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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos RAW, Post Processing & Printing 
Thread started 15 Jan 2016 (Friday) 11:15
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RAW vs JPEG editing side by side

 
Ralph ­ III
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Post edited over 3 years ago by Ralph III. (2 edits in all)
     
Jan 18, 2016 22:50 |  #31

Well I can't respond to everyone's questions or statements but appreciate the dialog!


As noted, I had actually never done a direct comparison between a RAW and Jpeg file. When shooting a casual occasion I would just use Jpeg, when shooting a special occasion I would use RAW for presumed greatest latitude.

If you go to Example 6 on the thread SSSC referenced here (external link), THAT is the results I had expected and assumed I was getting.


quote BigAl007..."Ralph your comparison of RAW to JPEG is a bit pointless, if you underexpose by FOUR stops you are going to get garbage which ever way you look at it..."

Well I can't agree. I was purposefully going to the extreme but the image is amazingly usable as it turned out. My attempt was to clearly highlight the shortcomings of shooting in Jpeg while clearly highlighting the benefits of shooting in RAW. It didn't turn out as I had expected no matter how I processed the files.

The following is a quote from the thread SSSC referenced (ex. 6).

“…One of the biggest differences between a RAW and JPEG image is the amount of dynamic range and tonal detail captured. This means that you will see huge differences in quality when post processing images that are underexposed, overexposed, or images that simply have a high Dynamic Range…”


The above had always been my prevailing thought and what I fully expected but those are not the results that I got. As it turned out, the RAW file edit was only marginally better than the Jpeg edit. I tried various ways of editing the file but the results were always the same. I like the non-destructive nature of RAW files but I'm either going to have to get a different program or work on my skills to realize these "huge differences".


I would like to see one of you attempt a similar test so you could clearly highlight the superiority of the RAW file but do so honestly by getting the best from the Jpeg as well.

God Bless,
Ralph


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john ­ crossley
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Jan 19, 2016 05:36 |  #32

LincsRP wrote in post #17863243 (external link)
My Wife and I have just come back from along weekend in Madrid, Spain. With my G16 I wandered around shooting jpegs, chimping, shooting more and was blessed with the time to go back at a different time of the day when lighting was unflattering the first time around. Many don't have that luxury which is where raw would help enormously.

I quite enjoyed myself this weekend knowing that I was not coming home to even a tiny bit of work to prepare the images for the family album ... my Wife loves to get this stuff printed and into the physical 'scrapbook' :-)

You have to be careful tho, I did like the look of a particular archway in the middle of an enormous roundabout (funny circular road apparently leading nowhere to our American readers) and was busy chimping when the lights turned to green for the motorists ... whoops! Tis obvious pedestrian crossings timers wern't set for photographers to carefully compose and shoot a couple frames and I nearly got run over by a dozen nutters (kind words for Spaniards with little patience for tourists standing in the middle of the road at rush hour) and my Wife quite rightly commented 'you wouldn't get run over if you shot raw and processed it at the computer, would you? HUH??? ' Point made :-D

Raw is safer. Definately...


I don't get that, why is shooting in RAW quicker then shooting in JPEG?


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LincsRP
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Jan 19, 2016 06:47 |  #33

john crossley wrote in post #17864086 (external link)
I don't get that, why is shooting in RAW quicker then shooting in JPEG?

Well what I really should have explained was that shooting, chimping, shooting again to get that little bit better image takes more time at the scene than shooting a frame in raw and then tweaking back home on the PC. Unfortunately for me the best unobstructed view of the arch in question was absolutely in the centre of the 3 lane road approaching it. Not somewhere to be stood chimping you might say.


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Post edited over 3 years ago by TeamSpeed. (2 edits in all)
     
Jan 19, 2016 07:07 |  #34

Ralph III wrote in post #17863879 (external link)
The above had always been my prevailing thought and what I fully expected but those are not the results that I got. As it turned out, the RAW file edit was only marginally better than the Jpeg edit. I tried various ways of editing the file but the results were always the same. I like the non-destructive nature of RAW files but I'm either going to have to get a different program or work on my skills to realize these "huge differences".

I would like to see one of you attempt a similar test so you could clearly highlight the superiority of the RAW file but do so honestly by getting the best from the Jpeg as well.

God Bless,
Ralph

The only way you can see that kind of huge difference is to fill up all stops with data, even to the point of just clipping if you use the in-camera histogram, or blinkies option. There is more headroom in the raw than you get with a JPG, probably around 1/2 stop extra at each end of the histogram you see on the camera.

If you take a picture and don't fill up all those buckets to maximize your camera's DR, then yes, a JPG and a raw aren't going to show huge differences. You will have a bit more headroom at either end with the raw, but since you threw away a lot of data (either past the floor, or beyond the ceiling) of what the camera can capture, your differences are marginal in many cases.

