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Old Feb 17, 2014, 1:47 PM   #1
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Hi all,
Am I a dummy or what? I've been trying various softwares to edit the raw images I get from my FZ150 and CanonS5; and (except in the odd case where I want to bring out the detail in a dark area) I've yet to produce an image that is as good as the jpg my camera spits out. Am I missing something?
Thanks,
..... john
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Old Feb 17, 2014, 5:29 PM   #2
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No- you're not missing anything...
The jpeg engine in the FZ-150 squeezes pretty much everything out of the sensor- certainly with regards highlight detail.
The only room for manouver it seems to me is with regards noise reduction and sharpness- and that is pretty much down to taste...
The supplied Silkypix RAW editor in default settings delivers a slightly "cleaner" image with less noise- though some might say "softer"...!
Even then the cleaner/softer images are over the PASM modes and not iA- which also is pretty clean...!!
In other words- I pretty much use iA for everything- except when I'm shooting moving targets, where I'll use shutter priority with auto iso...
The only area I'd suggest where you might do better in RAW is when you might be using iso 400 or above, where you can again adjust the noise reduction to taste... where I believe you CAN do better that the jpeg engine.

Did you see the images I posted here (at the end) with regards RAW/jpeg highlight retention...?
http://forums.steves-digicams.com/pa...rrr-fz150.html
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Old Feb 17, 2014, 9:53 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SIMON40 View Post
No- you're not missing anything...
The jpeg engine in the FZ-150 squeezes pretty much everything out of the sensor- certainly with regards highlight detail.
The only room for manouver it seems to me is with regards noise reduction and sharpness- and that is pretty much down to taste...
The supplied Silkypix RAW editor in default settings delivers a slightly "cleaner" image with less noise- though some might say "softer"...!
Even then the cleaner/softer images are over the PASM modes and not iA- which also is pretty clean...!!
In other words- I pretty much use iA for everything- except when I'm shooting moving targets, where I'll use shutter priority with auto iso...
The only area I'd suggest where you might do better in RAW is when you might be using iso 400 or above, where you can again adjust the noise reduction to taste... where I believe you CAN do better that the jpeg engine.

Did you see the images I posted here (at the end) with regards RAW/jpeg highlight retention...?
http://forums.steves-digicams.com/pa...rrr-fz150.html
Well... the thread you just linked to appears to be a great example of where using raw would probably be a good idea (not your images, but the other images prior to yours).

For example, the highlights are blown in the first photo so that there is virtually no detail left in some of the bird's feathers. I see the same kind of thing with the boat in the next image (very little detail left in the white boat).

As for your images (versus the images posted by the OP of that thread), I don't see those kinds of severe issues. But, I still suspect that you'd see a tiny bit more detail in the brighter white areas around the rear windows if they were shot in raw and the exposure was tweaked some in post processing, versus what you'd be able to do with the camera processed jpeg images.

Of course, it all depends on the camera. Some cameras have better dynamic range compared to others (able to capture a greater range of bright to dark), and some cameras have better jpeg processing compared to others.

But, you'll also find a big difference between raw converters and how well they handle those types of issues (blown detail in highlights, etc,. as I can see in some of the photos in that thread).

How much "latitude" you have to correct some of those issues (try to pull out more detail from overexposed areas of photos while still pulling out good detail from darker sections), depends on the camera model and raw converter being used.

Also, keep in mind that raw conversion algorithms are being refined with each newer generation (and because there are many different demosaic algorithms, highlight recovery algorithms, noise reduction algorithms, etc.), you need to take the results of raw conversion on a case by case basis with the raw files from a specific camera model (as one converter may be much better compared to another in some areas).

Shooting in raw also allows you to reprocess cherished images later using better algorithms. For example, the demosaic algorithms used by cameras to convert from raw to jpeg years ago left a lot to be desired (and all cameras convert from raw to jpeg internally, even if you're shooting in jpeg).

But, now, algorithms used by cameras (and software based converters) have improved dramatically compared to the in camera processing you'd find years ago. So, if you still had the raw files from the images you shot using an older camera model some years back, you could probably process those files using newer raw converters with better algorithms and see much better results in many areas (noise reduction, highlight recovery, etc.).

In any event, some of the photos in the thread you linked to (for example, the first photo with feather detail lost in brighter areas, and the next photo with detail from the white boat in the foreground lost), appear to be ideal candidates for raw conversion to try and recover the blown highlight detail (which may have been because of over aggressive in camera processing to try and give more "punch" to images via increasing contrast, as many cameras will try to do by default anymore, etc.).;

IOW, it's not only exposure settings or the dynamic range limitations of a given sensor that causes those types of issues, as the way a camera's processing works can also cause those types of results.

So, personally, I try to make sure I have a raw file available for anything I shoot, even if I like the camera's processing. IOW, I will either shoot raw only, or raw + jpeg images (but, very rarely jpeg only), to have more flexibility later if needed; especially since raw conversion algorithms tend to improve over time with newer generations of software.

Yes, the jpeg processing engine with some cameras is very good. But, you tend to have a lot more flexibility using raw files later, versus trying to reprocess the camera produced jpeg images, as you don't have processing already applied yet with the raw images (color correction for white balance, tone curves for contrast, sharpening, etc.). That's especially true if you make any mistakes in exposure settings, white balance settings, etc. (it's easier to fix those kinds of problems using a raw file as a starting point).
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Old Feb 18, 2014, 1:13 PM   #4
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Hi Simon,
Yes..... these are nice pictures. I normally use manual, because I like to have my picture come out a tad on the dark side. Do you use "motion deblur"?
Thanks,
....... john
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Old Feb 18, 2014, 6:07 PM   #5
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JimC- with regards the OP's pics on the link- the settings were simply not suited to the image they were after (unless they wanted the extreme contrast look...)- and spot metering or a bit of neg' exposure comp was necessary- irrespective of the camera used- though of course highlight recovery might be possible on a larger sensor camera- though even that might be a stretch on the posted examples.

