software I did not see much of a difference. When I used PSE I was able to see some more sharpness.
I suggest try different programs (to convert) and see if you can tell the difference

guillermovilas
05-31-2008, 11:56 PM
RAW is more for easy adjustment of exposure and white balance than detail, color or sharpness, although a RAW does have more latitude to "push the colors around" if desired. Try "accidentally" shooting with the tungsten white balance setting under 5500K (aka daylight) and fixing it. First do it in JPEG, then do it in RAW.

You might be able to fix the JPEG, but it'll probably take more work and still not look quite right compared to adjusting a RAW file with the eyedropper on something that was supposed to be white in the scene.

Also try accidentally overexposing by about 1 stop and then fixing it. The burnt and lost sections of the JPEG will be retained with a RAW. Have a look at this thread: http://www.dcresource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=39254&page=6 starting with post #59.

Do you need to shoot RAW? Nah not really. But if you want a bit of a safety net "just in case" it's a good thing to do. I use it because I've shot weddings and accidentally set tungsten in the church and forgot to change it when we got outside. I didn't notice until about 50 shots later since I was too busy shooting instead of chimping. A few clicks and a couple seconds later they were all fixed. There's also more room for highlight recovery when you're working in high contrast conditions.

So basically when conditions are ideal and/or you have total control over your environment, JPEG is absolutely fine. It's those other times that it really shows its value. Some of us just get into a RAW workflow habit that we don't really see JPEG as saving time and therefore do not bother changing back and forth for any given scenario.

To simplify...you don't gain anything by shooting RAW and converting to JPEG as-is.

I agree with most of what you said except from the fact that when i use my Nikon D300 , the difference is very noticable , you can see a sharpness and mostly a gain of fine details ( usually in dark areas ) , unfortunately my Olympus E-510 doesn't react the same and there is no improvement at all , neither in sharpness ,colours nor details in dark areas

cdifoto
06-01-2008, 12:02 AM
I suppose the software you use for your Nikon is doing something to the images that the software you use for the Olympus is not doing. If you're using Nikon's Capture NX or whatever they call it, it's possible that shadows are being lifted automatically whereas Olympus software is not doing anything at all.

When I use DPP (Canon's software), the in-camera settings are applied to the RAWs by default and I see the same thing I would have gotten had I shot JPEG. When I use Lightroom on the same RAW files, there are indeed differences because Adobe did not, possibly could not, write the software to read Canon's RAW in the same way. It can only do its best interpretation.

There are simply too many variables between softwares and camera settings to really...well care. You have to set up your software & camera to do what you want and stop analyzing it so much.

Rooz
06-01-2008, 01:34 AM
I agree with most of what you said except from the fact that when i use my Nikon D300 , the difference is very noticable , you can see a sharpness and mostly a gain of fine details ( usually in dark areas ) , unfortunately my Olympus E-510 doesn't react the same and there is no improvement at all , neither in sharpness ,colours nor details in dark areas

if you use Capture NX, all in-cam raw settings, (sharpening, saturation etc), are applied to the image when viewing in the editor. if you open the same file in say CS3 then the image will look totally different becasue no in-cam processign will be applied.

guillermovilas
06-01-2008, 01:46 AM
I suppose the software you use for your Nikon is doing something to the images that the software you use for the Olympus is not doing. If you're using Nikon's Capture NX or whatever they call it, it's possible that shadows are being lifted automatically whereas Olympus software is not doing anything at all.

When I use DPP (Canon's software), the in-camera settings are applied to the RAWs by default and I see the same thing I would have gotten had I shot JPEG. When I use Lightroom on the same RAW files, there are indeed differences because Adobe did not, possibly could not, write the software to read Canon's RAW in the same way. It can only do its best interpretation.

There are simply too many variables between softwares and camera settings to really...well care. You have to set up your software & camera to do what you want and stop analyzing it so much.

