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post #16 of (permalink) Old 10-13-2015, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by vern.dewit View Post
I've been shooting RAW for a decade but have come to realize that for a lot of folks it doesn't make sense with the modern camera - especially when dealing with Fuji cameras (I've owned the x-pro1 and x-e1 and x-e2).

Lightroom allows you to adjust jpeg's WB after the shot. Shooting RAW seems more "professional" but IMHO is a waste of time for 99% of shooters, especially with Fuji cameras which are known to produce excellent jpeg's. You gain almost nothing by shooting RAW except for a LOT of PP work which almost always looks much worse than what the camera would produce in the first place. IMHO there are only a few situations where RAW makes sense;




Again, YMMV but simply "shooting RAW" doesn't make a great photo - it almost always makes a much worse one unless you spend hours post processing your shots and coming up with a reliable routine which will probably only echo what the camera would have done in most cases, in the first place.

That being said, if you really want to shoot RAW and you use Lightroom, search for presets such as these ones that can make your life a lot easier. They work with both RAW and JPEG files, but are best used with RAW.
Hey Vern! I really appreciate you of all people giving some feedback. Your opinion is really valuable. I think you are 100% correct in regards to the outstanding JPEG quality that this Fuji system is producing and there is indeed a strong argument to simply keep it at that and not even bother with RAW. In response to this and your previous comment asking why I was shooing RAW at all - it basically comes down to how long I have been wanting to get into this mountain landscape photography as a hobby. My old point and shoot finally broke and I went nutso trying to figure out what system to buy into. All along I wanted to learn a new skill - that of being a "pro-sumer" hobbyist. What this came to mean to me based on researching the things other mountain photographers I liked (you included) is that I needed to start by a) shooting manually and learning how to compose and b) participating in the use of high tech photo processing software - namely Lightroom. Basically right now I am loving taking the time to learn how to shoot manually and also learning Lightroom. I am confident that maybe in 2 or 3 years when I have a lot of experience with Lightroom I might not be so wound up about it - but right now I enjoy leaning about the characteristics of light and how it can all be adjusted in LR etc. Basically this is what I have been wanting to do forever! Also I really really really want to avoid "overdoing" it in Lightroom. I want to find a balance of correcting exposure but not getting out of hand. Yesterday when I posted this up I was worried about the amount of blue saturation that I added making it look over the top. It was a hard balance because the true character of the scene had more blue in it that the RAW file, but what I posted maybe had a tad too much.

In any event I am open to any feedback - I think Zeljkok is bang on when he says I should focus on exposing the sky correctly and recovering the rest in LR. What little I know about LR falls in line with this.

Thanks everyone!
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post #17 of (permalink) Old 10-14-2015, 10:06 AM
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No. Simple problem does not require complex fix.
True. Taking photos can be very "simple". Point your camera at a scene and press the darn shutter button.

Most good photographs aren't quite that easy though...
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post #18 of (permalink) Old 10-14-2015, 10:11 AM
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Another handy tool in LR is the ability to use the camera profiles with your RAW photos so that when you import photos, they look like the JPEG's that would have been generated but since they're RAW you can manipulate them quite a bit.

For example, you could import your RAW photos and apply the Fujifilm "landscape" profile by default, as you import. This gets you close to the JPEG treatment. Now you can tweak as desired.

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post #19 of (permalink) Old 10-14-2015, 01:28 PM
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I'm not sure what do you expect from that photo given the lighting conditions? It seems fine to me for what it is. The inital one is obviously a bit overexposed, but you've fixed it in PP. Yes, it's a bit on the blue side, but that is the least of your worries.

I don't know what is so magical about Fuji, but if you're post processing your photos, then shooting in RAW is a no brainer. I can recover about a good 2 stops of light out of a RAW Canon 5DIII, without introducing any weird artifacts.
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post #20 of (permalink) Old 10-14-2015, 06:03 PM
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No. Simple problem does not require complex fix.
eg: American space program spent millions designing a ballpoint pen that would work in zero gravity. Russian space program used a pencil.
Sorry, as a space history buff I need to answer this one


The story is apocryphal. Fisher developed the Space Pen on their own dime and offered them to NASA (no tax payer money was spent and it didn't cost millions to develop). The Soviet's never used pencils as graphite is conductive and small flakes can contaminate switches and cause shorts. Both Soviet and early US missions used grease pencils, but NASA got rid of them after the Apollo 1 fire. Later the Russian's started buying Fisher pens as well
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post #21 of (permalink) Old 11-22-2015, 11:07 PM
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Originally Posted by vern.dewit View Post

Again, YMMV but simply "shooting RAW" doesn't make a great photo - it almost always makes a much worse one unless you spend hours post processing your shots and coming up with a reliable routine which will probably only echo what the camera would have done in most cases, in the first place. .
Having great respect to Vern' photography skills, over the years I learned to trust implicitly when he says something, and use it as opportunity to learn something. But I found this statement surprising (specially as one of Vern' commandments used to be "shoot RAW"). So I thought I'd test this (I shoot exclusively RAW for years). So here are results:


