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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos RAW, Post Processing & Printing 
Thread started 27 Sep 2007 (Thursday) 23:49
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RAW files, a gimmick trick...?

 
Glenn ­ NK
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Sep 30, 2007 11:21 |  #16

_GUI_ wrote in post #4035409 (external link)
Using RAW has many advantages over JPEG. I will show you an example of JUST ONE of them: Exposure correction.

If you make a mistake in chosing the exposure value on your camera and your JPEG appears with some important parts blown that make the image unusable, it's more than probable that your RAW (in case you kept it) has still information enough to produce a completely usable image.

Please, I am NOT talking about highlight recovery, which is a useful thing (in fact I will make use of it here) but is indeed very limited. The main advantage of RAW in not blowing parts of your image is that the exposure value in the RAW development stage has not been set yet, and just by doing this you can stop blowing things that YOUR CAMERA'S SOFTWARE blew when producing the JPEG, but WERE NOT ACTUALLY BLOWN in the RAW data.

Very good post GUI:

Your point about exposure correction versus highlite recovery is very good.

And you have reminded us that there are three colour channels in a histogram (a very useful addition, and now we have luminance).

Flowers are often very strong in one channel with low levels in the other two (blue flowers don't seem to have as much in the red and green channels ;).) Your post nicely illustrates that.

Thanks for the thorough and thoughtful post.


When did voluptuous become voluminous?

  
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Bill ­ Boehme
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Sep 30, 2007 20:53 as a reply to  @ Glenn NK's post |  #17

As long as your pictures do not need post processing, then JPG is as good as RAW. It is when adjustments such as white balance, and exposure need to be changed that the difference becomes quite obvious. While such things ae very easy to adjust in RAW while maintaining image quality (assuming that your needed adjustments are reasonable), the same adjustments to a JPG image will very quickly show the effects of any changes -- things like tiling, posterizing, color shifts, and artifact noise readily become apparent. Further, if you want to enlarge an image, you will see that the quality of doing this to an image which had previously been saved in non-lossy format will yield much cleaner results than it will for the same image if it had previously been saved in a lossy format.


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Ikari
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Oct 02, 2007 00:01 as a reply to  @ Bill Boehme's post |  #18

A dedicated image processor, I don't mean like Picture Styles, I mean a real hardware processor like DIGIC in Canon cameras. If you ever notice, such dedicated image processor is a lot faster than our home PCs in term of processing the image in whole: capturing, processing, saving. In less than a second, capturing megapixel raw data from the sensor, and then applying noise reduction + white balance + sharpening, etc., and finally saving it. Try do that yourself with your PC.

And then, you talk about ACR, DCRAW, or else, put those SOFTWAREs in your computer. You carefully notice differences of each clipped channel datas between in-camera jpegs and raws. You see numerical deviations in each R, G, and B, and correct them into what's called "numerically correct", which is: "zero deviation" or "deviation: 0%".
Let me put again my point: "I want my in-camera jpeg to be as close as or be exactly like what I can do my jpeg by post processing my raw files. That's because I believe camera makers are not trying hard enough in making the most optimum quality as a standard. I want it badly because we have paid them so much, paid for what we think is providing the best".

Now with the term of "numerical measurement", all computers are made for doing computations, and also numerical measurements. If you visually perceive a "clipped highlight, clipped shadow" and explain it as a "deviation R=2.2% G=1.2% B=0.5%", then computers should do just fine in defining such visual quality and numerical values.
How would you compare your brain's agile speed vs that of DIGIC's?
A DIGIC can draw megapixel data from sensor, apply in-camera processings I've mentioned above, and save it in just under a blink of your eyes.
And what if the DIGIC fed with a new extra processing algorithm to simulate just like what you do in your SOFTWAREs and your RAW files? The DIGIC will slow down about... maybe a little bit more than half blink of an eye...

Whatever your term is, processing your raw files, exploiting the raw, using the raw, or another words you may say, they all come from one thing: "PROCESSING". By processing, you turn the sliders right or left. In other word, you are applying algorithms onto the file. Good or bad the processing results are depend on your PROCESSING METHOD.
That's why I think that camera makers make those in-camera jpegs decent but not that good since they can squeeze more of it with a better method.
And, again, please notice that THIS IS NOT ABOUT RAW vs JPEG. It may be hard to discern since I use a thread title that "attacks" raw files. But I never intended it to be.
Yes jpeg is an industry standard not made by any camera makers, but the way they choose processing method make the output jpeg different from each other.
For example, in the same scene Panasonic's jpeg would smear heavily on the color while Nikon's or Canon's don't.

