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08/10/2006 03:39:00 PM · #1
I`ve been experimenting with Raw over JPG when processing my soccer pics and find that it`s sort of "swings and roundabouts" when it comes to which is best.

Undoubtedly, Raw is the winner when it comes to adjusting exposure...with underexposure, the leeway you have without producing noise is superb.
However, I am finding that the finished pic has a slightly "painted look" and isn`t as sharp as the JPG version and if I try to sharpen further, I get all sorts of noise/artifacts appearing...see attached image.
378493.jpg
(I have pushed this one slightly to exaggerate the effect)

Am I doing something wrong here or is this just a by product of the software (Rawshooter).
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
08/10/2006 03:41:14 PM · #2
For the most part, if you've incorrectly exposed a photograph enough that you can't fix it in JPEG...RAW isn't going to do much for you. Personally, I've tried RAW and found it annoying...so I'll never use it again...but that's just me.
08/10/2006 03:43:44 PM · #3
Must be a Canon noise thing :)))) (Sorry, couldn't resist).

08/10/2006 03:51:28 PM · #4
You will find that the RAW version may not look as sharp, nor as saturated as the in-camera JPEG. That's not necessarily a bad thing. You need to find the settings that will give you best results during RAW conversion.
Underexposing and pushing in RAW will give somewhat worse results than pushing the ISO up a stop and exposing properly. It's almost always best to expose to the right.
For sharpening, if you're seeing artifacts, try using a smaller radius and higher amount. For the 20D, try Radius = 0.3, amount = 300, threshold= 3, or reduce the amount to 150 and do two passes. Canon recommends a threshold of zero, but this will sharpen noise. I've found that using a value between 2 and 5 (higher with higher ISO) sharpens higher-contrast detail while not worsening noise nearly as much.
08/10/2006 03:54:26 PM · #5
Originally posted by deapee:

For the most part, if you've incorrectly exposed a photograph enough that you can't fix it in JPEG...RAW isn't going to do much for you. Personally, I've tried RAW and found it annoying...so I'll never use it again...but that's just me.


When I`m shooting matches at night during the winter,the camera`s ISO is set at 1600. The downside is that should any of your pics be underexposed (which can happen frequently in the dark areas during floodlit matches)noise can rear it`s ugly head in the dark portions of the image when you lighten it up.This is where I find Raw to be a real benefit..the noise is not so evident when you lighten the image.
However,when viewed at 100% the image appears a bit unnatural and "painted" which isn`t the case with JPG.
I`m just wondering if anyone else has experienced this with "Rawshooter" or whether it`s me who isn`t up to speed with the software.

Thanks Kirbic..I was a bit slow with the comeback...I will try what you suggest. I have been shooting on manual recently and exposing to the right..but that isn`t possible under the circumstances I outline above when light is scarce and shutter speed has to be fast. Just thought that I had found the solution with Raw. However, I`ll experiment with the settings you provided.
Thanks to all.

Message edited by author 2006-08-10 15:58:43.
08/10/2006 03:57:37 PM · #6
To take an image in jpg, you must give the camera instructions regarding how you want that image processed; white balance, sharpness, contrast, color saturation, and so forth and so on. In a dSLR all these are programmable at the menu level.

Take the same image in RAW, and you apply the same instructions in the RAW converter at the time of processing rather than at the time of exposure. White balance, for example, can be varied in RAW before outputting to TIFF or JPG, and this is not possible with a JPG-from-camera image.

With Canon's basic-level RAW processor (EOS Viewer Utility), when you open an image in the utility to "process" it, it actually appears on your screen by default already adjusted to whatever camera parameters you happened to be set in. This means that if you shot both RAW and JPG at the same time (and this is an option), then if you "accept" the initial settings in the EOS Viewer Utility and use them to process the image to JPG, it will be identical in every respect to the one actually shot-and-processed to JPG in camera. This is true in theory, and I have tested it and found it to be true in fact.

So what you do is make your "best guess" as to the correct parameters for processing the image, before shooting, just as you must when shooting JPG, and fire away. If the Image looks good out of the box, no further adjustment is needed and you can just convert it into JPG right then and there. But IF you miscalculated (the wrong white balance, too much contrast, too much sharpening, whatever) then you can CORRECT that before making your conversion from RAW.

This alone is worth the price of admission if you want your image to be the best it can be with the least amount of work on your part; while it is theoretically possible to correct most, if not all, of these "flaws" in post-processing a JPG image, it's a LOT easier to make the corrections out of RAW, and less time-consuming to boot.

