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  #1  
Old March 9th, 2012, 01:01 PM
Cem_Usakligil Cem_Usakligil is offline
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Default Ken Tanaka's article on the Online Photographer: Shooting JPEG Instead of Raw

Ken Tanaka has just posted an article on shooting JPEG instead of raw on the Online Photographer. I think that it is worth reading, especially for the owners of recent digital cameras. I expect that it will cause a lot of ripples on the net.
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  #2  
Old March 9th, 2012, 01:36 PM
Helene Anderson Helene Anderson is offline
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Interesting article. Karl Grobl shoots JPEG, no probs. I know of several photgraphers that will shoot sometimes JPEG, sometimes RAW, I have shot both.

I think the important thing is to shoot what one wants, vary things a bit if one wants but not to be too aloof over one or another method.
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  #3  
Old March 9th, 2012, 01:58 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hélène Anderson View Post
Interesting article. Karl Grobl shoots JPEG, no probs. I know of several photgraphers that will shoot sometimes JPEG, sometimes RAW, I have shot both.

I think the important thing is to shoot what one wants, vary things a bit if one wants but not to be too aloof over one or another method.
I have met a lot of wedding photographers who shoot just in camera jpg and do just fine. Many times, just thinking I'm only "looking" at the jpg, I edit it and then look up and it's an hour gone by that I don't want to spend again with the RAW file. So really a lot of times the JPG is just perfect for the needed work.

Still, I keep the RAW files and it's come to the point of massive resources being tied up, 500 GB drives replaced 250 GB drives and so on until now it's 3GB drives and two of them are full!

So, for sure Ken is right in his argument to admit ahead of time what we want the pictures for and feel secure about how we leverage the advanced processors of todays highly developed internal processing that knows the universe as well anyone knows anything.

Asher
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  #4  
Old March 9th, 2012, 03:15 PM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Hi, Cem,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cem_Usakligil View Post
Ken Tanaka has just posted an article on shooting JPEG instead of raw on the Online Photographer. I think that it is worth reading, especially for the owners of recent digital cameras. I expect that it will cause a lot of ripples on the net.
An interesting essay, and well-written.

I find this observation especially interesting:
• Editing JPEG image files in Lightroom and Bridge is essentially identical to editing Raw files.
I'm having trouble imagining how that can be.

Best regards,

Doug
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  #5  
Old March 9th, 2012, 08:27 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Kerr View Post
Hi, Cem,


An interesting essay, and well-written.

I find this observation especially interesting:
• Editing JPEG image files in Lightroom and Bridge is essentially identical to editing Raw files.
I'm having trouble imagining how that can be.

Best regards,

Doug

Doug,

What I think he might mean is that the engine in Lightroom treats JPGs and RAW files to the same tools for processing. IOW, Lightroom is a powerful processor.

Asher
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  #6  
Old March 10th, 2012, 12:58 AM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Hi, Asher,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
What I think he might mean is that the engine in Lightroom treats JPGs and RAW files to the same tools for processing.
Ah, of course.

Presumably not the same tools - or with the same "leverage" - that affect raw conversion.

Thanks.

Best regards,

Doug
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  #7  
Old March 10th, 2012, 03:09 AM
Bogdan Hrastnik Bogdan Hrastnik is offline
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Interesting article indeed -even thoughts there aren't that new. As I see the article, the point being:

"..Raw files from your camera is analogous to buying an uncooked meal from a fine restaurant, preferring to season and cook it at home."

Should I ask myself: am I better cook than the one in fine restaurant? I am not! But... how come I prefer homemade pancakes then? It's because, the cook in fine restaurant doesn't know how I like them. On the other hand, my homemade pizza can't match the one I can get from pizza-man around the corner.

So, raw vs jpg actually can't be answered -one simply choose what serves him better.

