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Thread started 23 May 2010 (Sunday) 12:19
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When shooting in RAW/JPEG, are we viewing the JPEG on the camera?

 
Guts311
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May 23, 2010 12:19 |  #1

When shooting in RAW/JPEG, I wasn't sure if our cameras were showing the RAW or JPEG image (with any in-cam tweaks) on the LCD screen when reviewing. I believe it is JPEG because I shoot in Small JPEG and RAW, and I'm pretty sure the full zoom-in on the camera's LCD image is less close than the full zoom-in of the RAW on the PC. But just wanted to make sure.

And if the above is true, the only way to view a RAW image on the camera's screen is to shoot in RAW only correct?

Thanks..




  
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PixelMagic
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May 23, 2010 12:23 |  #2

Its showing JPEG. A RAW file isn't an image so it can't be displayed without processing in a RAW converter.

Even if you shoot RAW only you will see the preview JPEG that is embedded in every RAW file, not the actual RAW data.


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Guts311
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May 23, 2010 12:25 |  #3

Thanks for the quick response.

So what does that mean for shooting just RAW? Even then it isn't showing a RAW in-camera, but a slightly processed and different JPEG version?

And when editing in say, Lightroom, when you open RAW data in there, is it not even showing the literal RAW data, but a slightly processed version?




  
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PixelMagic
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May 23, 2010 12:31 |  #4

Guts311 wrote in post #10231351 (external link)
Thanks for the quick response.

So what does that mean for shooting just RAW? Even then it isn't showing a RAW, but a slightly processed and different JPEG version?

Correct....and the histogram is also somewhat misleading since its based on the JPEG. That's why you will find when processing a RAW file that you have more exposure latitude that what is first indicated by the histogram.

And when editing in say, Lightroom, when you open RAW data in there, is it not even showing the literal RAW data, but a slightly processed version?

When you first open a RAW file in Lightroom it shows the embedded JPEG. Then the software recreates the thumbnail based on the RAW data instead of the JPEG preview. That's the reason that if you look closely you will see the thumbnail(s) changing and they look less colorful and less contrast than the JPEG preview.


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Guts311
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May 23, 2010 12:55 |  #5

I see, so to confirm what I always thought before, you can NEVER actually view a RAW "image" anywhere by any method since it is just unprocessed data. You will always be viewing something very close but still slightly different? Is it always technically a JPEG you are viewing, even when editing the RAW in LR? Or maybe some other viewable format by default even when it says RAW?




  
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AJSJones
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May 23, 2010 13:01 |  #6

Guts311 wrote in post #10231458 (external link)
I see, so to confirm what I always thought before, you can NEVER actually view a RAW "file" anywhere by any method since it is just unprocessed data. You will always be viewing something very close but still slightly different? Is it always technically a JPEG you are viewing, even when editing the RAW in LR?

The raw file has not had the R, G and B values assigned to each pixel - it has a luminance value and the converter knows whether it was behind a red green or blue filter on the sensor. The converter software "interpolates" the data so that whether a "pixel" (technically the data point from one "sensel") was an R, a G or a B before, it now has R, G and B values. These are what you see on the screen as an RGB image.

jpeg is a compression format for image storage - technically you never actually see a jpeg either, you see an RGB image file that was processed/expanded from the compressed jpeg data.


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Guts311
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May 23, 2010 13:06 |  #7

I have to re-read that a few times and let it sink in, but I think I get it. Thanks for the explanation!




  
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Jon
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May 23, 2010 13:08 |  #8

Convince yourself that this is true by choosing a B&W Picture Style and viewing the image both in-camera and in LightRoom; it'll be quite evident then when you see the transition between the embedded JPEG and the RAW in LR.


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May 23, 2010 15:05 |  #9

You will always be viewing something very close but still slightly different?

No, what you see is very, very different. In addition to what AJSJones described so well above, other operations have also changed the data entirely. First it has been white balanced, which means that the red and blue channels have had all their original values multiplied, and second, RAW data is linear but RGB images have to be gamma corrected with the application of a tone curve that expands the shadow values and compresses the highlights (while brightening "Mr. In-between"). So even the most "moderately" modified LR default version is vastly different from the RAW capture data.


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AJSJones
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May 23, 2010 18:16 |  #10

Thanks elie for filling in the rest of the process - a one-two punch is less overwhelming for someone learning about raw vs. jpeg :D

The last part is that the jpeg you see has also had the current "picture style" of fine-tuning beyond the demosaicing and conversion - that's where you can set the variables such as sharpness, contrast, saturation etc in the user parameters, beyond the "Faithful, Neutral etc." presets. Once that's done, the camera calculates the histogram from that jpeg.


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egordon99
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May 24, 2010 07:53 as a reply to  @ AJSJones's post |  #11

First off, your camera ONLY shoots RAW. When you select JPG, the camera takes the RAW data and pipes it into its 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/bl​ack 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.




  
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When shooting in RAW/JPEG, are we viewing the JPEG on the camera?
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