Raw lovers should humbly admit that:
1. no matter what, jpeg is a standard in all cameras, it is the main output intended
2. no matter what, raw workflow is not instant
3. when jpegs are ok, there's no further need in editing the raw

Jpeg lovers should humbly admit that:
1. it's not as flexible as raw, in term of extensive editability and data bit depth retention
2. it's mostly not as good as post-processed raw's jpeg
3. it is not good, since it can be squeezed more with better methods

Shoot raw, shoot jpeg, it's not a religion, it's a preference based on particular conditions. When you consider it as a religion, then you can't shoot otherwise for the whole of your life. No reasons for things like this heated again and again (I guess being in both sides, I'd make enemies in each...)

It's just about how camera makers should be able to push further their in-camera jpeg processing quality, and not leaving most quality processing to the user. That's why I said "gimmick", that unsatisfied picky people of their in-camera jpegs can still dig more from the raw. But like I said in "raw admission #3", if jpegs are ok, no further need of digging more. And how to "ok"-ing the jpegs?? I'll get dizzy explaining it again and again and again.

Huuuge responses... really exciting:)




  
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Ikari
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Oct 02, 2007 02:44 as a reply to  @ Ikari's post |  #19

Anyway, GUI's raw-jpeg comparison of blownout bikini girl should add my suspicions to camera makers (no offense to you GUI), that the undeveloped raw data has a completely different histogram response from the in-camera jpeg (in the middle vs completely in the right of histogram). What I would expect from such histogram is that they should look almost similar since the exposure value (whether numerical or perceptual) of the camera is set by Shutter Speed, and Aperture, NOT by internal camera processing (I don't know if any digital camera would do otherwise, tell me then...)

So at least the undeveloped raw and in-camera jpeg have almost default identical histogram response.
What I expect from the raw is, while it has almost identical clipped histogram response, that it can be dragged into the middle from the right histogram wall safely since it contains deeper bit of data.

Like I said before, if you can measure numbers in histogram data (in this case the RGB deviation percentage), a dedicated computer like DIGIC should be able to
outpower you, or your brain (in this case in making final undeviated-jpeg output).
Human brain is the greatest that it can make an artificial brain works faster than the real one.

If Jpeg couldn't be better today, at least it will tomorrow.

Remember, I never hate raws, I only hate half-heartly-processed jpegs ;)




  
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_GUI_
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Oct 02, 2007 09:08 |  #20

Ikari wrote in post #4047950 (external link)
Anyway, GUI's raw-jpeg comparison of blownout bikini girl should add my suspicions to camera makers (no offense to you GUI), that the undeveloped raw data has a completely different histogram response from the in-camera jpeg (in the middle vs completely in the right of histogram). What I would expect from such histogram is that they should look almost similar since the exposure value (whether numerical or perceptual) of the camera is set by Shutter Speed, and Aperture, NOT by internal camera processing (I don't know if any digital camera would do otherwise, tell me then...)

You are making a conceptual mistake here ikari: the JPEG image was RIGHT, as it was that way according to the user's settings. It's simply that he made a mistake when chosing the exposure value. The camera cannot think for you, it doesn't know whether you want an underexposed, neutral, or overexposed appearance for your image. So if you ask the camera for an overexposed image (and this is what the user did in this case) an overexposed JPEG you will get.

A different question is if the RAW data still contained information enough to obtain a better image through exposure correction down, i.e. setting an exposure value less than that asked by the user at shooting time. And indeed it did.

But I insist: the camera was not wrong, it was the user who made the mistake. That's why RAW is good, allows among other things, correct user's mistakes in exposure which could never be corrected in the JPEG.

You cannot compare the RAW histogram I showed, which is linear (i.e. non gamma corrected) and had no white balance applied, with the final image histogram. If you look at the image of a RAW prior to gamma and white balance corrections they will be tremendously dark and green pictures. Something like this:

IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
HTTP response: NOT FOUND | MIME changed to 'image/png'


for this image:

IMAGE: http://www.guillermoluijk.com/tutorial/histogrammar/resultgamma.jpg


I calculated it just to find out what real information was the RAW file containing. If you are interested in linear histograms find more information in these links: linear histograms (external link) and DCRAW (external link).