[Photo 1: JPG, straight from the camera. No editing of ANY sort, except for cropping and resizing]


[Photo 2: RAW, with about 5 minutes worth of post-processing in PS - including highlights/shadows adjustment, vibrance filter, contrast enhancement, warming filter, Levels layer for the sky, Color balance filter for whole background. Smart sharpening. At the end same cropping/resizing as for photo 1]


Which photo looks better? I don't know -- I was surprised how good non-processed JPG coming out of camera looks. Lens profile correction was included (something I always have to do in Camera RAW), and color balance looked really well -- possibly better than what eye saw while shooting.

I will leave final verdict to judgement of audience, but I think shooting RAW+JPG makes most sense. So for 90% of photos from the hike, JPGs will be more than sufficient, with lots of time saved. But for these really special ones, with great light, worth investing extra time in post-processing (to produce great print perhaps) it is worth having RAW as well.
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post #22 of (permalink) Old 11-23-2015, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
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Having great respect to Vern' photography skills, over the years I learned to trust implicitly when he says something, and use it as opportunity to learn something.
Thanks a lot for this zeljkok. Truly your photos are spectacular and this one is no exception.

In this case I would have to say that for reasons I find hard to discribe I am drawn to the first, 100% JPEG photo!

But lets have some more details such as location, lens, focal length, filters, shutter speed and aperture etc ! This is indeed a amazing photo.
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post #23 of (permalink) Old 11-23-2015, 01:44 PM
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Which photo looks better? I will leave final verdict to judgement of audience
The RAW post processing shot looks better to me because the Jpeg has too much contrast which darkens the photo and loses detail but you can adjust contrast in-camera. 8 bit jpg has 16 million RGB colors total whereas 12 bit RAW has 68 billion total however it is hard to see any difference in these photos because of the lack of variety of colors. I have noticed that I can pull more colors out of a RAW file than jpg. I agree that jpg are sufficient if you are going to just post photos on the web.
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post #24 of (permalink) Old 11-23-2015, 03:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeljkok View Post
Having great respect to Vern' photography skills, over the years I learned to trust implicitly when he says something, and use it as opportunity to learn something. But I found this statement surprising (specially as one of Vern' commandments used to be "shoot RAW"). So I thought I'd test this (I shoot exclusively RAW for years). So here are results:

[Photo 1: JPG, straight from the camera. No editing of ANY sort, except for cropping and resizing]

[Photo 2: RAW, with about 5 minutes worth of post-processing in PS - including highlights/shadows adjustment, vibrance filter, contrast enhancement, warming filter, Levels layer for the sky, Color balance filter for whole background. Smart sharpening. At the end same cropping/resizing as for photo 1]


Which photo looks better? I don't know -- I was surprised how good non-processed JPG coming out of camera looks. Lens profile correction was included (something I always have to do in Camera RAW), and color balance looked really well -- possibly better than what eye saw while shooting.

I will leave final verdict to judgement of audience, but I think shooting RAW+JPG makes most sense. So for 90% of photos from the hike, JPGs will be more than sufficient, with lots of time saved. But for these really special ones, with great light, worth investing extra time in post-processing (to produce great print perhaps) it is worth having RAW as well.
This is really interesting. Both photos look great. I agree that the post-processed RAW photo is slightly better, but that's a lot of effort for a 5% improvement.

Granted, if you're going to print it, publish it, or use it to showcase your skills, that 5% makes a difference. Differences for me? The sparkly water reflection, the extra detail in the really dark trees, and even the size of the sun's orb itself.
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post #25 of (permalink) Old 11-23-2015, 06:09 PM
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This is really interesting. Both photos look great. I agree that the post-processed RAW photo is slightly better, but that's a lot of effort for a 5% improvement.

Granted, if you're going to print it, publish it, or use it to showcase your skills, that 5% makes a difference. Differences for me? The sparkly water reflection, the extra detail in the really dark trees, and even the size of the sun's orb itself.
I also like the RAW one better.

I think it's also important to note that zeljkok is very skilled with a camera so his JPEG version was almost perfect. For the average person, it's much more common for there to be problems with exposure, etc. in the original shot and RAW is a lot more forgiving for making adjustments after the fact.

I used to shoot RAW+JPEG. 95% of the time, I'd just use the JPEG for posting on the web. Having the RAW was great because I could export it in a lossless format for printing and could modify it if I wished. These days, I have a faster computer and I pay for Lightroom. The workflow is so efficient that I tend to just shoot RAW.

In the context of this discussion, I think it's also important to note that I enjoy the post processing. It's not a chore for me (at least not yet.) It's another enjoyable step.