I use the same software with all cameras 'rawtherapee'

cdifoto
06-01-2008, 02:14 AM
Another variable, now that I know what software you're using, is that RAW Therapee is reading a pure RAW. That means no camera parameters for sharpness, contrast, noise reduction, etc are applied. When you open a JPEG, Nikon may be using a stronger NR algorithm on JPEGs that is most definitely not being read by Rawtherapee, thereby giving the appearance that RAW is better than JPEG...because it is. It's not better because RAW inherently gives better detail...it's better because the JPEG has too much noise reduction applied, SMEARING detail. If Olympus does not reduce the noise as much on their JPEGs as Nikon does, they'll look more like the RAWs and therefore RAW will not seem drastically better.

guillermovilas
06-01-2008, 02:52 AM
Another variable, now that I know what software you're using, is that RAW Therapee is reading a pure RAW. That means no camera parameters for sharpness, contrast, noise reduction, etc are applied. When you open a JPEG, Nikon may be using a stronger NR algorithm on JPEGs that is most definitely not being read by Rawtherapee, thereby giving the appearance that RAW is better than JPEG...because it is. It's not better because RAW inherently gives better detail...it's better because the JPEG has too much noise reduction applied, SMEARING detail. If Olympus does not reduce the noise as much on their JPEGs as Nikon does, they'll look more like the RAWs and therefore RAW will seem drastically better.

"they'll look more like the RAWs and therefore RAW will seem drastically better"
That's just it , RAW don't seem drastically better , i'd say jpeg look better ,

strange , right ?

cdifoto
06-01-2008, 09:26 AM
I got ahead of myself. That statement you quoted from me should have said, "they'll look more like the RAWs and therefore RAW will not seem drastically better."

You can't even compare anyway because you're using third party software, which throws a wrench into the whole thing. If you really want to compare RAW vs JPEG from the same camera, you need to be using the manufacturer's own software. Otherwise, don't even analyze it because it's not apples to apples. Third party software interpretation of the files is an entirely new variable.

guillermovilas
06-02-2008, 12:13 AM
I got ahead of myself. That statement you quoted from me should have said, "they'll look more like the RAWs and therefore RAW will not seem drastically better."

You can't even compare anyway because you're using third party software, which throws a wrench into the whole thing. If you really want to compare RAW vs JPEG from the same camera, you need to be using the manufacturer's own software. Otherwise, don't even analyze it because it's not apples to apples. Third party software interpretation of the files is an entirely new variable.

Ok , i see what you mean but it still doesn't explain why the results are very different with my Nikon D300 ?
With the D300 i can clearly see a difference between a post treated straight out of the cam jpeg and a raw post treated jpeg .

David Metsky
06-02-2008, 07:00 AM
What is the difference you can see with the D300? It all may come down to which filters and settings the D300 chooses to apply to the JPG images compared to the Olympus. With the D300 it may apply changes that you don't like and lose information that isn't lost when you modify the RAW images yourself.

Jon_T
06-24-2008, 09:08 PM
guillermovilas,

If you've not already read, may want to go to dpreview.com and read the E-510 review. Has comparison E-510 images of JPG, and RAW converted with, Olympus Master, Olympus Studio, and Adobe Camera RAW. Also has JPG/RAW comparisons between the E-510, Pentax K10D, Sony A100 and Canon 400D.

Excerpt from review: "... we didn't see a huge difference between the E-510's RAW and JPEG output, though the results are undoubtedly cleaner, have better demosaicing and show a little more noise (and visibly more texture)."

I realize the E-510 using a completely different sensor; have been using E-500 since first released, and D80 since its released.

My experiences using Olympus Master and Adobe Camera RAW/PSE 5 with E-500 ORF images, and D80 NEF images with Adobe Camera RAW/PSE 5 and Capture NX pretty much the same as noted in reviews at dpreview.com on the E-500, E-510 and the D80.

Main reason I've kept the E-500 (and thinking about getting the E-520) is there's no equivalent of the Oly ZD 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 lens for Nikon -- one of the main reasons my first DSLR was the E-500, and not the D-50 or D-70.

guillermovilas
06-25-2008, 12:48 AM
guillermovilas,

If you've not already read, may want to go to dpreview.com and read the E-510 review. Has comparison E-510 images of JPG, and RAW converted with, Olympus Master, Olympus Studio, and Adobe Camera RAW. Also has JPG/RAW comparisons between the E-510, Pentax K10D, Sony A100 and Canon 400D.

