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michaelb
02-25-2009, 06:07 PM
I've traditionally been a RAW shooter, but recently I've been shooting more jpegs and it got me to thinking - does it really matter? (other than easier WB adjustment)

So I decided to do a little testing...








5D, ISO 1600, 100% crop...
In-camera jpeg on top, RAW on bottow converted in jpeg in DPP with NR...(same settings in terms of sharpness, etc)...
http://brownphotography.smugmug.com/photos/480256683_aoPUc-S.jpg






Here's another one, this time with the 40D....

40D, ISO 1600, 100% crop...(in-camera high ISO NR turned on - I got similar results with NR off)...
In camera jpeg on top, RAW on bottom converted in DPP to jpeg with NR...
http://brownphotography.smugmug.com/photos/480850215_Dpz55-L.jpg





Same thing, in-camera jpeg on left, RAW on right....
http://brownphotography.smugmug.com/photos/480850213_c2AEx-S.jpg


The difference in these files was much more than I would have expected. They were at high ISO though and I haven't done any low ISO comparisons yet, but I think I'm back to shooting RAW for most things. ;)

Rhys
02-25-2009, 06:12 PM
Now you know why I went RAW - the sharpness, contrast and saturation are so much better.

Now if camera manufacturers had stopped messing about with JPEG and used JPEG2000 then the shoe might well be on the other foot.

Rooz
02-25-2009, 06:36 PM
you can tailor raw exactly to your liking which is the benefit. the issue is that the image is being processed and the processing may not be to your liking.

try recovering shadows and highlights from a jpeg compared to raw and then you really get a "wow" factor.

timmciglobal
02-25-2009, 09:21 PM
I think RAW is the new "dark room" so to say that part of my enjoyment of RAW isn't so much that it produces the best technical image from the source data, which it often does, but that it is the second part of the photography process for me.

Tim

cdifoto
02-25-2009, 10:54 PM
That's interesting, michael. I never really thought of it, let alone compared, in terms of crispness. The only two benefits I ever care about are white balance and exposure latitude (and inherent highlight rolloff) for when I screw up.

Rasidel Slika
02-25-2009, 11:49 PM
I'm skeptical on this. I shot RAW in the club for a period of two months in 2007 and, while I did enjoy the added range and adjustment possibilities, I decided that for the weekly club work I was doing, the positives did not outweigh the negatives associated with the RAW files. I switched back to JPG and have not looked back. And, I have not noticed any change in picture QUALITY, as far as sharpness/contrast is concerned.

Maybe an obvious question but I have to ask, were you at JPG (FINE)?

faisal
02-26-2009, 12:24 AM
RAW is great for a noob like me especially when using the 400D cause quite a few times I forget that it underexposes even when the EC is at 0....so its a life saver for me.... :)

timmciglobal
02-26-2009, 01:40 AM
If you haven't noticed any difference in picture quality you are probably using DPP which is basically like in-camera processing.

Every single image no matter how perfect I see a clear difference jpeg vs raw using Adobe Camera Raw.

Tim

Rasidel Slika
02-26-2009, 01:46 AM
I'm using Lightroom.

nsjuice
02-26-2009, 01:54 AM
Maybe because Rasidel shoots with a 5D?

Just a thought

Rasidel Slika
02-26-2009, 01:57 AM
don't think so, michaelb's first example is a 5D..

cdifoto
02-26-2009, 02:11 AM
Perception is everything. Not everyone can see subtle differences. Those same differences are sometimes even less noticeable in real-world scenarios, especially where no two shots are alike.

In other words, you'd have to shoot RAW+JPEG if you want to compare in real-life, so you can analyze the exact same shot. You can't say "there's no difference between RAW and JPEG" if you're comparing completely different gigs, shoots, subjects, or periods in your experience level.

Rasidel Slika
02-26-2009, 02:13 AM
lately when I have shot in RAW, I have done +JPEG. I'll be back. :D

cdifoto
02-26-2009, 02:20 AM
Another point...