Regarding your contention that an image processed from RAW has a more "painterly" look than a JPG of the same image, to whatever extent this is true of your work you have simply used the RAW processor to process in some different way than the original JPG was processed in-camera. There's no reason this HAS to happen. There's no mystery to RAW processing at the basic level, no bit of magic that it does that isn't available in-camera. The primary benefits come from flexibility, not expanded capability.

Or that's how it seems to me, anyway...

Robt.
08/10/2006 04:12:45 PM · #7
geewhy, are you using any noise reduction or sharpening in RAW? Frankly I'm amazed you were able to get a painterly look out of RAW as didn't think that was even possible from an artistic standpoint. I'm not familiar with RAW Shooter but it seems to me something is set to give it an effect of some sort as I can't imagine that look being achieved with the usual RAW adjustments in white balance, exposure, contrast, saturation or curves.

Message edited by author 2006-08-10 16:14:02.
08/10/2006 04:22:11 PM · #8
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

The primary benefits come from flexibility, not expanded capability.

Or that's how it seems to me, anyway...

Robt.


Thanks for that Robert, It`s that very flexibility that I was hoping to benefit from as regards correcting an occasional underexposure without producing noise in dark areas like a players black shorts or top. I have found that Raw handles this so well in comparison to trying a similar adjustment to a JPG..but I have also found that when viewed at 100% the image has a slight "painted" appearance. I probably have to spend more time experimenting to find what I am doing to cause this.

Thanks once more to all for the advice.
Gordon
08/10/2006 04:28:06 PM · #9
Originally posted by yanko:

geewhy, are you using any noise reduction or sharpening in RAW? Frankly I'm amazed you were able to get a painterly look out of RAW as didn't think that was even possible from an artistic standpoint. I'm not familiar with RAW Shooter but it seems to me something is set to give it an effect of some sort as I can't imagine that look being achieved with the usual RAW adjustments in white balance, exposure, contrast, saturation or curves.


The irony of this is that I use noise reduction fairly frequently in some of my pics to get a painted look...and it appears to be coming back to haunt me!!
I don`t use any noise reduction or sharpening..I experiment with a combination of exposure, fill light and shadow contrast and I`m wondering if it`s the combination that is causing it.
08/10/2006 04:45:17 PM · #10
Originally posted by geewhy:

I experiment with a combination of exposure, fill light and shadow contrast and I`m wondering if it`s the combination that is causing it.


I believe it is. I've noticed using too much fill light will give a photo an unnatural lighting effect. I guess it could be described as a painted effect.

I also think it has to do with using RawShooter also. I personally use it also because it's free but I would much prefer using C1. The results seem much more natural to me.
08/10/2006 04:50:54 PM · #11
Originally posted by aaronb532:

Originally posted by geewhy:

I experiment with a combination of exposure, fill light and shadow contrast and I`m wondering if it`s the combination that is causing it.


I believe it is. I've noticed using too much fill light will give a photo an unnatural lighting effect. I guess it could be described as a painted effect.

I also think it has to do with using RawShooter also. I personally use it also because it's free but I would much prefer using C1. The results seem much more natural to me.


Thanks Aaron,before reading your reply I viewed a fresh file @ 100% in "rawshooter" with every adjustment setting at zero and found that it had that "painted" look before I had made any adjustments. I then checked it out in Photoshop and it looked far better..so I think you are right, it is a combination of the software plus the settings I used.
08/11/2006 10:50:58 AM · #12
What means this, raw?
08/11/2006 11:19:23 AM · #13
Originally posted by The Resplendent Snippycat:

What means this, raw?
Raw is typically the image without any adjustments that can be set in the camera. In other words things like white balance, color space, sharpening etc are not done by the camera.
08/11/2006 01:27:41 PM · #14
Originally posted by The Resplendent Snippycat:

What means this, raw?


More comprehensive answer:

When you shoot JPG, the camera takes the raw information that the chip captures and "processes" it based on your instructions, in-camera; you can make your JPGs more or less contrasty, more or less saturated, you can specify the white balance, and so forth and so on, through menu adjustments in the camera itself.

RAW files contain only the actual information captured by the sensor, and you use your computer to change all those parameters instead.

Why is this useful? Take the edxample of a JPG that was oversharpened in-camera; there's no satisfactory way to unsharpen this image. But if you shoot in RAW, you always have a completely unedited copy of your image available to you, and you can try different sharpening settings to find what works best for this particular image. The same is true of all the other settings. It is more flexible, basically.

The downside is the files are much larger, the write times are longer, and it takes specialized software to read the files and convert them into other formats.

Robt.
08/14/2006 11:43:24 AM · #15
Adobe also has a nice little document explaining raw in more detail.

Understanding RAW
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