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Glenn ­ NK
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Oct 02, 2007 13:05 |  #21

Ikari wrote in post #4047500 (external link)
Let me put again my point: "I want my in-camera jpeg to be as close as or be exactly like what I can do my jpeg by post processing my raw files. That's because I believe camera makers are not trying hard enough in making the most optimum quality as a standard. I want it badly because we have paid them so much, paid for what we think is providing the best".

Whatever your term is, processing your raw files, exploiting the raw, using the raw, or another words you may say, they all come from one thing: "PROCESSING". By processing, you turn the sliders right or left. In other word, you are applying algorithms onto the file. Good or bad the processing results are depend on your PROCESSING METHOD.

:)

If I take four shots of a flower closeup (using a tripod so that the composition is identical, and don't change focal length or lens), the only variation in the images will result if changes are made to ISO, aperture, shutter speed, or lighting.

For a given camera, there are no other variables, and if the images are captured at the same ISO in idential light conditions within moments of each other, only the aperture and shutter speed can account for any differences in the RAW files.

Now, let's process the RAW files; and here are the results I typically arrive at:


1. The "slider settings" are different (similiar but different) if I make all three or four images appear identical.

2. The "slider" settings are NEVER THE SAME from image to image.

I would like to know which algorithm the camera processor should utilize to get them "just as I want it", and to look the same?
Just for this one flower shot, it will require four different algorithms so they "come out right".

And the next flower requires something else.

Incidentally, if YOU were to process those same three or four images of mine, you would end up with different slider settings than I would.

How could there actually be "one perfect algorithm"?

You see, it comes down to this: "there is no such thing as perfection in regard to man-made things".


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Bill ­ Boehme
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Oct 02, 2007 23:06 as a reply to  @ Glenn NK's post |  #22

Very good -- and to just add one other thought to what you have said:

No two people perceive colors in precisely the same way nor do they see luminance values in precisely the same way. Heck, sometimes your two eyes do not even see colors the same -- the difference is normally slight, but suppose that you have cataracts in one eye -- it is like putting an orange filter in front of that eye.


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Oct 02, 2007 23:15 |  #23

@GUI - Way to bury that issue. Excellent, informative post.


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Oct 02, 2007 23:57 |  #24

Some of your conclusions that you feel others should agree with,.. I do not.

Ikari wrote in post #4047500 (external link)
Raw lovers should humbly admit that:
1. no matter what, jpeg is a standard in all cameras, it is the main output intended
2. no matter what, raw workflow is not instant
3. when jpegs are ok, there's no further need in editing the raw

1. No,. jpeg never is the end product of my work. Ever.

2. I agree RAW workflow is not instant, but I do not feel that jpeg is either. I would not ever be happy with a jpeg straight from camera, I would want to sharpen and maybe tweek color and levels. Thus Jpeg workflow is also never "instant"

3. I don't understand the statement? I don't think jpegs are ever "done" just becuase they are "o-kay"
I don't shoot for "o-kay " image quality. But your statement goes on to mention editing RAW? Where does this come in for the jpeg?

Shoot raw, shoot jpeg, it's not a religion, it's a preference based on particular conditions. When you consider it as a religion, then you can't shoot otherwise for the whole of your life. No reasons for things like this heated again and again (I guess being in both sides, I'd make enemies in each...)

Agree completely with this, jpeg has it's advantages,. many of them that are not in your list of three that I would find more pertinent to most.

But if you did not want another debate on RAW Vs. Jpeg what is the reason for this thread?

Oh I see,

It's just about how camera makers should be able to push further their in-camera jpeg processing quality, and not leaving most quality processing to the user. That's why I said "gimmick", that unsatisfied picky people of their in-camera jpegs can still dig more from the raw. But like I said in "raw admission #3", if jpegs are ok, no further need of digging more. And how to "ok"-ing the jpegs?? I'll get dizzy explaining it again and again and again.

Huuuge responses... really exciting:)

Just as I would never expect the output from Polaroid land cameras to equal the output of a well trained photographer and dark room techy working for hours to create a fine print,. I will NEVER believe that a cameras choices on processing will be the equal of the well practiced photographer and digital darkroom expert.


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Oct 03, 2007 00:02 |  #25

Lastly,..

