D90, RAW, JPEG, Overexposure and inbuilt Camera Processing.


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Apr 28, 2008
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ZĂĽrich, Switzerland
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I think this is just me getting to grips with the camera but:-

I shoot in RAW (not RAW+JPEG) and what I'm finding is that when a look at the image on the cameras LCD a lot of the time the image looks really over exposed - highlights blinking etc. This has led me to use exposure compensation and retake the shot so that it looks good on the LCD - seems to be a reasonable course of action, yes?

However when I bring the pictures into my RAW converter (Apples Aperture in my case) all of the pictures that I thought were overexposed are actually perfectly exposed (not blown at all,or if so only very slightly), and the ones that I compensated for are really underexposed (bad for noise).

Also when I'm shooting at say 1600 iso the camera shows no noise even zoomed right in however in Aperture noise shows.

The way I understand it is that every RAW file has an embedded JPEG and I understand that this is what I'm seeing on the camera, and that is what I see the histogram and blinking highlights for - Right?

The question is (and I already think the answer is yes) does the camera apply all of the image "enhancements" (High ISO noise, D-Lighting etc) to this embedded JPEG? (Obviously these "enhancements" are not applied to the RAW file)

Ultimately I would like the camera to give me a more accurate preview of what I'll see in Aperture. I guess this would involve a bit of experimentation, but if anybody has any suggestions or experience with this I'll gladly listen.
Yes that's right. Although over exposure should be over exposure. I see no reason why the camera should be flashing all warning lights if Aperture seems to think that the image is fine unless you have some very strange contrast settings applied to the JPEGs.

The correct course of action would probably be to configure the defaults for Aperture to give you something more inline with what the camera is doing. The one you basically don't get to do is Active D-Lighting. That's Nikon exclusive. But all the noise reduction, brightness curves, etc are settings that you should play with.
i'm a little confused here.

So in order to get the ADR settings to apply to a picture, it has to be shot in JPEG?

Anything shot in RAW will literally take the image and save it?

I ask simply because there is some CA when shooting with my new 35 1.8G and I know the D90 corrects for this, but wasn't sure if this correction applies to JPEG only and not RAW?
That would probably apply to the JPEG only. I am not sure on this but in THEORY a RAW file should be a straight dump of the sensor data.
Thanks Garbz. I'm going to be doing a bit of testing today - experimenting with the JPEG presets on the camera to see if that helps.
yeah def let me know. . .I was talking to a friend last night who's an art reconstructionist and lives and swears by PS, he told me that JPEG compresses about 50-70% more than a TIFF file, and that shooting in RAW is the best option for retention of detail and then PS'ing and converting into TIFF. . .so now I'm wondering if a lot of my pic's are mucked up?

I guess the other option is to shoot in JPEG+RAW, and fill up those 16GB cards fast!
Interesting, although my results are far from conclusive at the moment, given the relatively small amount of photos taken yesterday, and that I didn't do "on and off" comparisons, it would appear that turning the Active D-Lighting from automatic to off has done the trick.

Having said that, none of the situations I was presented with yesterday would be what I would class as a tricky exposure. So more testing will be required.
Also, view the histogram in your camera. It will give you a much better idea if you've got anything blown out or under exposed.
Yeah I unfortunately know a poor D200 which never found it's way out of ProgramAuto mode. I think every time someone clicks the shutter on that thing god kills a kitten.
That's hilarious..... :lmao:

The info that is displayed in the LCD is all based on jpg conversions, and in Canon's case it's not hi-res at that. There is no RAW applicable info. As it was explained to me a while ago by a Canon rep and shooter, he said if you shoot RAW the LCD is basically just for composition. You can check the bkinkies if you want, but even they don't really reflect accurately what is going on in there. If you are an ETTR RAW shooter then you can use the LCD to kinda gauge things from that stand point.

If you shoot jpg then ya, the data is most definitely useful.

I kinda laugh at all the hype that surrounds LCD on semi/pro DSLR's. :mrgreen:
Thanks, it was quoted from the funny comments with camera thread lol. Is that bit about the info true for the histogram as well?

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