Saturday, April 28, 2018

JPEG vs RAW an update

Looking through my most popular post on this blog I was surprise to see how much an very old post on JPEG vs RAW was still rating. This was a personal opinion of the difference I had experienced on my Pentax K20D and Canon 1100D and why had choose to shot both jpeg+RAW and still do.

Some of the reasons have changed a little …

 BUT If you don’t have a way to post process a RAW file, you are likely to find it flat and boring (software companies and specifically adobe) tended to render a Raw file to the same overall recipe which in theory suits all situations, but in practice leaves images looking flat and grey/bland. No worries if you have the knowledge and software (eg lightroom) to take the image further you could create a miracle. However a lot of people get stuck there, and they see other competitive software doing a much better rendering up front (eg Luminar, OnOne, Capture and even Corel Aftershot Pro)

On the other hand modern camera come with a lot of settings ( like higher contrast, vivid colour and/or filters) that can enhanced your photo for various picture types and lighting scenarios and the Jpeg image it prepares (ie what you see on the back of the camera will be in part post processed and could look great). This same jpeg thumbnail is written into the RAW file.  You may notice as you first load a raw files it looks good but then pales to beige as the software tries to re-render the photo to a suit all situations.

I believe this is the issue that is really behind adobe’s moving the camera profiles (and picture type filters) from deep down in camera calibrations up to prime position in the develop panel. Its all just about a better starting rendering of a Raw file.

Moral of the story: If you don’t have the fancy post processing software or don’t have the time to finesse each photo perhaps you are better just sticking with jpeg your have nicer looking photos. If you want the best of both worlds shot jpeg+RAW like me.

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