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.

jpg


raw


jpg


raw


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.