RAW in a Point and Shoot

Discussion in 'Mirrorless Digital Cameras' started by alemar_calambro, Jan 31, 2009.

  1. I have a Canon powershoot SD500 and going to upgrade in a couple of weeks. I want to get a P&S that has raw but one of my freinds said there is no point in getting a camera that has raw because its image sensor is to small to make a diffrence on the image and that jpeg is good enough in a P&S. I know when useing jpeg the camera does all the settings autmaticaly and RAW is better so I could do all the tuning manualy. I also have a dslr for my main camera I just want a camera that I could put in my pocket when going out at night. So does RAW make a diffrence in a P&S or is it just a wast of money? I am thinking of getting a Canon G10 or Panasonic for its lense, the Nikon looks good with the geo tag and all but it draines the battery to fast and sometimes it can't get your location.
     
  2. Your SD500 can already shoot in RAW, b.t.w:
    http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/CHDK
     
  3. Greetings! Well, IMHO, the option to shoot RAW would be useful on most any digital camera, irresptive of sensor size. In fact, it would be the very small sensor of a P&S that might benefit the *most* from the ability to capture in RAW format, without the camera's processing engine interfering with the subject data. Also, it is my experience that a good P&S camera can produce decent quality jpegs as well, quite suitable for web graphics, small prints and the like. As for your suggestion of the Canon G10, it is an excellent camera with high-quality 28-140mm zoom lens, a myriad of customizable features, important functions located on the body as opposed to in menus, rugged construction, and versatile, but not quite "shirt-pocketable" in size. The Panny Lumix DMC-LX3 on the other hand, is "shirt-pocketable", has several similar features to the G10, but lower resolution, and different ergonomics. Plus, for your "night shooting", it supposedly has a bit better low-light (high ISO) noise characteristics than the G10. Check the reviews, and better, handle each in person, to see which one is a better "fit" for you and your shooting style.
    Good luck!
    Steve
    URL signature removed. This is NOT allowed by photo.net Terms and Conditions.
     
  4. excuse me, but your friend is not highly informed, it is exactly the opposite. Because a camera has RAW that will benefit most. By having RAW you can get better images from the same camera sensor. Look at the examples on DPreview. You will see much difference in the noise in the red and blue channels when the camera uses RAW compared to its JPG.
    It is true that many cameras have developed their in-camera processing, but RAW processing on your computer is still more powerful. You have tools such as PTLens (for fixing many aberrations of lens) and Photomatix for making quick tone mapping images (not all need to look like a surreal painting) to enhance your image. These tools are not available to a final post processed (from the RAW) in-camera jpg (although PTlens will work on a JPG it might be better to work on a TIF to avoid resaving JPG and extra losses).
    The only advantage in using JPG in camera is often that it allows the camera to take more images faster than can RAW because the write time to the media card is slower than the processing + write time of the now compressed JPG.
     
  5. Alemar:
    For the most part, you'd be hard pressed to see a difference in a print. RAW will certainly help with highlight recovery.
    I downloaded some jpegs and RAW files from the LX3 awhile back. Played around with them. What I discovered is that the jpegs are already pretty well optimized. There's not as much room to play around with the raw files as there is from the bigger cameras.
    That said, there's still some room. The Canon G10 and Panasonic LX3 are the two contenders I'm looking at for my next P&S. I keep switching back and forth. I'm leaning toward the G10 at this point.
    Eric
     
  6. If you can shoot your JPEGs with perfect exposures 100% of the time, and if you are satisfied with the color, contrast, and overall appearance of 100% of your photos right out of the camera, and if you don't mind the JPEG compression artifacts, then there is absolutely no reason for RAW.
    For the rest of us, RAW is invaluable for editing the photos after they come out of the camera. It's important not only for highlight recovery, but also more continuous tones, better shadow detail, and better color representation. After you edit, then you can save in JPEG.
    Of course if you want something that looks infinitely better than JPEGs, try saving in TIFF. TIFF format uses lossless compression. Files will be big, but you won't have all those ugly JPEG artifacts (e.g. checkering).
     
  7. My reaction is that it is not the size of the sensor but the subject matter you plan to shoot with the P&S camera. Is the material you plan to shoot with it worth the effort of RAW post processing would be the question I'd ask.
    Surely Sarah the checkering comes from lack of resolution not compression? :) In any case it was found long ago, with a Nikon 5000 anyway, that FINE, a 1:4 compression lost so little as using tiff was not worth the effort. [Larry N Bolch]
     
  8. Rob I know about the app for the canon to make the photos RAW. I need a new camera that has IS on it too.
    Sarah I to like to edit my photos in a computer to my liking. I did not know if you make jpg to tiff it makes it better. I thought it only help with the save compression.
    Even thought my friend is one of those photographer that say it does not mater about the camera to take a good picture it is the operator and he thought ma allot of tricks. It just seem iffy what my friend told me about RAW in a P&S.
    Thanks for all the response.
     