The differences you will see is that with raw, you are working with lossless data, and manipulating exposure there is better than to take a compressed lossy JPG and trying to bring up its exposure, there is simply more to work with in the raw.

Canon's ability to bring up dark shadows vs something like any body that uses an EXMOR sensor is very limited however, because Canon's current sensor/ADC design introduces random noise once you hit a certain dark point. Sony's sensor is cleaner down to a lower level.


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Jan 19, 2016 07:49 |  #35

TeamSpeed wrote in post #17864151 (external link)
The only way you can see that kind of huge difference is to fill up all stops with data, even to the point of just clipping if you use the in-camera histogram, or blinkies option. There is more headroom in the raw than you get with a JPG, probably around 1/2 stop extra at each end of the histogram you see on the camera.

If you take a picture and don't fill up all those buckets to maximize your camera's DR, then yes, a JPG and a raw aren't going to show huge differences. You will have a bit more headroom at either end with the raw, but since you threw away a lot of data (either past the floor, or beyond the ceiling) of what the camera can capture, your differences are marginal in many cases.

The differences you will see is that with raw, you are working with lossless data, and manipulating exposure there is better than to take a compressed lossy JPG and trying to bring up its exposure, there is simply more to work with in the raw.

Canon's ability to bring up dark shadows vs something like any body that uses an EXMOR sensor is very limited however, because Canon's current sensor/ADC design introduces random noise once you hit a certain dark point. Sony's sensor is cleaner down to a lower level.

+1

I would like to see one of you attempt a similar test so you could clearly highlight the superiority of the RAW file but do so honestly by getting the best from the Jpeg as well.

Put the two files, Raw and Jpg, on Dropbox and let a variety of members, with different skill levels and different software, edit them.


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Post edited over 3 years ago by kirkt. (5 edits in all)
     
Jan 19, 2016 07:58 |  #36

@Ralph III

Again, you need to understand that the JPEG rendering comes from the raw file. If *you* cannot achieve a raw conversion that at least matches the JPEG, then the issue is with your ability to produce a raw conversion, not some lack of data or inherent quality (dis)advantage that the raw file and workflow holds. The raw file holds all of the data that the camera captured - the JPEG is a truncated, manipulated version of that data according to the Canon engineers' algorithm. At this point *your* algorithm is apparently, in your opinion, inferior to Canon's. That's all.

If you like Canon's rendering over anything that you can achieve, then shoot JPEG or - better yet (should you feel that you want to shoot raw) shoot JPEG+raw and experiment with the raw file until you get the hang of conversion, knowing that the JPEG is there if you need it.
Using DPP you can even reproduce the JPEG from corresponding raw file.

Tha article to which you link ("The ULTIMATE Visual Guide") is one of many that is arbitrary and skips a lot of information that may be of value for someone like you, who is trying to understand the differences that might steer you toward one workflow versus the other. For example, the "raw" rendering that the author presents in a "zeroed" state is simply arbitrary when compared to the JPEG rendering. The default rendering of raw data varies from raw converter to raw converter, and even within presets of a single raw converter. The default rendering is practically irrelevant, it is just some choice that an Adobe engineer made, just like the choice the Canon engineer made about the JPEG. It's an unfair and irrelevant comparison.

The author also does not give any details about his raw conversion. How are you supposed to understand the comparison if you do not know how it was made? In the end, who cares? He presents a comparison of the raw file + Noiseware NR compared to the JPEG - what settings did he use? Again, arbitrary.

The article is enthusiastic but poorly presented, which may be leading to your confusion. It is one of thousands like it on the web that are equally arbitrary and poorly presented. Such is the internet.

if you want to understand raw files and what they might give you over their JPEG derivatives, take a look at the resources on the Raw Digger website:

http://www.rawdigger.c​om (external link)

Take a look at their videos and tutorials. Like this one:

https://youtu.be/W6Qyl​XJlMkE (external link)

Good luck - you are not the only person who has wondered about this! You will also find that, once you understand the difference between raw and JPEG data, you can refine your exposure choices to optimize highlight detail and shadow noise. But that's a post for another thread....

Kirk


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Jan 19, 2016 08:56 |  #37

I agree with some earlier comments, the main reason I will shoot raw is to fix white balance with artificial lighting, and to allow me to aggressively ettr at my daughter's dimly lit band and choir concerts and pull back what would otherwise be blown highlights in white shirts and blonde hair. I don't normally try to save heavily underexposed shots with a Canon crop camera.




  
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Ralph ­ III
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Post edited over 3 years ago by Ralph III. (3 edits in all)
     
Jan 19, 2016 16:48 |  #38

TeamSpeed wrote in post #17864151 (external link)
The only way you can see that kind of huge difference is to fill up all stops with data, even to the point of just clipping if you use the in-camera histogram, or blinkies option. There is more headroom in the raw than you get with a JPG, probably around 1/2 stop extra at each end of the histogram you see on the camera.

