Shocked by Jpeg quality.

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by herma, Sep 11, 2011.

  1. For paid jobs I shoot in RAW, just to give myself some wiggle room editing in LR. But today I was shooting a kids football game (my PopWarner volunteer job) and of course I shot Jpeg, to save editing time/space. I used the 7d with the 70-200. I figured I should pick "Landscape" as an in-camera preset, to save even more time. Because it was just past noon, in hazy bright sun, I also put on the circular polarizing filter. General settings: ISO 200+ (safety shift) mosty consistent Av 3.5. When I downloaded the images, I was shocked how smooth the images were. Not a grain of noise. At 100% viewing, it almost looked as if heavy noise reduction was applied. There is a certain softness to the pictures but to me not unpleasing. The images required almost no further editing other than cropping and a bit of exposure boost, 3+black, 2+ clarity and a whiff of sharpening. Having the WB to "daylight" gave me perfect WB. It would not tolerate any more noise reduction.
    1200+ images in nearly consistent light is quite different than 1200 images shot 2 different camera's with 2 different lenses shot over an 8 hour wedding.
    For something as varied as a weddings, does anybody apply certain presets to the RAW? The wedding images would be so different from the football pictures, I can hardly imagine this could be done. All I know is that it took 2 hours of football editing, vs god knows how many more these weddings will take.
    Also, what role did the circular polarizing filter play the the smoothness and near softness?
    Curious,
    Herma
    00ZJqv-397783584.jpg
     
  2. Perhaps presets do apply to JPG and not RAW?
    I usually shoot RAW and best JPG together, and frequently do not have to resort to RAW editing, since the JPG are so good.
    Perhaps shooting Landcape for sport activity was not the best choice, and could have contributes to some "softness", but in good lighting, was OK.
     
  3. I think you can apply preset to RAW as well, the option would be easily altered to something else without loss of date. At least this is my understanding. Mayby my question would also be applicable in the Wedding Forum.
    00ZJr8-397785584.jpg
     
  4. Not sure what point you're trying to make here, Herma.
    You shouldn't ever have to be concerned about noise shooting in direct sunlight as shown in the football pic. In fact the only time you should be concerned about noise is if you can see it a print. I mean if clumps of noise are larger than the thin halo along the edge of the boy's hand shown in your cropped version, then yes, the noise is too large and most likely will be detected in a print.
    But I've never had noise that large even when shooting night shots at ISO 800. The noise is never big enough to show up on a print and I'm using a 4-5 year old Pentax K100D with 3000x2000 resolution.
     
  5. I don't print pictures Tim. I don't like noise on my monitor.
    My general point was how surprisingly good Jpeg is. I wish I would be a good enough photographer to shoot only Jpeg. I need the wiggle room if the conditions vary enough (ie a wedding). Maybe using presets could make editing easier. I wonder if wedding photogs use presets. My edited RAWs on a big job are probably not as consistent in noise and sharpening as this set of Jpegs.
    I am not sure if I was trying to make a point...maybe more of an observation. A re-discovery of Jpeg, and, does the polarizer have an effect on sharpness?
     
  6. With some of my early digitals, raw was a life saver. With the advent of my D200, it marked a time when I could start trusting that $2000+ for the exposure I told it to do.
    Think about it; You spend how much $ to have that part of the cpu turned off? It just doesn't make since, when you really think about it.
    My work flow includes LR, so the process is 16 bit for adjustments. No harm, no foul.
    I came from film, where you took exposure notes and learned to trust what you set for exposure. It made you read the scene closer; ie look for the shadows and hot spots. No review screen on the camera.
    It all comes down to two concepts; magic and skill. You have no control over magic and skill is learned (which makes it hard). You can duplicate skill, over and over. Magic is just that.
    Increase your skill by shooting jpeg and camera set on manual mode. References to "sunny 16" is all over the net. This will train you to be a better light meter than Canon/Nikon/etc. I actually got better exposures on film by practicing on my digitals; silicon was free..lol
    I'm not suggesting you stop using raw for weddings. That's a one time event that you can't get back. But not falling for that safety net for everything else, will make you a better photographer.
     