  9. Alemar, once a photograph is compressed into JPEG, you've irreversably lost data/resolution. Converting to TIFF from that point will improve nothing. My workflow is from RAW to 16 bit TIFF, using rough contrast curves in DPP. Then I fine tune my color, contrast, etc. in Paintshop Pro (similar to PhotoShop) and convert to 8 bit. I carry out my final manipulations (e.g. cloning and other touch-up operations) in 8-bit and save into 8 bit TIFF. I print from the TIFF file. However, I also do a JPEG conversion of a vastly scaled down image for display on the Internet or for other use.
    JC, checkering occurs mostly around contrasty edges and is an artifact of JPEG compression. It has little to do with the resolution of a camera. In fact I can create a graphic entirely without a camera, convert it to JPEG, and end up with (lots of) checkering. Of course the higher the compression ratio, the greater the checkering.
    The biggest pitfall of JPEG encoding out of the camera is the 8 bit color depth. RAW files have far more than 8 bits color depth. If you raise the contrast of an 8 bit image and re-map to 8 bit, there will be numerous levels that are not represented, and there will be far fewer than 255 output levels. If you lower the contrast, you'll compress 255 levels into fewer levels and end up with unrepresented levels on the extremes of the output. Either way, if you manipulate almost anything having to do with brightness, contrast, or even saturation, you'll end up with fewer than 255 distinct levels in any given channel. If the 8 bit conversion occurs after color/contrast manipulation of a RAW image, then you'll probably end up with 255 distinct levels in each channel after 8 bit conversion, hence better color and detail.
    But again, if your intent is not to manipulate the images, JPEG only has the limitations of compression artifacts, which can be bad -- or not -- depending on how much you blow the images up.
     
  10. Alemar, do you save and edit RAW images from your DSLR? If not, then why would you take the time and effort to do this for a P&S camera? RAW images take longer to save, use more space on your memory card, require extra labor when you get home, and improve only a fraction of images, depending on your style. It is good to have a RAW capable camera, but JPEG works too. By the way, I do not believe any of the cameras you are considering (G10, LX3) can write TIFF. If you took images in JPEG, there is little to no point converting them to TIFF.
     
  11. Bill, I never edit RAW in my camera. The small screen and resolution does not give me enough information to edit the photo properly. I do fix the photo in my computer when I have some time. Even though it is a pain to manualy fix my photos. I like RAW for the high depth of the photo. I know that G10 and LX3 don't wright tiff. I just want to know if it make sense to get a P&S that has RAW for a backup to my dslr?
     
  12. Sarah
    be careful with in camera TIFF they seem to undergo similar processing to that of the in camera JPG. On my PS camera it is not possible to see significant difference (noise is identical), with RAW however I see substantial differences.
     
  13. Yoshio, an 8-bit TIFF (not the less common 16 bit TIFF) and an 8-bit JPG do share the same color depth limitations, but the TIFF file uses lossless compression, and there is no checkering. If there are two or more adjacent pixels of the same RGB values, then a TIFF file encodes something to the effect of "5 pixels of the value 0A96F2." Needless to say, it is a relatively useless compression schema for a photograph, particularly when the color depth is 16 bit. (The likelihood of having two adjacent pixels that are the same is very slim, and all the encoding becomes something more like "1 pixel at 0A96F2, 1 pixel at 0992F8, 1 pixel at..." It becomes even more inefficient than RAW (in which the "1 pixel at" is assumed), which is why file sizes are so huge. However, it is a universal enough output form that can be used for sharing, printing, etc. In any event, the schema is so conservative that there is absolutely no loss in image information, which is why I use it for my final edited image.
    JPEG, by contrast, is a reconstruction of patterns in short pixel blocks, apparently according to a small pattern library. Encoding seems to be more along the lines of, "pattern 037, pattern 092, pattern 249, pattern 005..." It is this encoding of blocks that results in the checkering. TIFF files don't checker, because the only pixel blocks they encode are pixels of the exact same value.
     
  14. Sarah ... I know the theory quite well ... and I know what I see with my camera. I am not saying about yours, I only say what I see in artifacts and noise in my camera.
    I say it only to advise that others may check to see that perhaps the engine is not running compression and then writing it as a TIFF ... BTW for your information a TIFF can also contain a JPG image if desired.
     