If you take a picture and don't fill up all those buckets to maximize your camera's DR, then yes, a JPG and a raw aren't going to show huge differences....

Thanks TeamSpeed. Your explanation makes complete sense. My approach was wrong in this instance.


quote kirkt....."Again, you need to understand that the JPEG rendering comes from the raw file. If *you* cannot achieve a raw conversion that at least matches the JPEG, then the issue is with your ability to produce a raw conversion...."

Kirkt, I fully understand this! I've shot many events in RAW, including weddings, with fantastic results. As noted though, I never made a direct comparison of a Jpeg file and RAW file so I was surprised and puzzled with my results.

Please note, I listed the edits I made and continually asked for someone to point where I was erring with my edits, that I was ending up with more noise with the RAW file. It had nothing to do with WHAT is RAW or WHAT is Jpeg but everything to do with WHY am I ending up with this result.

I think TeamSpeed made an excellent point. I took a drastic approach in hopes of showing a drastic difference; when all I was doing was removing so much detail that there was no way of getting the result I anticipated.

Having said that. I edited the image once more but used quite a bit more noise correction on the RAW file than I had used on the Jpeg file; the RAW file maintained it's detail advantage and I was able to finally equal the noise in the Jpeg file. So all is right in the photo editing world again. :-)

The one thing about RAW is that because if does retain more detail, then that detail can be seen as more noise. So yes, I just wasn't performing the edit correctly. I also think that even though I have the in camera noise reduction turned off, that somehow the Canon algorithm still manages to apply some.

God Bless,
Ralph


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Ralph ­ III
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Jan 19, 2016 17:08 |  #39

tzalman wrote in post #17864192 (external link)
+1

Put the two files, Raw and Jpg, on Dropbox and let a variety of members, with different skill levels and different software, edit them.

That's a great idea and I'd love to see what some of you can do with the image. Please show a Jpeg and RAW file comparison.

The RAW file can be found HERE (external link).

The Jpeg file can be found HERE (external link).

Thanks,
Ralph


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Post edited over 3 years ago by TeamSpeed. (2 edits in all)
     
Jan 19, 2016 20:29 as a reply to  @ Ralph III's post |  #40

I will take a look, but immediately I can see that you have no data in the top 3.5 stops of your DR. You only have about 3 to 3.5 stops of data, and you can almost bet the bottom 1/2 stop or so will be riddled with noise. Also with the 50D, once you push a file 3 stops or more, you will get the horrible banding that is next to impossible to clean up.

EDIT: Had to do 2 different noiseware runs to tackle different issues, and then sharpened. Full image resized down, and then a partial crop.


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Jan 27, 2016 05:54 as a reply to  @ TeamSpeed's post |  #41

Over this weekend I had two presentations to cover. Not paid jobs as I'm a member of both of the two organisations.

I shoot jpeg, ok, and watch the histogram carefully on indoor shots where large white tablecloths prevail as they under expose the 1DX terribly at times if you don't think ahead.

So, got to the venue and unlike me normally found it had started early and in the darkness clicked the settings of the camera to, I expected, to large jpeg and continued to shoot 125 images of trophies and tables etc. Got home and 'arrgh!' found I'd clicked to raw from whatever it had been before. I'd filled the histogram to the last line as I do in jpeg but with raw it should have been right to the far right edge and a bit. I was shooting at 6400 and 8000 so they have a bit of grain.

The next evening I was more careful and shot jpeg and, exposed to the point of the histogram I'm comfortable with and the images came out absolutely spot on. Interesting to note as I'd used D+ setting I shot at a slightly lower iso at 3200 and slightly hot on occasions and the images were clean as you could wish for.

Those Canon engineers certainly do something in camera that I cannot emulate in DPP. I also found that in my raw images from the first night I had to manually apply the lens correction whereas jpegs are corrected automatically. DPP software had to be loaded with the lens data from Canon website but surely it should have picked this up from the body/lens data at shooting?


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Jan 27, 2016 06:47 |  #42

watch the histogram carefully on indoor shots

I'm going to assume that you are displaying the histogram in "live view mode", that said...
that histogram is based on a jpeg representation of your image which is controlled by the "camera settings" that you have dialed in.
Those camera settings tell the Canon Engineers how you want that image processed, you have then chosen the post processing.

I post process in LR/PS using a RAW image and have learned to first neutralize all the camera settings by sliding them to the left.
The resulting "live view histogram" is "almost" devoid of jpeg influences and can be used to "expose to the right".
Experience in my LR workflow tells me that "almost" means that the histogram should be about 10% to the left of a true ETTR scenario.

