Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digital Cameras (Point and Shoot) > Panasonic / Leica

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Dec 26, 2005, 2:52 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Corpsy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 879
Default

I finally got my camera this Christmas and wanted my first post about it to be something nice. I do like the camera, the functionality of it is amazing compared to the Digital Rebel I use at work, and I'm already pretty impressed by it's imaging capabilities.

However, I have noticed something odd with the RAW photos. I don't know if it's specific to this camera, I've seen something similar with the Digital Rebel, but I don't understand why this issue exists.

I've noticed that when I photograph something very bright, like the sky or a light bulb, anything like that, the brightest parts of the photo get blown out and discolored in the RAW file, while they look just fine in the JPG.

When I import the RAW files in Photoshop, I've done everything I could with the available adjustments, and would expect that by leaving the white balance to "as shot", and setting everything else to 0, I would get basically the same appearance as the JPG that is created with the RAW. This is not the case. The JPG looks much softer and natural around the highlights. When I take a separate JPG, it looks the same as the JPG taken with the RAW file.

For the attached image, I used highlight mode to make sure there was nothing pure white in the image. The JPG I used is the one created by the camera when it took the RAW file.

Attached Images
 
Corpsy is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Dec 26, 2005, 2:55 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Corpsy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 879
Default

I find this confusing because I thought that the information in the RAW file was what the camera used to create the JPG. If this is the case, then it should be possible to take the RAW file and get the same quality image as the JPG, but either there isn't any way to do that, or I'm just missing something very crucial here.

Here's a couple crops of the previous image with curves adjustments, one to darken the image, one to brighten. You'll notice the JPG image adjusts more naturally.

If anyone has any clue about what causes this and what can fix it, please let me know. I never installed any of the software that came with the camera, I just use Photoshop and the Camera RAW update. If some of the Panasonic software is able to correct this, please let me know (I thought the software was supposed to be pretty useless, but I guess that could be wrong).


Attached Images
 
Corpsy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 26, 2005, 3:19 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
LadyhawkVA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,374
Default

I haven't used RAW so I'm no expert. My understanding is that RAW does not apply any in-camera finish to the photo. When your camera creates a .jpg it actually applies some in-camera PP finishing. With RAW you get a basic image that requires much more finishing in your photo editor. This is probably both a curse and a blessing. If you like doing lots of PP work RAW is the best thing since sliced bread. If you want to minimize your PP work you're probably better off shooting .jpg files.

There are people in this forum with more expertise who can explain it better, but I think what I've written is the basic explanation.
LadyhawkVA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 26, 2005, 7:06 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
mtngal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Frazier Park, CA
Posts: 16,056
Default

I'm no expert, since I've only been shooting raw for less than a month. However, the way I look at your photos (and I had someting similar with a brightly lit yellow flower) the raw file does show more than the jpg. Yes, it blew out the highlights, but it shows that there are differences in light between the different parts of the light bulb. That doesn't make the picture better - like my flower, it blows out the details in that part. The jpg format had quite a bit of pp done by the camera - and in these cases, it "smooths" out the color, keeping it colored instead of white.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"When I first got the FZ30 I took a bunch of pictures using the jpg fine on both cameras (my old camera was a Sony F717). I was initially disappointed because the Sony had more detail than the Panasonic, not a huge amount, but a bit more. A couple of days later I tried raw files and discovered that this mode captured more detail and that there wasn't as much difference between the 2 cameras as I initially thought. This led me to realize that the camera does quite a bit of pp.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"I'm just delighted that the FZ30 saves both a raw and a jpg file at the same time when shooting raw. There have been times that I've prefered the camera jpg pp more than what I could do with raw (you've posted a good example). Many cameras do not have this ability.
mtngal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 26, 2005, 9:50 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
genece's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 2,111
Default

Just to clarify what you are doing ..are you opening the Raw image in PS or in ACR?

If you are not using ACR (Or another Raw processor) you are not getting the full benifit of RAW as far as I can tell.

If you are using ACR then you can apply any and all the settings the camera used for the JPEG and you can control that to your taste.
genece is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 27, 2005, 3:27 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Corpsy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 879
Default

Ladyhawk, I am the type who likes adjusting photos in Photoshop, it's actually what I do for a living. That's why I'm interested in the RAW image format, it's supposed to get the most quality out of your camera.