  15. Sarah because I can understand that people should doubt simple statements it is considered appropriate in my work to provide either citation or evidence. Please refer to the following in support of my assertion. I took a series of three images and have taken a crop from these. I will be happy to provide the original images upon request
    JPG [​IMG] Tiff [​IMG] RAW [​IMG]
    PS
    it seems I have failed to make available the animation in the GIF ... it does not matter ... I will send those upon request as well
     
  16. Very interesting images, thanks Yoshio! The TIFF does appear to have smooth-tone artifacting that is so common with JPEG. It is rare for digital cameras to have TIFF mode. What is that camera? I can't tell from your previous posts, you seem to be a Canon DSLR owner.
     
  17. I haven't seen any really good reports on the Nikon P6000, particularly compared to the G10 and LX3.
    You might want to add the Ricoh GRDII and GX200 to the list of RAW shooting compacts you are considering. The Ricohs have excellent controls and handling. Don't know if you're in the USA, but if so, they are sold in the USA by Adorama.com as well as popflash.com, with Ricoh USA warranties. Those are both very dependable dealers, and I mention them only because inevitably someone will say Ricohs are not available here in the US.
     
  18. I think I have managed to get the GIFs linked properly. Each of the images below are the red green and blue for:
    JPG
    [​IMG]
    TIFF
    [​IMG]
    RAW
    [​IMG]
    while the noise is not pixel = pixel identical on the TIFF and JPG neither would it be on any given second of television noise when looking at static.
     
  19. Yoshio, wow! (And yes, thanks for posting the images.) I'm very surprised, but the images are very clear in this regard. I admit I have no experience with in-camera TIFF encoding. The only camera I ever had that would *supposedly* do it (an ancient 1.3MP P&S) wouldn't actually do it because of a firmware bug that Olympus never fixed.
    Just to clarify, am I to understand that the TIFF image is straight from the camera and wasn't converted from a JPEG? What camera is it, BTW?
     
  20. The Nikons of yore saved as TIFF, so while my SLR is EOS my compact cameras have been Nikon by choice. This sample is from one of my Nikons, it is the 5000 (although my 950 and 900 can also save as TIFF I have not made the software conversion to enable this). TIFF was common once, but fell out of favour with RAW being gradually implemented.
    I see I misunderstood Sarah's post and assumed you were meaning in camera TIFF
    my apology for inconvenience
     
  21. No problem. Interesting discussion! ;-)
     
  22. bms

    bms

    To get back to the OP: I did the same thing a while back, needed a camera for the pocket that would shoot RAW and would not tear my rotator cuff :)
    I discarded the Nikon, as (at least at the time) the RAW format was some weird version only Windows could read (that may have changed). I went to a large photo store and compared G10 and D-LUX4/LX3. The latter won (Leica version for me - just being a snob), because the Canon was too bulky, seemed to have longer shutter lag, a micro viewfinder I would not use and the LX3 seemed better at higher ISO. Did not think I needed the 15 MPix. I have not regretted the decision one bit. It is still no M8.2, but pretty neat.

    If you pick either one, I think you'll be happy.
     
  23. bms

    bms

    We just launched a new website and would love your feedback.
    Michael, feedback: your post is really kinda out of place here....?
     
  24. Hi Alemar,
    I had a Panasonic LX-3 and sold it to a friend who wanted one and got a G-10. Since shortly after that I left my DSLR in the Atlanta airport, I have worked with RAW and the G-10 and I can tell you that it absolutely does make a difference, depending on the subject matter. If you shoot a landscape in scene mode at ISO 80 in good light, it's not going to make a difference. But, in high contrast scenes, snow, anything tricky it definitely helps.
    As far as the LX-3 versus G-10 subject that an earlier reply vrought up. I loved the zoom (10X) on the panasonic and it was small enough to fit in my pocket. The G-10 kinda does, but it's big. The Panasonic was an ISO setting better in low light. In other words, the 400 setting was tolerable and 800 acceptable for an emergency. The G-10 at 800, for instnace a natural light portrait at a party, is unstandable, at lest for me. The limited F-stops are also a problem.
    On the other hand, the G-10 is much more versatile and I never forget to change the ISO. since it is right there. I also use the exposure compensation a lot more. The built-in ND filter is handy and the scene modes work better than any I have ever seen. They are both great cameras and I still can't decide between them, but I will say that the noise in the G-10 is really annoying.
     
