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post #31 of (permalink) Old 11-24-2015, 04:36 PM
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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.
This is well beyond the point of discussion, but if you want to go this way then question is not where, but who. Machine (automated processing via in-camera software which you can customize only to a certain degree) against Human (via image editing applications, over which you have full control). App type is ultimately secondary -- Picasa, Gimp, PS, Irfan -- except for pros, common tasks that most amateurs need can be done in all of them.

Even more philosophically, in wider term, it becomes question of AI versus Human brain. Smart self-driving cars, automated voice-recognition telephone menus (is there anything more annoying than this?), or -- image editing. Machine will always lack human intuition and be limited to what/how it can learn by its programming, but it can only get better with time.

I like steventy comment about having fun with post-processing though. It's a huge factor because there is level of pride in it ("look what I've done" - compared to "look what dumb machine did").

Last edited by zeljkok; 11-24-2015 at 10:09 PM.
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post #32 of (permalink) Old 11-25-2015, 03:11 AM
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Which photo looks better? I don't know -- I was surprised how good non-processed JPG coming out of camera looks.
I think the JPG version looks better, the RAW is too washed out to my liking.

But point is not which looks better, but which lets you recover more detail. If there is no need to recover and the shot is exposed perfectly, with proper in camera PP, then simple adjustments in PP on the computer won't improve the image much, if at all.

Not all shots are going to be perfectly exposed (or have the correct white balance), and not all will have proper in camera PP. And the camera will never be able to (at least today) make any advanced adjustments, by using selective masking, and bringing out razor sharp detail with advanced methods.

It doesn't take much time at all to batch modify RAW images with a single preset, similar to what the camera does, but with richer types of adjustments + you get the flexibility to apply different presets to different groups of photos. For example, a shaded shot will need different adjustments from a sunny shot. And it's easy to go back in case it doesn't look right.
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post #33 of (permalink) Old 11-25-2015, 10:42 AM
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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.
I see your point but I guess mine is that the jpeg is, of course, a processed RAW as well. It was simply processed for you, in the camera rather than by you, in an editor.

The other challenge is that *both* result in a jpeg eventually - there's no other way to display the damn thing.

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post #34 of (permalink) Old 11-25-2015, 10:45 AM
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I think the JPG version looks better, the RAW is too washed out to my liking.
One thing I've noticed that I do when processing RAW photos is that I try to make the histogram completely "fit". What I mean by that, is that I bring up the shadows until there's no clipping and I bring down the highlights until they're not clipped. This can result in a washed out look if I'm not super careful about contrast and clarity (micro contrast).

Sometimes I think I ruin some shots by doing too much to the original photo - sometimes shadows should just be black and sometimes highlights look better if they're a bit nuclear. Nature doesn't care about histograms!!

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post #35 of (permalink) Old 11-25-2015, 11:40 AM
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I prefer the JPEG as well. In the RAW the reflection and moon itself are great improvements, but my eye is drawn to the mountain itself. In reality you would never see that much detail, and as a result it looks fake to me. But that's probably just a personal preference. I also like the overall blue tone of the JPEG; you can feel the coldness of the scene.
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post #36 of (permalink) Old 11-25-2015, 12:15 PM
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I prefer the Raw file, the island is totally lost in the Jpeg and the snow is purple-ish. the moon light on the water looks much better in the Raw file.If you were hanging one of there on your wall, i think you'd go for the Raw version.
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post #37 of (permalink) Old 11-25-2015, 12:22 PM
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Sometimes I think I ruin some shots by doing too much to the original photo - sometimes shadows should just be black and sometimes highlights look better if they're a bit nuclear. Nature doesn't care about histograms!!
Totally agreed here; I "catch" myself doing the same, almost like the mind (habit)? thinks photo will look better the more time you invest processing it.

It is also interesting to note how more seem to prefer processed, but not by dominant majority -- which again speaks a lot about original subject, i.e. how good in-camera processing software has become.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arnold
But point is not which looks better, but which lets you recover more detail. If there is no need to recover and the shot is exposed perfectly, with proper in camera PP, then simple adjustments in PP on the computer won't improve the image much, if at all.
Excellent point!

Last edited by zeljkok; 11-25-2015 at 12:41 PM.
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post #38 of (permalink) Old 01-05-2016, 03:49 PM
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Always shoot RAW. There's a reason RAW files are 50% or more larger then JPG. It gives you the headroom to save photos and make average ones better.

I've been shooting 40 years so don't listen to me if you like (yes, pre_RAW). But those advocating shooting jpg only are giving bad advice. You need to learn a little more about post processing sure; but once you process a single photo - more often then not you can re-apply those settings on to following RAW images in the same set.
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post #39 of (permalink) Old 01-05-2016, 09:13 PM
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But those advocating shooting jpg only are giving bad advice.
I would not call Vern' expertise 'bad advice'
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post #40 of (permalink) Old 01-11-2016, 12:33 PM
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I would not call Vern' expertise 'bad advice'
Lol, thanks! For professionals of course, not shooting RAW is anathema.

The most popular camera on Flickr is now the iPhone. Most of the pics are jpeg. That's simply the reality, like it or not!
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post #41 of (permalink) Old 01-20-2016, 10:44 PM
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The answer to RAW vs. JPG is it depends. If you're serious about your photography you want as much information as the camera can possibly capture and without any compression artifacts. If you are only a casual photographer a most jpgs will give you all that you want to record your memories. It's that simple.

As for post processing the point is moot. The camera does it's own interpretation of the scene in how it renders it so really there is no "right" rendition.

I see a landscape different than you or the next person. Put us all at the same place and time with our different equipment and you will get as many versions/interpretations as there are people.
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post #42 of (permalink) Old 01-29-2016, 01:04 AM
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Very interesting subject, a great compliment to hiking.

Most interesting and provocative chart.

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