Finally, I find that the camera is less likely to get the white balance right during the most interesting shooting conditions (sunset, sunrise, etc.) and so I like the ability to tweak the white balance after the fact which is something you can do when you shoot RAW.
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post #26 of (permalink) Old 11-23-2015, 10:41 PM
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Differences for me? The sparkly water reflection, the extra detail in the really dark trees, and even the size of the sun's orb itself.
ah, but it is not the sun -- this is moonshine
I am never sure how to photograph moonlit scenes. I did F22 and 30 sec exposure,trying to get silky lake surface - but made moon have that "star" look, like when you photo sunsets. Real hint is overall color tone in entire frame - way more bluish than it would be with sunshine.

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But lets have some more details such as location, lens, focal length, filters, shutter speed and aperture etc !
This does not really matter for purpose of discussion (JPG vs processed RAW), because it was single shot -- otherwise it would not be fair comparison. You set your camera to "RAW + JPG". Lens opens, sensor is exposed and in-memory 2D array (frame) of pixels is created. Firmware then looks for the setting to determine how this array should be persisted on your memory card. If it is RAW, then it simply dumps it as is. If it is JPG, then it runs internal conversion software and saves image in JPG format. If it is RAW+JPG then it saves both.

It is worth nothing that no viewer is capable of showing RAW image - what you see in viewfinder has already been converted in memory. Same for variety of software viewers (Photoshop, Picasa, Irfan View, etc). Conversion from RAW into "viewable" image (regardless of format) is just a software algorithm. Vern' main point is that over the years these algorithms have advanced so much and are capable of doing super job. This is why cameras have "Picture style" menu setting -- each one has slightly different conversion algorithm. But at the end algorithms are just lines of software code that does not have human eye or know enough about individual preferences for certain details (i.e I really wanted to enhance that moon shine on the surface of the lake -- it might be overdone, but I kinda liked it this way).

Location is lake Minnewanka (vicinity of Banff townsite). Camera is Canon; I mention this since Vern was saying how Fuji is known with superior JPG conversion alghorithms.
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post #27 of (permalink) Old 11-24-2015, 01:07 PM
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This seems like a fake comparison.

1) JPG with no editing vs. RAW with 5 minutes of editing.

Any good photo editing program like GIMP should be able to improve a couple simple things in Photo #1 to make it indistinguishable from #2 at scale/resolution/size posted here, and still take less than 5 minutes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steventy
I like the ability to tweak the white balance after the fact which is something you can do when you shoot RAW.
You can essentially do that in JPG too.
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post #28 of (permalink) Old 11-24-2015, 02:26 PM
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Why is this a fake comparison?

The whole point being made (by me anyway...) is that for the average person who doesn't want to spend hundreds of dollars on image processing software, and / or hundreds of hours behind a computer squeezing out every last detail and nuance of RAW photographs, the JPEG SOOC (straight out of camera) will usually be "good enough".

For the rest of us who really enjoy reliving the moments in the photograph and bringing them out in crystal clear HD, we can shoot and process RAW's all day with pleasure.

I usually shoot between 200 and 1000 photos on each trip. I try to filter that down to around 100 which I'll spend time post processing. At 5 minutes per photo this is 500 minutes or 8 hours. I would guess that the VAST majority of photographers / hikers / climbers don't want to spend nearly that much time processing photos each time they go out on an adventure!

Remember that if you're investing so much time and money on photographs, you should also be concerned with backup - both physical and cloud. You should also be spending time producing prints, both for your walls and in photo books. This is even MORE time spent behind a computer staring at pixels and color balancing photos.

I reckon there's a very large crowd who simply wants to point a lens at a scene, snap a photo that approximates it "good enough", automatically uploads it to the cloud when they get near a good WIFI hot spot, and then select all their photos at the end of the year and auto-generate a photobook for Christmas.

Even that sounds like a lot of work... LOL.

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post #29 of (permalink) Old 11-24-2015, 02:35 PM
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It's a fake comparison because it's an apple (JPG "straight out of the camera") vs. an orange (processed RAW)

A true comparison would, in my mind, be a photo-editor processed JPG vs the same photo-editor processed RAW.

A digital camera and a computer are not two separate things. A digital file is a digital file. There's no need to pretend that either JPG or unprocessed RAW are a photographic negative.

A better question to ask is where the processing occurs - in the camera or on your computer - and how much control you have over each of those processes.
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post #30 of (permalink) Old 11-24-2015, 02:37 PM
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I should point out that for those of us who have spent $$$ and time on PP tools, we can have a pretty efficient workflow to make PP'ing RAW quite efficient.

For example, I have presets in Lightroom that apply manufacturer color profiles to my RAW's, just like the in-camera processing would do. This means that by default my RAW photos pretty much look exactly like they would have as JPEG's.

Now all I have to do, is make them better.

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