I might suggest that your understanding of 'Canon's in camera processing' is somewhat lacking...it can be achieved using DPP.


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Post edited over 3 years ago by TeamSpeed. (3 edits in all)
     
Jan 27, 2016 07:20 as a reply to  @ LincsRP's post |  #43

Everything done in the camera can be done with DPP. Also, shooting raw gains you more capability than in-camera JPG, like the fact that you can clip your JPGs, but with your raw, it may not be clipped because there is more headroom in the raw, regardless of what your histogram on the camera shows. You have about 1/2 stop or so at both ends extra in the raw. This is why if you at least shoot raw+jpg, if you ever blow out highlights in the JPG, you may not have in the raw.

As chauncey points out, what you see in-camera (both histogram types, viewing the image on-screen, etc) are all JPG results and are influenced by your picture styles, etc.


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Jan 28, 2016 16:01 |  #44

One of the problems I'm seeing in the comparisons is that the images are way underexposed and really do not have much color.
If you did a similar test with the same shots, but rather overexposed, you'd for sure see one of the problems JPEG has when compared to RAW.
In over exposed images, the RAW can bring back the data (assuming it's not crazy overexposed) back to normal values. But the JPEG can only fix the marginally overexposed spots but will surely leave unfixable white spots, the data is simply not there.

If you did another test with more saturated colors... with an image that allows gradients to show much more clearly (like say a blue sky with a transition to the color from top to horizon)... the test would be much more difficult for the JPEG edit. Just boosting the color slightly will really expose the weak gradient depth and cause banding. You can really go crazy with a RAW, to the point it looks unnatural, but the JPEG can't really do so as easily and still look acceptable.


I've shot quite a bit in the past year in both JPEG and RAW modes.
I tried shooting race events in RAW initially but by the third or fourth race weekend I had to give up because the storage and transfer time was just crazy. I shoot 4-5k photos per day, x2 for weekends. With a 7D the RAW file sizes are pretty crazy, just the end of day xfer of two totally-full 32GB cards was painful.
I was hesitant to shoot in JPEG but the other (more seasoned) photogs said that shooting RAW in that high-volume & fast turnaround requirement environment is just simply not possible. Nor required... we aren't doing heavy edits.

I've since started shooting the high volume stuff in JPEG and honestly I've been fine.
I still always recommend RAW, and still shoot RAW for anything less than 500 images per day. Indoor sports is a MUST for RAW for me, because I have to edit a bit more and the JPEGs just look awful, and white balance isn't as easy where I shoot so I have to fix that.

My point is that in my experience, there is a definite difference in RAW which gives RAW an advantage to the JPEG.
I've tried editing JPEG's the same way I edit RAW's and it's just more difficult if not impossible to get the same results.
The advantage of the JPEG size/simplicity (plus the ability to bypass post processing) gives it an advantage to JPEG in the right situation: like in journalism and deadline sports.


A member mentioned that Reuters only requires JPEG's now... which is true. But this isn't because their opinion is JPEG's are better. It is because they have VERY strict rules against editing and the only edits they allow are easily done on JPEG's. Was it Reuters or AP that blacklisted the photographer for editing out his own shadow in a journalism job? I'm sure part of their requirement for JPEG is so that they can reduce chances of unauthorized editing. Plus, don't forget JPEG is universal but RAWs are not.

Also, most Reuters photogs know what they are doing and get their shot really dialed in within the shot/camera... which really helps a JPEG be usable.
Also... Reuters shots are usually in a newspaper or news article online... what is that like 800x600? These aren't images going in an art gallery at full size print.


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Jan 29, 2016 03:54 as a reply to  @ the lazy destroyer's post |  #45

I'm fully in agreement here. I don't shoot 4-5k photos per day but do shoot 100k over the year. Lately I've been reducing the JPEGs down to 'M' or even 'S' because the files are getting way too big for sports now.

Last night whilst looking for some churchyard photos of snowdrops for a church publication I ran across a bunch of JPEGs from my ancient 1Dsmk2. Wow, lovely colours from that sensor even at 3200iso which is an area the 1Dsmk2 didn't really perform well at but, they were well-exposed and the noise is hardly visible at 100% viewing.

It's also interesting to note those 1Dsmk2 images are now 10 years old and really those today from the modern sensor at 1600/3200 are not really much better to look at but, seem 'different' somehow and as my Wife says not really 'better'. I also found a bunch from my original 1D with the CCD sensor and the colour saturation was lovely and deep.

The thing is IMHO you have to think in the format you're shooting. JPEG shooters have to know exactly where the limit is for highlights and raw shooters have to remember to fill all the sensor buckets - that's two very different approaches in my view.


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RAW vs JPEG editing side by side
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