Raw vs Jpeg

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Ballistics, May 4, 2012.

  1. Ballistics
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    Ballistics Well-Known Member

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  2. IgsEMT
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    IgsEMT Well-Known Member

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    Nice. Thanks for sharing.
  3. Ysarex
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    Ysarex Well-Known Member

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    It's generally worthless but at times quite misleading. Given the misinformation we can conclude the author falls into the category; "knows enough to be dangerous." This kind of stuff drives me nuts. Personally I'd just ignore it, but my students keep dragging it into class and I have to keep swatting it down over and over and over. Curse the Internet! Curse Youtube! Curse Fauxtography blogs! Whew -- too much coffee this morning.

    Joe
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  4. Ballistics
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    Ballistics Well-Known Member

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    Why do you disagree? I think the greatest part about disagreeing, is the ability for others to learn in the process.
  5. Ysarex
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    Ysarex Well-Known Member

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    He begins his "ultimate visual" example with a straight-out-of-camera JPEG which he describes as "good-to-go." It is in fact a DIGIC-IV processed mangle job which suggests he either can't see or really doesn't care or what? Why did he do that? I can't post his photos here, but I took 5 minutes to make a few basic repairs to that JPEG: http://img205.imageshack.us/img205/2756/digic4.jpg

    He then goes on to show the readers "what a 'zeroed' RAW file actually looks like straight from the camera." That's simple nonsense and suggests his understanding of how a RAW converter functions is out there in left field. I'm going to make an assumption here that may be wrong, but I'll bet this guy's experience with RAW file conversion is pretty LR exclusive. There really is no "zeroed" RAW file appearance. Every different brand RAW converter has it's own "zeroed" processing of the file and they all look different.

    As he continues his descriptions he uses the wrong terminology which really bugs me. His readers aren't going to learn when he talks about added brightness and blacks instead of talking about applying a tone curve to the data. We (photographers) have developed specific terminology over the past 180 years and we've refined it to best advantage to help us understand our discipline. The author here is an undisciplined hack.

    Joe
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  6. IgsEMT
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    IgsEMT Well-Known Member

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    The article, if anything, serves purpose of demonstrating dif b/n raw and jpgs.
    Terminology wise - when I was learning quantum physics I learned that all the basic descriptions I learned before weren't very accurate. However, I wouldn't understand the content and advance without that basic terminology.
    Granted authors terminology isn't 100% accurate, it's good enough for newcomer who wants to learn the basics.
  7. Ysarex
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    Ysarex Well-Known Member

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    The article begins with two "ultimate visual" examples -- his Example 1 and Example 2. These do not demonstrate the difference between RAW and JPEG. Example 2 is just flat out wrong. It is a case of misinformation passed out by someone who doesn't seem to know what he's talking about. My complaint about terminology was in addition to my noting there is faulty information. You can't help a newcomer learn the basics by starting out with something that is basically incorrect.

    Joe
  8. pisicel
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    pisicel New Member

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    the article seams OK. I don't see any problem with it.
    It says the truth. RAW images have a low contrast to include as many tones as possible. RAW leaves the user create the image he likes instead of tweaking it as the camera thinks it's better, as JPG mode does.
  9. KmH
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    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish

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    Each Raw converter application uses it's own algorithms to make the Raw image data file a photo.

    What the image sensor captures is actually a grayscale image that has a linear gamma curve. Humans see using a non-linear gamma curve.

    Here is a close approximation of what the linear gamma curve, grayscale image the image sensor captures, and then the color interpreted, non-linear gamma photo the Raw converter (ACR is this case) produced.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
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  10. Overread
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    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member

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    Ysarex - to be fair I think the article is pitched decently toward the target audience its intended for. It's worded (possibly not the best) very similarly to the general view you'd get if you were to ask on a forum or from an introductory book as to what the differences are between JPEG and RAW.

    A more in-depth answer is indeed possible, but for the length of the article and its target audience would be a waste since it would have to cover a lot of ground and details to build the full picture and cover all the facts (not least of which because it would have to also explain most of those facts and details as well in order to build a suitable foundation to give the full answer).