  25. Hi Alemar,
    I had a Panasonic LX-3 and sold it to a friend who wanted one and got a G-10. Since shortly after that I left my DSLR in the Atlanta airport, I have worked with RAW and the G-10 and I can tell you that it absolutely does make a difference, depending on the subject matter. If you shoot a landscape in scene mode at ISO 80 in good light, it's not going to make a difference. But, in high contrast scenes, snow, anything tricky it definitely helps.
    As far as the LX-3 versus G-10 subject that an earlier reply vrought up. I loved the zoom (10X) on the panasonic and it was small enough to fit in my pocket. The G-10 kinda does, but it's big. The Panasonic was an ISO setting better in low light. In other words, the 400 setting was tolerable and 800 acceptable for an emergency. The G-10 at 800, for instnace a natural light portrait at a party, is unstandable, at lest for me. The limited F-stops are also a problem.
    On the other hand, the G-10 is much more versatile and I never forget to change the ISO. since it is right there. I also use the exposure compensation a lot more. The built-in ND filter is handy and the scene modes work better than any I have ever seen. They are both great cameras and I still can't decide between them, but I will say that the noise in the G-10 is really annoying.
     
  26. Sarah, lots of misinformation in your post. Whether a TIFF or JPG, the resulting image will have been demosaiced from the RAW sensor data. That is why a Tiff is larger than a RAW - each pixel has full 3 color data, versus only one color per photo site in the RAW data. In the demosaicing process, tonemapping curves are applied, highlight values can be clipped, white balance is applied, sharpening and noise reduction, etc. etc. Yoshio's results are not unexpected (though his RAW converter looks quite good regarding noise reduction) - a high quality JPG will look a Lot like a TIFF with the same in-camera processing applied. I always shoot RAW, but people make too much of JPG compression (and often perpetuate misinformation). There a many reasons to shoot RAW, but JPG compression is perhaps the least significant (as Yoshio's post clearly demonstrates).
     
  27. "That is why a Tiff is larger than a RAW - each pixel has full 3 color data, versus only one color per photo site in the RAW data."
    OK, of course! That makes sense. ;-)
    As I said before, though, the most limiting factor (to me) in JPEG files is 8 bit color depth. I just can't do a lot with it in postprocessing. The checkering thing isn't usually a huge issue, at least for smaller snaps. It can get more significant for very large prints.
     
  28. Brian I have a question on your post above, you mention that Tiff has three colors per pixel, but you use a different terminology for raw, one color per photo site. The question is a pixel the same as a photo site?
     
  29. Hello Alemar-

    You mentioned three things:
    RAW
    pocket
    night

    and that you presently use an SD model


    The Canon G series cameras are terrific but do not fit in a pocket.

    I would suggest you try a newer SD model (800, 1100 etc.) and install CHDK as mentioned above.

    When I first used a newer SD I thought I could not use a camera w/o manual exposure - but I have been amazed at the auto capabilities. Plus, when needed, CHDK offers much including auto bracketing and RAW.

    Your friend was right in saying that cameras with small sensors will never compete with APS or larger sensors - however the CHDK does bring them closer.

    Also even w/o the CHDK you can set the SD models to 'M' and then reduce the contrast (check the manual). This greatly improves the images in contrasty situations, albeit not like using RAW.

    In addition to exposure benefits, consider too that RAW images can be manipulated to a greater extent than JPEG's.

    Image on left - SD800 RAW, converted to DNG W/ DNG4PS (MAC) then opened w/ PS8. On right, JPEG w/ max. contrast reduction.
    00SMRd-108511584.jpg
     
  30. I never thought of getting the newer SD and put the CHDK app on. Thanks for the update. Yes the canon G10 is not picket size, went to circut city for hands on kind of slow in the menu but overal its ok. Going to wait for a couple of days till it goes down again.
     
  31. The CHDK install is easier than the site says.
    The card needs to be FAT16, my Canon SD when formatting the card does Fat16.
    I simply dragged the downloaded files to the disc and inserted with the camera in the PLAY mode. Then hit your menu button at select upgrade firmware.
    Remove the card, lock it, then reinsert and start (in any mode). You are now ready to access the CHDK menu settings.
     
  32. Thanks for all the feed back but I have one more question. On the canon G10 or Panasonic P&S or any P&S do any of them have maual focus meaning in live view do you get a white box you can move around the screen and focus on the objesct you are trying to take a picture of. I hate the auto focus on P&S it sometimes focus on other objects than the one you want on the picture.
     
  33. Yes, both have manual focus. The LX3 can zoom in and is actually usable that way. The G10 might be also, but I don't remember any reviewer raving about usability of manual focus. I'm fairly certain the Panasonic G1 is even better for manual focus, but it is not a P&S. (Is it?) Several reviewers have said the G1 is more precise than an average DSLR with lousy viewfinder and typical slow lens.
     

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