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Old Mar 7, 2004, 9:36 PM   #1
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Default S7000: RAW vs. 12M-F

I just purchased a Fuji S7000, in part due to the great information on this forum, and appreciated the pointers in taking full advantage of its features. I'd also plug the book "Real World Digital Photograph, 2nd edition". Having used and abused Olympus SLR's for 30 years, it not only aided the transition, but gave me a few great pointers for film photography also.

I had some scattered sunlight and clouds this weekend, and the crocuses are starting to bloom in north Idaho. I love macro photography and crawled around the yard stalking the wily crocus and occasional pollinating insect.

I took a mix of photographs between 12M-F JPG setting and RAW, using the s7raw converter, which is pretty slick! I did note that Photoshop Elements 2 wants 8bpp color, not 16 bpp.

I'm printing the images on an Epson 1280 using Epson glossy photo paper. Printing 8.5x11 images, I'm not seeing any noticeable differences between similar images recorded on RAW versus 12M-F JPG format. I even tried a couple tripod-mounted still lifes, and couldn't note any consistent difference. The light did vary as there were largely thin, overcast skies with patches of blue, and the light would change some between images. I was using Aperture preferred, to try to minimize any depth of field effects.

I realize that some of the artifact differences might just be seen during more formal technical testing, or perhaps on a completely uniform background, such as blue sky. For general scenic photography, are you folks distinguishing significant image difference between these two modes? Do I just need a more refined printing system to be able to resolve these changes?

I'm just curious, since I really don't want to invest in a new printer quite yet. Up to 11x14 the images are great, so I plan to enjoy sunshine, spring, and all my roses using the S7000. I did note that the S7000 on macro or super macro mode provides MUCH more depth of field than my Olympus SLR's do with a 80mm F2.8 macro lens. I had been worried about only having f8, but even f5.6 provides plenty of depth.

Thanks for any comments and suggestions.
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Old Mar 8, 2004, 3:12 PM   #2
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I think you will only see a difference if you crop and enlarge then print the cropped enlarged image. The maximum print size for a full image is 20"x30" with this camera. The RAW image is far superior to the 12MF if you have software that can adequately post-process the image. The Fuji RAW converter is very limited in terms of what it can do. Adobe Photoshop CS supports the RAF format with an update from the website. This program has very robust features allowing for manipulation of Chroma and Luminance in the conversion to eliminate noise even on photos taken at high iso. The result is an image you can easily print at 30"x50" with little or no loss in quality.

If Fuji would give us a firmware update which allowed for variable compression settings in jpeg mode or direct RAW sampling of the ccd without 12meg interpolation this camera would blow away the competition!

So in a nutshell, with the right software RAW is much, much better!
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Old Mar 8, 2004, 6:08 PM   #3
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" Raw files are the digital equivalent of a film negative. They
record up to 12 bits of information per pixel and store the data
in an uncompressed form without any additional color corrections,
sharpening or compression. By providing access to this virgin data,
Bibble allows photographers to exercise maximum creative control
over their final images, while simultaneously delivering the
maximum quality possible.

Conversely, Jpegs should be thought of as digital prints. Jpegs
only records 8 bits of data per image, and are heavily processed
in camera. Much like prints delivered by a photo lab, Jpegs have
someone else's interpretation of what the color is supposed to
look like. Additionally, while smaller in size, Jpegs have been
compressed which introduces artifacts and reduces sharpening.

Tiff files do not have the compression problems of Jpegs, but can
be very large and slow to use. Even with all their size, they still
only contain 8 Bits of data per channel, though they do not have
the compression issues of Jpegs."




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Old Mar 17, 2004, 10:46 PM   #4
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OK... I've looked a bunch of test shots on my new s7000. I've examined and compared (all else equal) many shots taken at 12MP-Fine versus 12MP-Norm. ....I conclude; 12MP-N has better shadow dynamics, better color, less artifacts, and better detail on the dispaly up to 300% enlarrgements. ....This is just the opposite of what I would expect.