  7. Although I get the point of the discussion here, it is a mistake to equate shooting RAW only as a way to cover yourself. RAW gives you the best potential quality possible because it is lossless, gives more DR, can be developed further with skill and thought.
    It is not a format to be used as an excuse to shoot in a sloppy manner.
     
  8. What Dan said.

    RAW can be nice insurance for a poor exposure, but it's the inherently greater dynamic range(and hence, highlight and shadow detail) that I'm glad to have, all the way right up until I print something, and make decisions about how to map those tones to the final output.

    As for the polarizer ... depending on how it's used, it could be introducing focusing errors/difficulty, causing contrast-reducing flare, robbing things like shiny textiles and similar surfaces (like football jerseys and sweaty skin in the bright sun) of texture and details. Lot of reasons things might look unpleasantly "smooth" with that in place. I wouldn't use a CP filter in a setting like that unless I had a very compelling reason to.
     
  9. When an image is properly exposed with accurate white balance parameters, the in-camera jpeg contains as much useful information as a jpeg rendered from a RAW file. The information loss imposed by the jpeg compression algorithm does not degrade the image. When exposure and white balance are perfect, the additional information in the RAW file is redundant.
    When an image is improperly exposed and the white balance parameters are incorrect, then the information loss due to in-camera jpeg compression handicaps efforts to compensate for these mistakes in post-processing. Often the handicap is trivial, sometimes the handicap is serious.
    Of course, these statements assume well-chosen in-camera jpeg compression parameters were selected for the in-camera compression.
     
  10. The information loss imposed by the jpeg compression algorithm does not degrade the image.​
    The additional information in a RAW file is not redundant when compared to an 8-bit compressed JPEG.
    Matt Laur already pointed out why I shoot RAW. Not for more leeway in editing, but for the increased Dynamic Range. You get roughly twice the dynamic range in a RAW file than you do in a JPEG. This may sound silly, but it's the same reason some people still shoot film....so they can get the details out of what would otherwise be clipped highlights.
    RS
     
  11. Willam does not challenge the fact that RAW has more Dynamis Range. It is only stated that converting that RAW to JPEg, you get what you would from perfect JPEG.
    If you could print RAW ? if you can Post RAW ? - then will be a day of utilizing the RAW to the full possibility.
    Right now, with RAW, you just make easy or make possible better post processing, greater latitude handling that may not be possible with JPG, but the final output is usually JPG that we print from, post, or pass around to others.
     
  12. I'm just surprised and bit relieved Herma can get a decent looking jpeg with that much clarity shooting with a long range zoom lens at f/3.5 compared to what I get with my old, cheap Pentax. My JpegVSRaw gallery folder will show you why I have to shoot Raw.
    It goes along with Peter's comment pointing out more expensive camera's actually do deliver better results out of the camera over MUCH cheaper models. You do actually get something for that extra $2000. And I'll bet dollars to doughnuts the camera manufacturers know this and tweak and fine tune the in-camera processing algorithms of their more expensive models to deliver better jpegs straight out of the camera given the right in-camera settings and exposure parameters.
    That's where the skill of the photographer should be honed when shooting jpegs. It's not just about knowing exposure rules. You actually need to calibrate and profile the behavior of your in-camera settings combined with exposure and taking into account the overall contrast levels in a wide range of scenes captured.
    I don't think you had to think that way shooting film.
    Oops! There, I did it. Veered a topic into the first Film-vs-Digital-vs-Raw-vs-Jpeg debate all in one thread. BOO-YAH!
     