From what I understand, the only adjustments the camera should do after getting the RAW data would be adjustments to contrast, saturation, white balance, tint, sharpness and noise reduction. I doubt that the original image of the light bulb had blue and red rings in it, and then the camera instantly painted over them with the appropriate colors. The JPG image most accurately represents the way it looked in real life, the way it looked in the viewfinder, and the way it looks if I preview it on the camera.

Genece, what do you mean by ACR? The only thing I'm familiar with that has that abbreviation is Adobe Camera Raw, which is the plugin that enables Photoshop to read RAW files. No version of Photoshop is able to read any RAW files without that plugin, so I'm not sure I understand your question.

As far as I can tell, the problem has to be with the Photoshop plugin. I suspect it isn't able to interpret some of the finer detail in the RAW file and that is why large chunks of subtle detail end up being one solid shade. I've attached another image to illustrate.

I took a photo of the R2D2 Burger Toy and purposely overexposed it. On the jpg, there are a light of subtle details that are completely flattened out and discolored on the RAW image. You can see the settings I used to open the RAW image as well. I tried using all auto settings and got nearly the same result but with more contrast.

I applied a curves adjustment to a closeup of the same portion of each image to darken the brightest pixels. On the JPG this helps to bring out a lot of the detail that is nearly white, but on the RAW image it brings out all the flaws and discoloration. Notice that on the RAW there are huge bands of solid orange that on the JPG are actually lots of subtle detail. This kind of detail loss is not recoverable in Photoshop.




Attached Images
 
Corpsy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 27, 2005, 8:45 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
genece's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 2,111
Default

Yes it is Adobe camera raw I was referring to and if you have the Raw File in bridge you can just proceed to PS without making changes in ACR and that is a mistake.

IMO you should be able to make the photo in ACR exactly the same as the JPEG or hopefully much better and then proceed to PS.

Also many with the older versions are using the dng converter to eliminate ACR.

If they are doing the adjustments in the ACR such as your screen shot there does seem to be an advantage to using RAw.

Oh and you gave a good explanation makes some things clearer to me also. And I can use all the help I can get.

I really need help in using the curves adjustment in ACR I have a basic understanding of curves in PS but struggle with it in RAW.

genece is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 27, 2005, 9:03 AM   #8
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 11
Default

I've experienced the same, Corpsy. It seems that the FZ30 doesn't do particularly well in the blown highlights recovery department, even shooting in RAW. I don't actually fret at this because, on the other hand, it does great with shadow recovery. I've found that there's nothing else to recover from the highlights beyond the -1EV adjustment, but I can go as far as +3EV and still get shadow details.

A weird unbalance, if you ask me, but a useful one considering the FZ30's main problem: noise. Because I can keep the ISO at its lowest setting while maintaining a safe shutter speed and aperture, and if it comes out underexposed, I know that I'll be able to fix it in ACR.
Koosla is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 27, 2005, 12:58 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Corpsy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 879
Default

Well, unless I find out about another way to process RAW files better, the RAW images I take have an effectively smaller dynamic range than the JPGs, which is a bit ironic. I'm not going to fret about it though. The high quality JPG files look great. The adjustments you can do to RAW can be done about as effectively to JPG images, and with the FZ30's excellent auto white balance, live histogram, highlight mode and auto bracketing, I can save lots of time and file space by just shooting JPG.

Similar adjustments can be made extremely easily, quickly, and without taking up file space by using Picasa http://picasa.google.com/index.html
I suggest some of you give it a try, it's similar to adjusting RAW files with ACR, only much faster and easier, and you don't have to resave your images, the adjustments are stored by the program itself (similar to xmp files for RAW).
Corpsy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 27, 2005, 6:25 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
boyzo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,544
Default

When you shoot in RAW the corresponding JPEG is a high compressed file not the normal High Quality JPEG.

RAW will not recover blown highlights.


I did a RAW shoot with blown Highlights the saved JPEG and the saved JPEG from ACR were apart from minor WB differences identical using PS CS2 and ACR.

All your shots are indoors and with blown highlights, perhaps try some outdoor shots correctly exposed and have another look at RAW.

Picasa is really good what do you expect from Google the ONLY search engine and one Bill Gates would LOVE to have :blah: Google have some of the Best Coders around


boyzo is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 1:20 PM.