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BlindGuyTakingPictures
29th of October 2008 (Wed), 20:41
I am still researching some cameras and have seem some outstanding pictures as I read through a number of different posts.

As I view the pictures it is hard for me to tell if the pictures have been "fixed" via the editing software or if the pictures are posted "as-is". Only very few people will state the picture is "as-is" or if edited using some software.

So, I can't tell if it is really the camera that is taking the better picture or if its the editing skill of the end user.

Can the software make a picture from a "cheaper" camera look like a picture from a more expensive camera?

AndreaBFS
29th of October 2008 (Wed), 21:10
Pretty much assume that anything that blows you away has been processed. :)

HappySnapper90
29th of October 2008 (Wed), 21:22
Well, put it this way. You're more likely to notice a photo that hasn't been processed and is in great need of it than knowing when a photo has been fixed up to look good, but not over the top.

But if it looks really good, not "blowing you away" it has probably been tweaked to look its best. You can't get "great" results from as-shot JPGs without having blown highlights and/or black shadows.

Ook
29th of October 2008 (Wed), 21:29
I've spent the last 15 minutes trying to dig up a thread that was a perfect illustration to this topic, it was either a P&S or a basic XT+18-55 that was cranking out some unbelievable landscapes. The point was, careful processing is what brings the most out of digital images. I'd say that very few images that make it into galleries or portfolios are "straight out of camera".

sjones
29th of October 2008 (Wed), 22:02
JPEG is processed, and in most cases, RAW will requiring processing. One comes before the other, and one offers more control than the other, but either way, processing by means of digital manipulation occurs.

What you see is ultimately what the camera can produce, whether involving additional post processing or not; otherwise, you wouldn't see it.

HuskyKMA
30th of October 2008 (Thu), 03:07
Can the software make a picture from a "cheaper" camera look like a picture from a more expensive camera?

In most all cases, it's not a factor of how cheap or expensive a camera is. It's how good is the photographer at using the camera and then how good the photographer is at bringing out what the camera captures during post processing.

GinoE
30th of October 2008 (Thu), 05:19
As I view the pictures it is hard for me to tell if the pictures have been "fixed" via the editing software or if the pictures are posted "as-is".

How would you define "fixed"? In the analog days, every picture you saw was necessarily "fixed" because film had to be developed and printed. In the digital age that still holds true: as sjones says there's always at least some processing being done in-camera. So the best way to go about it is to take the processing in your own hands instead of leaving it to the camera. That means RAW shooting, and post-processing to get the result you want. It's never about what the camera produces, it's about what the photographer produces by means of the camera. To me, there is really no point in using a picture "as-is".

JeffreyG
30th of October 2008 (Thu), 05:40
I am still researching some cameras and have seem some outstanding pictures as I read through a number of different posts.

As I view the pictures it is hard for me to tell if the pictures have been "fixed" via the editing software or if the pictures are posted "as-is". Only very few people will state the picture is "as-is" or if edited using some software.

So, I can't tell if it is really the camera that is taking the better picture or if its the editing skill of the end user.

Can the software make a picture from a "cheaper" camera look like a picture from a more expensive camera?

You probably don't realize this, but this is overall a loaded question. Every image you see is 'fixed' somehow. A film camera generates a strip of exposed film, so you have to do some fixing to make a print. A digital camera makes a RAW file and this must be 'fixed' into a JPEG either in the camera or on the computer before viewing.

Lot's of things affect how good the images you are seeing look, and digital manipulation certainly could be one of them. I'd say this is especially probably the case if you are seeing strange, otherworldly light. This is often a sign of HDR or other exposure manipulating techniques. OTOH, you might just be seeing the work of someone who is really good with flash.

Which brings me to a close. The single biggest impact on the photo is the skill and vision of the photographer. Nobody can take a flat or blurry snapshot and manipulate it into a work of art. I'd wager even the most heavily manipulated shots out there were taken with a plan in mind of how the final image would look and how the workflow would get it there.

egordon99
30th of October 2008 (Thu), 08:23
There is NO SUCH THING as a "unprocessed" digital image. If someone claims "this is straight out of the camera..." then all they did was rely on the camera's JPG processor to process and/or "touch it up...."