Excerpt from review: "... we didn't see a huge difference between the E-510's RAW and JPEG output, though the results are undoubtedly cleaner, have better demosaicing and show a little more noise (and visibly more texture)."

I realize the E-510 using a completely different sensor; have been using E-500 since first released, and D80 since its released.

My experiences using Olympus Master and Adobe Camera RAW/PSE 5 with E-500 ORF images, and D80 NEF images with Adobe Camera RAW/PSE 5 and Capture NX pretty much the same as noted in reviews at dpreview.com on the E-500, E-510 and the D80.

Main reason I've kept the E-500 (and thinking about getting the E-520) is there's no equivalent of the Oly ZD 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 lens for Nikon -- one of the main reasons my first DSLR was the E-500, and not the D-50 or D-70.

You are right indeed , the same counts for the zuiko 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5

e_dawg
07-05-2008, 11:44 AM
Try processing your ORFs using ACR v4.4 and Photoshop CS3. I have used Oly Master, Oly Studio, RawTherapee, and LightZone to process ORFs, and none of them are as good as ACR and CS3. You just have to find the right settings in ACR:

I suggest using Auto but then reducing the Blacks setting to 0, increasing the Brightness to taste (but watch the highlights, and you will need to increase the recovery slider to compensate), lowering the contrast to 0, and adding a bit of Fill Light if your shadows are still very dark (be careful as settings above 15 will make things muddy and noisy).

Increase the midtone and local contrast by using the Clarity slider. I find anything from 8-15 works well. Don't touch the Vibrance slider, but increase the Saturation a bit if needed.

For the third tab, you can adjust the USM and colour NR settings. I would actually leave these alone unless you need to change them, as the defaults are pretty good.

Make sure your ACR working mode (at the bottom of the ACR module) is set to Adobe RGB, 16-bit, full resolution. Similarly, make sure you use North America Prepress 2 for your Color Settings in CS3 (Adobe RGB).

Open the image in CS3 and make whatever adjustments to levels, curves, colour balance, hue/sautration, layering/masking, then resize the image, and lastly add USM (you must do this after resizing, as it is a destructive action and destroys the original pixel structure of the image; resizing will look bad as a result).

You should resize the image to whatever size you normally view them at on-screen or whatever size you normally upload them to on your hosting site. Resize them so that the hosting site will not have to shrink your pics (as they usually have poor resizing algorithms).

Adding USM correctly will give you wonderfully sharp images that are clearly better than JPEGs. I use a 2-step USM process with Smart Sharpen. Here's what I do:

Open the Smart Sharpen module and use the following settings for your first pass:

1. Amount = anywhere from 35-100 depending on your pic; I usually use 50-60

Radius = 0.5 for a 1600 x 1200 pic (or anywhere from 0.3 to 0.8, depending on the size of your pic... larger pics require a larger radius setting)

2. Use Lens Blur and More Accurate

3. In the Shadows tab, use the following settings:

Fade Amount: 25%
Tonal Width: 20%
Radius: 1

4. In the Highlights tab, use the following settings:

Fade Amount: 33%
Tonal Width: 20%
Radius: 1

5. Hit OK to perform the operation.

6. Go to the Edit Menu and select Fade Smart Sharpen. Opacity = 100%, Mode = Luminosity.

7. Go back to Smart Sharpen and use the following settings on the main tab:

Amount: 5-15% (I usually use 8-10 for a 1600 x 1200 pic)
Radius: 20-30, depending on your image size (larger image size requires a higher radius... I usually use 25 for 1600 x 1200 pics)

8. In the Shadows and Highlights tabs, change the Radius to 2.

9. Hit OK, go to Edit, Fade Smart Sharpen, Mode = Luminosity.

In order to convert the file into a usable JPEG, you need to do the following:

1. Go to the Image Menu and set the Mode to 8 bits/channel

2. Go to the Edit Menu, Convert to Profile. Select sRGB IEC 61966-2.1 for the Destination Space. Your Conversion Options should be ACE, Perceptual, with Black Point Compensation and Dithering.

3. Save As... JPEG, quality setting 9 or 10, and you're golden.

The resulting JPEG should look fantastic when viewed at the same resolution you resized it to if you get the settings right in ACR.