Bogdan
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  #8  
Old March 10th, 2012, 03:42 AM
Cem_Usakligil Cem_Usakligil is offline
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That analogy is not a good one because the outcome is biased. Most of us would not know where to begin with cooking if we had been given the ingredients by a restaurant. Hence, the analogy insinuates that shooting raw is not something most of us should be attempting. Whereas all raw convertors have default settings which convert a raw file to JPEG (or any other format) at the press of a button. Even those who have never cooked can press that button.
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  #9  
Old March 10th, 2012, 08:47 AM
Tom Robbins Tom Robbins is offline
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Being a regular reader of TOP, I saw Ken's essay when it appeared. I can certainly appreciate his suggestions regarding expensive camera processing and the benefits of saving jpgs. However, it does run counter to most digital photographer's workflows, particularly those who have been at it for some years. Being a control freak, I manually set shutter speed, aperture, ISO for the camera mounted on a tripod with remote shutter release when the situation allows. Image is saved as Raw, because doing otherwise ends much of my control at that point.

On the other hand, it has been many years since I shot jpgs using an Oly E10. It might be worthwhile experimenting with them again, but I'd hate to find out my current manual m.o. is no longer worth the effort and time.
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  #10  
Old March 10th, 2012, 10:54 AM
Bart_van_der_Wolf Bart_van_der_Wolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cem_Usakligil View Post
[...] the analogy insinuates that shooting raw is not something most of us should be attempting. Whereas all raw convertors have default settings which convert a raw file to JPEG (or any other format) at the press of a button. Even those who have never cooked can press that button.
I agree with that observation. What's more, by not shooting Raw one will also miss out on the future improvements in Raw converters. In today's Canon DPP raw converter I can have lens distortion corrected, vignetting corrected, chromatic aberration corrected, spots removed, noise reduced, automatic tone curves applied, and at the click of a few buttons produce superior JPEGs (if I want) to what was possible with the cameras when those images were taken.

I can also now decide to not sharpen the images and postpone that until after the resampling, thus avoiding artifacts from becoming visible distractions at the final display size.

JPEGs are end results, I prefer to make better images than my camera does.

Cheers,
Bart
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  #11  
Old March 10th, 2012, 01:54 PM
Jerome Marot Jerome Marot is offline
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Go to menu - "image size" - "quality".

Chose: "raw + jpeg".

Relax.
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  #12  
Old March 10th, 2012, 01:54 PM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Hi, Bart,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bart_van_der_Wolf View Post
In today's Canon DPP raw converter I can have lens distortion corrected, vignetting corrected, chromatic aberration corrected . . .
Note that while DPP does provide lens distortion correction and vignetting compensation, those are not creatures of the raw conversion nor of starting with a raw file - those functions can be performed perfectly well on a JPEG or TIFF file by software willing to do that.

Best regards,

Doug
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  #13  
Old March 10th, 2012, 04:17 PM
Bart_van_der_Wolf Bart_van_der_Wolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Kerr View Post
Hi, Bart,


Note that while DPP does provide lens distortion correction and vignetting compensation, those are not creatures of the raw conversion nor of starting with a raw file - those functions can be performed perfectly well on a JPEG or TIFF file by software willing to do that.
Hi Doug,

While that is indeed true today, 'tomorrow' it may well be executed on the Raw data itself, and with higher output quality.

We/I have seen new demosaicing algorithms evolve, e.g. the Amaze algorithm (with input from Emil Martinec) implemented in the free RawTherapee converter, which strikes a new balance between detail extraction and artifact generation.

RawTherapee can also do several other corrections on the Raw data before demosaicing (chromatic aberration correction, darkframe subtraction, Flat field compensation, Green equilibration, hot/dead pixel mapping, White/Black point determination, and line noise reduction).

Doing these things before Raw demosaicing will provide better quality input for postprocessing.

Cheers,
Bart
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  #14  
Old March 11th, 2012, 12:10 AM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Well written article in the crisp way, I have read some of Ken's other comments over at OPF.

The subject is not new, but refreshing to have Ken's take on it.