Text is a torture test for sharpness. ;)

Rhys
02-26-2009, 07:10 AM
I used to use DPP and still get sharper text from RAW than from in-camera JPEG.

Now I do everything with Aperture and just don't bother with the JPEG stage unless I need to save a file to CD.

michaelb
02-26-2009, 09:42 AM
Perception is everything. Not everyone can see subtle differences. Those same differences are sometimes even less noticeable in real-world scenarios, especially where no two shots are alike.

In other words, you'd have to shoot RAW+JPEG if you want to compare in real-life, so you can analyze the exact same shot. You can't say "there's no difference between RAW and JPEG" if you're comparing completely different gigs, shoots, subjects, or periods in your experience level.


I think that's just it Don; I would never have noticed the difference unless I shot RAW+jpeg in a comparison like this. And of course you probably wouldn't notice a difference in average sized prints - keep in mind that your looking at 100% crops here guys.

Rasidel - I was quite surprised as well; I really did not expect to see this type of difference. On our Mexio trip I took everything in jpeg and the pics look incredibly sharp and contrasty. I didn't notice a difference until I did this comparison. By the way I shot RAW+best quality jpeg for these comparisons. All files processed in DPP. I tested the 5D and the 40D and got similar results.

Rhys
02-26-2009, 10:12 AM
I think you'll find image explorer aka zoom browser produces results not quite as sharp as DPP.

leaftye
02-27-2009, 06:05 AM
Now if camera manufacturers had stopped messing about with JPEG and used JPEG2000 then the shoe might well be on the other foot.

I'd like to see PNG replace JPEG.

cdifoto
02-27-2009, 07:24 AM
I'd like to see PNG replace JPEG.
PNGs are bigger than RAW. That definitely wouldn't work for someone who wants or needs to shoot easy-access, easy transfer files.

adam75south
02-27-2009, 12:32 PM
awesome post michael, i never thought to check sharpness between the two, lately with the 5d II i've been thinking about going to jpeg but this makes me stay firm on raw.

devin
02-27-2009, 01:58 PM
Yeah, I use raw on my EOS XSi and it is SO much sharper. Even with the in-camera sharpness set to 7 out of 7, the JPEGs can't touch the sharpness of RAW. I use Adobe Camera Raw and adjust the Sharpness and Saturation based NR, and wow! I don't even consider using JPEG anymore.

adam75south
02-27-2009, 02:13 PM
i always wondered why all of my lenses have been so sharp.

Rasidel Slika
02-28-2009, 04:30 PM
ok well I had been doing RAW+JPG small so it isn't a direct comparison. But, fwiw, here is the file exported out of LR to the JPG's full-size.

http://flickr.com/photos/delobbo/3317032111/
http://flickr.com/photos/delobbo/3317858836/

cwphoto
03-03-2009, 01:51 AM
I can't see how it's possible that a RAW has any sharpness advantage over a JPEG - it's just processing right?

Rooz
03-03-2009, 02:34 AM
I can't see how it's possible that a RAW has any sharpness advantage over a JPEG - it's just processing right?

once your iso starts to creep up i would expect the raw file to be a little sharper as NR starts to kick into the jpegs but with zero NR at base iso, i dont get it either i'm afraid. it can really only mean one thing, the jpeg processing engine is completely shithouse.

droopy1592
03-03-2009, 07:32 AM
White balance issues and exposing to the right, fixing exposure is better fixed in raw. In jpg things go all screwed up.

D Thompson
03-03-2009, 08:22 AM
I can't see how it's possible that a RAW has any sharpness advantage over a JPEG - it's just processing right?
It can't, it is pretty much the processing. A RAW file has no sharpening, contrast, saturation, or any other boost "until" it is processed. You can't really compare a RAW file to any other type format. You can't even view a RAW file without some sort of processing involved. You can compare the different processors on that RAW file and how they compare to the in-camera jpeg processing.