Let me know how you like it, as I find it a noticeable improvement. If you find it to be a long process, you can automate it by recording a couple actions. Then all you have to do is play the saved action.

e_dawg
07-05-2008, 12:15 PM
Here is a comparison of a JPEG out of my E-510 vs processing the ORF in ACR + CS3. I also did some more fancy stuff as well to recover more of the highlights and shadows, but you don't have to do that... nevertheless, the potential improvement if you develop your ORF files properly is very significant.

(Click on the images to take you to a larger version... you can really see the difference there... you can click on next or prev to switch between the two images in pbase)

The JPEG out of the camera:
http://www.pbase.com/image/99709219/large.jpg (http://www.pbase.com/image/99709219/original)

Processing the ORF in ACR + CS3 with various adjustments
http://www.pbase.com/image/99708918/large.jpg (http://www.pbase.com/image/99708918/original)

Phill D
07-05-2008, 11:19 PM
Phew e_dawg you just convinced me I should be shooting RAW, that difference is pretty dramatic. How close do you think you could get to your final RAW version by PPing the JPEG file? Also any idea how much of your RAW editing stuff (if any) I would be able to do using Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 ?

XaiLo
07-06-2008, 08:23 AM
Phill D, I use photoshop though not familiar with PSE, but if it's able to utilize ACR and has smart sharpen, no reason I can think of that would stop you from achieving similar results. I use photoshop

e_dawg
07-06-2008, 03:25 PM
Phew e_dawg you just convinced me I should be shooting RAW, that difference is pretty dramatic. How close do you think you could get to your final RAW version by PPing the JPEG file?

Depends on several factors, such as:

the technical quality of the image (or how much adjustments are needed, e.g., how off is the colour / WB, how unsharp is it, how under/overexposed is it, how noisy is it)
how much processing has already been done on the JPEG in-camera (noise reduction/filtering and sharpening)
what ISO it was taken at (higher ISOs result in lower quality images and more in-camera processing)
how contrasty a tone curve did the camera apply


If it was taken at 100-200 ISO, properly exposed, with noise filter set to off, using muted picture mode, contrast -2, and sharpness -2, you should be able to get pretty close with the JPEG file.

If it was taken at 1600 ISO, underexposed, noise filter set to std/high, sharpness +2, then you are screwed. Similarly, if you took a pic in strong sunlight outdoors, subject slightly backlit, trees/bushes around, and you used vivid picture mode with contrast +2, your highlights and shadows will be totally clipped, and there's no way you can recover them.


Also any idea how much of your RAW editing stuff (if any) I would be able to do using Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 ?

I think PSE6 comes with a basic version of ACR, so you should be able to do most of the RAW development that the full version of ACR that comes with CS3 can do (you need to "develop" the ORF file into a usable RGB image before you can actually work with it in PSE6 or CS3... that is ACR's job).

But once you load the developed RGB image into PSE6 from ACR, it doesn't have quite the power of PS CS3. There is some basic layering and masking capabilities, and PSE6 has a limited version of Smart Sharpen, but not full 16-bit support. But you can get pretty close. Unless there are a lot of problems with your original image and needs a lot of local adjustments (and you need to maintain maximum quality for large prints), PSE6 should give you most of the results of CS3 at a fraction of the price.

Although, i should mention that I have never used PSE6, so i am just going by what i've read...

raven15
07-06-2008, 10:34 PM
Hmmm. That was a lot of work but you almost made me want to do it too. That image was actually much better.

e_dawg
07-06-2008, 10:55 PM
Yes, it can be a bit of work initially, but if you save those steps by recording an action or two, it's as simple as clicking "play" next time.

Honestly, do you think I go through all that every time I edit an image?

BTW, if you've never recorded your own actions before, you should try it... it's as simple as hitting "record", making whatever adjustments you want to make, and hit "stop". Those adjustments might take you 15 minutes and a couple dozen steps usually, but with an action... 15 seconds and 1 click.

Phill D
07-06-2008, 11:05 PM
Thanks for all the info I'll definately have a go. Just need to negotiate some spare time for myself, that might be the most difficult bit at the moment. Probably have to wait till I go on holiday in a few weeks time.