Just to keep in mind that ' Raw/RAW' is not a standard format, even within the context of the same manufacturer's different releases of ' Raw '.
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Old March 11th, 2012, 05:57 AM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Hi, Bart,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bart_van_der_Wolf View Post
While that is indeed true today, 'tomorrow' it may well be executed on the Raw data itself, and with higher output quality.
I'm still having trouble imagining how correction for geometric distortion applied to the sensel field (the raw data) would be more effective than correction for geometric distortion applied to the pixel field (the developed image) - with regard to geometric distortion per se.

But perhaps the demosaicing will work better on a sensel field that has had the geometric distortion already removed. (I can't yet imagine how, but of course these things are very complicated.)

I can slightly imagine (if I stretch my imaginer) a better result in the matter of correction for vignetting operating on the sensel field.

Best regards,

Doug
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  #16  
Old March 11th, 2012, 08:22 AM
Bart_van_der_Wolf Bart_van_der_Wolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Kerr View Post
Hi, Bart,


I'm still having trouble imagining how correction for geometric distortion applied to the sensel field (the raw data) would be more effective than correction for geometric distortion applied to the pixel field (the developed image) - with regard to geometric distortion per se.
While geometric distortion in general may currently be complicated to correct before demosaicing, think about a specific 'geometric' (or rather projection) distortion, Lateral Chromatic Aberration. The three colorbands have what seems like a different radial magnification (on top of pincushion and/or barrel distortion). If we first re-align the colors, we will get a much more accurate color interpolation for the 2 missing color bands in each sensel in the demosaicing phase of the Raw conversion, and a higher sharpness.

Quote:
But perhaps the demosaicing will work better on a sensel field that has had the geometric distortion already removed. (I can't yet imagine how, but of course these things are very complicated.)
It is indeed complicated, which means that research is ongoing and may still produce improvements. Of course there is also the trade-off between speed and diminishing returns in quality improvement. As processors get more powerful there will be an opportunity to use more complex algorithms which were deemed too slow for practical use although the quality was higher.

I can slightly imagine (if I stretch my imaginer) a better result in the matter of correction for vignetting operating on the sensel field.[/QUOTE]

Vignetting correction is mostly a matter of simplifying calculations with linear gamma image data. One basically normalizes a flat-field exposure (at a given aperture and focus distance for a given sensor) to 1.0 for the brightest area, usually in the center for non-T/S lenses, and divides the image data by the flat field. As long as it is done in linear gamma, it's easy, and it is more accurate than having to temporarily invert the gamma with rounding errors, divide, and re-introduce the gamma. The colors/saturation will also shift less when the corner brightness is boosted by perhaps a stop or more, before demosaicing.

All sorts of image data math is easier and more accurate in linear gamma (e.g. resampling), and some calculations (also noise reduction) on the Raw Bayer CFA data will also improve the demosaicing quality.

Cheers,
Bart
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  #17  
Old March 11th, 2012, 01:43 PM
Michael Nagel Michael Nagel is offline
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My take on this is: It depends.

The jpeg engine(s) improved dramatically during the last few years. While RAW and PP was standard for the first three generations of DSLRs I used since 2007, it became the exception since the last generation I still use now.

The question to answer is: How much work do you want to invest for what degree of improvement compared to what is already there?

As the improvement of manual PP (at least from a pure technical standpoint) is getting smaller while the amount of work for this PP stays roughly the same, the benefit decreases.
For me this means, that PP is only useful, when the result is way better than what I obtain from what is already available.

The key is the 'good enough' threshold, which, while being individual, encompasses an increasing number of results created by the integrated jpeg engine(s), making PP less desirable.

Best regards,
Michael
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  #18  
Old March 12th, 2012, 02:38 PM
Don Ferguson Jr. Don Ferguson Jr. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
Doug,

What I think he might mean is that the engine in Lightroom treats JPGs and RAW files to the same tools for processing. IOW, Lightroom is a powerful processor.

Asher
Yep , but even in LR with a jpeg you don't have the easy wide latitude of correction with white balance that a raw provides .
Don
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