    You're just working at a higher level than the article is pitched to.
  11. Ysarex
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    Ysarex Well-Known Member

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    OK, maybe I'm over-sensitive. I've been slaying this dragon now for forty years. Every time I chop off a head it grows five more. Just once I would love to teach a photography class to a group of people who have never seen or touched a camera in their lives. I'm semi-retired now and was hoping to keep teaching a couple classes a year for a few more years, but I'm having second thoughts -- this kind of stuff wears me down. I tend to exaggerate, but my gut reaction right now is that I devote 20-25% of the start of every semester chopping dragon heads. In other words, before I can teach my students what to do, I have to find out how badly screwed up they are and stop them from doing what they've already learned incorrectly.

    Joe, sounding like a broken record, "Oh dear Lord! Where did you learn to do that?!!" Student, "this great photo blog."

    It's of course a double-edged sword. Without the general interest in photography across the population I probably wouldn't have had a career. Every college art/photo department relies on that cushion of enthusiasts to bolster enrollment. But that general interest means there will always be misinformation passed around. Because of the Internet, it's so much worse now than it's ever been.

    And by the way -- this forum is actually pretty good. A lot of bad info is initially offered but there's usually someone who will eventually come along and get it straightened out.

    Joe
  12. Ysarex
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    Ysarex Well-Known Member

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    The article's basic thesis that saving and processing RAW data files is more flexible than saving only camera JPEGs is valid. Its problem has to do with the details presented.

    For example this article might incorrectly lead a novice to conclude that "RAW images have a low contrast to include as many tones as possible." It's a bad idea to think of RAW data files as having contrast and there is no such thing as a "zeroed" RAW file straight from the camera. The RGB photo that you produce from the RAW data will have contrast and it may have more or less contrast than the camera processed JPEG. As for how many tones a photo has, that's not directly a function of contrast. A low contrast photo may have less tones than a high contrast photo.

    The RAW capture data has to be processed into an RGB image. Software in the camera will do that and once it's done you get a final RGB JPEG file. To display anything on a computer monitor the RAW conversion software (LR for example) must process the data just like the camera software processes it. The only difference is that the processing algorithms remain adjustable by the user who can then determine the final outcome.

    The experience of a "zeroed" RAW file that is flat or low contrast in appearance is, in this case, a function of the specific brand/product software. In other words LR software sold by Adobe tends to initially display a RAW file as flat in comparison to many camera processed JPEGs. This is not a characteristic of the RAW file as in RAW files have low contrast. This is a function of LR, a specific software product. Open the same RAW file in six different RAW converters and you'll see six different "zeroed" versions -- each processed differently. Some will have more contrast and some will have less. To get an image on the screen for you to see the software processes the RAW data and what you see is that specific software's interpretation of the RAW data.

    This is actually a really critical point and one of the reasons I first objected to the article. Since the RAW conversion software has to process and so interpret the data even to simply display it in a default or "zeroed" state, the performance quality of that software matters.

    Joe
  13. pgriz
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    pgriz Well-Known Member

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    @ Joe: That’s your problem right there. You cut off the head and five more grow in its place. What you have to do is work with your audience’s predispositions. As in “Five secrets that the Camera manufacturer DON’T want you to know!” or “Exposure – hidden in plain sight!” When you “reveal” a secret, it’s far more appealing than to “learn” a fact. In the end, you'll get to the same place.
  14. Overread
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    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member

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    Maybe you need to view it not as chopping of the heads of the dragons (or rather hydra ;)) but instead that you're taking the blinkers off the horse. Instead of killing a miss-truth you're instead revealing the deeper theories and understanding possible - and as a result giving increased breadth and depth to the understanding and possibilities of the students.

    Ps - the point about teaching people who know nothing I think is a universal desire by many teachers - especially those in the upper levels of teaching who often have to deal with those taught wrongly the first time around ;)
  15. gryphonslair99
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    gryphonslair99 Well-Known Member

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    How do I feel?......................................................................I feel like this subject has been hashed to death here and in every other photography forum around. Nothing new here to see, read or care about.

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