On my tractor pic, the RAW example of the tractor didn't show as much highlight detail (on the back of the cab) as an OOC jpeg in iA- nor could I recover from the RAW version to the level shown on the jpeg.
All I can ascertain from that is that the jpeg engine on the FZ-150 is pretty darn good- or the supplied Silkypix program isn't up to scratch- though I doubt it's the latter as I find the OOC camera's jpeg DR suprisingly good (for a 1/2.3" sensor)- and a DR of close to 11 EV (DXO) confirms that..!

That said I haven't tried a panny RAW on another converter and maybe there's more to be had... and yes,certainly you get the added colour balance control- or whatever other tweaks you may want to do with an older file.

With my FZ-150 I use jpeg all of the time simply to keep its speed up- both in shooting or with processing later- which frankly doesn't take too long save the occasional colour balance tweak- and given that it's output is never going to be for commercial or pro use,I'm happy to leave it that way. I might switch to RAW if I was doing some portrait work where time is not of the essence, but other than that...

Shinnen- I don't use "motion deblur" in iA- or intelligent resolution/i-Dynamic in PASM modes...
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Old Feb 19, 2014, 12:24 PM   #6
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I hate to admit that I've never even tried Silkypix (even though I see that some camera manufacturers tend to "bundle" it with a camera kit). So, I don't know how it compares to other products.

From tests I've seen, the FZ150 processing engine does do a great job if you want to shoot jpeg.

But, on the other hand, I see comments in some reviews that better raw conversion engines can pull out more detail (using tests with Adobe products for comparisons); and I also see some comments about the defaults sometimes resulting in blown highlights (meaning you need to be careful with your metering and exposure compensation settings if shooting subjects in more challenging lighting using jpeg).

My concern is that my settings may not always be ideal. So, if I make metering mistakes, have white balance set incorrectly, want to use lower noise reduction settings that the camera used shooting jpeg, etc.; shooting raw tends to give me more latitude for making corrections later; versus trying to correct a jpeg image where things like rgb mulipliers have already been applied for white balance, noise reduction has already been applied, sharpening and contrast has already been done, etc.

From my perspective, it's no more trouble to shoot in raw than it is to shoot in jpeg anyway; as you could use the defaults with many raw converters to export the images to jpeg; with no extra "tweaking" needed.

Many raw converters are very fast for viewing raw files, selecting your "keepers", and exporting them to another format like jpeg. Just test drive products like Adobe's Lightroom for one example. Personally, I use Corel AfterShot Pro (which runs on OS X, Windows, Or Linux), since I use Linux most of the time. But, there are a number of other products that are plenty fast enough for browsing raw files, selecting keepers and exporting them to jpeg, with no adjustments needed unless you have problem images. You may want to download the trial versions of a few products and see what you think of how they're designed to optimize your workflow.

But, if you did have any problem images (or a whole shooting session worth of problem images because you had something like white balance set incorrectly for the conditions), you could more easily correct any issues when shooting in raw, even though you wouldn't need to do any extra tweaking of images if your settings were OK to begin with.

Of course, the performance of one camera versus another when shooting in raw does come into the equation, and I don't know how much of a performance hit you'd have with the FZ150 (photos in a row before a slowdown where you need to wait on the camera to "catch up", etc.).

So, it may not be practical to use raw in some conditions with it. You'd have to test that part (and using a faster memory card is suggested) and make your own decision. It sounds like you feel using jpeg is better with that camera for the conditions you use it in with the converters you've tried so far.

But mistakes happen with the best of photographers, and shooting in raw gives you more latitude for making corrections to images later; and many newer raw converters are *very* fast for viewing files, flagging them as keepers and/or rating them using stars, etc.; and then exporting the desired keepers to another format like jpeg. Workflow management is one of the reasons products like Adobe Lightroom are so popular, especially when shooting raw (although personally, I prefer Corel AfterShot Pro for that purpose, as it's very fast and saves a lot of time when trying to go through lots of images).
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Old Feb 19, 2014, 5:50 PM   #7
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I quite like the Silkypix converter- not least it's layout and its "tools"- and it was pretty much the same RAW converter supplied with an Olympus XZ-1 I had recently- which incidentally I DID shoot RAW quite a great deal- mainly because I COULD extract FAR better results than the OOC jpeg's- and there was certainly no speed penalty shooting RAW, as it was slow anyway...lol... but the detail I could extract was superb from the 1/1.63" sensor... as was the cracking colour...
As for the RAW editor supplied with my D3100..... the less said the better...!!!!
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Old Feb 24, 2014, 10:48 AM   #8
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Hi All,
I've noticed that when I shoot in Raw or Raw/jpeg, I don't have digital zoom. Is there a way around this, or will most editors allow one to blow up images as well as the FZ150?
Thanks,
..... john
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Old Feb 24, 2014, 11:14 AM   #9
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Digital zoom is essentially just cropping the full res' image (with some upscaling back to native resolution)- which you can do post processing anyway.
I personally never use digital zoom- on any camera...
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Old Feb 24, 2014, 12:20 PM   #10
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Hi Simon,
O.K...... yes. I thought it might be something like that. So, you don't think that the Lumix will do this processing better than, say Photoshop?
.... john
P.S. I don't know if you remember my complaint about iA, that the images are a tad too bright for my taste; but I just realized that changing the exposure is the simple solution to that problem. So, I'll try iA, as the default mode, and see how I like it.
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