  13. RAW is RAW, the idea of applying "presets" to a RAW file in the camera is an oxymoron. RAW intrinsically has no modification beyond that which the manufacturer uses in setting up its proprietary information. If you shoot RAW you get the rough equivalent of a digital "negative," as opposed to shooting jpeg where you already "pre-process" the image in a non-reversible way. The RAW file, to paraphrase Ansel, is the score, the jpeg has already been played, recorded and allows only certain modifications, eg tone controls on a preamp. I do not want to push this analogy too far, but want to make the point about how different a RAW file is from even the best jpeg (Perlman, Heifetz, Horowitz?)
     
  14. The point I was making was....
    1) There is too much emphasis on raw. Its not evil but its not a cure all for bad shooting. Knowing there is no safety net keeps me shooting smarter.
    2) Anything to get the brain thinking on what you are actually doing is a good thing. Being a human light meter is an exercise that keeps me shooting better.
    3) If DR is such a concern, bracket.
    Tim, no debate. I shoot %90 film. I have a lot of digital door stoppers! lol
     
  15. I agree with Dan+Matt: the "old film people" are probably better scene readers then the current "dSLR shooters-cost-me-nothing-to-take-20-exposures". (Not sayin film people are old)
    What I am going to do on the next complex shoot: Stock up on CF cards and shoot RAW+Jpeg as Frank stated. The best preset for a wedding would probably be "portrait" mode. And then see how often I would actually need to use the RAW file.
    This is all just very interesting to me.
     
  16. Was the polariser rotated for every shot? If it was not, then why was it used? Any additional glass in the light path can only degrade the image.
     
  17. The canon 7D has a noise suppression option built into the camera that can be turned on in the custom options if you want the dynamic range of raw, I usually shoot with the raw and jpeg combination. It gets down to personal preferences and what type of shooting you are doing.
    Duce
     
  18. If DR is such a concern, bracket​
    Especially in sports, as in the example being discussed, but also in all sorts of event shooting (think weddings, for example) bracketing is simply not always (or sometimes ever) an option. Why bother? Shoot RAW, and with a couple of mouse clicks, you can use software like Nikon's Capture NX2 to spit out exactly the JPGs the camera would have created, precisely the same in every way, automatically based on the in-camera settings, without any intervention or extra work fromyou ... and still have all of that extra dynamic range if you want it, later.

    Likewise, you can just shoot RAW + JPG, and fall back to the RAW files if you have that winning touchdown shot, but want to recover some highlight details that the JPG format's mere 8 bits couldn't handle on the fly.
     
  19. Matt, this is exactly what I was looking for. Same as lightroom?
    If I apply a preset during the import that includes sharpening and noise reduction, yet the image requires additional tinkering later, does this mess up the image? The bible says: sharpening at the end.
     
  20. Actually, for DSLRs and point and shoots you should be doing some light capture sharpening not just out put
    sharpening.

    Lightroom does not alter any of the files directly, it keeps all actions on file and applies them when you use the file.
    So, yes even for jpg it does nota mess up the image.

    I do the RAW + jpg and fallback to the RAW when I need to. But for most shots the jpgs are great.

    And, by the way I find this true for a XTI as well as a 5D II.
     
  21. I'm not getting it... Why would I choose to shoot jpeg? There's no penalty for shooting RAW...
     
  22. jpgs are great for sports and other hi volume shoots. weddings i only shoot raw, 99% of the time i shoot raw on all project. except ebay photos. im beginning to shoot jpgs on neutral with lowered contrast, on cinemarvels and cinetstyle video picture styles...very low contrast.. again usually for ebay items (black an white subjects).
    for weddings there is no easy way, its a lot of work, it takes a good computer to sort all those shots. shoot AWB helps get it close to start with. you can shoot AE but i prefere going with my gut on M.
     
  23. Yes, in-camera JPGs can look awfully good. But, I've found that the number-one reason to shoot RAW (in addition to the extended dynamic range), for me at least, is that if there are any gradients present in the image, they will begin to posterize (alias) almost immediately, if even the tiniest bit of color-correction or curves adjustment is applied to the camera-generated JPG. If shooting casually, and no gradients are present, then it's often fine.
     
