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Old Jan 26, 2013, 8:46 PM   #1
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Default In camera Jpegs & raw comp

I finally got around to upgrading my OS to be able to update my PP software and now able to process raw files. This is my observation of the differences between using RAW files compared to the Jpeg files produced by the camera.

I tried Sony's IDS and don't like it.

For this comparison I used the NEX-6 with the 16-50 kit lens at 16mm wide open.

I did a comp with dark shadows and bright highlights in a square room to check the differences in dynamic range and distortions.
I uploaded and processed them as I normally would, trying to push down the highlights and pull up shadows for balance, added little sharpening and some detail and that's about it. I placed the camera on the floor so it's as level as the room.


The in camera jpeg processing does quite a bit of distortion correction by cropping the edges. By cropping the edges it corrects the vignetting thats very noticeable in the raw shot.. Thats all good if you are aware of the in camera cropping and compose your shot accordingly. Overall I could probably use Jpegs about 75% of the time and be happy with them. I think Sony has done a fairly nice job with the in camera processing. The auto WB and color accuracy are very nice.

On the down side the highlight recovery is not very good with the jpeg shot, everything gets washed out trying to bring down the highlights.
With raw you get quite a bit of lens distortion at 16mm but, you get a lot more range to play with and if your processing with software that has lens distortion correction then you should be able to get the best results. Also keep in mind that when using jpeg by underexposing your shots in high contrast situations, it's going to be much easier to pull up shadow detail rather then bring down highlights. You will avoid washing out your shots.

The noise is handled very well with the NEX-6 and I have no problem using ISO 6400 for color. Beyond that it's only good for B&W.

It's a pretty cool little camera.

Top--JPEG fine

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Canon S95
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 4:32 PM   #2
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It seems to me that the primary reason to shoot RAW is to avoid the shortcomings of JPEG, so shooting RAW just to create a JPEG in postprocessing shouldn't really show much difference aside from your own tweaks.

I think using your RAW files to create TIF, PNG or even PSD files would provide a better comparison. ... or even just print the JPEG and RAW files and compare.

...and if they can't be displayed here on Steve's, so be it. I'd be satisfied with your own estimation of quality.
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