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General photography questions and answers: Discuss Raw - JPEG...When viewing an image taken "raw plus jpeg" I see very little difference other than the jpeg image is sharper. ...
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Old 28-02-2015, 20:53   #1 (permalink)
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Raw - JPEG

When viewing an image taken "raw plus jpeg" I see very little difference other than the jpeg image is sharper.

Similarly when I convert raw to jpeg (without making any adjustments) little difference between the two.

I was under the impression raw contains much more info - but I'm not seeing it!

I'm using Canon DPP software

Any advice would be welcome, particularly on workflow.

Thanks
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Old 28-02-2015, 22:21   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Raw - JPEG

The image is captured by the camera in Raw form. If you choose JPEG, the JPEG image is generated from the Raw file in-camera. The camera uses a profile to interpret the colours (called a style), makes a decision on what part of the image data to use and what to reject, applies sharpening, white balance and gamma correction. Some of the data in the original Raw version may now be lost permanently. If the lighting is ideal; scene dynamic range less that 6-7 stops and an ideal exposure value used, the JPEG image should be absolutely fine but outside a studio this is rarely the case.

If the scene is higher dynamic range than the 6-7 stops but within the sensor range (say 12 stops) then there is a lot more information in the Raw file which can be used to improve the image. Shadows details can be recovered and so can highlight details. Of course, the results are still better in the "correct" exposure is used. In order to benefit and use this extra information you have to use the Raw editor and adjust exposure, highlights and shadows. You can also set the White balance correctly as no adjustment has been applied. As the Raw files have not been sharpened, you may also sharpen at this point though best to apply final sharpening later in the overall process.

If you look at your camera viewfinder image or histogram you will not see the Raw file. All you see is based on a JPEG version. If you use DPP, as far as I know, it uses the settings in the camera (which you would use for JPEG) as the starting point for the Raw conversion so it is not surprising that the resultant images would look similar. To gain the advantages of using Raw you have to be prepared to edit the Raw image. Generally most Raw users will edit manually to optimise the image and I use Lightroom for this. However, DxO Optics Pro 7 (and later versions) has some automated features that can optimise Raw processing without really understanding Raw editing. Although I downloaded this free and generally impressed with what it can do, it does make some poor choices and thus I prefer to edit manually.

As a start familiarise yourself with the controls and processes of DPP and try extracting the additional tonal range from some of your files. There are also other advantages I using Raw but I think that this is enough for now.
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Old 28-02-2015, 22:27   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Raw - JPEG

Camera generated jpgs will have discarded much information so the image you download to your computer is all you are going to get. RAW files discard nothing and have a wider dynamic range too so when they are downloaded you have much more to work with.

I've seen a practical demo of this with the same scene shot with the same camera. First in jpg and then in RAW. Part of the sky in the jpg picture was completely burnt out with no detail at all, where the RAW file had detail in that same area and it produced a good jpg file with no burnt out sky.

You can also control what adjustments you make for each image individually rather than the camera applying the same processing to every picture regardless of what it needs as it does when producing a jpg. RAW files can have the white balance, exposure and much more changed in the RAW processor where a jpg cannot. As I said before a camera generated jpg downloaded to your computer is all you are going to get. I'm not talking about changing the brightness or contrast. White balance changes everything in the picture as does exposure.

You say that you can see no difference between a camera generated jpg against a RAW converted jpg. This could be possible because the pictures are average in their contrast, brightness etc, and by chance two or more images have ended up with the same processing, but it might also be that you are not converting the RAW file correctly and you could be missing out on better results.

I've never seen any of your pictures so I can't judge if there is more to be had from them or not.
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Old 01-03-2015, 12:01   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Raw - JPEG

I don't know if this was mentioned but you can crop parts of a RAW photo and adjust it to what you want it to be like and the Raw image is still there, you can do this as often as you like. If you did this with a JPG without making a copy you lose the original. [I hope that's right.]
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Old 01-03-2015, 13:56   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Raw - JPEG

Doc, I agree with Dave and Graham. I always shoot in RAW and convert in DXO and finish a few minor details in CS3 this way or similar will always give superior results over JPEG. I tried Canon DPP but never liked it so have not used it for years although it may now be improved, I don't know.
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Old 01-03-2015, 18:22   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Raw - JPEG

I keep an up todate program of DPP because I have Canon caneras and like to save all my pictures as default canon Raw format. It is slower but I believe it is optimized for color depth only because of my Daughters pictures, she is fully experienced with the softwear as I watch her use it and process. She also uses JPEGs so do as Dave suggests and get used to your DPP and remember if you like the final out come, thats a good thing for you. I use ACR, bridge and photoshop and what ever else makes me feel good.
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Old 02-03-2015, 08:21   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Raw - JPEG

Many thanks for your replies - I thought just converting a raw image to a jpeg would be an improvement.

I've since downloaded DXO optics pro 8 - using the auto function I can see improvements in many of my images.

All I have to do now is learn how to make manual adjustments myself!! - could take some time!

I would like to add that I am in awe of all your images, currently mine are not good enough to post - but I'll improve!
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Old 02-03-2015, 09:18   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Raw - JPEG

FWIW - I do basic stuff in my RAW converter of choice - Lightroom, but although it has been improved a lot since its release for me it is not a complete solution. I do sometimes just process pictures in LR and then export direct to web jpgs, but usually I export to Photoshop for final polishing.

Some LR functions are more clunky than in PS, clone and heal for instance.

Take the plunge and don't try to emulate what auto adjustments do because you can usually do better. There are plenty of tutorials both on the software manufacturers web site or on UTube or elsewhere on the web to get you started.

Just one more thing that I omitted to mention in my first reply. You said that the jpg was sharper than the converted RAW. This is because the jpg would have had sharpening applied to it by the camera, where the RAW file is not sharpened, you have to do this yourself. I usually sharpen twice. Once after the RAW adjustments have been made before exporting/sending to the editing programme and if further processing is done in Photoshop I sharpen again before saving. The amount of sharpening as a RAw file will depend on the picture and if it is going to go to Photoshop or not. The final sharpen in Photoshop will depend on the picture.
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Old 02-03-2015, 12:54   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Raw - JPEG

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Originally Posted by doc. View Post
Many thanks for your replies - I thought just converting a raw image to a jpeg would be an improvement.

I've since downloaded DXO optics pro 8 - using the auto function I can see improvements in many of my images.

All I have to do now is learn how to make manual adjustments myself!! - could take some time!

I would like to add that I am in awe of all your images, currently mine are not good enough to post - but I'll improve!
Doc, Go to the DXO Academy site, some great tutorials there makes it easy to learn the manual adjustments. Never say your images are not good enough to post, do your best and post and there are plenty here who will give constructive help.
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Old 02-03-2015, 13:17   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Raw - JPEG

I use auto in ACR to get a feel of what is there, then play with the sliders to get something I like. Do also use plugins to alter colour, sharpness etc in photoshop.
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Old 02-03-2015, 20:19   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Raw - JPEG

The DXO Academy site looks good, thanks for the recommendation Colin.
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Old 03-03-2015, 16:19   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Raw - JPEG

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The DXO Academy site looks good, thanks for the recommendation Colin.
Glad to help Doc, the tutorials are easy to follow. I like the sliders to show before and after effects.
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Old 12-03-2015, 09:31   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Raw - JPEG

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Originally Posted by dabhand16 View Post
Some LR functions are more clunky than in PS, clone and heal for instance.
HEH I'm polar opposite... I fly through cloning and healing in lightroom and rarely do it in Photoshop any more... to each their own..

It's an Adobe product.. Like windows, there's probably 5 ways to do it.
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