S3 IS raw vs jpg [imgs]
I recently found out about the firmware hack that enabled raw writing on the canon the canon s3. Also an apparently popular page downplayed it for the S3 (even though the bricks appeared much less smudged on the raw image). I just wanted to post my results of raw vs jpg test on the camera.
The camera saved the exact image in both raw and jpg, so the shot is the same. Apparently white balancing (it was set to outdoors sunny) is only applied to the jpg when it is processed. So as the raw would normaly be clearly inferior, I quickly threw the raw image through lightroom, correcting the white balance, and using the sharpen filter in it (The jpg processing also applies sharpening which is kind of stupid, and as you will see it removes key visual data).
I cropped 2 sections to show off key areas at full resolution.
As you can see, the jpg has darker shadows, and the bloom as well as the sharpening effect it uses ends up cutting out small branches in the tree. By capturing in raw and using higher quality methods, you get a much more crisp and true picture. Its a little bit more elbow grease, but being able to save as raw on the s3 IS is definetly a large improvement. JPG still has its uses though, if your going to be doing high speed capturing, youll fair much better using jpg due to the write speeds and smaller file sizes.
Could you post which modded firmware you used to do this? I couldn't ever seem to get mine to work.
test1-pre12-s3is-100a-129.zip, my bios is 1.00a
Totally agree with you. I'm not a big fan of the S3's picture quality out of the box. The noisy sensor necessitates the moderately strong in-camera NR, blurring away too much detail and leaving some artifacts in the JPEGs.
Looking at your pics, I see a significant amount of CA in the tree shot, obviously accentuated by the sharpening. Did you try correcting for CA in your workflow, and it was just too much, or did you not bother?
My workflow with S3 RAW files is often something like this:
1. WB, highlight and (a bit of) shadow recovery, correct lens distortion and CA first in a RAW editor, save to TIFF
2. Light noise reduction through Noise Ninja
3. Back into a photo editor to do levels, masking/selective adjustments, resizing, and USM, save to JPEG
No sharpening is applied until the very end, at which point I often do two passes of USM with different radii.
CA? the purple fringe? No, not really sure how to go about fixing that. I "just" got lightroom so its still abit new to me. Ive used photoshop for years but mainly my plugin pallet consisted of artistic creators, not photo enhancers.
It's in the Develop module's Lens Correction tool pallette (right under the Detail section).
Originally Posted by jeffmd
You can adjust the Red/Cyan and Blue/Yellow sliders, or if you have Lightroom 1.1, it will also have a Defringe pop-up as well, where you can select All Edges to deal with purple fringing somewhat automatically and globally. Should be easy and quick to get a sense of what setting you want to use at 100% zoom.
Also, since you know how to use photoshop, you can also do this by masking and select / replace / desaturate colour (or whatever way you prefer, really), especially if you are dealing with purple fringing, as opposed to clearly separated red & blue like I usually got with my S3 (although after "fixing" the CA by aligning red & blue, it became purple anyways).