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-   -   camera settings for jpgs (https://forums.steves-digicams.com/general-discussion-11/camera-settings-jpgs-226774/)

Shinnen Jun 13, 2019 8:18 AM

camera settings for jpgs
 
Hi,
Most cameras allow changes to fineness, contrast, etc.. I'm wondering if it would be best to leave these settings at their lowest values and change them in post processing to my own liking.
What are your thoughts?
....... john

VTphotog Jun 14, 2019 8:08 AM

Unless you have very limited storage for your pictures, I would recommend using the highest setting for fineness (or detail, or quality -whatever your camera calls it), and size. Post processing can't get back detail which is lost in camera. High contrast, though, actually loses detail, so I tend to keep it set at normal. Color setting works similar to contrast. Too much brightness can cause the lighter areas to wash out, and, again, the lost detail can't be completely recovered, so I tend to use a minus EV setting of 1/3 to 1/2. (this also keeps the shutter speed a bit higher - or, really, that is how the camera creates the -EV, usually)
Hope this helps,
brian

BBbuilder467 Jun 14, 2019 11:43 AM

With a Panasonic, I adjust each of the various film modes individually. Then I select the appropriate film mode for the subject matter or scene. Once I have the film mode tailored to what I want, I don't change it.

As long as I get the exposure right, I can't improve it with editing.

If I expect to edit, I avoid the changes entirely or would just use RAW. It's hard to correct a mistake when I make those adjustments in-camera.

Ozzie_Traveller Jun 14, 2019 6:19 PM

G'day John

I'm in agreement with the above responses - My Panny cameras are all set to best JPG quality at all times. With the colour options I meander between 'Vivid' and 'Scenery' [as much of my stuff is scenery],

I remember from film days the old saying "expose for the highlights and leave the shadows to look after themselves"~ and as others here will tell you/ us, once the highlights are blown out / overexposed, you will never get visual details back again. In film days I mostly shot pics with the EV set to minus 1/3 as well

These days I regularly fine tune the exposure settings via the small rolly-wheel to under expose by EV -1/3 or -2/3 as I have found that I prefer those results

I have played with RAW on various occasions and have never been really impressed with the results being all that better than the camera gives me in JPG mode. If the original exposure has been so bad that I have overexposed / underexposed by more then 2-stops [ie: where RAW can supposedly rescue the image]- then I deem myself to be an inadequate 'technician'

Phil

TCav Jun 14, 2019 11:07 PM

First, the setting for "Sharpness" shouldn't be confused for actual sharpness. What that setting does is it increases the contrast between bright and dark portions of the image, something called acutance. It doesn't actually increase the sharpeness, only the contrast, and only in certain high-contrast areas, which can result in poor quality images further on in post processing.

Second, to preserve as much detail as possible, you should capture JPEG images with as high a fineness as your camera allows. This reduces the compression of the JPEG image, such that as much detail is preserved as possible. All JPEG images are compressed to some extent. By selecting "Extra Fine" or whatever equivalent setting your camera might have, you're preserving as much of the original detail as possible, at the expense of storage space.

Brightness, Contrast, Hue and Saturation should be set to mid level values, so you have the most to work with in post. If you set these values too much in one direction or the other, you're limiting your ability to make adjustments in post processing. But if your tastes run toward a more saturated color, go with it, but don't go crazy.

Shinnen Jun 15, 2019 11:03 PM

Hi all,
I've been labouring under the assumption that changes to sharpness, contrast, are software manipulations to some basic set of data, and that I would have more flexibility if I chose the lowest settings. This apparently is not the case?
Yes, I've always done the same, set for exposure of the highlights. As you say, once they're blown, your done for.
My experience with raw is that you have to have a good editing program, and know how to use it. I tried editing raw a few years ago, and I was rarely able to improve on the jpg, unless it was seriously out of wack.
Thank you all for your help.
.... john

VTphotog Jun 16, 2019 9:58 AM

Well, yes, the basic set of data being the raw file. Your camera's exposure settings control that basic set, so if you are working with raw, the settings for sharpness, contrast and color don't enter in. Once you have chosen to use jpeg, you have 'developed the photo', and further manipulations aren't going to give you much, if any, improvement. The compression used by jpeg limits what you have to work with.
If you start with a soft, low contrast, desaturated jpeg image, the algorithm used to create it has eliminated a lot of the detail that a raw file would have, so boosting those functions in post processing would perhaps give you a better overall looking photo, it would not be as good as what the camera would have given you, as it is working with raw data to begin with. (cameras are very good a processing - they have to be to remain competitive)
I have used several raw processors in the past and found them to be able to improve on the jpegs I was able to get from some 4, 5, and 6 megapixel cameras, ten years ago, but don't use them much (or, at all recently) anymore because the jpegs my camera produces are excellent. Highlight recovery is one area where Raw Therapee really excels, but as long as I watch my exposures carefully, it isn't necessary. High dynamic range scenes where you have only one exposure to work with, can usually be improved by manipulating the raw data as well, but since I can create HDR in camera, I again don't have much need.
brian

TCav Jun 16, 2019 1:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shinnen (Post 1417188)
... I tried editing raw a few years ago, and I was rarely able to improve on the jpg, unless it was seriously out of wack.

Bingo!


TCav Jun 16, 2019 2:05 PM

JPEG images are constrained to 8-bit color. RAW Files contain 10, 12, sometimes even 14 bit color, but the process of working with all that data in order to create an image that can be displayed or printed will constrain that to quite a bit less. In truth, unless you've got something better than a conventional sRGB monitor and graphics adapter, working with RAW doesn't really buy you very much.

Shinnen Jun 17, 2019 10:40 AM

HI Brian,
Thanks for the primer. That helps a lot. So, basically your saying that if you have an unsophisticated camera, that doesn't handle HDR well, you may get more out of editing raws in HDR situations? But I'm a little confused with your first two sentences. Are you saying that sharpness, contrast, and colour settings don't affect the raw data set?
........ john
Quote:

Originally Posted by VTphotog (Post 1417189)
Well, yes, the basic set of data being the raw file. Your camera's exposure settings control that basic set, so if you are working with raw, the settings for sharpness, contrast and color don't enter in. Once you have chosen to use jpeg, you have 'developed the photo', and further manipulations aren't going to give you much, if any, improvement. The compression used by jpeg limits what you have to work with.
If you start with a soft, low contrast, desaturated jpeg image, the algorithm used to create it has eliminated a lot of the detail that a raw file would have, so boosting those functions in post processing would perhaps give you a better overall looking photo, it would not be as good as what the camera would have given you, as it is working with raw data to begin with. (cameras are very good a processing - they have to be to remain competitive)
I have used several raw processors in the past and found them to be able to improve on the jpegs I was able to get from some 4, 5, and 6 megapixel cameras, ten years ago, but don't use them much (or, at all recently) anymore because the jpegs my camera produces are excellent. Highlight recovery is one area where Raw Therapee really excels, but as long as I watch my exposures carefully, it isn't necessary. High dynamic range scenes where you have only one exposure to work with, can usually be improved by manipulating the raw data as well, but since I can create HDR in camera, I again don't have much need.
brian



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