It's more aggressive JPEG compression results in a filesize of about 2.5Mbyte size rather than the 12MP-F's big 4.5MB+. I checked the actual compression differences using JPQestimator and found 12MP-F is 97-99% and, 12MP-N is 92-94% (Raw will produce a JPG of 100%.) So, I have no idea why the 12MP-N returns (in my eyes) a better quality PIC.

Maybe, the extra step that the Fuji processing takes appears to clean up the Normal better than the Fine.

Hence, I find it makes no sense (to me) to use the 12MP Fine. There just isn't any quality advantage whatsoever. I intend to shoot all my sports & general shots at 12MP-N. ...(I'll still use raw mode for studio and still-landscape tripod stuff.)
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Old Mar 18, 2004, 12:52 AM   #5
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johnimage, take some shots with 12MP Normal that have deep blue skies in the background. Look at them next to 12MP Fine and in the deep blue areas of the sky you will see "red chroma" artifacts and what looks like block noise. You won't get this in fine mode. If you really want to see the quality this camera can produce, shoot RAW then use a program like Photoshop CS to adjust out the chroma and luma noise before converting to a JPEG. The result is a 2 to 5 meg file (depending on composition) that has more depth of field than a Canon 300D, it will blow your mind! This camera for the money is amazing.

What's more amazing is why Fuji does not offer a 6MP fine setting (to produce a 4 to 5 meg file in 6MP mode, allowing you to use all camera settings?) The image quality would probably be spectacular.
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Old Mar 18, 2004, 11:40 AM   #6
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RE: PHotoshop CS Raw Convertor

I wish someone would shoot a resolution chart in RAW format with a S7000, then render it through CS and then through teh FUji raw convertor. In my experience of doing this with a F700 raw file, CS Raw convertor was very poor at rending the file, resolution-wise, compared to a Fuji raw converted image or a JPEG output directly from camera.

F700, Fuji Raw convetor vs. CS Raw convertor v2.1:

http://www.linaeum.com/productinfo/d...fuji_adobe.jpg

-Chris
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Old Mar 18, 2004, 11:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by divedr
If Fuji would give us a firmware update which allowed for variable compression settings in jpeg mode or direct RAW sampling of the ccd without 12meg interpolation this camera would blow away the competition!

So in a nutshell, with the right software RAW is much, much better!
The camera's raw image MUST always be interpolated to 12MP, becauase of the odd diagnol layout of the sensor(which, btw, gives higher resolution in most scenes). Failure to properly re-orient and rotate/interpolate the RAW files results in reduced resolution and odd artifacts at high spatial frequencies.

-Chris
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Old Mar 19, 2004, 1:28 PM   #8
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Yes you are correct, I stand corrected RAW must be interpolated in order to produce a viewable image. Sorry, my mistake. That being said, a "Fine" 6MP mode with less aggressive compression would be very nice, don't you think?
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Old Mar 19, 2004, 7:38 PM   #9
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Default 12MP-Fine versus 12MP-Normal & JPEG Compression

Note to divedr: .....I posted a couple of blue sky test PICs on my home page for you to checkout. I would love to hear your feedback.

Feedback to Forum: I do not believe JPEG compression has much to do with noise is s7000 prints. RAW otput by far gives the best quality and the maximum capability/flexibility to create a jpeg with the highest quaulity. (s7raw.exe creates a 12MP-jpeg @ 100% per JPGQ.exe.)

However, close examination of actual photes show that that the s7000's "normal" JPG output (at 12MP) is surprisingly better than the 12MP-Fine. JPEG coversions tests () on the many sample test shots show a typically, 98/99% for 12MP-Fine and 91/95 for 12MP-Normal and 6MP-Normal. I suspect there is something else in the s7000 processing that impacts the qaulity more than the conversion.

Any comments appreciated.


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Old Mar 20, 2004, 11:54 PM   #10
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I've read that too on other forums, but haven't backed it up with tests.... the 12MP Normal produces better images thatn 12MP Fine...
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