Here's a little writeup I did, it's specific to RAW vs. JPG, but the overall theme of it is that digital photography is about the processing almost as much as it's about reading the light and setting the exposure....


First off, your camera ONLY shoots RAW. When you select JPG, the camera takes the RAW data and pipes it into it's on-board JPG processor to generate the JPG "image" to save to the card.

When you shoot RAW, the RAW "data" goes directly to the card and is not an image.

To generate an image, you use a RAW processor (software on your PC) which turns the data into a viewable image, much like the camera's JPG processor. The difference is that YOU have complete control over the image generation process. You can change the white balance, adjust the contrast/brightness/black point/etc....

So you can leave these decisions up to the camera's little processor (and hope it makes the right decisions since they are irreversible), or save the decisions for later where YOU have complete control over it.

Think of film, do you want to just drop the roll off at the pharmacy and get a bunch of 4x6 prints back (and NO negatives)? Or do you want the negatives?

neilwood32
30th of October 2008 (Thu), 12:20
In a photography forum like this, the vast majority of images have been "fixed" in some way or other. That can range from a 20 sec White balance correction to 30 mins cloning etc.

The skill of photography isnt in using the camera ( the technical aspects are surprisingly easy to pick up), it is in developing an "eye" for a good image. That "eye" may tell you you have nailed it straight away (your either very lucky or damn good) or that you need to perform some more work to it.

FlyingPhotog
30th of October 2008 (Thu), 12:24
You should always strive to get it as right as possible in the camera when you make the exposure.

The more you sweat on the front end, the less you'll sweat on the back end...

Relying totally on Photoshop to make it right is sloppy photography.

shannyD
30th of October 2008 (Thu), 12:28
You should always strive to get it as right as possible in the camera when you make the exposure.

The more you sweat on the front end, the less you'll sweat on the back end...

Relying totally on Photoshop to make it right is sloppy photography.

well said.

yogestee
30th of October 2008 (Thu), 21:35
I've spent the last 15 minutes trying to dig up a thread that was a perfect illustration to this topic, it was either a P&S or a basic XT+18-55 that was cranking out some unbelievable landscapes. The point was, careful processing is what brings the most out of digital images. I'd say that very few images that make it into galleries or portfolios are "straight out of camera".

I disagree.. Careful shooting paying attention to exposure, composition and lighting "is what brings out the most out of digital images"..

It's important to do all you can in camera.. Editing programmes are only an aid..

You can't make fig jam out of foul s**t!!

Ook
30th of October 2008 (Thu), 21:45
I disagree.. Careful shooting paying attention to exposure, composition and lighting "is what brings out the most out of digital images"..

It's important to do all you can in camera.. Editing programmes are only an aid..

You can't make fig jam out of foul s**t!!

Sorry, I could have been clearer in what I meant - I would say that "paying attention to exposure, composition and lighting" puts the most into digital images, and that photoshop brings out all the information the image already contains. I agree, garbage in, garbage out (you put it much more colourfully :D)

DAMphyne
30th of October 2008 (Thu), 21:47
Did anyone mention that ALL images are processed?
The camera records what you tell it to. Then you process it to look like you remember it.
That is why you should always try to shoot what you want "In Camera", makes it easier to process.
Did I mention that all images are processed? ;)

PhotosGuy
31st of October 2008 (Fri), 09:02
You probably don't realize this, but this is overall a loaded question. Every image you see is 'fixed' somehow. Every shot will need some resizing to post it here. So, every shot will need some sharpening after resizing, too. There's an example of mine in here:
Show me a BEFORE and AFTER picture with minimal changes. (http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=592948) Can the software make a picture from a "cheaper" camera look like a picture from a more expensive camera? John-Allan said it. The more you put into a shot, the better the shot you get back. Software can help, but I've seen great things come out of a point & shoot camera here.