  24. I don't see any reason to shoot anything but raw. LR let's me copy and paste development settings across large
    numbers of images and automate file conversions. Why run the risk of not being able to re-render an image again
    later, even if it's only one out of a thousand?
     
  25. RAW images yield more fine detail, at least if you're using the 7D + ACR. Then again, for most subject matter / print size combinations the 7D's 18 MP JPEG files are more than sufficient. RAW images also yield greater dynamic range. But not by as much as many assume when comparing with HTP JPEGs. (Maybe a 1 stop difference in that case, if that.)
    I disagree that JPEG gradients will posterize right away in post. The trick is to convert them to a 16-bit space before any editing. Whether I shoot RAW or JPEG my edit/final copy file is a 16 bit TIFF. RAW will handle more manipulation before posterization, but you can do quite a bit with a properly exposed, low-to-mid ISO JPEG.
    Why would you ever use JPEG over RAW? At least one issue is that you can fill the buffer in a couple seconds shooting 8 fps RAW. Shooting JPEG with a fast card the buffer never fills.
    Use the best tool for the job. Example: if I'm shooting landscapes, RAW. If I'm shooting a surfing competition, JPEG.
     
  26. Herma,
    • Lightroom never modifies an original image. You can undo everything.
    • LR can use different import presets based on ISO. For example, maybe you want more noise reduction and less sharpening applied to high ISO shots.
    • In addition to ISO, LR can select images on based on several other shooting criteria. You could then manually apply alternate presets to each group of images. But other than Flash State (flash fired / flash did not fire), I'm not sure there are any other really useful options to group photos for the purpose of applying presets.
    • It would be cool if LR could select photos based on things like White Balance setting, but I don't think that's possible.
     
  27. "I think you can apply preset to RAW as well" - not in the camera. Read other response about the "oxymoron".
     
  28. When we recover highlight and shadow information from a RAW file that information does not disappear when we output to jpg we just end up with an 8 bit compressed version with more highlight and shadow information compared to shooting jpg in the first place.
    Or to look at it another way if we had shot JPG we may have had clipped shadows or highlights or both but by shooting RAW we can extract the shadow and highlight information and render it back out to a JPG file for printing or posting on the web. We don't lose the extra information that we just recovered by outputting to jpg we lose the precision as we now have just an 8 bit file.
     
  29. Noise isn't really a factor between raw and jpg. Noise is based on factors like sensor, sensor size, but most importantly ISO. With an ISO of 200, I wouldn't expect any noise

    Now JPG quality varies - depending on the camera, you'll have options in terms of how much compression it will do on the jpg image. The higher the level of compression, the more the loss, the more you'll see artifacts in the image. Take some sample pics at various compression levels, the look at them at 200%

    Raw has the ability to easily make changes to white balance that you don't really have in jpg. Raw also has a much greater dynamic range. It will essentially allow for a single shot HDR in many cases (not all)
     
  30. I might use JPG if running out of card space, perhaps. But, basically I always use RAW.
    A polarizer decreases shutter speed because it decreases light. I don't use them for sports photography, but love them for landscapes.
    JPG images are usually quite good, just less flexible c/w RAW.
     
  31. Most major camera manufacturers supply editing software. It might be rudimentary, but you can shoot raw and apply the same presets in the computer as in the camera. That has two benefits:

    * With a click or two you can accept the shots that work with presets, while for those shots that need a bit of work, you can start from the preset and modify the raw from there. You can modify it in the program or export a TIFF to your third-party processing program.

    * You can see how different presets work on a raw file.

    This is a workflow for photographers who must go through a huge number of shots, sifting out a fair number and deliver them to a client at good if not stellar quality. Two other species - hobbyists and fine art photographers - lovingly post-process each one of a handful of keepers, an entirely different task.
     

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