Why?
Why do you want in camera Jpegs to be better than a compressed 8 bit file can be, when you CAN get the superior quality now by using the full information of the sensor as shot in a RAW file?
Why not just use the file that already contains all the color information, has no compression artifacts, and has the leeway for better prints, rather than wish for the compressed truncated jpeg to be that good?


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Oct 03, 2007 00:21 |  #26

bill boehme wrote in post #4053838 (external link)
Very good -- and to just add one other thought to what you have said:

No two people perceive colors in precisely the same way nor do they see luminance values in precisely the same way. Heck, sometimes your two eyes do not even see colors the same -- the difference is normally slight, but suppose that you have cataracts in one eye -- it is like putting an orange filter in front of that eye.

I hear the voice of experience here - my first cataract op was in late 1995, and the second done in early 1997.

The thing I remember most vividly is seeing a piece of white paper the first day and checking it's colour with both eyes. The "new eye" projected a vivid pure white image, and the uncorrected one a creamy yellow image.

Anyone wanting the perfect JPEG from the camera is simply not considering the immensity or complexity of the situation - as you point out, colour perception is extremely subjective.

My wife's vision is better than mine, but she often mistakes black for navy blue and vice versa, while to me they're very different. I dont' need them side by side to identify them whereas even when the two are side by side she isn't sure of them.

EDIT: At the risk of ruffling feathers, the title could even have been, "JPEG files, a gimmick trick . . . "


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Oct 03, 2007 05:17 |  #27

I don't even think I would want a camera so good that its output could not be enhanced. Call me weird, but I love the p.p. no less than the shooting.


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Oct 03, 2007 15:47 |  #28

Another thought occurred to me on this subject as I tried to sleep last night,.. (I lay awake contemplating pellet towers and airstrikes)

How I have witnessed so many of these similar discussions for so long and not seen this fundamental truth before I can not explain,.


...it is so obvious.


Why is it that no one questions or argues why we chose not to let our cameras do all the thinking at the time the photo is taken, but so many chose to question our need to take control after the photo is taken. What is different here?

When shooting, I do not use the "green Box".. I know better than the camera what aperture to chose, what shutter speed, what focus point, what ISO, what overall exposure, be it set manually or with AV/TV and EC,. so naturally I make these decisions.
Truthfully, any photographer worthy of the name would do the same.
Yet all of this stuff can be automated by the camera, we can set it to green and shoot and let the camera decide Aperture, Exposure, Shutter speed, ISO (in some cases) etc..

Yet we rarely if ever see threads knocking us for eschewing these auto controls.
When we do, it's a post of complete and utter naivety, one that comes from ignorance (in the real meaning, not to be insulting) of the benefits of taking control of your shooting situation and equipment.

And yet when it comes to the very next step of the same photography process, that of processing the image, so many can not grasp the need/desire for the same sense of control, for the same total hands on approach to the creative process involved with making the image.

Every step we take from the moment we put the camera into our hands is a step that we take to give ourselves the potential for doing a better job, making a better image than either the automated can, or we could last year, or even "the next guy" can. We strive for perfection.

In my mind, questioning the need/desire for us to have total control of the post processing workflow and adjustments, is just as naive and (sorry again) ignorant as questioning why I would not just allow the camera to shoot a portrait in Green box at f/8 instead of manually shooting open @ f/2

Of course I'm going to set the aperture to get the DOF I want, and would never trust the camera to make a better decision automatically.

Likewise, of course I am going to shoot in RAW and post process the image to my standards, and never trust the camera to make better decisions automatically.

Why does the Macro shooter use manual focus or rails when the lens is an autofocus lens? Because the Macro shooter knows they can set the focus more precisely when set manually. The Macro shooter can do it better.

Just as the Camera is simply NOT CAPABLE of bettering me with it's auto settings, it is likewise NOT CAPABLE of processing an image as well as I can with the tools I have at hand.

None of this should be surprising.
We will never likely see a camera with a green box mode that is superior in it's auto choices to those choices a photographer would make when setting up the shoot.

We will never see a camera with an automatically output file that is superior to the choices made by a studied photographer working on there own images in post.


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Oct 03, 2007 15:54 |  #29

Born RAW.........shoot RAW............die RAW.


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Oct 03, 2007 15:56 |  #30

stathunter wrote in post #4057993 (external link)
Born RAW.........shoot RAW............die RAW.

LMAO...thats hillarious!


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